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College Football Recap - Nov. 28

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here's a brief look at the highlights of week 13 of the college football season, a week which saw all of the conference championship pairings finalized as well as another step taken towards an All-SEC match-up in the Allstate BCS National Championship. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.

#1 LSU 41, #3 Arkansas 17: For the third time this year, the Bayou Bengals took on a top-three team, and for the third time, they emerged victorious. Jordan Jefferson (18-of-29, 208 yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD) had a big game, Tyrann Mathieu had a punt return touchdown and forced another key fumble, and Kenny Hilliard rushed for a career-high 102 yards as the Tigers quickly erased an early 14-0 deficit to blowout the Razorbacks.

#5 Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 0: In a game which decides the ACC Coastal Division, the Hokies hold their state foe to just 30 rushing yards and 241 total yards while Logan Thomas (two passing TDs, one rushing score) and David Nelson (153 rushing yards, two long TDs) lead the offense to send Virginia Tech to its fifth trip to the ACC championship game.

#10 Oregon 49, Oregon State 21: LaMichael James runs for 142 yards before appearing to re-injure his left elbow and Darron Thomas throws for 305 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks wrap up hosting privileges for the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game.

#12 Oklahoma 26, Iowa State 6: The Sooners avoid an upset at the hands of the foe which took down Oklahoma State last week as Landry Jones throws for 256 yards and Blake Bell punched in two short touchdowns to set up Oklahoma's showdown with the Cowboys for the Big 12 Championship on Saturday.

#16 Wisconsin 45, #19 Penn State 7: Montee Ball rushes for four touchdowns to give him 34 scores this season, the second-most in NCAA history, as Wisconsin cruises to the clinching victory in the Legends Division to lock up a spot in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game.

#2 Alabama 42, #24 Auburn 14: Trent Richardson rushes for a career-high 203 yards and AJ McCarron throws three first-half touchdown passes as the Crimson Tide crushes its archrival in a game which should carry weight in the BCS National Championship picture.

#6 Stanford 28, Notre Dame 14: Andrew Luck set the school record for most career touchdown passes (passing John Elway) as he threw for 233 yards and four scores to lead the Cardinal past Notre Dame and solidify Stanford's case to get a BCS bid, while spoiling the slim chance the Irish had of advancing to the top tier of bowls.

#7 Boise State 36, Wyoming 14: After a sluggish start, Kellen Moore and Boise State rattle off 36 straight points to pull away from the Cowboys and record their sixth straight 10-win season.

#8 Houston 48, Tulsa 16: The Golden Hurricane, undefeated in C-USA play, was expected to give the undefeated Cougars a run for their money, and it was a four-point game midway through the third quarter, but then Houston and star quarterback Case Keenum (33-of-46, 457 yards, 5 TDs) exploded for 28 unanswered points to lock up a slot in the C-USA Championship game.

#15 Michigan 40, Ohio State 34: Denard Robinson (166 passing yards, 170 rushing yards, five total touchdowns) leads the Wolverines to their first victory over Ohio State since 2003 while also keeping his team in the running for a BCS bid - they need to climb into the Top 14 to be eligible.

#13 Georgia 31, #23 Georgia Tech 17: With a spot in the SEC title game already in hand, the Bulldogs don't let up as Aaron Murray throws four touchdown passes and Georgia pulls away for its 10th win in the last 11 years over the Yellow Jackets.

#14 Michigan State 31, Northwestern 17: Despite already having a spot in the Big Ten Championship game wrapped up, the Spartans still play a solid game, as Keshawn Martin returns a punt 57 yards for a touchdown and Kirk Cousins throws two TD passes as Michigan State records its first-ever back-to-back 10-win seasons.

#12 South Carolina 34, #17 Clemson 13: Connor Shaw (210 passing yards, 107 rushing yards) leads the Gamecocks to just their second 10-win season in 118 years of football as well as their third straight win over archrival Clemson, helped heavily by a defense which held the Tigers to a season-low 153 total yards and just 83 passing yards from standout quarterback Tajh Boyd.

#18 Baylor 66, Texas Tech 42: Despite losing star quarterback Robert Griffin, III, to a first-half concussion, Baylor explodes for a school record for points in a conference game as the Bears crunch the Red Raiders.


College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and check the site on Wednesday afternoon to see the official announcement of the 10 finalists for this year's Manning Award for the top quarterback in the nation.

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 13th week of the football season:

Matt Barkley (USC)
35-of-42, 424 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT
In the final game of the season for the Trojans due to NCAA sanctions, Barkley has a dominant performance in a 50-0 wipeout of crosstown rival UCLA as USC finishes 2011 with 10 victories.

Rakeem Cato (Marshall)
(23-of-29, 337 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Making his second start in place of the Thundering Herd's starter, Cato throws for a career-high 337 yards and drives the Herd to the winning score in overtime to make Marshall bowl eligible.

Nick Foles (Arizona)
33-of-43, 352 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Foles registers his 10th 300-yard game of the year as he also goes over 4,000 passing yards for the season and leads the Wildcats to a 45-37 win over UL-Lafayette to end a tough season on a high note.

Mike Glennon (North Carolina State)
36-of-55, 308 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
With the Wolfpack trailing 41-14 in the third quarter, Glennon rallies his team and they explode for six unanswered touchdowns to roll to a 56-41 win over Maryland.

Case Keenum (Houston)
33-of-46, 457 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Keenum helps the Cougars to a perfect regular season by turning in a dominant performance in a 48-16 win over Tulsa which clinches the Conference USA West title for Houston.

Denard Robinson (Michigan)
14-of-17, 166 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Robinson also rushes for 170 yards and two touchdowns as he leads Michigan to its first victory over Ohio State in over 2,900 days while also keeping the Wolverines in the hunt for a BCS bowl bid.

Connor Shaw (South Carolina)
14-of-20, 210 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Shaw, who also rushes for a career-best 107 yards and a touchdown, leads the Gamecocks to an impressive victory over state-rival Clemson, 34-13.

Tyler VanTubbergen (Western Michigan)
13-of-14, 152 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
VanTubbergen also rushes for 60 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos crush the Zips, 61-19, in MAC play.

(current BCS standings)

SEC Championship: #14 Georgia vs. #1 LSU - Dec. 3, Atlanta, Ga. (CBS, 3 p.m. Central)
A win for Georgia will send the Bulldogs to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, while a win for LSU is expected to send the Tigers to the Allstate BCS National Championship. If Georgia losses, it will likely be out of the BCS picture, while LSU would still be in the national championship mix, even with a loss.

ACC Championship: #20 Clemson vs. #5 Virginia Tech - Dec. 3, Charlotte, N.C. (ESPN, 7 p.m. Central)
The winner of this game has an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl, but if Virginia Tech wins, the Hokies could have an outside shot at the BCS Championship game. If the Hokies lose, they would likely still be eligible to be an at-large selection for a BCS Bowl.

Big Ten Championship: #13 Michigan State vs. #15 Wisconsin - Dec. 3, Indianapolis, Ind. (Fox, 7 p.m. Central)
The winner of the inaugural Big Ten Championship game will punch its ticket to the Rose Bowl, while the loser could be a potential BCS at-large selection. Michigan, which finished second in the Legends Division is also a potential BCS at-large selection if it can climb to No. 14 in the BCS Standings.

Pac-12 Championship: UCLA at #9 Oregon - Dec. 2, Eugene, Ore. (Fox, 7 p.m. Central)
Another debut championship game, the winner will earn the Rose Bowl's automatic bid. If UCLA loses, it will not be bowl eligible, while a loss by Oregon likely knocks the Ducks out of contention for a BCS bowl. One-loss Stanford remains very much in the mix for a BCS at-large bid.

Conference USA Championship: #24 Southern Miss at #6 Houston - Dec. 3, Houston, Texas (ABC, 11 a.m. Central)
If Houston wins, it will be the highest-ranked champion from a non-automatic qualifying conference and will earn an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl - many national pundits are predicting a Sugar Bowl appearance for the Cougars.

Bedlam: #10 Oklahoma at #3 Oklahoma State - Dec. 3, Stillwater, Okla. (ABC, 7 p.m. Central)
The winner of this game will capture the Big 12 Championship and an automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl - if the Cowboys win, they remain in the mix to advance to the BCS Championship game, which would open up a Fiesta Bowl slot, likely to be filled by either Oklahoma or Kansas State.

Iowa State at #11 Kansas State - Dec. 3, Manhattan, Kan. (11:30 a.m. Central)
The Wildcats remain in the hunt for a potential BCS bid, but a loss to Iowa State, which already upended some high hopes with its upset of Oklahoma State, would likely knock K-State out of the BCS picture.

UNLV at #18 TCU - Dec. 3, Fort Worth, Texas (Versus, 1:30 p.m. Central)
If Houston loses in the C-USA Championship game, a win over UNLV will clinch the Mountain West Championship for the Horned Frogs. If that win also lifts them into the Top 16 of the final BCS Standings, they would earn an automatic BCS bid as the highest-ranked champion from a non-automatic qualifying conference.

Bowl Predictions
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 3, 2012 (Palm): Michigan vs. Houston
College Football News: Michigan vs. Houston (Schlabach): Michigan vs. Houston (Edwards): Michigan vs. Houston (Mandel): Michigan vs. Houston

Allstate BCS National Championship, January 9, 2012 (Palm): LSU vs. Alabama
College Football News: LSU vs. Alabama (Schlabach): LSU vs. Alabama (Edwards): LSU vs. Alabama (Mandel): LSU vs. Alabama
Each week, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Pick of the Week, top highlights, impressive off-field performances, great games and amazing plays, including LSU's Tyrann Mathieu's 92-yard punt return as the Tigers came out on top over Arkansas.


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