It was another strange week in college football, and what happened in the ACC certainly was no exception.
Clemson shut down Russell Wilson and North Carolina State’s potent offense to come up with a 14-13 win at home. Wilson produced less than 250 yards of total offense in the loss.
Elsewhere, North Carolina’s T.J. Yates’ record-setting day helped the Heels pull off a huge road win at Florida State Saturday. Yates threw for 439 yards and three scores, while his Florida State counterpart Christian Ponder passed for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
In that same game, North Carolina’s Dwight Jones had another huge day, totaling eight receptions for 233 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech needed some late heroics to beat Georgia Tech as Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans struggled Thursday night.
The biggest offensive explosion of Week 10 in the ACC came from two unlikely sources: Virginia and Duke.
Virginia’s Marc Verica threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, but Duke’s Desmond Scott ran for a 35-yard touchdown in the final minute to help the Blue Devils prevailed 55-48 over the Cavaliers. Although Scott had the game-winner, it was Virginia's Keith Payne who was the most impressive runner in the match, as he ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third touchdown on a reception.
Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon made up for lost time as Oklahoma State rose to the top of the Big 12 South Saturday by crushing Baylor. Weeden threw for a school-record 435 yards and Blackmon caught 13 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown while running for a 69-yard touchdown.
Things weren’t quite as rosy for Oklahoma Saturday as the Sooners fell to Texas A&M.
Landry Jones completed 36 passes on the night, but threw for just 290 yards and one touchdown. DeMarco Murray finished with 80 yards rushing and a score and added 67 yards receiving as the Sooners were upset by Texas A&M in College Station.
Kansas State made a surprising switch at quarterback and promptly rolled up points against Texas. Collin Klein completed just two passes Saturday night, but rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Daniel Thomas went over 100 yards on the ground and also scored twice.
The shootout between Colorado and Kansas saw one of the most spectacular fourth-quarter collapses of recent memory, as Colorado let go of a 28-point lead while Kansas went on a 35-0 run. Colorado running back Rodney Stewart finished with 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while James Sims scored four touchdowns on the ground for Kansas.
It was a very quiet week in the Big East with only a pair of games on the schedule.
South Florida defeated Rutgers in thrilling fashion Wednesday behind a 135-yard rushing effort from Moise Plancher.
Saturday’s Big East matchup featured two of the conference’s most improved squads in Syracuse and Louisville.
Louisville’s Jeremy Wright stepped up in the absence of injured Bilal Powell and rushed for nearly 100 yards while scoring twice to help the Cardinals pull off the win. Syracuse runner Delone Carter eclipsed the 100-yard mark and ran for a touchdown in the loss for the Orange.
Tackling proved to be optional Saturday afternoon at the Big House. Michigan outlasted Illinois 67-65 in three overtimes in what was the highest-scoring game in the history of the Big Ten.
Denard Robinson threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns before leaving with an injury, and the Wolverines’ offense scarcely missed a beat with him on the sidelines as Tate Forcier led the late-game charge. Roy Roundtree set a school record with nine catches for 246 yards and three touchdowns and Junior Hemingway added 104 yards and a pair of scores through the air.
Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure ran for 120 yards and scored a combined five touchdowns on the afternoon in the loss, while redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase scored four total touchdowns while running for over 100 yards for the second week in a row.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, former walk-on Matt McGloin came off the bench to throw four touchdowns for Penn State, helping the Nittany Lions rally from a 21-0 deficit against Northwestern to give Joe Paterno his 400th career win.
Running back Edwin Baker kept Michigan State in a four-way tie for first atop the conference, rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns as the Spartans blasted Minnesota.
An Adam Robinson-less Hawkeye squad was given a bit of a scare by Indiana, but wideout Marvin McNutt came up big by catching six passes for 126 yards, including the game-winning 52-yard touchdown, as Iowa held on for an 18-13 win over the Hoosiers.
It was just another week of impressive offensive numbers in C-USA.
East Carolina’s Dominique Davis threw for 413 yards and five touchdowns, but the Pirates suffered an incredible 76-35 thrashing at the hands of Navy.
David Piland’s 334 yards and four touchdowns weren’t enough as Houston fell to Central Florida Friday night. Houston’s Patrick Edwards had a brilliant game in defeat, catching 10 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns.
In that same game, Central Florida’s Jeff Godfrey continued to show why the Golden Knights expect to do big things with their prized recruit. The true freshman torched Houston for 294 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 pass attempts while running for 105 yards and another touchdown.
Elsewhere, Tulsa rode the momentum of last week’s win over Notre Dame and rolled over Rice. G.J. Kinne threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns for the Golden Hurricanes.
Finally, Tulane’s Orleans Darkwa had another strong game, rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Wave fell to Southern Mississippi.
Navy had its way early and often Saturday against defensively-challenged East Carolina. The Midshipmen rushed for 521 yards and scored 48 points in the second half en route to a 76-35 demolition of the Pirates.
Alexander Teich led the way with 157 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and Kriss Proctor and Vince Murray each scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the rout.
Meanwhile, Army’s attack didn’t find great success in a 42-22 loss to Air Force Saturday. Jared Hassin did run for 115 yards in the loss, however.
It was a quiet week in the MAC, but Temple’s potent offense dominated the headlines again. This time it was quarterback Mike Gerardi who stole the show.
With Kent State focused on stopping the run, Gerardi threw for a career-high 368 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Owls to another easy win in conference play. Bernard Pierce failed to reach the 100-yard mark, but did run for a touchdown in the win.
Elsewhere in the MAC, Ohio recorded its sixth straight win as quarterback Boo Jackson had a huge game. The Bobcats’ quarterback threw two touchdowns, ran for a touchdown and even caught a touchdown as Frank Solich’s team kept on rolling along.
Western Michigan’s Alex Carder continued his successful season Saturday, tossing three touchdowns in the loss to Central Michigan. As always, his main partners in crime were wideouts Jordan White and Juan Nunez, who combined for 22 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
All eyes were on the Mountain West Conference this week with a pivotal game between TCU and Utah on the schedule, but the pregame hysteria quickly gave way to a laugher in Salt Lake City.
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns as TCU went airborne against the Utes’ defense. Wideout Josh Boyce caught two touchdowns for the Horned Frogs, including a 93-yard score in the first quarter, and versatile receiver Jeremy Kerley caught seven passes and threw a touchdown pass in the rout.
Elsewhere, San Diego State readied for its showdown with TCU next week by hanging on to defeat a feisty Colorado State squad. Star running back Ronnie Hillman had another great performance for the Aztecs Saturday, running for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Air Force used four total touchdowns from Tim Jefferson to defeat Army in West Point Saturday. Jefferson now has 20 total touchdowns on the season.
A slow start gave way to a quick finish for Oregon Saturday afternoon in Eugene. The Ducks let the Jake Locker-less Washington Huskies hang around before exploding for 53 points in the final three quarters.
LaMichael James continued his quest for the Heisman by running for 121 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Darron Thomas accounted for over 300 yards of total offense and totaled three touchdowns.
Stanford hosted Arizona Saturday night in what figured to be a shootout of epic proportions. Instead, the Cardinal defense allowed just 17 points as a rushing attack led by Stanford runner Stepfan Taylor ate up the clock. Taylor’s four rushing touchdowns leave him with 12 total scores on the year, eight of which have come in the last three weeks.
A disappointing season almost got even worse for the Bay Area’s other Pac-10 school. Cal’s Shane Vereen scored his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to help the Bears escape with a 20-13 win over Washington State in Pullman.
Cam Newton needed only one half to record five touchdowns for Auburn Saturday against FCS opponent Tennessee-Chattanooga. Newton threw for a career-high 317 yards as the Tigers scored early and often en route to 62-24 win.
Auburn wasn’t the only SEC power who picked on a little guy Saturday.
A.J. Green caught two of Aaron Murray’s three touchdowns as Georgia routed Idaho State, and Mississippi’s Brandon Bolden recorded three scores and over 200 yards from scrimmage as the Rebels outpaced Louisiana-Lafayette.
Elsewhere, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray was flawless in his first career start. The true freshman threw for 325 and five touchdowns, almost all of which came in the first half, as the Volunteers put 50 points on Memphis.
Two great quarterbacks met in Columbia Saturday night, and it’s safe to say Ryan Mallett got the better of Stephen Garcia. Mallett threw for just over 300 yards and got some help from emerging star running back Knile Davis, who ran for three scores as the Razorbacks rolled.
Finally, Alabama and LSU met in a game that shook up the BCS Standings yet again. Alabama wideout Julio Jones recorded 10 catches for 89 yards and beat Patrick Peterson for a touchdown, but LSU managed to tough out the win. Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram both found the end zone for the Tide.
Dwight Dasher’s rocky season took another turn for the worse Tuesday night. Dasher tossed four interceptions as Middle Tennessee suffered a 51-24 loss to Ryan Aplin and Arkansas State.
Elsewhere, Florida International’s dynamic return man T.Y. Hilton took another kick to the house Saturday and scored four total touchdowns to help the Panthers outlast Louisiana-Monroe 42-35 in double-overtime.
The top two running backs in the Sun Belt each had strong games in defeat Saturday. Western Kentucky’s Bobby Rainey rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Lance Dunbar of North Texas finished with 96 yards and a score on the ground to go along with 80 yards and another touchdown as a receiver.
As usual, Boise State and Nevada didn’t have any problem putting up huge numbers this weekend.
Boises’s Kellen Moore had his most prolific game yet, throwing for a whopping 507 yards and three touchdowns against Hawaii as the Broncos ran up over 700 yards of total offense. In that same game, Boise’s swarming defense held Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz to just 127 yards passing
Colin Kaepernick threw for over 300 yards and tossed five touchdowns for Nevada as the Wolfpack smashed Idaho 63-17. Both Vai Taua and Mike Ball topped 100 yards rushing in the game.
Elsewhere in the WAC, Fresno State defeated Louisiana Tech behind three receiving touchdowns from Jamel Hamler.