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College Football 2012 – Week 10 Recap

A.J. McCarron celebrates Alabama's go-ahead score.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It was another crazy weekend in college football with Alabama and Notre Dame needing last minute rallies to survive, Oregon and USC giving us a PAC-12 shootout for the ages and the Heisman frontrunner leaving with an injury.

Here are all the highlights from an exciting weekend in the Top 25.

#1 ALABAMA 21, #5 LOUISIANA STATE 17

Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon rushed for 76 yards and, more importantly, took an A.J. McCarron swing pass 28 yards for the game-winning touchdown with just 51 seconds left. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had the best game of his career, throwing for 295 yards and a score as the Tigers rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit to take a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter. But LSU kicker Drew Alleman missed a 38-yard field goal that would have extended the Tigers’ lead, and Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron took things from there, leading Alabama on a five-play, 72-yard drive in just 43 seconds for the go-ahead score. Before that final drive, in which he completed four of five passes, McCarron had been just 1/7 for zero yards in the second half. LSU coach Les Miles reached deep into his bag of tricks, but nothing seemed to work as a fake field goal, an onside kick and a fourth-down play in Alabama territory were all stuffed by the Crimson Tide defense.

#2 OREGON 62, #18 SOUTHERN CAL 51

Kenjon Barner rushed for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns as Oregon outlasted the Trojans in a record-breaking shootout. The two teams combined for over 1,300 yards and Oregon’s 730 yards and 62 points were the most ever given up by a USC defense. Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley did his best to keep pace with Oregon’s scoring attack, throwing for 484 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. But Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota was equally impressive, going 20/23 for 304 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. There were only two punts in the game. Oregon has won 12 straight games and 13 in a row on the road.

#3 KANSAS STATE 44, OKLAHOMA STATE 30

Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein rolled up more than 300 yards of total offense, but left the game in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. Oklahoma State actually outgained the Wildcats 504-481, but the Cowboys turned the ball over five times, leading to 14 Kansas State points. Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt was also knocked out of the game with an injury and was replaced by third-stringer Clint Chelf (backup J.W. Walsh is gone for the rest of the year with a knee injury). But all eyes this week will be on Klein’s health as Kansas State positions itself for a possible national title run.

#4 NOTRE DAME 29, PITTSBURGH 26 (3OT)

Notre Dame rallied from a 20-6 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime before finally securing the win with an Everett Golson touchdown run in the third overtime. Golson was erratic much of the game but saved his best moments for the end, throwing both of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and running for the game-winner.  Notre Dame outgained the Panthers 522-308, but the Irish turned the ball over three times and missed a field goal, allowing Pitt to stick around. Notre Dame’s Cierre Wood fumbled in the second overtime, giving Pitt a chance for the win. But the Panthers missed a 33-yard field goal, setting up the third overtime and the Irish winner. The Fighting Irish have now won three in a row over Pitt and are 9-0 for the first time since 1993.

#6 OHIO STATE 52, ILLINOIS 22

Buckeyes running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns and star quarterback Braxton Miller added three scores (one rushing) as Ohio State continued its quest for an undefeated season. Illinois trailed just 7-6 after the first period, but the Buckeyes rolled up 24 unanswered points in the second to take a commanding lead they would never give up. Ohio State’s defense held the Illini to just 170 total yards, compared to 567 racked up by the Buckeye offense. Ohio State is now 10-0 for the first time since 2007, while Illinois has lost six in a row. The Buckeyes are the first FBS team to reach ten wins this season.

#7 GEORGIA 37, MISSISSIPPI 10

Georgia spotted the Rebels 10 points before closing out the game with 37 unanswered to move the Bulldogs one step closer to the SEC title game. Quarterback Aaron Murray was nearly flawless, going 21/28 for 384 yards and four touchdowns. The Georgia defense continued its solid play, holding its second straight opponent to less than 300 yards and holding the Rebels to 2-of-13 on third down. The Bulldogs can now clinch the SEC East with a win at Auburn next week.

#8 FLORIDA 14, MISSOURI 7

Florida’s offensive woes continued, managing just 276 yards of offense. But the defense was once again enough to help the Gators get a win, intercepting Mizzou quarterback James Franklin four times and holding the Tigers to 99 rushing yards. Florida running back Mike Gillislee continued to provide about all of the Gators’ offense, racking up 113 total yards and a receiving touchdown. This was Missouri’s first-ever visit to Gainesville.

#9 FLORIDA STATE, BYE

The Seminoles will return to action next week next Thursday night against Virginia Tech.

#10 CLEMSON 56, DUKE 20

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and, for the second straight week, tied a school record with five touchdowns as the Tigers offense continued to roll. The Tigers turned the ball over four times, but still managed to outgain the Blue Devils 718-342. Duke pulled to within 14-10 midway through the first quarter only to see Clemson respond with a 28-7 run to seal the game by halftime. The Tigers have put up at least 38 points in each of their last eight games.

#11 SOUTH CAROLINA, BYE

After losing star running back Marcus Lattimore to a gruesome knee injury last week, the Gamecocks had the week off to regroup and prepare for next week’s matchup with Arkansas.

#12 LOUISVILLE 45, TEMPLE 17

After throwing for a career-high 416 yards last week, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had another monster game, throwing for 324 yards and five touchdowns, to keep the Cardinals’ undefeated season alive. Temple returned the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown and actually tied the game at 17 early in the second quarter, only to see the Cardinals close the game with 28 unanswered points. Temple running back Montel Harris rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, but the rest of the offense struggled all day, managing just 54 passing yards and turning the ball over four times. The Owls have been outscored 127-44 during their current three-game losing streak. Louisville is now 9-0 for the first time in school history.

#13 OREGON STATE 36, ARIZONA STATE 26

Oregon State running back Terron Ward rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown and, after a shaky start, quarterback Cody Vaz added 267 yards and three scores through the air to help the Beavers light up the PAC-12’s best defense. The Sun Devils took an early 14-3 lead before the Oregon State offense showed up and went on a 33-5 run. In his first game after replacing Sean Mannion at starter, Cody Vaz appeared rattled early, going 3/11 with two fumbles, before recovering for an effective night. The Sun Devils have lost four straight in Corvallis and have not beaten a ranked team on the road since 2002.

#14 OKLAHOMA 35, IOWA STATE 20

Landry Jones threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns as the Sooners rebounded from last week’s disappointing loss to Notre Dame. The Sooners outgained Iowa State 593-290 on the day, with OU running back Brennan Clay rushing for a career-high 157 yards. The Cyclones have lost 14 straight to OU and have not beaten Oklahoma in Ames since 1960.

#15 STANFORD 48, COLORADO 0

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan replaced the struggling Josh Nunes and helped lead Stanford to a big win with 184 yards and two touchdowns. But the big story was the Cardinal defense, which held the Buffs to just 76 total yards (minus-21 rushing), gave up just six first downs, forced three turnovers (including a pick-six) and handed Colorado its first home shutout since 1986.

#16 TEXAS A&M 38, #17 MISSISSIPPI STATE 13

Mississippi State came into the game with one of the top defenses in the SEC. But A&M apparently didn’t get that memo as they rolled up almost 700 yards of offense and scored on five of their first six possessions to put the game away early. Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 311 yards and rushed for 129 more and two scores in the win. After starting the season 7-0, the Bulldogs have lost two in a row and now have go to LSU next week.

SAN DIEGO STATE 21, #19 BOISE STATE 19

SDSU’S Collin Tackett returned the game’s opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and the Aztecs blocked a punt to set up another score as special teams proved to be the difference-maker in the upset. Aztecs running back Adam Muema rushed for 127 yards and a touchdowns, while his Boise State counterpart, D.J. Harper, ran for 81 and two scores. Outside of those two running backs, neither team was able to muster much offense, with both teams failing to put up more than 276 yards. Boise pulled to within two late in the fourth quarter, but was unable to convert the two-point conversion. The win gives San Diego State its first five-game winning streak since 1995 and its first win over a ranked opponent in 16 years. This was just Boise’s second home loss since 2001.

TEXAS 31, #20 TEXAS TECH 22

After being benched in last week’s win over Kansas, Texas quarterback David Ash responded with a solid game, throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege threw for 329 yards, but the Longhorn defense stiffened in the red zone and only allowed one passing touchdown. The win snaps Texas’ nine-game losing streak against Top 20 teams.

#21 NEBRASKA 28, MICHIGAN STATE 24

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez threw a season-high three interceptions, but had a monster day on the ground and made the passes when he needed to, leading the Cornhuskers to their third fourth-quarter comeback win of the season. Martinez rushed for 205 yards and recorded four touchdowns (two each rushing and passing). Nebraska trailed by ten midway through the fourth quarter, but Martinez led two late touchdown drives, hitting receiver Jamal Turner with the game-winner with just six seconds left. Michigan State running back LeVeon Bell rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. In the win, Martinez passed Heisman winner Eric Crouch to become the Cornhuskers’ all-time total yardage leader.

#22 LOUISIANA TECH 51, TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO 27

This wasn’t a pretty game, with the two teams combining for 29 penalties for 299 yards. But it was certainly entertaining: Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns and Louisiana Tech got a touchdown off a fake field goal in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Wide receiver Kenneth Dixon caught all three of Cameron’s touchdown passes, giving him a school-record 20 on the season. After starting the season 5-0, the Roadrunners have now dropped four straight.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN 39, #23 WEST VIRGINIA 38 (2OT)

TCU overcame a ten-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime and then converted a two-point conversion in the second overtime period to hand the Mountaineers their third straight loss. Horned Frogs receiver Josh Boyce caught six passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 94-yard catch-and-run that tied the game at 31 with just 1:28 left in the fourth quarter. TCU’s defense had a solid game, holding Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith to 260 passing yards, limiting West Virginia to 78 rushing yards and returning a fumble for a touchdown. This is the first time since 2003 that West Virginia has lost back-to-back home games.

#25 UCLA 66, #24 ARIZONA 10

What was expected to be a shootout quickly developed into a one-sided affair as Arizona’s offense was never able to get on track. Bruins running back Johnathan Franklin became UCLA’s all-time rushing leader with his 162-yard, two-touchdown effort. After throwing for 469 yards and four touchdowns last week, Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, the nation’s third-leading passer, was shut down for just 124 yards and no scores before leaving the game with a head injury in the third quarter. Wildcat running back Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s 12th-leading rusher, was similarly held in check with just 54 yards and one score. The 66-point output was the most the Bruins have put up in a game since 1997. After this weekend’s games, UCLA now has a better record than USC for the first time since 2001.

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