Orange Bowl

Last Call: Week 11

 
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FSU wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin by Hokies cornerback Antone Exum #1 as the Noles slip by VTech at Lane Stadium, 28-22.
© Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images
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There are three Saturdays left in the regular season and there are only three undefeated teams at the top of the BCS standings. An unexpected turn for the Tide left No. 1 Alabama with badly bruised national championship hopes. There is a new No. 1 in town and they are not from the big bad SEC.

No. 15 Texas A&M 29, No. 1 Alabama 24

The legend of Jonny “Football” grows. Any hopes the No. 1 Crimson Tide had of repeating as National Champions were ruined by Manziel and No. 15 Texas A&M. The 19-year old redshirt freshman put on a sensational performance passing for 253 yards and accounting for 345 yards of total offense to lead the Aggies to a 29-24 upset of top-ranked Alabama. It was only the second time that Texas A&M defeated a No. 1 team (Oklahoma in 2002, 30-26), making it arguable the biggest victory in program history. Despite the loss, the Crimson Tide remains in the driver’s seat for an SEC West Division title.

No. 10 Florida State 28, Virginia Tech 22

Tenth ranked Florida State was forced to hold its ACC title plans together against conference-rival Virginia Tech. E.J. Manuel and the FSU needed a last minute to drive to escape Blacksburg with a win. Manuel hit WR Rashad Green for a 39-yard TD pass with 40 seconds remaining to give the Seminoles a 28-22 victory. With the win, the Seminoles move to 9-1 for the first time since 2000 and ended a 0-2 streak under Jimbo Fisher after a bye week. It also set up the opportunity for FSU to officially clinch a trip to the Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game in Charlotte if the Seminoles can beat Maryland this coming Saturday.

No. 14 Stanford 27, No. 11 Oregon St. 23

Stanford started strong, closed fast and kept its Rose Bowl hopes alive after rallying from a 23-14 deficit to defeat Oregon State. The 14th-ranked Cardinal scored the game’s first 14 points in a dominating first quarter performance before the 11th-ranked Beavers came back to score 23 unanswered points. Oregon State forced four turnovers but only converted three points out of them, and the only Beaver turnover proved to be a costly one. After a Kevin Hogan interception, Oregon State’s Cody Vaz fumbled and Stanford surged back to squeak out with a win. Hogan threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start.

Michigan 38, No. 24 Northwestern 31 (OT)

Michigan strung together a brilliant second-half comeback and some last-minute heroics to keep its Rose Bowl hopes alive with a 38-31 overtime victory over Northwestern. With Denard Robinson out with an elbow injury, back-up quarterback Devin Gardner stepped up scoring on a one-yard bootleg run in overtime. The Wolverine defense followed with a crucial four-down stand to end the game.

Missouri 51, Tennessee 48 (4 OT)

At the end of the day Missouri quarterback James Franklin could not be stopped. He sparked an amazing comeback, throwing four touchdown passes, all of which came in the final minute of regulation or overtime. Looking at a fourth-and-12, Franklin found Dorial Green-Beckham in the left corner of the endzone for the game-tying TD pass with 47 seconds left in regulation. Andrew Baggett kicked the game-winning 35-yard field goal in the fourth overtime as Missouri rallied from 14 to beat Tennessee 51-48. The Volunteers have now lost 13 of its past 14 SEC games over the last two seasons.

Georgia Tech 68, North Carolina 50

Georgia Tech and North Carolina lit up the scoreboard on Saturday in the highest-scoring game in ACC history. Tech’s Robert Godhigh rushed for two touchdowns and caught a third while Jamal Golden returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score. Backup quarterback Vad Lee found his way rushing for 112 yards and two TDs while throwing a third. The Yellow Jackets continue to push toward bowl eligibility and remain alive in the ACC Costal Division race. 

Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M caused a drastic swing in the national championship race. The Tide dropped to No. 4 in the latest BCS, behind No. 1 Kansas State, No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Notre Dame. The spot light that was once on the SEC was shifted to these new Big Three.

Oregon may have the toughest road of the three. The Ducks will host No. 13 Stanford this week. Oregon ruined the Stanford’s perfect season a year ago, but David Shaw and company are looking to return the favor. If Oregon can get past Stanford, it will head to in-state rival No. 16 Oregon State before the Pac-12 title game against USC or UCLA.

Kansas State’s path is a little smoother. The Wildcats travel to Baylor who ranks second nationally in both pass offense and total offense, and seventh in scoring. KSU will conclude its season against No. 15 Texas, who is currently on a four-game winning streak.

Notre Dame must take care of business at home against Wake Forest before heading across the country for the showdown with USC. The Irish won its last game at the Coliseum, but dropped the previous six of the seven meetings with the Trojans.

 

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