Let’s recap Week 11, shall we?
Game of the week: No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
Final score: Aggies 29, Tide 24
Pregame rant: Texas A&M has won seven of its last eight games since losing its opener. The Aggies’ two conference losses are to Florida and LSU.
Those defeats aside, Texas A&M has made a better adjustment to SEC football than Missouri has. So the Aggies will be ready Saturday. The question is will that matter against the Tide?
Alabama is No. 1 nationally in scoring defense (9.11 points allowed a game), but LSU exposed that D a little bit. The Aggies are fourth in the nation in scoring offense (44.67 points a game).
If freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is on his game, the Tide will have their hands full. One of the most exciting players in college football, Manziel has 2,527 yards passing, 922 yards rushing and 31 total touchdowns (16 passing, 15 rushing).
Post-game commentary: Johnny Football was on his game as was his teammates.
As a result, No. 1 is no more for Alabama.
Manziel threw for 253 yards and two scores, ran for a game-high 92 yards more and was the difference Texas A&M stunning the defending national champions.
The Crimson Tide can still play for an SEC title if they take care of rival Auburn at home in two weeks. With the Tigers being 2-8 and coming off an embarrassing 38-0 home loss to rival Georgia, the Tide shoudn’t have a problem with them.
If somehow ‘Bama blows that game and Texas A&M gets in that conference championship game, the Dawgs will have their hands full.
No. 13 Oregon State at No. 16 Stanford
Final score: Cardinal 27, Beavers 23
Pregame rant: Since Oregon State and Stanford still have to play No. 2 Oregon, the winner of this game still has a shot to win the Pac-12 North.
Since the Beavers have the Ducks at home in the regular-season finale, I like their chances to upset Oregon better than Stanford’s. With that being said, Stanford should put away the Beavers.
It’s all going to come down to redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan.
Hogan is now the starter after leading Stanford on six straight scoring drives with five ending in TDs in a 48-0 rout of Colorado. He’s a dual-threat QB, but Oregon State has time to prep for him.
Post-game commentary: At times, Hogan looked like a redshirt freshman last week.
Those moments were rare ones.
In his first collegiate start, Hogan was 22-of-29 for 254 yards three touchdowns and two interceptions in Saturday’s come-from-behind win.
Hogan responded to throwing his second interception by orchestrating the game-winning drive. After Oregon State turned the ball right back to Stanford, Hogan hit Zach Ertz for a 13-yard touchdown to put the Cardinal up for good late in the fourth quarter.
On the game-winning play, Hogan called an audible and changed a run play to a pass play.
Yep. The Cardinal have a hero in Hogan.
Penn State at No. 18 Nebraska
Final score: Cornhuskers 32, Nittany Lions 23
Pregame rant: The Cornhuskers are in control of their own destiny. They keep winning, they’ll end up in the Big Ten championship game.
Penn State would love to put an end to their hopes.
The irony of this game is Nebraska was the first team Penn State played after the late Joe Paterno was fired for his part in covering up the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
If Penn State can handle Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez, it has a chance. If it can’t, it’s a wrap.
Post-game commentary: Nebraska scored 12 fourth-quarter points in the most unusual fashion to upend Penn State.
The Cornhuskers took the lead for good on Taylor Martinez’s 5-yard touchdown pass. Then they picked up two points on play in which Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.
Nebraska tacked on a field goal on a 4th-and-1 play from the Penn State 16 with 27 seconds left. There was debate on whether the Cornhuskers should go for it instead of taking a chance on getting the field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown.
Maryland at No. 10 Clemson
Final score: Tigers 45, Terrapins 10
Pregame rant: Since losing at Florida State, Clemson has won five straight games, scoring at least 38 points in each ACC victory.
Expect those trends to continue against the Terrapins.
Junior quarterback Tajh Boyd may be the most underrated quarterback in college football. He’s thrown 16 TDs and ran for five in Clemson’s five-game win streak.
Post-game commentary: Clemson led 28-0 just a minute, four seconds into the second quarter. Tajh Boyd had thrown all three of his TD passes at that point.
No. 2 Oregon at California
Final score: Ducks 59, Bears 17
Pregame rant: If the Ducks can score 62 points against USC, which is just as talented as they are, imagine how many points they’re going to score against Cal.
As many as they want.
Post-game commentary: The Ducks scored the game’s last 35 points. They had 32 first downs, 575 yards of total offense and won by 42 points despite committing 11 penalties for 105 yards.
Miami at Virginia
Final score: Cavaliers 41, Hurricanes 40
Pregame rant: Outside of Clemson and Florida State, the ACC is horrible this season.
This game is proof of it.
Miami needs to beat Virginia and Duke to win the ACC Coastal division. The Cavs are bad and Duke is, well, a basketball school.
Post-game commentary: Guess the ‘Canes are even worse.
Miami let Michael Rocco throw four touchdowns that included the game winner with six seconds left. He had thrown four touchdowns total in the last five games he played.
Somebody go find Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and have them give the Hurricanes a scared straight talk. These ‘Canes aren’t playing as if they know what the U used to be.