WOW! What a week! Close games abound with several going into double and triple overtime while others were decided in the closing minute. One or two were high scoring affairs that more resembled basketball games than football as teams moved back and forth.
In the match-ups between ranked teams:
#1 Alabama vs #5 LSU This went down to the last minute but the Tide prevailed.
#2 Oregon vs #18 USC Back and forth they went. The Ducks were always ahead, but they needed to look over their shoulder all game.
#16 Texas A&M vs #17 Mississippi State Two weeks ago, Mississippi State was undefeated. First Alabama and now A&M.
#24 Arizona vs #25 UCLA Turned out to be a surprisingly lopsided victory for UCLA.
And then there were the upsets #19 Boise State, #20 Texas Tech, and #23 West Virginia ensuring we will see plenty of movement when the polls come out this week. The Top Four won't/shouldn't change, but below that....
(This week’s rankings from the AP, Coaches’, Harris Interactive, BCS Standings. Rankings given last week appear in parentheses. NR = Not Rated. Numbers in parentheses after the team’s name are the records.)
1/1/1/1 (1/1/1/1) Alabama (9-0) The Crimson Tide rallied past the #5 LSU Tigers (7-2) 21-17. With less than two minutes to go and trailing 17-14, the Tide needed a last minute touchdown out of an offense that struggled the entire second half. They got it and thereby kept their unbeaten season intact and national title hopes alive. AJ McCarron and the Tide offense were terrible in the second half as they couldn’t manage a first down. But, in the final drive, with no timeouts, McCarron, who had been 1 of 7 for 0 yards in the second half connected with his receivers again and again and again. Starting at their own 21-yard line after a missed LSU field goal, the Tide would not be stemmed. With 51 seconds left McCarron hit T.J. Yelton on a screen pass that went 28 yards for a TD.
2/2/2/4 (2/2/2/4) Oregon (9-0) The Ducks outscored the #18 Southern California Trojans (6-3) 62-51 in an offensive display that also displayed some offensive defense by both teams. The Ducks were led by Kenjon Barner who rushed for 321 yards (a school record) and five TDs. Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards and four TDs. For the home team Trojans, Matt Barkley went 34 of 54 for 484 yards and five TDs including a 75 yarder to Marqise Lee and a 76 yarder to Nelson Agholor, but he also tossed two INTs and in a game where the Ducks could not be stopped, they might have proven decisive. Each team had just one punt. Oregon amassed 730 yards net offense (most ever given up by the Trojans) and USC had 615 yards.
3/3/3/2 (4/4/4/3) Kansas State (9-0) The Wildcats whipped the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-3) 44-30 but it might cost them. Collin Klein was 16 of 22 for 245 yards but had no passing TDs. He did score one on the ground on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter but may have suffered a head injury on that or the previous play. He came out of the game and never returned. Tyler Lockett returned a kickoff 100 yards for a Wildcat score in the second quarter but Desmond Roland returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for the Cowboys. Later in the quarter, K-State’s Allen Chapman returned an interception 29 yards for a score. That 24-point second quarter put the Wildcats comfortably ahead 31-17 at the half.
4/4/4/3 (5/5/5/5) Notre Dame (9-0) The Irish hosted the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5) and nearly served up a victory. The Panthers held a 20-6 lead as the game entered the fourth quarter. Everett Golson, who had been pulled in the second quarter because he was ineffective, came back in after his replacement, Rees, tossed an INT. Golson went on to lead Notre Dame to first a tie and then a win in triple overtime, 29-26. Golson finished the day 23 of 42 for 227 yards and two TDs. Golson also scored the winning TD on a 1-yard run. Pitt missed a field goal at the end of regulation and another in the second overtime. Either would have ended the Irish’s undefeated season. Ray Graham carried the ball 24 times for Pitt gaining 172 yards and scoring one TD. He had another 25 yards on six receptions.
5/5/5/5 (6/6/6/6) LSU (7-2) The Tigers fell to the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) 21-17 in the final minutes. More above.
6/NR/NR/NR (9/NR/NR/NR) Ohio State (10-0) The Buckeyes routed Illinois (2-7) 52-22. Braxton Miller passed for two TDs and ran for another. Carlos Hyde rushed 18 times for 137 yards and scored three TDs. Ashante Williams returned a fumble 77 yards and a TD for the Illini.
7/6/6/6 (12/11/11/11) Georgia (8-1) The Bulldogs beat the Mississippi Rebels (5-2) 37-10 despite trailing 10-0 in the second quarter. Aaron Murray threw for 384 yards and four TDs: 66yards to Marlon Brown, 40 yards to Tavarres King, 42 yards to Malcolm Mitchell, and 23 yards to Rantavious Wooten.
8/8/8/7 (3/3/3/2) Florida (8-1) The Gators edged the Missouri Tigers (4-5) 14-7. The Gators were shut out in the first half but managed to take advantage of four Missouri turnovers and some short field positions in the second half. The final turnover, an interception in the endzone, occurred with just five seconds remaining.
9/7/7/9 (11/10/10/14) Florida State (8-1) The Seminoles had the week off. Their next game is Nov 8th at Virginia Tech.
10/9/9/13 (14/13/13/18) Clemson (8-1) The Tigers romped over the Duke Blue Devils (6-4) 56-28. Tajh Boyd threw five touchdown passes (four of them in the first quarter, three of them to DeAndre Hopkins) and ran for another TD. He had 344 yards in the air on 16 completions and rushed 9 times for 72 yards.
11/11/11/8 (17/16/16/16) South Carolina (7-2) The Gamecocks had the weekend off.
12/10/10/10 (16/14/14/15) Louisville (9-0) The Cardinals routed the Temple Owls (3-5) 45-17. Louisville actually trailed in this one, albeit briefly. Matt Brown returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a Temple TD. The Cardinals trailed again when Montel Harris scored to give the Owls a 14-7 lead. Terry Bridgewater and crew would have none of it, however. A 72-yard pass to Ryan Hubbell tied the score at 14 all. The teams traded field goals to make it 17-17 in the second quarter but that was all the Owls could manage. Louisville would score 28 unanswered points behind three more Bridgewater TD passes. Bridgewater finished the day 19 of 28 for 324 yards and five TDs.
13/13/13/11 (7/9/8/7) Oregon State (7-1) The Beavers beat the Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4) 36-26. The Devils jumped out to an early lead when Junior Onyeali returned a Cody Vaz fumble one yard for a touchdown. The teams would be tied at 19 at the half. Vaz would get some measure of revenge with three TD passes including tosses of 50 and 17 yards to Markus Wheaton, and of 49 yards to Brandin Cooks.
14/12/12/12 (8/7/7/8) Oklahoma (6-2) The Sooners defeated the Iowa State Cyclones (5-4) 35-20. Despite being held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season, Oklahoma outgained Iowa State 325-84 in the first half and finished with 593 yards. Landry Jones went 32 of 45 for 405 yards and a personal best four TDs.
15/15/14/14 (19/19/18/17) Stanford (7-2) The Cardinal shutout the Colorado Buffaloes (1-8) 48-0 behind the quarterbacking of Kevin Hogan. Hogan came in for a struggling Josh Nunez (3 of 5 for 23 yards) in the first quarter and was 18 of 23 for 184 yards and two TDs in little more than two quarters of work. Hogan also rushed 7 times for 48 yards to lead the Cardinal in that category. Ed Reynolds returned an interception 52 yards for a TD to start the scoring and the Cardinal defense kept Colorado on the wrong side of the 50-yard line until there were 9:16 left in the game.
16/16/18/16 (22/21/21/23) Texas A&M (7-2) The Aggies dominated the #17 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2) 38-13. Johnny Manziel had 311 yards passing and another 129 yards and two TDs on the ground. The Aggies ran off 97 plays for a net 693 yards to Mississippi State’s 57 plays and 310 yards.
17/18/15/15 (13/12/12/10) Mississippi State (7-2) The Bulldogs lost to the #16 Texas A&M Aggies (7-2) 38-13. More above.
18/17/16/17 (10/8/9/9) Southern California (6-3) The Trojans got into a sprinter’s race with the #2 Oregon Ducks (9-0). Not a good idea. The Ducks won 62-51. More above.
19/14/17/19 (21/18/19/19) Boise State (7-2) The Broncos lost to the San Diego State Aztecs (7-3) 21-19. Colin Lockett returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for an Aztec TD and Dwayne Garrett blocked a punt in the third quarter to set up the Aztecs on the 8 yard line. That resulted in another San Diego State TD. Meanwhile, Boise failed on a 2-point conversion after its first touchdown and failed on another in its final score. That first missed conversion put Boise in a hole it would never get out of.
20/20/19/18 (15/17/17/12) Texas Tech (6-3) The Red Raiders lost to the Texas Longhorns (7-2) 31-22. Seth Doege was 26 of 44 for 329 yards and one TD as the Red Raiders struggled from behind most of the day. David Ash was 11 of 19 for 264 yards and three TDs and Johnathan Gray rushed 20 times for 106 yards for the Longhorns.
21/21/21/20 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Nebraska (7-2) The Cornhuskers had to come from behind and score late to edge the Spartans of Michigan State (5-4) 28-24. Taylor Martinez’s five yard TD pass to Jamal Turner with five seconds left pushed the Cornhuskers over the top. Martinez was just 16 of 36 for 160 yards but threw two TD passes and ran for two more on sprints of 71 and 35 yards. Le’Veon Bell rushed 36 times for the Spartans. He gained 188 yards and scored two TDs in the losing cause.
22/23/24/25 (24/NR/NR/25) Louisiana Tech (8-1) The Bulldogs rolled over the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (5-4) 51-27. Colby Cameron completed 30 of his 39 passes for 348 yards and three TDs for the Bulldogs. Eric Soza didn’t match him in completions (just 23 of 41) or yards (314) but tossed four TDs for the Roadrunners. The game was marred by 29 penalties—many of them personal fouls— for 299 yards. The Roadrunners got flagged 14 times for 142 yards and the Bulldogs 15 times for 157 yards.
23/19/20/21 (25/22/22/20) West Virginia (5-3) The Mountaineers fell to the TCU Horned Frogs (6-3) 39-38 in double overtime. The Frogs scored first but Geno Smith and Co. put 21 points on the board in the second quarter to lead at the half 21-14. Tavon Austin scored on a 43-yard pass from Smith in the second period and added a 76 yard punt return in the fourth to put WVU ahead. Shortly after that score, however, Trevone Boykin connected with Josh Boyce for a 94-yard score that resulted in a tie score. WVU had a chance to win in regulation but Tyler Bitancurt came up short on a 55-yard field goal attempt with 13 seconds on the clock. With TCU on offense first in extra time, both teams missed field goals in the first OT. In the second OT, WVU scored a TD on a 25-yard pass from Smith to Stedman Bailey. Then TCU got their chance and Boykin hit Corey Fuller for a 25-yard TD. Down my one, TCU opted to try to go for 2-points rather than give the ball back to WVU in a third OT. Boykin rolled to his right and hit Trevone Boyce with a low pass that was ruled a catch. The replay confirmed this and TCU went home a winner.
24/NR/NR/22 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Arizona (5-4) The Wildcats got creamed by the #25 UCLA Bruins (7-2) 66-10. The Bruins scored early and often putting 21 points on the board in the first and another 21 points up in the second to lead 42-3 at the half. Brett Hundley completed 23 of 28 attempts for 288 yards and three TDs and rushed for a fourth score, and Johnathan Franklin rushed 24 times for 162 yards and two TDs before they and many other starts got the rest of the day off.
25/NR/NR/NR (NR/NR/NR/NR) UCLA (7-2) The Bruins routed the #24 Arizona Wildcats (5-4) 66-10. More above.
NR/ 22/22/23 (NR/24/24/22) Texas (7-2) The Longhorns upset the #20 Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-3) 31-22. More above.
NR/24/25/24 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Oklahoma State (5-3) The Cowboys fell to #3 Kansas State (9-0) 44-30. More above.