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Best of College Football: Week 13


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College Station Outshines Columbus for Game of the Week

It had been hyped up for multiple weeks as one of the biggest games of the season, and it didn’t disappoint. Ohio State kicked a short field goal to take a 24-19 lead into the half and it looked like we may have been seeing another competitive game between Michigan and Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes took over in the second half, scoring 38 points, 17 unanswered in the third quarter, and never looked back in perhaps their most complete showing so far this season; a 62-39 win over their most hated rival. Jim Harbaugh dropped to 0-4 in The Game, and Michigan has now lost 14 of the last 15 against Ohio State, including the last 9 played in Columbus.

Heading into the game, Michigan had the #1 defense in the country in several different aspects, but they couldn’t stop the Buckeyes at all, surrendering 567 total yards. The 62 points allowed are not only the most that Ohio State has ever scored against the Wolverines, but the highest total given up in regulation by Michigan in their history. Dwayne Haskins 6 touchdown passes almost doubled the amount Michigan had allowed in their first 11 games (7). The offense did their best to keep the Wolverines in the game, they did score 2 touchdowns in just 6 seconds of game time in the second quarter, as Shea Patterson threw for 3 touchdowns. This Michigan defense picked the worst time to have their worst game of the season, and previously hadn’t given up more than 24 points in a game all year, which now costs them a shot at their first conference title since 2004.

Although this game planned on being the game of the week, there was another game later on in the day that may just end up being the game of the year.

Down at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, LSU was leading Texas A&M 31-24 and had just intercepted Aggies QB Kellen Mond with 30 seconds remaining to effectively seal the game. After officials reviewed the play, and after a Gatorade bath was dumped on Tigers coach Ed Orgeron, it was ruled that Mond’s knee was down before he threw the ball. Given another chance, A&M continued to drive down the field, even converting a controversial 4th and 18. Mond had to spike the ball, but couldn’t get it down before the game clock hit all zeroes; or so we thought. After another review, officials put one second back on the clock, and that was all the Aggies needed to score the game-tying touchdown to send the game to overtime.

Both Mond and LSU QB Joe Burrow stepped up all game, and continued to make big plays in overtime.

Both teams scored on every drive they had across all seven overtimes, and there was even a trick play with LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire throwing a touchdown to Tory Carter in the fifth OT. Burrow had 3 touchdowns in the extra time, while Mond added 5 of his own, including 2 to Kendrick Rogers.

Just about five hours after the game started, and after a tie for an NCAA record with seven overtime periods, we ended up with a 74-72 Texas A&M victory in the highest-scoring FBS game of all time. The 146 total points were exactly 100 more than the projected over/under total for the game. The win gives the Aggies and head coach Jimbo Fisher 6 wins from their final 8 games, with this being their first win over LSU since 1995.

Could this be a sign of things to come under Fisher? The Aggies could just as easily be 10-2 after this win with the 3rd-ranked rushing defense in the country. A record of 8-4 won’t be considered a poor season in College Station, especially with two of those losses being to Clemson and Alabama. However, The 12th Man for Texas A&M will be expecting more next year, potentially a challenge for a first SEC title.

UConn Defense Wraps Up Historically Bad Season

At least that makes one thing they could successfully wrap up.

In their 57-7 loss to Temple this weekend, UConn set a few new FBS records they would rather not have. They entered the game 24 points away from tying the record for most points given up in a season, and proceeded to allow 40 in the first half and 57 for the game. This set the new record at 605 points given up, a 50.4 per game average that also broke a record set by Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997. After allowing 516 yards against Temple as well, their average yards per game allowed was set at 617.4, 57 YPG more than Kansas gave up in 2015.

UConn has also given up more yards this season (7,409) than Alabama has allowed in their last 26 games. They also allowed as many touchdowns in the first quarter this season than Clemson has allowed all year. Opponents have averaged 1.78 points per minute of possession time this season (according to ESPN Stats & Information). UConn didn’t beat an FBS opponent in their 1-11 season, and the only win was against Rhode Island, who still scored 49 points in the 59-49 Husky win. UMass and South Florida were the only teams that didn’t score at least 49 against this defense. Randy Edsall may have some work cut out for him heading into next year.

Other Notable Outcomes from Rivalry Week

  • Washington won the Pac 12 North for the second time in three years by defeating Washington State 28-15 in the snow. Washington running back Myles Gaskin has rushed for 10 touchdowns against the Cougars in his career.
  • Georgia ran over Georgia Tech 45-21. The Bulldogs scored on their first 7 possessions, and Jake Fromm threw for a career-high 4 touchdown passes.
  • Florida ended their five-game losing streak against Florida State 41-14. Gators coach Dan Mullen tried to prevent his players from planting a Florida flag at midfield of Doak Campbell Stadium.
  • Minnesota defeated Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, 37-15. The Gophers ran the ball 33 times for 152 yards and held the ball for 21 minutes after halftime.
  • Kentucky completed their first 9-win season since 1984 by beating Louisville 56-10. The Wildcats will play in a bowl game for the third straight year.
  • Vanderbilt beat Tennessee for the third straight time, which hasn’t happened since their 6-game winning streak over the Volunteers ended in 1926. Derek Mason is just the second coach in Vanderbilt history to defeat Tennessee three times.
  • Arizona State defeated Arizona 41-40 after scoring 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
  • Something I’ve never seen before in the Egg Bowl, a 35-3 victory for Mississippi State:

Week 14 Conference Championship Games

AP Poll Rankings Shown. Projected Winners in Italics

SEC: (4) Georgia vs (1) Alabama

Big 12: (9) Texas vs (5) Oklahoma

Big 10: (21) Northwestern vs (6) Ohio State

ACC: (2) Clemson vs Pittsburgh

Pac 12: (10) Washington vs (17) Utah

C-USA: UAB at Middle Tennessee

American: Memphis at (7) UCF

Mountain West: (25) Fresno State at (19) Boise State

Sun Belt: Louisiana at Appalachian State

MAC: Buffalo vs Northern Illinois

Three Stars of Week 13

Ben Queen/USA Today Sports

1. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

20/27, 364 Yds, 3 TD; 9 Att, 114 Yds, TD

Murray cemented his status as the Heisman front-runner after an incredible back-and-forth game against West Virginia, where the largest deficit of the game for either team was 14 points. He showcased his athletic ability all game and made big plays throughout to lead Oklahoma to 668 yards of offense in their 59-56 win over the Mountaineers; his 4 touchdowns and late fourth-down conversion also helped keep Oklahoma at only one loss. The Sooners will look for another impressive showing from Murray to win their fourth consecutive conference championship next week against rival Texas, and possibly spark an interesting debate for the fourth seed in the CFP.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

2. Dwayne Haskins QB, Ohio State

20/31, 396 Yds, 6 TD

Ohio State’s offense was able to break down Michigan’s defense in a way we hadn’t seen all season, and Haskins was a big reason why. It wasn’t his best statistical game of the season in any respect, but it was still an outstanding performance that got the job done. His 396 yards were the most Michigan had allowed to any passing offense this season, and more than double what they had allowed to any one quarterback. With his numbers in this game, Haskins broke the Big Ten single-season records for most touchdowns and passing yards. He will get a chance to add to those numbers and make one final Heisman push in the conference championship game against Northwestern.

Gerry Broome/AP Photo

3. Reggie Gallaspy II, RB, North Carolina State

27 Att, 129 Yds, 5 TD

Gallaspy scored every touchdown, including a game-winner in overtime in NC State’s 34-28 win over North Carolina. He tied a school record with 5 scoring runs, 4 of them from within five yards, and his 129 yards set a new career-high. His efforts helped the Wolfpack win their third straight against the Tar Heels. Gallaspy is still 208 yards shy of hitting 1,000 on the season, something he may try to hit in his team’s bowl game.

Honorable Mentions

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: 25/38, 270 Yds, 3 TD; 29 Att, 100 Yds, 3 TD

Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M: 23/49, 287 Yds, 7 TD (1 Rush)

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia: 32/49, 539 Yds, 5 TD (1 Rush)

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: 25/32, 324 Yds, 6 TD (1 Rush)

Jake Bentley, QB, South Carolina: 32/50, 510 Yds, 5 TD

Alonzo Smith, RB, Miami (OH): 18 Att, 207 Yds, 3 TD

Xavazian Valladay/Nico Evans, RBs, Wyoming: Combined 41 Att, 334 Yds, 3 TD

CJ Verdell/Travis Dye, RBs, Oregon: Combined 56 Att, 386 Yds, 6 TD

Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington: 27 Att, 170 Yds, 3 TD

Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU: 5 Att, 121 Yds, TD; 8 Rec, 91 Yds, TD

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: 2 Rec, 48 Yds, 2 TD, Blocked Punt

Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State: 12 Rec, 248 Yds, 3 TD

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma: 11 Rec, 243 Yds, 2 TD

Gary Jennings Jr, WR, West Virginia: 7 Rec, 225 Yds, 2 TD

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina: 10 Rec, 210 Yds, 3 TD

Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse: 4 Punts, 42.5 Avg, 1 IN20, Forced Fumble


Featured Image: Bob Levey/Getty Images

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