Throughout Saturday we will keep you up to date on all the important happenings throughout college football. Check back continuously for all the day's important recaps, quotes, tweets and highlights.
Stanford 17, Oregon 14 (overtime). ....And then there was one. Stanford solved its Oregon problem in a big way, ending the Ducks undefeated season and putting Stanford in control of its own destiny to play for a spot in the Rose Bowl. The Stanford run defense came to play in a big way, limiting the Ducks to 198 rushing yards and one touchdown on 40 carries. Kevin Hogan, making his first road start, made plenty of big plays in throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 37 more yards and a score. The play of the game came on Hogan's touchdown throw, hitting tight end Zach Ertz from 10 yards out to send the game into overtime. The Cardinal flummoxed Oregon on its possession, which ended in a missed field goal. Stanford recovered a fumble that initally landed in the arms of an Oregon defender on its second play of overtime, and Jordan Williamson nailed a 37-yard field goal for the win. Stanford can win the Pac-12 North by defeating UCLA on Saturday and, with a win, the Cardinal will turn around and host UCLA six days later in the Pac-12 Championship.
Baylor 52, Kansas State 24. On the same weekend that Iowa State beat Oklahoma State last year, another Big 12 national title contender goes on the road and loses. Before tonight Baylor had never beaten a No. 1-ranked team, and they do it by 28 points. Credit the Baylor coaching staff for a brilliant game plan, abusing the Kansas State defense for 342 rushing yards and 580 total yards. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett's unit, statistically the worst in the Big 12, frustrated the Wildcats to the tune of 76 rushing yards on 31 carries and intercepting Collin Klein three times. The Bears so thoroughly dominated this game that they didn't even need to score in the fourth quarter to win by four touchdowns.
Oklahoma 50, West Virginia 49. What's the point of a West Virginia game that doesn't close in on 100 points and end with a Hail Mary? In an all too familiar tale, West Virginia's defense allowed an opposing quarterback to top 500 yards and gave up half a hundred. But credit Dana Holgorsen for coming up with a new wrinkle, moving the dynamic wide receiver Tavon Austin into the backfield, that gave his team a chance to win. Oklahoma had no answer for Austin out of the backfield as he rushed 21 times for 344 yards and two scores. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones could become yet another WVU opponent to win Big 12 Player of the Week honors as he connected on 38-of-51 passes for 554 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. With Kansas State's impending loss, hope is not lost for Oklahoma to win its eighth Big 12 title under Bob Stoops.
Vanderbilt 41, Tennessee 18. The most surprising thing about the outcome is how unsurprising it is. Vanderbilt has been the better team all season and played like it on Saturday night. Vanderbilt punished a struggling Tennessee defense, scoring a string of four touchdowns to take a 13-10 halftime lead into a 41-10 advantage. The loss dooms Tennessee to back-to-back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in more than a century. Meanwhile, James Franklin's program will aim for an 8-4 season with a season-ending win over Wake Forest next week.
UCLA 38, USC 28. Five seasons later, the football dynasty in LA is officially over. UCLA backed the Trojans into a corner and won their second straight Pac-12 South championship, and first without the aid of sanctions. Jim Mora's team started the game white hot, intercepting Matt Barkley's first pass and racing out to a 24-0 second-quarter lead. USC battled back to a 24-14 halftime deficit and pulled within 24-20 on UCLA's first drive in the second half when, with rain pouring hard on the Rose Bowl turf, a Bruins fumble changed hands three times before the Trojans fell on the ball in the end zone. But UCLA answered that score, and again when USC pulled within 31-28. The game in essence ended when a hard sack knocked USC quarterback Matt Barkley out of the game late in the fourth quarter. Third down was time and again key as UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley continually found open receivers beyond the sticks on numerous third downs. The win, UCLA's first in the series since 2006, signifies a proverbial chaning of the guard as the Bruins welcomed their fifth straight win and the Trojans, ranked No. 1 in the pre-season, dropped their fourth game of the year with No. 3 Notre Dame still ahead.
Utah State 48, Louisiana Tech 41 (overtime). Fittingly, the final WAC title may be decided by a classic, wild shootout. In a battle between Utah State's stout defense and Louisiana Tech's prolific offense, the Aggies dominated early in building leads of 27-3 and 41-17, while also snapping Colby Cameron's NCAA-record streak of 444 straight passes without an interception. The Bulldogs then ripped off 24 straight points, starting with D.J. Banks' 98-yard kickoff return touchdown late in the third quarter, to force overtime. Utah State scored on three plays to open overtime, and then stuffed Louisiana Tech on 4th-and-3 at the 18-yard line to seal the win. Gary Andersen's team now must beat Idaho to achieve a 10-win season with an outright WAC championship.
LSU 41, Ole Miss 35. It's becoming more and more appearant that the hurry up spread offense is the great equalizer in college football, and even the SEC. A five-win Ole Miss team compiled 35 points and more than 460 yards of total offense but could not hold a 35-28 lead with 10 minutes to play. Odell Beckham returned a punt 89 yards for a score, and the LSU offense drove 64 yards in nine plays to notch the game-winning score with 15 seconds to play. Hugh Freeze's team must rebound quickly from a gut-wrenching loss. The Rebels will compete for bowl eligibility with Mississippi State, who Ole Miss has not beaten in Dan Mullen's tenure, coming to Oxford.
Clemson 62, N.C. State 48. Tom O'Brien's team posted 48 points and 597 yards of total offense, but it wasn't enough to match Clemson's 62 points and 754 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns, while the Tigers compiled 328 rushing yards and three additional scores. The win locks in one of the most anticipated Palmetto State battles ever, with the 10-1 Tigers preparing to host 9-2 South Carolina.
Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14 (overtime). Wisconsin appeared dead with 2:46 remaining when running back Montee Ball, while stretching the ball out toward the goal line, had the ball punched out and recovered by Ohio State. But the Badgers got the ball back with 1:33 to go and marched 59 yards, capped by a Curt Phillips scoring strike to Jacob Pedersen from five yards out with eight ticks remaining. Ohio State opened overtime by achieving 25 yards on four consecutive rushes and then held Wisconsin short of a first down on the ensuing possession. Urban Meyer's team heads into Michigan week looking to clinch a 12-0 season and possibly knock the Wolverines from the Big Ten title game at the same time.
Oklahoma State 59, Texas Tech 21. What appeared to be an evenly-matched game quickly evaporated as Mike Gundy's team ran off 52-of-59 points to turn a 7-7 game into a 59-14 blowout. Tommy Tuberville's team tacked on a late cosmetic score, but the gap between these programs is clear. After the home team winning each game from 2002-08, Oklahoma State has won four straight in this series, with a combined score of 125-27 over the last two years. These squads are undeniably headed in opposite directions: Oklahoma State's only defeat since September came at the hands of Kansas State, while Texas Tech has dropped three of its last four. Clint Chelf started his first game for Oklahoma State and completed 11-of-21 passes for 229 yards for three touchdowns and no picks. The Cowboys out-rushed the Red Raiders, 256-99, and held a 3-0 turnover edge.
Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0. It took until Senior Day, but Notre Dame finally put together a dominant home win. The Fighting Irish scored 21 points in the first quarter and 31 in the first half to cruise into its 11th win of the year. Notre Dame gained more than 430 yards in the first half, and Everett Golson reached his new career passing high in the second quarter (he finished with 346 yards on the day). Bob Diaco's defense limited Wake Forest to only nine first downs and 209 yards of total offense. Brian Kelly's team can now take dead aim on a perfect season and hope for a spot in the BCS National Championship, with only USC standing in between Notre Dame and 12-0.
Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20. This was a game that featured an ultra-rare halftime score of Wildcats 6, Spartans 5. Things normalized in the second half, and Northwestern's two interceptions of Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell proved to be the difference, the first of which was returned 43 yards for a score early in the third quarter. Most importantly for Pat Fitzgerald's team, the Wildcats protected a late lead, forcing the Spartans to punt at the NU 42-yard line with 2:46 to go and then securing four straight incompletions after Michigan State regained the ball with 1:29 to play.
Michigan 42, Iowa 17. Michigan scored touchdowns on its first six drives and cruised to its sixth Big Ten win in seven tries. In his final home game, quarterback Denard Robinson rushed for 98 yards while Devin Gardner started at quarterback and accounted for 351 total yards and six touchdowns. The nation may not take notice, but Brady Hoke's teams only sins are losses to No. 4 Alabama, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 14 Nebraska, all away from Ann Arbor. The nation will notice if Hoke and co. can beat Ohio State for the second straight year on Saturday.
Tulsa 23, Central Florida 21. Bill Blankenship's team survived a pick-six, two blocked field goals and a missed extra point to win a key game in the Conference USA title chase. The Golden Hurricane salted the game away with a 14-play, 59-yard drive that ultimately ended in a missed field goal, but caused the Knights to exhaust all of their remaining timeouts, allowing UCF to take over at its own 20 with just under 3:50 to play. The Tulsa defense forced a turnover on downs and promptly ran out the remaining game clock. The win allows Tulsa to host the Conference USA Championship on December 1, likely in a rematch with UCF.
Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3. Kyle Flood's team won this game in a very Rutgers way, by letting its defense do all the heavy lifting. The Scarlet Knights kept Cincinnati off the scoreboard for the first 59:49 of the game, only allowing a 36-yard field goal with 11 ticks left. Rutgers only substantial offense came in the form of a 97-yard drive in the middle of the second quarter, capped by a 71-yard touchdown pass from Gary Nova to Mark Harrison. At 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big East, all signs point toward a winner-take-all showdown on the final Thursday night of the season at Louisville.