With just a few weeks left in the regular season, while some teams played lesser opponents, others had their hands full with rivals. Here are my winners and losers:
- Wisconsin Badgers: Running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 132 yards. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for a touchdown. Cornerback Nick Nelson had a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Badgers defeated the Michigan Wolverines 24-10. Keeping themselves undefeated and in the chase for the playoff.
- Georgia Bulldogs: Running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel rushed for a combined 238 yards and five touchdowns as they Bulldogs bounced back to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats 42-13.
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Quarterback John Wolford threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Tabaris Hines had three touchdown catches. The defense caused three turnovers including a fumble by linebacker Demetrius Kemp on the goal line that sealed the Deacons upset over the NC State Wolfpack 30-24, it’s their first win over a top-25 team since 2011.
- Texas Longhorns: Quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for two touchdowns. The defense caused two fumbles as the Longhorns held off the West Virginia Mountaineers 28-14. The Longhorns are now bowl eligible.
- Florida Gators: Turnovers and kicker Eddy Piniero’s five field goals helped the Gators dominate the UAB Blazers 36-7, snapping a five-game losing streak.
- Missouri Tigers: Quarterback Drew Lock threw for three touchdowns, two of those touchdowns to wide receiver Albert Okwuegbunam. The defense caught three interceptions including a pick six by linebacker Brandon Lee as the Tigers defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 45-17. At 6-5, the Tigers are going to a bowl game.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys: Their comeback after surrendering an early lead fell short as they lose to the Kansas State Wildcats 45-40. That loss and TCU beating Texas Tech, means there will be no Big 12 title game for Oklahoma State.
- Iowa Hawkeyes: Turnovers and settling for field goals cost the Hawkeyes in their loss to the Purdue Boilermakers 24-15. For the Boilers, it’s their first conference road win of the season. As for the Hawkeyes, that dominating performance against Ohio State seems like a long time ago.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The defense gave up 319 rushing yards in their loss to the Duke Blue Devils 43-20. A letdown for sure for the Ramblin Wreck.
- Arkansas Razorbacks: They only had 221 total yards in their loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs 28-21. They’re 4-7, and this doesn’t help coach Bret Bielema’s job security especially since Arkansas fired the guy that hired him, longtime athletic director Jeff Long.
- BYU Cougars: They only could muster 42 rushing yards and quarterback Joe Critchlow threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times in their loss to the UMass Minutemen 16-10. For the Minutemen, it’s their first time winning four games in a season since joining FBS, this is their fourth season. As for the Cougars, well they now have nine losses, and must beat Hawaii to avoid their first season with double digit losses since 1949.
Storylines Going Into Week 13:
Central Michigan hosts Northern Illinois in MACtion. Mississippi faces Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. Miami is on upset alert at Pitt. USF battles UCF for the American Athletic East and to keep their New Year Six bowl hopes alive. Virginia Tech goes to Virginia.
Washington State plays Washington for the Apple Cup. Arizona faces Arizona State. Georgia goes on the road to meet Georgia Tech. Florida hosts Florida State. Louisville plays Kentucky.
Ohio State and Michigan battle in their annual rivalry. West Virginia visits Oklahoma. Boise State plays Fresno State. Clemson goes on the road to face South Carolina. Notre Dame travels to Stanford. The Iron Bowl has many ramifications this season as Auburn hosts Alabama.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!