COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP – 10/24/11
Here's a brief look at the highlights of week eight of the college football season, a week which saw two undefeated top-six teams get upset as well as convincing victories by the top two teams in the nation. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.
GAMES ARE PLAYED ON THE FIELD, NOT ON PAPER
#16 Michigan State 37, #6 Wisconsin 31: In what is quite possibly the most exciting game of the season, Michigan State wins the game on a Kirk Cousins "Hail Mary" to shock the undefeated Badgers in a back-and-forth game which could have ramifications on the entire college football postseason.
Texas Tech 41, #3 Oklahoma 38: While fans and media alike were ready for a showdown between undefeated Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on Dec. 3, four-touchdown underdog Texas Tech had different plans as Seth Doege throws for 441 yards and Alex Torres has three TD grabs to become the first team to win in Norman since 2005.
SETTING UP THE SHOWDOWN
#1 LSU 45, #20 Auburn 10: LSU continues to go against convention, winning with two quarterbacks seeing significant action as well as winning despite seeing multiple players suspended for various games. This time, the Bayou Bengals post their eighth straight victory by double figures as the defense holds defending national champ Auburn to just 248 yards and Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine to go 16-for-23 for 219 yards and three TDs. LSU is off next week, setting up the major showdown with No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 5.
#2 Alabama 37, Tennessee 6: The Crimson Tide start slow, but break open a tight game as AJ McCarron passes for 284 yards and a touchdown while running for another score to lead Bama to a 31-0 second-half surge, setting up the much-anticipated showdown with LSU in Tuscaloosa in two weeks.
#7 Clemson 59, North Carolina 28: Clemson defensive end Kourtnei Brown scored on an interception and a fumble return and Tajh Boyd matched a school record with five touchdown passes as the Tigers take full advantage of six Tar Heel turnovers to remain one of the more surprising undefeated teams in the country.
#11 Kansas State 59, Kansas 21: Collin Klein threw for a career-high 195 yards and accounted for five touchdowns, freshman Tyler Lockett returned a kickoff for a score and caught a TD pass and K-State rolled once again to rival Clemson for the title as the most surprising undefeated team in the country. The Wildcats get a chance to really make a national splash on Saturday, hosting top-10 Oklahoma.
#4 Oklahoma State 45, Missouri 24: The Cowboys win their ninth straight road game, taking advantage of four Missouri turnovers to climb to 7-0 for just the third time in history as Joseph Randle leads the way with four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving).
#13 Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14: The Huskers go on the road and pile up 346 rushing yards against the hapless Gophers, who also had to deal with approximately two-thirds of their home stadium being filled with red-clad Nebraska fans.
#17 Texas A&M 33, Iowa State 17: After a slow start, the Aggies pull together and use a pair of 100-yard rushing performances and another solid effort by quarterback Ryan Tannehill to post their third straight Big 12 victory.
#21 Penn State 34, Northwestern 24: Joe Paterno matches the legendary Eddie Robinson with his 408th career victory as Silas Redd rushes for a career-high 164 yards to help the Nittany Lions improve to 7-1 on the year.
Syracuse 49, #15 West Virginia 23: Ryan Nassib threw four touchdown passes – three to tight end Nick Provo – and had zero turnovers, and Darian Graham returns a kickoff 98 yards for a critical score to shock the high-powered Mountaineers for the second year in a row.
Miami 24, #22 Georgia Tech 7: The Yellow Jackets get a rude welcome in Miami as the Hurricanes hold Georgia Tech more than 300 yards and nearly 36 points below their season averages.
Purdue 21, #23 Illinois 14: The Boilermakers enjoy some home-cooking and post their first win over a Big Ten team since 2009 to improve to a surprising 2-1 in Big Ten play while handing the Illini their second straight loss.
NOT AS EASY AS EXPECTED
#5 Boise State 37, Air Force 26: Air Force controls the time of possession in an effort to keep the potent Boise offense off the field, and it works to an extent, but not enough, as Kellen Moore matches the NCAA record with 45 career victories (ties former Manning Award winner Colt McCoy).
#9 Arkansas 29, Ole Miss 24: The Rebels nearly shock the Razorbacks, building a 17-point lead before Tyler Wilson puts together a strong second half and the Hog defense does its job to keep Arkansas in the mix in the loaded SEC West, while the Rebels drop their 10th straight SEC game.
#12 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 14: The Eagles, with just one win, hold a 7-6 halftime lead, but the Hokies focus on the run game and a 134-yard performance by David Wilson leads them to their seventh victory.
#8 Stanford 65, Washington 21: Three Cardinal running backs power their way to a school-record 446 rushing yards as Stanford crushes its first ranked opponent of the year as star quarterback Andrew Luck takes a backseat for the first time this season in his schools' 10th-straight win by 25 or more points.
#10 Oregon 45, Colorado 2: The Ducks, playing with their backup quarterback and their backup running back, jump to a 29-0 first quarter lead and their defense holds the Buffaloes to just 231 total yards.
#19 Houston 63, Marshall 28: The undefeated Cougars are once again led by star quarterback Case Keenum, who completed 19-of-21 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns – in the first half alone – as he became the NCAA's all-time leader in total offense with 17,156 career yards.
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 Player 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 31 quarterbacks were on the preseason Manning Award Watch List, and an additional 10 signal-callers were added in the midseason, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the Manning Award. Here's a look at the best performances of the eighth week of the football season:
Tajh Boyd (Clemson)
27-of-46, 367 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Boyd ties a school record with five TD passes and adds a rushing TD as he finishes with his fourth 300-yard of the season in a 59-38 victory over North Carolina.
Zach Collaros (Cincinnati)
26-of-41, 389 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT
Collaros throws for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, then caps the game-winning drive by running for go-ahead TD with 20 seconds left in a 37-34 win which keeps the Bearcats atop the Big East.
Kirk Cousins (Michigan State)
22-of-31, 290 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Cousins leads the Spartans to a sensational finish in an upset of sixth-ranked Wisconsin, throwing a 44-yard Hail Mary with no time remaining to clinch the 37-31 win.
Dominique Davis (East Carolina)
40-of-45, 372 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Davis sets an NCAA record by completing 36 straight passes, including all 26 of his first-half passes, and then drives the Pirates to the game-winning score with three minutes remaining in a 38-35 win over Navy.
Seth Doege (Texas Tech)
33-of-52, 441 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Doege tallies his third 400-yard game of the year and more importantly, he leads the four-touchdown underdog Red Raiders to a shocking 41-38 win over No. 3 Oklahoma, snapping the Sooners' 39-game home-winning streak.
Case Keenum (Houston)
24-of-28, 376 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT
Keenum continues to pile up big numbers as his strong performance in a blowout of Marshall includes him becoming the all-time NCAA total offense leader while the Cougars remain perfect.
Collin Klein (Kansas State)
12-of-19, 195 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
92 yards rushing w/4 TD
Klein throws for a career-high 195 yards and also rushes for92 yards, including three touchdowns to keep the Wildcats perfect on the year with a dominant 59-21 victory over state-rival Kansas.
Ryan Nassib (Syracuse)
24-of-32, 229 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Nassib throws four touchdown passes to lead the Orange to an upset victory over No.15 West Virginia as Syracuse has one of its best performances of the season.
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(current BCS standings)
#9 Oklahoma at #8 Kansas State: The surprising Wildcats can make a huge case for a potential BCS bid as they host the Sooners, who are looking to get back on track after an upset loss to Texas Tech.
Baylor at #3 Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have a very potent offense, but their defense will be seriously tested by sensation Bear quarterback Robert Griffin, III.
#11 Michigan State at #14 Nebraska: The Spartans posted one of their biggest wins in recent history with the miracle upset of Wisconsin, but now they have another challenge, this time on the road against the Cornhuskers, who still hope to battle for a BCS slot.
#5 Clemson at Georgia Tech: Clemson and quarterback Tajh Boyd continue to roll through their schedule, while the Yellow Jackets have hit a slump which has taken them out of the rankings.
#22 Georgia vs. Florida: A huge game in the Sec East between a pair of fierce rivals in Jacksonville – the Bulldogs have won five straight to climb into the Top-25, while Florida is still trying to settle down after losing its starting quarterback to injury.
#6 Stanford at USC: The Cardinal are on an incredible run of 10 straight wins by 25 or more points, while USC is trying to hold onto the glory days of recent years when it dominated the Pac-10 (now Pac-12).
#15 Wisconsin at Ohio State: The Badgers can't think about last week's heart-breaking loss as they remain on the road taking on the tough defense of the Buckeyes.
Illinois at #19 Penn State: Illinois has fallen on hard times, dropping two in a row to slip out of the rankings, while Joe Paterno's Lions have quietly improved to 7-1 on the year with their lone loss at the hands of No. 2 Alabama.
#25 West Virginia at Rutgers: The Mountaineers are the top-rated team in the Big East, despite last week's loss to Syracuse, while Rutgers and its solid 5-2 record are also coming off a loss.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 3, 2012
ESPN.com (Schlabach): LSU vs. Boise State
ESPN.com (Edwards): LSU vs. Boise State
CBSSports.com (Palm): LSU vs. Boise State
CBSSports.com (McMurphy): Alabama vs. Notre Dame (updates Tuesday)
College Football News: Alabama vs. Oklahoma State (changed from LSU vs. Boise State)
SI.com (Mandel): LSU vs. Boise State
USA TODAY: LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Allstate BCS National Championship, January 9, 2012
ESPN.com (Schlabach): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State (changed from Alabama vs. Oklahoma)
ESPN.com (Edwards): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State (changed from Alabama vs. Oklahoma)
CBSSports.com (Palm): Alabama vs. Stanford
CBSSports.com (McMurphy): LSU vs. Oklahoma (updates Tuesday)
College Football News: LSU vs. Boise State(changed from Alabama vs. Oklahoma)
SI.com (Mandel): Alabama vs. Oklahoma
USA TODAY: Alabama vs. Stanford
YOUTUBE PICK OF THE WEEK
Each week, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Pick of the Week, top highlights, impressive off-field performances and great games, such as this game winning Hail Mary pass by Michigan State's Kirk Cousins to take down the undefeated Badgers.