Everything you need to know about some of the big games from Week 8 of the 2013 NCAA Football season is right here.The weekend trend of big names falling thick and fast started on Friday night when Louisville went down at home to the Central Florida Knights, who enjoyed the biggest win in their program’s history. Central Florida now, should they win out, have inside running for the American Athletic Conference’s automatic BCS bid. An unbelievable last-gasp drive masterminded by QB Blake Bortles capped off a furious UCF comeback. They were down 28-7 about halfway through the third quarter and rallied for an improbable but impressive 38-35 win. That ends Louisville’s (unlikely) shot at a BCS National Championship Game, as well as QB Teddy Bridgewater’s Heisman campaign.
Despite losing star QB James Franklin in last week’s impressive road win against Georgia, Missouri keep rolling along and have beaten their second consecutive SEC heavyweight. The Tiger defense caused three Florida turnovers and held the Gator offense to a paltry 151 yards en-route to a 36-17 win.
Apparently for Missouri, it’s no Franklin, no problem. Gary Pinkel’s men are having a tremendous season. They’re a dangerous team in the now-jumbled SEC.
Supposedly the biggest game in ACC history, the Florida State-Clemson contest soon became a total knock-out for the Seminoles, who capitalised on a sluggish Tiger offense.
They forced four turnovers, on which FSU’s record-setting freshman QB Jameis Winston capitalised spearheading the ‘Noles to an emphatic 51-14 victory in Clemson’s Death Valley.
All around, it was a disastrous day for Clemson. QB Tajh Boyd was bad, but his defense was worse. In contrast, Florida State was perfect in every facet of the game. If Winston isn’t the leading Heisman Trophy candidate now, there’s something wrong.
41 yards. That was the distance of the last-second field goal kicked by Mississippi K Andrew Ritter, which handed the Rebels a stunning victory over Louisiana State to further up-end the normally ordered SEC conference. The 27-24 Ole Miss victory probably should have been a more emphatic one, except the Rebels gave up a 17-point lead.
In the face of that the Rebel offense under QB Bo Wallace consistently beat the Tiger defense play after play in a wonderfully composed fourteen-play drive that ending with Ritter’s long three-pointer to win the game. Cue madness in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
First to fall on upset Saturday was the injury-riddled Georgia Bulldogs, who lost a 31-27 stunner to Vanderbilt. The Commodores scored seventeen unanswered points in the fourth quarter to get past the Bulldogs.
It seems a long time ago now that Aaron Murray was a Heisman Trophy candidate. The Georgia defense gave up 337 yards to Vanderbilt’s offense, who scored their first upset over a ranked opponent under coach James Franklin.
In Knoxville, the highly-favoured South Carolina Gamecocks fell in exciting and improbable fashion to Butch Jones’ Tennessee Volunteers. In the shadows of full time, and facing another heartbreaking loss, the Vols, who have been close in big games this year without being able to win, gave Jones the biggest win of his young coaching career.
It was by way of K Michael Palardy, who kicked a 19-yard field goal with three seconds left to stun the Gamecocks.
An injury to QB Johnny Manziel slowed Texas A&M for some time, but Manziel was back in for the final drive, in which the Auburn defense sacked him twice in the last three plays, preserving a 45-41 win at Kyle Field. The Tigers are 6-1 and are one year removed from a woeful campaign in which they didn’t win one SEC game.
This season has been quite a renaissance.
The real story, though, was how the porous Aggie defense melted like snow on a summer’s day. That unit’s been the only thing looking likely to shut Manziel down. Today, they did. Kevin Sumlin and his defensive staff have a lot of work to do.
In a game reminiscent of the disastrous Rich Rodriguez era at Michigan, the Wolverines scored a lot of points, but they gave up plenty too. Cast in the role of Denard Robinson, QB Devin Gardner had a career day in the 63-47 win against Indiana.
Gardner had 584 total yards, 503 of those on the ground, setting school records in both categories. He accounted for five touchdowns and WR Jeremy Gallon, who's been a huge weapon for Gardner all season, caught fourteen balls for a Big Ten-record 369 yards and two scores.
Michigan’s defense was almost bad enough to destroy the record-setting day for it’s offense.
On the topic of big offensive numbers, Baylor stacked up 71 on Iowa State and held the Cyclones scoreless until the very last minute of the game. The Bears rolled up 714 yards to go with their seven touchdowns, two of which came on special times.
RB Lache Seastrunk went over the century mark on the ground and QB Bryce Petty threw two scores and ran for a third. Business as usual for the most entertaining team in America.
Miami survived a last-minute Hail Mary bomb that fell on to the fingertips of a North Carolina Tar Heels receiver in the end zone, but ended up falling harmlessly incomplete giving the Hurricanes a less than convincing 27-23 victory.
The U scored their go-ahead touchdown with sixteen seconds left to play and the uninspiring Thursday night win in Chapel Hill keeps them undefeated on the season, though far from the class of the ACC.
Homecoming in Morgantown, and West Virginia jumped out to a 27-16 lead with less than five minutes to play in the third, before the Mountaineers lost momentum. No. 16 Texas Tech scored three touchdowns unanswered to close out the game 37-27.
It was QB Davis Webb’s first road win in his first road game and in the process, he became the first Red Raider freshman to throw for 400 yards or more in his first two starts. Quietly, Kliff Kingsbury’s men remain undefeated, despite now playing two games without unearthed star QB Baker Mayfield.
Teams have always respected QB Jordan Lynch as a running threat, but the signal caller for Northern Illinois had a career day on Saturday, carrying the ball 32 times for 316 yards and three touchdowns as the Huskies beat Central Michigan 38-17.
The Huskies remain unbeaten, and Lynch now holds the FBS record for the most quarterback rush yards in one game.
Bouncing back after a shock loss to Utah, Stanford managed to keep UCLA QB Brett Hundley quiet and that was the key to a 24-10 victory at home. The Bruins signal caller threw two interceptions and was sacked four times by a Stanford defense who clearly had a message to send. They’re not out of the Pac-12 race just yet.
The wheels are falling off in Washington. Coming off two losses against high-quality opponents, the Huskies defense gave up 53 points and 585 yards to Arizona State, and suddenly Steve Sarkisian’s men have lost three games in a row. This one was particularly bad.
The Huskies had -5 rushing yards and QB Keith Price was only 16-39 for 217 yards and two scores. Arizona State’s dual-threat QB Taylor Kelly accounted for four scores, gaining 84 yards on the ground and 271 through the air in a thoroughly dominating performance.
Oregon spent another Saturday night rolling up points and total offense. This time, the unfortunate opposition was Washington State, whose QB Connor Halliday threw the ball eighty-nine times – an FBS record, if you were wondering – for four touchdowns and four interceptions as the Ducks outlasted Mike Leach’s Cougars 62-38.
Ducks QB Marcus Mariota had two fumbles during the game, both of which led to Cougar touchdowns, though he has yet to throw an interception on the year. Another Heisman candidate right here.
That's the week in NCAA Football, who do you think will win the Heisman Trophy?