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College Football 2012 – Week Seven Recap

LSU's Sam Montgomery celebrates during the Tigers' win over South Carolina.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This was another exciting week in college football, including monster upsets, big rivalry games, close finishes and even a little controversy that could play into the national title mix.

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

#1 Alabama 42, Missouri 10

Alabama running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon rushed for a combined 321 yards and five touchdowns as the Crimson Tide rolled up a season-high 533 total yards. The defense continued its dominance, holding the Tigers to just three rushing yards, blocking a punt and forcing three turnovers. The lone bright spot for Missouri came when Marcus Murphy returned a second quarter kickoff 98 yards for a score, his fourth return touchdown this season (a new school record).

#2 Oregon Bye

After manhandling then-#23 Washington last week, the Ducks got a week off before returning to action next Thursday night at Arizona State.

#9 Louisiana State 23, #3 South Carolina 21

After rushing for just 71 total yards in the Tigers’ six previous games, freshman running back Jeremy Hill exploded for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead LSU to its first home conference win of the year. South Carolina actually led 14-10 with less than 11 minutes to play in the game before LSU rattled off 13 unanswered points in the game’s next six minutes. The big story of the night was the resurgence of the Tigers’ run defense. After giving up 146 yards and two touchdowns to Florida’s Mike Gillislee last week, LSU held the Gamecocks and star running back Marcus Lattimore to just 34 total rushing yards. LSU outgained the Gamecocks 406-211, but four of the Tigers’ five trips into the USC red zone resulted in field goal attempts instead of touchdowns.

#4 Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17

Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel rushed for 177 yards (breaking Tim Tebow’s school record for rushing by a quarterback) and five touchdowns to continue Florida’s undefeated season. Vanderbilt actually took an early 7-0 lead before the Gators defense, which ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense, stiffened and held the Commodores to just 101 total yards and a missed field goal on their next seven possessions. Meanwhile the Gators rolled up 21 unanswered points to take a lead they would not relinquish. Thanks to a front-loaded SEC schedule, this was Florida’s last conference road game this season—they have five straight home games coming up followed by their season-ending rivalry game at Florida State.

Texas Tech 49, #5 West Virginia 14

In the week’s biggest upset, Texas Tech’s defense held the Mountaineers to just 14 points after they’d averaged 52 a game this season. West Virginia had the third-worst pass defense coming into the this game, and Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege took advantage, throwing for 499 yards and six touchdowns in the win. Texas Tech scored touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions while holding the Mountaineers’ high octane offense scoreless for more than 46 straight minutes.  WVU quarterback Geno Smith, who was averaging over 399 passing yards per game, was held to just 275 yards and one touchdown in the loss.

#6 Kansas State 27, Iowa State 21

Collin Klein rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats survived a valiant upset bid by the Cyclones. Iowa State was playing without leading rusher James White (knee), and the offense struggled in his absence, managing just 231 total yards and being held to 4/12 on third down conversions.

#7 Notre Dame 20, #17 Stanford 13 (OT)

The Fighting Irish moved to 6-0 for the first time since 2002, but the victory was not without controversy. Facing a 4th-and-goal from the one yard line in overtime, Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor appeared to land on a pile of players and reach the ball across the goal line. However, the officials ruled that his forward progress had been stopped before the score and the ruling was eventually upheld by replay officials. Taylor finished with 102 yards in the loss, but was unable—at least officially—to make the game’s biggest play. The win snaps Stanford’s three-game winning streak in this series. This was Notre Dame’s third win over a Top 20 team this season and the Irish defense has not given up a touchdown since Week Two.

#8 Ohio State 52, Indiana 49

Indiana scored 15 points in less than a minute to pull within three points, but was unable to recover an onside kick with just 1:05 left, securing the victory for Ohio State. Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller continued his hot play, piling up 360 total yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Carlos Hyde recorded his second straight game with 140+ rushing yards, racking up 156 yards and two scores (one receiving) in the win. Indiana made this game interesting the whole way—four times the Buckeyes went up double digits only to have the Hoosiers respond with a score to pull within striking distance. Ohio State has now won 18 straight games over the Hoosiers.

#10 Oregon State 42, Brigham Young 24

Playing for the injured Sean Mannion, Oregon State backup quarterback Cody Vaz made the most of his first career start, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns against the nation’s 12th-rated pass defense in the Beavers’ highest-scoring game of the season. Oregon State’s defense continued its impressive season, holding the Cougars to just 81 rushing yards, forcing three turnovers, getting four sacks and returning an interception for a touchdown to secure the victory late in the fourth quarter. The Beavers are 5-0 for the first time since 1939.

#11 Southern Cal 24, Washington 14

USC’s offense got all its scoring in the game’s first 18 minutes. But that was more than enough for a dominant Trojans defense that held the Huskies to just 299 total yards, forced four turnovers (including three in the fourth quarter) and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. USC running back Silas Redd led the Trojans’ offensive attack, rushing for 155 yards and a touchdown. This was the Trojans’ 186th straight game without being shut out, a new school record.

#12 Florida State 51, Boston College 7

After being upset by North Carolina State last week, the Seminoles regrouped in a big way against a struggling Boston College. FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns. Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 104 yards (the first back to top 100 yards against the Seminoles this season), but he was the lone bright spot for an Eagles offense that was held to just 225 total yards.

#13 Oklahoma 63, #15 Texas 21

The Red River Rivalry quickly turned into a blowout as the Sooners jumped out to a 36-2 halftime lead and never looked back. Oklahoma running back Damien Williams rushed for 167 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown (the longest scoring play in the history of this rivalry) and OU short-yardage specialist Blake Bell added four scores as the Sooners racked up 343 yards on the ground. In the game, Texas was outgained 677-289, the biggest differential for the Longhorns since 1950. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones, who threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, set the school record for career wins and became just the fourth OU quarterback to beat Texas three times. Oklahoma has won three straight in this series, including the last two by a combined score of 118-38.

#14 Georgia BYE

The Bulldogs had the week off to regroup from last week’s disastrous 35-7 loss to South Carolina. They return to the field next week at Kentucky.

#16 Clemson BYE

Clemson needed a fourth-quarter rally to come back to defeat Georgia Tech last week. So it was probably good they had a week off to regroup and prepare for next week’s matchup against Virginia Tech.

#18 Louisville 45, Pittsburgh 35

Pittsburgh held a 21-17 halftime lead, but Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led the Cardinals to 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to give Louisville its first 6-0 start since 2006. Bridgewater threw for 304 yards and a touchdown while running back Senorise Perry added 101 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on the ground in the win. The loss drops the Panthers to 0-3 in the Big East for the first time since 2001.

#19 Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31

Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Volunteers. The junior set career highs in attempts, completions and passing yards. Running back LaDarius Perkins added 101 rushing yards and a score as Mississippi State moved to 6-0 for the first time since 1999.

#20 Rutgers 23, Syracuse 15

This game was tied at seven at halftime before Rutgers blocked a field goal and returned it 75 yards for a score, the first of 16 unanswered points the Scarlet Knights got to secure the victory. The Rutgers defense, which game into the game ranked second nationally in rush defense, continued its strong season, holding the Orange to just 62 rushing yards and forcing four turnovers.

#21 Cincinnati 49, Fordham 17

Cincinnati led their FCS opponents by just eight points at halftime before erupting with 21 unanswered points to start the third quarter and put the game out of reach. Bearcats quarterback Munchie Legeaux threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns (his seventh straight game with at least two touchdown passes) and added another rushing touchdown to lead Cincinnati to its eighth straight win. Fordham kicker Patrick Murray made three field goals, including a school-record 55-yarder, in the loss.

#22 Texas A&M 59, #23 Louisiana Tech 57

Louisiana Tech scored twice in the final two minutes of the game, but was unable to convert a two-point conversion with 38 seconds left, allowing the Aggies to escape Shreveport with a shootout win. Texas A&M’s do-it-all quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 395 yards, rushed for 181 and scored six touchdowns in the win. Texas A&M jumped out to a 27-0 lead and still led 46-23 late in the third quarter, but had to hold off a furious rally by Louisiana Tech, which went on a 34-13 run in the game’s final 18 minutes. Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron rolled up 450 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort. The 116 combined points was the highest total in A&M school history. This game was originally scheduled for August 30, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Isaac.

#24 Boise State 20, Fresno State 10

Boise State’s running back tandem of D.J. Harper and Jay Ajayi rushed for 213 yards and a score as the Broncos outrushed Fresno 215-56 in the game. Boise has held five of its six opponents this season to 17 or fewer points. The Broncos defense shut out its opponent in the first half for the fourth straight game.

#25 Michigan 45, Illinois 0

Denard Robinson threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Wolverines had no trouble getting past a struggling Illini squad that has now lost four straight. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a concussion, and the Illini could manage just 29 total passing yards in the game (134 total). With 128 rushing yards today, Robinson became just the fourth quarterback in FBS history with 4,000+ career rushing yards.

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