Winners and Losers: Let’s all welcome Tulane to bowl eligibility

While there were lots of winners in Week 9, no one was a bigger winner than Division III Western Connecticut running back Octavias McKoy, who etched his name in the NCAA record book.

McKoy rushed for 455 yards - yes, 455 yards - against Worcester State on Saturday, setting the all-time rushing record for all NCAA levels. It surpassed the 441 yards by Dante Brown of Marietta in 1996 and the FBS record of 406 yards set by former TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson in 1999.

While McKoy’s numbers are impressive, he’s been putting up ridiculous rushing numbers all season.

He’s rushed for 163, 372 and 226 yards in each of this last three games. He scored five touchdowns on Saturday – his third consecutive game with five touchdowns – to bring his season total to 23. He has 1,556 yards is seven games.

McKoy has actually been named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Offensive Player of the Week each of the past three week.

Probably a safe bet he’ll keep that streak going.

Here are the rest of the winners – and losers – from Week 9:


Minnesota: It has been nearly a decade since Minnesota was relevant in the Big Ten, but after today’s 34-23 upset over Nebraska, the Gophers (6-2, 2-2) are firmly in the hunt in the Legends Division. The win by the Gophers granted bowl-eligibility, halted a 16-game losing streak to Nebraska and was the school’s first win against the Cornhuskers since 1960.

Jordan Lynch: Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch amassed 339 total yards of offense (223 passing, 99 rushing, 17 receiving) against Eastern Michigan while passing for four scores, running for a score and even catching a 17-yard touchdown. Lynch is the second player in the last ten years with four passing TDs, a rushing TD and receiving TD in the same game. Behind Lynch, the No. 18 Huskies beat the Eagles 59-20 to improve to 8-0 on the season. A performance like this, coupled with 316 yards rushing last week, has to put Lynch in the conversation for the Heisman.

Connor Shaw: Why the heck didn't he start? After spraining his left knee against Tennessee, Shaw didn't start against Missouri, but was dressed out and available. After backup Dylan Thompson struggled, Shaw relieved him in the second half and led South Carolina back from a 17-0 deficit to defeat Missouri 27-24 in double overtime.

Thompson missed open receivers in his stint at quarterback, but Shaw didn't, hitting an open Bruce Ellington for a touchdown in the first overtime on 4th and goal from the 15 after Missouri had easily scored a TD on its first possession.

Shaw finished 20-29 for 201 yards and three touchdowns. And probably won't be missing any more time because of the knee injury.

Tulane: After 10 consecutive losing seasons, Tulane secured bowl eligibility Saturday for the first time since 2002 with a 14-7 win over Tulsa. The Green Wave defense forced four turnovers and quarterback Devin Powell, filling in for injured starter Nick Montana, threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns. The win improved Tulane’s record to 6-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in Conference USA play.

Duke: The Blue Devils went into Lane Stadium and shocked the No. 14 Virginia Tech Hokies behind a stout defensive effort, 13-10. The win marked Duke’s first victory over a ranked team since they beat Virginia in 1994 and first road win over a ranked team since 1971. The Blue Devils’ defense forced Tech’s Logan Thomas to throw four interceptions and kicker Ross Martin became the first FBS kicker this season to make two 50-yard field goals in the same game. Duke improved to 6-2 (2-2 ACC) and is now bowl eligible for the second straight season after previously going since 1995 without a bowl appearance.


Missouri: Andrew Baggett's chip shot off the upright will be played endlessly over the rest of the season, but the Tigers should have had the game in the bag long before overtime arrived. Missouri got just seven points off three South Carolina turnovers and was hapless in the second half on offense, failing to put the Gamecocks away on several occasions.

Oh, and Missouri also gave up 17 fourth quarter points in its eventual 27-24 double overtime loss. Not all is lost for the Tigers; Mizzou is still 7-1 and controls its own destiny in the SEC East. But goodness, when you force a fumble near the goal line and subsequently get a 96-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0, you have to hold on to the lead.

Northwestern: Things were so promising in Evanston four weeks ago. The Wildcats were 4-0, ESPN's College Gameday was in town and dreams of a Big Ten title. Now, well, they're not so promising. Northwestern lost 17-10 to Iowa in overtime Saturday to drop to 4-4 and o-4 in the conference.

And with a tough four games left, bowl eligibility is suddenly in the balance. Northwestern has Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois all left. With the way that the Wildcats have played in November, it's hard to find more than two wins there, even in a weird Big Ten.

The Weather: Storms across Texas forced many people to have to wait... and wait... and wait for the Texas-TCU game to resume after a weather delay of more than three hours. Each time the game seemed to be ready to resume, lightning would force both teams back into their locker rooms for an additional 30 minutes. Sadly, TCU probably wished the refs would have just called the contest because Texas turned a 17-7 weather-delay lead into a 30-7 rout.

TCU coach Gary Patterson's assessment after the game: "I'm not pleased with anything."

Boise State: This isn't the Boise State that we've come to know. The Broncos lost their third game of the season Friday night against BYU 37-20 in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

This is only the third time in the last 11 seasons that the Broncos have lost three or more games. And that "or more" really isn't much of one, because the weakest Boise season in that span was a 9-4 in 2005 under Dan Hawkins that culminated in a bowl loss to Boston College.

Much like Florida and Georgia, Boise has been hit by the injury bug, and has lost nine players to the season, according to coach Chris Peterson. And that may or may not include quarterback Joe Southwick, who broke his ankle last week. Still, it speaks to how far Boise has come on the college football landscape if we're talking about a team at 5-3 that's underperforming expectations the program has set for itself.

Southern Mississippi: What's rock bottom? Southern Miss is trying to answer that question. The program that hasn't won a game since the 2011 Conference-USA Championship when it upset Houston and it extended that streak Saturday, losing 55-14 to North Texas. Oh, that's the second straight time Southern Miss has lost by that score.

The Golden Eagles have been 296-79 this season, and lost its most winnable game of the season on Oct. 5 to Florida International. Is Southern Miss about to go two seasons without a win?

Sam Cooper contributed to this post

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Graham Watson

is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

Nick Bromberg

is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!