• Louisiana-Monroe 34, No. 8 Arkansas 31 (OT). We have called him “John-El Smith” for so many weeks now that we were reaching for an “ugh, more like John ‘L’ Smith” joke before remembering that is his actual name. This is about the best we could do, and for that we are very sorry:
his name isn’t John W Smith, guys #omens
— Holly Anderson (@SIHolly) September 9, 2012
Arkansas lost two starters to injury over the course of the evening. Quarterback Tyler Wilson did not return for the second half after suffering what was initially reported as an “above the shoulder injury.” Starting corner Tevin Mitchel was carted off the field after a helmet-to-helmet contact with a teammate. The Razorbacks also suffered a hit to their fullback depth with Kody Walker sustaining a left leg injury. (Starting fullback Kiero Small was already out indefinitely and scheduled for foot surgery.)
The Warhawks scored three unanswered late touchdowns, including a 23-yard touchdown pass by Kolton Browning with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter, to force overtime. Arkansas attempted an answering drive, but Wilson replacement Brandon Allen was intercepted at midfield.
A 37-yard field goal put the Razorbacks up in overtime, right up until ULM went for glory. Browning kept the ball on fourth-down and darted 16 yards, squeaking in past the pylon for the winning score. War damn Warhawks, y’all. [BOX | RECAP]
• UCLA 36, No. 16 Nebraska 30. In what was supposed to be our lead game of the night until the Warhawks got their war on, the Bruins laid numerical waste to a Nebraska defense we’re not even comfortable calling “once-vaunted.” The Bruins strolled out of the Rose Bowl with 648 yards of offense to their credit, including a 357-yard, four-touchdown quarterbacking performance from Brett Hundley and a 162-yard rushing effort from Jonathan Franklin. Franklin also added 113 receiving yards and a touchdown catch.
Rex Burkhead sat out the evening, still recovering from an MCL injury; tonight’s Nebraska rushing attack was almost solely left to Ameer Abdullah (16 carries, 120 yards, two scores) and Taylor Martinex (13 carries, 109 yards, most of that on a 92-yard touchdown run). Martinez threw for an additional 180 yards but was hurried for much of the evening, taking four sacks. One of those knockdowns, with 9:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, put UCLA up by two points with the ultra-rare but always-beloved go-ahead safety. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 7 Georgia 41, Missouri 20. Old Man Football saw his shadow tonight, foretelling six more weeks of summer! This one broke open quite late, and Stewart Mandel was there to see it, so we’ll let him tell the story. But first! The awarding of the Screaming Sheep Trophy to James Franklin The Quarterback’s inner monologue, after a high snap on Mizzou’s opening series that took him 24 yards to chase down. Bleating shrieks all around. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 3 LSU 41, Washington 3. Andy Staples was down in Death Valley for this one, and will tell you all about it himself, so let us focus instead on two numbers: 54.3, Brad Wing’s average of three punts on the evening, and 3:03, which is how long it took LSU to score the first touchdown, which we can conclude is the exact time value of bringing a live tiger to practice. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 4 Oregon 42, Fresno State 25.The first part of Fresno State’s postgame press release reads as follows: “If you take away the first 30 minutes of the game, Tim DeRuyter’s Bulldogs proved Saturday they can play with anybody in the country. No. 4 Oregon used a 35-point first half that carried them to a 42-25 victory over Fresno State at a sold-out Autzen Stadium. ” Those pesky 35-point first halves’ll get you every time, won’t they? [BOX | RECAP]
• Louisiana Tech 56, Houston 49. And now, a list of very large numbers: 1,293 combined yards of offense; 13-of-13 extra points made; 581 passing yards for Case Keenum successor David Piland; two Cougars with 100-plus yard receiving outings (Daniel Spencer at 155 and DeWayne Peace at 140); 112 rushing yards for LaTech’s Tevin King; a surprisingly high 11 total punts; and two early field goals kicked by Houston that seem sort of silly about now. [BOX | RECAP]
• Florida International 41, Akron 38 (OT). T.Y. Hilton is not walking through that door to give us early season glee over the Panthers, and even if he did, he is a wide receiver and wouldn’t be able to prevent his team from allowing 38 points to Akron. [BOX | RECAP]
• North Dakota State 22, Colorado State 7. Seeing as the Bison are defending national champs and all, we’re going to go ahead and declare this as less embarrassing than the Colorado loss to Sacramento State. [BOX | RECAP]