Published: Saturday, 20 October 2012 16:43
by Zach Barnett
As scores roll in throughout the day we'll update you on the plays, games and quotes that stood out to us. Here's a link to the ESPN college football scoreboard for full coverage of today's action.
Alabama 44, Tennessee 13. Make it a perfect 6-0 for Nick Saban on the Third Saturday of October. Alabama did just about everything it wanted to on both sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide threw for 306 yards and four scores, rushed for 5.2 yards a carry on 45 attempts, held Tennessee to 2.9 yards a carry and picked off two Vols passes without allowing a touchdown. Alabama has now played 84 consecutive quarters without trailing. Saban's team will return home to face Mississippi State with sole possession of first place in the SEC West on the line.
Kansas State 55, West Virginia 14. Just as Kansas State stakes its claim to the top of the Big 12 standings, Bill Snyder does the same in the Big 12 Coach of the Year race. The Wildcats' defense made West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith look pedestrian in limiting him to 21-of-32 passing for 143 yards with one touchdown and his first two interceptions of the season. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein rose to the top of everyone's Heisman Trophy straw polls by completing 19-of-21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns to go with 41 rushing yards and four additional scores on 12 carries. Kansas State secured its place among the nation's elite teams with noted giant killers Texas Tech visiting Manhattan next week.
Florida 44, South Carolina 11. Today Will Muschamp's team proved it was possible to dominate a game while gaining 29 yards of offense in the first half. The Gators forced three South Carolina fumbles and turned them all into touchdowns to claim a 21-6 hafltime lead. Florida won a game by 33 points in which it was outgained 191-183. Muschamp can clinch his first SEC East title with a win over Georgia next Saturday.
Texas Tech 56, TCU 53 (triple overtime). And to think, this game was billed a showdown between the Big 12's top defenses. In a back-and-forth affair that was actually 23-21 through three quarters, both teams held and blew double-digit leads throughout the afternoon. Texas Tech finally broke TCU's serve at the top of the third overtime in forcing Gary Patterson's team into its sixth field goal try of the game. Seth Doege's seventh scoring strike of the day ended it in the bottom of the third overtime. Texas Tech now plays for a share of the Big 12 lead next week at Kansas State.
Nebraska 29, Northwestern 28. Bo Pelin's team fought back from a 28-16 deficit midway through the fourth quarter to stay within one game of first place in the Big Ten Legends Division. Taylor Martinez continues to improve as a passer as he completed 27-of-39 passes for 342 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. In fact, Nebraska owned the statsheet by outgaining Northwestern 543-301. The Wildcats had a chance to steal the lead back but missed a 53-yard field goal with 1:10 to play. Nebraska will host Michigan next week with first place in the Legends Division on the line.
ULM 43, Western Kentucky 42 (overtime). Todd Berry and his cardiac Warhawks pulled off another stunner. Trailing 28-7 in the second quarter, ULM fought back to tie it with 31 seconds to go. After Western Kentucky scored to open overtime, ULM quarterback Kolton Browning rushed in from three yards to make the score 42-41 and found Rashon Ceasar for the game-winning two-point conversion. Browning won the game nearly completely by himself, accounting for 377 of ULM's 385 yards from scrimmage. The win ends Western Kentucky's streak of 14 games with losses only to No. 1 LSU and No. 1 Alabama dating back to 2011. Berry's team now stands alone in first place at 3-0 in the Sun Belt.
Michigan 12, Michigan State 10. It's hard to overstate the importance of this win for Michigan. A Brendan Gibbons 38-yard field goal with five seconds to play gives Brady Hoke and the Wolverines' senior class their first win over Michigan State, and most importantly keeps Michigan atop the Big Ten Legends Division. In earning a win despite not scoring a touchdown, the Wolverines claimed a 51-yard rushing advantage over the Spartans while rushing the ball only one more time than Michigan State.
Notre Dame 17, BYU 14. The Notre Dame Magical Mystery Tour continues for another week. In improving to 7-0 for the first time since 2002, Brian Kelly and co. set up a showdown game at Oklahoma in preimetime next Saturday. The Fighting Irish won despite starting quarterback Tommy Rees completing just seven passes, in part because Bob Diaco's defense held the Cougars to 66 rushing yards on 25 carries.
LSU 24, Texas A&M 19. It took about a quarter and a half, but John Chavis' defense found a way to solve the whirlwind that is Johnny Manziel. LSU forced Manziel into the worst game of his young career, going 28-of-55 through the air for 273 yards with three interceptions while rushing 17 yards for only 27 yards. After accounting for 24 scores through his first six games, Manziel was held out of the end zone. Meanwhile, LSU was able to win the game in a decidedly LSU fashion. Les Miles' team was outgained 410-316 but won the turnover battle 4-0. All three of the Tigers' touchdowns came after forcing an A&M turnover. The other LSU trademark, enduring a slow start offensively by leaning on the opponents' defensive line for four quarters, was in play as Miles' team held an 111-1 rushing advantage in the fourth quarter. A pair of dynamic young runners led the way for the Tigers as sophomore Michael Ford carried 11 times for 78 yards and a score while true freshman Jeremy Hill again came off the bench to pace LSU with 18 carries for 127 yards and one score.
Ohio State 29, Purdue 22 (overtime). Danny Hope's team appeared primed to end Ohio State's perfect season before backup quarterback Kenny Guiton led the Buckeyes to a touchdown with three seconds to play. Guiton's pass to Jeff Heuerman converted Ohio State's two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, where the Buckeyes turned the opening possession into a touchdown. Purdue went four-and-out on the ensuing possession, allowing Urban Meyer to move to 8-0 in his inaugural season in Columbus. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, who was taken to the hospital by ambulance after suffering an undisclosed injury in the third quarter.
Rutgers 35, Temple 10. Kyle Flood's first season keeps getting better and better. In defeating Temple, Rutgers moves to 4-0 in the Big East and further stakes its claim as the best team on the Eastern seaboard. In holding their sixth opponent of the season to 15 points or fewer, Rutgers won the second half 35-0 and outgained the Owls 371-191. The Scarlet Knights are now three wins away from claiming their first Big East championship.
Vanderbilt 17, Auburn 13. The loss drops Auburn to 1-6, its worst start since 1952. The Vanderbilt defense held Auburn to 2-of-12 on third down and 212 yards of total offense, including 5.2 yards per pass and 3.1 yards per rush. James Franklin's team won despite going minus-3 in turnover margin to improve to 3-4 on the season. Vanderbilt's remaining five opponents held a combined record of 12-21 coming into Saturday, meaning Franklin is within range of becoming the first coach to lead the Commodores to back-to-back bowl games.
Oklahoma State 31, Iowa State 10. Oklahoma State, the only FBS team to average 600 yards per game, racked up 625 yards behind another balanced effort. Quarterback J.W. Walsh hit on 32-of-47 passes for 415 yards and one touchdown and added nine carries for 46 yards and a touchdown. As a team Oklahoma State ran 42 times for 210 yards (5.0 ypc) and three scores. The Cowboys ran 99 plays to Iowa State's 70.
Troy 38, Florida International 37. Larry Blakeney's team scored the game's final 17 points to rally from a 37-21 deficit. The win allows Troy (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) to keep pace in a crowded Sun Belt race, as seven of the league's 10 teams have .500 or better records in conference play to this point. Florida International fell to 1-7 overall and 0-4 in league play.
Eastern Michigan 48, Army 38. Congrats to Ron English and his staff as Eastern Michigan earned its first win of the season. Eagles quarterback Tyler Benz had an incredibly efficient day, turning his 19-of-31 effort into 369 yards and five touchdowns.