NCAA Football Report (Week 9)

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The NCAA schedule is beginning to get a lot more interesting with teams being knocked out of contention and big games coming up. This week the biggest game was between two ranked teams but one with much more hope for the top prize in the NCAA. This game was between the #20 USC Trojans and the #6 Stanford Cardinal. The Cardinal were bringing their league leading winning streak that stretches back to last year. The Trojans were coming into the game off of a big win against their longtime rivals the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Of course the Trojans did not have a shot at the BCS Bowls this year as they have been banned from these bowls for recruiting infractions for the past two years. Stanford on the other hand was playing for their shot at the BCS National Championship as they were ranked #6 and had a legitimate shot at the #2 spot especially with how teams have been dropping. Stanford started the game off well getting ahead early but could not pull away from the Trojans like they had in past games. By the second half Stanford was ahead 10-6 but they were not the same overpowering team that had been this year. The second half was a much different story as the Cardinal defence broke down allowing two third quarter TDs that put the Trojans ahead. Stanford QB Andrew Luck was then looked to lead the Cardinal back into the game and continue their winning streak. He did just this with a TD pass and a TD run in the third to put the Cardinal back on top. Then in the fourth USC climbed their way back to the lead and had a big helping hand from Luck who threw a fourth quarter interception that was returned for a TD by Nickell Robey. The interception return put the Trojans on top late in the 4th 34-27 as the Cardinal looked to be on their way out the door of the National Championship. Luck then guided his team back and tied the game up with 38 seconds left in the game. The game then went to overtime where Stanford struck first and was answered by a USC TD. The second overtime period was the same with both teams matching TDs. Finally in the 3rd OT Luck guided his team down the field and handed it off for a TD and converted on a 2 point attempt. With the win Stanford lost some votes but remained undefeated and still have a shot at the National Championship. It was a close call after many teams had already lost some close games and a big win for Stanford before this weekend. This weekend will se the biggest game of the NCAA season so far with #1 LSU taking on #2 Alabama in what many are considering the default National Championship Both of these teams are a part of the SEC conference and therefore must play each other during the season. Both of these teams have been the best teams this year and as a result are ranked the top two in the NCAA. Only one of these teams will be ranked #1 after this weekend and that team will have an almost clear shot at the national Championship. The other teams in the NCAA will also be looking at this game with the losing team being eliminated from the National Championship. This will mean that the team ranked in the top 10 could have a shot at the national championship after the game. The most likely team to take over the #2 spot after the game is the Oklahoma State Cowboys who are currently ranked #3. After their win Stanford could also have a good shot at the #2 spot after this weekend. It remains to be seen what will happen but the BCS rankings will see a drastic change by the end of the weekend.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)

Luck remains at #1 but he came very close to dropping in the race in his game against the USC Trojans. In the fourth quarter Luck threw an Interception that was returned by Nickell Robey for a TD that put USC on top late in the game. This would have been a big blow for Luck’s Heisman hopes and for the Cardinal’s BCS Championship hopes. Then Luck came back on the field and completely reversed his fortune acting like the leader he has become and leading the Cardinal down the field for the tying TD. He then led the Cardinal to three scores in three overtimes and eventually won the game against the Trojans. With his ability to bring the team back from his mistake Luck actually increased his standing in the Heisman Race and will be hard to beat.

Stats (8 games):

71.9 cmp%

2,218 yds

23 TD

4 INT

176.9 rtg

 

2. Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

Richardson was probably watching the Stanford game on his week off and hoping that Luck would not recover from the pick six. Luck did however recover and Richardson remained in the second spot this week as he looks up at Luck. This upcoming week will be his big chance to overtake Luck when he and the rest of the Tide take on their biggest competition all year in the LSU Tigers. The tigers have allowed an average of 76.6 rushing yards again but if Richardson can breakthrough for over 100 yard she may be able to decrease the lead with Luck. Of course it’s far from easy with the NCAA football world looking at that game as a default National Championship game with both teams ranked #1 and #2. Richardson remains at #2 but will he be able to continue his performance next week against the best team in the nation. If he does it will go a long way in his bid for a Heisman.

Stats (8 games):

149 rsh

989 yds

6.6 avg

17 TD

 

3. Kellen Moore, QB (Boise State)

A spotlight will be on Moore this week when he plays UNLV after being idle last week as he will be pursuing an NCAA record. Moore will be looking to get his 46th win in the NCAA against UNLV that will break the 45 career win record held by Colt McCoy. Moore’s efficiency has been his saving grace in the Heisman race so far and taking the efficiency to UNLV will get him some point in the race. The record can go a long way in him earning a Heisman bid but the win will also let him bring his team closer to a BCS championship when Alabama and LSU face off. Moore will just need to keep up his performances and hope that the two players ahead of him lose favour with voters in an upcoming game but if they do not then it will be hard for Moore to win this year.

Stats (7 games):

76.3 cmp%

2,010 yds

24 TD

5 INT

180.7 rtg

 

Notable Challengers:

4. Case Keenum, QB (Houston)

71.9 cmp%

3,219 yds

32 TD

3 INT

194.1 rtg

 

5. Landry Jones, QB (Oklahoma)

66.5 cmp%

3,094 yds

26 TD

9 INT

158.8 rtg

 

BCS Rankings:

1. LSU Tigers (1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3)

4. Stanford Cardinal (6)

5. Boise State Broncos (4)

6. Oklahoma Sooners (9)

7. Arkansas Razorbacks (10)

8. Oregon Ducks (7)

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (13)

10. Nebraska Cornhuskers (14)

11. Clemson Tigers (5)

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (12)

13. Houston Cougars (17)

14. Kansas State Wildcats (17)

15. Michigan Wolverines (18)

16. Penn State Nittany Lions (19)

17. Michigan State Spartans (11)

18. Georgia Bulldogs (22)

19. Arizona State Sun Devils (21)

20. Wisconsin Badgers (15)

21. Texas Longhorns (24)

22. Auburn Tigers (23)

23. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (–)

24. West Virginia Mountaineers (25)

25. Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (–)

 

Key Scores:

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 31 – 17 Clemson Tigers #5

– Clemson’s run at the National Championship came up just short after losing to the Yellow Jackets who with the win moved back into the top 25

 

#6 Stanford Cardinal 56 – 48 USC Trojans #20 (3OT)

– It took three overtimes but Stanford came back from a last minute TD to win the game and take move up the rankings

 

#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers 24 – 3 Michigan State Spartans #11

– Michigan State’s run at a title was also cut short this weekend with a loss to Nebraska who is looking to make their way up the rankings

 

Ohio State Buckeyes 33 – 29 Wisconsin Badgers #15

– Wisconsin suffered another setback in their season as they lost their second game this time to the unranked Buckeyes eliminating them from contention in a BCS Bowl

 

Key Matchups Next Week:

Texas A&M Aggies vs. #6 Oklahoma Sooners (Nov. 5th; 3:30 pm)

– Oklahoma looks to continue their recovery by beating Texas A@M and remaining in the top 10 and possibly look to get back in the Championship conversation

 

#9 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #7 Arkansas Razorbacks (Nov. 5th; 7:15 pm)

– In one of the closest rankings matchups of the weekend the Razorbacks and the Gamecocks will both look to become more serious contenders in the Championship conversation

 

#14 Kansas State Wildcats vs. #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Nov. 5th; 8:00 pm)

– Oklahoma State is poised to take the #2 ranking this weekend but they will need to get by a very good K-State team who is coming off of their first loss

 

#1 LSU Tigers vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (Nov. 5th; 8:00 pm)

– The marquee matchup of the weekend will have a big affect on the National and SEC championships with the winner taking the top spot in both

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