Penn State senior quarterback Matt McGloin, sophomore kicker Sam Ficken and senior cornerback Stephon Morris talk about Saturday’s 24-21 overtime win against Wisconsin on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.
The Nittany Lions finished the 2012 season with an 8-4 overall record. They went 6-2 in Big Ten play.
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.
Game of the week: No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma
Final score: Irish 30, Sooners 13
Pregame rant: This is the Irish’s toughest test yet. Oklahoma’s lone loss was to No. 4 Kansas State, which has risen to the top of the Big 12.
It’s a classic match-up. Oklahoma is averaging 488.17 yards and 44.67 points a game. Notre Dame is allowing just 280.71 yards and 9.43 points a game.
Something has to give.
Post-game commentary: The Irish didn’t give.
Oklahoma rushed for just 15 yards on 24 rushing attempts in falling to Notre Dame at home. The Sooners may have given up on the run too early, but they couldn’t have expected the Irish’s offense to hit them so many big plays last week.
Before this game, I thought all the talk about Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te’o winning the Heisman Trophy was a bit much.
After seeing how he leads the best defense in the nation outside of Alabama’s, I’m rethinking my votes. He had 11 tackles, a sack and an interception last week. Great player.
Game of the week: No. 9 South Carolina at No. 3 Florida
Final score: Gators 44, Gamecocks 11
Pregame rant: Despite losing to LSU, South Carolina can still find itself in the SEC title game, but must beat the Gators to do so. To see Steve Spurrier go back to the place he starred as a player and as a coach and knock off Florida would be one his biggest wins ever.
However, South Carolina better shore up that run defense if it plans to upend the Gators. The Gamecocks allowed LSU to bang ‘em for 258 yards on the ground.
Florida is averaging 233.33 yards rushing and will be content to win a low-scoring affair, as it did against LSU, rather than play score for score.
Post-game commentary: The Gamecocks fumbled away this one.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel threw three of his four touchdowns off South Carolina turnovers as the Gators put South Carolina’s championship dreams on arctic freeze.
The Gamecocks had four total turnovers with three being fumbles. When the going got tough for them, they got ran out of stadium.
As for the Gators, a win this week against Georgia in Jacksonville all but seals up a spot in the SEC title game. Their final conference game is Nov. 3 at home against Missouri, which is 0-4 in SEC play.
At Thursday’s media day, Penn State senior linebacker Gerald Hodges, senior center Matt Stankiewitch and sophomore receiver Allen Robinson talked about the team moving forward, having names on the back of jerseys and adjusting to players leaving school after the NCAA sanctions.
Penn State opens this season Sept. 1 against Ohio at Beaver Stadium.