K-State rolls, but Collin Klein goes down; more late Snap Judgments
Kansas State stayed perfect, but Collin Klein left Oklahoma State game with injury
Oregon, Kenjon Barner defeated USC in a Pac-12 matchup dominated by offense
Alabama rallied to topple LSU; Clemson's attack continued its strong play at Duke
No. 3 Kansas State 44, Oklahoma State 30: Collin Klein remains at the forefront of the Heisman discussion after another torrid performance in Kansas State's 44-30 win over Oklahoma State. The only concern now is whether or not the senior star is healthy.
Klein dominated the Oklahoma State defense when he was in the game, but he was knocked out in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. He finished with 245 passing yards, 64 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
In a game dominated by big plays in all three phases, the Wildcats maintained a steady lead over the Cowboys from the second quarter forward. Tyler Lockett provided a 50-yard touchdown reception and a 100-yard kickoff return, while Allen Chapman added a pivotal 29-yard pick-six to give the Wildcats a two-touchdown cushion in the second quarter.
Klein demonstrated his usual poise and advanced decision-making, going 16-of-22 before his injury. Commentator Brent Musberger even went so far as to call Klein "the Heisman winner" during the broadcast.
Klein's ability to consistently find different receivers kept Oklahoma State's defense spread out and on its heels. Chris Harper, Tyler Lockett and Travis Tannahill each had five catches and combined for 212 receiving yards. Oklahoma native Tramaine Thompson also added four catches for 64 yards for the Wildcats.
Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt was strong at times, but he was generally inconsistent and, like Klein, eventually left the game with an injury. Lunt finished 11-of-20 for 186 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions before giving way to backup Clint Chelf. Like Lunt, Chelf can sling the ball like the typical Mike Gundy quarterback, and assembled drives of 85, 54 and 64 yards, respectively, in the fourth quarter.
Kansas State added another impressive victory Saturday, but it will face a difficult road tilt when it travels to Fort Worth to play TCU next weekend. The Wildcats have been one of the best, if not the best, road team in the country this year with wins over both Oklahoma and West Virginia in enemy territory. [RECAP l BOX]
No. 2 Oregon 62, No. 18 USC 51: SI.com's Stewart Mandel was at the scene and offered his take on the L.A. shootout and the brilliance of Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota. Still, here are a few notes from the dizzyingly fast and massively entertaining West Coast showdown:
- Matt Barkley should not be considered a Heisman contender. Barkley makes some tremendous throws and has some incredible weapons, but a series of his bad decisions on the fly cost USC in critical situations.
- Marqise Lee and Robert Woods had great games for USC, but freshman receiver Nelson Agholor played like a superstar in the making. Agholor finished with six catches for a career-high 162 yards and one touchdown.
- Mariota needs to be mentioned in any discussion about the best dual-threat quarterback in the country. Mariota operates the offense at a breakneck pace and can charge out of the pocket for a big gain.
No. 1 Alabama 21, No. 5 LSU 17: Andy Staples was in Baton Rouge and has a recap of the biggest game of the regular season. But here a few quick observations:
- Zach Mettenberger has endured endless criticism from LSU fans and college football fans alike, but he played big when it mattered Saturday. Unfortunately, Mettenberger may have opened himself up to some ribbing after telling the Alabama fans to call him... maybe?
- Bleacher Report's Adam Jacobi noted on Twitter that LSU fullback J.C. Copeland looked like Rick Ross or Kimbo Slice charging down the sideline. Others thought Mark Ingram looked like Kimbo. I totally forgot Kimbo Slice still entered the public psyche.
- Broadcaster Gary Danielson was hard on AJ McCarron because of his struggles leading the 'Bama offense in the second half. But Danielson became one of McCarron's biggest fans by the end of the game. McCarron is another player who must be considered a Heisman contender at this point, even if he benefits from the best offensive line and defense in the nation.
No. 25 UCLA 66, No. 24 Arizona 10: Armed with some intimidating alternate uniforms, UCLA obliterated Arizona from the opening snap, and the Pac-12 South race is now ever so fascinating. Brett Hundley completed 16 consecutive passes, Johnathan Franklin became UCLA's all-time leading rusher and the Bruins pounced all over the team that upset USC last week. UCLA now leads the Trojans by a half game in the Pac-12 South.
This game marked the first time the Bruins eclipsed 50 points since the 2005 Sun Bowl, when they beat Northwestern 50-38. The usually razor sharp Matt Scott struggled all night for Arizona and was eventually knocked out of the game to undergo concussion tests. Scott was seen throwing up on the sidelines last week, a typical sign of concussion symptoms, but he reentered that game to complete the upset of the Trojans.
Despite a head-scratching 43-17 loss to Cal, UCLA has now surged toward the top of the Pac-12 South under first-year coach Jim Mora. The Bruins travel to Washington State next week before ending the season with major home tilts against Stanford and USC. [RECAP l BOX]
No. 13 Oregon State 36, Arizona State 26: Mike Riley's side continued its magical season with a dominant second half and some key contributions from unlikely sources. Without star defensive back Jordan Poyer or starting running back Storm Woods, the Beavers still suffocated the Sun Devils when it mattered.
Oregon State turned to quarterback Cody Vaz, who previously started when Sean Mannion was injured, and Vaz will likely remain the starter following his performance Saturday. Mannion was benched after throwing four interceptions last week at Washington, and Vaz -- effectively if inconsistently -- led the Beavers to victory. The junior finished 14-of-33 for 267 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
With help from stud wideouts Markus Wheaton, who caught four balls for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and Brandin Cooks, who finished with six catches for 116 yards and one touchdown, Oregon State overcame a slow start and wore out an excited but hardly resilient Arizona State team. Beavers backup running back Terron Ward, who had logged only 10 carries before Saturday night, exploded for 19 carries, 146 yards and a touchdown. [RECAP l BOX]
San Diego State 21, No. 19 Boise State 19: It's official: A new team will have to assume the role of BCS buster. After Saturday's shocking loss, Boise State won't be filling that spot.
Boise State's lukewarm quarterback play led to more problems, and the Broncos struggled all night against the upset-minded Aztecs. Unable to stretch the San Diego State defense, quarterback Joe Southwick jolted the home crowd on a fourth-and-15 completion that set up a Dan Paul touchdown. But Southwick was subsequently intercepted on the potential game-tying two-point conversion. He finished 20-for-31 with one touchdown and one pick.
No. 10 Clemson 56, Duke 20: DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins caught his first three passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Even on a team with another star wideout in Sammy Watkins, Hopkins has emerged as a total stud since he was baptized at practice earlier this season.
Clemson has quietly dominated the ACC since it lost to Florida State Sept. 22. Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns for a second straight week. And even though the ACC's general futility may hurt the Tigers' 2012 reputation, their offense remains electric and their defense has (relatively) improved. [RECAP l BOX]