This past Saturday was a fun Saturday to turn into a couch potato and watch games from noon until the end of the football evening. It started with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the snow and ended with the Oregon State pulling a Top 10 upset over Arizona State in Corvallis, a place where the Beavers have an over .500 win percentage against Top 10 teams as an unranked team. Here are some winners and losers from Week 12:
1. Wisconsin Badgers – At this point we’ve all seen that Badgers runningback Melvin Gordon rushed for 408 yards on Saturday but he did that in only three quarters. The Wisconsin Badgers continued their rampage over the ‘Blackshirts’ of Nebraska in the 4th quarter to the tune of 581 rushing yards and a huge 59-24 Big Ten West Division victory. Wisconsin as reeled off five straight convincing wins and now sit atop the Big Ten West as the only team in the division with only one conference loss. The Badgers are in perfect position to make their way back to their third Big Ten Championship Game in four years.
2. Arkansas Razorbacks – Believe it or not, the Razorbacks had more passing yards than rushing yards on Saturday and were still able to earn their first SEC conference game since October 13th, 2012 when they beat Kentucky 49-7 and their first shutout win since 2006 when they shut out Utah State 20-0. Arkansas’ defense was the story of the game as they held the LSU Tigers to only 123 total yards of offense in the game. The Razorbacks won the right to keep the Golden Boot Trophy for the first time since 2010 and now some people feel they will keep it going with an upset win over Ole Miss on Saturday.
3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Saturday was the last chance the Yellow Jackets would have to put themselves in position to represent the ACC Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. They needed this last win to keep pace with the division leader Duke, who still has two conference games remaining. The Yellow Jackets had won three straight before Saturday and proceeded to run Clemson out of Atlanta by forcing three turnovers. The Jacket defense was playing well throughout the game and when they scored on a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the 3rd quarter, it was all over as Clemson hadn’t done squat offensively all day.
1. Arizona State Sun Devils – All last week, there were rumblings among the Sun Devil fan base about their trip to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers who entered the game 4-5 on the year and riding a four game losing streak. Remember earlier when I mentioned how well the Beavers played as an unranked team against AP Top 10 teams at home? Well that black magic returned Saturday night as they Beavers opened up the offense with two plays over 65 yards in the first quarter to take a 14-3 lead. The Sun Devils proceeded to take the lead but in true Corvallis fashion, allowed Oregon State to score twice in the final 11 minutes. Arizona State had a perfect path to the Pac-12 Championship Game and now they need to win out and have some help.
2. Clemson Tigers – The Tigers had not ‘clemsoned’ all season until Saturday when they decided have a power outage on offense in Atlanta against one of the hottest teams in the conference. Saturday was supposed to be super freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson’s triumphant return back to the offense for Clemson but he was quickly reinjured and back/starter Cole Stoudt forgot what color his teammate’s jerseys were. Two pick-sixes on the road will get you beat no matter who you are playing. In the end, the Tigers were only able to muster 6 whole points against Georgia Tech and I’m not sure I would want Stoudt back in the game after that performance.
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Has any team in America unraveled as badly in a month’s time as the Irish? The week before the Florida State game they struggled at home against a very bad North Carolina team and then followed it up with a pretty good game on the road in a loss at Florida State. Since then, it has been one thing after another and the Irish are in complete meltdown mode. The Irish blew a lead against Navy and had to do all they could to keep the win from slipping away. Then they followed that up with an absolute nuclear meltdown in the desert where Notre Dame had five turnovers. Then Saturday happened. In case you missed it, the Irish allowed the abysmal Wildcats of Northwestern to comeback and beat the Irish in overtime in South Bend. Then after the game, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly threw the entire special teams unit under the bus. Notre Dame is at Defcon 1 and the season is slipping away, rapidly.
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