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November 29 College Football Recap

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Week in Review

Here's a brief look at the highlights of the 13th week of the college football season, a week which featured two huge showdowns in the SEC, some of the best rivalry games in the nation, and a shocking upset in Reno. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.

#2 Auburn 28, #11 Alabama 27:
This much-talked about game lived up to all expectations as Alabama jumps out to a 24-0 victory then Auburn and Cam Newton battle all the way back for a miracle victory to stay alive in the BCS National Championship picture.

#12 Arkansas 31, #5 LSU 23: Ryan Mallett uses big plays (TD passes of 85-, 80- and 39-yards) to knock off the Tigers in Little Rock as Les Miles' luck appears to run out after a magical season.

#19 Nevada 34, #4 Boise State 31 (OT):
Boise State jumped out to a 17-0 lead and most people on the East Coast went to bed expecting another easy win for the Broncos. Instead, Nevada controlled the ball for 24:12 in the second half while the Broncos managed just 5:12 of possession time to even the game and then missed field goals at the end of regulation and in overtime to lift the Wolf Pack to victory at 1:52 a.m. Eastern.

#7 Wisconsin 70, Northwestern 23:
The Badgers take care of business in a big way, using a strong game from quarterback Scott Tolzien and huge rushing games from Montee Ball (178 yards) and James White (133) to likely clinch a trip to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion after tiebreakers.

#8 Ohio State 37, Michigan 7: The Buckeyes' defense shuts down Michigan as Ohio State picks up its seventh straight win over its archrival while also earning a share of its sixth straight Big Ten title.

#10 Michigan State 28, Penn State 22: The Spartans post their first victory in State College since 1965 - the year before Joe Paterno became Penn State's head coach - and clinch a share of their first Big Ten title since 1990.

#9 Oklahoma State, #13 Oklahoma:
The Big 12 South is decided in Bedlam as the Sooners and Cowboys each score two touchdowns within 92 seconds late in the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma comes out on top and will likely win the BCS Standings tiebreaker to advance to the Big 12 title game.

#14 Missouri 35, Kansas 7: In the 119th renewal of the nation's second-oldest rivalry, Missouri cruises to its fourth 10-win season in program history and a share of the Big 12 North title - though Nebraska goes to the Big 12 Championship game due to its victory over the Tigers.

#16 Virginia Tech 37, Virginia 7: Ryan Williams rushes for two touchdowns and the Hokies win their 10th straight game as they complete the first undefeated regular season in ACC play since Florida State turned the trick in 2000.

#17 Texas A&M 24, Texas 17: Cyrus Gray rushes for 223 yards and two long touchdowns as Aggie fans can doubly rejoice; the win not only clinches a share of the Big 12 South title, but it also ends Texas' season with a losing record and no bowl for the first time since 1997.

#18 South Carolina 29, Clemson 7: Clemson opened the scoring and that was about all as the Gamecocks, headed to the SEC Championship Game, answered questions about motivation by scoring 29 unanswered points for their second win in a row over the Palmetto State rival for the first time since 1970.

#20 Utah 17, BYU 16: The Utes trail 13-0 entering the fourth quarter but come to life with a pair of touchdowns and a field goal and then Brandon Burton blocks a last-second field goal to hold off archrival BYU as Utah picks up its 10th win of the season.

#22 Florida State 31, Florida 7: The Seminoles, who will play next weekend in the ACC Championship game, use a 21-point second quarter to pull away from the Gators and snap a six-game losing streak against Florida.

#25 Mississippi State 31, Ole Miss 23: Chris Relf throws for a career-high 288 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs win for the first time in Oxford since 1998 - the road team had won only once in the past 12 years of the Egg Bowl rivalry.

#1 Oregon 48, #21 Arizona 29:
The Ducks clinch the Pac-10 title while again compiling a dominant second half, out-scoring the Wildcats, 34-10 to close the game as Darron Thomas throws for three touchdowns and runs for another.

#15 Nebraska 45, Colorado 17: The Huskers clinch the Big 12 North title despite using their backup quarterback as running back Rex Burkhead tallies 101 rushing yards with a TD while also passing for a pair of scores.

Maryland 38, #23 North Carolina State 31: Danny O'Brien has a huge game for Maryland throwing for over 400 yards with four scores as this win is not a clincher for the Terrapins, but it is for Florida State, which wraps up the ACC Atlantic title due to NC State's loss.

#3 TCU 66, New Mexico 17:
The Horned Frogs close out the regular season in the same dominant fashion as they ran through the bulk of their schedule - piling up 499 yards of offense while holding the hapless Lobos to just 143 yards.

#6 Stanford 38, Oregon State 0: Stanford sets a school record for victories in a season with 11 and keeps its hopes alive for a possible BCS Bowl appearance - the win was also the Cardinal's third shutout this year.

Minnesota 27, #24 Iowa 24: Iowa closes a disappointing regular season with a surprising loss to the Gophers as they give up a fourth-quarter lead for the fourth time in Big Ten play.

West Virginia 35, Pittsburgh 10:
A crucial Big East victory for the Mountaineers in the backyard brawl throws the league-race into further disarray as three teams (Pitt, UConn, West Virginia) are now tied for first.

UConn 38, Cincinnati 17: Jordan Todman rushes for 175 yards and three touchdowns as the Huskies now control their own destiny - a win over USF on Saturday sends them to a BCS Bowl.

Tennessee 24, Kentucky 14: The Volunteers win their 26th straight game over the Wildcats to become bowl eligible with four wins in a row after starting the year 2-6.

Northern Illinois 71, Eastern Michigan 3: Flying under the radar from the MAC, Northern Illinois wins its 10th game of the year by piling up 650 yards of offense, including a ridiculous five touchdown runs of 60 yards or more.

This Week's Key Games

#1 Auburn vs. #19 South Carolina (SEC Championship, Atlanta): If Auburn wins, once again, the SEC Championship game would determine one of the teams in the BCS National Championship game. If the Gamecocks win, then head coach Steve Spurrier will be making a return trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

#13 Nebraska vs. #9 Oklahoma (Big 12 Championship, Arlington): Oklahoma has a thrilling win in Bedlam to jump it to the Big 12 title game where Nebraska will try to exit the league at the top with a victory in its final shot at the league title before going to the Big Ten.

#15 Virginia Tech vs. #21 Florida State (ACC Championship, Charlotte): After losing its first two games of the year, Virginia Tech rattled off 10 straight wins. The Hokies hope to make it 11 straight and a trip to the Orange Bowl, but Florida State and first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher have their eyes set on a home state BCS Bowl.

#1 Oregon at Oregon State: The top-ranked Ducks can wrap up their first trip to the BCS National Championship game, but it won't be easy as archrival Oregon State is always tough in the Civil War - the Beavers are also out for revenge as Oregon has foiled the Beavers' Rose Bowl hopes multiple times in recent years.

Connecticut at USF: The Huskies can clinch their first Big East title and first BCS bid with a win on the road over the Bulls.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: Pitt needs to upend defending league champ Cincinnati to keep in the mix for the Big East title, but if UConn wins its game, this result becomes irrelevant.

Rutgers at #24 West Virginia: The Mountaineers will win the Big East title with a victory over Rutgers and a UConn loss to USF.

Manning Stars of the Week

From the players currently on the Watch List for the Manning Award, here are some of the standout stars from week 13:

Landry Jones, Oklahoma
(37-of-62, 468 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INT)
Despite throwing three interceptions, Landry gets the nod after putting together a sensational second half in a crucial road victory over archrival Oklahoma State to likely put the Sooners in position to go to the Big 12 title game.

G.J. Kinne, Tulsa
(22-of-36, 407 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT)
Kinne tallies 400� yards while also rushing for a pair of touchdowns to lift the Golden Hurricane to their ninth victory of the year in a 56-50 upending of Southern Miss.

Andrew Luck, Stanford
(21-of-30, 317 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Luck breaks John Elway's Stanford record for TD passes in a season with 27 as Stanford sets a school record with its 11th win, 38-0 over Oregon State.

Cameron Newton, Auburn
(13-of-20, 216 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Newton doesn't approach his best numbers of the season, but after trailing 24-0, he leads the Tigers to an incredible 28-27 victory over archrival Alabama on the road.

Kyle Padron, SMU
(21-of-34, 333 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Padron leads the Mustangs to a crucial victory over East Carolina to clinch the Conference USA West title, leading his squad to the game-winning touchdown in overtime of a 45-38 decision.

Manning Players to Watch

While the final additions have been made to the Manning Award Watch, all quarterbacks remain eligible to win the award. Here's a look at this week's top performances from quarterbacks who are not on the Watch List:

Ben Chappell, Indiana
(31-of-50, 330 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Chappell leads the Hoosiers to a victory in their final regular season game, helping them erase a 14-point deficit in a 34-31 overtime victory over state-rival Purdue.

Danny O'Brien, Maryland
(33-of-47, 417 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
O'Brien sets a career-high for passing yards and connects with Torrey Smith for all four of his TDs as the Terrapins spoil NC State's hopes for an ACC Championship game appearance.

Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
(27-of-36, 377 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Osweiler, ASU's backup QB, also rushes for a touchdown as he leads the Sun Devils to a 55-34 victory over UCLA, erasing a 17-point deficit in the process.

Terrance Owens, Toledo
(25-of-33, 309 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Owens tallies a career-best 309 passing yards and also catches a 28-yard TD pass to lead the Rockets to their eighth win of the year, 42-31, over Central Michigan.

Geno Smith, West Virginia
(9-of-12, 212 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Smith doesn't throw a lot but he makes them count, averaging 17.7 yards per attempts as he leads the Mountaineers to a key Big East victory over Pittsburgh, 35-10.


Sugar Bowl Bowl Projections

ESPN (Schlabach): Arkansas vs. Ohio State (LSU and TCU are replaced)
ESPN (Adelson): Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Auburn and TCU are replaced)
CBS Sports: Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Arkansas replaces Auburn)
College Football News: Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Alabama and TCU replaced) (Mandel): Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Arkansas replaces LSU)
AOL Fanhouse (McMurphy): Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Arkansas replaces Auburn)