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Dr. Saturday

Winners and losers: Behold, the Wisconsin running attack

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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(Getty Images)

Wisconsin isn't as flashy as Baylor and Oregon, but it is brutally effective.

Let's call it Stanford on steroids, shall we? The Cardinal received high praise for what it did to Oregon on Nov. 8, rushing 66 times for 274 yards. On Saturday against Indiana, Wisconsin ran for 554 yards on 50 carries for its fifth straight win.

Sure, Indiana's porous defense is nothing compared to the very good defense of the Ducks, but this is no aberration for the Badgers, who have been running over, around and through opponents this season.

Three backs -- Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement -- all topped 100 yards, and wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, yes you read that correctly, wasn't too far behind with 86 yards on three carries.

Gordon received the majority of attention for the Wisconsin ground game as the team's leading rusher, but White went over 1,000 yards for the season on his first carry of the game Saturday, a 93-yard touchdown run that turned out to be quite the warning shot over the Indiana bow.

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The Badgers have been away from the national forefront thanks to that wild loss at Arizona State and Ohio State's apparent stranglehold on the Big Ten. And let's be honest, also because its offense isn't designed to accumulate a ton of snaps like Baylor or Oregon; the Badgers ran just 65 plays from scrimmage.

But when it's working, it's merciless. Just ask the Hoosiers. Here's who else did well -- and not so well -- this Week 12.

WINNERS

Maryland: This week, quarterback C.J. Brown took responsibility for the Terps' recent struggles, so it was fitting that he scored the game-winning touchdown that gave Maryland its first bowl eligibility in the Randy Edsall era. The Terps have not won six or more games since 2010.

No team has had a more tumultuous season than Maryland. The Terps were on top of the world after demolishing West Virginia early in the year only to be brought back down to Earth by a shutout/beatdown by Florida State. Since then, the wins have been hard to come by, the injuries have mounted and the good feelings about the program have soured.

But, at least for the week, all of that disappears while the Terps celebrate a probable postseason berth.

Vanderbilt: For years, the idea of Vanderbilt going to a bowl was something of a dream, but after Saturday’s 22-6 win over Kentucky, the Commodores are celebrating their third consecutive season with bowl eligibility. It's unprecedented in Vanderbilt history. Last year marked the first time the program had gone to two consecutive bowls.

The Commodores still have games against Tennessee and Wake Forest, which could make them 8-4 and one win away from matching last year’s nine wins.

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Andre Williams: A week after running for 295 yards on 30 carries, Williams increased both of those numbers in Boston College's 38-21 win over North Carolina State.

Williams ran 42 times for 339 yards and two touchdowns, his third consecutive game with two rushing touchdowns and in the process, set the single-game and single-season rushing records for BC, breaking the season mark that was held by Mike Cloud.

It's also his fourth game over 200 yards this season and Boston College is now bowl eligible at 6-4.

Kapri Bibbs: Simply put, Colorado State’s Kapri Bibbs is a beast. The sophomore ran for 291 yards and SIX touchdowns in the Rams’ 66-42 shootout victory over New Mexico. Bibbs scored on runs of 11, 27, 1, 7, 26, and 18 yards, tying a conference record and helping the Rams (6-5, 4-2) become bowl eligible.

In his past two games, Bibbs has run for a whopping 603 yards and 10 touchdowns. Coming into the game, Bibbs was tenth in the nation in rushing yards and first in rushing touchdowns. After today’s performance, he has 1,439 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Colorado: Colorado snapped a 14-game conference losing streak that lasted over a year by beating California 41-24 Saturday. Freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau threw for a career-high 364 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Buffaloes (4-6, 1-6) to their first Pac-12 win since beating Washington State on Sept. 22, 2012. Receiver Paul Richardson tied a school record with 11 receptions for 140 yards, while Nelson Spruce matched Richardson’s day with 140 yards on eight catches.

The Buffaloes defense, which had been allowing 40 points per game, held Cal (1-10, 0-8) to just 4-of-17 on third down. The win kept Colorado’s bowl hopes alive as they host USC next week before closing out the season at Utah.

BONUS WINNER

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Carlos Hyde: The Ohio State running back didn’t start the game because of disciplinary reasons, but it didn’t take him long to make his mark. Hyde rushed for a career-high 246 yards and four touchdowns. He had long touchdown runs of 51 and 55 yards in the 60-35 win and was part of an Ohio State ground effort that gained 441 of its 591 total yards of offense.

LOSERS

Dana Holgorsen: What do you say when your West Virginia team has given Kansas its first Big 12 win since 2010? Well, Dana Holgorsen said a lot.

After his team fell 31-19 to the Jayhawks to guarantee bowl ineligibility and break an 11-year bowl streak, Holgorsen called it an "all-time low" for the program and said that his team was currently not equipped to play in the Big 12.

Harsh remarks, but that type of self-reflection happens after you lose to the lowly Jayhawks and inspire its fans to tear down the goalposts. And is Holgorsen's reign at West Virginia now in jeopardy?

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Northwestern: Even since ESPN’s "College GameDay" visited Northwestern’s campus, the program has seemingly been cursed. The Wildcats have lost six in a row, including Saturday’s heartbreaker against Michigan, which should have been a Northwestern win. With seconds remaining in the game and Northwestern up 9-6, the Wildcats tackled a Michigan receiver in-bounds and it looked like the clock was going to run out. But the Wolverines ran their field goal unit onto the field and kicked a field goal with no time remaining to force overtime.

Three overtime periods later the Wildcats had another loss. It’s crazy plays like this that sum up Northwestern’s last couple months. And with Michigan State up next, the Wildcats are going to have trouble stopping the bleeding.

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Texas: Since coach Mack Brown went on the hot seat in September, the team rallied and rattled of six straight wins. That streak came to an abrupt end Saturday thanks to Oklahoma State. The loss drops the Longhorns out of first place in the Big 12 and now they’ll need some help to win the conference title, get to a BCS bowl and possibly keep Brown’s job.

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Southern Miss: Let's transition to another former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator in Todd Monken's team.

We've said it before and we'll say it again, it somehow keeps getting worse for Southern Miss, who lost to the team formerly coached by Carl Pelini -- at home! -- 41-7.

How bad was it against Florida Atlantic? Well, Southern Miss tallied less than 200 total yards, including 20 yards on the ground on a resounding 25 carries. Yes, it doesn't take much math skill to realize that's less than a yard per carry.

Iowa State: Oh Cyclones, you had the Sooners on the ropes. Or you thought you did, anyway.

Iowa State was up 10-3 and after an Oklahoma punt return for a touchdown, was still tied 10-10 at halftime. Was Oklahoma going to sleepwalk through the game and give Iowa State a chance for the upset? Nope.

Oklahoma scored 38 unanswered in the second half to win 48-10. With Kansas' win, Iowa State is now the only winless team in the Big 12 this season. The best chance to change that is next week against the Jayhawks, who visit Jack Trice Stadium. Can Iowa State make sure it's not the most futile team in the Big 12 this year?

Sam Cooper contributed to this post

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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