These Plays Changed the 2023 College Football Season

Reddit // @dat1podguy

In the whirlwind of the 2023 College Football Season, a handful of players etched themselves into the sport’s lore. As forty names, games, and teams resonate within college football’s arena, it’s a season where triumphs, heartbreaks, and the unexpected have reshaped the landscape.

Here are four events that made an impact on the 2023 season.

Bond’s Last-Gasp Catch Keeps Alabama Alive

In a historic moment, the Iron Bowl Friday witnessed an improbable fourth-and-31 play. Facing a dire situation trailing by four, Crimson Tide’s Jalen Milroe defied the odds with an electric pass. Auburn Tigers’ defensive blunder allowed ample time, as only two rushed Milroe while a misguided defender hesitated.

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Despite deep coverage, Isaiah Bond found himself single-covered and caught Milroe’s missile in the end zone, securing Alabama’s dramatic survival in the College Football Playoff chase.

Critical Defensive Gaps

In a moment reminiscent of Auburn’s puzzling defensive setup, Notre Dame faced a similar scenario against Ohio State earlier in the season. With a depleted defense, the Fighting Irish went essentially 10-on-11 on crucial plays. The defensive void allowed Chip Trayanum to secure a last-second winning touchdown, altering the season’s narrative.

Had Notre Dame been at full strength, their potential victory could’ve shaped a 10-2 season, impacting Ohio State’s playoff hopes. Despite the setback, Ohio State’s 11-1 record keeps playoff aspirations alive, owed to that decisive last-second triumph.

Dan Lanning’s Fourth-Down Dilemma

In Seattle, the pivotal Oregon-Washington game on October 7 became a focal point. The outcome, despite a narrow loss for Ducks coach Dan Lanning, might not have been as critical considering the impending rematch with playoff implications. However, it’s worth noting that if Lanning hadn’t risked three unsuccessful fourth downs in the previous game, the Ducks might have held an undefeated record today.

Twitter // @Ducks_Wire

This decision could have significantly impacted their position, especially if the Huskies emerge victorious and remain undefeated, potentially altering the playoff landscape.

The Flag That Altered Iowa’s Destiny

In a low-scoring game against Minnesota, Iowa’s Cooper DeJean appeared to secure a game-winning moment with a dazzling 54-yard punt return, igniting hope with a late 16-12 lead. However, officials deemed an invalid fair catch signal by DeJean before his play, nullifying the return and quashing Iowa’s victory opportunity.

The controversial call, although within rule book bounds, drew immediate criticism. Subsequently, Iowa’s faltering offense faced a sack, an incompletion, and an interception, sealing their defeat. Had DeJean’s return stood, Iowa would boast an 11-1 record, ranking among the elite few with minimal losses.

High School Hoops Phenom Is Grandson of Aba Pacers Hall of Famer Roger Brown

Hudson Mayes, Roger Brown's grandson
Robert Brown’s Grandson

Anyone who’s ever watched Hudson Mayes play can’t overcome the feeling of watching a throwback player. His coaches have described him as “an old soul” repeatedly. But who is this talented 15-year-old sophomore at Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach, CA, who’s believed to be the next great asset to the Division I program? No other than Hall of Fame legend Roger Brown, the ABA Pacers all-star’s, grandson!

Hudson Mayes

Hudson Mayes was raised with the idea of becoming a great basketball player. The boy surely has talent, too. In an age where the midrange shot has almost disappeared from the court, the boy openly includes it in his style. Among other things, that’s what makes his style look so old-school.

Hudson Mayes
Hudson Mayes

In an interview, he said he was expected to make it big on the basketball court. After all, he’s the grandson of Roger Brown, often referred to as the greatest Pacer of all time. So far, he’s been filling the shoes of the legendary Hall of Famer just right. He takes charge, always goes for the extra pass, and puts his heart and soul into the team.

Roger Brown

Husdon Mayes was born ten years after the greatest Pacer passed away. Yet, the resemblance in the young boy’s style with that of his legendary grandfather is uncanny. Roger Brown caught the eye of the Pacers in 1967, back when the team played in a then-brand-new league called the American Basketball Association.

He was one of the first players to join the team, eventually leading it to success more than once. Back in his prime, Brown could easily beat two players. He was very self-conscious and had the same energy his grandson exhibits on the court today.

Roger Brown was inaugurated into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. So, his young grandson is expected to become just as famous for a reason. Watching his game, we can say he’s off to an amazing start.