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College Football 2012 – Week Eight Recap

Collin Klein directs the Kansas State offense against West Virginia.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It was another exciting week in college football with some big games in the SEC, wild shootouts in the Big 12, record-setting performances in the PAC-12, some close calls for ranked teams and Collin Klein showing us why he’s now very much in the Heisman mix.

Here are all the highlights from this week in the Top 25.

#1 Alabama 44, Tennessee 13

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for a career-high 306 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide to their third straight win over Tennessee, the longest such streak in this series since 1992. Alabama’s defense continued its dominance, holding the Vols to just 79 rushing yards and limiting Tyler Bray, the SEC’s second-leading passer, to just 184 passing yards and two interceptions. The Crimson Tide went three-and-out on its first possession, but scored on four of its next five possessions to jump out to a 23-10 halftime lead and coast to victory from there. The loss drops Tennessee to 0-14 against ranked teams under coach Derek Dooley.

#2 Oregon 43, Arizona State 21

Don’t let the final score fool you—this game was not nearly that close. After spotting the Sun Devils an early seven points, Oregon responded with 43 unanswered points in less than 18 minutes to put the game away early in the second quarter. Running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns. With the Ducks rolling up 406 rushing yards, quarterback Marcus Mariota didn’t have to do much (just 46 passing yards), but was still heavily involved, scoring a rushing, passing and receiving touchdown. This was Oregon’s eighth straight win over Arizona State and its nations-best 12th straight road victory.

#3 Florida 44, #9 South Carolina 11

Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel only threw for 93 yards, but made them count, tossing four touchdowns as Florida rolled over former coach Steve Spurrier to end a two-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. The Gators defense continued to play well, holding South Carolina to just 191 total yards (36 rushing). In one of the strangest stats you’ll see this year, thanks a series of South Carolina special teams miscues, Florida held a 21-3 halftime lead despite managing just 29 total yards. Florida finished with just 183 total yards, becoming the first FBS team this century to score 40+ points while gaining less than 200 yards.

#4 Kansas State 55, #17 West Virginia 14

Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein moved himself to the top of the Heisman list and his team squarely into title contention with seven touchdowns (four rushing, three passing) and a career-high 323 passing yards. Kansas State scored on its first eight possessions, jumping out to a 52-7 lead late in the third quarter. After rolling up huge numbers the first several weeks of the season, Geno Smith and the West Virginia offense were held in check for the second straight week. Smith managed just 143 yards and a touchdown while throwing his first two interceptions of the season and West Virginia was held to just 243 total yards. The Mountaineers’ 155 passing yards was the lowest total for any unit coached by Dana Holgorson as either a head coach or coordinator (dating back to 2005).

#5 Notre Dame 17, Brigham Young 14

BYU scored two second quarter touchdowns in less than three minutes after Notre Dame had not given up a touchdown since Week Two. But from that point on, the Fighting Irish regained their form, holding the Cougars to just 243 total yards (66 rushing) and forcing two turnovers. On offense, Notre Dame got another strong game from its running back tandem of Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick, who combined for 257 yards on the ground.

#6 Louisiana State 24, #20 Texas A&M 19

LSU’s defense showed why they’re still very much in the national title mix, forcing five Aggie turnovers and holding A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the SEC’s leading rusher, to just 27 yards on the ground. Texas A&M was hot early, jumping out to a 12-0 lead before the Tigers responded with 24 unanswered points to put the game away. Freshman Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown for LSU. This was the seventh time in the last two years that A&M lost a game it had led by double digits, the most in FBS.

#7 Ohio State 29, Purdue 22 (OT)

The Buckeyes survived two scares Saturday, as they held on to win in overtime while getting some good news about the health of star quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller left the game with a head/neck injury in the third quarter. He was rushed to the hospital, but was ultimately released when it was determined he had not suffered a concussion or other significant injury. In his absence, backup quarterback Kenny Guiton rallied the Buckeyes for the tying touchdown and two-point conversion with just three seconds left to force overtime. Without Miller, running back Carlos Hyde picked up the slack for the Ohio State offense, rushing for 91 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.

#8 Oregon State 21, Utah 7

Beavers running back Storm Woods only gained 47 yards on 17 carries, but he made the most of his touches, scoring all three of Oregon State’s touchdowns. Oregon State’s offense struggled much of the night (just 227 total yards) and allowed Utah to hang around, trailing by just seven until midway through the fourth quarter. But the Beavers’ defense came up big, holding the Utes to 307 yards and forcing four turnovers. This is the Beavers’ first 6-0 start since 1907.

#10 Oklahoma 52, Kansas 7

Special teams came up big for Oklahoma, as the Sooners got a punt return and a kick return for touchdowns in the same game for the first time in school history. Quarterback Landry Jones’ hot play continued with 291 yards and three touchdowns in a win over a hapless Jayhawks team that has now lost 16 straight road games. Oklahoma is now 14-0 under Bob Stoops in the game immediately following the Red River Rivalry against Texas.

#11 Southern Cal 50, Colorado 6

Matt Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns, moving him past Matt Leinart for the school and PAC-12 records for career touchdown passes. Receiver Robert Woods caught eight passes (moving him past Dwayne Jarrett for the school record for receptions) for 132 yards and four touchdowns (a school single-game record). Colorado’s offensive woes continued, as the Buffs managed 351 total yards but turned the ball over six times. CU is winless in its last 19 road games against ranked teams.

#12 Florida State 33, Miami 20

Florida State got off to a shaky start, spotting the Hurricanes a 10-0 lead, before going on a 33-3 run to put the game away. The Seminoles fumbled on two of their first three possessions before the offense finally got in sync and began rolling. With Florida State clinging to a three point lead in the fourth quarter, running back Devonta Freeman rushed for two touchdowns as part of a 21-0 run in the final period. After being listed as doubtful most of the week, Miami quarterback Stephen Morris got the start for the Hurricanes, but wasn’t a big factor in the game, going 25/43 for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception. On the day, the Seminoles outgained Miami 447-258.

#13 Georgia 29, Kentucky 24

Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 427 yards and four touchdowns, moving him past David Greene for the school record for career touchdown passes. However, this game was closer than most expected. Kentucky actually took the lead early in the third quarter and Georgia was up by just five points seven minutes into the fourth quarter. Georgia has now won 14 of the last 16 in this series.

#14 Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 17

After struggling for much of the season, Clemson’s defense stepped up with its strongest game of the year, forcing four turnovers, returning an interception for a touchdown and giving up the fewest points they have to any FBS opponent this season. The Tigers offense didn’t have their strongest showing, tallying just 295 total yards, but got a nice game from running back Andre Ellington with 96 yards and a touchdown. This is the first time in 20 years that Virginia Tech has four losses before the end of October. Clemson has now won 11 straight home games, its longest such streak since 1989-91.

#15 Mississippi State 45, Middle Tennessee 3

Mississippi State’s offense struggled in the first half, leading just 10-3 at halftime, before exploding for 21 unanswered points during a six-minute span in the third quarter to blow the game open. Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns and running back LaDarius Perkins added 125 yards and a score on the ground to pace the MSU offense. Middle Tennessee is now 0-14 against ranked teams since making the jump to FBS in 1999.

#16 Louisville 27, South Florida 25

South Florida scored 15 straight points in a five minute stretch of the fourth quarter to take a 25-21 lead before Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led the Cardinals on an eight-play, 75-yard drive for the game-winning score with just 1:35 to play. Bridgewater did it all for Louisville, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the team with 74 rushing yards. This was Louisville’s fourth straight home win, it’s longest such winning streak since a 20-game run from 2003-07.

#18 Texas Tech 56, Texas Christian 53 (3OT)

After throwing for six touchdowns against West Virginia last week, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege picked up where he left off, throwing for 318 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns in a triple overtime thriller. TCU’s offense actually outgained the Red Raiders 516-389, but the Horned Frogs turned the ball over three times and had trouble finding the end zone with kicker Jaden Oberkrom making a Big 12-record six field goals. In his second start, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns, but threw two interceptions, one of which led to seven Red Raider points. This was the first time in five tries that Texas Tech had won a game immediately following an upset of a ranked opponent.

#19 Rutgers 35, Temple 10

Temple actually led 10-0 at halftime before the Scarlet Knights regrouped and rolled off 35 unanswered in the second half to remain unbeaten. Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova threw for 232 yards and four touchdowns while running back Jawan Jamison added 195 total yards and a score to spark the second half rally. Once again, the Rutgers defense was solid, holding Temple to just 191 total yards and forcing three turnovers, including a fumble that was returned for the game’s final touchdown.

Toledo 29, #21 Cincinnati 23

For the third week in a row, Cincinnati got off to a slow start and, this time, it finally caught up with them. Toledo jumped out to an early 13-0 lead thanks to two field goals and a 75-yard interception return touchdown in the game’s first 16 minutes. Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer made five field goals and Toledo got a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown late in the third quarter, helping the Rockets become just the third team in the last eight years to top 20 points against a ranked opponent without scoring an offensive touchdown. Toledo is now riding its first seven-game winning streak since 2001.

#22 Stanford 21, California 3

Stepfan Taylor rushed for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown as the Stanford offense rolled up 475 total yards to help the Cardinal win their third straight Big Game over their archrivals from Berkeley. The Stanford defense was equally impressive, sacking Cal quarterback Zach Maynard four times, forcing three turnovers, holding the Bears to just three rushing yards and limiting them to 1-of-14 on third-down conversions. Stanford has now won three in a row in this series after dropping seven of the previous eight.

#23 Michigan 12, Michigan State 10

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson certainly didn’t have his greatest game (163 yards passing, 96 rushing and no scores), but he made the plays when he needed to, leading the Wolverines on an eight-play, 41-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal with just five seconds left. Credit must also go to the Michigan defense, which held Spartans running back LeVeon Bell to just 68 yards and no touchdowns on 26 carries. The win snapped the Wolverines’ four-game losing streak in this series, and also made Michigan the first college football program in history to record 900 all-time wins.

#24 Boise State 32, UNLV 7

The Broncos’ defense continued their dominance, holding the Rebels to 210 total yards (71 passing), forcing three turnovers, returning a fumble for a touchdown and holding the UNLV offense scoreless (the Rebels’ only points came on a defensive score in the fourth quarter).  The Broncos have won 47 straight games in the month of October, a streak dating back to 2001.

#25 Ohio Bye

After joining the AP rankings for the first time since 1968, the Bobcats got a week off to prepare for next week’s matchup with Miami (OH).

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