The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Beauty of rivalry week – NCAA week 13

Best time in college football season
Christian+Hilborn+fights+with+a+UW+defender+as+he+blocks%2C+Nov.+25%2C+in+Seattle%2C+Wash.+
BRANDON WILLMAN
Christian Hilborn fights with a UW defender as he blocks, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

Rivalry week. It is the game that, no matter the team’s records, is always circled on the schedule. Beating your rival feels good, no matter what the rest of the season looked like. In 2023, rivalry week was far from disappointing.

Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn 

Over the years, the Iron Bowl has been one of the most electric and historic moment-inducing games of the season. This season, that was no different. It was a back-and-forth game, but the Tigers held a 21-20 lead entering the fourth quarter. While as small as a lead as possible, that does not make the deficit feel any more insurmountable for Alabama. 

“Auburn at home with a lead entering the fourth quarter of an Iron Bowl is the most intimidating environment in sports,” Matt Scalici, audience development editor for ForTheWin, posted on X.

But still, it was all down to the final moments of the game. After Auburn added on a field goal to take a 24-20 lead, the Crimson Tide had one play left to make something happen. 

On a fourth and goal play from the 31-yard line, yes, the 31, the “Milroe Miracle” happened. After nearly five seconds in the pocket, Alabama QB Jalen Milroe found an open receiver in the back left the end zone to win the game and win bragging rights. 

Apple Cup: WSU vs. UW 

One team came in undefeated with College Football Playoff hopes. One came in with five wins. But it came down to the final five seconds. The Apple Cup was tied 7-7 after one quarter, 14-14 at the half and 21-21 late in the fourth quarter. 

Cam Ward and Michael Penix Jr. had an absolute battle. Ward finished 32-of-48 for 317 yards, three TDs and two interceptions, while Penix Jr. finished 18-of-33 for 204 yards, two TDs and one interception.

Despite out-gaining the Huskies 381–306 and at times, looking like a better team, UW held on to defend their home field in a 24-21 victory. 

Sunshine Showdown: Florida State vs. Florida 

Despite missing their starting QB, FSU went into “The Swamp” and took down their in-state rivals 24-15. Tate Rodemaker, in Jordan Travis’ place, did not play that well, but he threw for 134 yards and did not do anything to lose them the game. 

It really was a battle of rushing attacks, as combined the two teams had less than 250 yards through the air.

After the win, several FSU players cut up part of the end zone to take home an additional trophy from their win. One final moment to assert their dominance. 

The Game: Michigan vs. Ohio State

One of the most watched rivalries in the country, Michigan has owned the Buckeyes in recent years. The back-to-back-to-back winners, the Wolverines pulled out the win 30-24 in 2023’s rendition of the battle. 

J.J. McCarthy completed 80% of his passes for 148 yards and a TD, Blake Corum carried the ball 22 times for 88 yards and two scores, the defense intercepted Kyle McCord twice and overall, it was a great game. 

Building a 14-10 lead in the half, Michigan grew that lead to 24-17 after three quarters. Ohio State still had a chance as the game clock winded down, but with less than 30 seconds left, the Michigan defense got their second interception to seal the game.  

Heroes Game: Iowa vs. Nebraska 

Man, punts are fun, aren’t they? If you love offense stalling out and barely over 500 yards of combined total offense, this is the game for you. A 13-10 win for Iowa was the perfect victory for their brand of football.

But, 14 combined punts, what a performance from both teams.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.