Holy cow! What a week. There are plenty of changes this week after #1 Mississippi State lost to #5 Alabama, #6 Arizona State lost to unranked Oregon State, #8 Ohio State drubbed #25 Minnesota, and #9 Auburn got whipped by #15 Georgia. Additionally,#17 LSU lost to Arkansas, #18 Notre Dame lost to Northwestern, #19 Clemson lost to #24 Georgia Tech, #21 Duke lost to Virginia Tech, and #24 Texas A&M lost to Missouri. Whew! Those loses will mean a lot of changes are in the works!
Rankings on the left are those of the Selection Committee/AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by CBSSports.com. NR = Not Ranked.
1/1/1/1 Mississippi State (9-1) The Bulldogs fell to the #5 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) 25-20. Alabama got off to a good start with a 19-3 lead at half time. They then did just enough to hold off the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs’ Dak Prescott led all rushers with 82 yards and threw for 290 yards compared to Blake Sims’ 211 for Alabama but Prescott also threw three INTs which surely proved disastrous to Mississippi State’s chances.
2/3/4/3 Oregon (9-1) The Ducks had this weekend off.
3/2/2/2 Florida State (10-0) The Seminoles came from behind to defeat the Miami Hurricanes (6-4) 30-26. Miami jumped out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. The two teams both scored 10 points in the second period. Then they had half time. After the break, it was all Florida State as the Seminoles once more proved to dominate the second half as they outscored Miami 20-3. Dalvin Cook had two TDs and 92 yards on just 7 carries and Jameis Winston threw for 304 yards and one TD for Florida State. Brad Kaaya threw for 316 yards and two TDs for Miami.
4/5/5/5 TCU (9-1) The Horned Frogs escaped from the Kansas Jayhawks (3-7) 34-30. Michael Cummings threw for 332 yards and two TDs and ran for a third in leading the Jayhawks to a 27-17 lead in the third quarter. But Aaron Green scampered 24 yards for his second TD of the day (Green finished the day with 128 yards rushing) and Cameron Echols-Luper returned a punt 69 yards for a TD to put the Horned Frogs ahead 31-27 in the fourth quarter. The two teams would trade field goals in the time that remained. Trevone Boykin threw for 330 yards and an early TD for the Frogs.
5/4/3/4 Alabama (9-1) The Tide edged the #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-1) 25-20. More above.
6/7/8/8 Arizona State (8-2) The Sun Devils found life on the road…upsetting as they lost to the Oregon State Beavers (5-5) 35-27. Sean Mannion threw for 251 yards and two TDs for the Beavers. He was matched by Taylor Kelly’s 264 yards and two TDs throwing for the Sun Devils. Arizona State’s Antonio Longino returned a fumble 36 yards for a score. The Sun Devils had a 27-21 lead with under 13 minutes remaining but the Beavers’ Jordan Villamin caught a Mannion pass and ran 67 yards for a score and Michael Doctor returned an interception 35 yards for a score. Earlier, Storm Woods had a 78 yard TD run and Terron Ward had a 66 yard run for the Beavers. Woods finished the day with 148 yards rushing on 19 carries and Ward had 125 yards on 11 carries.
7/6/6/6 Baylor (8-1) The Bears had this weekend off.
8/8/7/7 Ohio State (9-1) The Buckeyes beat the #25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3) 31-24. J.T. Barrett threw for 200 yards and three TDs and sprinted 86 yards for a fourth TD for Ohio. David Cobb rushed for 145 yards and scored three TDs for the Gophers.
9/9/9/9 Auburn (7-3) The Tigers got flattened by the #15 Georgia Bulldogs (8-2) 34-7. Todd Gurley was back on the field for Georgia. He ran the opening kickoff back 100 yards for an apparent score but saw that taken off the board by a penalty. No problem, Gurley would later score on a shorter run and amass 128 yards on 29 carries. Nick Chubb who stood in for Gurley while he was suspended rushed for 144 yards on 19 carries and scored twice as the tandem led the Bulldogs roiled over the Tigers. [Update: Gurley tore his ACL and will now be out for the season.]
10/10/10/10 Ole Miss (8-2) The Rebels stayed home on the couch this week.
11/14/15/16 UCLA (8-2) The Bruins were also idle this weekend.
12/12/12/12 Michigan State (8-2) The Spartans defeated the Maryland Terrapins (6-4) 37-15. Michigan State sputtered and stumbled on offense in the first half having to settle for three Michael Geiger field goals and leading my just 9-7 score before Jeremy Langford ran for the first of his two TDs. RJ Williamson returned an interception 22 yards for a Spartan score in the third quarter then Langford scampered 25 yards for his second score and Nick Hill tacked on another on 33 yards. In between those two Spartan TDs, C.J. Brown (20 of 43 for 246 yards) connected with Juwann Winfree for the second Maryland TD pass of the night.
13/13/13/13 Kansas State (7-2) The Wildcats were idle this week.
14/17/18/22 Arizona (8-2) The Wildcats came from behind to defeat the Washington Huskies (6-5) 27-26. Casey Skowron hit a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give the Wildcats the win. Dwayne Washington rushed for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Huskies. Nick Wilson rushed for 104 yards and two TDs for the Wildcats. But today—unlike last week when he missed a 36-yarder to go ahead of USC—the day belonged to Skowron who made three field goals of 18, 35, and 47 yards. The last two came in the fourth quarter after Washington had gone ahead 26-21.
15/16/14/14 Georgia (8-2) The Bulldogs upset the #9 Auburn Tigers (7-3) 34-7. More above.
16/11/11/11 Nebraska (8-2) The Cornhuskers got run over by the #20 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2) 59-24. More specifically, they got run over by Melvin Gordon who set a new NCAA Division I record with 408 yards rushing on 25 carries. Oh, and he scored four TDs, too. And he didn’t play a down in the fourth quarter. Some other guys carried the ball for the Badgers, too, as they ran for 581 yards. Turnovers were a big part in the game as both teams lost four out of five fumbles. Nebraska’s Tommy Armstrong was limited to just 6 of 18 for 62 yards, one TD and one INT. As a team, Nebraska was held to just 180 yards in offense.
17/20/20/15 LSU (7-4) The Tigers got shut out by the Arkansas Razorbacks (5-5). Yeah, THE Arkansas Razorbacks who lost 17 consecutive SEC games. THAT streak is history. Arkansas’ defense got after LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings early and often limiting him to just 12 of 22 for 87 yards and sacking him four times. They did even better against the run as Arkansas limited LSU to just 36 net yards on 32 carries.
18/15/16/17 Notre Dame (7-3) The Fighting Irish lost to the Northwestern Wildcats (4-6) 43-40 in overtime. Notre Dame got off to a great start leading 20-9 after one quarter but the Wildcats clawed back. Everett Golson ran 61 yards for the first ND score and would throw for three more TDs while going 21 of 40 for 287 yards. Tarean Foster rushed for 106 yards and a TD on 20 carries and Austin Collinsworth returned a fumble 32 yards for a TD. BUT… Matt Alviti scored on a 2 yard run; Nick VanHoose returned a blocked extra point for two points; Trevor Siemian threw a short pass to Kyle Prater for a TD and ran 6 yards for a TD; Justin Jackson ran for 149 yards and a TD; and Jack Mitchell hit field goals from 31, 46, 45, and 41 yards for Northwestern. Those last three field goals were better than his previous best. The 45-yarder tied the game with 9 seconds left. The 41-yarder won it.
19/18/17/20 Clemson (7-3) The Tigers got whipped by the #22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2) 28-6. Clemson lost their stating QB in the first quarter. Cole Stoudt came in and went just 3 of 11 for 19 yards but even more devastating was that he threw three INTs, two of which were returned for Georgia Tech touchdowns. Jamal Golden ran the first INT back 85 yards while Chris Milton returned the second 62 yards.
20/22/22/21 Wisconsin (8-2) the Badgers ran over the #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-3) 59-24. See above for more.
21/19/19/18 Duke (8-2) The Blue Devils were edged by the Hokies of Virginia Tech (5-5) 17-16. Having a 10-0 lead and having rushed for 121 yards after one quarter, it looked like the Blue Devils would stroll to a big win. Then they started giving the ball away. VaTech intercepted at the 2 yard line and marched 98 yards for a TD and suddenly it was 10-7. Duke followed with two field goals in the third quarter to make it 16-7 but field goals aren’t touchdowns. VaTech would score a field goal in the third and a touchdown in the fourth quarter thanks to two more Duke turnovers and complete the comeback.
22/24/23/NR Georgia Tech (9-2) The Yellow Jackets beat the #19 Clemson Tigers (7-3) 28-6. More above.
23/25/NR/NR Utah (7-3) The Utes edged the Cardinal of Stanford (5-5) 20-17 in double overtime. It was rock-em sock-em defense in regulation with each team getting just 7 points. Utah punted nine times and Stanford eight. In the first overtime, Utah scored on the first play, a 25-yard pass from Travis Wilson to Kaelin Clay. That was matched by a 14-yard pass from Kevin Hogan to Austin Hooper. The second OT saw Stanford have to settle for a 51yard field goal by Jordan Williamson. That allowed Utah to win on a 3-yard pass from Wilson to Kenneth Scott.
24/NR/NR/NR Texas A&M (7-4) The Aggies got schooled by the Missouri Tigers (8-2) 34-27. Kyle Allen threw for 247yards and three TDs for A&M but the defense gave up TD runs of 49 yards and 45 yards by Russell Hansbrough who finished the day with 199 yards on 20 carries. Maty Mauk threw for 252 yards and one TD for the Tigers who had 32 first downs to A&Ms 18.
25/NR/NR/NR Minnesota (7-3) The Golden Gophers fell to the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1) 31-24. More above.
NR/21/21/19 Marshall (10-0) The Thundering Herd stomped the Rice Owls (6-4) 41-14. Rakeem Cato completed 23 of 37 for 297 yards and four TDs and Devon Johnson rushed for 199 yards and a TD on 27 carries for Marshall.
NR/23/25/25 Colorado State (9-1) The Rams had this weekend off.
NR/NR/NR/24 Oklahoma (7-3) The Sooners came back to defeat the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (3-7) 42-30. Three interceptions in the first half and three TD passes by the Raiders’ Patrick Mahomes (6, 59 and 47 yards) saw the Sooners fall behind 21-7 early in the third quarter but they then started to pound the ball on the ground finishing the game with 384 yards rushing after having just 68 in the first half. Samaje Perine had 213 yards and three TDs on 25 carries, Cody Thomas rushed for 103 yards and one TD on just 8 carries. Mahomes would finish the day with 27 completions on 50 attempts, 393 yards and four TD passes but it wasn’t enough.
My Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-4) beat the Indiana Hoosiers (3-7) 45-23. Gary Nova threw two TD passes to former high school teammate Leonte Caroo and true freshman Robert Martin (three TDs) and Josh Hicks (one TD). It wasn’t an easy win for the Knights, however. The defense still gave up way too many yards on the ground. Tevin Coleman rushed for 307 yards on 32 carries including a 67 yard TD run in the closing minutes of the first half. When it was needed, the Knights were able to dial up one heck of a pass rush as a result, despite allowing Coleman 307 yards, the Hoosiers had just 294 yards net rushing. (Devin Redding lost 3 yards on 3 carries. Erich Toth lost 14 yards on 1 carry. QB Zander Diamont lost 38 yards on 7 carries.)