Snap Judgments from the Week 13 early shift. For swing shift Snaps, click here. For late Snaps, click here. For Andy Staples’ recap of LSU’s win over Arkansas, click here. For Staples’ take on Alabama’s rout of Auburn, click here. For a recap of all the Top 25 action, click here. For highlights from SI.com, click here.
• No. 17 Michigan 40, Ohio State 34: I swear, looking at Michigan box scores week after week, you’d think nobody knows that Denard Robinson is a player who ought to be defended on the football field. This week’s reasons to put a body on Denard: 14 pass completions for 167 yards and three touchdowns and 26 rushes for 170 yards and two additional scores. This week’s reason a team might put bodies on Denard and still lose: The Michigan quarterback’s ability to place the football in the hands of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who will then do things like run for 120 yards.
Michigan’s defense, the year’s most reluctant talking point, must not be overlooked here. Ohio State’s Boom Herron was contained to 37 yards on 15 carries, his third consecutive sub-century game after running wild against Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana following his return from suspension. More problematic for the maize and blue was Braxton Miller, who cracked 100 yards rushing for just the third time this season (accomplished previously against Indiana and Penn State) while shattering his former personal best outing as a passer with 235 aerial yards and two touchdown passes. The Buckeyes hung with it early and late, turning a 16-7 first-quarter deficit into a 24-23 halftime lead and adding 10 more points in the fourth to make the margin of loss more than respectable.
Still, the streak ends here. The Wolverines, you’ll recall, hadn’t beaten the Buckeyes since November 2003. They can now start their own cheeky counter: “It has been two hours since Michigan beat Ohio State in football.” We’re also almost surely witnessing the end of the tenure of Luke Fickell, a Buckeyes lifer thrust into a near-impossible situation in the wake of NCAA scandal and Jim Tressel’s resignation.
Time now to look to the future: Miller appears to be a young quarterback with many fine double-threat attributes. Wonder where the Buckeyes will find a head man with experience coaching up such athletes? Anybody hear anything? [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 12 Oklahoma 26, Iowa State 6: For precisely one quarter, it looked as though the ‘Clones were prepared to stage another upheaving Big 12 upset, this one in Norman no less. Then the Sooners scored 20 points in the second quarter and Iowa State never scored again. The end. Landry Jones threw two interceptions, and freshman Blake Bell had a pick of his own in the endzone, but Bell made up for his blunder with the Sooners’ only touchdowns of the afternoon, both short-yardage rushes. All told, the Sooners gained 509 yards of offense for 26 points. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 13 Georgia 31, No. 25 Georgia Tech 17: Talking heads who speculated the Dawgs would be looking ahead to the SEC Championship Game do not understand the real, actual hate that permeates the Clean Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry. It’s right there in the title! Without the services of their No. 1 tailback, the injured Isaiah Crowell, the Bulldogs managed just 128 rushing yards. But Aaron Murray’s four touchdown passes to four different receivers allowed the Dawgs to first open a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter and to never trail or even be tied for the remainder of the game. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 11 Michigan State 31, Northwestern 17: Not much to see here, honestly. The Spartans are good at football. The Wildcats are not as good, and therefore did not win. More information available at the following links! [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• Kentucky 10, Tennessee 7: Even on a slow Saturday morning, two SEC teams with losing records slugging out a rivalry game wouldn’t be newsworthy … only this win marked the end of Kentucky’s losing streak to the Vols, a streak in which Wildcat fans have been born, raised, schooled, graduated from UK and possibly attained graduate degrees all without ever seeing the Wildcats win their last game. If they were ever going to do it, this was the year for the ‘Cats to pull it off, and they rubbed it in by winning with wide receiver Matt Roark playing quarterback. But did they have to do it wearing uniforms straight out of the nearest laser-tag emporium? [RECAP | BOX]
• North Carolina State 56, Maryland 41: Here’s something you don’t see every day: The Wolfpack recorded a season-high score in their final regular-season game to earn a possible postseason berth, and did so while turning a 41-14 third-quarter deficit upside-down (and then some) with six unanswered touchdowns to end the game, wrapping up with a 59-yard interception of C.J. Brown by C.J. Wilson. [RECAP | BOX]
• Cincinnati 30, Syracuse 13: Here is our weekly excuse to type “Munchie Legaux”: The most adorably named quarterback in the FBS finished 13-of-22 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. The Bearcats’ defense stood up big, sacking Ryan Nassib four times and intercepting him once. Cincy football five-tool Isaiah Pead recorded more than 200 all-purpose yards. [RECAP | BOX]