Snaps The Last: ‘Pokes prefer pistols at dusk
Snap judgments from the Week 10 late shift. For swing shift Snaps, click here. For early shift Snaps, click here. For a review of the Top 25 action, click here. For game highlights from SI.com, click here.
• No. 3 Oklahoma State 52, No. 17 Kansas State 45: It’s a low-hanging fruit of a plotline to grab at, but it’s too perfect to ignore in good conscience: In Week 10, for those who stayed up late enough, college football peddled wares for every taste. While the top two teams in the country traded body blows in four quarters and an extra frame of siege warfare, the No. 3 squad weathered a shootout to remain undefeated and in the thick of the national title hunt. Even the gods of sport got in on this one, causing what might have been the biggest earthquake recorded in state history just after the game wrapped. (Kirk Herbstreit, by the way? Not amused. They’re calling this a 5.6, and I’ve only ever been in a 5.5, and let me tell you, I can’t blame him for going Madame Alexander for a minute there.)
Brandon Weeden having a personal-best day is a real treat, if you’re into scads of points, and a sparklier sight than most other quarterbacks’ successful outings; his 502 yards were not only a career high, but set a Cowboys program record. His biggest beneficiary was, of course, Justin Blackmon, who caught 205 yards’ worth of advancement and two of Weeden’s four scoring passes. The other two landed in the arms of Tracy Moore and Joseph Randle, who tacked on two rushing touchdowns at crucial moments, including the game-winner.
We can’t let the night pass without a nod to Collin Klein, who bested his personal passing and rushing highs for the season with 377 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. K-State’s passing game broke down completely in the game’s final minute, however, just past midfield. A 22-yard connection put the Cats at OSU’s five-yard line with 25 seconds remaining, but Klein’s last three heaves of the game were for naught. Kansas State might fall out of the Top 25 for this one, and right now, that feels monstrously unfair. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 1 LSU 9, No. 2 Alabama 6: Much, much more on the Bryant-Denny donnybrook from men-on-the-scene Stewart Mandel and Andy Staples over on SI.com proper, but just a note: However you might have predicted Alabama might lose this game or LSU might win it, four missed field goals were probably not part of the picture. Drivetime talk radio should be a blast Monday, huh? [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 8 Arkansas 44, No. 10 South Carolina 28: The Razorbacks appear to take a ranked opponent a good deal more seriously than they did Vanderbilt or Ole Miss. From Friday: “Alabama was the only team capable of holding the 7-1 Razorbacks in check on offense this entire season, and Arkansas has scored more than 29 points every other week. Scoring enough to keep up with Wilson, Jarius Wright and Joe Adams is going to be a real concern.” The Gamecocks haven’t had this many points laid on them all year; the only teams to even come close were East Carolina and Georgia, both of which fell to South Carolina in shootouts the first two weeks of the season. A defense allowing an average of 17 points per game was indeed cut right up by the efforts of Wilson, Wright and Adams, and tailback Dennis Johnson added 86 ground yards on 15 touches. The symmetry in this one was spooky: For every score the Gamecocks managed in a given quarter, field goal or touchdown, the Hogs added two scores of their own. And kicks or endzone frolics, it added up. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 14 Houston 56, UAB 13: More early next week on the Cougars’ run at an undefeated season, but for tonight, celebrate Case Keenum, whose 407 passing yards were enough to blow by one more major record. Keenum is now the NCAA’s all-time leader in career offense, passing and touchdown passes. He also rushed for two scores, which means we get to refer to him as a dual-threat QB for the next week with impunity. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 5 Boise State 48, UNLV 21: A bit more wiggle than might have been expected from the sad-stached Rebels, but a win is a win, and this particular win is special: Kellen Moore has broken Colt McCoy’s record for career victories with his 46th as the Broncos’ starting quarterback. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 6 Oregon 34, Washington 17: Darron Thomas, wherever his strength meter might be hovering, was healthy enough tonight to throw for 169 yards and execute handoffs. The majority of the Ducks’ scoring came from the ground, with LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas each recording a touchdown. James appears to be in reasonably good shape himself; his 156-yard game is much more in line with the pace he was setting before dislocating his elbow. For the Huskies, nine different receivers caught passes from Keith Price, which kept things interesting, if not productive. Price also threw two picks and endured six sacks. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• Notre Dame 24, Wake Forest 17: So much for the shellacking predicted in this space. The Demon Deacons held on way tighter than I thought they would, containing the Irish to 341 yards of total offense, but couldn’t wriggle out from beneath ND’s defensive bootheels in the second half. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 23 Cincinnati 26, Pittsburgh 23: Though I fear we might be in for another UConn-Oklahoma flopsy scenario if Cincinnati ends up in the Orange Bowl against the wrong team, it is comforting to know there’s somebody at least nominally in charge in the Big East. [RECAP | BOX]
• Baylor 42, Missouri 39: They’re unranked, the pair of them, so we’re really just here to mark two things: The Bears’ 697 yards of offense (a school record), and the Tigers’ dizzying 25-point fourth quarter rally that fell just short of mattering. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• UCLA 29, No. 20 Arizona State 28: Thanks to a missed 46-yard Sun Devils field goal in the final seconds of play, the four-loss Bruins lead the Pac-12 South. See why we’re grimly relieved Cincinnati is at least unbeaten in conference play? [RECAP | BOX]