Auburn stuns Georgia on play for the ages; midday Snap Judgments
• No. 7 Auburn 43, No. 25 Georgia 38: It's become almost a given at this point that the weekly SEC game on CBS will be the most entertaining four hours of the week. But Saturday's clash between the Tigers and the Bulldogs took things to another level thanks to a play for the ages.
Auburn dominated the first three quarters and led 37-17 early in the fourth. But Georgia stormed back with three unanswered touchdowns -- the last on a five-yard run on fourth-and-goal by quarterback Aaron Murray, whose knee may or may not have touched down short of the goal line -- to take a 38-37 lead with 1:49 remaining. A sack on third down left the Tigers facing fourth-and-18 from their own 27-yard line with 36 seconds left. The Bulldogs seemed to be on the verge of a season-salvaging upset.
But then Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall uncorked a deep ball to sophomore wide receiver Ricardo Louis, who was streaking down the center of the field. Two Georgia defensive backs, Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemsons, were all over Louis. Harvey-Clemons deflected the ball, but it bounced up into the hands of Louis, who raced into the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown. CBS cameras showed Murray on the sideline with an exasperated smile. What more could he do?
The Tigers' escape means that the Iron Bowl will decide the SEC West title. The 10-1 Tigers host undefeated Alabama on Nov. 30. SI.com's Zac Ellis was at Jordan-Hare Stadium and has more from the scene. [RECAP l BOX]
• Duke 48, No. 24 Miami 30: As the final moments of garbage time ticked away, fans could briefly hear the chant emanating from the Blue Devils' student section: "We want 'Bama!"
Enjoy it, Duke fans. This is your moment. On the strength of 358 rushing yards, the Blue Devils pulled away from the Hurricanes 48-30 to take over sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division. You read that right. If coach David Cutcliffe's team -- now 8-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play -- beats Wake Forest and North Carolina in each of the next two weeks, Duke will face Florida State in Charlotte on Dec. 7 for the ACC title.
Miami led 17-7 early and 30-28 late in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils gashed them with several big rushing plays. A 56-yard Josh Snead scamper set up a four-yard Brandon Connette touchdown run that put Duke up 38-30, and Shaquille Powell's 33-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one with 6:50 remaining increased Duke's lead to 45-30 and all but put the game away.
There was a bit of a smoke-and-mirrors feel to the Blue Devils last year, when they ended an 18-year bowl drought but ultimately finished 6-7. Not this season. This Duke team is talented enough to have defeated two ranked foes for the first time since 1971. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 12 Oklahoma State 38, No. 23 Texas 13: The Brandon Weeden-Justin Blackmon throw-it-around-the-park Cowboys are a distant memory. In 2013, Oklahoma State simply lines up and whips its opponents. Behind a season-high 95-yard rushing performance from quarterback Clint Chelf (who accounted for four total touchdowns, two of them on the ground) and an opportunistic defense that intercepted Longhorns quarterback Case McCoy three times, coach Mike Gundy's team ended Texas' six-game winning streak in resounding fashion. The dam was bound to break eventually for the injury-plagued Longhorns, but this was the worst home loss of coach Mack Brown's 16-year tenure.
Pending the outcome of No. 4 Baylor's game against Texas Tech on Saturday night, the Cowboys (8-1) have a potentially massive showdown with the Bears next Saturday in Stillwater. The winner of that game will take control of the Big 12 title race. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 14 Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28: Give credit to the Cornhuskers. They became the first team to run for more than 100 yards on the Spartans' defense since they did it last November's in a 28-24 win. In this game, tailback Ameer Abdullah led Nebraska with 123 yards on 22 carries. But the Cornhuskers also coughed up five turnovers, and in the fourth quarter their defense allowed both a 27-yard touchdown pass and 37-yard touchdown run. The Spartans (9-1) inched closer to winning the Big Ten Legends Division. Andy Staples was in Lincoln and has a report. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 2 Florida State 59, Syracuse 3: The Seminoles (10-0, 8-0 ACC) continue to show no mercy to their conference competition. The Orange (5-5, 3-3) entered Saturday allowing a respectable 4.96 yards per play, 23rd nationally. At one point in the third quarter, Florida State held a 59-0 lead despite having run just 39 plays -- an average 12.9 yards per play. Star quarterback Jameis Winston completed 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns in two quarters of work.
• No. 6 Oregon 44, Utah 21: The Ducks started slowly, leading just 17-14 early in the third quarter, but an 86-yard De'Anthony Thomas kick return touchdown helped them pull away. Quarterback Marcus Mariota's knee injury still seems to be affecting him, as he had -18 rushing yards on only four carries. But he was solid through the air, completing 19-of-26 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. After 10 games, he has no interceptions. Playing with backup quarterback Adam Schulz, the Utes gained just 297 total yards. [RECAP l BOX]
• Kansas State 33, TCU 31: The Horned Frogs thought they might have stolen a win after Jaden Oberkrom drilled a go-ahead 56-yard field goal with 2:13 left. But the Wildcats drove down the field and set up their own kicker, Jack Cantele, for a game-winning 41-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. Coach Bill Snyder and K-State have now won four straight games and will play in a bowl game for a fourth straight season. Coach Gary Patterson and TCU, on the other hand, fell to 4-7, and will miss a bowl for the first time since 2004. [RECAP l BOX]
• Michigan 27, Northwestern 19 (3OT): If there's one team in the country more snake-bitten than Georgia, it's the Wildcats. For the second consecutive game, Northwestern was leading prior to the final play of regulation ... and lost. Nebraska beat the Wildcats with a Hail Mary. The Wolverines pulled off their own miracle: Michigan raced its field goal unit on the field with 12 seconds left and the clock ticking and got the snap off with one second remaining. Brendan Gibbons' game-tying 44-yard kick tied the score 9-9 and forced overtime.
Neither offense managed a touchdown in regulation. The Wolverines converted two of 18 third down opportunities. It was ugly all around. But Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner threw for a touchdown and ran for another in overtime. That proved to be the difference, as the Wolverines improved to 7-3 while the Wildcats to fell 0-6 in Big Ten play and 4-6 overall. [RECAP l BOX]
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