ACC—No. 7 Clemson is 8-0 for the first time in eleven years after a 59-38 win over North Carolina. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw five touchdowns and no interceptions en route to 367 passing yards. Tigers defensive end Kourntnei Brown had two touchdowns: an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble returned for a touchdown.The Tar Heels turned the ball over six times, while the Tigers lost just one fumble. Clemson scored 35 of their 59 points in the third quarter.
Big 10—No. 16 Michigan State gave No. 6 Wisconsin its first loss of the season, 37-31. Michigan State started the game down 14-0, but came back in the second quarter scoring 23 unanswered points on a safety, two offensive touchdowns, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. By the end of the fourth quarter Wisconsin had the momentum and tied the game at 31-31. The Spartans had 1:26 to put a drive together. Michigan State drove to the Wisconsin 44-yard line and had time for a final play with four ticks left on the clock. Kirk Cousins launched a Hail Mary into the end zone. It was deflected and caught by Spartans wide receiver Keith Nichol who pushed across the goal line to win the game. Michigan State had 0 penalties in the game.
Big 12—Texas Tech upset undefeated No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday night, ending a 39-game home winning streak. Texas Tech was a four touchdown underdog. Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege threw for 441 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Alex Torres caught three of his touchdown passes. The Red Raiders built up a 31-7 lead just over two minutes into the second half. The Sooners go their act together after halftime, but it was too little too late. The Red Raiders held on to win the game 41-38, possibly keeping the Sooners out of the national title game.
Big East—Syracuse took down No. 15 West Virginia for the second straight year. The Orange upset the Mountaineers last year 19-14 in Morgantown. West Virginia promised revenge in 2011. The Orange blasted the Mountaineers 49-23 in the Carrier Dome, picking up their first home win over West Virginia in ten years. Quarterback Ryan Nassib threw four touchdowns, three of which were caught by tight end Nick Provo, and ran for another touchdown. Wide receiver Dorian Graham returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score in the second quarter. The Orange defense sacked Geno Smith twice, batted down two of his passes, and intercepted two of his passes. Syracuse’s 49 points were the most they have ever put up against West Virginia.
C-USA—UAB picked up its first win of the season in Week 8 with a 26-24 win over UCF at Legion Field on Thursday night. Trailing by 1 with 21 seconds left in the game, Ty Long put a 40-yard field goal through the uprights to win the game for the Blazers. UAB had 27 first downs and 501 yards of offense. UAB quarterback Jonathan Perry, filling in for an injured Bryan Ellis, completed 31 of 42 passes for 327 yards. Perry also rushed for 33 yards on eight carries. After the game, UAB head coach Neil Callaway said, “The satisfaction of winning a football game is mighty big for us.” The Blazers ended a seven-game losing a streak, dating back to November 27, 2010.
MAC—Eastern Michigan defeated Western Michigan by a score of 14-10 Saturday to win the Michigan MAC Trophy. Eastern Michigan defeated Central Michigan the previous Saturday. Sophomore running back Javonti Greene caught a 50-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and rushed for a 50-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Eagles are looking good at 5-3 after compiling only five wins total across the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons. The last time the Eagles had five wins in a season was 1995 when Eastern went 6-5.
MWC—Texas Christian University blanked New Mexico 69-0. The Horned Frogs broke their program’s record for most points scored in a game. The previous record was 68 points against Austin College in 1932. TCU’s defense held the Lobos offense to just 85 yards and forced three fumbles. Nine different Horned Frogs scored touchdowns. Senior kicker Ross Evans was 9 for 10 on PAT’s. TCU moves to 3-0 in Mountain West Conference games.
Pac-12—USC defeated long-time rival Notre Dame in South Bend 31-17. The Trojans have beaten the Fighting Irish in 9 of their last 10 meetings. USC outgained Notre Dame 443 yards to 267 yards and forced the Irish to turn the ball over three times in the second half. On one of those turnovers, a Notre Dame fumble on the USC 1-yard line, USC safety Jawanza Starling scooped the ball up and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Matt Barkley completed 24 of 35 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Curtis McNeal rushed for 118 yards, while Marc Tyler rushed for 63 yards. Stud wide receiver Robert Woods had 8 grabs for 119 yards. The Trojan defense held Notre Dame to just 41 yards rushing.
SEC—No. 1 LSU kicked No. 20 Auburn to the curb in a 45-10 home victory. The news all week was about the suspensions of Tyrann Mathieu, Spencer Ware, and Tharold Simon for testing positive for drugs. Louisiana State proved it did not need the three Tigers as it dismantled Auburn in its eighth straight double-digit-point victory this season. Freshman running back Kenny Hilliard rushed for 65 yards on just 10 carries. Running back Michael Ford was even better with 82 yards off of 12 carries. Both Jarrett Lee and Jordon Jefferson saw time at quarterback: Lee threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while Jefferson threw for 54 yards and a touchdown. LSU punter Brad Wing averaged 51.3 yards per punt on four punts.
Sun Belt—Western Kentucky upset Sunbelt frontrunner UL-Lafayette in Bowling Green Saturday by a score of 42-23. The win ended an eighteen-game home losing streak for the Hilltoppers and was the Hilltoppers’ first win at home over a FBS foe. Running back Bobby Rainey had a career-high three touchdowns and 206 rushing yards. Fullback Kadeem Jones rushed for two scores. WKU quarterback Kawaun Jakes had 15 completions on 18 passes, amassing 242 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Western Kentucky has now won three straight games, its longest winning streak since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2008.
WAC—Nevada got by Fresno State 45 to 38 in a Saturday afternoon shootout. Wolf Pack senior receiver Rishard Matthews had 148 yard on seven catches. On special teams, Matthews returned a punt for an 86-yard touchdown. Junior running back Mike Ball had 198 yards on the ground, with his longest carry being 41 yards. The Wolf Pack defense recovered two Fresno State fumbles. Nevada has now won fifteen straight home games. At 2-0 in conference games, Nevada is in first place in the WAC.