COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP - 11/14/11
Here's a brief look at the highlights of week 11 of the college football season, a week which desperately needed a return to football action after the tragic news coming out of State College, Pa. The week saw major happenings as a pair of undefeated, top-five teams lost leaving just three undefeated teams in the country. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.
TOP FIVE AND UNDEFEATED NO MORE
#7 Oregon 53, #4 Stanford 30: LaMichael James runs for 146 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Ducks to a convincing victory over the No. 4 Cardinal, who had their BCS Championship hopes dashed, as well as their nation's best 17-game winning streak snapped.
TCU 36, #5 Boise State 35: For the second year in a row, Boise has a perfect season marred by a missed field goal - this time, the Broncos lead 35-28 when they commit a crucial fumble with 2:26 remaining allowing the Horned Frogs to drive down for a quick score, followed by a gutsy call for a two-point conversion which put TCU on top. The loss came on a missed 39-yard field goal as time expired.
BIDDING FOR THE BCS
#2 Oklahoma State 66, Texas Tech 6: Brandon Weeden has another sensational passing day, throwing for 423 yards and five touchdowns, as the Cowboys pile up 637 yards while their defense also shines, allowing just 270 total yards as they strengthen their chances for the BCS title game.
#11 Houston 73, Tulane 17: Running back Charlie Sims runs for a career-high 207 yards, including TDs of 72 and 52 yards, to out-shine star Case Keenum, who still has 325 yards and three scores, as the Cougars improve to 10-0, their best start ever. Coupled with Boise State's loss, Houston is on track for an automatic BCS bid if they can remain undefeated.
#14 Kansas State 53, Texas A&M 50: Collin Klein throws for a career-high 281 yards, added 103 rushing yards and accounted for six touchdowns, including a one-yard sneak in the fourth overtime to lift the Wildcats to a dramatic victory over the Aggies.
#22 Southern Miss 30, UCF 29: Danny Hrapmann boots five field goals and Jacorious Cotton deflects the final two-point conversion with no time on the clock to clinch the win for the Golden Eagles who remain in the hunt for the C-USA title.
#25 Baylor 31, Kansas 30: Trailing 24-3 entering the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin (121 rushing yards) runs for a 49-yard score, then throws for two more to force overtime, where he throws for the game-winner as the Bears improve to 6-3.
CAROLINA CLOSE CALLS
#9 Clemson 31, Wake Forest 28: Clemson needs a fourth-quarter comeback capped by a 43-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro as time expired to clinch the ACC Atlantic as the Tigers finish the year perfect at home for the first time since 1990.
#13 South Carolina 17, Florida 12: The Gamecocks appear to be in control, but 10 unanswered second-half points by the Gators put the USC fans on the edge of their seats before a late field-goal seals the win as quarterback Conor Show finishes with 88 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as well as a perfect 46-yard pass to set up the final field goal.
#10 Virginia Tech 37, #21 Georgia Tech 26: The Hokies jump out to an 11-point lead, then allow 16 straight Yellow Jacket points before re-grouping and scoring the final 16 points to improve to 9-1 behind a five-TD performance from Logan Thomas and a 175-yard rushing day from David Nelson to take control of the ACC Coastal Division.
#15 Georgia 45, #20 Auburn 7: Sophomore Aaron Murray sets the Georgia record for touchdown passes in a season (27) as he leads the Bulldogs to their eighth straight win with an impressive blowout of the Tigers, setting Georgia up to clinch the SEC East with a win over Kentucky next weekend at home.
#17 Michigan State 37, Iowa 21: The Spartans take control of the Big Ten Legends Division as Kirk Cousins throws for 260 yards and three touchdowns to help Michigan State snap a seven-game losing streak at Iowa.
#18 Wisconsin 42, Minnesota 13: Montee Ball set the Big Ten's single-season touchdown record (27) and Russell Wilson was nearly perfect (16-of-17, 178 yards, 4 TDs) as the Badgers retake command of the Big Ten Leaders Division.
#24 Michigan 31, Illinois 14: The Wolverines are a long-shot for the Big Ten Championship game, but they're not out of it yet after a convincing blowout of Illinois behind 192 rushing yards from Fitzgerald Toussaint - though star quarterback Denard Robinson did leave the game with a third-quarter wrist injury.
#1 LSU 42, Western Kentucky 9: After last week's huge victory, the Tigers struggle in the first half, leading only 14-7 over the Hilltoppers, but Alfred Blue and Kenny Hillard each score two touchdowns to keep the top-ranked Tigers perfect.
#3 Alabama 24, Mississippi State 7: Trent Richardson rushes for 127 yards and a touchdown and the Crimson Tide defense holds the Bulldogs to just 131 total yards as Alabama keeps on track for a BCS bid after the tough loss to LSU last week.
#8 Arkansas 49, Tennessee 7: The Razorbacks, forgotten by many in the race for the SEC West title, are still in the mix after improving to 9-1 with a blowout of the Volunteers behind Jarius Wright (94 receiving yards, TD), Joe Adams (60-yard punt return TD) and Dennis Johnson (97 rushing yards, two TDs), keeping on track for a big showdown in two weeks against LSU.
Missouri 17, #16 Texas 5: The Longhorns are much improved to be sure, but not back to their accustomed level of success as Missouri holds them to just 247 total yards, including 76 rushing yards (Texas has key injuries at running back) as the Horns fall to 3-3 in Big 12 play.
West Virginia 24, #23 Cincinnati 21: The Big East continues to beat itself up as the latest ranked team from the league gets upended. Cincy's standout quarterback Zach Collaros gets injured and sophomore quarterback Munchie Legaux (a New Orleans product from Karr H.S.) drives the Bearcats into position for a game-tying 31-yard field goal, but it gets blocked by the Mountaineers, who are led by 372 passing yards from Geno Smith.
HEALING PROCESS STARTS ON THE FIELD
#19 Nebraska 17, #12 Penn State 14: An understandably emotional Penn State squad struggles to get going early, falling behind 17-0, but then shows admirable determination as it battles back into the game, only to come up short on a last-minute drive.
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 11th week of the football season:
Alex Carder (Western Michigan)
38-of-59, 548 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INT
Carder threw for a school-record 548 yards (second-most in MAC history) and seven touchdowns (ties MAC record) while also adding a rushing score but it wasn't enough in a wild 66-63 loss to Toledo.
Robert Griffin III (Baylor)
22-of-29, 312 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Trailing 24-3 entering the fourth quarter, Griffin (121 rushing yards) runs for a 49-yard score, then throws for two more to force overtime, where he throws for the game-winner.
Connor Halliday (Washington State)
27-of-36, 494 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Seeing his first extensive playing time at quarterback, Halliday sets a WSU and Pac-12 record for freshman passing yards with 494 and leads the Cougars to a 37-27 upset of Arizona State, which led the Pac-12 South.
Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois)
16-of-26, 294 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Harnish throws for two long TDs (56 yards and 79 yards) and posts his fourth 100-yard rushing day of the year to become the first NIU quarterback to run for 1,000 yards in a season since 1990 as the Huskies remain atop the MAC West with a 45-14 win over Bowling Green.
Collin Klein (Kansas State)
17-of-27, 281 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Klein throws for a career-high 281 yards and also runs for 103 yards and five touchdowns, including the final one in the fourth overtime to lift the Wildcats to a 53-50 over Texas A&M.
Aaron Murray (Georgia)
14-of-18, 224 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Murray sets the Georgia record for TD passes in a season with 27 while leading the Bulldogs to a critical SEC victory over then 20th-ranked Auburn.
Casey Pachall (TCU)
24-of-37, 473 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Pachall, who throws for a career-best 473 yards, connects on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 1:05 to go, then is successful on the two-point conversion, which allows the Horned Frogs to upend fifth-ranked Boise State, 36-35.
Jonathan Perry (UAB)
29-of-48, 410 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Trailing 35-17, Perry, who adds 47 rushing yards, rallies the Blazers to 24 straight points, directing his team to the game-winning score with 1:36 to go, to lift UAB to its second win of the year.
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(current BCS standings)
#2 Oklahoma State at Iowa State (Friday): The Cowboys are lined up to make the BCS Championship game, but have to win on the road before hosting Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam game on Dec. 3.
#5 Oklahoma at #22 Baylor: Everybody has their sights set on Bedlam on Dec. 3, but the Sooners need to win a tough road game against Baylor and star quarterback Robert Griffin III in order to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
#16 Nebraska at #18 Michigan: The Big Ten remains very much up the air - the winner of this battle between star option QBs (Taylor Martinez for the Huskers and Denard Robisnon for the Wolverines) stays in the hunt in the Legends Division, though Robinson's status is questionable due to injury.
#13 Kansas State at #23 Texas: Kansas State has shown itself to be one of the more exciting teams in the country with 98 points in their last two games while the Longhorns are battling injuries while hoping to stay in the top half of the Big 12 standings.
SMU at #11 Houston: Every game remains huge for the Cougars, who are now in position for their first BCS bowl bid; SMU will provide a tough challenge in this one which will be the site of ESPN's GameDay.
Kentucky at #14 Georgia: After a losing record last year and an 0-2 start to this season, the Bulldogs can win their ninth straight and clinch their first Sec East title in six years.
USC at #4 Oregon: The Ducks' win over Stanford on Saturday thrust them back into the national championship picture, but a loss in this one will knock them right back out - USC is ineligible for the postseason and would like nothing better than to flex its muscles with a big in-season triumph.
Bowl PredictionsYOUTUBE PICK OF THE WEEK