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College Football 2013: 5 Things We Learned in Week 9

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It was another exciting week in college football, with two Top Ten teams going down and several big performances. Here are some of the highlights.

Don’t Hand the SEC West to Missouri Just Yet

Due to a sprained left knee, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw did not start the Gamecocks’ matchup at No. 5 Missouri. But, with his team trailing 17-0, Shaw came off the bench in the second half and led South Carolina to three long fourth-quarter scoring drives to force overtime and eventually stun the Tigers in the second extra period. After the two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, South Carolina made a field goal in the second period. But Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett’s 24-yard attempt banked off the left upright, giving the Gamecocks the upset victory. Missouri could have essentially locked up the SEC West with a win. The loss, however, keeps South Carolina in the mix, just a game back in the division race.

The Big 12 is Still Up For Grabs

No. 10 Texas Tech came into the game 7-0 for the first time since 2008, but questions still remained as the Red Raiders really hadn’t played any tough competition. They answered many critics with a solid performance, but still fell just short in a 38-30 loss at No. 15 Oklahoma. Sooners quarterback Blake Bell overcame a slow start to lead Oklahoma on four second-half scoring drives, including the go-ahead score late in the third quarter. An expected offensive shootout got out of the gates slowly, with the Sooners holding a 14-7 halftime lead. But the two offenses exchanged big plays in the second half, with OU holding off a late Tech rally to secure the victory and set up potentially the biggest game in the Big 12 this year—Nov. 7 at No. 8 Baylor.

Miami Comes Back Again

Were the Hurricanes already looking ahead toward next week’s showdown with No. 2 Florida State? Or was Saturday’s scare a sign of larger problems? No. 7 Miami needed two fourth quarter touchdowns from running back Duke Johnson to survive an upset bid by Wake Forest. This was the third game in a row in which the Hurricanes have had to come back from a double-digit deficit. Johnson finished with 168 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 30 carries in the win. But will another big day by Johnson to get past next week’s much-anticipated matchup against the Seminoles, who rank third nationally in both scoring offense and defense?

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

While the big-name teams get all the headlines, it’s worth noting some of the traditional doormats that are already making waves. With coach Jerry Kill up in the press box still dealing with epileptic seizures, the Minnesota Golden Gophers became bowl eligible with an upset of No. 24 Nebraska, knocking off the Cornhuskers for the first time since 1960. Duke went on the road and upset No. 14 Virginia Tech, the Blue Devils’ first win over a ranked opponent since 1994. Duke is now bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. And Tulane rolled over Tulsa for its sixth win, making the Green Wave eligible for a bowl game for the first time since 2002.

Stats of the Week

  • Western Connecticut running back Octavias McKoy set an NCAA record with 455 rushing yards in a win over Worcester State.
  • Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch became just the second FBS player in the last 10 years to throw for four touchdowns, rush for one and catch a touchdown pass in the same game.
  • SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw for 538 passing and rushed for 97 more in the Mustangs 59-49 win over Temple. His 635 total yards were the seventh-most by any player in FBS history.
  • Before Saturday, the last time Duke beat a ranked team on the road, Mike Krzyzewski as serving in the U.S. Army (1971).

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