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College Football 2012 – Week Six Recap

North Carolina State upset #3 Florida State.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The new rankings will look very different this week as three Top Five teams all went down to a defeat, part of a larger shakedown in college football that saw nine ranked teams all suffer losses.

Here are all the highlights from this week in the Top 25.

#1 Alabama Bye

The top-ranked Crimson Tide had the week off before returning to SEC action with back-to-back road games at Missouri and Tennessee.

#2 Oregon 52, #23 Washington 21

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for four touchdowns and the Ducks jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead to secure their second win over a ranked conference foe this season. Kenjon Barner, already the nation’s 10th leading rusher, added 122 yards on the ground for the Ducks. While Oregon’s high-octane offense continued to rack up big numbers, the defense got in on the act this week, forcing five turnovers and returning a first quarter interception for a score. Oregon has beaten the Huskies nine straight times, the longest such streak in this series that dates back to 1900. All of those wins have come by 17 or more points.

North Carolina State 17, #3 Florida State 16

Wolfpack quarterback Matt Glennon hit Bryan Underwood on a fourth-down touchdown pass with just 16 seconds left to score the biggest upset of the week. Despite coming into the game ranked 97th nationally in pass defense, NC State harassed Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel all night, sacking him four times, forcing an interception and holding him to just 218 passing yards. Florida State led 16-0 at halftime and, even after ten unanswered points by the Wolfpack, appeared to have the game in control until North Carolina State blocked an FSU punt with 2:27 left, giving the Wolfpack the ball at the FSU 43-yard line to set up the game-winning drive. Glennon finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns in the win. This is the fifth time since 1998 that a ranked Seminoles team has lost to an unranked Wolfpack in Raleigh.

#10 Florida 14, #4 Louisiana State 6

Florida running back Mike Gillislee, who came into the game second in the conference in rushing yards per game, rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns. While LSU came into the game ranked fourth nationally in total defense, the story of this game was a Florida defense that held the Tigers to just 200 total yards (42 rushing), forced three turnovers and held LSU to 1-of-13 on third-down conversions. Florida had just 47 total yards at halftime, but came out in the second half showing a heavy package with two extra linemen and running on 17-of-18 plays on back-to-back scoring drives. The loss ended LSU’s NCAA-best 18-game regular season winning streak and dropped coach Les Miles to 1-3 all-time in The Swamp.

#6 South Carolina 35, #5 Georgia 7

Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw was only 6/10 passing, but made the most of his throws, accounting for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 78 yards and a score as South Carolina recorded its school-record 10th straight win. Running back Marcus Lattimore rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown, his third straight 100+ yard game against the Bulldogs. Georgia came into the game leading the SEC in yardage and scoring, but was completely manhandled by the Gamecocks, managing just 224 total yards and not reaching the scoreboard until there were less than two minutes remaining in the game. Georgia’s freshman running back Todd Gurley, who came into the game leading the SEC in rushing touchdowns, was held to just 39 yards and no scores. The 28-point margin of victory was South Carolina’s largest ever against the Bulldogs.

#7 Kansas State 56, Kansas 16

Running back John Hubert rushed for 101 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback Collin Klein added another 116 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as the Wildcats rolled up 346 rushing yards to power past their in-state rivals. Kansas actually held a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but turned the ball over five times to help the Wildcats close the game on a 49-2 run.

#8 West Virginia 48, #11 Texas 45

Geno Smith threw for four touchdowns and running back Andrew Buie rushed for 207 yards and two scores as West Virginia overcame a four-point fourth quarter deficit to record their first Big 12 road win.  Smith has now thrown 24 touchdowns this season with no interceptions. The high-scoring game featured three ties and four lead changes. Texas running back David Bergeron rushed for four touchdowns and the Longhorns pulled to within 3 in the final minute, but were unable to recover an onside kick in the waning seconds. The loss dropped Texas to 2-7 in home conference games since 2010 and 0-8 in their last eight games against ranked opponents.

#9 Notre Dame 41, Miami 3

While the Fighting Irish defense has carried the load this far, Notre Dame’s offense got in on the action in a big way this week. Running backs Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III combined for 241 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the first time Notre Dame had two 100+ yard rushers in the same game in 10 years. The Fighting Irish finished with 376 rushing yards, their first 300+ rushing yard game since 2003. Already off to their best start since 1988, the Notre Dame defense continued its dominance, holding a Miami squad that had put up 1,260 yards and 86 points in its last two games to just 285 total yards and no touchdowns. Notre Dame is now 5-0 for the first time since 2002.

#12 Ohio State 63, #21 Nebraska 38

Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller rushed for 186 yards (a school record for a quarterback) and a touchdown as Ohio State rallied from an early ten-point deficit to blow out the Cornhuskers. Nebraska was within four points early in the third quarter before Ohio State erupted for 21 unanswered points to blow the game open. Miller and running back Carlos Hyde (138 yards and four touchdowns) provided most of the offensive fireworks for Ohio State but the scoring was not limited to the offense, as the Buckeyes also got touchdowns from an interception return and a punt return. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez accounted for 244 total yards and three touchdowns, but had four turnovers (including a career-high three interceptions after having thrown just one all season) that led to 21 Buckeye points.

#13 Southern Cal 38, Utah 28

Utah jumped out to an early 14-0 lead before USC regrouped and responded with a 38-7 run to seal the win. Quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns to lead the comeback. Receiver Marquise Lee caught 12 balls (one off his career high) for 192 yards and a score, while the USC defense held Utah to just 95 rushing yards and returned a fourth-quarter interception for a touchdown. The loss drops Utah to 2-3 for the second straight year, the first time they have done that in back-to-back seasons since 1989-90.

#14 Oregon State 19, Washington State 6

Although the Oregon State offense struggled and the Beavers committed 11 penalties for 110 yards, the story of the game was the Oregon State defense. The Beavers forced five turnovers, held the Cougars to just 20 rushing yards and, despite coming into the game ranked 113th nationally in pass defense, gave up just 207 yards and no scores through the air.

#15 Clemson 47, Georgia Tech 31

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 397 yards and two touchdowns, giving him the school record for career touchdown passes. He also rushed for 63 yards and a score and caught a two-point conversion pass. The Tigers’ defensive struggles continued, however. Coming into the game ranked 81st in rush defense, that weakness showed as the Yellow Jackets were able to rack up 339 yards on the ground. The loss drops Georgia Tech to 2-4, its worst start since 1994.

Iowa State 37, #15 Texas Christian 23

Playing without suspended quarterback Casey Paschall, the TCU offense still managed to rack up 455 total yards but turned the ball over five times in the upset loss. But the real story might be the collapse of the TCU defense. The Horned Frogs came into the game ranked seventh nationally in total defense and second in scoring, but gave up 37 points to an Iowa State offense that ranked 88th in scoring. The loss snapped TCU’s nations-best 12-game winning streak. This is the third straight year that Iowa State has beaten a ranked opponent on the road.

#17 Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20

After coming into the game ranked first in the nation in both total defense and pass defense, the Red Raiders had no answers for an Oklahoma offense that scored on six of its first seven drives. After struggling in a loss to Kansas State two weeks ago, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones threw for 259 yards, two touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions as the Sooners won in Lubbock for the first time since 2003. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege, who had thrown for 319 or more yards in his last three games, was held to just 203 passing yards and was intercepted three times.

#18 Stanford 54, Arizona 48 (OT)

Stanford rallied from 14 points down with less than seven minutes to go to force overtime and then got an overtime interception and score to secure the victory. Cardinal quarterback Josh Nunes threw for a career-high 360 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for three short touchdowns. The Arizona offense, which scored on eight of nine possessions in a 35 minute span in the second through fourth quarters, suddenly went cold when it mattered, managing just 20 total yards and an interception on 10 plays in the Wildcats’ final three possessions.

#19 Louisville Bye

The Cardinals got a week off before returning to action next week against Pittsburgh.

#20 Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14

Mississippi State’s hot defensive start continued, as the Bulldogs held Kentucky to just 228 total yards. MSU quarterback Tyler Russell threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns and the Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-7 second quarter lead from which Kentucky could never recover. Mississippi State is off to its first 5-0 start since 1999.

#22 Rutgers 19, Connecticut 3

Rutgers’ defense held the Huskies to just 244 total yards (53 rushing) and forced five turnovers, returning one fourth quarter interception for a touchdown. Running back Jawan Jamison led the Scarlet Knights with 110 rushing yards, his sixth straight 100-yard game. The win moved Rutgers to its first 5-0 start since 2006.

Penn State 39, #24 Northwestern 28

Penn State scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally from an 11-point deficit and secure the upset win. Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for the go-ahead five-yard touchdown with 2:37 to go. The Penn State defense stepped up in a big way, holding the Wildcats to just 247 total yards and limiting quarterback/receiver Kain Colter, who racked up 292 total yards and four touchdowns a week ago, to only 41 total yards.

California 43, #25 UCLA 17

After completing just 32 percent of his passes last week against Arizona State, Cal quarterback Zach Maynard was almost flawless against the Bruins, going 25/30 for 295 yards and four touchdowns (one interception) and rushing for another score to lead the Bears to the upset win. UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, the nation’s third leading rusher, ran for 110 yards. But he was the Bruins’ only bright spot as the offense that came in averaging almost 37 points per game was held to just 17 points and turned the ball over six times. Cal now has a seven-game winning streak against the Bruins.

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