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NCAA Week 11 Recap

In Week 11 of NCAA football, we had a huge shake up at the top along with a lot of exciting games as teams continue to jockey for conference position.  Many BCS conferences are still up for grabs.

#1 Alabama 38 #13 LSU 17 – What was looking to be a very close game got out of hand in the 4th quarter as Alabama continues to win.  LSU had plenty of opportunities with the game being tied at 17 until about 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  Alabama was led by quarterback AJ McCarron, who went 14-20 for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns.  While not Heisman worthy, he has a long resume of game management experience.  TJ Yeldon carried the torch on the ground by running 25 times for 133 yards and 2 score.  For LSU, Zach Mettenberger went 16-23 for 241 yards and a touchdown.  Jeremy Hill wasn’t able to get rolling as he only ran 13 times for 42 yards a score for the Tigers.  The Crimson Tide definitely had an advantage playing in Tuscaloosa.  They shouldn’t be heavily tested again until the Iron bowl at Auburn.  LSU has Texas A&M next week.

#5 Stanford 26 #3 Oregon 20 – The game of the week happened on a Thursday for all of us to see.  The pressure was on the Ducks to go on the road and they failed to show up for 3 quarters.  Oregon spotted Stanford a 26-0 lead early in the 4th quarter before scoring 20 straight points.  Despite the rough start, Marcus Mariota finished 20-34 for 250 yards and 2 scores.  The run-first Stanford Cardinal were paced once again by Tyler Gaffney.  Gaffney ran the ball an outlandish 45 times for 157 yards and a score.  Quarterback Kevin Hogan also ran 8 times for 57 yards and a score.  The big difference of the game was Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson, who went 4 for 5 on his field goal attempts, despite his longest make was only 34 yards.  The missed kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown.  Oregon now has to watch Stanford take control of the PAC-12 North.  This win should move Stanford up one, but the bad loss to Utah looms over their head.

#6 Baylor 41 #10 Oklahoma 10 – This was a great audition for Baylor to tell the world that they deserve to be in the national title picture.  Unfortunately, they played on Thursday against the Oregon/Stanford game and that hurt viewership.  Despite a slow start, Baylor had a solid game against a top 10 ranked foe.  Bryce Petty went 13-26 for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Bears as he continues to perform without throwing interceptions.  Shock Linwood ran 23 times for 182 yards as well to keep Baylor rolling.  Oklahoma was flat out overmatched, being outgained 459-237.

Virginia Tech 42 #11 Miami 24 – No Duke Johnson, serious problem.  Miami was loaded with miscues and mess ups ranging from a pair of botched returns to not taking advantage of creating fumbles.  Miami fumbled both a kickoff and a punt and failed to recover a Willie Byrn fumble in the end zone that allowed Virginia Tech to score again en route to a lopsided victory.  This is the Beamer ball that we all know and love.  Logan Thomas played an outstanding game going 25-31 for 366 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Stephen Morris tried to follow suit for the Hurricanes, going 16-29 for 324 yards and a pair of scores, but the loss of Johnson last week took the running game largely out of the equation.  This game opens the door in the ACC Coastal Division as 4 teams now each have only 2 conference losses.

#19 UCLA 31 Arizona 26 – Myles Jack is a beast.  The freshman linebacker not only had 8 tackes, but he ran 6 times for 120 yards, including a 66 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to put the Bruins up 12.  That 12 point advantage was the largest all game as Arizona made sure to keep the game close.  Brett Hundley paced the UCLA offense, going 18-25 for 227 yards and 2 scores while Arizona was led by B.J. Denker, who went 20-33 for 186 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.  Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey was the star for the Wildcats as he ran for 149 yards and a score on 28 carries.  This win keeps UCLA on step with Arizona State for the South division lead.

#21 UCF 19 Houston 14 – In what is becoming one of the feel good stories of the year, UCF continues their magical run by overcoming early red zone blunders and winning on a 4th and goal stop to remain on top of the American Athletic Conference.  UCF’s first 2 possessions turned into red zone turnovers for the best turnover creating team in the country in Houston.  Houston came in averaging over 40 points a game, but had a lot of trouble with the UCF defense.  John O’Korn led Houston by going 24-46 for 231 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.  UCF’s Blake Bortles went 17-24 for 210 yards and an interception.  While UCF’s schedule gets much easier, Houston has play Louisville next week.

#22 Arizona State 20 Utah 19 – It wasn’t easy, but Taylor Kelly helped Arizona State come back from being down 19-7 after 3 quarters to win 20-19 and keep sole possession of first place in the PAC-12 South Division.  In a game that lacked big offense, Arizona State outgained Utah 293-247.  Taylor Kelly threw for 144 yards and a score on 19-31 passing while his Ute counterpart, Travis Wilson, went 6-21 for 121 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  For you math guys, that’s only a 28.6% completion rate.  Arizona had Marion Grice on the ground, getting 136 yards on 20 carries while Utah used a 3 rusher approach, led by Wilson.  Falling to 4-5, Utah still has bowl game hope, but need to be on top of the game the rest of the way.

Pittsburgh 28 #23 Notre Dame 21 – Notre Dame opened the door and allowed Pitt to use the turnover advantage to rally for a big win.  Pitt was outgained 456-355, but a 3-0 turnover margin in favor of the Panthers allowed Tom Savage to come back and take the lead for good in the 4th quarter.  Savage finished 22-35 for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns while Tommy Rees went 18-39 for 318 yards along with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  Pitt only averaged 2.7 yards a carry during the game, so it goes to show how important turnovers can be.  This loss pretty much takes Notre Dame out of any BCS bowl possibilities.

Kansas State 49 #25 Texas Tech 26 – Texas Tech’s soft schedule has been more than exposed as the Red Raiders have dropped their third conference game in a row.  This time, it was to a 4-4 Kansas State squad who was looking for an upset somewhere to get them on the inside track to a bowl game.  Not only did Texas Tech drop a game by 23 points, they did it at home and allowed Kansas State to build a 35-10 halftime lead.  Texas Tech outgained the Wildcats 459-367 with each team focusing on a different offensive aspect.  Texas Tech won the passing game 354-76 while Kansas State won the rushing game 291-105.  Kansas State only attempted 11 passes in the win.

Texas 47 West Virginia 40 (OT) – Texas continues to just win in the Big XII after a very rough start of the season.  Case McCoy has settled in as the Longhorn starter by going 27-49 for 283 yards along with 3 touchdowns and an interception.  At 6-0 in conference play, Texas maintains sole possession of first place in the conference.  The last 3 games for Texas gets brutal as they play Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor to wrap up their season.

Vanderbilt 34 Florida 17 – The last time Vanderbilt beat Florida in Gainesville was in 1945, the first time they played each other in Gainesville.  Vandy had lost 22 straight to the Gators coming into this game, but momentum was certainly with the Commodores.  Both teams were at 4-4 and seeking a chance for a bowl game.  With this loss, Florida will need to upset South Carolina or Florida State in order to hit 6 wins.  Tyler Murphy threw 3 costly interceptions for Florida that each translated into points.  What hurts even more was that Florida outgained Vanderbilt 344-183.

Nebraska 17 Michigan 13 – Brady Hoke finally lost a home game as the Cornhuskers keep themselves in the Legends Division hunt.  For the second straight game, Michigan was held to negative net rushing yards with -21, which was largely composed from Nebraska sacking quarterback Devin Gardner 7 times for 43 yards lost.  Neither team generated much offense with Nebaska holding the 273-175 lead.  Ameer Abdullah had another 100 yard game by running for 105 yards and a score on 27 carries.

Special Notes – Southern Miss’ losing streak continues to 21 games as they lost to Louisiana Tech 36-13.  In Buffalo’s 30-3 win over Ohio, you might have seen one of the worst blown calls as Ohio’s Tyler Tettelton was called for a safety despite releasing the ball from the 4 yard line.  The official at fault admitted looking downfield instead of the quarterback like he was supposed to.  It was nice to see Maryland honor former Syracuse star Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, who was forced to miss a game at Maryland due to racial prejudice all the way back in 1937.

Host of the OT with Andrew G for the Sports Chronicles Radio Network

Host of The College Cram, NFL and NCAA writer on the National Gridiron Network

Contributing writer for Pro Player Insiders

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