USC survives underwhelming effort at Washington; more late Snaps
USC's offense struggled in second half, but the Trojans held on to beat Washington
Quarterback Jeff Driskel paced the Gators on the ground in their win at Vanderbilt
Indiana mounted late comeback, but Braxton Miller and Ohio St. stayed unbeaten
No. 11 USC 24, Washington 14: How much longer can USC get away with this?
At this point in the season, it's practically become routine: Lane Kiffin's Trojans are making a living at squeaking out wins in spite of less-than-stellar performances. So, following Saturday's game in Seattle, it should come as no surprise that USC's matchup with Washington was the same story but with a different tune.
The Trojans were upset in their last road game against the Huskies in 2009, and a repeat of that narrative looked very possible at points throughout the action. After a strong first half in which tailback Silas Redd helped USC build a 24-7 lead, the offense couldn't muster big plays late and was shut out in the second half. Washington had a chance to make it a one-possession game in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, but quarterback Keith Price was stripped on the USC six-yard line, and the ball was recovered by the Trojans. In fact, were it not for the Trojans' defense -- which sacked Price five times and forced four turnovers on the night -- the former preseason No. 1 team in the country could be facing its second loss only midway through the season.
Of course, at 5-1 and 3-1 in conference, the Trojans are hardly smarting. They are still very much in the hunt for the Pac-12 title. But the question is whether USC's true colors have already shown. How much longer can an offensive unit with Matt Barkley and Robert Woods flirt with disappointment? Is there any more to this team? Perhaps this is what the Trojans really are: a talented roster that plays down to the likes of Syracuse and Utah, two lesser opponents that stood within striking distance of beating USC earlier this season.
The Trojans' offense has some work to do if it hopes to stay in BCS contention. USC will certainly be tested. Dates with Oregon and Notre Dame -- both of which remain undefeated -- loom in November. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 4 Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17: The red-hot Gators were riding a 21-game win streak against Vanderbilt heading into Saturday's meeting in Nashville, and Will Muschamp's crew marked the occasion of the 'Dores first sellout since 2008 by extending that streak to 22. Florida generated most of its offense on the ground, and the majority of the damage came from quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel punched in all three Gators' rushing touchdowns and his 177 yards (on only 11 carries) set a record by a Florida quarterback, breaking Tim Tebow's mark of 166 yards set in 2007. In all, the Gators gashed Vandy for 326 yards on the ground.
Now, Florida must look ahead to a tough two-week stretch: It hosts South Carolina next Saturday before traveling to Jacksonville to face Georgia. The matchup with the Gamecocks looms large with SEC East implications, and the Gators largely control their destiny after South Carolina's loss to LSU. But here's one thing Muschamp likely knows: Florida will need more than just Driskel's legs to survive Steve Spurrier's return to Gainesville. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 8 Ohio State 52, Indiana 49: Braxton Miller turned in another stellar performance by throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for another 149 yards and a score to hold off a pesky Indiana squad. But surprisingly, the Buckeyes' bid for their 18th straight win over the Hoosiers wasn't the cakewalk many expected.
Indiana scored 15 points in a 35-second span in the fourth quarter to narrow the deficit in a game in which both teams traded blow after blow. But Ohio State's 353 rushing yards proved too much to handle for the Hoosiers, which have now lost 11 straight Big Ten games. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 9 LSU 23, No. 3 South Carolina 21: LSU's Jeremy Hill put together a breakout performance by rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers handed the Gamecocks their first loss of the season. SI.com's Pete Thamel was on the scene in Baton Rouge. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 22 Texas A&M 59, No. 23 Louisiana Tech 57: Defense didn't make its way to Shreveport for the Aggies' matchup with Louisiana Tech. But Texas A&M survived the shootout, and SI.com's Holly Anderson was at the scene. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 12 Florida State 51, Boston College 7: The No. 12 Seminoles bounced back from last week's upset loss to NC State with an aerial attack to remember. Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel completed 27-of-34 passes for 439 yards and four touchdowns as the 'Noles dismantled Boston College. Florida State stepped on the gas early, jumping out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter, and it never looked back. This could be just the response Jimbo Fisher's team needed before facing rival Miami next week. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 19 Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31: As Vols' coach Derek Dooley coached from the press box while nursing a surgically repaired hip, his Tennessee team added to his losing legacy against ranked opponents. Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell passed for 291 yards and two touchdowns as the 6-0 Bulldogs matched their best start since 1999 and snapped a six-game losing streak in the series. [RECAP I BOX]
No. 21 Cincinnati 49, Fordham 17: Cincinnati put on a clinic with its halftime adjustments Saturday. The Bearcats likely worried fans when they maintained only a 14-6 lead over FCS opponent Fordham after the second quarter, but those concerns quickly disappeared: Cincinnati scored on every one of its second-half possessions to put away any hopes of an upset. Quarterback Munchie Legaux led the charge with 262 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing score. [RECAP I BOX]
Arkansas 49, Kentucky 7: The well-documented Razorbacks' frustrations came to a head Saturday in Fayetteville, where Kentucky bore the full weight of an Arkansas offensive onslaught. Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson threw for a career-high five touchdowns to help Arkansas earn its second straight win after its four-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the hapless Wildcats dropped to 1-6 and 0-4 in SEC play, stoking the coals beneath coach Joker Phillips' seat. [RECAP I BOX]
TCU 49, Baylor 21: In its second game without starting quarterback Casey Pachall, who has since withdrawn from school after his arrest on suspicion of DWI, TCU lit up Baylor. Trevone Boykin, starting in place of Pachall, threw four touchdown passes in the first Big 12 game between the schools. [RECAP I BOX]