It’s that time of week again.
After so many postponements, game time movements, and rescheduling later, we got there.
After all, that was the majority of what happened this past week.
We still had some great games though, and some teams that really stood out. Let’s look at them here with our top five performers from Week 13.
5. Iowa State
For the second consecutive week, the Iowa State Cyclones come in at No. 5 and for good reason, too. Head coach Matt Campbell continues to do wonders in Ames, as he downed a top-20 Texas team for the second time in as many years. The win continued to raise question marks for Tom Herman’s future in Austin.
This Thanksgiving Friday contest was an exciting one. The Cyclones roared back from a 10-point deficit late in the third. Two Connor Assalley field goals drew Iowa State closer, before star running back Breece Hall did his thing, getting into the end zone with just over a minute left to put the Cyclones on top for good, 23-20.
After Texas drove down the field poised to tie or win the game, Longhorns’ quarterback Sam Ehlinger took a costly sack, leading to Cameron Dicker’s 57-yard field goal attempt. It sailed left as Iowa State moved into the driver’s seat for a berth in the Big 12 Championship.
The bad news for Iowa State — if any — is the victory makes Campbell a hot commodity in the coaching ranks.
Can we count running back Jaret Patterson as a team itself?
The Bulls’ backfield star accounted for 56 of those 70 points, tying an FBS record with eight touchdowns. Yes, eight touchdowns.
Patterson ran for 409 yards, averaging 11.4 yards a carry. Buffalo put up 70 points and beat up on a solid Kent State team, 70-41 in a battle of 3-0 MAC teams.
Quarterback Kyle Vantrease continues to star for the Bulls with 148 yards, but he didn’t get much of a chance with the way Patterson was running the football.
Keep an eye on Buffalo for the remainder of the season. The Bulls could end up with an extremely solid bowl game if they finish the year undefeated with a MAC championship to go along with it.
If you remember correctly, the Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State was supposed to be played this past Friday. But that game was called off due to COVID-19 issues at Wazzu.
Instead, Washington and Utah paired up just days before kickoff. Turns out, the match-up between the Huskies and Utes was selected as the ABC prime time game, and ended up being a fantastic one.
The Huskies found themselves down 21-0 at halftime to the now 0-2 Utes, and seemed lifeless after Utah scored in the final minute of the half. Washington drove down the field to start the second half, getting into the end zone with still 12 minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Huskies ended up scoring each time they touched the ball in the quarter.
First-year head coach Jimmy Lake, who was a longtime assistant under former head coach Chris Petersen, found his team within 21-17 late before a Cade Otton touchdown with 36 seconds remaining sealed the deal in a thrilling comeback for the Huskies.
Once down three touchdowns, Washington rallied to take down a winless Utah team in Seattle, 24-21.
2. Michigan State
What a weird season it’s been for first-year head coach Mel Tucker and the Michigan State Spartans.
After dropping an opener at home to Rutgers, and following up with an in-state victory over the free-falling Michigan Wolverines, Sparty then proceeded to get blown out by two solid teams in Iowa and Indiana. Michigan State seemed left for dead in the 2020 season after two discouraging contests where the Spartans only put up a total of seven points. But then, the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats came to town.
Michigan State was having none of the College Football Playoff hype for the Wildcats. The Spartans got off a fantastic start as quarterback Rocky Lombardi found Jalen Nailor for a 75-yard touchdowns on Michigan State’s second drive of the game, making a statement and taking a 7-0 lead. A field goal and a touchdown later, the Spartans found themselves up 17-0.
Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats weren’t going to go down without a fight. Two field goals closed the gap to 17-6 at intermission, before quarterback Peyton Ramsey led Northwestern right down the field on the opening drive of the second half for a touchdown. A costly turnover by Michigan State then set up the Wildcats at the 37-yard-line in plus territory and they capitalized on a Cam Porter run that put Northwestern in front, 20-17.
The Spartans refused to lose though, as Matt Coghlin drilled a 44-yard field goal to tie the game and a 48-yarder to take the lead. That would hold as Michigan State turned the Wildcats over four times and ran away with a 29-20 victory.
1. Oregon State
It is called the Beaver State, and Jonathan Smith and Oregon State solidified that on Friday night against the Oregon Ducks, 41-38. Continuing to rebuild, the Beavers are ahead of schedule. Oregon State took home the Platypus Trophy for the first time since 2016.
It was a foggy night in Corvallis for this one, but certainly one to remember with Oregon State taking down a top-15 Oregon team and completely opening up the Pac-12 North race.
The Beavers didn’t lead until the fourth quarter, as the Oregon offense had a sound game, led by Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough, who threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. But the 3-0 turnover margin in favor or Oregon State loomed large throughout the contest.
It wasn’t just the turnovers; the Beavers won the time of possession, had more total yards, and more first downs.
Running back Jermar Jefferson, who ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns, finally put Oregon State ahead 34-31 with 12 minutes to play.
Back came the Ducks though to go back up 38-34.
Quarterback Tristan Gebbia led the Beavers down the field on their final possession. After some questionable calls, two stuffs from the 1-yard-line, and Gebbia exiting with an injury, backup quarterback Chance Nolan took his first snap as a Beaver on 4th-and-goal. Nolan powered his way in from the inch line to give Oregon State the win in a dandy in Corvallis — its first over a ranked team in six years.
Rutgers (37-30 vs. Purdue)
Georgia Tech (56-33 vs. Duke)
Alabama (42-13 vs. Auburn)
Hawaii (24-21 vs. Nevada)
Clemson (52-17 vs. Pittsburgh)