ACC—Florida State trounced Florida 31-7 after losing the past six meetings between the two teams. The victory was Florida State’s third largest in the history of the rivalry. After losing 7-3 in the first quarter, the Seminoles broke out in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns. The Seminoles forced the Gators to turn the ball over four times, while not turning it over once themselves. Seminoles cornerback Greg Reid averaged 24 yards on two kick returns. Florida State will play in the ACC title game next week.
Big 12—Texas A&M beat in-state rival Texas 24-17 on Thanksgiving. The Aggies have won six straight Big 12 games. Running back Cyrus Gray ran for a career-high 223 yards and two touchdowns. Gray has rushes for at least 100 yards in each of the Aggies’ last six games. The Aggies won the turnover margin by +2, making two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. To add insult to injury, this is the first year Texas has not been bowl-eligible since 1997. Texas A&M can now say it is the dominant football program in Texas.
Big East—West Virginia upset Pittsburgh for the second straight season in the Backyard Brawl. West Virginia was able to get touchdowns off of a Brandon Hogan interception in the first quarter and a Brandon Hogan fumble recovery in the second quarter. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith connected with running back Tavon Austin twice in the third quarter for touchdown passes of 71 yards and 12 yards. With West Virginia’s win on Friday, Pittsburgh’s shot at a Big East title is likely over.
Big Ten—Minnesota defeated Iowa 27-24 on Saturday afternoon, winning the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy for the first time in four years. The Golden Gophers ran for 216 yards, the most Iowa has allowed on the ground all year. Gophers quarterback Adam Weber threw for 164 yards. Weber has started all fifty games of his career at Minnesota. Down 24-20, the Gophers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:31 remaining. Minnesota recovered an Iowa fumble on the Hawkeyes’ first play of the ensuing possession. From there the Golden Gophers drained the clock and celebrated. The rivalry win was bittersweet for a Minnesota team that has struggled all season.
C-USA—Tulsa beat Southern Miss in a shootout 56-50. Golden Hurricane quarterback G.J. Kinne passed for 406 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for two touchdowns. Twelve different Tulsa players had receptions during the game. The Golden Hurricane played disciplined football, committing no penalties. Tulsa finishes the season 9-3 and 6-2 in conference play.
MAC—Kent State beat Ohio 28-6 in front of a crowd of 8,340 at Dix Stadium. On Sunday, Kent State head coach Doug Martin announced that this would be his last game before resigning his post. The Golden Flashes played lights out against a statistically-superior Bobcats team in a sendoff game for their head coach. Kent State had seven sacks and recovered two Ohio fumbles. Kent State safety Dan Hartman had two interceptions in the game. Ohio was the first place team in the MAC East heading into the game, but the loss dealt by Kent State keeps them out of the MAC title game.
MWC—Utah got by in-state rival Brigham Young 17-16 after a fourth quarter comeback. The Utes were losing 13-0 heading into the fourth quarter. The Utes were able to get on the board with a field goal and converted a BYU fumble into a touchdown via a 37-yard pass. BYU answered with a field goal to make the score 16-0 in favor of the Cougars. Utes running back Matt Asiata scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run to give Utah a 1-point lead with over four minutes left. BYU got the ball back, drove down the field, and set up for a 42-yard game winning field goal with 4 seconds left. Utes cornerback Brandon Burton blocked the field goal. The Utes have won at least 10 games in three straight seasons for the first time in school history.
Pac-10—Washington knocked off California 16-13 to keep its hopes of going to a bowl game alive, while denying California bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2002 season. The Huskies won the game on a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Chris Polk as time expired. Jake Locker threw for 237 yards, playing with a broken rib. Wideouts D’Andre Goodwin and Jermaine Kearse had 126 yards and 77 yards on receptions, respectively. If Washington can win the Apple Cup next week, it will go to a bowl.
SEC—Georgia became bowl-eligible on its last game of a rough season. Georgia beat in-state rival Georgia Tech 42-34 at home. Georgia forced three fumbles and sealed the game with a Justin Houston interception on Georgia Tech’s final drive. Georgia linebacker Justin Houston also recovered one of the fumbles and returned it for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray completed 78.9 percent of his passes, throwing for 271 yards. Georgia will get an opportunity in a few weeks to end the season better than .500.
Sun Belt—The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns got a much-needed win over their in-state rival and snuffed Louisiana-Monroe from getting bowl-eligibility with their 23-22 win. UL-Lafayette held a 23-13 lead over UL-Monroe after three quarters. UL-Monroe came roaring back in the fourth quarter with a field goal and a touchdown, but Ragin’ Cajun freshman safety Cooper Gerami blocked Warhawk kicker Radi Jabour’s extra point attempt to hold out a 1-point lead. The win ended a seven-game losing streak the Cajuns had been on since October 8th.
WAC—After trailing 24-7 at the half, Nevada defense stepped up and held a dangerous Boise State offense to just one touchdown in the second half. The Wolf Pack scored 24 points in the second half to tie the game at 31-31. In overtime, Boise State had possession first. The Nevada defense held, and Boise State was forced to go for a 29-yard field goal on fourth down, which Kyle Brotzman missed. Nevada got the ball. The Boise State defense held, and Nevada was forced to go for a 34-yard field goal on fourth down. Nevada kicker Anthony Martinez connected; Nevada won the most important game in the history of the Wolf Pack program 34-31. Nevada ended Boise State’s 24-game winning streak and any chance the Broncos had at going to the national championship game.