College Football 2012 – Week 11 Recap
Now things are getting interesting.
Texas A&M threw college football for a loop, pulling off the biggest upset of the season and, at least for the time being, knocking the SEC out of the national title picture. But that was far from the only excitement this week in college football.
Here is all the action from around the Top 25.
#15 TEXAS A&M 29, #1 ALABAMA 24
The legend of “Johnny Football” continues to grow as Texas A&M went into Tuscaloosa and pulled off the biggest upset of the college football season. Quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 more yards against the Crimson Tide’s top-ranked defense. But overlooked in the effort was the surprisingly strong performance from the Aggies defense that forced three turnovers and held Alabama to a season-low 122 rushing yards. A&M jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and then held off a second half Alabama rally that ended when quarterback A.J. McCarron threw his second interception with 1:36 left. Manziel is now just the second freshman quarterback ever to upset a #1 team on the road and to have 2,000 pass yards and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season.
#2 OREGON 59, CALIFORNIA 17
Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 377 yards and school-record six touchdowns as the Ducks overcame a slow start to blow the game open late. Cal actually pulled within seven points early in the third quarter before Oregon closed the game with 35 unanswered points. Oregon outgained the Bears 575-349, although they were flagged 11 times for 105 yards. Oregon has scored 40+ points in 13 straight games, a new FBS record. Cal has now lost four straight for the first time ever under coach Jeff Tedford.
#3 KANSAS STATE 23, TEXAS CHRISTIAN 10
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein rushed for two touchdowns as the Wildcats moved themselves two wins away from a possible national title shot. TCU’s stout defense actually did a fine job, limiting the Wildcats to just 260 total yards and holding Klein to less than 200 total yards for the first time this season. But the Horned Frogs offense was held scoreless for the first three quarters and was just 4-of-15 on third down conversions. This is the first time since 1997 that TCU has lost three straight home games.
#4 NOTRE DAME 21, BOSTON COLLEGE 6
Everett Golson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Fighting Irish kept their national title hopes alive with a win over their long-time rivals. The Notre Dame defense, which came in ranked second in scoring, held the Eagles to just two field goals and only one trip into the Irish red zone while forcing two fourth-quarter turnovers. Notre Dame is now 10-0 for the first time since 1993, while Boston College is off to its worst season start since 1989.
#5 GEORGIA 38, AUBURN 0
Georgia clinched the SEC East title and a spot in the conference title game with a shutout win over an Auburn squad that has lost six of its last seven games. Georgia outgained the Tigers 497-238 and scored on each of their first four possessions, putting this one out of reach early. Freshman Todd Gurley had his seventh 100+ yard rushing day and had a touchdown to go along with quarterback Aaron Murray’s three passing scores. Georgia has won six of the last seven in this series and the overall series is now tied all-time at 54-54-8.
#5 OHIO STATE, BYE
After becoming the first FBS team to ten wins this season, the Buckeyes finally got a bye week to prepare for the last two obstacles standing between them and an undefeated season. Ohio State returns to action next week at Wisconsin before closing out the season at home against archrival Michigan.
#7 FLORIDA 27, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 20
Florida scored with 1:42 to go to tie things up and then returned a blocked punt for a score with just two seconds left to secure the most unlikely come-from-behind win of the weekend. Louisiana-Lafayette came into the game ranked 89th in the nation but held the Gators to just 311 total yards. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 17 unanswered points in an 11 minute span of the second half to take a 20-13 lead before backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, playing for starter Jeff Driskel who left the game with an ankle injury, led the Gators on a four-play, 49-yard drive for the tying touchdown. Then, with 1:40 left, Louisiana-Lafayette was unable to get a first down on three plays, setting up the fateful punt attempt that was blocked and returned for the winning score.
#8 FLORIDA STATE 28, VIRGINIA TECH 22
Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel threw a 39-yard touchdown pass with just 40 seconds left to help the Seminoles survive another tough visit to Blacksburg. Manuel singlehandedly carried his team, throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns while Florida State was held to minus-15 yards rushing on the night. The Hokies actually outgained the Seminoles, 385-311, but the vast majority came on their four scoring drives as the offense struggled to find any consistency. Virginia Tech turned the ball over three times and had nine drives that lasted five or fewer plays and covered less than 15 yards. The loss ensures that Virginia Tech’s nations-best streak of seasons with at least ten wins will come to an end at eight.
#9 LOUISIANA STATE 37, #22 MISSISSIPPI STATE 17
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had another solid game, throwing for 273 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. But the big story was once again the Tigers defense, which forced two turnovers, held Mississippi State to just 47 yards on the ground and returned a fourth-quarter interception 100 yards for a score. Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell threw for a career-high 295 yards and a touchdown, but was shut out while LSU added 17 unanswered points in the game’s final 27+ minutes. LSU has not lost back-to-back home games since 2001.
#10 CLEMSON 45, MARYLAND 10
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers had no problems dispatching Maryland for the third consecutive time. The Terrapins have lost their top four quarterbacks to injury, so freshman Shawn Petty, a converted linebacker, was held to just 41 yards passing, although he did toss a third-quarter touchdown. He also fumbled twice and led Maryland to just one third-down conversion on 13 attempts and a season-low 180 total yards.
SYRACUSE 45, #11 LOUISVILLE 26
Syracuse jumped out to a 31-10 second quarter lead and never looked back, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Cardinals. Orange running backs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley rushed for a combined 242 yards and three touchdowns as Syracuse brought a sudden end to Louisville’s undefeated season. Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had another big game, throwing for 424 yards and three touchdowns. But in the end, this came down to Louisville’s inability to stop the Orange. Syracuse racked up 524 yards of total offense, with 331 coming in the first half. The loss ends Louisville’s six-game road winning streak.
#12 SOUTH CAROLINA 38, ARKANSAS 20
Without Marcus Lattimore to lead the rushing attack, Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw stepped up, throwing for 272 yards and two touchdowns, to help South Carolina end a three-game losing streak to the Razorbacks. The Gamecocks’ defense had another solid game, forcing three turnovers, returning an interception for a touchdown and holding Arkansas to just 83 rushing yards. The Razorbacks made it into the South Carolina red zone five times, but came away with just two touchdowns.
#16 STANFORD 27, #13 OREGON STATE 23
In his first career start, Kevin Hogan threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns while running back Stepfan Taylor added 114 yards and a score on the ground to lead Stanford past the Beavers. Stanford turned the ball over four times, but Oregon State was only able to turn them into three points. Meanwhile, the Beavers only turned the ball over once, but it set up the go-ahead score in the final six minutes of the game.
#14 OKLAHOMA 42, BAYLOR 34