Articles By Braden Gall

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True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we scoured the Big Ten to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers from around the conference in Week 12:

More Stats from Week 12: ACC | Big 12 Pac-12 | SEC

11-25: Ohio State’s opposing Big Ten record
The Buckeyes scored 60 points against Illinois on the road and has topped at least 56 points in three straight games. Ohio State is 6-0 in Big Ten play but has only played one team with a Big Ten winning record (Wisconsin). In fact, the conference schedule the Buckeyes have played is against six teams with a combined 10-26 record. Three of those wins — Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois — are a combined 0-18 in the Big Ten this year. Overall, Wisconsin (8-2) and Buffalo (7-3) have the best two overall records on Ohio State’s schedule thus far. Indiana and Michigan, the two remaining Big Ten opponents for OSU, are a combined 5-6 in the Big Ten and 11-9 overall.

Oct. 26, 2008: The last time Minnesota was ranked in the BCS
The BCS Standings came out Sunday evening as usual and 8-2 Minnesota found itself ranked No. 25. It was the first time the Gophers have been in the BCS Standings since Oct. 26, 2008 when Tim Brewster led Minnesota to a 7-1 start to the season. Goldie then proceeded to lose five straight to end the season, including the Insight Bowl against Kansas. With Wisconsin and Michigan State left on the schedule, Minny fans should enjoy this week while they can.

554: Wisconsin's rushing yards against Indiana
Michigan State and Ohio State are on a collision course in the Big Ten Championship Game, but few teams in the nation are playing as well as Wisconsin. The Badgers rushed for 554 yards — 10 shy of the school record and the most by any FBS team in 2013 — against Indiana in a 51-3 romp in Camp Randall. It marked the third time this season Gary Andersen had three backs go over 100 yards rushing in the same game. James White (205 yards, TD), Melvin Gordon (146 yards, TD) and Corey Clement (108 yards, 2 TDs) led the way, while star wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was just 14 yards shy of joining them (three carries, 86 yards, 2 TD). Even more impressively, the Badgers held the Hoosiers' offense to 224 yards and three points. Indiana, who came into the weekend averaging 527.1 yards of offense and 43.1 points per game, had not scored fewer than 13 points in any half this year. Wisconsin shut out Indiana in the first half and allowed just a field goal in the second.

32.3: Michigan State's points per game in Big Ten play
Mark Dantonio’s team have been consistently knocked for being lackluster and boring on offense. His 2013 teams is actually averaging 32.3 points per game in Big Ten play. It is the highest total for a Dantonio team since leading the Big Ten in scoring in conference games since 2007 (34.8 ppg). That was his first year coaching in East Lansing, making his 2013 team his second-best Big Ten offense during his seven-year tenure. This turnaround comes after Michigan State posted Dantonio lows of 19.9 points per game against Big Ten teams and 20.0 overall last season.

81: Allen Robinson's single-season school receptions record
Last week, Robinson topped Bobby Engram as the all-time Penn State single-season receiving yard record holder. This week, he broke his own single-season Penn State receptions record with eight catches for 98 yards in the win over Purdue. He now has 81 receptions and 1,204 yards on the season and will only continue to push those numbers higher with two games left to play. Robinson might be the greatest wide receiver to ever play in Happy Valley.

5.3: Points per game Northwestern has lost by over the last four
Northwestern has lost six straight games — all six of which came in the Big Ten. But the last four have been particularly painful. Defensive touchdowns gave them a three-point loss to the Gophers at home. Iowa scored on third down in overtime. Of course, there was the historic Hail Mary loss to Nebraska. And this week, Michigan kicked a controversial field goal with a second left on the clock to send the game into overtime. Three OTs later, Michigan won by eight. Poor Pat Fitzgerald has lost five games in a row by a combined 21 points — or 5.3 per game.

246: Carlos Hyde's third-most rushing yards in Ohio State history
Ohio State scored 60 points but the road win against Illinois was tougher than expected. Hyde was the star of the day for the Buckeyes. He rushed 24 times for 246 yards and four touchdowns, including two fourth-quarter scoring runs of more than 50 yards (51, 55). He also caught two passes for 26 yards and a fifth touchdown through the air. His 246 yards rushing tied Archie Griffin for the third-highest single-game rushing total in school history behind only Eddie George (314) and Keith Byars (274).

15.5: Ryan Shazier's Big Ten-leading tackles for a loss
Hyde wasn’t the only Buckeyes star to post a huge stat line in the win over Illinois. Shazier, a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate, was simply unstoppable in Week 12. The junior posted 16.0 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and registered a safety against the Fighting Illini. He now has 15.5 tackles for a loss on the season, as he is leading the Big Ten in plays made behind the line of scrimmage.

Teaser:
Amazing Big Ten College Football Stats from Week 12
Post date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/amazing-stats-nfls-week-11
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Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from Week 11 of the NFL season:

1: Undrafted rookie QBs to throw 3 TDs and 0 INTs in a single game
The Oakland Raiders had to start quarterback Matt McGloin, a rookie undrafted free agent from Penn State, against Houston on the road this weekend. McGloin, who completed just 57.4 percent of his passes in college, threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns, along with no turnovers, while leading his team to a 28-23 victory over the Texans. He became the first undrafted rookie quarterback in the common draft era (1967) to throw for at least three touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. It extended Houston’s franchise-record losing streak to eight. And, oh by the way, it was McGloin’s first career start and his performance has some talking about a quarterback controversy in Oakland.

0: Sacks or knockdowns of Peyton Manning by Kansas City
The Chiefs came into Week 11 leading the NFL in sacks (36.0) and Denver had allowed eight quarterback sacks in its last three games — wins over Washington and San Diego and a loss to Indianapolis. But on Sunday night in primetime with the AFC West hanging in the balance, the maligned Broncos' offensive line played flawless football. Peyton Manning wasn’t sacked and didn’t even touch the ground in the 27-17 win over previously unbeaten Kansas City. Manning finished with 323 yards passing and a touchdown in the key divisional win, which puts Denver back in control of AFC home-field advantage — with a road trip to Kansas City looming in two weeks.

209: London Fletcher's NFL-record consecutive starts by a linebacker
The Redskins fell to 3-7 with a crushing divisional loss to Philadelphia this Sunday. However, veteran linebacker London Fletcher made history. The Ironman tackler started his 209th consecutive game to pass Derrick Brooks for the all-time NFL record for a linebacker. It also was Fletcher’s 250th consecutive game played, trailing only Jeff Feagles (352), Brett Favre (299) and Jim Marshall (282) among the longest consecutive games played streaks in NFL history.

113: Minutes Baltimore and Chicago were delayed due to weather
In a critical game for both teams fighting for the playoffs, the Ravens' trip to Chicago was delayed for nearly two full hours due to severe weather in the middle of the first quarter. An estimated 70 tornadoes touched down in the Midwest Sunday afternoon and it made for a long and muddy afternoon at Soldier Field. Not only was the game delayed 113 minutes but Baltimore kicked a field goal with three seconds to go to send the contest into overtime. With 8:41 left in the extra period, Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal to give Chicago the win in a game that took five hours and 16 minutes to complete. Baltimore falls into last place in the AFC North while Chicago is now tied for the lead in the NFC North.

31: Second-quarter points for the Bengals
Cincinnati fell behind divisional rival Cleveland 13-0 at the end of the first quarter on Sunday. But two Andy Dalton touchdown passes, a blocked punt touchdown, fumble recovery touchdown and 41-yard Mike Nugent field goal gave the Bengals a 31-13 halftime lead. The 31-point second quarter was the most points scored in any quarter in the franchise’s history. The win keeps the Bengals unbeaten at home (5-0) and, coupled with the Browns' and Ravens' losses, gives them a 2.5-game lead in the AFC North.

16,005: Matthew Stafford's Lions franchise-record passing yards
Stafford threw for 362 yards in the painful road loss to the Steelers on Sunday. He’s third in the NFL this year behind only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees with 3,198 yards after topping at least 4,900 yards in each of the last two seasons. He passed Bobby Layne (15,710) to become the Detroit Lions' all-time career leader with 16,005 yards passing. It took Stafford just 55 games to top Layne, who needed 97 games to set the original benchmark. More importantly, with a chance to take full control of the NFC North, the Lions lost 37-27 to a Steelers team that had won just three times all year.

22-38: Last year's division champs record in 2013 (minus New England and Denver)
Of the eight division winners in 2012, only two — New England and Denver — are leading their division in 2013 and only three (along with San Francisco) are currently slotted into the playoffs. Houston and Atlanta are both 2-8 after going a combined 25-7 last year. The defending Super Bowl and AFC North champion Ravens are 4-6. Washington won the NFC East with a 10-6 record but is 3-7 this year. Green Bay went 11-5 and won the NFC North but is 5-5 and missing Aaron Rodgers. The Texans (8), Falcons (4), Packers (3), Redskins (2), 49ers (2) and Ravens (1) have lost a combined 20 games in a row. The eight division winners in 2012 combined to go 92-35-1 and those same eight teams are 38-42 this year — but 16 of those wins come from the Patriots (7-3) and Broncos (9-1).

413: Days since the Eagles last won at home
The Eagles had lost 10 consecutive home games in Lincoln Financial Field dating back to a 19-17 win over the Giants on Sept. 30, 2012. The Eagles were 3-1 at that time before proceeding to lose 11 of their last 12 games and making a coaching switch to Chip Kelly. It was also the last time Philadelphia had a winning record. After topping the Redskins 24-17 at home this weekend, both of those streaks have been snapped. Phily is above .500 and has a win in front of the home fans for the first time in 413 days. More importantly, the Eagles are alone atop the NFC East standings with huge games against NFC playoff hopefuls Arizona, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas over the final month — three of which will come at home.

7,923: Marques Colston's Saints franchise-record receiving yards
Maybe fantasy players undervalue Marques Colston but Saints fans and opposing coaches certainly do not. Colston is already the Saints' all-time leading receiver with 571 receptions and 60 touchdowns. But after five receptions for 80 yards in the critical come-from-behind 23-20 win over the 49ers, Colston has more receiving yards than any player in Saints history. He passed Eric Martin (7,854) with 7,923 yards career receiving yards — which also puts him in the top 100 in NFL history (91st).

Teaser:
Amazing Stats from the NFL's Week 11
Post date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/amazing-college-football-stats-week-12
Body:

Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

Fourth and 18: Auburn's final offensive play of the game against Georgia
With more 30 seconds left on the clock and facing a fourth and 18 on his own 27-yard line, quarterback Nick Marshall dropped back and heaved the football down the field. Two Bulldogs collided and tipped the pass into the air and a streaking Ricardo Louis snatched it (with a bobble) out of the air and strolled into the endzone in front of a rabid Jordan-Hare Stadium. The play (watch it below) won the game and kept the Tigers SEC — and BCS — championship hopes alive for two more weeks before Alabama comes to town. For the first time in history the Iron Bowl is an SEC West winner-take-all situation when Alabama comes to visits Jordan-Hare in two weeks.

Bonus Bama Tidbit: AJ McCarron leads Alabama all-time with 8,146 yards of total offense and tied Jay Barker with 35 career wins.

29: Brandon Connette's Duke school-record rushing TD
In a crazy back-and-forth 48-30 win over Miami that featured 1,108 yards of offense and three lead changes, quarterback Brandon Connette led Duke to its sixth straight win and eighth victory overall this season. He scored four rushing touchdowns from 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards out and added a 22-yard scoring strike to Shaq Powell. Connette, who doesn't even start at quarterback, has scored more rushing touchdowns than any other player in Duke history. He has 12 rushing touchdowns this season, pushing his career total to 29 and isn't even the starter. Connette has 13 passing touchdowns and just six interceptions passing this year. With two games left — at Wake Forest and at North Carolina — the Blue Devils are alone atop the ACC Coastal Division.

27: Consecutive Big 12 games Kansas lost before Saturday
The Jayhawks last defeated a Big 12 team on Nov. 6, 2010 when Kansas topped Colorado in come-from-behind fashion 52-45. Since that day, Kansas had lost 27 straight conference games and had failed to be competitive in 2013 with anyone not named Louisiana Tech or South Dakota until the 31-19 win over West Virginia on Saturday. It's a huge win for embattled coach Charlie Weis. Running back James Sims posted a career-best 211 yards and three rushing touchdowns in the win. On the flip side, Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen may be haunted by his team's performance in Lawrence. West Virginia is 6-11 in Big 12 play since joining the league, one year after winning the Big East and hanging 70 on Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

16: Turnovers forced by Vanderbilt during its last four games
After forcing just seven turnovers in the first seven games of the season, the Commodores defense has carried Vanderbilt to a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Vandy used a familiar narrative, topping Kentucky 22-6 by capitalizing on four Wildcats interceptions. In fact, Kentucky entered the game leading the nation with just two interceptions thrown all season before the 'Dores picked off Jalen Whitlow four times. The Commodores have won three out of four games and are now plus-9 on the season in turnover margin — good for second in the SEC and tied for fourth nationally.

465: Cartel Brooks NCAA single-game rushing record
A few weeks after Western Connecticut's Octavias McKoy set the NCAA single-game rushing record with 455 yards, Heidelberg University's Cartel Brooks put himself atop the all-division rushing record book. The junior tailback carried for 465 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Baldwin Wallace this weekend, setting the all-time NCAA single-game rushing record. The Heidelberg Student Princes — yes, that's right — are a Division-III school located in Tiffin, Ohio.

554: Wisconsin rushing yards against Indiana
Michigan State and Ohio State are on a collision course in the Big Ten championship game, but few teams in the nation are playing as well as Wisconsin. The Badgers rushed for 554 yards — 10 shy of the school record and the most by any FBS team in 2013 — against Indiana in a 51-3 romp in Camp Randall. It marked the third time his season Gary Andersen had three backs go over 100 yards rushing in the same games. James White (205 yards, TD), Melvin Gordon (146 yards, TD) and Corey Clement (108 yards, 2 TD) led the way, while star wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was just 14 yards shy of joining them (three carries, 86 yards, 2 TD). Even more impressively, the Badgers held the Hoosiers offense to 224 yards and three points. Indiana, who came into the weekend averaging 527.1 yards of offense and 43.1 points per game, had not scored fewer than 13 points in any half this year. Wisconsin shut Indiana out in the first half and allowed just a field goal in the second.

634: Andre Williams rushing yards over the last two weeks
Jim McElwain and Colorado State got to bowl eligibility by leaning on running back Kapri Bibbs for 603 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last two weeks. Except, Bibbs isn't even leading the nation rushing over that span. That honor goes to Boston College's Andre Williams, who rushed 40 times for a school- and ACC-record 339 yards and two touchdowns in an easy win over NC State. He has carried 72 times for 634 yards and four scores in the last two weeks, giving him the second-best two-week rushing total in NCAA history. Texas' Ricky Williams rushed for 668 yards in his Heisman campaign of 1998. Williams leads the nation in rushing at 181.0 yards per game and his 1,810 yards are already a new ACC and Boston College single-season rushing benchmark. He needs 364 more yards to top Montel Harris for the Eagles all-time career rushing lead (3,735). Most importantly, with the sixth win of the year, Steve Addazio has taken a team that won two games last year to the postseason in just his first season in Chestnut Hill.

3: Consecutive wins by Oklahoma State in Austin
Oklahoma State have played the Texas Longhorns 28 times and have lost 23 of them. However, with a commanding 38-13 win in Austin over Texas in Week 12, Mike Gundy has won three straight trips to Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. The Pokes win snapped the Longhorns six-game winning streak and knocked Texas out of Big 12 contention for the time being. Mack Brown finds himself quickly back in bad graces of the Burnt Orange fans in Austin as Texas has failed to beat a ranked team at home since 2008 — against Oklahoma State. Texas was held without a second half touchdown at home versus a Big 12 foe since 1999.

202: Points allowed by Texas Tech in a four-game losing streak
Kliff Kingsbury led his alma mater Texas Tech to seven straight wins to begin his coaching tenure in Lubbock. Things have gotten ugly quickly, however, as his team lost a fourth straight game this weekend when Baylor hung 63 points on the struggling Tech defense. The Red Raiders have allowed at least 38 points in every loss and more than 50 per game during the losing streak. The problems were exemplified on Saturday in Arlington. Texas Tech started hot by jumping out to a 20-7 lead with a few minutes left in the first quarter. But Baylor stormed back to boat race Tech's maligned defense 56-14 over the final three quarters. The Bears are on pace to break every major team offensive statistic in FBS history and Tech has allowed 202 points in four games.

Teaser:
Amazing College Football Stats from Week 12
Post date: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/2013-pac-12-week-12-awards-and-power-rankings
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One week after Oregon thought its title hopes were dashed, Coach O provided hope for more than just his USC Trojans. Ed Orgeron is quickly becoming the story of the conference after an upset win over Stanford at home in dramatic fashion. And it puts the Ducks back into the Pac-12 driver's seat.

Meanwhile, the South Division race got even more interesting with Arizona State and Washington holding serve while USC has officially tossed its name in the championship hat. With two weeks to play, this league is still completely wide open and its why it might be the best league in the nation.

There will be an obvious theme in this week's Pac-12 superlatives.

Offensive Player of the Week: Connor Halliday, QB, Washington State
Don't look now, but the Cougars are one win away from the postseason after winning their third Pac-12 game of the year — all on the road. Halliday completed 36 of his 53 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He methodically worked his team down the field late in the fourth quarter and connected with Isiah Myers with 2:15 left in the game for a 25-yard game-winning touchdown strike. Halliday led his offense to 27 first downs and has his team poised to not only make a bowl game but potentially a winning record if Wazzu can top Utah at home and Washington on the road to end the year. Only Oregon State's Sean Mannion has more passing yards in the league than Halliday's 3,417.

Defensive Player of the Week: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
USC's Dion Bailey made the defensive play of the weekend with his late red zone interception of Kevin Hogan, but the legend of Myles Jack is growing in Westwood after another two-way performance in a critical home win over Washington. The freshman linebacker collected five tackles and a pass broken up on defense to go with 13 rushing attempts, 59 yards rushing and four offensive touchdowns. He has 179 yards rushing and five scores in two games as a two-way player. This is the team's No. 2 tackler we are talking here. He has vaulted himself to the top of the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year conversation with his last two games and has a chance for another signature moment against Arizona State with the division title on the line next weekend.

Team of the Week: USC
The Trojans have done it again, moving to 5-0 in the Pac-12 since switching coaches after a gutsy 20-17 win over Stanford at home. It was as physical a game as fans will see in the league all season and the much-depleted Men of Troy traded blows with the top ranked team in the conference for 60 minutes and came out victorious. USC allowed just two sacks, Stanford's lowest total in four games, and passed for more yards than the Cardinal had allowed in six weeks. The Trojans defense got big stops in its own territory on defense in the second half and forced two critical second-half Kevin Hogan interceptions. The Trojans are now tied with UCLA for second play in the South and still have an outside chance at playing for a Pac-12 title.

Coordinator of the Week: Ed Orgeron, USC
No, he technically isn't a coordinator. But the elevated defensive assistant-turned-interim head coach deserves to be credited with the remarkable turn around at USC. The Trojans topped Stanford for their fifth straight league win since Orgeron was named head coach and his late-game fourth-down gamble led to USC's first win over Stanford in five tries. His offense has been averaging over 30 points per game and his defense is one of the Pac-12's best. Orgeron doesn't deserve mention as a candidate to get the USC job full-time but he has done an excellent job and his players would "run through a wall for that man," as Cody Kessler said after the game. Colonel Reb is no longer crying.

Freshman of the Week: Sefo Liufau, QB, Colorado
The freshman quarterback from Tacoma, Wash., got Colorado into the Pac-12 win column for the first time in 2013. Liufau had the best game of his young career, by completing 23-of-36 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns in the blowout 41-24 win over Cal. He set a career high for yards and touchdowns while tying his career high for pass attempts. Only Cal quarterback Jared Goff has more yards of total offense in the league this year among freshman than Liufau — and the Buffs just beat Goff head to head.
 

Pac-12 Post-Week 12 Power Rankings:

RankTeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1(2)9-1, 6-1W, Utah, 44-21 at Arizona
2(1)8-2, 6-2L, USC, 20-17Cal
3(3)8-2, 6-1W, Oregon St, 30-17  at UCLA
4(4)8-2, 5-2W, Washington, 41-31Arizona St
5(6)8-3, 5-2W, Stanford, 20-17at Colorado
6(5)6-4, 3-4L, UCLA, 41-31at Oregon St
7(7)6-4, 4-3L, Arizona St, 30-17 Washington
8(9)5-5, 3-4W, Arizona, 24-17Utah
9(8)6-4, 3-4L, Washington St, 24-17 Oregon
10(10)4-6, 1-6L, Oregon, 44-21at Washington St
11(11)4-6, 1-6W, Cal, 41-24USC
12(12)1-10, 0-8L, Colorado, 41-24 at Stanford

 

Teaser:
2013 Pac-12 Week 12 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 14:00
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-week-12-awards-and-power-rankings
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Fans in the Big Ten need to start getting used to — and excited about — the idea of a Michigan State and Ohio State showdown in the Big Ten title game. Both teams stayed unbeaten in conference play with key road victories over division foes. The nation's best defense against a team that hasn't lost a game in two years coached by a two-time BCS national champion?

Yes, please.

Here are the Big Ten's Week 12 Superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
Ohio State scored 60 points but the road win against Illinois was tougher than expected. Hyde was the star of the day for the Buckeyes. He rushed 24 times for 246 yards and four touchdowns, including two fourth-quarter scoring runs of more than 50 yards (51, 55). He also caught two passes for 26 yards and a fifth touchdown through the air. Braxton Miller had a huge day as well (150 passing yards, 2 TD, 184 rushing yards, TD), but Hyde was once again the workhorse of the offense. His 246 yards tied Archie Griffin for the third-highest rushing total in school history (Eddie George, 314; Keith Byars, 274).

Defensive Player of the Week: Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
The Spartans remain on a path headed for Indianapolis with another excellent defensive performance on the road by forcing five turnovers against Nebraska. Drummond was responsible for two of them with an interception and forced fumble in a key Legends Division game. The junior defensive back and team's leading tackler collected 10 total tackles. With a win in either of its last two games or a Minnesota loss in either of its games (they face each other in the season finale), the Spartans will clinch the division.

Team of the Week: Michigan State
The Spartans haven't officially clinched the Legends Division title — they need one more win in either of their last two games (or a Minnesota loss) — but the 41-28 win in Lincoln all but sealed a trip to Indianapolis for Mark Dantonio's bunch. The defense forced five turnovers, Connor Cook provided timely passing for the offense (193 yards, TD, 0 INT) and tailback Jeremy Langford went over 100 yards for the fifth straight time (32 carries, 151 yards, 3 TD). It was a thorough, across the board win for the Spartans and it keeps Michigan State on track to meet Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game — what would be Dantonio's second division title in three seasons.
Coordinator of the Week: Dave Aranda, Wisconsin
The Indiana Hoosiers came into Madison knowing it had to win to make a bowl game. And with an offense averaging 527.1 yards and 43.1 points per game — both second to only Ohio State in the Big Ten — Kevin Wilson thought he had a chance. Aranda's unit made sure that wasn't the case. The Badgers defense held Indiana to just a season-low 224 yards and season-low three points. Indiana had scored no fewer than 13 points in any half all season but were shutout in the first half and kicked just the lone field goal in the second. Wisconsin now boasts the sixth-rated total defense (287.8 ypg) and fifth-rated scoring defense (14.0 ppg) in the nation.

Freshman of the Week: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State

The true freshman got his team to six wins for the second straight season under Bill O'Brien. Hackenberg completed 16-of-23 passes for 212 yards with two total touchdowns in the 45-21 win over Purdue at home. After the Boilermakers closed the gap to seven points to start the second half, the star quarterback led three scoring drives in four possessions to put the game out of reach for the Nittany Lions. That is two non-losing seasons for a team under heavy NCAA sanctions.
 
Big Ten Post-Week 12 Power Rankings:
 TeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1.(1)10-0, 6-0W, Illinois, 60-35Indiana
2.

(2)9-1, 6-0W, Nebraska, 41-28 at Northwestern
3.

(3)8-2, 5-1W, Indiana, 51-3at Minnesota
4.

(5)8-2, 4-2Bye Wisconsin
5.

(4)7-3, 4-2L, Michigan St, 41-28at Penn St
6.(6)7-3, 3-3W, Northwestern, 27-19 (OT)at Iowa
7.

(7)

6-4, 3-3

ByeMichigan
8.

(9)6-4, 3-3W, Purdue, 45-21Nebraska
9.

(8)4-6, 2-4L, Wisconsin, 51-3at Ohio St
10.

(10)4-6, 0-6L, Michigan, 27-19 (OT) Michigan St
11.

(11)3-7, 0-6L, Ohio St, 60-35 at Purdue
12.

(12)1-9, 0-6L, Penn St, 45-21Illinois

 

Teaser:
2013 Big Ten Week 12 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 14:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-week-12-picks
Body:

Like it or not, Las Vegas rarely gets it wrong, so tracking betting lines should always be a big part of each football weekend — even if there are no bets on the line. The Texas Longhorns made me sweat last week but salvaged a .500 record for me with a tremendous fourth quarter and overtime (thanks). Mizzou I felt the best about and sure enough they crushed Kentucky. The Tigers might still be underrated despite all the big SEC wins thus far. BYU and Arizona State didn't help me much last weekend.

2013 Record Against the Spread: 33-25-1 (2-2 last week)

Week 12 Picks of the Week:

TCU (+10.5) at Kansas State
Few teams in the nation are playing better football than the Wildcats right now. Bill Snyder’s team has won three straight by outscoring its opponents 125-45 and is averaging more than 250 yards rushing over its last four games. TCU has scored more than 21 points only twice in its last six games and one of those (27) came against lowly Kansas. The Wildcats are 6-3 against the spread this year and TCU is a miserable 2-8. At home, this could get ugly. Prediction: Kansas State -10.5

Stanford (-3.5) at USC
Both teams play excellent defense, both teams can pressure the quarterback and both teams have elite-level talent. However, Stanford has eyes on the BCS national title and won’t be napping on a surging USC offense. The lack of depth will play a huge roll for the Trojans this weekend in what should be the most physical game of the season. Stanford's Kevin Hogan, Tyler Gaffney and a powerful offensive line shouldn’t have any issues moving the ball while USC's Cody Kessler will likely be running for his life much of the evening. Prediction: Stanford -3.5

Texas Tech (+27) vs. Baylor
The Red Raiders are reeling and the last thing they want to do is try to stop Baylor — neutral field or not. In AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Baylor will keep its BCS and Big 12 title hopes alive by abusing a team that is lacking in confidence and discipline. The Bears are 7-1 against the spread this year and Tech has given up 139 points in its last three games. There is nothing to indicate this team will be competitive against Art Briles — especially, without a true No. 1 starter at quarterback. Prediction: Baylor -27

Florida (-13.5) at South Carolina
Steve Spurrier’s alma mater is circling the drain right now and he would like nothing more than to bury his SEC East brethren. The Gators are coming off one of the worst home losses in school history, can’t score on offense and are on the road against a team with two weeks to prepare. Carolina has its sights set on Atlanta and posting a 6-2 SEC mark puts them in the lead in the clubhouse. The Gators are 3-6 against the number this season and are down to their third quarterback with Tyler Murphy out. Predictions: South Carolina -13.5

Kentucky (+12.5) at Vanderbilt
The Dores have owned Kentucky under head coach James Franklin, beating the Cats 78-8 over the last two seasons. Vandy is riding high after one of the most dominant defensive performances of the season in Gainesville last weekend. The Commodores have covered the spread in each of its last two games with SEC East opponents and should be able to shut down the Wildcats' offense. If Vanderbilt can get to 24 points, it should cover the spread easily — especially, with bowl eligibility on the line on Saturday. Prediction: Vanderbilt -12.5

Week 12 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 Big Ten Pac-12 SEC

Top 25 Picks Against the Spread:

Note: games with FCS opponents won't be included each week

Top 25 GamesMitch LightBraden GallSteven LassanDavid Fox
No. 1 Alabama (-25.5) at Mississippi St
Syracuse (+38) at No. 2 Florida St
No. 3 Ohio St (-32) at Illinois
No. 4 Stanford (-3.5) at USC
Texas Tech (+27) at No. 5 Baylor
Utah (+26.5) at No. 6 Oregon
No. 25 Georgia (+4.5) at No. 7 Auburn
Florida (+13.5) at No. 10 South Carolina
No. 12 Oklahoma St (-3) at No. 24 Texas
Washington (+2.5) at No. 13 UCLA
No. 16 Michigan St (-6.5) at Nebraska
No. 17 UCF (-16.5) at Temple
Iowa St (+24.5) No. 18 Oklahoma
Oregon St (+13) at No. 19 Arizona St
Houston (+16) at No. 20 Louisville
Indiana (+23) at No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 23 Miami (-3) at Duke
Last Week:7-79-510-48-6
Year-To-Date:91-84-388-87-387-88-391-84-3

 

Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 12 Picks
Post date: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/2013-pac-12-week-12-preview-and-predictions
Body:

There is no marquee top-five showdown out West like last weekend, but Week 12 features critical survival games for much of the league’s contenders. Oregon must survive against upset-minded Utah with their star quarterback’s health in question. UCLA must hold serve at home against a very talented Huskies squad. The same for both Arizona and Arizona State in the desert against two excellent passing attacks.

But the Stanford Cardinal will have the toughest task of the week now as the top team in the league. One loss will send Oregon to the Pac-12 title game and a road trip to USC is the final Pac-12 test for David Shaw’s squad (no disrespect to Cal).

Week 12 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

Pac-12 Week 12 Game Power Rankings

1. Stanford (-3.5) at USC (8 p.m. ET, ABC)
Ed Orgeron has done some great things with USC since taking over for Lane Kiffin, but this will be by far his toughest challenge to date. His offense has been scoring nearly 40 points per game in four Pac-12 wins but must face the hottest defense in the nation. The Cardinal have posted 15.0 sacks and forced five turnovers against UCLA, Oregon State and Oregon over the last three weeks. Cody Kessler has shown marked improvement but will need to distribute the football quickly to a host of talented weapons because he won’t have much time to throw — USC ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed (23.0). Without Jim Harbaugh or Pete Carroll here to spark the rivalry, this matchup has lost some luster, but Orgeron is making sure the Trojans go down swinging this year. An upset win over Stanford puts USC right in the heart of the Pac-12 South race at 5-2. Look for another heavy dose of Tyler Gaffney from Stanford, who posted a school-record 45 carries last week in the upset of Oregon.

2. Washington (+3) at UCLA (Fri., 9 p.m., ESPN2)
The Rick Neuheisel Bowl carries some serious weight for both coaching staffs. Jim Mora still has eyes on the Pac-12 South title as games with Arizona State and USC loom large in the final two weeks. And Steve Sarkisian needs to prove he can do better than 7-6. Both teams found out the hard way how good Stanford and Oregon were but both have bounced back nicely with back-to-back conference wins. Two red-hot quarterbacks will go head-to-head and should steal the headlines Friday night. Washington’s Keith Price has two consecutive 300-yard passing games and hasn’t thrown a pick in three games, while UCLA’s Brett Hundley has seven total touchdowns in his last two games. Both defenses have star power, both teams play physical football and both teams desperately need a win. Sounds like a recipe for a primetime thriller.

3. Oregon State (+13.5) at Arizona State (9:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Strangely enough, Mike Riley’s team might actually be excited about playing on the road this weekend. The Beavers are 4-0 on the road and just 2-3 in Corvallis in 2013. However, OSU should be careful what it wishes for as Arizona State is one of the best home teams in the nation. The Sun Devils are averaging 51.2 points and 544 yards of offense in five home games as opposed to 34.3 points and 423.5 yards per game away from Sun Devils Stadium. Oregon State has won four out of five in this matchup but lost its last trip to Tempe, 35-20 in 2011. Quarterback play will be the difference. Sean Mannion, the nation’s leading passer, has struggled of late, failing to reach 300 yards each of the last two games. Taylor Kelly, meanwhile, has scored two rushing touchdowns in three straight games and has a 10:2 TD:INT ratio during the four-game winning steak. More importantly, he led his team on two long, fourth-quarter scoring drives to come from behind last weekend in Salt Lake City. With an extra week, expect the Beavers to be ready to play, but Mannion will have to be flawless to pull the upset.

4. Utah (+25) at Oregon (4 p.m., FS1)
Want to know how important Marcus Mariota is to the Ducks? Oregon is a 25-point favorite if he plays and a seven-point favorite if he doesn’t. The star quarterback is worth roughly three touchdowns and his partially torn left MCL is all anyone is talking about in Eugene. Mariota claims he is “for sure” ready to go against Utah but he clearly wasn’t the same player against Stanford as he had been all season. He posted a career-low minus-16 yards on the ground in the loss. The Ducks still have a very real shot at the Pac-12 title should Stanford slip up this weekend on a tough road trip to USC. Utah is fighting for its postseason life and continues to come up short. Last week's 20-19 defeat at the hands of Arizona State was the Utes' third Pac-12 loss by one score or less. Travis Wilson will have to play the best game of his young career to have a chance to upset Oregon — Mariota or not.

5. Washington State (+13) at Arizona (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
After three straight wins, the Wildcats came up five points short of entering the Pac-12 South championship mix last week against UCLA. A win over Wazzu this weekend is a must if Rich Rodriguez wants to post a winning record in 2013 — Arizona gets Oregon and Arizona State in the final two weeks. His dynamic backfield of B.J. Denker and Ka’Deem Carey will be on full display against a Cougars defense that has allowed 665 yards rushing in its last two games. The bye week won’t be enough time for Mike Leach to stop Washington State’s three-game losing streak.

6. Cal (+3) at Colorado (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Someone has to win, right? The Buffs and Bears are a combined 0-13 in Pac-12 play this season under first-year head coaches thus far. Neither team has really challenged anyone in the league but both Mike MacIntyre and Sonny Dykes are well-respected offensive minds. This is likely the only chance for either to get a conference win.

Pac-12 Week 12 Pivotal Players:


Listen to Athlon Sports writers Braden Gall and David Fox preview discuss where Stanford should be ranked and Marcus Mariota's Heisman hopes on this week's Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast.
1. USC’s offensive line
The Trojans haven’t been able to protect the quarterback this year, ranking 83rd nationally in sacks allowed per game (2.3 spg). Stanford’s loaded front seven is surging right now, ranking fourth nationally in sacks per game (3.3 spg). Stanford has allowed just 153 combined rushing yards to UCLA, Oregon State and Oregon the last three weeks, so the Trojans' offensive line will have to play its best game of the season to 1) protect the quarterback and 2) run the football effectively. 

2. Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
The forgotten man on the Stanford offense will be called upon to make plays against a USC defense that has been excellent this season, particularly at home. USC is seventh nationally with 30.0 sacks on the season and is giving up just 86 yards rushing per game at home. So if the Men of Troy are geared up to stop workhorse Tyler Gaffney, it becomes Hogan’s responsibility to make plays through the air — something he hasn’t needed to do of late. Hogan has just 15 completions over the last two games.

3. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
One of the hottest names in college football could be in for yet another big performance against Washington. Jack is a star freshman linebacker with 63 total tackles this season but Mora has decided to give him a look on offense with his depleted depth chart. Jack answered the call with 120 yards rushing and a key TD last week in Arizona. The freshman two-way star has elite athletic ability, so keep an eye on No. 30 all night.

4. Washington’s linebackers
Shaq Thompson, Princeton Fuimaono and John Timu are the top three tacklers for the Huskies this season. They have faced Marcus Mariota, Taylor Kelly, Nathan Scheelhaase, B.J. Denker and Kevin Hogan already and UCLA’s Brett Hundley is as good as any of them. Reading run-pass quickly and effectively will be huge for U of W this weekend against a team lacking in skill position talent.

5. Will Sutton, DL, Arizona State
If the Sun Devils can stop the run and get pressure on quarterback Sean Mannion, they will win going away at home against the Beavers. Oregon State has lost two straight due in large part to ineffective pass protection and a lack of any balance. The Beavers have allowed 10.0 sacks and rushed for 109 combined yards in two straight losses. Sutton is coming off one the best games of his season after 9.0 tackles, 1.0 for a loss and a critical interception in the one-point win over Utah.

Pac-12 Week 12 Predictions:

GameBraden GallMitch LightSteven LassanDavid Fox
Stanford (-3.5) at USCStanford, 31-13USC, 24-20Stanford, 27-20Stanford, 28-17 
Washington (+3) at UCLAUCLA, 34-31 UCLA, 37-30UCLA, 34-30UCLA, 31-21 
Oregon St (+13.5) at Arizona StArizona St, 45-21Arizona St, 28-20Arizona St, 41-31 Arizona St, 42-31
Utah (+25) at OregonOregon, 42-17Oregon, 31-17Oregon, 45-17Oregon, 31-13
Washington St (+13) at ArizonaArizona, 41-28Arizona, 38-23Arizona, 41-27Arizona, 35-21
Cal (+3) at ColoradoColorado, 42-38Cal, 37-30Colorado, 38-34Colorado, 32-28
Last Week: 4-14-14-13-2
Year-to-date:65-1463-1667-1261-18

 

Teaser:
2013 Pac-12 Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-week-12-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The Legends Division championship hangs in the balance this weekend in Lincoln as Michigan State visits Nebraska. Certainly, the Golden Gophers may still be in the mix, but for all intents and purposes, the winner in this game will represent the division against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Otherwise, there isn’t a whole lot to watch in the Big Ten this weekend. Minnesota and Iowa are off and will get to watch the Spartans-Huskers game from the couch.

Week 12 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12Pac-12 | SEC

Big Ten Week 12 Game Power Rankings:

1. Michigan State (-6.5) at Nebraska (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
The biggest star of a thrilling 28-24 Nebraska win in East Lansing last season won’t be available for Bo Pelini in this winner-take-all Legends Division showdown. Quarterback Taylor Martinez, who is likely out for the rest of the year, rushed for 205 yards, threw for 160 and scored all four Huskers touchdowns in a big-time, fourth-quarter comeback last season. Having said that, Pelini is 5-0 this season when Martinez doesn’t start. Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg III will likely split time against what is statistically the best defense in the nation. Michigan State has had two weeks off since holding Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing and has allowed just nine points in their last three games. Look for either Nebraska signal-caller to lean heavily on the Big Ten’s leading rusher, Ameer Abdullah (134.8 ypg). The Black Shirts defense, however, will likely be the deciding factor, having posted its best performance in years against Michigan in Ann Arbor last weekend (175 yards allowed). The Spartans are 0-7 all-time against Nebraska.

2. Michigan (+3) at Northwestern (3:30 p.m., BTN)
Both teams in this game are reeling and teetering on the brink of complete collapse. Michigan has lost only once since 2000 to the Wildcats but this is a must-win situation for Pat Fitzgerald if he wants to return to the postseason. Northwestern has had two weeks to stew over a painful Hail Mary defeat in Lincoln and should be healthier than it has been all season. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have combined for minus-69 yards rushing the last two weeks and offensive coordinator Al Borges is on the hot seat after 343 yards of offense and 19 total points over the last two games. Michigan has lost three out of four and is in danger of losing out the rest of the way. The Maize and Blue have to visit Iowa and host Ohio State to cap the year. Quarterback Devin Gardner is still leading the Big Ten in total offense but has been tentative and inefficient lately, so Borges needs to get his signal-caller back on track.

3. Indiana (+21.5) at Wisconsin (Noon, ESPN2)
The Hoosiers rank 122nd in total defense (519.1 ypg), 109th in rushing defense (217.4 ypg) and 113th in scoring defense (37.4 ppg). This is the defense Kevin Wilson is taking with him to Madison to face one of the nation’s most powerful rushing attacks. Melvin Gordon and James White are both top five in the Big Ten in rushing and quarterback Joel Stave has played just well enough to give UW plenty of balance. To reach a bowl game for just the second time since 1993, Wilson likely has to figure out a way to upset the Badgers as Indiana needs two wins over its final three with a road trip to Ohio State looming next week.

4. Ohio State (-32) at Illinois (Noon, ESPN)
The last time Illinois topped Ohio State, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 in the nation and Juice Williams led the Illini to an improbable 28-21 win in the Horseshoe. Otherwise, OSU has owned this series, winning 13 of the last 16 overall dating back to 1995. There is no chance at a similar upset this time around as Tim Beckman has lost every Big Ten game he has coached in over his first two campaigns. Illinois has lost 18 straight conference games overall. Nathan Scheelhaase posted nearly 500 yards of offense last weekend against Indiana and the Illini still couldn’t get a win. So how will this team even be competitive against the No. 3 team in the nation?

5. Purdue (+21.5) at Penn State (Noon, BTN)
This is exactly what the doctor ordered in Happy Valley. Penn State has alternated wins and losses for eight weeks in a row, and after losing to Minnesota on the road last weekend, all signs points to an easy win in Week 12. With Nebraska and Wisconsin looming in the final two weeks, a home win over a completely uncompetitive Purdue team is a must if Bill O’Brien wants to get his team to “bowl eligibility” — even if the Lions are not allowed to play in one. A win over the Boilermakers guarantees that O’Brien won’t have a losing record in either of his first two seasons in Happy Valley — an impressive thought considering the heavy-handed NCAA sanctions. 

Big Ten Week 12 Pivotal Players


Listen to Athlon Sports writers Braden Gall and David Fox discuss the winner-take-all matchup between Nebraska and Michigan State and debate where Ohio State should be ranked in this week's Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast.
1. Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
The Huskers' defensive lineman exploded for 3.0 sacks last week in the upset win over Michigan on the road. He leads the league in sacks and will be counted on once again this weekend to pressure the quarterback. Michigan State brings a balanced attack on offense, topping 200 yards rushing and passing in two of the last four games. If Connor Cook has time to throw, it could be a long day for the improving but spotty Nebraska defense.

2. Nebraska’s offensive line
Sparty gets after the quarterback and will shut down the running game, so it falls to the Nebraska front line to protect an inexperienced quarterback and generate running lanes for Ameer Abdullah. The Big Ten’s leading rusher has come up big in huge spots over the last two weeks for the Huskers, but he and his offensive line will have their toughest test of the season. Michigan State is giving up 43.4 yards per game rushing, 210.2 yards per game of offense and 11.6 points per game. Meanwhile, Nebraska is in the top 30 nationally in both rushing offense (246.8 ypg, 15th) and sacks allowed (12.0, 27th).

3. Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
The Spartans' running back has developed into one of the top workhorses in the Big Ten, posting four straight 100-yard games over the last month. He has scored six rushing touchdowns over that span and has carried the ball 95 times. Nebraska is coming off of its best defensive effort in years, after holding Fitzgerald Toussaint to just six yards on nine carries last weekend. Look for Langford to once again be the focal point of the Spartans offense this weekend.

4. Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan
Let’s not overthink this one. Gardner is easily the most important player in the Michigan-Northwestern battle. He leads the Big Ten in total offense but has failed to produce during the Wolverines' two-game losing streak. He posted a season-low 164 yards of offense against Michigan State and then posted exactly 164 yards again in the home loss to Nebraska. He has eliminated his turnovers — just one over the last three games after 14 in the first six — but simply hasn’t produced (0 total TDs in last two games). Gardner produced in a critical spot last year against Northwestern and might have to again to save Michigan’s season.

5. Michigan’s offensive line
Northwestern posted 4.0 sacks against Nebraska in the soul-crushing loss in Lincoln and has had two weeks to prepare for an offense that is clearly lacking at the moment. It falls to Taylor Lewan and company to pick up the slack for a running game that is in shambles. The Wildcats have been punished on the ground in key spots during their five-game losing streak — giving up 208.2 yards rushing per game in Big Ten play.

Big Ten Week 12 Prediction Grid:

GameBraden GallMitch LightSteven LassanDavid Fox
Michigan St (-6.5) at NebraskaMich. St, 27-20Mich. St, 24-20 Mich. St, 27-20Mich. St, 21-17
Michigan (+3) at NorthwesternN'Western, 34-30Michigan, 31-28Michigan, 31-27Michigan, 24-17 
Indiana (+21.5) at WisconsinWisconsin, 45-24Wisconsin, 44-17 Wisconsin, 48-24Wisconsin, 56-28 
Ohio St (-32) at IllinoisOhio St, 52-13 Ohio St, 48-0Ohio St, 55-10Ohio St, 42-14
Purdue (+21.5) at Penn StPenn St, 31-13 Penn St, 28-7Penn St, 34-13Penn St, 35-10
Last Week:4-15-04-14-1
Year-to-date:67-1269-1069-1067-12

 

Teaser:
2013 Big Ten Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-week-12
Body:

The beauty of sports, in particular college football, lies in their complete unpredictability and reality TV-like drama. Here's what might happen in Week 12.

Note: The point of this column is to have some fun and make some outlandish predictions. Please react accordingly.

No Heisman front-runner will throw a pass in the fourth quarter
Jameis Winston, AJ McCarron, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty are the top five names in this week’s Heisman voting. And not one of them will attempt a pass in the fourth quarter this weekend. Mariota has played in only four fourth quarters this year and Oregon will roll Utah at home. Winston has played in just five fourth quarters and Florida State should crush Syracuse at home. Petty has played in just three fourth quarters and Texas Tech should pose no threat this weekend in Waco. And McCarron’s Tide should roll over Mississippi State in the first three quarters. Manziel and Texas A&M are off — so not one of the current five Heisman finalists will throw a pass in the fourth quarter this weekend.

Oklahoma State will win three straight in Austin
The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners have been the big dog on the Big 12 block for years. The Horns are 23-4 all-time against Oklahoma State and are still tied atop the conference standings at 6-0. However, the Pokes will go into Austin and win for the third straight time because of a power rushing attack and a banged-up Texas depth chart. Okie State rushed for 342 yards and 281 yards in its last two road trips — at Iowa State and at Texas Tech respectively — while Texas will be without a variety of key players on both sides of the ball. Take the Cowboys to win an unthinkable three straight on the 40 Acres. The real question might be will new Texas AD Steve Patterson interview Mike Gundy before the Pokes head back to Stillwater?

Cody Kessler will be sacked 10 times
The USC Trojans have played extremely well since switching coaches from Lane Kiffin to Ed Orgeron. In fact, the Men of Troy are 4-0 in the Pac-12 and are scoring nearly 40 points per game. But USC hasn’t protected the QB this year, ranking 93rd in the nation in sacks allowed (23.0). Stanford is fourth in the nation at pressuring the QB, ranking fourth in the nation in sacks per game (3.3 pg). The Cardinal have 15.0 sacks in the last three games and against a depleted USC front, this defense could sack Cody Kessler 10 times.

Will Muschamp will attack a Gamecock
South Carolina will be up by three touchdowns late in the third quarter against Florida and the Gators' offense will turn the ball over... again. And when it does, Muschamp will lose his cool and attack someone, anyone, in Garnet and Black. It may be a player, a coach, a cheerleader or even Cocky the Gamecock. Muschamp’s teams play with a lack of discipline and fierce intensity that reflects their coach’s personality. And staring at a 4-6 record will make Muschamp snap like a twig. I just don’t want to be around him when it happens.

Myles Jack will out-rush Bishop Sankey
UCLA's Jim Mora decided to give his star freshman linebacker a chance to play offense last weekend and Jack responded in a big way. Jack, who has collected 63 tackles this season, carried six times for 120 yards and a touchdown on the road in a key divisional win over Arizona last week. This weekend, Washington and star tailback Bishop Sankey come to town in yet another keep-pace-with-Arizona-State game for UCLA. Sankey is rushing for 145 yards per game but will be held in check by those elite Bruins linebackers, and when Mora gives the ball to Jack (and he will), expect the talented first-year, two-way player to do major damage with his superior athletic ability.

Duke will be in first place in the ACC's Coastal Division by the end of this weekend
The Blue Devils have won five straight games and host division front-runner Miami this weekend in Durham. The Canes are missing Duke Johnson and Duke’s defense is playing as well as it ever has in school history. Both teams sit at 3-2 in the ACC so a win over Miami puts Duke in the driver's seat in the division with two to play. David Cutcliffe’s team won’t have to travel very far, however, as games at Wake Forest and North Carolina are just down the road. It's winner-take-all in Durham this weekend and Duke could be your unlikely front-runner after Week 12.

Wisconsin will have three 100-yard rushers against Indiana
Melvin Gordon is No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing (128.9 ypg) and James White is No. 4 (105.7 ypg) but third-stringer Corey Clement is no slouch either. He has rushed for 407 yards and five scores in six games this year, including two 100-yard games of his own. The Hoosiers have been gashed by the running game all season, ranking 109th nationally at 217.4 yards allowed per game (11th in the Big Ten). Look for a huge number from all three Badgers backs on a team with eyes on a BCS bowl bid.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: Week 12
Post date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 07:17
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-11-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

Each week of the college football season, Athlon Sports will poll some of the nation's best college football people from every region of the country. Each voter offers up a top five and each first-place vote is worth five points. A second-place vote is worth four points, so on and so forth. With 13 voters, a perfect ballot — i.e., 13 first-place votes — would give a player 65 total points.

As expected, Week 11 was a big one for the Heisman Trophy race. Marcus Mariota was shut down by Stanford but an MCL injury clearly played a big role. Johnny Manziel posted five more touchdowns and a boatload of yards but three more turnovers. Bryce Petty stayed unbeaten in a big way. But Alabama's AJ McCarron and his three touchdowns stole the show by crushing rival LSU Saturday night.

Post-Week 11 Voting Results:

 LWPlayerPos.TeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.(2)Jameis WinstonQBFlorida St55741-1
2.(3)Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M5054211
3.(4)Bryce PettyQBBaylor33-238-
4.(1)Marcus MariotaQBOregon2611316
5.(5)AJ McCarronQBAlabama25-2413
6.(6)Jordan LynchQBN. Illinois3---11
7.(ur)Blake BortlesQBUCF2---1-
8.(7)

Ka'Deem Carey

RBArizona1----1

Heisman Headlines:

Stanford Shutdown. Marcus Mariota was grounded for the second straight year by the Stanford Cardinal and it has knocked him out of the Heisman lead. A partially torn left MCL certainly slowed him down as well, but Mariota’s Heisman hopes took a huge hit this weekend. That said, he threw for 250 yards and two scores without turning the ball over on one knee against the No. 5 team in the nation on the road. One loss from the Cardinal and the Ducks are right back in the Pac-12 title driver’s seat.

AJ Shines Again. While the numbers will never be there for McCarron, the Alabama signal-caller has proven that he is much more than just a game-manager. He makes most of the offensive play calls from the line of scrimmage and was excellent again against LSU. He is now 34-2 as a starter and has been at his best against three ranked teams: 693 yards passing, 7 TDs, 1 INT against Texas A&M, Ole Miss and LSU. He is so much more of a leader and architect than fans give him credit for and it should get him to New York in December.

Petty’s Month. The final month of the year has been targeted for Baylor all season. The Bears' back-loaded schedule got started for Petty in a big way after Baylor cruised past No. 10 Oklahoma. Petty accounted for five total touchdowns in the blowout win over the Sooners. Petty is now leading the nation in passing efficiency (210.65) and fifth nationally in total offense (346.9 ypg). Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas remain on the Bears' schedule.

Johnny Manziel Debate. Has Manziel been better in 2013? His passing stats are improved from a year ago: 331.3 ypg this year versus 285.1 last year, 73 percent completion rate this year versus 68 percent last year and 3.1 TD passes per game versus 2.0 last. However, he already has more INTs (11) than he did last year (9) and is averaging significantly less production on the ground: 61.1 ypg and eight TDs this year versus 108.5 ypg and 21 TDs last year. If Manziel doesn’t repeat, however, it will be his mistakes in big games that will cost him. He has four interceptions and four sacks in two home losses thus far.

Dropped Out. Oregon State's duo of Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks both got left out this week. Fresno State's Derek Carr, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina's Connor Shaw dropped out as well.

What to Watch. Jordan Lynch gets one of his hardest tests Wednesday night against Ball State. This is a great matchup that most of the nation will forget to watch. McCarron goes on the road to take on Mississippi State. Both Petty and Winston will host teams with a winning record in Texas Tech and Syracuse respectively, but nether should be tested. Mariota gets back on the field at home against Utah while Manziel is off this weekend. Barring a monumental upset, this weekend shouldn’t shake up the Heisman race too much. Watch out for Shaw this week as South Carolina hosts Florida. The Gamecocks could finish their SEC season at 6-2.

The Voting Panel:

NameOrganizationWebsiteNo. 1
Tom DienhartBig Ten NetworkBigTenNetwork.comJameis Winston
Bryan FischerPac-12 NetworkPac-12.comJohnny Manziel
David FoxAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comJameis Winston
Braden GallAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comJameis Winston
Steven GodfreySB NationSBNation.comJameis Winston
Chris HustonHeisman PunditHeismanPundit.comMarcus Mariota
Steven LassanAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comJameis Winston
Chris LevelRed Raider SportsRedRaiderSports.comJameis Winston
Mitch LightAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comJohnny Manziel
Billy LiucciTexAgsTexAgs.comJohnny Manziel
Dan RubensteinSB Nation/Solid VerbalSolidVerbal.comJohnny Manziel
Josh WardMr. SEC/WNMLMrSEC.comJohnny Manziel
Jim YoungACC Sports JournalACCSports.comJameis Winston

 

Teaser:
College Football: Post-Week 11 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/amazing-stats-nfls-week-10
Body:

Week 10 of the 2013 NFL season is in the books. And as usual, the league wasn’t short on drama. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville earned their first wins of 2013, leaving the NFL with no winless teams and just one unbeaten (Kansas City). Health issues sidelined Denver coach John Fox, but the Broncos survived San Diego’s upset bid. Houston’s Gary Kubiak was also sidelined with health issues, and the Texans’ comeback bid against Arizona fell short. 

Here are the most important, historic, interesting and bizarre stats from Week 10:

151: Total yards of offense for San Francisco
The Carolina Panthers defense made a big statement on Sunday in its 10-9 road win over the 49ers. San Francisco posted just 151 yards of total offense, the lowest total of the Jim Harbaugh era in the Bay (41 games). It marked just the second time Niners were held under 200 yards of offense under Harbaugh (170 versus Baltimore in 2011). Carolina sacked Colin Kaepernick six times and allowed just 2-of-13 third-down conversions. It was the biggest win of Ron Rivera’s coaching tenure with the Panthers and it was the team’s fifth straight win. Additionally, the one-point win was first close win of Cam Newton’s career. In games decided by three points or less, Newton had been 0-5 before Sunday’s win.

63: Calvin Johnson Detroit franchise record TD receptions
Herman Moore has long been the greatest wide receiver in Lions franchise history. He has caught more passes (670) for more yards (9,174) and more TDs (62) than anyone in Detroit football history. Until yesterday. Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns in the huge road win over divisional rival Chicago. He now has 63 career TD receptions and should pass Moore in both yards and receptions in the very near future. Johnson has 8.740 career yards receiving, trailing only Lance Alworth (9,019) for the most by any player in their first 100 games. Johnson’s career average of 87.4 yards per game is No. 1 all-time in NFL history. More importantly, the Detroit Lions are alone in first place in the NFC North for the first time since Week 5 of 2005.

1: Mark Ingram career 100-yard games
Ingram rushed for 3,261 yards and 42 touchdowns in three seasons at Alabama. He won the school’s first ever Heisman Trophy and led his team to a national championship — both as a sophomore. He was a first round pick by the Saints in 2011 for a reason (28th overall). However, 29 games into his NFL career, Ingram had yet to rush for 100 yards. Against Dallas in a classic Superdome beat down, Ingram rushed 14 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. The Saints posted an NFL-record 40 first downs in the win. In fact, it was just the fourth time in his entire career that Ingram has rushed for at least 80 yards. New Orleans is 4-0 when Ingram rushes for at least 80 yards. Drew Brees threw for a Week 10-high 392 yards and four touchdowns in the 49-17 win as the Saints moved to 5-0 at home. 

314: Tavon Austin all-purpose yards against Indianapolis
The No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has been largely irrelevant through the first nine weeks of the season. But the Rams do-everything dynamo showed on Sunday why he was so highly touted coming out of West Virginia in the shocking 38-8 win over the Colts. He caught two passes for 138 yards, returned four punts for 145 yards, returned a kick for 27 yards and ran once for four yards. He scored on a 98-yard punt return, an 81-yard reception and a 55-yard reception. Before Sunday, he had 207 career receiving yards. At age 22, Austin became just one of three players 22 years or younger to score three times from at least 50 yards away in the same game (Gale Sayers in 1965 and Randy Moss in 1998).

10-0: Nick Foles TD-INT ratio over the last two games
One week after throwing seven touchdowns, Nick Foles responded with three more scoring strikes in the key road win over the Packers. It gives Foles 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions over that span, making him only the second play in NFL history to post a 10-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio over a two game stretch. The only player to match that feat was Tom Brady in 2007 when he threw five touchdowns against Dallas in Week 6 and then six touchdown passes in Week 7 without throwing a pick in either game. More importantly, Chip Kelly’s Eagles are tied for the NFC East lead despite an 0-4 home record. Foles is eighth in the NFL with 16 TDs on the season — more than Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Big Ben, Eli Manning or Robert Griffin III — and has yet to throw an interception.

371: Broncos NFL record for scoring in first 9 games
This is one that everyone has been tracking each weekend since Peyton Manning tossed seven touchdowns in Week 1. But the Broncos have set a new record for points scored (371) in a team’s first nine games. Denver is averaging 41.2 points per game after topping San Diego 28-20 on Sunday. The NFL record is 589 points set by the unbeaten Patriots in 2007, which accounts to 36.8 per game. Denver would blow past the previous record and finish with 659 points at their current pace. The previous record for points scored in the first nine games was the 1950 Rams with 358 (39.8) and actually scored more per game that year (38.8) than the ’07 Pats. 

6: Consecutive games Andre Brown has scored a rushing TD
The Giants won their third straight game this weekend by topping Oakland 24-20 in the New Meadowlands. Brown returned to the field for the first time in 2013 since breaking his leg in the final preseason game. He carried 30 times for 115 yards and scored a rushing touchdown in his sixth consecutive game (dating back to 2012). It is the longest active streak in the league and only the fourth such streak in the NFL since 2010 (Stevan Ridley 2012, Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson 2011). After starting the season 0-6, the Giants are now just two games behind the division-leading Cowboys and Eagles.

4: Players to start at QB for Green Bay since 1992
Brett Favre’s first start was Sept. 27, 1992 in a 17-3 win over Pittsburgh. He started 253 consecutive games until Aaron Rodgers took over in 2008. Rodgers had started 86 out of 88 possible games before breaking his collarbone against the Bears two weeks ago. Matt Flynn got the other two starts (one each in 2010 and 2011) and was just the third player to start at QB for Green Bay since 1992 until Seneca Wallace got the start on Sunday against the Eagles. He lasted five passes before getting hurt. Wisconsin product Scott Tolzien played all but one series in the second straight home loss for the Packers. If the Packers do not find another option (which could be Flynn, actually), then the Packers will have as many starting quarterbacks in the last three games as they had in the previous 22 years combined.

Teaser:
Amazing Stats from the NFL's Week 10
Post date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:16
Path: /college-football/amazing-big-ten-college-football-stats-week-11
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True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we scoured the Big Ten to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers from around the conference in Week 11:

More Stats from Week 11: ACC | Big 12 Pac-12 | SEC

Minus-69: Michigan's total rushing yards in the last two games
Michigan posted a school-record minus-48 yards rushing last weekend in the ugly road loss to in-state rival Michigan State. That isn't all that shocking considering how good the Spartans defense has been all year. However, against a Nebraska defense that had allowed 516 rushing yards in its last two games, Michigan once again was held to negative rushing yards. The Maize and Blue totaled minus-21 yards rushing in the 17-13 loss to the Cornhuskers. The loss not only knocks Michigan completely out of the Legends Division race but it snapped the nation's longest home winning streak. Brady Hoke had won 20 consecutive games in The Big House until the Huskers upset the Wolverines on Saturday.

29.0: Nebraska’s Big Ten-leading sacks
The Cornhuskers' Randy Gregory recorded 3.0 sacks against Michigan this weekend and is now leading the Big Ten (6.5) in that category. In fact, Nebraska’s maligned defense is now leading the conference in sacks and is 10th nationally with 29.0 (3.22 per game) after posting 7.0 against the Wolverines. Nebraska has 11.0 sacks in its last two games — critical wins over Northwestern and Michigan.

5-0: Nebraska without Taylor Martinez
Taylor Martinez is the all-time total offense leader in Nebraska school history. And coming into his senior year, he had a chance to put himself into rarefied NCAA statistical air when it comes to dual-threat quarterbacks (7,258 yards passing, 2,975 rushing). But turf toe has limited him to just four games this season so far. Nebraska is 2-2 when Martinez starts and is 5-0 when he doesn’t. Certainly, Ron Kellogg III or Tommy Armstrong Jr. aren’t capable of producing like Martinez, but each player has led a game-winning drive in the waning moments of each of the last two games.

2003: Last year Minnesota won eight games
The Golden Gophers haven’t won eight games since Glen Mason won 10 and led Minnesota to the Sun Bowl in 2003. But with head coach Jerry Kill sidelined with health concerns, the 2013 Gophers squad is becoming one of the feel-good stories in the nation. Minnesota stymied Penn State 24-10 at home for the first win over the Nittany Lions since 2003 and its eighth win of the season. It gives Goldie four straight Big Ten wins after beating Northwestern, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State — its first four-game winning streak in the Big Ten since 1973. Brutal games with rival Wisconsin and division frontrunner Michigan State loom large after the bye week.

46: James White career total TDs
James White rushed 23 times for 147 yards and scored three total touchdowns in the key win over BYU this weekend. He now has 4,147 career yards from scrimmage and 46 total career touchdowns — good for ninth all-time in Big Ten history — and has never really been the starter. Melvin Gordon is the star of the Badgers' backfield this season. He is a projected early-round NFL Draft pick and is eighth in the nation in rushing (128.9 ypg). The two seasons prior, Montee Ball set NCAA records with two Heisman finalist campaigns while the year before Ball and John Clay starred. White is a career backup and could finish as one of the top 10 most productive running backs in Big Ten history.

1,106: Allen Robinson's Penn State single-season receiving record
Penn State’s Biletnikoff Award candidate caught seven passes for 63 yards against Minnesota, pushing his 2013 totals to 73 receptions and 1,106 yards. Bobby Engram held the previous school record when he posted 1,084 yards in 1995. Wisconsin’s Lee Evans (2001) owns the Big Ten single-season record for receiving yards with 1,545 yards. Robinson would need to average 147 yards per game the rest of the way to set the Big Ten mark.

1,262: Totals yards of offense between Illinois and Indiana
The Hoosiers defeated Illinois 52-35 in Bloomington to give Illinois its 19th consecutive Big Ten loss. Indiana posted a season-high 650 yards of offense while the Illini put up 612 yards. Indiana running back Tevin Coleman rushed for a career-high 215 yards — the most by a Hoosier in 10 years — while wideout Cody Latimer set career highs with 11 receptions and 189 yards receiving. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase totaled 495 yards of total offense (450 pass, 45 rush) but it wasn’t good enough as head coach Tim Beckman fell to 0-13 in Big Ten play. Kevin Wilson and IU need to win two of their last three games to get to a bowl.

318: Iowa's season-high rushing yards
The Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz desperately needed to get to a bowl game in 2013 and the 38-14 win over Purdue gave Iowa its sixth win of the year. In true Ferentz fashion, Iowa pounded the football for a season-high 318 yards rushing and season-high 509 total yards of offense. Sophomore tailback Jordan Canzeri was the star of the show, rushing for a career-high 165 yards on 20 carries. Iowa finishes the season with Michigan and Nebraska.

Teaser:
Amazing Big Ten College Football Stats from Week 11
Post date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/amazing-college-football-stats-week-11
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Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

7,997: AJ McCarron's Alabama school-record passing yards
The most underrated two-time national championship quarterback of all time now has the statistics his critics always points to. He passed John Parker Wilson (7,924) on Saturday against LSU to become Alabama's all-time leading passer. With his perfect play against the Tiger (179 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions), McCarron moved to 34-2 all-time as a starter and to within one win of Alabama's all-time wins leader (Jay Barker, 35). He has the stats, he has the wins and he has the talent — he should be the highest drafted Alabama quarterback in May since Richard Todd went in the first round in 1976. Nothing about AJ McCarron says "game manager," and it's time people started acknowledging it. Some more tidbits from Bama's impressive 38-17 win over LSU: Alabama moved to 71-3 under Nick Saban when leading at halftime and to 58-0 since 2008 when rushing for at least 140 yards.

62: Rushing yards by Oregon against Stanford
The Ducks entered Thursday night's showdown with Stanford averaging 301.6 yards rushing per game on 6.7 yards per carry in 2013. But for the second straight season, a stacked Cardinal front seven baffled the dynamic and explosive Ducks rushing attack. Oregon mustered just 62 yards rushing on 2.6 yards per carry in the 26-20 loss on The Farm. It was the first time since the season opener against LSU in 2011 the Ducks have been held to fewer than 100 yards rushing (95). Oregon posted season lows in total yards (312), yards per play (5.4), points scored (20) and first downs (17). News broke just minutes before the game on Thursday that quarterback Marcus Mariota had suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee, so the injury played a huge role in Oregon's struggles. Mariota is now 20-2 as a starter at Oregon with both losses coming at the hands of David Shaw and Stanford.

320: Auburn rushing yards per game in 2013
After 53 rushing attempts, 444 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in a blowout win over Tennessee in Knoxville, Auburn now ranks third in the NCAA with 320.0 yards rushing per game. That is 15 more yards rushing per game under Gus Malzahn this season than the entire offense posted per game last season. Auburn totaled 305.0 yards of offense per game last year, ranking 118th nationally — out of 124 teams. Quarterback Nick Marshall carried for 214 yards against UT, posting the third-best rushing total by an Auburn quarterback in school history behind only Travis Tidwell (222 in 1946) and Cam Newton (217 in 2010). Marshall completed just three passes for 35 yards in the win and Auburn has now completed as many passes as offensive touchdowns scored (11) over the last two games. After scoring 55 against the Vols, Auburn is 17th nationally in scoring offense at 38.6 points per game after scoring just 18.7 per game a year ago — good for 114th nationally. Auburn controls its own destiny with games against Georgia and Alabama looming in the next few weeks.

Minus-69: Michigan rushing yards in the last two games
Michigan posted a school record minus-48 yards rushing last weekend in the ugly road loss to in-state rival Michigan State. That isn't all that shocking considering how good the Spartans defense has been all year. However, against a Nebraska defense that had allowed 516 rushing yards in its last two games, Michigan once again was held to negative rushing yards. The Maize and Blue totaled minus-21 yards rushing in the 17-13 loss to the Cornhuskers. The loss not only knocks Michigan completely out of the Legends Division race but it snapped the nation's longest home winning streak. Brady Hoke had won 20 consecutive games in The Big House until the Huskers upset the Wolverines on Saturday.

115: Aaron Murray SEC-record TD passes
Murray threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-6 cake walk over Appalachian State. He now how thrown more touchdown passes than any player in SEC history, passing Danny Wuerffel (114) for No. 1 all time. Murray is now the all-time SEC leader in passing touchdowns (115), passing yards (12,568) and total offense (12,885). The biggest thing left unfinished on Murray's resume is an SEC Championship. And with a little help from Ole Miss or Texas A&M (one of whom needs to beat Missouri) and a win over Auburn and Kentucky in the next two weeks, Murray will likely get his revenge match in the SEC Championship Game with Alabama.

1945: Last year Vanderbilt won in The Swamp
In fact, the 7-0 Vanderbilt win over Florida in 1945 was the first meeting between the two schools and, before Saturday's 34-17 victory, was the only time Vanderbilt had won in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Commodores hadn't topped the Gators anywhere since 1988 (22 games) and are only 9-35-2 all-time against the Gators. Vanderbilt has now beaten Georgia and Florida in the same season for the first time in school history and it could be devastating for Will Muschamp. The Gators are 4-5 and in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 1990. Florida must win two of the last three games: at South Carolina, Georgia Southern and Florida State. The Dores have to win only one of three to make it to an unprecedented third consecutive bowl: Kentucky, at Tennesse and Wake Forest.

1994: Last year Duke had a winning record
David Cutcliffe took Duke to a bowl game last season for the first time since 1994. With an impressive home win over NC State 38-20, Duke moves to 7-2 on the year and is guaranteed a winning record for the first time since… 1994. The Blue Devils will go to back-to-back bowls for the first time in school history, and after winning five straight, has a chance to win the Coastal Division. Duke won't leave the state the rest of the regular season as it hosts Miami and visits Wake Forest and North Carolina to finish the year. Cutcliffe needs to be mentioned among Art Briles, Gus Malzahn and Gary Pinkel as a National Coach of the Year candidate.

1: Frank Beamer QBs to throw for 300 yards in back-to-back games
Beamer has coached at Virginia Tech for 27 years and has won 222 games, lost 107 times and tied twice. He has coached in 20 consecutive bowl games, has won seven conference championships and has had multiple Offensive Players of the Year under center (Michael Vick, Tyrod Taylor, Bryan Randall, Jim Druckenmiller). But until Saturday's whipping of Miami, he had never had a quarterback throw for at least 300 yards in back-to-back games. And off all the great quarterbacks he has had, it's the embattled and turnover-prone Logan Thomas who got it done by throwing for 386 yards in the 42-24 win over the Canes. He threw for 391 yards in the road loss to Boston College last weekend. The race in the ACC Coastal is now wide open as four teams are tied with two conference losses with three weeks to play.

37.5: USC Pac-12 scoring offense under Ed Orgeron
In three years as a head coach at Ole Miss, Ed Orgeron's offense scored 30 points or more once (38, Northwestern State). In four Pac-12 games as the interim head coach at USC, Orgeron's team has scored at least 30 points three times and is averaging 37.5 points per game. Orgeron is unbeaten in conference play (4-0) as the head coach after topping Cal 62-28 this weekend. The Trojans posted 499 yards of offense and scored three times on special teams. USC sits at 4-2 in the league and is one game behind Arizona State in the Pac-12 South standings.

Teaser:
Amazing College Football Stats from Week 11
Post date: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 07:15
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For the second straight week a feel-good story will get overlooked for a job-saving performance in the Big Ten. Last week a Ron Kellogg III Hail Mary overshadowed a thrilling road win for Minnesota. This week, the Huskers defense stole the show by totally stuffing Michigan on the road while the Golden Gophers continue to rally around a head coach with health concerns to win their fourth straight Big Ten game. Additionally, Iowa gets to bowl eligibility, and Wisconsin posts what might be the best non-conference victory for the entire conference over BYU.

For the second straight week, the Big Ten was one of the more entertaining leagues in the nation. And it sets up a huge final few weeks of Legends Division play.

Here are the Big Ten's Week 11 Superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: James White, RB, Wisconsin
The Badgers running back has more than 3,500 yards rushing and has scored more than 40 times in his career in Madison but has never been the featured back. Against a solid BYU defense, White was the star of the show. He carried 23 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns while catching six passes for 47 yards and another score as a receiver. The Badgers senior is one of the most consistent players to ever play for UW but may never get the recognition he deserves nationally due to his place on the depth chart.

Defensive Player of the Week: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Chris Borland returned to Wisconsin in a big way (13 tackles, 2.0 sacks) and may be your Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, but Gregory was a man among boys in Ann Arbor this weekend and he may be the top challenger to Borland for that honor. The star defensive end finished with four tackles and three sacks for a unit that played its best game in years against Michigan. The Huskers harassed Devin Gardner all game and won a critical game due in large part to Gregory's play. He now leads the Big Ten in sacks (6.5) and is second in tackles for loss (11.5). And not too many defensive linemen are third on their team in tackles (39).

Team of the Week: Nebraska
The Golden Gophers are a great story, and Wisconsin got a great non-conference win. But Nebraska made the most noise in the Big Ten this week. The Huskers rode running back Ameer Abdullah (105 yards rushing, two total TD) on offense to the game winning touchdown but it was the defense that deserves the credit for getting the job done against Michigan (more on that in a second). The win snapped the Wolverines 20-game home winning streak under Brady Hoke and it sets up a de facto Legends Division championship game with Michigan State in Lincoln next weekend.

Coordinator of the Week: John Papuchis, Nebraska
The once-proud Blackshirts defense has fallen on hard times the last few seasons and this weekend could have been a breaking point. Nebraska had allowed 271 yards and 245 yards rushing the last two weeks but Papuchis' unit played the best game of the Huskers season in The Big House. It held held Michigan to minus-21 yards rushing and was able to get critical stops on third down — the Wolverines to 3-of-15 on third downs. Nebraska posted seven sacks and allowed a season-low 175 yards of offense to the Maize and Blue.
Freshman of the Week: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
In a veteran-laden league with few star freshman, Williams was one of the few star first-year players this weekend. But the redshirt freshman tight end has become a big part of the Gophers four-game winning streak. Williams caught a 24-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes of the first half against Penn State that put the game officially out of reach for Minnesota. He finished with two catches, 48 yards and his second straight game with a TD catch. He also is a key blocker for a power rushing attack that is one of the best in the nation (218.5 ypg). Avery Moss (two tackles, one sack) deserves some credit for his performance for the Nebraska defense against Michigan.
Big Ten Post-Week 11 Power Rankings:
 TeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1.(1)9-0, 5-0Byeat Illinois
2.

(2)8-1, 5-0Byeat Nebraska
3.

(3)7-2, 4-1W, BYU, 27-17 Indiana
4.

(4)7-2, 4-1W, Michigan, 17-13 Michigan St
5.

(6)8-2, 4-2W, Penn St, 24-10Bye
6.(5)6-3, 2-3L, Nebraska, 17-13at Northwestern
7.

(8)

6-4, 3-3

W, Purdue, 38-14Bye
8.

(9)4-5, 2-3W, Illinois, 52-35at Wisconsin
9.

(7)5-4, 2-3L, Minnesota, 24-10Purdue
10.

(10)4-5, 0-5ByeMichigan
11.

(11)3-6, 0-5L, Indiana, 52-35 Ohio St
12.

(12)1-8, 0-5L, Iowa, 38-14at Penn St

 

Teaser:
Big Ten Week 11 Recap and Awards
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 14:00
Path: /college-football/2013-pac-12-week-11-awards-power-rankings
Body:

UCLA won a critical Pac-12 South elimination game in Tucson. The USC Trojans quietly have won three straight and looked impressive against Cal. And Arizona State survived a scare in Salt Lake City.

But Week 11 in the Pac-12 belonged to Stanford. David Shaw's bunch put together what is arguably the most impressive performance by any team in the nation when it handled Oregon with surprising ease on Thursday night.

There will be an obvious theme in this week's Pac-12 superlatives.

Offensive Player of the Week: Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford
The Cardinal's win over Oregon was decidedly defensive but Gaffney literally carried his offense on Thursday night. He set a Stanford single-game record by rushing 45 times, breaking Tommy Vardell's previous record of 39 attempts set in 1991. Gaffney finished with 157 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 15 yards. It was the Stanford tailback's fourth straight 100-yard effort, his third straight game with at least 145 yards and his fifth straight game with a rushing touchdown.

Defensive Player of the Week: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
Skov is one of the nation's best leaders and proved it in a big way for the second straight year against Oregon. He posted nine tackles, two tackles for loss and forced two fumbles for a defense that has done now twice what no one else in the nation can seem to do — stop Oregon. The Ducks posted season lows in yards (312), yards per play (5.4 ypp), points (20) and first downs (17). Skov had 10 tackles against the Ducks last season.

Team of the Week: Stanford
There are plenty of big stories out West this weekend but none can compare to the clinic Stanford put on Thursday night against Oregon. For the second straight season, the physical running game and suffocating defense kept the Ducks grounded. The Cardinal pounded the Ducks defense 66 times for 274 yards on the ground while the defense shutdown a banged-up Marcus Mariota. Stanford now has wins over five ranked teams, including every other top Pac-12 contender (Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, Oregon State) with a trip to USC coming up next.

Coordinator of the Week: Derek Mason, Stanford
If the Cardinal defense continues on its torrid pace over the final month of the season, Mason might be a lock for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. Stanford totally stuffed the Ducks, holding Oregon scoreless for the first 50 minutes of play on Thursday night. Mason's unit held OU to less than 100 yards rushing (62) for the first time since LSU held the Ducks to 95 yards in the 2011 season opener. Stanford has 15 sacks in the last three games and has given up a total of 42 points to Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State combined over that span.

Freshman of the Week: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
In a key road division win, UCLA star freshman linebacker Myles Jack posted one of the most impressive stat lines of the season. He is 14th in the league in tackles and fourth among freshmen after posting eight tackles, one for loss, in addition to forcing fumble against a stellar Arizona rushing attack. But what made this performance special was the fact that he played both ways, rushing six times for 120 yards and a 66-yard touchdown. It was an old-school performance and maybe Jim L. Mora has found a stopgap for his depleted running back corps. Jack may have put himself in the lead for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year with his performance on the road Saturday night.

Pac-12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings:

RankTeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1(2)8-1, 6-1W, Oregon, 26-20at USC
2(1)8-1, 5-1L, Stanford, 26-20Utah
3(3)7-2, 5-1W, Utah, 20-19 Oregon St
4(4)7-2, 4-2W, Arizona, 31-26 Washington
5(5)6-3, 3-3W, Colorado, 59-7at UCLA
6(6)7-3, 4-2W, Cal, 62-28Stanford
7(7)6-3, 4-2Byeat Arizona St
8(8)6-3, 3-3L, UCLA, 31-26 Washington St
9(9)4-5, 1-5L, Arizona St, 20-19 at Oregon
10(10)4-5, 2-4Byeat Arizona
11(11)3-5, 0-5L, Washington, 59-7Cal
12(12)1-9, 0-7L, USC, 62-28at Colorado

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 Week 11 Recap and Awards
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-week-11-picks
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Like it or not, Las Vegas rarely gets it wrong, so tracking betting lines should always be a big part of each football weekend — even if there are no bets on the line. It took me a few weeks but I finally gained some ground last week thanks to Georgia, Minnesota and Auburn. I am going back to the SEC for my top pick this week.

2013 Record Against the Spread: 31-23-1 (3-1 last week)

Week 11 Picks of the Week:

Missouri (-14) at Kentucky
The Tigers have been consistently underrated throughout the season. Mizzou’s 7-1-1 record against the spread demonstrates this pretty clearly. Kentucky has yet to win in the SEC under Mark Stoops and simply doesn’t have enough good players to stay competitive with the Tigers. Could Gary Pinkel’s bunch be looking ahead to Ole Miss next week? Possibly. But Pinkel’s team also knows it controls its own destiny in the SEC East and won’t overlook anyone from here on out. Prediction: Missouri -14

BYU (+8) at Wisconsin
The Badgers consistently struggle with dual-threat quarterbacks and BYU’s Taysom Hill is one of the most explosive and talented in the nation. Additionally, this defense is physical and designed to stop a power rushing attack like Wisconsin's. BYU is extremely well coached, battled tested and head coach Bronco Mendenhall knows UW head coach Gary Andersen very well. He is 3-1 against Andersen in his career. The Badgers should still win but there is no reason to think this game won’t be close between two evenly matched teams. Prediction: BYU +8

Texas (-6.5) at West Virginia
The Longhorns lost to WVU last season at home but both teams are wildly different this year. Texas is staring at a 6-0 start in the Big 12 and has put itself into BCS bowl contention. But a win over the Mountaineers is a must. Defensively, this team is much improved under Greg Robinson, allowing just 40 total points in the last three games combined. West Virginia has won once since September and will struggle against a considerably more talented team. Prediction: Texas -6.5

Arizona State (-7) at Utah
The Sun Devils are cruising on offense, having scored at least 53 points in four straight Pac-12 games. Utah is much better at home than on the road but won’t have the offensive firepower to match Arizona State. Todd Graham knows this a must-win situation if he wants to keep his lead in the Pac-12 South so he will allow Taylor Kelly to air it out. Look for another 40-plus points from Sparky. Prediction: Arizona State -7

Week 11 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 Big Ten Pac-12 SEC

Top 25 Picks Against the Spread:

Note: games with FCS opponents won't be included each week

Top 25 GamesMitch LightBraden GallSteven LassanDavid Fox
No. 13 LSU (+12.5) at No. 1 Alabama
No. 2 Florida St (-35.5) at Wake Forest
No. 8 Missouri (-14) at Kentucky
No. 9 Auburn (-7.5) at Tennessee
Virginia Tech (+7) at No. 11 Miami
Kansas (+31) at No. 14 Oklahoma St
Mississippi St (+19.5) at No. 15 Texas A&M
No. 16 Fresno St (-10) at Wyoming
No. 19 UCLA (-2) at Arizona
Houston (+10.5) at No. 21 UCF
No. 22 Arizona St (-7) at Utah
No. 23 Notre Dame (-5) at Pitt
BYU (+8) at Wisconsin
Kansas St (+3) at No. 25 Texas Tech
Last Week:11-38-69-59-5
Year-To-Date:84-77-379-82-377-84-383-78-3

 

Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 11 Picks
Post date: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 07:16
Path: /college-football/lsu-alabama-10-stats-you-need-know
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No. 13 LSU visits No. 1 Alabama in yet another installment of the “Game of the Century.” It marks the fourth meeting between the two SEC powerhouses in two calendar years to the week. This rivalry has elite national championship coaches, stacked rosters of future NFL stars and a rich history.

Before LSU and Alabama gets kicked off on 8 p.m. ET Saturday night (CBS), here is a tasty pregame meal in the form of important, bizarre and historic statistics:

6-1: LSU’s record in the last seven visits to Tuscaloosa
Alabama leads the overall series 47-25-5, has won two straight and four of the last six. However, LSU has won six of the last seven in Tuscaloosa in a series that has seen the road team achieve a bizarre level of success. In fact, the road team has won 11 of the last 17 meetings overall between these two SEC West powerhouses. LSU outlasted Alabama 9-6 in overtime the last time these two got together in Tuscaloosa (2011). Nick Saban is 4-3 against Les Miles since coming to Alabama.

78 and 115: Total TDs allowed by Alabama and LSU since 2009
Since the start of the championship era at Alabama under Nick Saban (2009), Alabama is leading the nation with 78 total touchdowns allowed on defense (62 games). LSU is No. 2 in the nation with 115 total touchdowns allowed on defense (62 games) over that same span. Over the last five seasons, that makes these the toughest two defenses to score on in the nation.

207.3: Odell Beckham Jr.’s SEC-leading all-purpose yards per game
Beckham has been a big-play machine for the Tigers all season and will be a pivotal player come Saturday night. He is second in the nation only to Antonio Andrews of Western Kentucky (227.2 ypg) in all-purpose yards per game. Beckham averages 21.2 yards every time he touches the ball and he gets his hands on it 9.8 times per game. Against an Alabama secondary that has some holes, Beckham and fellow wideout Jarvis Landry will have to come up big in the vertical passing game. Beckham has caught 48 passes for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns on 21.0 yards per catch and has over 700 yards in the return game — including this ridiculous play:

495.7: Yards allowed per game by LSU in road SEC games this year
LSU is No. 3 in the SEC and No. 22 nationally in total defense, allowing 351.7 yards per game in 2013. The Tigers are No. 5 in the SEC and 31st nationally in scoring defense at 21.9 points allowed per game. But in road SEC contests, this unit has been suspect to big plays and big yards. In three conference road games this year, the Bayou Bengals defense is allowing 495.7 yards per game and 32.3 points per game. Georgia and Ole Miss are solid offensive teams but LSU shouldn’t give up 468 yards to Mississippi State no matter where they play.

Week 11 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12SEC

26: Points allowed by Alabama in six games since playing Texas A&M
The Crimson Tide has yet to allow more than 10 points in a game since giving up 42 to Johnny Manziel in College Station in Week 3. Nick Saban’s club shutout both Ole Miss and Arkansas while allowing 10 points to Tennessee, seven to Kentucky and six to Colorado State. Alabama has allowed two touchdowns in six games and is allowing 4.3 points per game since facing the Aggies.

57.8%: LSU’s SEC-leading third-down offense
Third downs will be critical for both teams, as usual, and the Tigers’ offense has been excellent on the important down all season. LSU is leading the SEC and is second nationally only to Louisville (63.4%) by converting 57.8 percent of its third down chances (57-of-99). It won’t be that easy for LSU, however, as Alabama is leading the SEC in third-down defense. It allows opposing teams to convert on third down just 29.5 percent of the time (seventh nationally). Meanwhile, Bama is No. 2 in the SEC in third-down offense (50.4%) while LSU is 61st nationally in third-down defense (38.4%).

33-2: AJ McCarron’s record as a starter
Alabama’s quarterback may never get the Heisman consideration he likely deserves but his ability to win games is unquestioned. He has won 12 straight games, including his second BCS national title last year. His .943 winning percentage is fourth all-time in NCAA history for quarterbacks with a minimum of 30 starts behind only Oklahoma’s Steve Davis (.956), Miami’s Ken Dorsey (.950) and USC’s Matt Leinart (.949). Having said that, both of McCarron’s losses have come at home and one came at the hands of the LSU Tigers the last time they visited The Capstone. Overall in three games against the Tigers, the Bama signal-caller has thrown for 598 yards on 59.5 percent passing (53-of-89) with one game-winning touchdown pass and one interception.

177.07: Zach Mettenberger’s QB rating
Only Johnny Manziel (185.01) has been more efficient throwing the football this season in the SEC than Mettenberger. His 177.07 passer efficiency is a marked improvement from a year ago when he ranked 11th in the SEC at 128.34. His 276.9 yards passing per game are No. 2 to Manziel as well. However, he has struggled of late. Mettenberger has just one touchdown pass in his last two SEC games and has five interceptions in his last two games overall. With an advantage over Alabama on the outside with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Mettenberger becomes the most pivotal player on the LSU offense this weekend. He must play like he did against Georgia (372 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) not Ole Miss (274 yards, TD, 3 INTs).

0: Alabama and LSU players ranked in the top 10 in sacks in the SEC
Freshman A’Shawn Robinson is leading Alabama with 4.0 sacks on the season and is 11th in the SEC. Star nose tackle Anthony Johnson and cornerback Jalen Mills are tied for the LSU team lead with 3.0 sacks this season. It is almost shocking that neither team has a player ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in QB sacks. The Tigers, as a team, have been better at pressuring the quarterback, ranking fifth in the SEC with 20.0 sacks this year. Alabama, however, is 12th in the SEC with just 11.0 sacks on the season. This means Mettenberger may have some time to make big plays with his powerful right arm.

Minus-0.22: LSU’s turnover margin
The Tigers are 12th in the SEC, ahead of only Georgia and Arkansas, in turnover margin in 2013 at minus-0.22 per game. LSU is 88th nationally with just 12 forced turnovers (6 INT, 6 FR) and is 57th nationally with 14 giveaways on the season. Meanwhile, Alabama is No. 2 in the SEC with a plus-0.63 margin per game and No. 3 nationally with just seven turnovers all season. Bama has one turnover in its last two games while the Tigers have given the ball up six times in their last two games.

Teaser:
LSU at Alabama: The 10 Stats You Need To Know
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 14:00
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-week-11-preview-and-predictions
Body:

It will be hard to match the dramatics and excitement of last weekend for the Big Ten. A Hail Mary in Lincoln, overtime comeback in Happy Valley, in-state domination in East Lansing and a back-and-forth final minute in Bloomington made the Big Ten the most entertaining conference in the nation in Week 10.

So what can the league do as an encore presentation this week? How about a historic and critical showdown in Ann Arbor? An unusual and physical non-conference game in Madison? And the next chapter of a potentially magic storybook season in Minneapolis?

Ohio State, Northwestern and Michigan State are off this weekend.

Week 11 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12Pac-12 | SEC

Big Ten Week 11 Game Power Rankings:

1. Nebraska (+7) at Michigan (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
The luster has worn off what many thought could be the biggest Legends Division game of the season thanks to two losses by Michigan over the last three games. Nebraska still controls its own destiny in the division, however, after a Hail Mary saved the day against Northwestern last weekend. Taylor Martinez is once again unlikely to play and that could spell disaster for the Huskers on the road. The Wolverines are a different team in The Big House, averaging 46.6 points per game in Ann Arbor versus just 23.3 on the road. This includes a running game that averages twice as many yards at home (189.2) than on the road (97.7) — which also spells doom for a Black Shirts defense that has allowed 516 yards rushing the last two weeks. No matter where they play, the Maize and Blue have been excellent against the run, and with either Ron Kellogg III or Tommy Armstrong under center, Nebraska will need its running game this weekend more than ever.

2. BYU (+7.5) at Wisconsin (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Wisconsin has hosted one non-conference game in November since 2006 (Cal Poly, 2008), so a visit from BYU this late in the year is unusual to say the least. This will be a much tougher test than the upset-minded Mustangs, however, as the Cougars bring a physical defense and play-making quarterback to Madtown. Quarterback Taysom Hill is sixth nationally in total offense, passing for 252.4 yards and rushing for 105.1 per game. Chris Borland is expected back in the lineup and will be charged with chasing down the dual threat. Quarterback Joel Stave will have to provide balance as the Cougars' front seven, led by star linebacker Kyle Van Noy, will be geared up to stop the explosive Badgers running game. This is a fantastic matchup of strengths between two excellent coaches who know a lot about each other. Bronco Mendenhall and Gary Andersen met four times when Andersen was at Utah State, with BYU taking three out of four from the Aggies.

3. Penn State (+2.5) at Minnesota (Noon, ESPN2)
The Golden Gophers haven’t gotten enough attention for what they have accomplished over the last month. After getting crushed by Iowa and Michigan, the Gophers have won three straight as more than a touchdown underdog. Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson is coming off the best game of his career and returns home with a chance to stay in the Legends Division race on the back of a potent rushing attack. Penn State also has a young quarterback and powerful running game as Christian Hackenberg came through in the clutch and Bill Belton rushed for over 200 yards last week. The Nittany Lions have yet to win a true road game this year and should be prepared for a physical matchup in the Twin Cities. In a bizarre twist, this 12-game series has featured three four-game winning streaks, the most recent one belonging to PSU, who has won four straight since 2004. A win gives Minnesota eight wins for the first time since 2003.

4. Illinois (+10) at Indiana (3:30 p.m., BTN)
The Hoosiers have been stuck on three wins since Oct. 5 and the Illini have been at three wins since September. The combined seven-game losing streak has to come to an end this weekend as each team has few chances at victory the rest of the season. Both teams played well last weekend but lost in heart-breaking fashion. These are the worst two defenses in the league so both Nathan Scheelhaase and Nate Sudfeld should find success under center. Much like last weekend, whichever team has the ball last will get its long-awaited fourth win of the season.

5. Iowa (-15) at Purdue (Noon, BTN)
Kirk Ferentz desperately needs to get to a bowl game and there will be no better chance for Iowa to get bowl eligible than against the Big Ten’s worst team. The Hawkeyes have struggled on offense for the better part of a month, topping 305 yards of offense just once in the last four games and being held to 17 points or fewer three times during that span. Having said that, it shouldn't take much to top the Boilermakers. Purdue has been outscored 114-7 over its last three games, including back-to-back shutouts in the last two.

Big Ten Week 11 Pivotal Players


Listen to Athlon Sports writers Braden Gall and David Fox discuss the exciting Week 10 in the Big Ten and preview the huge slate of action for Week 11 in this week's Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast.
1. Frank Clark, DL, Michigan
The team leader in sacks and tackles for a loss needs to come up big against an excellent Nebraska rushing attack and inexperienced quarterback. He could singlehandedly disrupt the Huskers passing attack and will be asked to clog up lanes and take on blockers so his talented linebackers are free to make plays against Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross and Terrell Newby. Clark didn’t register a single tackle against Nebraska last season.

2. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
Marcus Trotter played very well in place of Borland last weekend in Iowa City, but there is no replacement for one of the best players in school history. And with an explosive, dual-threat quarterback coming to town, Badgers fans better hope Borland’s hamstring is fully healthy. BYU’s Taysom Hill is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, has 953 yards of total offense in his last two games and is coming off a bye week. This will be a difficult challenge for the stingy Badgers defense.

3. Joel Stave, QB, Wisconsin
The Cougars boast an excellent front seven designed to play physical ball and stop the run. It should match up fairly well with Wisconsin’s power rushing attack. It has allowed just four rushing scores all season on the ground, so Stave will have to be efficient and productive in the passing game. Stave has at least two touchdown passes in four straight games and will need to find Jared Abbrederis and Jacob Pedersen to stretch the field.

4. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The Gophers' nose tackle has had an excellent season thus far. He leads his team in tackles for a loss (9.0) and has clogged up the middle of the offensive line all season. But he is playing his best football over the last few weeks and that has coincided with the Gophers' three-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions are coming off one of their best rushing performances of the season after rushing for 250 yards and two scores against Illinois. Hageman will need to be big in the middle once again for Tracy Claeys and Co.

5. Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Certainly, Bill O’Brien will look to run the football against Minnesota, but he must get efficient play from his quarterback as well. Hackenberg has yet to win on the road because he has made some poor decisions against Indiana and Ohio State. Playing within the offense and making the right read will be critical this weekend for this Nittany Lion.

Big Ten Week 11 Prediction Grid:

GameBraden GallMitch LightSteven LassanDavid Fox
Nebraska (+7) at MichiganMichigan, 38-28Nebraska, 34-31Michigan, 34-27Michigan, 35-21
BYU (+7.5) at WisconsinWisconsin, 34-28Wisconsin, 38-28Wisconsin, 27-24 BYU, 28-24
Penn St (+2.5) at MinnesotaMinn., 31-28 Minn., 24-20Minn., 30-27Minn., 27-21
Illinois (+10) at IndianaIndiana, 42-35Indiana, 41-34Indiana, 41-34Indiana, 42-28
Iowa (-15) at PurdueIowa, 38-13Iowa, 30-10Iowa, 34-13Iowa, 31-7
Last Week:6-05-15-16-0
Year-to-date:63-1164-1065-963-11

 

Teaser:
2013 Big Ten Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/2013-pac-12-week-11-preview-and-predictions
Body:

This is what we have all been waiting for. Oregon at Stanford has been targeted all year as arguably the most important game of the season regardless of conference and now it is upon us with all the fanfare and excitement of two top-five teams. And it’s on primetime TV on a Thursday night. Buckle up, folks.

Certainly, Ducks-Cardinal will be electric, but that isn’t the only game to keep an eye on out West this weekend. Both UCLA and Arizona State have tough road tests while Arizona and USC are looking to toss their hats into the Pac-12 South title ring.

Week 11 might be the most important weekend of action in the Pac-12 all season. Oregon State and Washington State are off this weekend.

Week 11 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

Pac-12 Week 11 Game Power Rankings

1. Oregon (-10.5) at Stanford (Thurs., 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
This is the rematch the nation has been waiting for all season long and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota likely feels the same way. Mariota is 20-1 as a starter and hasn’t thrown an interception since the loss to Stanford last season. In fact, he has only gotten better with time, scoring 29 total touchdowns without an interception this season — and he’s leading the Heisman Trophy voting because of it. But he isn’t the only weapon the surging Cardinal defense — one that has 12 sacks in the last two games — will have to contend with on Thursday. De’Anthony Thomas appears to be healthy and Byron Marshall has been electric as the primary ball-carrier (8 TD in last three games). On the flip side, the Ducks defense is once again nationally underrated. It ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.9 ppg) and sixth in takeaways (23) — both of which lead the Pac-12. Each team will run the football but will do so in a totally different fashion so it falls to Mariota and Kevin Hogan, who completed 70 percent of his passes in the road upset win last year, to make big plays down the field. This contest features the last four Pac-12 champs and will likely determine the winner again this season — and possibly much more. Oregon has won four of the last five in Palo Alto.

2. UCLA (-1.5) at Arizona (10 p.m., ESPN)
Once Saturday rolls around, the focus will shift from the North Division to the state of Arizona. The Wildcats and Bruins enter this game with identical records and identical expectations, making this a Pac-12 title elimination game. Rich Rodriguez’ team is surging after three straight wins on the legs of its elite backfield duo. B.J. Denker has posted 762 yards of total offense and five scores from under center in the last two games while Ka’Deem Carey is leading the nation in rushing (153.1 ypg) after 11 straight 100-yard games. Brett Hundley got his Bruins back on track against Colorado after two physical losses to the Ducks and Cardinal. He scored four times and racked up 345 yards of total offense last week. This was a 66-10 UCLA rout in L.A. last season but these two are much more evenly matched in Tucson this weekend.

3. Arizona State (-7) at Utah (4 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
The Utes play well at home and are in desperate need of another Pac-12 victory. But Arizona State is playing at another level on offense in the conference since losing to Stanford in Week 4. The Sun Devils have scored at least 53 points in four straight Pac-12 games and quarterback Taylor Kelly is playing the best football of his career after scoring seven times last week in Pullman. If Todd Graham's team wants to be considered the Pac-12 front-runner, this needs to be a workman-like, thorough victory for ASU. Especially, against a team that hasn’t beaten Sparky since 1976 (nine games).

4. USC (-16.5) at Cal (3 p.m., FOX)
Shockingly, the depleted Trojans are still very much in the Pac-12 South race after an unexpected road win over Oregon State and games with UCLA and Arizona looming. It means that Ed Orgeron’s squad can’t afford to slip up against teams like Cal. The Bears and their 124th-ranked defense (529.8 ypg) are reeling after losing their seventh straight game last week. Despite the injuries and offensive struggles, this should be an easy win for the Men of Troy. So, naturally, expect Sonny Dykes' team to play its best game of the year.

5. Colorado (+28) at Washington (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
After three straight losses, the Huskies bounced back with an easy 41-17 win over Cal at home. Keith Price (271.1 ypg passing) and Bishop Sankey (145.3 ypg rushing) were off last weekend and should have no issue rolling through the porous Buffaloes defense at home. Steve Sarkisian needs to put Colorado away early and get his team prepared for back-to-back road trips to UCLA and Oregon State. Staying healthy this Saturday is critical for a team that needs to win three of its last four to improve on three straight seasons of 7-6 football.

Pac-12 Week 11 Pivotal Players:


Listen to Athlon Sports writers Braden Gall and David Fox preview the showdown between Oregon and Stanford as well as a solid undercard in the Pac-12 in this week's Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast.
 Normally, I try to dig deep for more intriguing matchups from across the league. And while there are some interesting players to watch in the UCLA-Arizona (Jordan James, Scooby Wright) and Arizona State-Utah games (Trevor Reilly, Marion Grice), I find it more appropriate to focus on the gigantic Oregon-Stanford matchup in particular this week.

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
There is no doubt the best player in the nation will be on full display against Stanford. Mariota’s Heisman and BCS national title hopes hang in the balance as he seeks revenge for the only loss in his career. His offense was held to regular-season lows in yards (405) and points (14) in last season's home loss to Stanford while he was held to a career-low one total touchdown. He must be better than 21-of-37 passing (207 yards, TD, INT) to win on The Farm. The Ducks will go as far as Mariota carries them.

2. Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
Charged with stopping the Ducks' complex and diverse offense is the leader of the Cardinal defense. The team’s leading tackler (7.8 per game) posted 10 tackles and 1.0 TFL in the upset win in Eugene last year but means so much more to this team than just stats. His recognition skills will be tested the most by the zone-read-pass-run option Mariota brings to the table. One bad read and Oregon will make you pay in a big way. The pressure is on the Cardinal linebackers and Skov in particular this week.

3. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
Offensively, David Shaw wants to run the football and keep Oregon’s offense off the field. Everyone including Mark Helfrich knows this. Fans can bet that Nick Aliotti will scheme to stop Tyler Gaffney and the Cardinal O-line, forcing Kevin Hogan to make plays down the field. It falls to star wideout and big-play specialist Montgomery to stretch the defense. He has posted at least one catch of 30 yards or more in six of eight games and has two kickoff return touchdowns of at least 99 yards.

4. Ricky Havili-Heimuli and Wade Keliikipi, DT, Oregon
Tony Washington is having an excellent season rushing the passer off the edge, but it’s the heart of the Oregon defensive line that will be under fire this week. Stanford likes to line up with multiple tight ends and multiple fullbacks and run between the tackles, putting pressure on the heart of the defense. This means the 315-pound Havili-Heimuli, who is filling in for the injured Arik Armstead, and the 300-pound Keliikipi will need to play big up front. The duo played excellent football against UCLA, combining for 10.0 tackles in the win two weeks ago.

5. Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
If Mariota and the rest of his electric backfield mates can make it past Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov, it falls to Reynolds to act as the last line of defense for Stanford. The All-American safety knows that being one foot out of place against Oregon can mean six points for the Ducks on any play, so his ability to fill against the run while piloting the secondary against an underrated passer like Mariota will be critical. He had six tackles against the Ducks last year.

Pac-12 Week 11 Predictions:

GameBraden GallMitch LightSteven LassanDavid Fox
Oregon (-10.5) at StanfordOregon, 27-21Oregon, 34-21 Oregon, 27-24 Oregon, 35-28 
UCLA (-1.5) at ArizonaUCLA, 38-34UCLA, 34-20 UCLA, 34-30 Arizona, 28-24 
Arizona St (-7) at UtahArizona St, 45-21 Arizona St, 28-10Arizona St, 45-24Arizona St, 38-28
USC (-16.5) at CalUSC, 24-13USC, 38-10USC, 38-17 USC, 31-13 
Colorado (+28) at WashingtonWash., 52-17Wash., 41-7Wash., 48-20Wash., 42-21
Last Week: 3-13-13-13-1
Year-to-date:61-1359-1563-1158-16

 

Teaser:
2013 Pac-12 Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-10-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

Each week of the college football season, Athlon Sports will poll some of the nation's best college football people from every region of the country. Each voter offers up a top five and each first-place vote is worth five points. A second-place vote is worth four points, so on and so forth. With 13 voters, a perfect ballot — i.e., 13 first-place votes — would give a player 65 total points.

With five of the top 10 teams and seven and of the top 20 in the rankings off last weekend, nothing really changed in the Heisman standings. In fact, the top six didn't change at all in any way. The top two still stand above the rest as Marcus Mariota didn’t play and Jameis Winston was human (325 yards, TD, 2 INT) instead of superhuman against previously unbeaten Miami. Johnny Manziel posted huge numbers… against UTEP. And some small school stars continued to post huge numbers for their unbeaten teams.

Something tells me, however, that the Athlon Sports Heisman balloting could shift dramatically after Week 11.

Post-Week 10 Voting Results:

 LWPlayerPos.TeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.(1)Marcus MariotaQBOregon6312-1--
2.(2)Jameis WinstonQBFlorida St49-103--
3.(3)Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M4113711
4.(4)Bryce PettyQBBaylor17--162
5.(5)AJ McCarronQBAlabama9--122
6.(6)Jordan LynchQBN. Illinois4----4
7t.(ur)Connor ShawQBS. Carolina2---1-
7t.(ur)Ka'Deem CareyRBArizona2---1-
7t.(ur)Teddy BridgewaterQBLouisville2---1-
7t.(8)Brandin CooksWROregon St2---1-
7t.(ur)Derek CarrQBFresno St2----2
7t.(7)Sean MannionQBOregon St2----2

Heisman Headlines:

All. Bets. Are. Off. To quote one of the greatest movies ever made, all bets are off this weekend. Week 11 is where the Heisman Trophy should be won and lost. Oregon and Marcus Mariota visit No. 5 Stanford. AJ McCarron and Alabama host No. 13 LSU. Bryce Petty and the Bears get No. 10 Oklahoma at home. Mariota is 20-1 as a starter and hasn’t thrown an interception since losing to Stanford at home last November. McCarron has had two career-defining and BCS title-winning moments against the Tigers. Petty has played one tough game in his entire career and the battle with the Sooners is just the first in a month of brutal tests for the Bears' signal-caller. Sit back and enjoy Week 11, folks, it should be fun.

Tough as Nails. South Carolina’s Connor Shaw is an absolute pleasure to watch play. He is a leader, hard-nosed, fights through injury and is a winner. He is 23-5 as a starter and is coming off yet another stellar performance against Mississippi State. He threw four touchdowns in the blowout win over the Bulldogs and didn’t turn the ball over. It gives him 21 total touchdowns and only one interception on the season. He also has a signature Heisman moment by leading Carolina from behind on the road on one leg against Mizzou. The Carolina signal-caller deserves more Heisman mention if MAC and Mountain West players are getting votes.

Small School Stars. Derek Carr and Jordan Lynch are the prized gems of “mid-major” football this season as both Fresno State and Northern Illinois are unbeaten. Lynch threw for 160 yards, rushed for 119 yards and scored five total touchdowns in the blowout win over UMass. Carr threw for 487 yards and three touchdowns over Nevada. Lynch is fourth in the nation with 1,150 yards rushing and Carr is third in passing with 3,061 yards. Both have big showdowns looming against Ball State (Nov. 13) and Wyoming (Nov. 9) in the next 10 days. Lynch has been getting votes for most of the 2013 season but Carr appeared this week on two ballots.

New Faces. In addition to Connor Shaw and Derek Carr showing up, Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey shows up this week. The Wildcats running back is leading the nation in rushing (153.1 ypg) and posted his 11th consecutive 100-yard game. Rich Rodriguez’ team has won three straight in the Pac-12 and two straight on the road. With UCLA, Oregon and Arizona State on the slate in November, Carey — and possibly quarterback B.J. Denker — could gain some Heisman notoriety.

Dropped Out. Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon carried just 17 times for 62 yards while James White (130 yards, 2 TD) was the star of UW’s win over Iowa. Mike Evans caught just four passes for 46 yards and a TD against lowly UTEP. Washington’s Bishop Sankey was off and fell completely out of sight and mind.

The Voting Panel:

NameOrganizationWebsiteNo. 1
Tom DienhartBig Ten NetworkBigTenNetwork.comMarcus Mariota
Bryan FischerPac-12 NetworkPac-12.comMarcus Mariota
David FoxAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comMarcus Mariota
Braden GallAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comMarcus Mariota
Steven GodfreySB NationSBNation.comMarcus Mariota
Chris HustonHeisman PunditHeismanPundit.comMarcus Mariota
Steven LassanAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comMarcus Mariota
Chris LevelRed Raider SportsRedRaiderSports.comMarcus Mariota
Mitch LightAthlon SportsAthlonSports.comMarcus Mariota
Billy LiucciTexAgsTexAgs.comJohnny Manziel
Dan RubensteinSB Nation/Solid VerbalSolidVerbal.comMarcus Mariota
Josh WardMr. SEC/WNMLMrSEC.comMarcus Mariota
Jim YoungACC Sports JournalACCSports.comMarcus Mariota

 

Teaser:
College Football: Post-Week 10 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-week-11
Body:

The beauty of sports, in particular college football, lies in their complete unpredictability and reality TV-like drama. Here's what might happen in Week 11.

Note: The point of this column is to have some fun and make some outlandish predictions. Please react accordingly.

Oregon will be the No. 1 team in the nation
The Ducks and Florida State Seminoles have been flip-flopping for No. 2 nationally ever since the first release of the BCS. However, after Oregon visits No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night, the Ducks will not only put the Noles in the rearview but No. 1 Alabama as well. The Ducks are better on both sides of the ball this year and Stanford has been wildly inconsistent on offense. It will be a great game but Oregon will pull away in the second half. Meanwhile, the Tide could struggle against LSU — a team that is 6-1 in its last seven trips to Tuscaloosa. Should Alabama struggle, or even lose to the Bayou Bengals, then Oregon has a chance to be the No. 1 team in the nation come Sunday evening.

Auburn will rush for 400 yards in Knoxville
The Tigers lead the SEC in rushing offense at 306.2 yards per game this season. The Volunteers are dead last in the SEC in rushing defense at 201.7 yards allowed per game. Put those two together and add a freshman quarterback for Tennessee and odds are Auburn rolls up a big number on the ground. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has been dinged up but tailback Tre Mason has picked up the slack. He carried a career-high 32 times for a career-high four touchdowns and posted his second-best career rushing total of 168 yards last week against Arkansas. Mason is leading the SEC in rushing TDs (13) and is No. 3 in rushing (921 yards). 

Oklahoma will hold Baylor to half its scoring average… and still lose
The Bears lead the nation in scoring and total offense with 63.9 points and 717.3 yards per game. Oklahoma is a top 10 team and has lost only once to Baylor in school history. That, of course, came in 2011 when Robert Griffin III won the Heisman by leading Baylor past the Sooners in dramatic fashion. Bryce Petty has a similar opportunity this Thursday night. Baylor will score no more than 31 points against the best defense it has faced all season but will still win as OU struggles to score once again. It won’t be enough to win Petty a stiff-armed trophy but it keeps Baylor in the national title hunt.

Arizona and UCLA will combine for 10 rushing TDs
Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker is fifth in the Pac-12 with 11 rushing touchdowns after scoring five times on the ground during Arizona’s three-game winning streak. His backfield mate Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher, is sixth in the league with 10 rushing scores. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley is 11th in the Pac-12 with six rushing touchdowns and Bruins tailback Jordan James, who returned last week, is 13th in the league with five rushing scores. Don’t be shocked in a high-scoring game if these two teams don’t combine for double-digit rushing touchdowns.

Logan Thomas and Stephen Morris will throw eight INTs
Virginia Tech and Miami square off in Coral Gables this Saturday in a Coastal Division elimination game. Both have extremely talented signal-callers who have fallen on hard times. Thomas has turned the ball over eight times in the last two games — both Tech losses — including six interceptions. Morris has thrown eight interceptions in the last three games. Thomas leads the ACC with 12 INTs and Morris is tied for second with Virginia’s David Watford with 10 on the year. Together, they average 2.5 interceptions per game, but with two solid defenses, don’t be surprised if the duo combines for seven or eight turnovers.

Minnesota will be 8-2 this year
Seriously, read that again. With a win at home against a three-loss Penn State team this weekend, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will move to 8-2. Four of those wins will have come without the services of head coach Jerry Kill. The Gophers haven’t won eight games in a season since 2003 and haven’t posted a winning record since '08. This after starting Big Ten play with two losses to Iowa and Michigan by a combined score of 65-20. Read that headline again: Minnesota will be 8-2. Bill O’Brien must be asking himself: "In order to conquer him, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, to look like one. I got inside this dude’s pelt and crawl around for a few days. Who is the gopher’s eye?”

Houston will be the only unbeaten in AAC play
This would easily be one of the most outrageous predictions had it been made in the summer. Louisville has already been upset by UCF, leaving the Knights and the Cougars as the lone unbeatens in AAC play left this fall. And Houston will face the Knights this weekend in Florida. Houston has scored a point in all 32 quarters it has played this season and has scored at least 35 points in three consecutive games. Houston and star freshman quarterback John O’Korn will top Central Florida and Georgia O’Leary to remain as the league’s last unbeaten team in league play. The Cougars also will score in each quarter, pushing their miraculous streak to 36 quarters with at least one point.

Arizona State will score 50 points for the fifth straight Pac-12 game
The Sun Devils have been cruising on offense of late. Arizona State scored 62 against USC and got Lane Kiffin fired. It followed that up with 54 against Colorado, 53 against Washington and 55 against Washington State. In it’s last two home games, however, Utah has gone toe-to-toe with two of the best teams in the Pac-12 in UCLA and Stanford, including a win over the then-No. 5 Cardinal the last time the Utes played at home. Utah allowed just 260 yards of offense last weekend but won’t be able to stop ASU. Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly has been on a tear of late, scoring seven times last weekend, and torched the Utes for 326 yards and three touchdowns last season in Tempe. Look for ASU to impress on the road in a tough place to play against a solid defense.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: Week 11
Post date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/amazing-stats-nfls-week-9
Body:

Winning games and breaking records becomes secondary in short order when our loved one's health become a concern. So the most important stat from Week 9 in the NFL is that two NFL families — Denver and Houston — are focused on the health of their head coaches. The Broncos' John Fox will undergo heart valve replacement surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season, at minimum. The Texans' Gary Kubiak had a scary episode at halftime of Sunday night's game with the Colts and was taken to the hospital. Both men are doing fine and should recover safely.

So no matter how important, interesting, historic and bizarre thet stats are from Week 9, two is the biggest number of the weekend. However, here are some others to consider:

7: Nick Foles' NFL single-game record TD passes
Seven also is the number of quarterbacks in NFL history who have ever thrown seven touchdown passes in a game. Foles was electric against the Raiders, throwing for 406 yards, those seven scoring strikes and only six incompletions in the 49-20 win over Oakland. And he played in just one series in the fourth quarter. Foles joins Sid Luckman (1943), Adrian Burk (1954), George Blanda (1961), Y.A. Tittle (1962), Joe Kapp (1969) and Peyton Manning (2013) as the only players in history to accomplish the 7-TD trick. So after 43 seasons without a single seven-touchdown game, the 2013 season has featured two such performances. Seven also is the same number of passing touchdowns the Raiders have through eight games this season.

3: Overtime NFL safeties
The Dolphins, who had lost four straight since a 3-0 start, were leading 17-3 late in the third quarter on Thursday night. Andy Dalton and the Bengals rallied to send the game into overtime tied at 20. With 6:38 left in the extra frame, star end Cameron Wake made the play of the season for the Fish when he sacked Dalton in the end zone to end the game with a walk-off safety. Wake finished with 5.0 tackles, 2.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks. It was just the third such overtime safety in NFL history. The Bears beat the Titans 19-17 in 2004 and the Vikings topped the Rams 23-21 in 1989. Dalton finished with 338 yards passing, his fourth consecutive and eighth career 300-yard effort.

55 and 610: Steelers franchise-record points and yards allowed
The depleted Patriots offense has struggled for most of the 2013 season. New England hadn’t scored more than 30 points in any game and had failed to reach 300 yards of offense in three of its last four. Yet, against a historically stingy Steelers defense, the Pats exploded for 55 points and 610 yards of offense. It was the most points and yards a Pittsburgh team had allowed in franchise history. The Steelers (2-6) haven’t been ranked outside of the Top 20 in points allowed in a season since 1991 when they gave up 21.5 per game. It is currently 23rd in scoring defense at 26.0 ppg. Since Dick LeBeau took over as defensive coordinator in 2004, the Steelers have finished outside of the top six in points allowed just twice — 11th in 2006 and 12th in '09.

22-4: Tony Romo's career record in November
The Cowboys got the ball with 2:44 left in the game, trailing Minnesota by three. Romo led a nine-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to defeat the Vikings. It was his 22nd career win in 26 career starts in the month of November — the best record for a quarterback in the Super Bowl era (min. 20 starts). He finished with 337 yards passing and two touchdowns in the critical, come-from-behind win. Romo is fifth in the NFL in passing with 2,553 yards and third in touchdown passes with 20, while no one has attempted more passes than his 346.

8-33: Record of teams the Panthers have defeated
Cam Newton and the Panthers are 5-3 and poised to compete for a playoff spot this fall. Yet, the Panthers have yet to beat a team with a winning record, as the five teams Carolina has defeated are a collective 8-33. Tampa Bay (0-8), Minnesota (1-7), Atlanta (2-6) and the Giants (2-6) have combined to win four games in 27 tries. Only the Rams have more than two wins this fall (3-6). The record of teams the Panthers have lost to is a much more impressive 15-11, but even then the Panthers have played only one team with a winning record all season (Seattle).

21: Largest point deficit Seattle has ever overcome
With just over two minutes left in the first half, the winless Buccaneers had a 21-0 lead on the road against Seattle — due in large part to one of the plays of the year. Russell Wilson wasn’t fazed, however, as he led five scoring drives over the final 32 minutes of play to give the Seahawks their largest comeback victory in franchise history. The win gave Seattle its first-ever 8-1 start to a season and was Wilson’s 12th win in 12 home games. He is one of four players since the 1970 merger to start a career with 12 consecutive home wins.

$13.2 million: Josh Freeman and Matt Flynn combined 2013 salaries
According to spotrac.com, Josh Freeman will count for $8.43 million towards Tampa Bay’s salary cap this season and $2.83 million towards Minnesota’s. Matt Flynn is hitting Oakland’s cap for $1.2 million and Buffalo’s for $715,000. Both were healthy and able to play for the Vikings and Bills this weekend but neither took a snap. Instead, Jeff Tuel started for the Bills and Christian Ponder started for the Vikings. Tuel was 18-of-39 for 229 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for a QBR of 16.8. Ponder was 25-of-37 for 236 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble and was sacked twice. That’s over $13 million worth of healthy quarterbacks sitting on the bench. There is a reason the Bills and Vikings are a combined 4-13 this season. To make matters worse, the Bills released Flynn on Monday, which means the team's investment in him was for naught.

0-5: Rob Ryan’s record against twin brother Rex
Rob Ryan has been coaching in the NFL since 1994. His twin brother, Rex, started coaching in the NFL the same year. After two decades, one is the head coach of the Jets and the other is the defensive coordinator for the Saints. They met for the fifth time this weekend where the Jets used a 17-point second quarter and motivated ex-Saint Chris Ivory (18 att., 139 yards, TD) to upset the Saints on Sunday in the New Meadowlands. With the win, Rex Ryan remained unbeaten in five games against his twin brother and has his Jets squarely in the AFC wild-card hunt. New York has alternated wins and losses in each of the first nine games, and with a loss next week, would become the first team in NFL history to alternate wins and losses in the first 10 games of a season.

10: Career game-winning drives led by Andrew Luck
In just his 24th career game, Luck performed yet another second-half miracle. The Colts' signal-caller threw three touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton over the final 15:05 of game time to erase an 18-point Texans lead to earn the divisional road victory and give Luck his 10th career game-winning drive. That is one game-winning drive every 2.4 games played and puts Luck on pace to shatter the NFL record in less than eight seasons. Let’s put his fourth-quarter heroics into perspective by looking at the NFL's all-time leaders in game-winning drives. These are literally the greatest to ever play the game — and Luck's pace is obliterating all of them:

 NameGSGWDAvg.
1t.Peyton Manning232514.5
1t.Dan Marino240514.7
3.John Elway231465.0
4.Brett Favre298456.6
5.Tom Brady170394.4
6.Warren Moon203375.5
7.Fran Tarkenton239347.0
8t.Vinny Testaverde214336.5
8t.Joe Montana164334.9
10.Drew Brees177325.5
 Andrew Luck24102.4

 

Teaser:
Amazing Stats from the NFL's Week 9
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/amazing-college-football-stats-week-10
Body:

Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

3: Georgia quarterbacks to beat Florida three years in a row
The Bulldogs stayed alive in the SEC East championship hunt with a heated, hard-fought victory over rival Florida. The win was Georgia's third straight win over the Gators for the first time since Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville (1987-89). It was Murray's third win over Florida, making him the third quarterback in school history to win three in a row over the Gators. Buck Belue, who led Georgia to its last national championship, won three straight from 1979-81. Johnny Rauch, 1945-48, is the only Dawgs signal caller to ever win four straight in the series.

41-3: Team that rushes for more yards in the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
The Spartans were one of Week 10's biggest winners nationally after dominating their in-state rival in record-setting fashion. Michigan State held Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing, the worst mark in Maize and Blue history. The Spartans were able to nearly quadruple the Wolverines in rushing — against an equally as stingy rushing defense — by totaling 142 yards on the ground. In the last 44 meetings between the Big Ten rivals, the team that has run for more yards is 41-3. Michigan totaled just 168 yards, but more on that in a second. The 29-6 win was the most lopsided victory for Sparty over the Wolverines since a 34-0 shutout in 1967.

43.4: Michigan State's yards rushing allowed per game
The Spartans allowed just 168 total yards of offense, two field goals and minus-48 yards rushing. With the dominant performance, Michigan State is on pace to become just the fourth team in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game. TCU allowed 47.1 yards per game in 2008 and Michigan gave up 43.4 yards per contest in 2006. Only Arizona's Desert Swarm unit of 1993 (30.1 ypg) allowed fewer rushing yards per game over the last three decades than MSU's current pace. Additionally, Mark Dantonio's defense is leading the nation in total defense at 210.2 yards per game — second only to Alabama's elite national championship 2011 unit (183.6 ypg) since 2000.

116: Tajh Boyd all-time ACC total TD record
The Clemson quarterback threw for 377 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in an easy road win over Virginia. It gave Boyd 116 career total touchdowns, passing Philip Rivers' 112 for No. 1 all-time in ACC history. The Tigers gunslinger has 93 passing scores and 23 rushing touchdowns and is just three away from breaking Philip Rivers' ACC passing touchdown mark (95). Boyd has 10,673 career passing yards and 11,632 total yards of offense in his career, both of which are good for No. 2 all-time behind, you guessed it, Rivers (13,484 passing; 13,582 total offense). Interestingly, Russell Wilson is third all-time with 93 total touchdowns in ACC history — in just three seasons at NC State.

56.0: Arizona State points per game over their last four Pac-12 games
The Sun Devils limped out of Palo Alto with a bad loss and a tough schedule ahead. But Todd Graham's team has rallied in a big way, thanks in large part to its offense. It has scored at least 53 points in each of its four Pac-12 wins since losing to Stanford. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is playing his best football and is leading a team that has scored 27 touchdowns in four games for an average of 56 points per game. The Sun Devils now sit a full game up in the division over Arizona, UCLA and USC with looming games with each one.

5: Jameis Winston's career 300-yard games
EJ Manuel played in 43 games as a starting quarterback for Florida State, becoming just the second player in NCAA history to start and win four bowl games (Pat White). He had five career 300-yard passing efforts and was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Christian Ponder played in 35 games prior to Manuel and had just four career 300-yard passing games before getting picked 12th overall by the Vikings. In just eight career games, Winston has topped 300 yards five times and has yet to lose a game as a starter. Despite two bad interceptions, the Seminoles quarterback finished with 325 yards on 72.4-percent passing. He is No. 2 nationally to Bryce Petty with a 201.12 quarterback rating.

1: TCU three-game losing streaks under Gary Patterson
The Horned Frogs are headed in the wrong direction. TCU lost 20 yards on three plays before having to attempt a 62-yard field goal in the first overtime against West Virginia. The Mountaineers kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession to give the Frogs its third consecutive loss for the first time in the Gary Patterson era. Patterson is 119-41 in 13 seasons as the head coach in Fort Worth and after losing to Oklahoma State, Texas and WVU. The Frogs are 5-10 in conference play since entering the Big 12 in 2012.

3: Teams to win three straight as at least a TD underdog since 1980
According to ESPN/Grantland's R.J. Bell, only three teams since 1980 have won three consecutive games as a touchdown underdog. Minnesota defeated Indiana on the road as a 10-point underdog, giving it a third straight win as a double-digit dog after toppling Northwestern (+12.5) and Nebraska (+10.5). Arkansas in 1991 and Arizona in 2006 were the only two teams since 1980 to win three straight games as a TD underdog until the Gophers did it. Not only were they at least 10-point underdogs, but Minnesota has moved to 7-2 without head coach Jerry Kill. Defensive coordinator-turned-acting head coach Tracy Claeys is quietly turning the Gophers into one of the nation's best stories.

1990: Last time Arkansas lost six straight games
Guz Malzahn returned to his home state in impressive fashion by thumping Bret Bielema's Razorbacks 35-17 in Fayetteville. It gives Arkansas its sixth consecutive loss following a 3-0 start to the season — something that has never happened since joining the SEC in 1992. In fact, the last time Arkansas lost six straight games, it was a member of the Southwest Conference. The last four have been particularly painful and uncompetitive. The Hogs have been outscored 167-34 during that span and own the SEC's worst scoring offense at 20 points per game. Bielema has one chance at an SEC win left on the schedule: at Ole Miss, Mississippi State (Little Rock), at LSU.

29: Quinn Epperly NCAA-record consecutive completions
Princeton junior quarterback Quinn Epperly started the game against Cornell by completing the first 29 passes he threw. It broke Richie Williams' NCAA record for consecutive completions (28) set in 2004. He threw six touchdown passes for the second straight game and finished with 325 yards on 32-of-35 passing. East Carolina's Dominique Davis owns the FBS record with 26 straight completions against Navy in 2011.

Teaser:
Amazing College Football Stats from Week 10
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-post-week-10-power-rankings
Body:

What a wild week in the Big Ten. The three best teams in the league — Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin — won in convincing fashion but the rest of the conference was under cardiac arrest in the fourth quarter.

Indiana came storming back with 28 unanswered points only to watch Philip Nelson throw the game-winning touchdown pass. Christian Hackenberg led a game-tying drive at the end of regulation and then tossed the game winner in overtime. And Nebraska won on a Ron Kellogg III Hail Mary that will be remembered for decades to come in Lincoln.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings:

 TeamLWAnalysis 
1.(1)Ohio State (9-0, 5-0): The Buckeyes continue to earn style points with another huge blowout. This one was to be expected, however, as the league's best team crushed the league's worst by 56 points. Braxton Miller was excellent again, throwing four touchdown strikes. Urban Meyer moved to 21-0 as the head coach at Ohio State and is two games against Illinois and Indiana from the much awaited trip to Michigan. Next Week: at Illinois 
2.
 
 
(3)Michigan State (8-1, 5-0): The Spartans stayed perfect in the Big Ten by dominating the line of scrimmage against rival Michigan. The nation's leading defense held Michigan to a school-record minus-48 yards rushing thanks to seven sacks. Connor Cook made clutch throws when needed, and Jeremy Langford was productive enough to give the Spartans the most lopsided win over their in-state rival since 1967. Mark Dantonio gets two weeks to prepare for a road trip into Lincoln for a de facto Legends Division championship game. Next Week: Bye 
3.
 
 
 
(2)Wisconsin (6-2, 4-1): It wasn't pretty as both defenses stole the show in the first three quarters, but Wisconsin pulled away late for an important road win against rival Iowa. The Badgers defense, playing without leader Chris Borland, suffocated the Hawkeyes, holding Kirk Ferentz group to 289 yards of total offense and no touchdowns. The typically powerful UW running game will need to be better next week in an unusual nonconference game with BYU. The Cougars bring a similarly stingy defense to Madison. Next Week: BYU 
4.
 
 
(5)Nebraska (6-2, 3-1): A really bad week in the Pelini family ended as only it could — with a championship- and job-saving Hail Mary on the final play of the game against Northwestern. Both teams were held without an offensive touchdown in the second half until Ron Kellogg III heaved a final pass from the 49-yard line and Jordan Westerkamp snagged the tipped ball out of the air. The throw keeps the Huskers in Legends Division contention as the Big Red will face both Michigan schools over the next two weeks. Next Week: at Michigan 
5.
 
 
 
(4)Michigan (6-2, 2-2): Devin Gardner is going to see Spartans in his nightmares. He had no time to throw and the running game gave him no support as the Wolverines offensive line was obliterated by the Spartans defensive line. The team rushed for the lowest total in school history (minus-48 yards) and were tackled behind the line 18 times (11 TFL, seven sacks). Brady Hoke's team is 2-2 in the league and is three games behind their in-state rival Michigan State. Next Week: Nebraska 
6.
 
(6)Minnesota (7-2, 3-2): Philip Nelson had to be nervous as he watched his team give up four straight touchdowns to Indiana in the fourth quarter. But trailing by four with less than five minutes to go, Nelson delivered with the biggest throw of his career. His 50-yard TD pass won the game, and, after the defense recovered a juggled pitch on the Hoosiers' ensuing possession, Minnesota celebrated its third straight win. Jerry Kill is slowly inching his way back into control of the Gophers team — a welcomed sight for all Big Ten fans — but Tracy Claeys is no 3-0 as the interim head coach in what has quickly become one of the nation's best stories. Next Week: Penn State 
7.
 
(7)

Penn State (5-3, 2-2): Bill Belton nearly coughed up the game for the Nittany Lions, fumbling on the goal line down by three with less than four minutes to go. But his freshman quarterback and superstar wide receiver saved the day. Christian Hackenberg led a game-tying drive in the final minute and threw the game-winning touchdown to Kyle Carter in overtime. Allen Robinson caught 11 passes for 165 yards and made several critical catches in the waning moments. Belton's fumble nearly overshadowed a 200-yard rushing effort and, despite bowl sanctions, this team is one win away from being bowl eligible in each of Bill O'Brien's seasons at the helm. Next Week: at Minnesota

 
8.
 
 
 
(8)Iowa (5-4, 2-3): Trailing by five, quarterback Jake Rudock was knocked out of the game midway through the third quarter, and backup C.J. Beathard wasn't capable of getting anything going the rest of the way. The defense played valiantly against the powerful Wisconsin offensive line but simply couldn't move the ball on offense — and when it could, Iowa didn't finish drives with touchdowns. Kirk Ferentz's group will have to wait another week to get to bowl eligibility — which should happen next weekend. Next Week: at Purdue 
9.
 
(9)Indiana (3-5, 1-3): The Hoosiers had a chance at another critical win but might have watched their postseason chances disappear with a last minute fumble against Minnesota. Give Kevin Wilson and his team credit for battling back from a 35-13 deficit to take a late lead with 28 unanswered points, but IU couldn't finish when it had the chance inside the Gophers 10 yard-line with less than 30 seconds left in the game. The Tevin Coleman fumble likely knocks Indiana out of the postseason at it must win three of its final four: Illinois, at Wisconsin, at Ohio State and Purdue. Next Week: Illinois 
10.
 
(10)Northwestern (4-5, 0-5): Only a team on a four-game losing streak could lose in such heartbreaking fashion. Northwestern kicked a field goal with 1:20 left in the game to take a three-point lead over Nebraska on the road. Pat Fitzgerald needed one more play on defense to secure his first Big Ten win of the year and to stop his 2013 ship from officially sinking. But after watching the Huskers win on a Hail Mary, it's hard not to think that his particular Northwestern team is jinxed. Next Week: Bye 
11.
 
 
(11)Illinois (3-5, 0-4): Nathan Scheelhaase drove his team down the field on the road in the fourth quarter to take a lead in a Big Ten game in over a year. But the defense couldn't hold up, and, in overtime, Scheelhaase made a critical mistake to give the win to Penn State. His interception in the endzone ended the game and extended the Illini's Big Ten losing streak to 18 games. Next Week: at Indiana 
12.
 
(12)Purdue (1-7, 0-4): Ten first downs, 116 total yards of offense and zero points. That is what the Purdue offense mustered against Ohio State. 30 first downs, 640 yards of total offense and 56 points. That is what the defense allowed to the Buckeyes. This team is on pace to be Purdue's worst since a 1-10 squad in 1993. Next Week: Iowa 

Big Ten Week 10 Awards and Superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: Philip Nelson, QB, Minnesota

Nelson and the Gophers built a commanding 35-13 lead with less than six minutes to go in the third quarter. However, Indiana stormed back with four unanswered touchdowns to take a narrow lead late in the final frame. But Nelson answered back with a 50-yard scoring strike to Maxx Williams to give Minnesota a thrilling three-point win over Indiana. Nelson finished with 298 yards on 16-of-23 passing and four touchdowns and 11 yards rushing on seven carries.

Defensive Player of Week: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Any number of key contributors from Michigan State could be mentioned here. Denicos Allen (nine tackles, three TFL, two sacks) and Ed Davis (four tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) each had big games for the nation's best defense. Calhoun has become the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate, however, and his performance against Michigan was worthy of a headline. He posted six tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and is now leading the Big Ten in sacks this season (6.5). Nebraska's Avery Moss needs to get a mention as well for his performance against Northwestern. He posted four tackles, a tackle for a loss and returned his first career interception for a game-tying touchdown.

Team of Week: Michigan State
The Buckeyes earned a few more style points with a 56-0 win over Purdue on the road but no team was more impressive than Michigan State in Week 10. The nation's best defense held Michigan in check the entire afternoon, allowing just 168 yards of total offense and two field goals. The Spartans are unbeaten in Big Ten play and look like the top challenger to the Buckeyes. Connor Cook is making timely throws, and Jeremy Langford has emerged as a workhorse back. This team is averaging more than 30 points per game in Big Ten play and may be built to compete with Ohio State should it get past Nebraska in two weeks.

Coordinator of Week: Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Who else could it be? The No. 1 defense in the nation showed the nation why it might be the only unit in the Big Ten that can stop Ohio State. The Wolverines posted a school-record low of minus-48 yards rushing as Narduzzi dialed up pressure all night long. Michigan State finished with seven sacks, 12 first downs allowed 168 total yards of offense. The 23-point win was the most lopsided victory since 1967 between the two in-state rivals. 

Freshman of the Week: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The Penn State freshman has quickly proven he can handle himself in late-game pressure situations. For the second time in his young career, he drove his team down the field to tie the game in the final minute. And for the second time, he led his team to an overtime victory over a Big Ten foe. Hackenberg finished with 240 yards passing on 20-of-32 passing and two total touchdowns (one pass, one rush). He didn't turn the ball over and moved the Lions to even in the Big Ten this year. Hack still leads the Big Ten in passing (253 ypg).

Bonus: Play of the Year: Ron Kellogg III and Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska
With no time remaining and his job potentially on the line at home against Northwestern, Bo Pelini watched one of the most memorable plays in Nebraska history unfold before yet another sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. Kellogg heaved the ball 49 yards where Westerkamp snatched the tipped pass out of the air for the game-winning touchdown. It was Westerkamp's first career TD and it kept the Huskers Big Ten title hopes alive. Kellogg-to-Westerkamp now belongs next to Kirk Cousins, Kordell Stewart, Doug Flutie, Drew Tate and Marcus Randall in Big Ten lore. 

Fifth Down

• Michigan State is giving up a nation-best 210.2 yards per game. Only 2011 Alabama has posted a better mark (183.6) since 2000. The Spartans are also just one of four teams in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game (Arizona, 1993; Michigan, 2006; TCU, 2008).

• Minnesota's David Cobb is the first Gopher back to top 100 yards in three straight game since Amir Pinnix in 2006. He has 60 carries and 326 yards combined in wins over Nebraska and Indiana.

• Minnesota became just the third team since 1980 to win three straight games as at least a touchdown underdog. The Gophers were double-digit underdogs in each of the last three games.

• Bill Belton rushed for 201 yards in Penn State's win over Illinois. It was the first 200-yard effort by a Nittany Lion since Larry Johnson in 2002. He nearly cost his team the game with a fourth-quarter fumble but was outstanding on his other 35 carries.

• Without Chris Borland, Wisconsin turned to Marcus Trotter to fill the void at linebacker on the road against Iowa. Trotter had nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while holding Iowa to three field goals.

• Iowa entered play on Saturday leading the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed with two. They gave up two in a game for the second time in three weeks to Wisconsin.

• Michigan State's first offensive play from scrimmage was a busted throw back to the fullback. Trevon Pendleton rumbled 49 yards for the Spartans longest play of the season.

Teaser:
2013 Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/pac-12-week-10-recap-and-awards
Body:

It was an odd weekend out West as Stanford, Oregon, Washington and Utah were all off. Certainly, all eyes in the Pac-12 — and the nation — will be on Palo Alto on Thursday evening when the Ducks visit Stanford.

But just because the best two teams didn't play, didn't mean that things went according to plan. USC pulled a critical upset over Oregon State to give itself a fighting chance in the South. Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA all held serve in the South and now all four teams are tied with six wins.

Here are your Week 10 Pac-12 superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
USC's Javorius Allen (133 yards, three touchdowns) played well for the Trojans. Arizona's B.J. Denker (305 total yards, four touchdowns) was huge on the road against Cal. But it's hard to argue that the Sun Devils quarterback wasn't the best player in the league this weekend. Late on Thursday night on the road, Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns and more than 300 yards of total offense against Washington State. He threw for 275 yards and five scores while rushing for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground while leading his offense to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 game with at least 50 points. Kelly is third in the league — ahead of Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley — with 313.9 yards per game in 2013.

Defensive Player of the Week: Devon Kennard, LB, USC
The former five-star recruit missed all of last year with an injury and it appears he is starting to round into all-conference form. Kennard posted a career-high two sacks in the upset of Sean Mannion and his potent Beavers passing attack. He added four total tackles. He has seven quarterback take downs on the season, trailing only Trent Murphy (9.5) and Tony Washington (7.5) in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the league at 323.0 yards allowed per game. 

Team of the Week: USC
With an interim head coach and a depleted roster in a stadium where it hadn't won at in nearly a decade, the Trojans got an unexpected Pac-12 road win. The defense played excellent football against a high-flying Beavers offense without Morgan Breslin, Su'a Cravens and Anthony Brown. The running game and return of Marqise Lee delivered on offense despite missing Kevin Graf and Randall Telfer. USC won it's third straight Pac-12 game and became bowl eligible. Interim coach Ed Oregeron is now 3-0 in Pac-12 since taking over for Lane Kiffin and it puts USC squarely in the divisional race, one game behind Arizona State.

Coordinator of the Week: Clancy Pendergast, USC
Oregon State boasts one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, and Pendergast's unit shut it down. On the road, the Trojans allowed just 277 yards passing to the No. 3-rated pass offense in the nation and only 92 yards on the ground. USC forced three Sean Mannion turnovers and held star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to just six receptions and 88 yards. USC is leading the Pac-12 in total defense (323.0 ypg) and has held Utah and Oregon State to a combined 570 yards after allowing over 500 to both Arizona State and Arizona.

Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
For the second week in a row, Wright gets top honors after a terrific showing in a Wildcats win on the road. Wright posted a career-high 11 total tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in the five-point win over Cal. He is 11th in the Pac-12 in tackles (7.5 pg) and is No. 3 among freshman (Addison Gillam, Cameron Walker). The Wildcats are bowl eligible and one game back of the Sun Devils in the South Divison with games left with both UCLA and Arizona State at home. USC's Leon McQuay II gets a mention for six tackles and two pass break-ups against Oregon State in place of star freshman Su'a Cravens.

Fifth Down

• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, rushing 32 times for 152 yards against Cal. B.J. Denker stole the show again, scoring four times and accounting for more than 300 yards of offense.

• USC's Javorius Allen (16) and Silas Redd (22) combined for 38 rushing attempts and 273 yards against Oregon State. Marqise Lee returned with five receptions, 105 yards and a touchdowns.

• UCLA's Devin Fuller touched the ball four times on offense and scored on three of them. He caught two touchdowns in three receptions and scored on his only rushing attempt. He totaled 107 yards from scrimmage.

• UCLA didn't have an injured Eric Kendricks, and tailback Jordan James returned to action. James carried six times for eight yards.

• UCLA's Brett Hundley was excellent against Colorado, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 72 and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). 

• The South Division went 3-0 against the North Division this weekend. 

• Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks lead the nation with 14 touchdown connections this season.

Teaser:
Pac-12 Week 10 Recap and Awards
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 13:00

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