We missed you, Oregon and Baylor.
Five top 10 teams were off on Saturday, including the two most explosive offenses in college football, and their absence was apparent.
Florida State and Miami, Saturday's showcase game between top 10 teams, saw the Noles favored by 22. And it ended larger than that after FSU won 41-14. No. 4 Ohio State steamrolled Purdue 56-0 and could have had Urban Meyer and his coaching staff play offense in the second half. No. 8 Clemson rolled. So did No. 9 Missouri.
Heck, we even missed you, Alabama, even if you've been partaking in many of the types of games that we just mentioned in the paragraph above. We needed someone -- or someone's fans -- to spice it up.
Instead, the day's four best games all had serious warts. Illinois took Penn State to overtime, but fell short in its bid to break what's now an 18-game conference losing streak. West Virginia fought back against TCU to win in overtime, but the former BCS bowl teams now in the Big 12 were fighting for their bowl eligibility lives instead of anything close to first place in the conference.
And Georgia held on to beat Florida by three in a game that we would have initially pegged as an SEC East title decider. We don't need to tell you that after all the injuries each team has sustained this season that it wasn't. Florida's first half did a good enough job explaining that for us.
What's the fourth? That's Nebraska's last second win over Northwestern, though it was pretty nondescript until the craziness of what happened below.
Ron Kellogg III: Ron Kellogg III began the season as a walk-on third-string fifth-year senior with nine career pass attempts who wasn’t put on scholarship until August.
Saturday he was a hero.
Kellogg was inserted for the struggling Tommy Armstrong Jr., who threw three interceptions while filling in for the injured Taylor Martinez. After a late Armstrong interception appeared to have doomed the Huskers chances for a win, Bo Pelini inserted Kellogg into the game with just 1:20 to go and Nebraska down three. Kellogg led an improbable drive with no timeouts that concluded in an incredible Hail Mary pass for a 49-yard game-winning touchdown to Jordan Westerkamp as time expired. Kellogg finished the day 7-for-13 for 104 yards, including the game-winner. The win improved the Cornhuskers’ record to 6-2 (3-1 Big Ten).
Here's a great pic of the catch:
— World-Herald Big Red (@OWHbigred) November 2, 2013
And here's one of Northwestern's agony.
John Spooney: Brown senior running back John Spooney rushed for 232 yards on 16 carries and became the first Ivy League running back to have a run of 90 or more yards twice in a game. The Ivy League 100-meter champion in track and field broke runs of 93 and 94 yards in the first half to help the Bears knock off Penn 27-0. Despite sitting out the final 20 minutes with the game well in hand, Spooney’s 232-yard record is good for sixth best in Brown football history. The win improved Brown’s record to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the Ivy League.
Anthony LaCoste: Air Force running back Anthony LaCoste ran for a whopping 263 yards and scored three touchdowns on 23 carries to help the Falcons end a seven-game losing streak in a 42-28 win over Army. LaCoste’s effort was the second most rushing yards in program history, just short of Kansas City Chiefs receiver Chad Hall’s 275-yard performance in 2007. LaCoste, a senior who played defensive back last season, broke off touchdown runs of 73 and 78 yards, as well as a short 1-yard score. The win improved Air Force’s record to 2-7.
Bill Belton: Nittany Lions junior running back Bill Belton set career highs with 201 yards rushing on 36 attempts in Penn State’s 24-17 overtime victory over Illinois. Belton became the first Penn State 200-yard rusher since Larry Johnson ran for 279 yards in 2002.
Belton has had an up-and-down road since Bill O’Brien was hired last year. He came in to the 2012 season as Penn State’s starter before an injury and inconsistent play planted him on the bench behind eventual 1,000-yard rusher Zach Zwinak. Zwinak has had fumbling issues this year and Belton has seized his opportunity to regain the starting position. By comparison, Belton rushed for just 268 yards all of last season, and only one total yard in November of 2012. Penn State improved to 5-3 (2-2 Big Ten) with the win.
Texas State: Dennis Franchione's Bobcats are bowl eligible. The former TCU and Alabama coach's team got its sixth win of the season Saturday after beating Idaho 37-20 in just its second season at the FBS level.
The Bobcats, 6-3, have done it with a rotation at quarterback and a heavy, heavy ground attack. While Tyler Jones threw for two touchdowns Saturday, Texas State has thrown just six touchdown passes on the season compared to 19 touchdown runs. Who says you have to throw like crazy to be successful?
Purdue offense: It has been a tough season for Darrell Hazell and the Purdue Boilermakers and Saturday wasn’t any different. The Boilermakers were trounced 56-0 at home by Ohio State, the program’s most lopsided defeat since 1974. The loss also marked the first time Purdue has been shutout in back-to-back games since 1953. The Boilermakers accounted for just 116 total yards on offense and were 2-of-12 on third down. Quarterback Danny Etling threw a pick-six to the Buckeyes’ Doran Grant just 57 seconds into the first quarter, which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. The loss dropped Purdue to 1-7 (0-4 Big Ten) with the team’s only win coming against Indiana State, an FCS school with a 1-8 record.
Virginia Tech: Teams that are expected to contend for the ACC title do not lose to Duke and Boston College. Especially on back-to-back weeks.
The Hokies had four turnovers for the second straight week, and that was the Achilles' heel in its 34-27 loss to Boston College. They outgained the Eagles by almost 100 yards and held BC to 2-12 on third down. But BC didn't turn the ball over at all.
The schedule doesn't get any easier next week, either. The Hokies have Miami and with a loss, lose any chance at a Coastal Division title.
Auburn: Yes, the Tigers beat Arkansas 35-17. But accusations of teams faking injuries to slow down fast-paced offenses, you would think the coaching staff would have wanted better execution here. And let's be honest, Auburn runs a pretty fast paced offense themselves. Was this a way of messing with the Hogs after Bret Bielema's accusations earlier in the week?
Wake Forest: A week after Wake Forest nearly upset then-unbeaten Miami, the Demon Deacons were shutout 13-0 by a Syracuse team that needed a win to keep the dream of bowl eligibility alive. The Wake Forest offense, which has surged in the past three games, only managed to get as far as the Syracuse 32-yard line – and that was in the first half.
Indiana: Indiana mounted a furious comeback against Minnesota only to have it fall short in the most heartbreaking way. With 25 seconds remaining, down three and on the 9-yard line, quarterback Nate Sudfeld pitched a lateral to Tevin Coleman, which he juggled and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Minnesota, ending the game and likely eliminating the Hoosiers from bowl eligibility with games against Wisconsin and Ohio State among their four final contests.
Sam Cooper contributed to this post
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