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NCAA Week 12 Recap

In Week 12 of NCAA football, we had another PAC-12 upset and a couple of wild finishes in the top 25.  Miracles do happen, apparently.


#1 Alabama 20 Mississippi State 7 – It wasn’t pretty, but Alabama’s defense continues to make the offense’s job that much easier.  Alabama’s offense had 4 turnovers, but their defense held Mississippi State to only 197 yards of total offense.  TJ Yeldon led Alabama by running 24 times for 160 yards.  AJ McCarron went 18-32 for 187 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  Alabama has a tune up game next week before the big Iron Bowl with Auburn.

USC 20 #4 Stanford 17 – Another PAC-12 shocker as the North Division leader fell.  Despite Tyler Gaffney’s 158 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns, a couple of interceptions thrown by Kevin Hogan allowed USC to lock down the big win.  Cody Kessler led the Trojans by going 25-37 for 288 yards and a score.  The Trojan running game was never really able to get going.  The big difference was a 47 yard go-ahead field goal for USC with 25 seconds remaining.  This brings Oregon back into the PAC-12 championship discussion.

#6 Oregon 44 Utah 21 – Earlier this season, Utah defeated Stanford.  For a while, it looked like history could be repeating itself.  However, Oregon was just too much over the course of two halves and outscored Utah 20-7 in the 3rd quarter.  Oregon’s Marcus Mariota was 19-26 for 288 yards and 3 scores.  With Stanford losing, the Ducks are back in control of the PAC-12 North and will be the top ranked team in the conference when the next BCS rankings are released.

#7 Auburn 43 #25 Georgia 38 – It looked like the upset was on, but a tipped pass right into the hands of Auburn WR Ricardo Louis put Auburn back up with 36 seconds and the rest is history.  Auburn ran ahead to a 37-17 score early in the 4th quarter, but all-time SEC leading passer Aaron Murray led Georgia with 3 touchdowns to take the lead.  Murray finished 33-49 for 415 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.  He also ran 9 times for 37 yards and a score.  Dual threat Nick Marshall went 15-26 for 229 yards with his lone touchdown pass being the big bomb at the end of the game.  He also ran 19 times for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Tre Mason ran 27 times for 115 yards and a score.  Auburn’s next game is the Iron Bowl.

#10 South Carolina 19 Florida 14 – Florida tried to pull off the big upset, but South Carolina was able to take advantage of 4 Elliot Fry field goals to survive against the Gators.  Florida, coming into the game at 4-5 needs an upset win over South Carolina or Florida State in order to potentially become bowl eligible.  The Gators tried, but 3rd string QB Skyler Morhinweg went 10-13 for 107 yards and an interception.  Kelvin Taylor ran 21 times for 96 yards and 2 scores.  The Gamecocks were led by Conner Shaw, who went 14-28 for 213 yards and a touchdown.  South Carolina finishes their SEC schedule at 6-2, which is good enough for no worse than second.

#12 Oklahoma State 38 #24 Texas 13 – Texas could not overcome the interceptions thrown by Case McCoy as Oklahoma State gives Texas its first conference loss of the season.  Texas had just crept into the BCS top 25, only to be knocked back down.  This gives Baylor sole possession of the top spot in the Big XII.  OSU’s Clint Chelf went 16-22 for 197 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.  Chelf also ran 10 times for 95 yards and 2 more touchdowns.  Case McCoy went 26-39 for 221 yards, but with 3 interceptions.  Oklahoma State and Texas still have to play Baylor.

#13 UCLA 41 Washington 31 – Myles Jack continues to be a two-way phenom.  Bruins Linebacker Jack had 13 carries for 59 yards and 4 touchdowns as UCLA keeps their PAC-12 South title hopes alive.  Brett Hunley also passed for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13-22 passing.  Washington had two quarterbacks play with Keith Price having the better stat line.  Price went 10-18 for 181 yards and a score while Cyler Miles went 15-22 for 149 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  Washington is already bowl eligible.

#15 Northern Illinois 48 Ball State 27 – Northern Illinois continues their quest to bust the BCS for the second straight year with a dominant performance over their toughest conference opponent.  Ball State came in undefeated in conference play and looking to lock up the MAC West, but NIU was able to extend their home winning streak to 25 games behind QB Jordan Lynch.  Lynch went 26-32 for 345 yards with 2 touchdowns along with 20 runs for 123 yards and 2 more touchdowns.

#17 UCF 39 Temple 36 – For UCF, the dream season continues as the Knights needed another dramatic finish.  Temple has been close in a number of games since switching quarterbacks, but they keep coming up on the short end.  Both offenses were on fire as UCF outgained Temple 657-518.  Blake Bortles led UCF by going 27-38 for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns.  One of those scoring passes might have been the play of the year to JJ Worton, who had 10 catches for 179 yards and 3 scores.  Storm Johnson added 14 carries for 122 yards.  PJ Walker went 26-44 for 382 yards with 4 scores and a pick.  UCF hosts Rutgers on Thursday.

#20 Louisville 20 Houston 13 – In each of the past two weeks, Houston has had a chance to beat a ranked opponent and fell short each time.  Louisville’s Dominique Brown ran 27 times for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, which made the difference between winning and losing.  Teddy Bridgewater had his lowest output of the season, going 19-29 for 203 yards and no touchdowns.  Louisville outgained Houston 332-195, so it’s a little surprising that the Cards were not able to put as points up.

Duke 48 #23 Miami 30 – Let this one sink in:  Duke is in full control of the ACC Coastal Division destiny.  This is not a joke.  Playing turnover free football and behind 4 rushing touchdowns by QB Brandon Connette, the Blue Devils were able to outplay Miami.  Josh Snead led Duke in rushing with 9 carries for 138 yards, but it was Connette, who ran 11 times for 37 who was able to put points on the board.  Connette also went 5-9 for 81 yards and score in the air.  Duke also had Anthony Boone, who went 11-15 for 104 yards.  Miami was led by Stephen Morris, who went 30-49 for 379 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.  Dallas Crawford ran 19 times for 115 yards.  This loss knocks Miami out of the realm of the ranked.

Michigan 27 Northwestern 19(3OT) – Northwestern just cannot catch a break.  After opening up 4-0 and climbing to 16 in the polls, the collapse has been epic.  The Wildcats have now dropped 6 games and they are on the verge of not being bowl eligible.  Devin Gardner led the Wolverines by going 24-43 for 226 yards and a score, despite being sacked 5 times.  Trevor Siemian led Northwestern, going 16-25 for 137 yards and an interception.  Neither offense really got rolling as the teams combined for 8 field goals during the game.  It is worth noting that Northwestern was wearing special patriotic uniforms and are arguably one of the most unique ones we have seen all year.

Special Notes – Southern Miss’ losing streak continues to 21 games as they lost to Louisiana Tech 36-13.  On Thursday, Marshall broke out a special helmet with the number 75, which was dedicated to the 75 people who died in a plane crash in that day in 1970.  Marshall defeated Tulsa 45-34.  Jack del Rio has interviewed for the USC coaching job, which has been held by Ed Orgeron since Lane Kiffin was fired.  Division III Heidelberg’s Cartel Brooks broke the NCAA single game rushing record against Baldwin-Wallace.  The record was broken earlier this year by Western Connecticut’s Octavias McKoym but Brooks went even further by rushing for 465 yards.  Congratulations to Kansas for winning their first Big XII conference game after losing 27 straight.  The fans ended up ripping the goal post down and threw it in a lake.  Awesome.

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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