College Football Recap, November 11 park
Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the College Football Playoff (CFP) standings entering the games. The top four teams in the final rankings will meet in the first-ever College Football Playoff with No. 1 playing No. 4 and No. 2 playing No. 3. The two semifinal games for this year will be the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl.
Schools that appear to be locks to be in the top four of this week's CFP Rankings, which are released tonight at 6:30 p.m. (Central).
#1 Mississippi State 45, UT-Martin 16: The undefeated Bulldogs take care of business against an FCS foe as Dak Prescott registers his school record ninth 200-yard passing game, while backup quarterback Damian Williams, a graduate of Rummel High school in Metairie, La., also throws for a touchdown in mop-up duty.
#2 Florida State 34, Virginia 20: The Seminoles again start slow as Jameis Winston throws two first-half interceptions, the defending national champions come together to control the second half as they win their 25th consecutive game while holding the Cavaliers to just 257 total yards.
#4 Oregon 51, #17 Utah 27: Marcus Mariota, considered by many to be the Heisman frontrunner, throws for 239 yards and three touchdowns while running for 114 yards and another score as the Ducks break the Utes with a 24-point fourth quarter.
Schools hoping to move into the top four after impressive performances on Saturday.
#5 Alabama 20, #16 LSU 13: The Crimson Tide needs overtime to hold off an LSU team which always proves potent on Saturday nights in Death Valley; after Adam Griffith forces the extra time with a 27-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, Blake Sims finds DeAndrew White for what proves to be the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
#6 TCU 41, #7 Kansas State 20: In one of the biggest games of the year in the Big 12, the Horned Frogs shock the Wildcats and the conference's top defense, piling up 553 yards behind quarterback Trevone Boykin (342 yards, four touchdowns) and backup running back Aaron Green (18 carries for 171 yards).
#9 Arizona State 55, #10 Notre Dame 31: The Sun Devils take full advantage of five Notre Dame turnovers, building a 34-3 first-half advantage before holding off a Fighting Irish rally by scoring the game's final 21 points.
Results that dealt serious blows to College Football Playoff hopes, or potentially bumped teams from the rankings altogether (teams in other categories also qualify).
Texas A&M 41, #3 Auburn 38: The Tigers lose two fumbles in the final three minutes while Aggie freshman Kyle Allen throws for four touchdowns to deal a serious blow to Auburn's College Football Playoff hopes.
#14 Ohio State 49, #8 Michigan State 37: The Spartans were hoping for a big win in possibly their last marquee game of the regular season; instead, it's the Buckeyes who impress, piling up 568 yards of offense against one of the top defensive teams in the country as J.T. Barrett throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns while adding 86 rushing yards and two more scores.
Texas 33, #23 West Virginia 16: The reeling Mountaineers drop their second in a row as the Longhorns get three touchdowns from running back Johnathan Gray as Charlie Strong picks up his biggest victory of his debut season in Austin.
Schools that picked up victories which should help them climb in this week's rankings.
#11 Ole Miss 48, Presbyterian 0: The Rebels' vaunted defense is barely challenged by the FCS Blue Hose, who manage just 156 total yards, while Ole Miss gets 171 rushing yards (on 10 carries) from freshman Jordan Wilkins.
#12 Baylor 48, #15 Oklahoma 14: The Bears pick up their first road win in 12 tries against the Sooners as well as their first road win over a ranked team since Art Briles took over in 2008, turning in a dominant performance as Bryce Petty throws for 387 yards, including 15 connections with Corey Coleman, who tallies 224 receiving yards.
#18 UCLA 44, Washington 30: Brett Hundley sets the UCLA record for touchdown passes while also adding a pair of rushing scores to help the Bruins cap a perfect road season (6-0) as well as keeping them in the mix for a Pac-12 South title.
#19 Arizona 38, Colorado 20: Freshman quarterback Anu Solomon threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes while running for a career-best 105 yards to break open a tight game as the Wildcats take full advantage of four Buffalo turnovers.
#20 Georgia 63, Kentucky 31: The Bulldogs recover from last week's loss in fine fashion as Hutson Mason throws for a career-high four touchdowns and Nick Chubb rushes for 170 yards and a touchdown to lead a road blowout of the Wildcats.
Schools that eared victories and will likely maintain their rankings for another week.
#21 Clemson 34, Wake Forest 20: The Tigers find themselves in a tight game with the Demon Deacons, but Artavis Scott collects a short pass from Cole Stoudt and dashes 68 yards to make it 27-20 early in the fourth quarter and the No. 2 ranked Tiger defense took care of business to close out the victory.
#22 Duke 27, Syracuse 10: The Blue Devils also had a tougher-than-expected battle, entering the fourth quarter tied at 10 with the Orange, but Jamison Crowder returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown to kickstart a 17-0 fourth-quarter burst which kept Duke in the driver's seat for the ACC Coastal title.
#24 Georgia Tech 56, North Carolina State 23: The Yellow Jackets pile up 479 rushing yards, including 157 from Synjyn Davis, while converting on 8-of-10 third down efforts as they cruise to an ACC road victory.
#25 Wisconsin 34, Purdue 16: Melvin Gordon continues to turn in Heisman-worthy performances as he registers his third 200-yard effort of the year while also posting a highlight-reel touchdown catch as the Badgers roll.
SUGAR BOWL SPOTLIGHT EVENT
In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with nearly 50 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week's spotlight event is the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA Volleyball Championships, which will be held this Thursday-Saturday at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner, La. Metairie Park Country Day is the top seed in the Division V bracket while Pope John Paul II from Slidell is the No. 1 seed in the Division IV bracket.
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights. This week's clips include this punt return touchdown by Georgia's Isiah McKenzie, which followed his touchdown on the opening kickoff, as well as this crazy sequence of plays from the Georgia Tech-NC State game, which included a kicked-ball interception, a fumble and then a pick-six.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
Sporting News (Bill Bender): TCU vs. Florida State (replaces Oregon vs. Mississippi State)
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Florida State vs. TCU (no change)
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy): Florida State vs. Mississippi State (Florida State replaces Notre Dame)
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Florida State vs. TCU (TCU replaces Alabama)
Bleacher Report: Florida State vs. TCU (TCU replaces Mississippi State)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Florida State vs. Baylor (Baylor replaces TCU)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Florida State vs. TCU (TCU replaces Michigan State)
Phil Steele: Florida State vs. Baylor (Baylor replaces Michigan State)
Yahoo! Sports (Pat Forde): Mississippi State vs. Baylor (Baylor replaces Auburn)
WIN TWO TICKETS!
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be giving away two free tickets to the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will also serve as one of the first College Football Playoff Semifinals in history, in early December. Fans can sign up at the official website of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. One lucky winner will be chosen to receive two free tickets to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl to be played on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Prize includes two tickets to the game only. Parking, accommodations and any other expenses related to the game are the responsibility of the winner. Contest will continue until Thursday, Dec. 11 when a winner will be selected and contacted by an Allstate Sugar Bowl representative.
VOTE FOR MANNING STARS
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for what you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
MANNING AWARD STARS OF THE WEEK
While 30 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances (follow the Facebook link above to vote):
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Luke Falk, Washington State
Grant Hedrick, Boise State
Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(Rankings are from this week's AP Poll, all times Central)
#14 Ohio State at Minnesota (11 a.m., ABC): After defeating Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes have made themselves the top Big Ten candidate for this year's College Football Playoff; this match-up with the Gophers on the road may prove to be a challenge as Minnesota has won five of its last six games to improve to 7-2 overall.
Virginia Tech at #19 Duke (11 a.m., ESPNU): Duke is looking to capture its second straight ACC Coastal title, but a struggling Hokie team will be hoping to play the role of spoiler for the Blue Devils.
#21 Clemson at #24 Georgia Tech (11 a.m., ESPN): Star quarterback Deshawn Watson returns from injury as the Tigers travel to take on the Yellow Jackets and their potent triple option offense; both teams are in second place in their respective ACC divisions and will be looking to avoid taking a third loss which would likely knock them out of the national rankings.
Rice at Marshall (1:30 p.m., FSN affiliates): While the Thundering Herd have not received much love from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, they are one of three remaining undefeated teams in the country and this game against the Owls, who have a six-game winning streak and a 4-1 Conference USA mark, may be their biggest challenge of the year – Marshall's last loss came at the hands of Rice in last year's C-USA Championship game.
#1 Mississippi State at #5 Alabama (2:30 p.m., CBS): The SEC West continues to beat itself up and this game is expected to be a memorable match-up as the Bulldogs, who have only defeated Alabama 18 times in history (opposite 77 losses), hope to pick up another monumental victory against the Tide, which is hoping to solidify its own College Football Playoff résumé.
#11 Nebraska at #22 Wisconsin (2:30 p.m., ABC): Two of the top running backs in the country may go head-to-head as Nebraska and Ameer Abdullah (fifth in the nation with 1,250 yards despite missing nearly a full game due to injury) travels to take on Wisconsin and Melvin Gordon (leads the nation with 1,501 yards); Abdullah remains a question mark due to an injured knee.
#3 Auburn at #20 Georgia (6:15 p.m., ESPN): Todd Gurley makes his return to the Georgia lineup as the Dawgs look to remain in the hunt for the SEC East title, hosting an Auburn squad looking to recover after being shocked at home by Texas A&M on Saturday.
#2 Florida State at Miami, Fla. (7 p.m., ABC): The Seminoles have climbed back to the lofty positions they enjoyed through much of the 1990s and while the Hurricanes remain down, they are improving fast this season with three straight wins by an average margin of 24 points.
#9 Arizona State at Oregon State (9:45 p.m., ESPN): After their impressive victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, the Sun Devils find themselves much more in the national picture, but they need to take care of business in Pac-12 action as they hope to make a return trip to the conference championship game.