DeVonta Smith"s 84-yard punting return touchdown against Arkansas ~ above Dec. 12 was a to mark of the 2020 season. He would go ~ above to victory the Heisman, the first receiver to perform so since 1991.Michael Woods/AP Photo

College football in 2020 was unlike any type of other season in the sport"s history, and it lugged unfamiliar pictures to the game: athletes publicly marketing for gyeongju equality; game delays, postponements and cancellations roughly COVID-19 issues; stadiums mainly empty, with couple of to no pan or school bands; and so many masks.

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But the game still greatly looked favor the game. Over there were big upsets, groups that surprised in great and negative ways, players and moments that ordered our attention -- hello, Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith! -- and the expected domination by Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.

These room the pictures that we"ll remember native the 2020 university football season.

Related: The sports year in picture 2020

June 13, 2020: Clemson players march for equality

Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesMonths before the FBS season kicked turn off on Sept. 3, part players to be leading through example. As the United claims watched gyeongju justice activities spread across the country following the killings that George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Clemson football player showed just how the movement was gift felt in ~ the highest possible levels the the sport, with Black athletes and also allies elevating awareness. Mike Jones Jr., Cornell Powell, Darien Rencher and Trevor Lawrence arranged a protest and march in southern Carolina, speaking at Clemson"s archer Field and leading a march of thousands.

Aug. 21: huge Ten parents rally to conserve the season

Quinn Harris/Getty ImagesOn Aug. 11, the large Ten became the very first Power 5 conference to postpone the football season, top parents of football player to fight for the season come resume in the fall. Randy Wade, the dad of Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, arranged a rally of parental from different schools exterior of the large Ten headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois. The organization would notice on Sept. 16 that its presidents and chancellors had actually unanimously voted come resume competition.

Aug. 29: an eerie glimpse of the season to come

Butch Dill/Getty ImagesIn the first department I university football video game of the season, main Arkansas" 24-17 win over Austin Peay provided a an initial look in ~ the sport in a pandemic year, with a crowd of simply 2,000 civilization and more on-field sounds choose up by microphones. Strength 5 schools would kick off the adhering to week.

Sept. 12: Louisiana stuns Iowa State -- and serves notice

Charlie Neibergall/AP PhotoIn the an initial major upset of the season, the unranked Ragin" Cajuns knocked off the No. 23 Cyclones 31-14, though it turned out to be just the very first step to Louisiana creating itself as among the powers in the sunlight Belt Conference. The Cajuns finished the season together co-champions with seaside Carolina, after the sunlight Belt title game was canceled because of coronavirus issues. Iowa State, a routine on the rise, finished up Fiesta bowl champion and also 10th in the university Football Playoff rankings.

Sept. 26: K.J. Costello has actually a moment in the sun versus LSU

Chris Parent/Collegiate Images/ Getty ImagesOne that the greatest surprises of the college football season was also one of the many short-lived. Costello, the senior Mississippi State quarterback, made Heisman clock lists automatically after tearing up Bo Pelini"s LSU defense for 623 yards in a 44-34 win, a conference document for pass yards in a solitary game. Tiny did anyone know, that exact same defense wouldn"t have the ability to put up much of a fight against anyone and also Costello wouldn"t make it come the end of the season as Mike Leach"s quarterback after struggling the following two games with a merged seven interceptions.

Oct. 24: Michael Penix Jr. Offers us the debate of the year

Marc Lebryk/USA this particular day SportsIn the big Ten"s opened week, Indiana upset pen State -- which was intended to be in ~ worst the second-best team in the huge Ten -- on a Penix 2-point conversion the fans will certainly surely argue over for decades. Some thought Penix was plainly in the end zone, if others suggested he wasn"t also close to cross the plane. Last score: 36-35.

Nov. 7: Dan Mullen, man of the fans (even when he shouldn"t be)

John Raoux/AP PhotoThe Florida coach make headlines for pushing the COVID-19 limitations -- indigenous requesting a stadium complete of pan at residence after losing to Texas A&M to ... Jumping right into the stands come celebrate v maskless pan after the Gators defeated Georgia 44-28 in the World"s biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Nov. 7: Notre Dame pan storm the field

Matt Cashore/Pool/Getty ImagesMullen wasn"t the only one testing COVID-19 protocols in mainly 10. After Notre Dame"s 47-40, double-overtime success over Clemson -- a video game in which the visiting tigers didn"t have Trevor Lawrence after ~ he tested confident for COVID-19 -- thousands of fans submarine the field and also packed with each other to celebrate. Notre Dame would certainly implement mandatory coronavirus testing for students, and also strict penalties for those that wouldn"t comply. The win was the vital step because that Notre Dame -- a proud independent in a regular season -- in punching its ticket to the ACC title video game -- the very first conference championship video game in routine history.

Nov. 21: Michigan"s season synthetic up in a single moment

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Getty ImagesMichigan went 2-4 under Jim Harbaugh this season, its worst record due to the fact that a 3-9 note in 2008. But perhaps the best means to illustrate how daunting this season was for the Wolverines, that wouldn"t pat in a bowl video game for the an initial time because 2014, is a triple-overtime game versus Rutgers. Offering Michigan a video game isn"t other Rutgers typically does, permit alone 3 OTs.

Nov. 28: Jaret Patterson provides a name for himself

Gregory Fisher/Icon SportswireThe Buffalo to run back, a player not many knew coming right into the season, post a historic performance against Kent State that basically damaged Twitter. Patterson ran for 409 yards and also an astounding eight touchdowns, tying former Illinois star Howard Griffith"s FBS record set in 1990. Patterson finished the season with 1,072 yards in simply six games.

Nov. 28: Nick Saban misses stole Bowl, quiet delivers message

Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser/USA today SportsAfter having a false optimistic COVID-19 check in October, Saban tested optimistic again top top Nov. 25 and had come skip the Crimson Tide"s senior day and also Iron Bowl versus Auburn. Yet even indigenous home, Saban make his visibility felt: He recorded a video clip message because that Alabama"s seniors who were honored prior to the game. Alabama to win Auburn 42-13.

Dec. 5: Mormons vs. Mullets

Richard Shiro/AP PhotoCoastal Carolina and also BYU in the game of the year? In a matchup that was booked on the paris -- a video game widely referred to as "Mormons vs. Mullets" -- with really hopes of boosting the chances there would certainly be a group of 5 playoff participant, the Chanticleers" defense stopped BYU one yard brief of a touchdown that would have given the Cougars the victory.

Dec. 12: that throws a shoe?!

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville SunNo. 6 Florida was in position to knock off defending champion LSU after preventing the tigers on a third down the would have resulted in a punt. Climate Gators cornerback Marco Wilson inexplicably threw tigers tight end Kole Taylor"s total 20 yards downfield. The Tigers finished up kicking a to win 57-yard ar goal because that the 37-34 upset. Florida would finish the season No. 7 in the CFP rankings.

Dec. 12: sarah Fuller renders history

Christopher Hanewinckel/USA this day SportsVanderbilt was among the worst teams in the FBS during the 2020 season, however its kicker listed arguably the brightest moment. Fuller, the goalkeeper for the school"s SEC women"s soccer champs, became the 3rd woman come score clues in an FBS game, and the first to carry out so in a power 5 game. "This entirety time has actually been if I have the right to do it, if I"m an excellent enough to execute it," Fuller claimed after the 42-17 loss to Tennessee in which she kicked a pair the extra points. "It wasn"t if ns was a girl or not. For this reason that"s miscellaneous I"ve yes, really appreciated."

Dec. 12: Army-Navy in ~ West point for the very first time due to the fact that World battle II

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesFor the an initial time since 1943, the Army-Navy video game was held at West Point, with only cadets and midshipmen in attendance. Typically, the two would pat the only game on the second Saturday in December in ~ Philadelphia"s Lincoln financial Field, however they common the day with the remainder of university football during a revised schedule since of the pandemic. As Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the West suggest superintendent and a former army defensive lineman, told"s Ivan Maisel: "This video game must be played. We"d beat this game in a parking many if we"d have actually to."

Jan. 1, 2021: Najee Harris hurdles a human being

UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty ImagesIf a single play represented how impressive Alabama looked this season, Harris galloping end a Notre Dame defender in a 31-14 rose Bowl victory was the defining image. Harris an ext than lived approximately the standard set by Alabama running backs under Nick Saban, rushing for 1,387 yards and 24 touchdowns, and also 346 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 12 games this season.

Jan. 1: Ohio State restrict Clemson in the sugar Bowl

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBetween Justin Fields, Ryan Day and also Randy Wade, Ohio State combated hard come play the 2020 season because the team felt it had actually as good of a possibility as ever to victory a nationwide championship. The Buckeyes" Sugar bowl blowout of Clemson verified why, overcoming one of university football"s most an effective programs that the previous half-decade in a 49-28 win. In one of the greatest bowl performances by a quarterback, fields threw because that 385 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception -- even after taking a brutal fight from Clemson linebacker James Skalski in the second quarter.

Jan. 5: DeVonta blacksmith becomes an initial WR to win Heisman Trophy since 1991

Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust/AP PhotoFollowing a breakout season in which that led the FBS in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,641) and receiving touchdowns (20), blacksmith pulled off a feat not seen due to the fact that Desmond Howard, winning the sport"s top individual honor as a large receiver. His Alabama quarterback, Mac Jones, who was third in the voting, labeled smith "the most electric player in university football." The awareness was held virtually since of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jan. 11: Nick Saban passes Bear Bryant for most national titles together Alabama to win Ohio State

Michael Reaves/Getty ImagesAlabama cruised past Ohio State 52-24 in the college Football Playoff national Championship game. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith had perhaps the biggest first-half performance in a nationwide championship video game with 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Mac Jones additionally stuffed the box score, finishing 36-of-45 passing because that 464 yards and five touchdowns. The Crimson Tide caught its sixth nationwide championship in 12 years, and helped Saban set a college football record with seven national championships together a coach.