Week 12 of the 2017 may not be the best on paper. OK, let’s be honest, it might be the worst. But that doesn’t mean the potential for upsets and shakeups do not exist all day long on Saturday. Most of the top teams in the nation face so-called “cupcake” opponents in the down period before rivalry week, but as we’ve seen before, the potential for chaos is never absent in college football
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Predictions, schedules, scores
Mississippi State 28, Arkansas 21– Box score
Wisconsin 24, Michigan 10 — Box score
TCU 27, Texas Tech 3 — Box score
Miami 44, Virginia 28 — Box score
Texas 28, West Virginia 14
Georgia 42, Kentucky 13 – Box score
Notre Dame 24, Navy 17 – Box score
FAU 52, FIU 24
LSU at Tennessee – 7 p.m., ESPN – LIVE GameTracker
UCLA at USC – 8 p.m., ABC – LIVE GameTracker
Check these out …
Full steam ahead for Lane Train down in Boca
It was always going to take a little time for things to get going at Florida Atlantic under Lane Kiffin. And after a 1-3 start, it felt as if year one wasn’t going to be the “we’ve arrived” year. Now just under two months after the team lost to Buffalo to fall to 1-3, the Owls are going to host the Conference USA Championship Game. After beaing FIU in the Shula Bowl on Saturday night, 52-24, FAU clinched the C-USA East and will take on North Texas on December 2 in Boca Raton.
FAU’s “slow” start to the season was misleading if you don’t look close. They had to play a good Navy team to open and then went to Wisconsin the week after — both great tests that taught this team plenty. But since the end of September, the team has won seven straight games and scored at least 30 points in each, getting over 50 points in three of those. In Year 1, Kiffin has guided Florida Atlantic to its first ever appearance in the C-USA title game.
Vols continue to struggle
Tennessee fans can’t wait for this season to ever. The Vols are on the verge of falling to 4-7 on the season as LSU entered Neyland Stadium and put up 30 points after three quarters. Tennessee actually out-gained the Tigers 249-215 through three, but two lost fumbles have done Tennessee in. Meanwhile, LSU has only passed for 61 yards but have dominated the run game, scoring four times on the ground.
In battle of highly rated QBs, it’s been a mixed bag
USC-UCLA is always an exciting battle, and this time around the quarterbacks were the main attraction with Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold. But at half time, they haven’t done a whole lot. Rosen has had the better game, going 18-for-28 passing for 228 yards and a touchdown, while Darnold has been underwhelming, going 10 for 15 for 132 yards and a pick. They’ve each had their good moments and their questionable ones in this one. USC leads 14-7 at the break. With the Pac 12 South clinched, could the Trojans be in for a let down?
Notre Dame escapes Navy
No rest for the weary, it seems. One week after getting pounded by Miami, No. 8 Notre Dame found itself in a game with Navy. That’s to be expected, because covertown and the under love triple option teams. Initially knotted at 3-3, the game went through three ties: one at 10 at halftime and one at 17 in the second half. Notre Dame was able to get a fourth quarter touchdown to pull ahead and then stop Navy on a fourth down pass for the 24-17 win. It’s never easy playing the Midshipmen, but the Fighting Irish are probably happy to just get a win.
Ohio State crushes Illinois to win Big Ten East
It might not be FCS opponent, but No. 9 Ohio State feasted on a cupcake in November. The Buckeyes were all over Illinois 28-0 at the end of the first quarter and it never got any better. Ohio State handled the Illini with ease 52-14, and with the win, the Buckeyes locks up the Big Ten East division. They will play Wisconsin in the conference title game.
Oklahoma State came down with a case of the #SnyderCats
Bill Snyder does this at least once every year. The Kansas State coach is a magician for a reason, and a 45-40 win over Oklahoma State is another example of why. Receiver Byron Pringle was the star of the game with four total touchdowns: three receiving and one on a kick return. Things did get interesting for a while when the cowboys mounted a furious comeback spanning the third and fourth quarters. Down 42-13 at one point, the Pokes outscored the Wildcats 27-3 in the final 19 minutes. However, Oklahoma State was unable to complete what would have been an all-time program comeback.
Kansas refuses to shake hands with Oklahoma
The Jayhawks may have woke the sleeping giant. Kansas, who was likely in for a long day anyway, decided to not shake hands with Oklahoma’s captains — including quarterback Baker Mayfield — during the coin toss in Lawerence on Saturday afternoon.
Mayfield’s laugh should tell you all you need to know about his feelings for this one.
Top teams hold serve, win decisively
As should be expected on “cupcake week,” most of the nation’s top teams won their games decisively. No. 1 Alabama shutout Mercer 56-0, No. 2 Clemson routed Citadel 61-3, No. 12 TCU made easy work of Texas Tech 27-3, and No. 15 UCF stomped Temple 45-19 on the road. With No. 3 Miami and No. 5 Wisconsin also winning, all that is left is No. 4 Oklahoma to get by Kansas later.
Michigan loses starting QB, gets whipped by Wisconsin
No. 5 Wisconsin worked No.2 4 Michigan 24-10 on Saturday, and the Wolverines’ bid at a possible comeback got more complicated late in the third quarter when quarterback Brandon Peters took a big hit after throwing a pass and landed on his left side with his head hitting the turf. It’s not clear whether the injury was to Peter’s shoulder or head, but he was on the ground for a while and was eventually left the stadium in an ambulance. John O’Korn is in at quarterback for the Wolverines for the comeback attempt but did not produce any points.
Miami roars back to rout Virginia
The U was back … and then suddenly it was fighting to stay there. Miami trailed by 14 twice at home against Virginia but wound up winning 44-28 as the Cavaliers could simply not get out of their own way (and got no help from the referees). Whether the Hurricanes were still celebrating last week’s win against Notre Dame early remains to be seen, but this was yet another come-from-behind, nail-biter victory for Miami at home this season. Cavs quarterback Kurt Benkert was money early and became the first FBS quarterback this season to throw four touchdowns on the run outside the pocket as he led the Hoos to a pair of two-touchdown leads. But Virginia’s defense, coupled with miscues on offense, did not allow it to hang on to the advantage.
The greased pig giveth and the greased pig taketh away
Mississippi State knows what it’s like to get a fortuitous bounce as it got a big one earlier this season in a win over Louisiana Tech. However, this bounce against Arkansas was … less fortuitous. It’s also the difference in the game at the moment in Arkansas’ favor.
West Virginia QB Will Grier leaves game with finger injury
The Mountaineers quarterback went to the locker room during the first quarter of West Virginia’s game against Texas. It isn’t clear if Grier broke his finger or dislocated it, but it is pretty clear that it is pointing in a direction it isn’t meant to. West Virginia announced that Grier would not be returning to the game, and Texas wound up working WVU from there on out.
Western Kentucky slides into bowl eligibility with 3OT thriller
If Friday night’s games were any indication, Week 12 will be more fun than initially expected. After slogging through the first three quarters, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky scored 35 fourth quarter points to tie the game at 24 at the end of regulation. Three overtimes later, Hilltoppers kicker Ryan Nuss hit a 37-yard field goal to get his team to six wins. His celebration wasn’t to be missed, either.