NCAAF: Week 12 Rewind

NCAAF: Week 12 Rewind

Week 12 Rewind
By Judd Hall

It was right around this time last season that we saw upset, after upset, after upset happen on the college gridiron. And most of those stunners had a direct impact on who would wind up in the BCS title game, too. This past Saturday saw many of those same crestfallen programs exact a little revenge on the field of battle.

Ohio State was able to put its personal demons to bed by beating down the Fighting Illini in Champaign, 30-20. The Buckeyes were forced to hit the ground in this game with 20 MPH winds at gametime, rushing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor was the man of the hour once again with 112 rushing yards and a score, while completing six of 10 passes for 48 yards and another touchdown. While a national title is out of the question for the Bucks, they are still in line for their fourth straight Big Ten championship and a possible trip to the Rose Bowl. Backers of Illinois got the last laugh though as it covered as a 10 ½-point home underdog.

The Ducks saw their title hopes dashed last season in Tucson when Arizona upended them, 34-24. Oregon got the last laugh this past week when gunslinger Jeremiah Masoli scored five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) in a 55-45 triumph. Mike Belotti’s club might have won for the fourth time in five games, but they are just 2-3 ATS.

Southern Cal was able to get the last laugh on the Cardinal this week. The Trojans suffered the most shocking loss of last season and arguably of all time to Stanford at the Coliseum. But they hopped on Stafon Johnson’s back this time around as he ran 14 times for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns as USC takes down the Cardinal, 45-23, as a 21-point road “chalk.”

Nick Saban made sure his Crimson Tide remembered that Mississippi State had beaten them the last two years. Yet Sly Croom’s Bulldogs were only down 12-7 at the half. The floodgates were opened when Javier Arenas returned a Mississippi State punt 80 yards for a touchdown in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Alabama wound up winning, 32-7, as a 21 ½-point home favorite to keep its national title hopes alive. It was the fourth straight cover for the Tide and are 3-1 ATS when favored by at least 20 points.

Not every game was marked of vengeance; some teams were just trying to stay in the championship hunt.

Texas kept its hat in the ring with a 35-7 victory over the ailing Jayhawks as a 14-point road favorite. While the Longhorns got the usual strong effort out of Colt McCoy (24-of-34, 255 yards and two touchdowns), it was their defense that made this blowout happen. Todd Reesing was on the run for much of the game, getting sacked three times while completing just 25-of-50 passes. Texas’ defensive unit was also able to recover two fumbles that turned into a pair of scores.

The Gators sure looked like one of the best teams in the country again this past weekend by earning their sixth consecutive win SU and ATS. Florida jumped out to a 35-3 lead at the start of the third quarter en route to a 56-6 win over the Gamecocks as a 21-point home favorite.

Tim Tebow came through once again by accounting for three scores. He accumulated 173 yards through the air, and 39 more on the ground. This is the second straight match the Heisman Trophy winner pulled in three touchdowns and fourth of the year.

We even had a pair of matches that finished in the strangest ways possible.

Notre Dame looked sluggish against the Midshipmen last Saturday, but still found a way to have a 27-7 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Navy went on to two score two touchdowns in the span of 18 seconds thanks to a rare long pass, accomplished rushing skills and a pair of onside kicks. Charlie Weis’ defense had just enough left in the tank to force a turnover on downs with 21 seconds remaining to secure a 27-21 victory for the Fighting Irish as 4 ½-point road favorites.

Finally, we have the comeback of comebacks in Baton Rouge last week. Troy was supposed to be a pushover for the Tigers this week as a 16 ½-point road pup. Yet the Trojans were able to pick apart LSU’s secondary for 316 yards as they surged to a 31-3 advantage midway through the third quarter.

Little did everyone know that Les Miles’ Tigers were set to stage the largest comeback in the program’s history. LSU ran off 30 points in the fourth quarter to avoid its second straight demoralizing defeat. The Bayou Bengals were able to gain 150 yards in the final quarter, just under half of their total gained for the remainder of the contest.

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