Snaps III: Spiteberries taste like spiteberries
Snap Judgments from the Week 12 late shift. For early shift Snaps, click here. For swing shift Snaps, click here. For Stewart Mandel’s take on the BCS chaos, click here. For Andy Staples’ Nebraska-Michigan wrap, click here. To see how Top 25 teams fared, click here. For highlights from SI.com, click here.
• Baylor 45, No. 5 Oklahoma 38: You might not be able to imagine a scenario in which you’d want to urge Robert Griffin to play more football without giving your own team an opportunity to answer him, but then, you’re not Bob Stoops. Tied 38-38 with less than a minute to play following Blake Bell’s fourth rushing touchdown in five tries for Oklahoma, the Bears sent Terrance Ganaway up the middle, by all appearances attempting to run the clock out. Oklahoma called time out. And junior receiver Baylor Terrance Williams quipped himself into local legend: “All right, let’s play ball.” Two plays later, Griffin had run 30 yards down the field, into Sooner territory. The play after that, he hit Kendall Wright over the middle for a first down pickup.
The play after that, Terrance Williams caught a 34-yard pass from Griffin that won the Bears the game. Baylor would recover the ensuing kickoff, and the clock ticked down and stopped, and the turf at Floyd Casey was flooded with green and gold faithful.
The deciding factor may have been that one timeout, but trouble was brewing as far back as that last Bell touchdown. OU lined up to go for two, which would have given them a 39-38 edge, but a false start set them back far enough to have to kick for the extra point and the tie instead. The Sooners ended the game with nine penalties worth 91 yards.
It’s a mark of the evening’s high drama that we’re into the fourth paragraph without discussing Wright’s Sooner-aided 87-yard touchdown catch. You can watch it here. I’ll wait. And the rest, quite literally, is history: Tonight marks the Baylor Bears’ first-ever program win over OU. [RECAP | BOX]
• USC 38, No. 4 Oregon 35: Darron Thomas: 265 yards passing. Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James: 201 combined rushing yards, plus three touchdowns. Six Duck receivers with at least 30 yards to their names, and it wasn’t enough — thanks, at the very end, to a crucial missed field goal that will stand out in a year already running over with high-profile special teams gaffes.
The Ducks trailed late in the third quarter, 38-14, when De’Anthony Thomas, who’d been doing his level best up to that point to keep Oregon in the game with return yardage alone, took a kickoff back for a 96-yard touchdown, the first of what would be three unanswered Oregon scores. After bleeding off the rest of the quarter on a fruitless Trojans drive, Oregon opened the fourth and Barner scored on a quick eight-yard run, capping a drive that took less than three minutes off the period. A Matt Barkley interception gave the ball back for a James touchdown, putting Oregon within three, and a Barkley-Marc Tyler handoff fumble set the Ducks up at their own 14-yard line with just under three minutes remaining in the game. With five seconds on the clock, at the Trojans’ 25, a USC penalty gave Alejandro Maldonado a 37-yard field goal to attempt, rather than a 42. He missed, and the Ducks slide down into the two-loss scrum.
For the victors: Robert Woods did indeed play for USC, and caught two touchdown passes from Barkley, but was eclipsed for the evening by freshman Marqise Lee, who simply played unstoppable football. Lee’s eight receptions were good for 187 yards and another touchdown. Barkley finished with 323 aerial yards and four touchdowns. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 8 Stanford 31, Cal 28: In making one’s way as a quarterback, it’s best to avoid putting one’s self in a position to be compared to Zach Maynard. The oft-maligned Cal QB and Andrew Luck recorded eerily similar stat lines in tonight’s Big Tame, but all was not lost, and not all late kicks end in heartbreak, even this year. Jordan Williamson’s 35-yard field goal with three-ish minutes left in the fourth gave the Cardinal a slim if harrowing victory. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• UVA 14, No. 23 Florida State 13: Welcome to Wide Left, the first of two battily-officiated contests we’ll celebrate this evening. Fast forward through the Cavaliers’ harassment of EJ Manuel, through the Seminoles’ stuffing of UVA’s ground attack, through a second half scoreless but for an FSU field goal, to the end of the fourth quarter. Freshman tailback Kevin Parks scores his first touchdown in two weeks, a 10-yard run up the middle, to put the Cavs up, 14-13, with 1:27 remaining. A timely 31-yard kickoff return gives FSU the ball at their own 41-yard line. They appear prepared to go three-and-out before a UVA facemask penalty hands them a fresh set of downs. On third and five, with 14 seconds remaining, Manuel threw what was initially thought to be a completed pass, with the receiver falling down inbounds, and time expired before the ‘Noles could get another play off. The play was reviewed, ruled incomplete, and FSU took over at UVA’s 30. A penalty against the Cavs for simulating signals gave Dustin Hopkins the chance at a 42-yard kick that sailed just outside the left upright. UVA actually ended up leaving the field on the incomplete pass, and then again on the miss, and then Mike London had to pull them back because there were three seconds on the clock. And thanks to all of that, UVA could now earn a trip to the conference championship game if they beat the Hokies. The whole thing was a lot more fun to watch than it sounds now, I promise. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 1 LSU 52, Ole Miss 3: The only circumstances you need know about tonight’s game: The Tigers began taking knees on first down, in the red zone, with five minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the game. Other fun factoids: Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, combined, completed eight of eight passing attempts. Five LSU players recorded at least 50 rushing yards. And despite rolling up 49 points’ worth of touchdowns, no Bayou Bengal scored more than once. The best kind of sharing, that. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21 (OT): So here’s a story we’ve seen before: A Tennessee team celebrating a victory before an official calls them back to the sideline while the word “FINAL” flashes under the score on the screen. The Vols were only in overtime in the first place thanks to a kicker-abuse penalty that negated a missed Michael Palardy field goal and provided an opportunity for a one-handed Tyler Bray-to-Da’Rick Rogers touchdown to tie the score. Justin Rodgers’ first turnover had given Tennessee their first points; his last in regulation, an interception thrown to Prentiss Waggner, halted the Dores’ final drive in enemy territory. He had one more pick in him: On the first possession of overtime, sophomore Eric Gordon snaked a Rodgers pass from its intended receiver and torched the field for a 90-yard interception return, which is about when the real fun began.
Officials said Gordon’s knee had hit the turf while making the pick, but that no whistle had been blown. Replay showed Gordon’s knee doing no such thing and a whistle was clearly audible, meaning that the referees were wrong both in the initial call and in reviewing that play. The call was very eventually overturned, but not before everyone in stripes got good and embarrassed. Both teams can still attain postseason eligibility with wins over Wake Forest and Kentucky, respectively. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 10 Boise State 52, San Diego State 35: With four top 10 BCS squads — including three fellow one-loss teams — sustaining losses in Week 12, Boise still has every incentive to score big and often as the Broncos run out the season in the confines of a Mountain West schedule. Mischief managed. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 16 Kansas State 17, Texas 13: The ‘Horns were gunning for Collin Klein, and it almost worked. Held under 100 passing yards for just the third time this season, and held to four rushing yards where he’d previously been averaging 101, and sacked five times, the Wildcats’ breakout hero was responsible for both K-State touchdowns, and Texas couldn’t capitalize offensively when it mattered most. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• Louisiana Tech 24, Nevada 20: Was looking grim for Sonny Dykes & Co. until about halfway through the fourth quarter, when Colby Cameron winged the first of three touchdowns to three different receivers in just over seven minutes to wrest the game away from the Wolf Pack. [RECAP | BOX]
• UCLA 45, Colorado 6: Let’s review this game in the form of a children’s joke. Knock, knock. Who’s there? UCLA! UCLA who? UCLA got bowl eligible in their next-to-last game of the season and could still technically win their division! Get it?! This season will make fools and drinkers of us all. [RECAP | BOX]
• Utah 30, Washington State 27 (OT): The Utes and Cougars played a four-quarter mirror game in Pullman, recording identical scores in every period until a 39-yard Coleman Petersen field goal gave the Utes an overtime win. A contest with the symmetry of a snowflake, you might say, unlike the attempts to keep the yard lines clear. [RECAP | BOX]