Posted November 13, 2011

Early Snaps: Decided phlegmatic advantage

Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, Missouri Tigers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Snap Judgments, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, West Virginia Mountaineers

Freshman star Sammy Watkins amassed 95 all-purpose yards before leaving with an upper-body injury. (AP)

Snap Judgments from the Week 11 early shift. For swing Snaps, click here. For late Snaps, click hereFor Andy Staples’ account from Penn State, click here. For a recap of all the Top 25 action click here, and for highlights from SI.comclick here

 No. 9 Clemson 31, Wake Forest 28: Kicker Chandler Catanzaro was the savior of the game and the clincher of the ACC Atlantic Division title for the Tigers, but he came perilously close to being the goat. Tied at 28-all with less than two minutes remaining in the game, the well-regarded Catanzaro missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Quarterback Tanner Price got Wake out of its own red zone with an 18-yard pass to Cameron Ford, but his next two attempts fell incomplete, and after taking a sack on third down the Deacs relinquished control. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd was more precise in his targeting, and with seven seconds remaining, the Tigers were back in kicking range, if only just. Back came Catanzaro, with a 43-yarder that sailed true.

It’s just one of those years, isn’t it? One of those years where Jim Grobe puts together a Demon Deacons team good for a few scares and almost nobody realizes it until it’s nearly too late. Wake beat Florida State, played Notre Dame too close for comfort, and very nearly cost Clemson its Top 10 ranking today.

The Tigers were mauled by the rushing efforts of Brandon Pendergrass, who finished with 134 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Considering the next-closest runner was Price himself with nine yards on nine carries, you can’t argue the the Tigers didn’t know where the ball was going. Boyd hauled them out of trouble but was vulnerable in the air, throwing two interceptions in a high-yardage outing. Of more immediate concern: The status of freshman phenom Sammy Watkins, who left the game after recording just 95 all-purpose yards with an undisclosed upper-body injury. [RECAP | BOX]

 No. 19 Nebraska 17, No. 12 Penn State 14: The afternoon in Happy Valley began with a pregame prayer at midfield, joining both teams and staffs. Andy Staples was in State College, and has more on today’s action over on SI.com proper. The short version: Rex Burkhead is still very, very good at running the football. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]

 Missouri 17, No. 21 Texas 5: You’re going to read about some unpleasant records in this one. It’s the Tigers’ first win over the Longhorns since 1997. It’s the first time Texas has failed to score a touchdown in a game since 2004 against Oklahoma. Compounding a very bad afternoon for Texas, beloved running back Fozzy Whittaker left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. Mizzou suffered a knee-related blow of its own, with a report from Columbia’s NBC station that Henry Josey will miss the remainder of the season after going down in the third. [RECAP | BOX]

 Purdue 26, Ohio State 23: With neither team being ranked, this isn’t particularly noteworthy … but it’s still alarming, no? The game only even went to overtime in the first place thanks to a blocked extra point on the Buckeyes’ game-tying touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in regulation time. What Ohio State was doing down to Purdue in the fourth quarter is another story. More personal redemption on display here, as Robert Marve balanced out a late-game interception with the winning overtime touchdown. [RECAP | BOX]

 No. 2 Oklahoma State 66, Texas Tech 6: Once again, the Red Raiders graciously save us the trouble of wondering which team showed up. Brandon Weeden completed 31-of-37 pass attempts for 423 yards, five touchdowns and zero picks. Freshman running back Herschel Sims had his second hundred-yard game as a Cowboy, finishing with 109 on 13 carries. From Stewart Mandel: “The Oklahoma-Texas Tech upset becomes more unexplainable by the week.” [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]

 West Virginia 24, No. 23 Cincinnati 21: Starting Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter, and replacement Munchie Legaux (MUNCHIE LEGAUX) threw an interception on his first series. He would finish 9-of-20 for 138 yards, with 77 yards rushing. Isaiah Pead put up his fifth hundred-yard game of the season, but to no ultimate avail.

So, the Bearcats have a conference loss. It’s a start. And it was clearly the work of some sorcerer, because nothing else explains a booth review for awarding Cincinnati an extra down AND the Mountaineers winning on a special-teams play. Nothing. [RECAP | BOX]

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