College Football 2013: What We Learned in Week 12
There was no shortage of exciting finishes or incredible performances on Saturday. Week 12 of the 2013 college football season produced its share of highlights. Here are five things we learned:
Auburn Is Lucky
After Georgia's Aaron Murray scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 38-37 lead over Auburn with two minutes to play on Saturday night, Tigers' wide receiver Ricardo Louis caught a tipped 73-yard pass from Nick Marshall with 36 seconds left to give his team a 43-38 win. The victory allowed Auburn (10-1, 6-1 SEC) to stay in contention for the BCS title game. It also marked the latest in a series of heartbreaking defeats for Georgia (6-4, 4-3), which is almost certainly the best four-loss team in the country.
Alabama Can Still Win On an Off Night
Top-ranked Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) played a sloppy game and committed four turnovers, yet the Crimson Tide still won handily over Mississippi State, 20-7. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 160 yards, and A.J. McCarron threw two touchdown passes, but the real stars were on the 'Bama defense, which held an opponent to seven points or less for the sixth time this season. Given head coach Nick Saban's legendary intensity, it's unlikely the Tide will sleepwalk through another game this season.
Ed Orgeron Has Done a Great Job With USC
Unranked USC upset No. 5 Stanford, 20-17, on Andre Heidari's 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play. The win was the biggest for the Trojans (8-3, 5-2 Pac-12) this season. It also gave interim head coach Ed Orgeron his fifth victory in six games since taking over for the fired Lane Kiffin. USC has yet to name Kiffin's successor, but Orgeron's run has given the program the most life it has had in years. The victory over the Cardinal was the Trojans' first win over a ranked opponent since 2011.
Duke Has a Football Team, Too
Duke beat No. 24 Miami, 48-30, for what may have been the biggest football victory in the history of the school. Quarterback Brandon Connette rushed for four touchdowns and threw for a fifth, as the Blue Devils (8-2, 4-2 ACC) seized control of their destiny at a raucous Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C. It still may not have been as loud as Cameron Indoor Stadium is for a game against North Carolina, though. Long known as a basketball powerhouse, Duke could wind up facing No. 2 Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game if both schools win out their remaining conference schedules.
Carlos Hyde Should Get Heisman Votes
Carlos Hyde scored five touchdowns as third-ranked Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) blew out Illinois, 60-35, in Champaign. Hyde ran for a career-high 247 yards with four scores on the ground, plus he hauled in another TD on a pass from Braxton Miller. The big day gave Hyde 948 yards rushing, including 11 touchdowns, in just seven games this season. While Miller is considered the Buckeyes' Heisman hopeful, Hyde has become enough of a force to steal some votes. Neither player may win the Heisman, but both make Ohio State tough to beat.