Stanford sweats out Arizona; more midday Snap Judgments
• No. 18 Stanford 54, Arizona 48 (OT). Stanford wasn’t the only ranked team to be threatened by a less well-regarded program in Saturday’s second flight of games, but it certainly wrapped up its Week 6 contest in the most entertaining fashion. Trailing Arizona 48-34 early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Josh Nunes pioneered two touchdown drives and rushed for one- and three-yard scores to force overtime.
From there, as Bryan Fischer succinctly put it, the Cardinal began to play defense when it counted. Chase Thomas intercepted a tipped pass from Matt Scott, and Arizona’s defense, content to remain as languorous as it had been for much of the afternoon, allowed Stepfan Taylor to run for a 21-yard touchdown on the Cardinal’s second ensuing play from scrimmage.
Let us speak now of what was done well: Scott, whose existence on the Widlcats’ roster was the most compelling reason to watch RichRod’s Arizona tenure from the jump, completed a school-record 45-of-69 attempts for 491 yards and three touchdowns. The occasionally maligned Nunes turned in a performance to be proud of, completing 21-of-34 attempts for 360 yards and two passing scores. Each team boasted a 100-yard rusher (Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey had 132 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries; Stanford’s Taylor had 142 yards and two scores on 31 carries) and an 100-yard receiver (Arizona’s Austin Hill had 166 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches; Stanford’s Levine Toilolo had 141 yards and a score on five grabs). Nick Saban does not approve. [BOX | RECAP]
• Iowa State 37, No. 15 TCU 23. What has 455 yards, four turnovers and gets sacked four times? If you guessed “The Horned Frogs!” Paul Rhoads is so proud of you right now. The Cyclones padded an upset win over TCU after David Irving intercepted quarterback Trevone Boykin, who was filling in for suspended starter Casey Pachall, and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. So ends the Horned Frogs’ FBS-leading 12-game winning streak. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 10 Florida 14, No. 4 LSU 6. Andy Staples was in attendance for Florida’s win; read his full account of the grueling afternoon in Gainesville. The Bayou Bengals are losers on the scoreboard, but clear winners in pregame madhattery. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 15 Clemson 47, Georgia Tech 31. Elsewhere in Ranked Teams Sweating: The Jackets were right in it, even leading 31-30 early in the fourth quarter, until a Tajh Boyd touchdown and two-point conversion (both caught by DeAndre Hopkins), a safety (what is it with Georgia Tech and safeties this season?) and a late Roderick McDowell rushing score put the outcome well out of reach. Boyd now owns Clemson’s all-time career passing touchdown record, having tied and passed Charlie Whitehurst in the same game. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 17 Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20. Let all grousing over the Red Raiders’ lack of rankings love cease after this walloping by a Sooners squad of dubious quality. Oklahoma scored 17 points in the second and third quarters, and the final score is deceiving: Tech’s final touchdown came with less than 90 seconds to play in the fourth. Continuing our Maligned Quarterbacks Make Good streak, Landry Jones completed 25-of-40 passes for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. [BOX | RECAP]
• Louisiana-Monroe 31, Middle Tennessee State 17. The Sun Belt Sorting Hat places the Warhawks squarely in Gryffindor. Kolton Browning: 26-of-28 passing for 285 yards and a touchdown to go with 44 rushing yards. [BOX | RECAP]