College Football Recap - September 18, 2012
Here's a brief look at the highlights of week three of the college football season, a week which included losses that may have an impact on the national championship landscape as well as victories that have separated the good from the great. The rankings used in this recap are the AP Rankings from prior to the games.
IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR
#1 Alabama 52, Arkansas 0: In a match-up that was thought to have a possible impact on not just the SEC title picture, not also the national title picture, Alabama took advantage of Arkansas without star quarterback Tyler Wilson and shut down the Razorbacks with an outstanding defensive performance.
#5 Florida St 52, Wake Forest 0: FSU showed its dominance against its first FBS opponent of the year, holding the Demon Deacons to 126 yards while Seminoles' running back Chris Thompson ran for 197 yards on nine carries.
#16 TCU 20, Kansas 6: Although its performance was far from perfect due to four turnovers, TCU was more than good enough in picking up a victory in its Big 12 debut as the defense held the Jayhawks scoreless in the second half.
#18 Florida 37, #23 Tennessee 20: For the second week in a row, Florida stepped up in the second half on the road, coming back to defeat the Vols for the eighth straight time with quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Tray Burton scoring the final 24 points of the night.
#21 Stanford 21, #2 USC 14: The Cardinal proved that its now four-game winning streak against USC was not just about "Luck," as it shut down quarterback Matt Barkley and the Trojan offense, severely damaging USC's hopes of advancing to Miami in January.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
#12 Ohio State 35, California 28: Ohio State's Braxton Miller jumped into the Heisman mix with another sensational outing, passing for 249 yards and a career-high four TDs, to lead the Buckeyes to victory in a tight game over a determined Cal squad.
#19 Louisville 39, North Carolina 34: After falling into a deep hole early, North Carolina rallied for 20 fourth-quarter points behind quarterback Bryn Renner, but time ran out on the comeback when Louisville cornerback Andrew Johnson deflected a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 1:53 to go, giving Louisville the win.
Utah 24, #25 BYU 21: Utah fans rushed the field three times in this one as BYU had two chances for a game-tying field goal in the final seconds, but one is blocked by Star Lotulelei and the other goes off the post giving the Utes a thrilling victory over their archrivals and also knocking the Cougars out of the Top-25 in the process.
DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING
Pittsburgh 35, #13 Virginia Tech 17: After two losses which made Pitt look more than beatable, a different team showed up to take on the Hokies, ending the longest road winning streak in the country on a day when Virginia Tech was just not at its best.
#20 Notre Dame 20, #10 Michigan St 3: The Fighting Irish knocked off a top-ten opponent for the first time in seven years as linebacker Manti Te'o had an incredible day, after an unimaginable week in which he lost his grandmother and girlfriend, with 12 tackles, one for a loss, and two pass break-ups.
#4 Oregon 63, Tennessee Tech 14: The Ducks rolled up 652 yards of total offense against FCS Tennessee Tech in another impressive performance, with Marcus Mariota throwing for 308 yards and four TDs and De'Anthony Thomas tallying 222 all-purpose yards.
#9 West Virginia 42, James Madison 12: Mountaineers' QB Geno Smith looked great, once again, as he completed 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards to set the school record for career yards passing in a lopsided victory over FCS opponent James Madison.
#11 Clemson 41, Furman 7: In a game that posed little threat, Clemson gave FCS Furman almost no chance for a victory as the Tigers gained 498 yards of total offense in the return of star WR Sammy Watkins who fit right in to the already explosive Clemson offense.
#24 Arizona 56, South Carolina State 0: After beating Oklahoma State last week and looking forward to #4 Oregon this week, the Wildcats blew past the FCS Bulldogs as their offense ran a school-record 102 plays and had 698 total yards and the defense posted its first shutout in four years.
#7 Georgia 56, Florida Atlantic 20: Despite another slow start, Georgia racked up a school-record 713 yards of total offense in an easy win against Florida Atlantic as Aaron Murray passed for a career-best 342 yards and tallied four TDs - two passing and two rushing.
#14 Texas 66, Ole Miss 31: Ole Miss gave up its most points in a game since 1917 as the Longhorns offense was too much behind a near-perfect performance by quarterback David Ash, who threw four touchdowns.
#17 Michigan 63, Massachusetts 13: Michigan QB Denard Robinson accounted for four scores and 397 yards of total offense as he led the Wolverines to an easy victory over the Minutemen.
ROCKY ROAD TO VICTORY
#8 South Carolina 49, UAB 6: Gamecocks' quarterback Connor Shaw reinjured his throwing shoulder, creating much uncertainty for the future, but South Carolina was able to mange without him as they rolled up 501 yards and scored 35 points after Shaw's departure late in the second quarter, defeating UAB in what Coach Spurrier called, "One of the closest 49-6 games I have ever been around."
#25 Kansas State 35, North Texas 21: Collin Klein saved the day with another strong performance (230 passing yards, 85 rushing yards, three total TDs) and Tyler Locket tallied a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to hold off North Texas.
THE REAL DEAL
#3 LSU 63, Idaho 14: The Tigers easily defeated Idaho for their 40th-straight nonconference victory, the most in the FBS, as LSU continued to show off its plethora of talent on both sides of the ball.
#22 UCLA 37, Houston 6: After two games, the Bruins were becoming known for their offense, but against Houston, the defense stole the show as UCLA forced six turnovers and cornerback Sheldon Price tied a school record with three of the Bruins' five interceptions.
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 25 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season and every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at the best performances of the second week of the football season:
David Ash, Texas
19-of-23, 326 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Ash registers his career-high for passing yards, including scoring tosses of 46 and 55 yards, as the Longhorns score 66 points, the most allowed by Ole Miss since 1917.
David Fales, San Jose State
27-of-34, 370 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Fales records his first 300-yard game and adds three touchdowns, including a key 51-yard strike in the fourth quarter, to lift the Spartans to a 40-20 victory over Colorado State.
Conor Halliday, Washington State
26-of-45, 378 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT
Just like last season, Halliday steps up in a reserve role, throwing four touchdown passes in a 35-27 win over UNLV - he now has 13 career TD passes in six games.
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
18-of-27, 342 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Lynch also piles up 125 yards on the ground with an 88-yard TD run, but his biggest play is an eight-yard hook-up with 4:29 to go to lift the Huskies to a 41-40 win over Army on the road.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
20-of-36, 294 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Manziel, who also rushes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, sets the school freshman record for passing yards in a 48-3 rout of SMU.
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
26-of-41, 363 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
After the Tar Heels fall into a big first-half hole, Renner rallies them for 20 fourth-quarter points, but a sixth touchdown pass goes off the finger tips of his receiver and Louisville holds on for a 39-34 win.
Geno Smith, West Virginia
34-of-39, 411 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Smith, who has as many touchdowns (9) as incompletions this year, became West Virginia's career passing yardage leader with a sensational performance against James Madison.
Keith Wenning, Ball State
26-of-44, 222 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Wenning throws for three scores, makes a spectacular catch of his own for a touchdown, and drives the Cardinals 44 yards in the final 49 seconds to set up a game-winning field goal as time expires in a 41-39 win over state-rival Indiana.
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(with current AP Rankings and Central time listings)
#10 Clemson at #4 Florida State (7 p.m., ABC): One national title contender will suffer a crippling blow on Saturday as these two ACC favorites go head-to-head in Tallahassee.
#18 Michigan at #11 Notre Dame (6:30 p.m., NBC): The Fighting Irish renaissance hopes to continue, but Denard Robinson appears to be back to his old self for the Wolverines after the tough opener against Alabama.
#15 Kansas State at #6 Oklahoma (6:50 p.m., Fox): Oklahoma is accustomed to being among the best teams in the nation, but Kansas State continues its rise to power and would love a marquee victory against one of the Big 12 heavyweights.
Missouri at #7 South Carolina (2:30 p.m., CBS): The Tigers get their first SEC road game and rising South Carolina promises to be a challenge, even with questions at quarterback due to Connor Shaw injury issues.
#22 Arizona at #3 Oregon (9:30 p.m., ESPN): Oregon continues to pile up points as the dominant Pac-12 team, but Arizona and new coach Rich Rodriguez have been impressive to open the year.
Temple at Penn State (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): A win here and Temple will probably establish itself as the top team in the state, but Penn State hopes to continue to get on track.
Oregon State at #19 UCLA (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): UCLA has been very impressive early, now the Bruins open Pac-12 play against an Oregon State team which upended a powerful Wisconsin squad earlier this year.