College football’s 12th week of action of 2012 featured some of the best action of the season. Both No. 1 and No. 2 went down in prime time Saturday night action!
Despite the SEC taking the week off by scheduling “warm-up” games before rivalry week next week, there was plenty of other great action around the nation to make up for it.
The Big Ten had an absolute battle between Ohio State and Wisconsin come down to the final moments, and then the Texas Tech Red Raiders were blown out in Stillwater by Oklahoma State.
A Big East win for Rutgers helped the Scarlet Knights maintain control over the conference, and the UCLA Bruins clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game with a big win over crosstown rival USC.
Baylor 52, No. 1 Kansas State 24
The unranked Baylor Bears outplayed the No. 1 team in the nation convincingly to score the biggest upset of their program’s history. It is the first upset of a first-ranked team since 2007 when LSU fell to Arkansas.
Phil Bennett, a former assistant under Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder from 1999-2001, put an excellent game plan in place that neutralized Heisman hopeful Collin Klein’s ability to go downfield.
Sure, going up 21 points in the second quarter and then 28 at the end of the third quarter probably helped them put the Wildcats into a one-dimensional mindset, but the team executed and for once, backed up the high-powered offense.
This was the best complete game the Bears could have hoped for and it came in their biggest game of the season. The party is on in Waco!
No. 12 Stanford 17, No. 2 Oregon 14 (OT)
Oregon was averaging over 50 points per game coming into what some thought to be their toughest challenge of the season. Stanford’s defense did what no one else has been able to do: contain the speedy Ducks offense on the edges and tackle their speedy skill players in space.
Not only did the Cardinal do that, they also outrushed the Ducks! Okay, it was only by two yards, but it was still indicative of the outcome. Stanford controlled the pace of the game and dominated the time of possession battle by holding onto the ball for 64 percent of the game.
That seems to be the best way to stop Oregon from running up the score: Keep them off the field.
It worked for the Cardinal, who provided the second-consecutive upset of the night. Both No. 1 and No. 2 are no more.
Still, it took a last-minute touchdown from Kevin Hogan to Zack Ertz. The call was initially ruled incomplete but was overturned after being reviewed. Take a look, tell us what you think.
No. 22 Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights proved their defense is for real by shutting down the potent Cincinnati Bearcats offense to just three points. That field goal came with just 11 seconds to play in the game. The 10-3 final score isn’t indicative of how Rutgers dominated the game. If not for two red-zone interceptions by Gary Nova, the win would have been more convincing on the scoreboard.
Cincinnati’s conference-leading offense and rushing attack were stifled all afternoon by the hard-hitting and ball-swarming defenders of the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers running back Savon Huggins got the nod due to an ankle injury to starter Jawan Jamison and racked up a career-best 179 yards on the ground.
With the win, the Scarlet Knights continue to control their destiny and move on to face Pittsburgh next week and then Louisville in the season finale. Back-to-back wins would secure the Big East Championship for Rutgers and give them an automatic BCS bowl berth in the process.
No. 3 Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0
Cierre Wood broke an early 68-yard touchdown run, and the Notre Dame Irish jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back. You knew the Irish were going to come out and play inspired football on senior day against a team like Wake Forest, but the blowout comes as a bit of a surprise.
Everett Golson had one of his best games of the season as a passer, putting up 346 yards and throwing three touchdowns to lead the Irish into their season finale against USC with an unbeaten record.
The Irish should be able to move the football against the struggling USC defense next week, and their defense looks as good as any in the country right now. It should be a great season-ending matchup that has national championship implications riding on it, due to the losses of Oregon and Kansas State.
No. 17 UCLA 38, No. 21 USC 28
The UCLA Bruins clinched the Pac-12 South Division and earned themselves a date with the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship game by knocking off crosstown rival USC on Saturday afternoon.
Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 234 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns. Matt Barkley threw for over 300 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
UCLA jumped out to a surprising 24-0 early lead, scoring on all four of their first four possessions. That early deficit proved to be too much for the Trojans to bounce back from, although they gave it a good shot.
This was a surprising loss for a program that demolished UCLA 50-0 last year and has dominated the head-to-head series over the past decade.
Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14 (OT)
It took an extra possession in overtime but the Buckeyes closed out the Badgers to improve to 11-0 in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach in Columbus. Wisconsin will still be the Leaders Division’s representative in the Big Ten Championship game despite the Buckeyes' undefeated record. Ohio State has a postseason ban on the school due to NCAA sanctions stemming from the Jim Tressel scandal.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball had another big day for the Badgers, surpassing Miami (Ohio) running back Travis Prentice’s career touchdown record with his 78th-career score.
The Buckeyes, who struggled offensively for much of the afternoon, rolled in overtime to an easy score. The Defense held strong when defensive back Christian Bryant broke up a fourth-down pass to put away the Badgers.
No. 7 LSU 42, Ole Miss 35
For whatever reasons, the LSU Tigers have struggled with the Ole Miss Rebels. Since 2000, the Tigers have hosted the Rebels six times, losing two and winning the other four by seven points or fewer each time. That trend continued with Saturday’s narrow win.
LSU couldn’t run the ball effectively and had to rely on Zach Mettenberger’s arm in order to stay in the game. If not for an 89-yard punt return touchdown by Odell Beckham that sparked the team and tied things up after a Rebels touchdown drive, the Tigers might have kissed their BCS bowl hopes goodbye with a loss to the Rebels.
Ole Miss had a shot, despite the big LSU punt return. A Bryson Rose 53-yard field goal sailed right with just minutes to play. The Tigers took advantage of the excellent field position and marched down the field to punch in the go-ahead touchdown.
No. 4 Alabama 49, West Carolina 0
No. 5 Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 14
No. 6 Florida 23, Jacksonville St. 0
No. 8 Texas A&M 47, Sam Houston St. 28
No. 9 South Carolina 24, Wofford 7
No. 10 Florida State 41, Maryland 14
No. 11 Clemson 62, North Carolina State 48
No. 12 Oklahoma 50, West Virginia 49
No. 14 Nebraska 38, Minnesota 14
No. 16 Oregon St. 62, California 14
Utah State 48, No. 20 Louisiana Tech 41 (OT)
No. 21 Michigan 42, Iowa 17
No. 25 Washington 38, Colorado 3
No. 24 Oklahoma State 59, No. 23 Texas Tech 21