Inspired perhaps by William Shakespeare’s famous line, “What’s in a name?” Keith Jackson is rumored to have once quipped, “What’s in a final score?”
Indeed, the simplicity of the final tally of a game often hides a deeper meaning, the star-crossed story of the athletes who either triumphed with a fantastic individual performance, or instead erred, as humans sometimes do.
Either way these singular tales are woven together carefully, by the gridiron powers that be, into the story of an entire game, a narrative that is summed up neatly in a final score.
The following slideshow pays tribute to the story behind the final score and identifies the heroes (a.k.a. studs) and protagonists (a.k.a. duds) from Week 9 of the college football season.
The truth of the matter is, as Mr. Shakespeare once sort of said, these are the guys whose performances’ drove the bus on the 58 final scores posted on the Internet after the dust settled this past Saturday night.
After throwing only two picks all season, sophomore QB Terrance Broadway tossed three costly interceptions in ULL’s Tuesday night loss to Arkansas State.
Overall Broadway went 28-of-39 for 374 yards, three TDs and three INTs and the Ragin’ Cajuns lost the game 50-27.
You’ve got to figure that it would take some serious stats for a placekicker from the Sun Belt conference to get stud honors, and that’s exactly what Arkansas State kicker Brian Davis did in Week 9, by going 5-for-5 on field goals.
Davis’ perfect Week 9 performance included successful kicks from 21, 22, 29, 45 and 47 yards, and he was also a faultless 5-for-5 on extra point tries.
All in all, Davis racked up 20 points for the Red Wolves in Tuesday night’s win, a huge contribution to his team's 23-point victory over ULL.
Junior QB Tajh Boyd lit it up in Clemson’s Week 9 win over Wake Forest with his best performance of 2012.
Boyd was 27-of-38 (71.1 percent) for 428 yards, five TDs and zero picks and may find his way back up the charts in what is still a wide-open Heisman race.
In case you were wondering whatever happened to WR Sammy Watkins, he’s alive and well and racking up yards on Thursday nights.
Watkins blazed for 202 yards and one score on a mere eight catches in Clemson’s 42-13 win over Wake Forest in Week 9.
Junior QB Munchie Legaux struggled in Cincinnati’s heartbreaking Week 9 loss to Louisville to the tune of 13-of-28 (46.4 percent) for 157 yards, one TD and three picks.
But that’s not the worst of it. Legaux’s final INT came in overtime and ended the Bearcats’ bid to knock off a perfect Louisville team.
Indiana’s 31-17 Week 9 triumph over Illinois is notable for bigger reasons than the fact the Hoosiers won the game, despite going 1-of-13 on third-down conversions (that’s seven percent, if you’re wondering).
Yes, the football Hoosiers win at Illinois marks the first Big Ten win for Indiana since beating Purdue 34-31 way back on Nov. 27, 2010.
Since then Hoosiers have lost 11 consecutive conference games, a streak that ended this past Saturday against the Illini.
Junior gunslinger Jordan Lynch did it all in Northern Illinois’ 48-34 win over Western Michigan on Saturday in what has to be considered one of the best one-man shows in Week 9.
Lynch was 18-of-28 for 274 yards, four TDs and zero picks as a passer and then tacked on 136 yards and two scores on 21 carries as a rusher.
All in all, that’s six TDs and 410 yards for the kid from Chicago, numbers that pack an even bigger punch when you take into consideration that Northern Illinois had 453 yards of total offense as a team in the game.
Though there are plenty fingers to point when you lose by three points to a 1-6 team that only rushed for eight yards, when you are responsible for all three of your teams’ turnovers you become an obvious target.
Freshman QB Caleb Rowe went 23-of-42 for 240 yards, two TDs and threw three picks in Maryland’s 20-17 loss to Boston College on Saturday, earning him a dubious spot on our list.
Even a devastating 39-36 loss to unranked Arizona can’t hide the fact that sophomore speedster Marqise Lee was totally stud-worthy in Week 9.
Lee caught 16 balls this past Saturday for a mind-bending 345 yards and two scores, and then tacked on an additional 123 yards on three punt returns.
Posting one of the best receiving performances in one of the biggest upsets of Week 9, sophomore WR Austin Hill racked up 259 yards on 10 catches this past Saturday.
Though Hill’s performance is the first 200-plus yard game of his career, he’s also eclipsed the 100-yard mark three times this season.
Usually when your opponent is 1-of-11 on third downs, throws three picks and racks up 132 yards of penalties you kind of figure you might win the game.
That is until you throw two INTs of your own and then cough up four fumbles.
Yes, there are a lot of “stories inside the story” regarding Florida’s devastating 17-9 loss to Georgia. One of them is all about turnovers.
What better way to flush your perfect record than to throw six picks against a MAC team?
Yes, after tossing only three INTs all season, sophomore QB Gary Nova threw six picks in Saturday’s 35-23 steak-ending loss to Kent State.
Overall, Nova was 25-of-46 for 313 yards, two TDs and, again, six INTs.
The worthy recipient of two of Rutgers’ six picks in Week 9’s game, junior DE Mark Fackler not only nabbed two INTs, but he returned one of them 25 yards for a Kent State TD.
Fackler and company also forced a fumble bringing the Scarlet Knights’ turnover total to a whopping seven and propelling the Golden Flashes to a 35-23 win and a 7-1 record.
Freshman WR Davante Adams ripped it up this past Saturday in Fresno State’s 49-32 win over New Mexico.
Adams' 198 yards and two scores on nine catches are all career highs for the talented young athlete from Palo Alto, California.
A guy who went under the radar in Week 9, senior place kicker Quinn Sharp contributed 18 points to Oklahoma State’s 36-14 win over TCU on Saturday.
Sharp was 5-of-5 on field goals and this number includes successful kicks from 22, 27, 30, 32 and 34 yards.
If you need more reason to be impressed Sharp, how about the fact that he’s also the Cowboys’ punter and averaged 42.8 yards per punt in the victory?
After hanging up 337 yards of rushing on Minnesota in Week 8, Wisconsin managed a paltry 19 yards of rushing in Week 9’s loss to Michigan State.
Yes, Sparty held a Badger team that averages 200 ground yards per game to less than 20 yards total.
To further illustrate what was a defensive tour de force, Michigan State held Montee Ball (a guy who averaged 176 yards per game in his last three appearances) to a mere 46 yards on 22 carries (a number that was zapped by negative performances by the rest of the team).
A guy who has become a fixture on our stud listing, junior RB David Fluellen rushed for a season-high 228 yards and two scores on 35 carries this past Saturday.
Fluellen’s performance helped spur the Rockets to a 25-20 win over Buffalo and an 8-1 record on the season.
Quietly leading the entire FBS in tackles, senior LB Dan Molls kept the volume turned way up in Week 9’s win over Buffalo by virtue of registering 14 tackles and one sack.
The sack was Molls’ second in 2012 and the tackles bring up his total on the year to 116.
Junior RB Zurlon Tipton did more than his fair share in CMU’s 35-14 win over Akron by virtue of blistering the Zip D for 243 yards and three scores on a workhorse-worthy 37 carries.
Tipton eclipsed the 100-yard mark two other times this season but his 243 yard show is more production than his entire 2010 season and more than half of what he pumped out in 2011.
Another week, another brilliant Collin Klein performance and another opponent’s defense back in the locker room, dazed, wondering how the K-State QB put the hurt on them.
Klein was 19-of-26 for 233 yards, two TDs and zero picks as a passer in the Wildcats 55-24 beatdown of Texas Tech, and then tacked on 83 yards and two more scores on 12 carries as a rusher.
Senior QB Ryan Griffin shone in Tulane’s 55-45 offensive showdown win over UAB, posting stats that included going 34-for-42 (81 percent), 466 yards, five TDs and one pick.
The performance was Griffin’s high-water mark for the 2012 season.
The most productive member of Tulane’s receiving corps in Saturday’s win over UAB, junior WR Ryan Grant brought in eight catches for 184 yards and two scores.
Grant’s stats are all season highs for the kid from Beaumont, Texas.
Senior QB Nick Lamaison was UTEP’s Week 9 starter at Houston, but after throwing two picks he was yanked from the game, only to come back and throw two additional INTs.
Overall, Lamaison went 8-for-18 for 76 yards, zero TDs and four pick,s giving him nine total INTs on the season.
UTEP ultimately fell 45-35 to Houston.
On the receiving end of two of UTEP’s four INTs, senior DB D.J. Hayden not only hauled in two picks, he returned one 95 thrilling yards for a Houston TD.
Even more impressively, Week 9 is Hayden’s second consecutive week with a pick six as he scored via a 75-yard INT return in Week 8’s loss to SMU.
One of the top receivers in Week 9, senior WR Brent Leonard may not wow too many folks with his 126 yards on nine catches, but his four TDs are hard to ignore.
Leonard’s performance aided ULM in their bid to beat South Alabama 38-24, a win that propelled the Warhawks to a 6-2 record, including a 4-0 mark in Sun Belt play.
In yet another stud-worthy performance by frosh-phenom QB Johnny Manziel, the young athlete posted 350 total yards and five TDs in the Aggies' 63-21 dismantling of Auburn this past Saturday.
Breaking things down for the multidimensional Manziel, he went 16-of-23 for 260 yards, two scores and zero picks as a passer and then ran for 90 yards and three more scores on nine carries as a rusher.
In what wasn’t a pleasant evening for Hawaii fans, junior QB Sean Schroeder was 20-of-47 (42.6 percent) for 209 yards, one score and three picks.
Hawaii ultimately dropped the game 42-27 to Colorado State and things become even more fraught for Schroeder when you realize that two of his INTs were returned for Rams TDs.
The guy who picked two of Hawaii’s errant throws, freshman DB DeAndre Elliot returned one of his picks 76 yards for a Rams TD.
The two picks were the first of Elliot’s collegiate career and he also contributed two deflected passes to CSU’s win.
Syracuse came roaring back from a 23-3 halftime deficit to beat USF in Week 9 and leading the charge for the Orange was senior QB Ryan Nassib.
Nassib was 27-of-40 for 328 yards, four TDs and zero picks on Saturday and the comeback was sealed with a one-yard pass play for a score with three ticks left on the game clock.
The final score was Syracuse 37, USF 36.
In one of the best quarterbacking performances in Week 9, senior QB Steele Jantz ripped it up in Iowa State’s 35-21 win over Baylor.
Jantz went 36-of-52 for 381 yards, five TDs and one pick, earning him a tie for Week 9’s most productive gunslinger in terms of TD passes.
This past Saturday freshman QB Russell Bellomy was saddled with the weighty challenge of relieving an injured Denard Robinson.
Robinson left the game late in the first half of Michigan’s Week 9 clash with Nebraska and unfortunately for Bellomy and Wolverines everywhere, things went very poorly for the young QB.
Indeed, Bellomy was 3-of-16 for 38 yards, zero TDs and three picks in his first real collegiate action, leading Michigan to a 23-9 loss.
It’s a good thing that Louisiana Tech’s Week 9 game at New Mexico State wasn’t a nail-biter, because if it had come down to a field goal try, things might have gotten ugly.
After going 8-of-8 on field goal attempts through the first six games of 2012 senior Matt Nelson missed his only try last week vs. Idaho and then went a dismal 0-for-3 in Saturday’s 28-14 win over the Aggies.
Nelson missed tries from 23, 37 and 40 yards on Saturday but was 4-of-4 on extra point conversions.
Coming into Week 9’s blockbuster clash with Notre Dame, Oklahoma averaged 44.7 points per game (No. 5 nationally), 199.7 yards rushing per game (No. 34) and 288.5 yards passing per game (No. 25).
This litany of stats makes Notre Dame’s defensive thumping on Saturday night just all the more impressive.
Yes, the Irish D allowed the Sooners O a mere 13 points and 15 total yards rushing in their historical 30-13 win in Norman.
In one of the two best return performances of Week 9, Senior WR Quincy McDuffie returned two kickoffs for TDs in UCF’s 54-17 drubbing of Marshall.
McDuffie’s first TD came via a 97-yard return in the first quarter and his second came on the first play of the third quarter when he blazed a 98-yard trail to the end zone.
Senior WR Reggie Dunn matched what UCF’s Quincy McDuffie did on the East Coast all the way across the country in Utah.
Yes, Dunn too returned two kickoffs for scores but he went the full 100-yards each time he visited the end zone.
Dunn’s first score came in the first quarter when he zapped Cal for 100 yards, and his second came on the first play of the fourth quarter when he made a repeat 100 yard journey for seven more points.
Utah ultimately beat Cal 49-27.
One of the quickest ways to go from an undefeated team to the ranks of the one-lossers is to turn the ball over at an alarming rate.
And that’s precisely what sophomore QB Sean Mannion did late Saturday night at Washington.
Overall, Mannion went 18-of-34 (52.9 percent) for 221 yards, one TD and a whopping four picks leading his team to a 20-17 loss.
Even more alarm bells go off when you realize that Mannion has thrown seven picks in his last two outings.