Snap Judgments from the Week 8 midday slate. For more, check out our early Snaps, late Snaps, our coverage of South Carolina-Florida, Kansas State-West Virginia, Oregon-Arizona State and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 5 Notre Dame 17, BYU 14. We will now dispense the first piece of news you interested parties who missed the game will want to hear: Tommy Rees started at quarterback for the Fighting Irish, with Andrew Hendrix in to run a few plays and no action for Everett Golson, who was recovering from a concussion. We will now dispense with the second piece of news you interested parties who missed the game will want to hear: Notre Dame allowed its first offensive touchdown since its Sept. 8 matchup with Purdue.
Rees wasn’t asked to do much, and he attempted only three passes in the entire second half. He finished 7-of-16 for 117 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Irish offense functioned mostly on the footwork of Theo Riddick, who had a career day with 143 yards on just 15 carries, and Cierre Wood, who totaled 114 yards on 18 carries. Tyler Eifert led Irish receivers with four catches for 73 yards and a score. We feel like we’ve used the phrase “supposedly vaunted defense” a lot this year, but the Cougars were allowing an average of fewer than 68 yards against the run coming into South Bend Saturday.
BYU was also operating under a sometimes backup quarterback, with Riley Nelson making his second start since Taysom Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury against Utah State. (You’ll recall Nelson, like Rees, has prior starting quarterback experience.) Nelson completed 22-of-35 attempts for 172 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, and he was sacked four times. His final interception ended BYU’s would-be comeback drive deep in Cougar territory with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 3 Florida 44, No. 9 South Carolina 11. Steve Spurrier gives better quotes when he wins games, which makes covering South Carolina more fun. But as on most football Saturdays, we can’t have everything we want. Florida product Andy Staples was down in Gainesville to witness the carnage the Gators inflicted on their former Head Ball Coach; read his full report. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 18 Texas Tech 56, TCU 53 (3 OT). What has two thumbs, a slick haircut and won’t be coaching in Lubbock next season? The Horned Frogs held several small leads throughout regulation time, and tied the game in dramatic fashion with a 42-yard Jaden Oberkrom field goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter. (Important kicking note: Oberkrom, a freshman, went 6-for-6 on field goal attempts and 5-for-5 on extra points. Field goal lengths: 32, 45, 32, 45 and 42 yards. Jared Oberkrom is pretty neat to watch, and to say.) Casey Pachall replacement Trevone Boykin went 27-of-47 for 332 yards, four scores and two picks. Seth Doege was 30-of-42 for 318 yards and SEVEN touchdown passes, including the game-winner in triple overtime. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 22 Stanford 21, Cal 3. Stepfan Taylor continues to be very, very good at doing football stuff, rushing for 191 yards on 28 carries, a high this season even for him. Stanford also boasted a 100-yard receiver, tight end Zach Ertz, who finished with six catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. It’s his second 100-yard game of the season. Josh Nunes and Zach Maynard both attempted 31 passes and recorded 213 aerial yards, which creeps us out a little bit this close to Halloween. The Bears are 2-3 in their brand new stadium, and Jeff Tedford has no buyout. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 23 Michigan 12, Michigan State 10. This contest’s lone touchdown was a teensy pass from Andrew Maxwell to Paul Lang halfway through the third quarter. Kickers ruled the rest of the way, with four field goals for the Wolverines and one for the Spartans. Denard Robinson finished with 163 passing yards and 96 rushing yards. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 16 Louisville 27, South Florida 25. USF very nearly snatched this one back from the Cardinals, with two fourth-quarter B.J. Daniels touchdown passes and a two-point conversion turning an 11-point deficit into a four-point lead. But Teddy Bridgewater saved the day for the Cardinals with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers. The Bulls moved the ball as far as midfield in response, but Daniels was intercepted on a last-gasp Hail Mary with two seconds left on the clock. [BOX | RECAP]
• Louisiana-Monroe 43, Western Kentucky 42 (OT). Control of the Sun Belt goes to the Warhawks! Louisiana-Monroe remains undefeated in conference play. But danger lies ahead, with most of the SBC still to defeat. [BOX | RECAP]