Winners and Losers from Week 13 of College Football
Records fell, shocking upsets materialized, division titles were won, and the Heisman Trophy race was further shaped...and all that occurred before the evening slate of games in college football's Week 13.
Michigan State and Ohio State confirmed their Dec. 7 date in Indianapolis for the Big Ten conference title. Out West, Oregon's upset loss to Arizona handed the Pac-12 North back to Stanford, while Arizona State handled UCLA to take the Pac-12 South.
In one of the day's biggest shocks, Oklahoma State dominated Baylor to take control of the Big 12 title race, while Missouri remained in control in the SEC East.
Johnny Manziel fell flat against LSU, delivering a low blow to his Heisman hopes.
Meanwhile, struggles continued for both Michigan and Florida. In particular for the Gators, who lost to a FCS foe for the first time in school history.
Elsewhere around the nation, several massive performances—both team and individual—forced fresh bottles of Wite-Out to be slathered on record books from Fresno to Chapel Hill.
All that and more is up ahead in this week's winners and losers.
Note: This article will be updated later with the rest of Week 13's action.
Winner: Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
After a record-breaking game on Friday, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds is inching closer to breaking another NCAA record.
The sophomore set a new single-game NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, reaching the end zone seven times in Navy's 58-52 win over San Jose State.
With that, he now has 26 rushing scores on the year, putting him one shy of the single-season record held by former Midshipmen signal-caller Ricky Dobbs and Kansas State great Collin Klein.
Reynolds finished with 240 yards on the ground on 36 carries, and his seventh score came as the game-winner in overtime, which sent Navy to 7-4 on the year.
The Mids have already accepted a bid for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and will close the regular season against archrival Army on Dec. 14.
It was raining across much of the country Saturday and, although Iowa City was dry, Michigan couldn't escape its own personal storm cloud. The Wolverines blew a 14-point halftime lead and were held scoreless in the second half of a 24-21 defeat to Iowa.
The offensive woes continued for the Wolverines, who accumulated just 158 total yards (98 passing, 60 rushing) and failed to capitalize on four Hawkeyes turnovers.
UM was dismal on third down, converting just four times in 14 tries. It recorded its fourth loss in six games and fell to fifth place in the Big Ten Legends Division.
Quarterback Devin Gardner put the loss on his own shoulders, as it was his fumble late in the fourth quarter that ended his team's chances at victory. But, as Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com wrote, there was much more to the loss than Gardner's crucial turnover:
But, in reality, Gardner was once again swimming upstream against another seemingly impossible situation -- as Al Borges' offense stammered, stalled and stank from wire-to-wire Saturday.
Gardner made the final mistake, no question about it. But in the end, it was only one in an incredibly long line of head-scratching errors by a Michigan offense that still doesn't have an identity after its 11th game of the year.
Now at 7-4 with a date looming next week against No. 3 Ohio State, Michigan will likely need to win its bowl game to avoid falling below its 8-5 mark from last season.
Winner: Michigan State
Michigan State didn't have to do anything spectacular to clinch the Legends Division—a simple win against Northwestern would've sufficed. In fact, with Minnesota's loss to Wisconsin, MSU could've lost and still locked down the division.
But Mark Dantonio's squad went out and delivered a dominating performance anyway, smashing Northwestern 30-6 on the road in the cold to seal a spot in the Big Ten title game against Ohio State.
The Spartans showed in this game why they have been successful all season long, forcing three Wildcats turnovers while keeping the opposition out of the end zone all game and off the scoreboard in the second half.
Meanwhile, Connor Cook continued his improved play, finishing 16-of-24 for 293 yards and two touchdowns for Michigan State. Running back Jeremy Langford followed suit, bruising his way to 150 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
After the victory, Dantonio took time to praise his players, via MSUSpartans.com:
I want to congratulate our football team. Ten wins. Legends champions and as we go forward it's exciting times. We've talked about there being moments that we'd remember for the rest of our lives and I think that's what is happening for us so we just need to continue and press on.
As No. 13 Michigan State presses on, eyeing a BCS berth, it will finish the regular season at home next week against Minnesota.
Winner: Ohio State
While Michigan State clinched the Big Ten Legends Division in the morning, Ohio State locked down the Leaders Division in the evening, sealing their Dec. 7 date in Indianapolis.
The Buckeyes notched their 23rd straight win—the longest in school history and the best active streak in college football—by downing Indiana, 42-14.
In cold, snowy conditions in Columbus, the OSU ground game led the way. Running back Carlos Hyde notched 117 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Braxton Miller added 144 and four total touchdowns.
The Buckeyes held the Hoosiers off the scoreboard until the forth quarter, when they had already built a 42-0 lead. Now that the division is clinched, Ohio State has one piece of business left to attend to in the regular season: the Michigan game.
Afterward, Hyde commented about taking on the Wolverines for the final time, via OhioStateBuckeyes.com: "I'm expecting That Team Up North to bring their A game, and we are certainly going to bring ours. It is going to be an exciting game, my last against them. I'm looking forward to it."
OSU and UM are slated for a 12 p.m. ET kick on Saturday.
Loser: Will Muschamp and Florida
Before Saturday, it was still looking probable that Florida head coach Will Muschamp would be brought back for another year, despite the disappointing season.
Also before Saturday, UF had never lost to an FCS team.
Things changed. The Gators fell, 26-20, to Georgia Southern, falling to 4-7 and putting a timer on the Muschamp era in Gainesville.
The Florida offense was outgained 429-279, despite the Eagles not completing a single pass. Georgia Southern quarterback Kevin Ellison finished 0-of-3 passing but tallied 118 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Per the Associated Press, Muschamp called the loss an "embarrassment," but junior safety Cody Riggs asserted that the Gators aren't worried about losing their coach: "We're not concerned. I know that a lot of people around here have Coach Muschamp's back. He's a great coach, best coach I ever had. We're not worried about that."
Even if Riggs and Co. aren't worried about Muschamp's potential departure, they probably should be.
Florida will finish up the forgettable season next Saturday against rival Florida State.
Winner: East Carolina
With wins over North Carolina and North Carolina State, the East Carolina Pirates have stuck their skull and crossbone flag in the dirt, claiming the Tar Heel State as their own.
Except in today's world, that flag is actually a billboard. Spotted Saturday was a purple billboard in Wake Forest proclaiming it the "ARRRRR STATE."
That billboard boasted the 42-28 final score of ECU's big win over NC State. The Pirates never trailed on the road in Carter-Finley Stadium, building a 35-7 lead in the third quarter and cruising to a comfortable win.
Quarterback Shane Carden tossed three touchdowns and ran for two more in the victory, as ECU improved to 9-2. The junior signal-caller proclaimed that the win was for Pirate Nation, per Mike Potter and the News & Observer:
We’re a very confident team right now. We have nine wins, and that was our goal this week. We know this is a big game. It’s a big win for us and an exciting win for us.
It means a lot to Pirate Nation to have beaten (UNC and State), I know that. After this year’s over maybe we can think about it more. But right now we’ve got to move on.
The Pirates decisively took down UNC 55-31 in late September—that win also coming on the road.
While the Wolfpack and the Tar Heels are both amid down seasons, ECU is on an upswing. The Pirates can clinch the Conference USA East Division with a win over Marshall next Friday.
Loser: Old Dominion
It seemed inevitable that North Carolina would pick up its sixth win against Old Dominion this week and earn bowl eligibility.
But the way the Tar Heels did it was startling. UNC annihilated ODU 80-20, scoring those 80 points in the first three quarters. This prompted a "mutual agreement" between both teams to cut the final frame down to just 10 minutes.
Quarterback Marquise Williams was one of the many Heels to have a huge day, tallying a school-record 469 total yards, as UNC tallied a school-record 721 total yards—two of many records to fall on the day, per GoHeels.com:
The Tar Heels set all-time records for points and touchdowns by the midpoint of the third quarter, and Williams set the single-game record for total yards on the Tar Heels' fourth snap of the second half.
Williams finished 20 of 27 passing for 409 yards and rushed for 60 more, helping North Carolina to a school-record 721 yards. Williams tied the UNC mark for passing touchdowns and was third in single-game total yards by halftime.
The point total was the second-most in ACC history, surpassed only by Clemson's 82 in 1981 against Wake Forest.
Receiver Ryan Switzer caught two touchdown passes, part of a 35-point second-quarter avalanche for UNC. He also returned a punt 64 yards for a score—his fourth in the last three games—to cap a 31-point third quarter and put the game completely out of hand.
North Carolina will host Duke next week to close the regular season.
Winner: Boston College RB Andre Williams
The incredible season for Boston College running back Andre Williams continues.
The senior racked up 263 rushing yards and two touchdowns in BC's 29-26 win over Maryland, marking his third straight game with 260-plus yards and two scores on the ground.
His big day also included a downright disrespectful stiff arm of Terps defensive back Will Likely in the first quarter.
Williams has now gone over 100 yards nine times this season, including each of the last five games. The newly minted Andre 2000 has now amassed 2,073 rushing yards on the year.
Now at 7-4, BC continues to add to its bowl resume. Williams will have one more chance before the postseason to add to his gaudy rushing total, as the Eagles will travel to Syracuse next week.
Losers: Cupcakes in November
An unfortunate trend in college football was prevalent in Week 13: the November cupcake games.
Warm-up games early in the season are one thing, but four blowouts by more than 45 points involving BCS contenders at this point in the season is another.
No. 1 Alabama blanked FCS foe Chattanooga 49-0, No. 2 Florida State incinerated Idaho by a final score of 80-14, No. 7 Clemson dropped 52 on Citadel, and South Carolina hung 70 on Coastal Carolina.
All four of those ugly results combined for a 251-30 mauling.
Those numbers are acceptable in the first few weeks of the season, but when teams are long past full stride, these contests have no business being on the schedule.
Winner: Fresno State QB Derek Carr
Yet another monstrous performance from quarterback Derek Carr resulted in another blowout win for Fresno State.
On Senior Day at Bulldog Stadium, Carr connected on a school-record seven touchdown passes as Fresno rolled to a 69-28 win over New Mexico.
The senior amassed 527 yards passing and the Bulldogs tallied 820 total yards, another school record. Davante Adams caught four of Carr's scoring strikes, while Josh Harper hauled in the other three. The two compiled 246 and 161 receiving yards, respectively.
With the win, the 'Dogs clinched the West Division title, sewing up a spot in the Mountain West conference title game, which they will likely host as the league's highest-rated team.
The decisive victory should also keep Fresno ahead of Northern Illinois in the BCS standings and on track for an at-large BCS berth. The 15th-ranked Bulldogs will travel to San Jose State to close the regular season on Friday.
Loser: Johnny Manziel's Heisman Campaign
Johnny Manziel faced a make-or-break game in his quest for Heisman Trophy No. 2, but he broke down in Death Valley against LSU.
A win and a strong performance likely would've moved him to the top of the Heisman race, but he instead turned in his worst game of the season, as Texas A&M fell 34-10.
The redshirt sophomore connected on just 16 of 41 passes (39 percent) for 224 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran 12 times for a net of 54 yards.
"We got punched in the mouth today and it wasn't fun," Manziel said after the game, per CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman.
As the Aggies' chops were busted, their hopes for a BCS at-large bid were sunk—and Manziel's Heisman hopes likely went down with it.
Manziel will have one last chance to impress voters next Saturday against Missouri.
Does anyone want to win the Pac-12 North?
Last week, Stanford yielded the division lead to Oregon after its upset loss to then-unranked USC. This week, Oregon gave it right back, falling 42-16 to unranked Arizona.
While the Ducks' loss opened the door, the Cardinal did their part by stepping through with a 63-13 win over rival California to clinch the North title.
As detailed by GoStanford.com, the Stanford student section expressed its gratitude to the Wildcats with chants of "AR-I-ZONA!"
Receiver Ty Montgomery led the way for the Cardinal, tying a school record with five total touchdowns (one rushing and four receiving).
Stanford will finish up the regular season next Saturday against Notre Dame.
Call it the Curse of the Roses.
Two Oregon stars, running back De'Anthony Thomas and receiver Josh Huff, expressed their disappointment at potentially playing the Rose Bowl earlier in the week, since their ultimate goal of playing for a national title was out of the question.
Well, now the Ducks won't have that to worry about, as they played their way out of contention for the Pac-12 title and a BCS bowl in their 26-point blowout loss to Arizona.
Afterward, Huff talked about the mentality of his team in the defeat, courtesy of ArizonaWildcats.com:
We just have to think about what we did wrong and how we can come out with more motivation. I am not saying we weren’t motivated enough but we just came out flat. We have Oregon State coming to us and it’s going to be tough to beat those guys if we played like we just played. A lot of people misunderstand me, I just want the best for my teammates. I have always been taught, never be satisfied. As this Oregon State game comes up, I am going to do everything I can to get these guys ready.
Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey smashed the UO defense for 206 yards and four touchdowns, while quarterback B.J. Denker tallied 280 total yards and two scores.
On the other side, Marcus Mariota amassed 360 total yards but threw his first two interceptions of the season. The first was a wild pick that hit off his receiver along the sideline, was tipped back in by a defender, and caught by another just on the right side of the white line.
That play was a perfect Polaroid of a day in which everything went right for the Wildcats, and everything went wrong for the Ducks.
UA will finish up against rival Arizona State Saturday, while UO will host Oregon State Friday.
Winner: Bob Stoops
Bob Stoops passed an Oklahoma coaching legend in the school record books and responded in typical deferential Bob Stoops fashion.
As OU topped Kansas State 41-31, Stoops recorded victory No. 157 as the Sooners coach, passing Barry Switzer as the school’s all-time wins leader.
Afterward, he downplayed the achievement, crediting the OU administration and his assistant coaches over the years, courtesy SoonerSports.com:
I do not look at anything individually. I am supported by a great administration that has been here for all 15 years. I have had great assistant coaches who have had a hand in it. They are great to work with everyday. We have had a good group here for a good period of time but I do not have time to look at it, to be honest. It is something that I will reflect back on down the road.
Running back Brennan Clay paved the way for Stoops’ monumental win, netting 200 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Quarterback Trevor Knight, filling in for the injured Blake Bell, added a rushing and passing score on 253 total yards.
The Sooners defense intercepted K-State quarterback Jake Waters twice, including a 74-yard game-sealing pick-six in the fourth quarter by cornerback Zack Sanchez.
Oklahoma will have next week off and will finish up the regular season on Dec. 7 against rival Oklahoma State.
Baylor's hopes for a national title, and likely a Big 12 title, all slipped away in one cold night in Stillwater, Okla.
The Bears entered the game as one of college football's hottest commodities but turned over their worst performance of the season, falling 49-17 to Oklahoma State.
A win would have likely moved BU to No. 3 in the BCS, leaving it on-deck for a national title berth in the event of a Florida State or Alabama loss. Now, the Bears will need an Oklahoma State loss to Oklahoma to win the Big 12.
With running back Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin still out of the lineup, the BU offense suffered, gaining just 94 rushing yards at 2.6 yards per carry. While the offense struggled, the previously dependable Baylor defense failed as well, as it was gouged for nearly 600 total yards.
The Bears will go forth, closing the season with TCU on Saturday and Texas on Dec. 7, all the while remaining serious Sooners fans.
Winner: Oklahoma State
While Baylor's national and Big 12 title hopes were sunk, Oklahoma State's postseason dreams were resuscitated.
In the 49-17 win, the Cowboys became the leaders in the conference and will clinch a BCS berth with a win over rival Oklahoma on Dec. 7.
OSU's prospects for a conference crown looked grim after it fell in its Big 12 opener to West Virginia, but seven straight wins have brought new life to Stillwater.
The Cowboys benefited from a huge day from quarterback Clint Chelf. The senior finished 19-of-25 passing for 370 yards and three touchdowns, while adding another score on the ground. Two of his touchdowns came in OSU's 21-point third quarter that effectively put Baylor's BCS hopes on ice.
The big coup for the Cowboys was their rush defense. Baylor hadn't been held under 100 yards on the ground all year long but mustered just 94 yards against OSU.
OSU will have next week off before its Bedlam rivalry with OU.
Winner: Arizona State
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham had his eyes on the Pac-12 South title for weeks—even through a frightening near plane crash.
Graham’s Sun Devils faced one last test on the road against UCLA to claim the division crown, and they delivered in a big way, edging the Bruins 38-33.
Afterward, the ASU coach said he had tears in his eyes and was thankful for the sacrifice and heart showed by his players in the win, per DevilsDigest.com.
ASU sacked UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley nine times for minus-61 yards. Chris Young led the way with three of those sacks and 13 total tackles. Carl Bradford added to the enormous effort up front for the Devils with eight tackles, a sack and an interception return for a touchdown.
Quarterback Taylor Kelly paced ASU offensively, amassing 324 total yards and two touchdowns, while running back Marion Grice contributed 268 all-purpose yards (101 kick return, 95 rushing, 72 receiving).
With the win, ASU clinched a place in the Pac-12 title game against Stanford.
Winners: Gary Pinkel and Mizzou
The Missouri Tigers are one win away from claiming the SEC East crown.
While that statement would have sounded ludicrous in August, it is now gospel. Mizzou moved to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in SEC play with a convincing 24-10 road win over Ole Miss.
Head coach Gary Pinkel notched his 100th win at Mizzou, and afterward he lauded the job done by his team this season. As tweeted by David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Pinkel proclaimed, “To say I'm proud of my football team and staff would be an understatement."
After the dominant win, he has plenty to be proud of. At this point he and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn should just split Coach of the Year honors.
Running back Henry Josey led the way, chalking up two of Mizzou’s three touchdowns to go with 95 yards on the ground. The Tiger defense held the Rebels under 400 total yards and was particularly strong in the red zone. Ole Miss notched one field goal and no touchdowns in three red-zone trips.
The Tigers will host Texas A&M Saturday. A win there will give them the SEC East crown and book a trip to Atlanta for the conference title game.
USC’s roll under Ed Orgeron continues, as the Trojans dominated Colorado 47-29.
Running back Javorious Allen led the way with 145 yards and three scores on the ground on a cold night in Boulder.
Allen’s third touchdown opened up a 37-7 lead, which USC carried into the fourth quarter. From there, the Trojans flipped on cruise control, allowing Colorado briefly back into the game.
CU brought the game within 11 points in the final four minutes, but sophomore fullback Soma Vainuku sealed the deal by breaking free for a 52-yard touchdown run. Vainuku also blocked a punt in the first quarter that resulted in a safety for the Trojans.
The only downfall of the weekend for USC was Arizona State’s win over UCLA, which knocked the Trojans out of the Pac-12 South race.
On the bright side, the win was the Trojans’ fifth straight and sixth total under Orgeron, as they improved to 9-3. They’ll finish the regular season Saturday at home against the Bruins.
Winner: Fresno State's BCS Road
The road to the BCS became a little easier for Fresno State late Saturday night.
Boise State appeared to be on its way to the title in the Mountain West Mountain Division, but stumbled, losing 34-31 in overtime to San Diego State.
The Broncos’ loss gave divisional control to Utah State, which now just has to beat Wyoming to take the division crown.
This comes as excellent news for the Bulldogs, who now won’t have to take on the Broncos, who nearly beat them in Fresno earlier this season.
The possibility of playing a USU team without star quarterback Chuckie Keeton is much more desirable than taking on a vindictive Boise team for the conference crown and likely a BCS berth.
The Aggies will host Wyoming Saturday. If they win, they’ll travel to Fresno for the Mountain West title game on Dec. 7.
Winner: Washington Without Price
Washington had to take on Oregon State on the road without star quarterback Keith Price, but it didn’t even matter.
While freshman Cyler Miles filled in for Price, Bishop Sankey and the UW ground game left little to chance for the first-time starter.
The Huskies tallied 530 yards on the ground, averaging 9.1 yards per carry in the 69-27 win.
Sankey paced UW with 179 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries but was just one of three ball carriers to eclipse 140 yards. Deontae Cooper and Dwayne Washington weren’t far behind; combining for 307 yards (166 for Cooper and 141 from Washington) on 11 carries apiece. They each also had two touchdowns.
Washington broke open a 48-point lead before the fourth quarter and later built that to a 62-6 advantage. The Huskies ground gains eclipsed the Beavers’ entire offensive output, as OSU has now lost four straight, while failing to eclipse 30 points in all four defeats.
Meanwhile, Washington improved to 7-4 and will close the season at home on Friday against Washington State.