It was pandemonium at the LA Coliseum Saturday night, as USC kicker Andre Heidari hit a game-winning 47-yard field goal to knock off No. 4 Stanford 20-17. It wasn’t the only game that had fans on the edge of their seats though, as the Deep South’s Oldest rivalry between No. 25 Georgia and No.7 Auburn became an instant classic.
After being down 37-17 early in the fourth quarter, Aaron Murray and the Georgia offense answered back by scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 38-37 lead with only 1:49 remaining. Auburn would then get its final offensive possession of the game, and that’s when it all happened.
On 4th and 18 on its own 27 yard line, Tiger quarterback Nick Marshall threw a Hail Mary pass down the field into double coverage hoping for a miracle. Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons tipped the ball up and it landed into the hands of receiver Ricardo Louis, who ran in for a 73-yard touchdown reception and the go-ahead score with 25 seconds left. It's likely one of the most improbable finishes in recent college football history.
The ACC Coastal Division race could be coming to an end sooner than expected. Yes, the surging Duke Blue Devils handed No. 23 Miami (Fla.) its third straight loss and took control of the division. David Cutcliffe’s squad took the division lead with Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla) and Virginia Tech all losing on Saturday.
The Big 12 Conference race could begin to get sorted out as well, with No. 12 Oklahoma State manhandling No. 24 Texas on the road 38-13 and No. 5 Baylor blowing out Texas Tech 63-34. Baylor will travel to Oklahoma State this upcoming Saturday in what could be for the conference title.
No. 16 Michigan State put itself in good shape to win the Big Ten Legends Division after defeating Nebraska 41-28 on the road, while No. 17 UCF squeaked out a close 39-36 win over Temple to stay undefeated in AAC play.
Game Attended: Michigan State 41 at Nebraska 28
It turns out Michigan State wasn't the only team Nebraska was playing on Saturday. Nebraska appeared to be playing against itself as well. The Huskers had aspirations of clinching their second Big Ten Legends Division title in a row, but five turnovers basically cost them any chance of taking the division.
Michigan State scored 24 of its 41 points off of Nebraska turnovers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Spartan offense didn’t play well. For a team that relies heavily on its running game, Connor Cook made key passes to wide receivers Tony Lippett and Macgarrett Kings Jr, which kept drives alive. The running game still made a major impact though, as Jeremy Langford rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
The No. 1 ranked Michigan State defense had its worst game statistically on Saturday, as it gave up a season-high 392 total yards and 182 rushing yards. One of the best running backs in the country, Ameer Abdullah, managed to rush for 123 yards and scored one receiving touchdown.
This is the first time Michigan State has defeated Nebraska in eight all-time meetings.
The Spartans will now travel to Northwestern this upcoming Saturday in hopes of clinching the division title and booking its trip to the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis on Dec. 7.
Overall Record: 87-33
Week 12 Record: 9-1
Note: Team in bold indicates author’s pick
Prediction: Auburn 38, Georgia 28
Result: Auburn 43, Georgia 38
Prediction: Oklahoma State 40, Texas 32
Result: Oklahoma State 38, Texas 13
Prediction: Michigan State 23, Nebraska 20
Result: Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28
Prediction: Duke 30, Miami (Fla.) 24
Result: Duke 48, Miami (Fla.) 30
Prediction: Stanford 31, USC 26
Result: USC 20, Stanford 17
Prediction: UCLA 35, Washington 28
Result: UCLA 41, Washington 31
Prediction: Baylor 45, Texas Tech 24
Result: Baylor 63, Texas Tech 34
Prediction: South Carolina 35, Florida 17
Result: South Carolina 19, Florida 14
Prediction: Louisville 31, Houston 20
Result: Louisville 20, Houston 13
Prediction: Arizona State 38, Oregon State 27
Result: Arizona State 30, Oregon State 17
The fifth BCS Standings were released Sunday night. Here are the current Top 10:
1. Alabama .9914
2. Florida State .9661
3. Ohio State .8869
4. Baylor .8856
5. Oregon .7917
6. Auburn .7860
7. Clemson .7681
8. Missouri .7231
9. Stanford .6238
10. Oklahoma State .5890
Current BCS Bowl Projections
BCS National Championship (Pasadena, Calif.)
Alabama vs. Florida State
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
Ohio State vs. Oregon
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)
Baylor vs. Fresno State
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
Auburn vs. UCF
Orange Bowl (Miami)
Clemson vs. Oklahoma State
It’s crazy to think how far USC has come since firing Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29. That, of course, took place after being obliterated by Pac-12 South Division foe Arizona State 62-41.
Interim head coach Ed Orgeron has this Trojan team playing at a high level right now. Since taking over, USC has gone 5-1, with its only loss coming against non-conference rival Notre Dame.
If Orgeron needed any win to prove he was capable of being the new USC head coach, it was a win against Stanford. After losing four consecutive games to the Cardinal, Orgeron’s squad looked prepared and tough against a No. 4 Stanford team that was riding high after knocking off Oregon 26-20 on Nov. 7.
A 47-yard field goal by USC placekicker Andre Heidari is what could be the difference maker in winning the Pac-12 South Division title and placing Orgeron at the helm.
The players are reaching their full potential right now, and there has been a drastic improvement in sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler's game.
In Kessler’s first five games, he averaged just 166.4 passing yards per game. Since Orgeron took over, he’s passed for an average of 238.8 yards per game. He also has looked more comfortable in the pocket and been more consistent.
The Trojan defense continues to play well. It held Stanford to an impressive 17 points despite only playing 13 total players on defense.
The real question is, should Ed Orgeron be the next coach of the Trojans, especially if he wins the division or a Pac-12 title, or should athletic director Pat Haden go with someone like Jack Del Rio, who is reported by ESPN to have already interviewed for the job?