College Football

Week Twelve College Football Final Word

College football week 12. Utah beats Oregon.
Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News

After another great week of College football action, the playoff picture is starting to take shape!

Here are my final words on College Football week twelve.

Utah Flexes It’s Muscles against the Ducks

The Pac-12 likely will again miss the College Football Playoff after No. 25 Utah blew away No. 5 Oregon 38-7 with a dominating performance that showed in all three phases of the game Saturday night.

The Ducks never mounted a challenge as the Utes jumped out to a 28-0 lead at halftime and cruised to an easy victory behind a raucous crowd that seemed to unsettle the Ducks.

Utah got 94 yards and three touchdowns on the ground from Tavion Thomas and opportunistic passing from quarterback Cam Rising, who won for his sixth time in seven games since being installed as the starting quarterback. The win locked up a berth in the Pac-12 title game for the Utes. The Ducks will be their opponent if they beat Oregon State next week.

Oregon finished with just 294 total yards, averaging only 2.7 yards per rush while converting on jus 6 of 14 third down attempts. Tavion Thomas ran for 94 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Utah offense, while quarterback Cam Rising completed 10 of 18 passes for 178 yards. Rising improved to 7-1 this season as the starter since taking over following the team’s 1-2 start. His favorite target was tight end Brant Kuithe, who caught five passes for 118 yards.

With the win, the highest ranked victory at home for the Utes, coach Kyle Whittingham is now the program’s all-time wins leader with 142 victories. He surpasses Ike Armstrong, who led the program from 1925 to 1949.

21 Observations From College Football Week Twelve

Florida Fires Dan Mullen After Another Bad Performance

  • The college football coaching carousel keeps spinning before the end of the regular season, with Florida firing Dan Mullen after a 5-6 start. It was a quick fall after last year’s successful season. If you are a big-time coach, my question would be, are you ready to take on a job that will fire you after one bad year?

Ohio State Destoryed The Spartans

  • Their 56-7 victory was the largest margin for a matchup of AP top-seven teams since 1945 (Army beat Penn 61-0). It was Ohio State’s second-biggest margin ever against a top-10 team and tied for the fifth-worst loss by any AP top-10 team.

C.J. Stroud Couldn’t Miss

  • Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud completed 32 of 35 passes, including a school-record 17 consecutive completions. Stroud threw for 426 yards with six touchdowns.

Bryce Young Threw A LOT!

  • He broke the Alabama school record with 559 yards passing. Young completed 31 of 40 passes for 559 yards and five touchdowns. The previous school record was 484 yards, set by Scott Hunter in 1969. That was the second-longest-standing single-game passing record for any FBS school.

Malik Cunningham Can Do A Lot

  • He became the second QB in FBS history to throw for 300 yards and run for 200. Cunningham passed for 303 yards and ran for 224 yards in a 62-22 win against Duke. The only other QB to have a 300/200 game was Washington’s Marques Tuiasosopo in 1999.

MAC Teams Are Winning Close Ones

  • Three FBS teams have multiple one-point wins this season. All three are in the MAC. Northern Illinois has three, Buffalo has two and Eastern Michigan got its second with a 22-21 win against Western Michigan.

Northern Illinois Is Having a Comeback Season

  • They are 8-3 after going winless last season. A 33-27 overtime win against Buffalo clinched the MAC West division one year after NIU went 0-6. The FBS record for wins after a winless season is nine by Hawaii in 1999 (though NIU played a shortened 2020 season). NIU is also 7-2 in one-possession games and has actually been outscored this season (360-348).

Nebraska Is A Weird Team

  • Nebraska is 1-7 in Big Ten play and has a positive score differential. The Huskers dropped yet another one-possession game, losing 35-28 to Wisconsin. The margin of defeat in those seven losses (42) remains less than Nebraska’s margin of victory (49) in the 56-7 win against Northwestern. Scott Frost is now 5-19 in one-possession games at Nebraska, including seven losses this year.

Oklahoma And Iowa State – Not Great

  • Oklahoma and Iowa State combined for nine fumbles. Only one was recovered by the other team, and it was an Iowa State fumble returned for an Oklahoma touchdown late in the first half. Iowa State had six fumbles, and Oklahoma had three. Iowa State had allowed 12 sacks entering Saturday, but it gave up seven to Oklahoma.

A Bright Spot – Breece Hall

  • The Iowa State running back tied the FBS record for consecutive games with a rushing TD (23). Hall had 58 yards on 19 carries with the one touchdown, tying the mark set by Arkansas’ Bill Burnett from 1968 to 1970.

App State Is A Great Running Team

  • Appalachian State has produced a 1,000-yard rusher for 10 consecutive seasons. The next-closest team is three.

Liberty Had An Interesting Drive

  • Liberty had a 13-play drive total of 14 yards and ended it in a punt on fourth-and-goal. The drive actually went from Liberty’s 42-yard line to Louisiana’s 2-yard line, but a touchdown was called back on a hold, followed by another hold, followed by two sacks to lose 22 more yards, leading to a punt on fourth-and-goal from the Louisiana 44-yard line.

Washington Found Another Way To Lose

  • Washington became the second team since at least 2000 to throw for 350 yards, allow fever than 200 total yards and lose. The Huskies passed for 388 yards and allowed 183 total yards, but Colorado won 20-17. The Buffs went 2-for-13 on third downs. The only other team since 2000 to lose in such a situation was Washington State in 2004 — against Colorado.

Oklahoma State Has a Special Defense

  • They shut out a Big 12 opponent for the first time and held Texas Tech to 108 yards. Oklahoma State’s last conference shutout was against Oklahoma in 1995, back in the Big Eight Conference. Texas Tech’s 108 yards were the fewest allowed by Oklahoma State since 1999 against Baylor, and it was its first time getting shut out since 1997 against Nebraska.

Georgia Tech’s Defense Is Not Special

  • Georgia Tech has allowed at least 480 yards in seven consecutive games. Since 2004, only three Power 5 teams have had such a streak within one season (2015 Kansas, 2018 Oregon State, 2019 Texas Tech).

Purdue Is Still Sacking Northwestern

  • Purdue sacked Northwestern on four consecutive plays to lead 29-14 in the fourth quarter when Northwestern reached the Purdue 43-yard line, but got sacked four consecutive times, leading to a turnover on downs. They went on to win 32-14.

Charlotte Is A Great Place For Running Backs

  • Five running backs have had a career high in rushing yards against Charlotte this year. The latest was Marshall’s Rasheen Ali, with 203 yards in a win on Saturday. The others are Louisiana Tech’s Marcus Williams (131), Rice’s Air Broussard (186), Illinois’ Chase Brown (257) and Duke’s Mataeo Durant (255).

Not A Kicker’s Weekend

  • Two kickers who were perfect this season with at least 10 field goal attempts missed on Saturday. Ohio State’s Noah Ruggles was 16-for-16 but missed against Michigan State. Oregon’s Camden Lewis was 10-for-10 but missed two against Utah, including one that was blocked.

Southern Miss Throwing Touchdowns In Interesting Ways

  • Southern Miss threw three touchdown passes with non-quarterbacks. The Golden Eagles have no available quarterbacks and are basically down to running a wildcat offense. Four USM players threw a pass against Louisiana Tech. None were quarterbacks, but they completed 8 of 13 passes for 13 yards. Running back Frank Gore Jr. had two touchdown passes and an interception, and wide receiver Antavious Willis completed all three of his passes, including one touchdown. Last week, Gore and Willis completed 4 of 7 passes with an interception in a loss to UTSA.

Presbyterian Finished It’s Season On A Sour Note

  • Presbyterian finished its season with a 54-15 loss to St. Thomas. PC’s first season under Kevin Kelley and his unique strategy is complete. The Blue Hose went 2-9, including 0-9 against Division I teams. Here are the final numbers for the aggressive strategy:
  • 13 punts (average of 27.5 yards per punt), including nine in the final four games
  • 84 fourth-down attempts (29 converted, 34.5 percent)
  • 48 onside kicks (nine recovered)
  • 44 touchdown passes, 34 interceptions

Notre Dame is Rolling

  • Notre Dame won another game in a dominant fashion, blowing out Georgia Tech 55-0. THey have not allowed a touchdown in the month of November and the offense is clicking on all cynlinders. This was the Irish’s most dominant victory is 25 years.

My Prediction Record After College Football Week Twelve

  • Last week: 17-2
  • Overall: 162-56
  • Upset Picks Overall: 4-8

I was pretty on the money this week going 17-2! I did miss my upset pick of Iowa State over Oklahoma, they have been letting me down all year!

Here is to next week.

My Personal College Football Top 10 (And Playoff Predictions)

After week twleve, here is who I have in my College Football top 10:

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Alabama
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Michigan
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Baylor
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Wisconsin

Here are my predictions for the College Football playoffs:

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Notre Dame

My Heisman Predictions After Week Twelve

  1. C.J. Stroud
  2. Bryce Young
  3. Kenneth Walker
  4. Kyren Williams
  5. Sam Hartman

Looking Ahead To College Football Week Thirteen

Here are your biggest games for week Thirteen.

  • Ohio State at Michigan
  • Alabama at Auburn
  • Wisconsin at Minnesota
  • Oklahoma at Oklahoma State
  • Mississippi State at Mississippi

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