Studs and Duds from Week 13 in College Football
Week 13 of the college football season contained some of the most highly anticipated matchups of the year.
Some players showed up ready to make a final statement while others, well, dropped the ball.
We now know that Notre Dame will play the winner of Alabama-Georgia in the BCS title game, but it was several big-time performances on Saturday that finally put the final pieces of the 2012 puzzle together.
There were plenty of studs to choose from, including Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas and Georgia QB Aaron Murray.
But the players selected are the ones who ultimately had the biggest impact on the final week of the regular season, for better or worse.
Here are the studs and duds from an explosive weekend of college football action.
Stud: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
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It's no surprise that Jadeveon Clowney finds himself on the "studs" list.
The star sophomore had four and a half sacks in South Carolina's rivalry game with Clemson.
Even more impressive is that coming into the game, Clemson hadn't been held to under 30 points save for an opening-game victory over Auburn.
But thanks to Clowney, the Gamecocks stymied the nation's 13th-ranked passing offense.
He's probably ready for the NFL right now, but fortunately (or maybe not, if South Carolina is on your team's schedule next season) we'll get to watch him for at least another year.
Dud: Lane Kiffin, USC (Coach)
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Things can't get much worse for Lane Kiffin at this point.
After his USC Trojans managed to hang around against top-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday night, a series of questionable (yes, this is an extremely generous use of the word) decisions sealed Troy's fate.
With over five minutes left in the game, USC had a 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line. What happened during the next three minutes had college football fans everywhere scratching their heads.
USC continued to run it up the middle to no avail, and the end result was a turnover on downs with just two and a half minutes remaining. Included in the play-calling were two QB sneaks that didn't gain an inch as well as a run that lost several yards. The clock continued to tick, and the Trojans' season ended in more disappointment.
For Lane Kiffin, it was simply a microcosm of what will forever be known as a lost season.
Stud: Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
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In what was easily Notre Dame's biggest regular-season game in two decades, running back Theo Riddick came ready to play.
The senior had 20 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown, and added three catches for 33 yards as well.
He was the Fighting Irish's most consistent threat on offense, and USC simply didn't have an answer to his powerful running style.
Because of his effort, Riddick's next stop will be Miami, where he and his teammates will be playing for a BCS title.
Dud: Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
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UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin had a chance to do what few else have been able to do this season: have success against Stanford's front seven.
He failed to do that, gaining just 65 yards on 21 carries.
Of course, getting bottled up by the Cardinal is nothing to be ashamed of; Oregon's Kenjon Barner didn't have his best game against them, either.
And on the bright side, Franklin will get a chance to redeem himself against the very same defense next Friday in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
But none of this changes the fact that on Saturday, the senior produced his second-lowest rushing total of the season.
Stud: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
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For several tense moments on Saturday, everybody in Aggieland held their breath as Johnny Manziel lay on the turf, clutching his knee.
But the freshman known as "Johnny Football" returned to the game a short while later and proceeded to dominate the game like he's been doing all season.
He finished the game with 372 yards passing, 67 yards rushing and five total TDs. His 4,600 yards of total offense breaks the previous record set by Cam Newton in 2010.
Manziel's performance Saturday capped an incredible season for Texas A&M, a team that won 10 games in just its first season in the SEC.
Dud: Marqise Lee, USC
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It's not often that a five-catch, 75-yard performance will put you in the "duds" list.
But when you're Marqise Lee, a lot more is expected. The sophomore has been dominating college football all season long, putting up incredible numbers and making the highlight reel every weekend.
But against Notre Dame, Lee had just 22 yards receiving until he hauled in a 53-yard pass late in the fourth quarter. But the Trojans failed to score on the drive, and Lee was held out of the end zone for just the third time this season, and the first time since Oct. 13th.
Lee entered the contest with a chance to sway Heisman voters, and a big performance against one of the stingiest defenses in the country could have done that. But Lee's impact on the game was minimal, and the Irish ended up on top.
Stud: Mike Gillislee, Florida
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Against one of the nation's best run defenses, Florida running back Mike Gillislee had himself a day to remember.
The senior gained 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, and the Gators finished the regular season with just one loss.
At the time the game was played, Florida knew they had to win and hope for a Notre Dame loss to have a shot at the BCS title. While the latter didn't happen, it still puts the Gators in position to play in a BCS bowl game.
Gillislee's performance, which came on the road, is a major reason why Florida fans are smiling today.
Dud: Gary Nova, Rutgers
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Rutgers entered their game against Pittsburgh with its eye on a Big East title.
But the Panthers forced Scarlet Knights QB Gary Nova to have one of his worst games of the season. Nova completed just 18 of 37 passes for 157 yards and threw an interception. That boils down to just over four yards per attempt.
For a quarterback who had been completing nearly 60 percent of his passes on the year, this was a disappointing effort to say the least.
It also furthers the stereotype that the Big East is one big mess, without any great teams.
Stud: Kenjon Barner, Oregon
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Kenjon Barner turned in one his best efforts of the season in Oregon's 48-24 victory over the Oregon State Beavers.
The Ducks' senior rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. This came just a week after getting stymied by Stanford.
Barner was part of a rushing attack that gained 430 yards on the ground, which is more than 300 yards above what the Beavers had been allowing per game.
After disappearing from the spotlight over the last couple weeks, Barner showed everyone why he's one of the best backs in the country.
Dud: David Ash, Texas
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As it turns out, Texas still hasn't quite figured out its quarterback situation.
David Ash had a terrible game against TCU, completing 10 of 21 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble.
Ash was replaced later in the game by Case McCoy.
It was a puzzling performance from Ash, who seemed to be in command of the offense over the past few weeks.