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College Football Week 12 – Ohio State and Oregon Earn Big Victories With Big Implications
In a prime example of too little too late, there were 4 AP Top 25 team upsets in Week 12 of college football and none of them had any real impact. On the other hand, two favorites won big games on the road with big implications as Ohio State buried Michigan 21-10, and Oregon held off a very pesky team from the Arizona, 44-41.
Last week, the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) beat Iowa to win their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 13 years. By defeating Michigan (5-7 and ineligible to bowl), Ohio State won the Big Ten title by a 7-1 mark, losing only to Purdue. The Buckeyes led Michigan 21-10 after three quarters and both teams went a scoreless 4th quarter.
The 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks (9-2) were in trouble midway through the final quarter when Arizona took a 31-24 lead on a 71-yard screen pass from Nick Foles to Juron Criner, then the Wildcats had possession and could have won the game by running out of time.
But a long pass into the end zone was intercepted by Oregon’s Talmadge Jackson III (man, that’s a name), and it opened the door for Duck quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to tie it at 31 apiece with an 8-yard pass to Ed Dickson. with only 6 seconds remaining.
In the first overtime, Masoli hit Jeff Maehl for 4 yards, and Foles hit Juron Criner with a 3-yard strike to send the game into a second overtime. The Duck’s defense held firm and Arizona had to settle for a 41-yard field goal from Alex Zendejas. Oregon then proved why it was the better team – Masoli found Dickson for a 22-yard completion, then three plays later Masoli got him out a yard and Oregon won, 44- 41.
The Ducks’ Masoli had 6 touchdowns in the game – 3 assists and 3 carries. He went 26 for 47 for 284 yards and picked up 61 extra yards on 16 carries.
By winning, the Ducks set themselves up to win a Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth against Ohio State if – and that’s a big if – they beat the 20th-ranked Oregon State Beavers (8-3). visit, in a winning- Civil War showdown next Saturday in Eugene.
The Beavers, one of the dirtiest teams in college football (they like to legally injure opposing players with little things like helmet-to-helmet hits), will invade Autzen Stadium in Oregon, home of some of the toughest teams. loudest and most neglected in the country. choose fans who enjoy throwing unopened pop cans at opposing players. The Ducks have also been known to throw punches at opposing players.
They call the annual rivalry between the states of Oregon and Oregon the Civil War for a reason. Both of these teams like to punish each other, so expect this to be a very physical game, especially with a Pac-10 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line.
The four upsets this week that added little to the season included Mississippi (8-3) at home 25-23 to 10th-ranked LSU (8-3), Northwestern (8-4) at home 33-31 to Wisconsin ranked 17th. (8-3), Syracuse (4-7) at home 31-13 to 25th-placed Rutgers (7-3), and California (8-3) on the road 34-28 to 14th-placed Stanford (7-4).
Stanford didn’t lose because his ram Toby Gerhart didn’t play. Gerhart did his part and more, rushing for 136 yards on 20 carries (6.8 yards per carry), scoring 4 touchdowns and carrying defenders on a 29-yard reception that put Stanford on the California 13-yard line in less than 2 minutes left. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, Andrew Luck threw an interception to kill the drive that could have given Stanford the lead and won the game.
In truth, Stanford’s defense just couldn’t contain the Bears’ Shane Vereen, who rushed for a career-high 193 yards on 42 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and scored 3 touchdowns. It’s hard to win a game when you give up 34 points.
Eleven of the top 25 teams won home games this week, and the three highest-rated undefeated teams — Florida, Alabama and Texas — all won with authority to keep their image and reputation in order.
The No. 1-ranked Florida Gators (11-0) gave the state rival Florida International Golden Panthers a lesson they won’t soon forget, 62-3. 2-ranked Alabama (11-0) shut out 1-AA Chattanooga 45-0. No. 3-ranked Texas (11-0) outscored Kansas 51-20.
Other home wins include 12th-place Oklahoma State (9-2) over Colorado 31-28, 15th-place Iowa (10-2) shut out Minnesota 12-0, Virginia Tech ranked 16th (8-3) against North Carolina State. 38-10, Clemson (8-3) 18th against Virginia 34-21, Brigham Young (9-2) 19th against Air Force 38-21, Miami of Florida (8-3) 21st against Duke 34 -16, Utah ranked 23rd (9-2) against San Diego State 38-7 and Houston ranked 24th (9-2) against Memphis 55-14.
Four other top 25 teams have won away from home this week. No. 14-ranked Texas Christian (11-0) went undefeated as they hit 45-10 Wyoming, No. 6-ranked Boise State (11-0) kept their perfect slate with a 52-21 clubbing of Utah State, Penn State 13th. (10-2) made it easy against Michigan State 42-14, and 20th-ranked Oregon State (8-3) beat Washington State 42-10.
Three of the top 25 teams were Cincinnati, 5th in idle, Georgia Tech, 7th, and Pittsburgh, 8th.
Six teams won and became eligible for the bowl. They included Bowling Green (6-5) over Akron 36-20, Florida State (6-5) over Maryland 29-26, Texas A&M (6-5) over Baylor 38-3, UCLA (6-5) over Arizona State 23-13, Tennessee (6-5) vs. Vanderbilt 31-16 and Louisiana Lafayette (6-5) vs. in-state rival Louisiana Monroe 21-17.
Four other games were notable. Temple (9-2) won their 9th straight game 47-13 over Kent State, Central Michigan (9-2) won their 9th game 35-3 over Ball State, ill-fated Notre Dame (6-5) was upset by Connecticut 33-30 in a second period of overtime, and New Mexico (1-10) finally won a game this year beating red-faced Colorado State 29-27.
Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley
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