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Michigan Beats Northwestern in Final Seconds by Stopping 2-Pt Conversion Attempt

Northwestern boldly went for the win in regulation. The move backfired.

Michigan moved to 5-5 and 3-3 in the Big Ten with a 10-9 win after stopping a Northwestern two-point conversion attempt with three seconds remaining.

First, let's just say it: This game was not pretty. The score remained 0-0 until a Michigan strike midway through the third quarter. With time winding down in the fourth quarter, Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tony Jones.

There was just one question left: Go for one and overtime, or go for two?

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald made the gutsy decision to go for the win. Admirable. Brave.

Ultimately, ineffective. Michigan got to the quarterback in blazing fashion, securing the win. 

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Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Live Score and Highlights

Can No. 14 Ohio State avenge last year’s loss in the Big Ten title game, or will No. 8 Michigan State protect its home turf in this highly anticipated prime-time matchup?

We’ll find out Saturday night when the Buckeyes (7-1) face off against the Spartans (7-1) in East Lansing.

Urban Meyer and Ohio State will have to overcome a hostile crowd and a strong Michigan State team as underdogs. Mark Dantonio’s squad is coming into Saturday night’s contest as 3.5-point favorites, according to Odds Shark.

The game is set to kick off at 8:14 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally by ABC.

We’ll be watching the matchup, providing live analysis as the action unfolds.

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Alabama vs. LSU: Live Score and Highlights

The No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide are set to battle the No. 16 LSU Tigers in a critical Southeastern Conference clash on Saturday night.

Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) is a challenger for the College Football Playoff, but Blake Sims and Co. must defeat three top teams to earn a spot in the inaugural competition.

LSU (7-2, 3-2) had two weeks to prepare for the Crimson Tide and knocked off then-No. 3 Ole Miss last time out. The Tigers need a win to stay alive in the West Division.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS. Bleacher Report will provide live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Please join the conversation in the comments.

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Florida vs. Vanderbilt: Live Score and Highlights

Vanderbilt 7, Florida 0—Mid-1st Quarter

We are underway in Nashville as the Vanderbilt Commodores host the Florida Gators. 

Keep it locked right here as we'll give you live scoring updates, comprehensive analysis and the best postgame coverage around.

You can find the official Florida-Vanderbilt box score at NCAA.com

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Kansas State vs. TCU: Live Score and Highlights

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

With Big 12 and College Football Playoff implications on the line, two dark-horse Heisman candidates square off in Fort Worth, Texas, as Jake Waters and the No. 7 Kansas State Wildcats face Trevone Boykin and the No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday night. 

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Michigan Snaps Ball into Receiver in Motion, Can't Figure How to Block Either

Brady Hoke's Michigan Wolverines are under intense scrutiny for their 4-5 record, and plays like these aren't going to help their case any.

First we see the center strike star wide receiver Devin Funchess with a snap, leading to an easy fumble recovery for Northwestern. Again, that's a snap hitting a wide receiver.

#MichiganFootball miscues continue. https://t.co/PQMgw3G2kx

— Adam Biggers (@AdamBiggers81) November 8, 2014

Michigan also showcased their unique blocking tactics, choosing to put one man on two defensive linemen, while two offensive linemen just stand around and try to look busy.

This pic right here. Two guys not blocking anyone. One guy blocking two NW players. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! pic.twitter.com/VWg4rgBMKO

— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) November 8, 2014

Cue the Benny Hill music.

[Twitter]

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Mike Shanahan Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Florida, Michigan

Legendary football coach Mike Shanahan is still looking for his next head-coaching job, and it could come at the college level.

Shanahan is reportedly interested in taking the reigns at either Florida or Michigan, per 247Sports.com's Clint Brewster:

Sources close to the situation have told Wolverine247 that former Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan would be interested in returning to college football for either the Wolverines or Florida Gators job if they were to open.

Shanahan has college experience early in his career . He’s coached at Florida as an offensive assistant from 1980-1983 and also made stops at the University of Minnesota, and Oklahoma. 

Florida is 4-3 on the season and struggling to keep pace in the SEC under the tutelage of Will Muschamp. Michigan is 4-5 on the year and look to be treading water with Brady Hoke at the helm. The Wolverines head coach has also drawn ire for his handling of a concussion to quarterback Shane Morris earlier in the season.

Shanahan's most recent coaching experience comes with the NFL's Washington Redskins, where he went 24-40 in four seasons before being replaced by Jay Gruden prior to the 2014 season.

He also coached the Denver Broncos from 1995-2008 to fantastic overall success, winning two Super Bowls and crafting a highly effective zone-blocking scheme that opened up holes for running backs from Terrell Davis to Peyton Hillis.

Shanahan's lack of head coaching experience at the college level could work against him, not to mention his tumultuous reign in Washington. It would be interesting to see how he adjusts to the widely used spread offenses, and questions would abound regarding his ability to recruit players and implement an effective defensive system.

That being said, he does posses one of the sharpest offensive minds in the game and is the kind of high-profile leader that would command respect at either Michigan or Florida, two of the more illustrious programs in college football history.

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Texas A&M's Deshazor Everett Returns Blocked Auburn Field Goal for a Touchdown

The No. 3 Auburn Tigers were heavily favored in Saturday's matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies.

However, it seems the Aggies had a different outcome in mind.

In the waning seconds of the second quarter, Texas A&M blocked a Tigers field goal. The ball conveniently landed in the hands of Aggies defensive back Deshazor Everett, who ran it the other way for a score.

The TD gave Texas A&M a 35-17 lead at halftime. 


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Virginia vs. Florida State: Live Score and Highlights

Florida State 21, Virginia 13 -- Middle 2nd Quarter

 

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Can Bob Stoops Ever Get Oklahoma Back to Elite Status?

This was supposed to be a special year for Oklahoma. Coming off a Sugar Bowl rout of Alabama, the Sooners entered 2014 as a preseason Top Five fixture and a strong pick to make the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Well, the Sooners aren’t making the College Football Playoff. They aren’t winning the Big 12 championship. And after Saturday’s ugly 48-14 home loss to Baylor, it’s fair to wonder if they can even end the season on a high note.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has been one of college football’s best coaches, with a BCS national championship and eight Big 12 titles on his resume. But days like Saturday raise the question: Can he return the Sooners to their former position as a national power, or is it time for both sides to explore other options?

There’s plenty of reason for unrest in Norman. The Sooners have lost back-to-back home games for the first time in Stoops’ 16-year tenure, and Saturday marked the program’s worst home defeat since 1997’s 51-7 loss to Texas A&M. The Oklahoman beat writer Ryan Aber quotes Stoops:

Sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight has failed to live up to the potential he flashed in the Sugar Bowl with consistently uneven play. He left Saturday’s game in the fourth quarter immobilized on a stretcher following a hard sack, but was moving his arms and legs and waved to fans as he was carted off.

He missed star receiver Sterling Shepard (who sat Saturday with a groin injury) but hasn’t taken the next step in his development.

A defense that was expected to be nasty and tough hasn’t delivered, either. The Sooners are allowing an average of 31.5 points per game to Big 12 opponents.

Perhaps a change of scenery is in order for Stoops. Per Patrick Stevens of Syracuse.com, Stoops is the third longest-tenured head coach in the FBS. He’s 12 years behind Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, and with the impending retirement of Troy’s Larry Blakeney, he’d be No. 2 nationally (one day ahead of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz).

This week, Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel suggested that Michigan, which will likely have an opening very soon, would be a perfect place for “a new challenge and a fresh start.”

NFL.com’s Bryan Fischer reported in September that it would be “feasible” for Stoops to pursue an NFL job with a successful 2014 season. Per NFL Network reporter Albert Breer:

Or can he turn it around in Norman? A core of young talent will remain after this season. Knight is only a sophomore. So are tailbacks Keith Ford and Alex Ross. Shepard is a junior. So is standout linebacker Eric Striker (although he could test the NFL waters following this season). Ball-hawking cornerback Zack Sanchez is only a sophomore. Per 247Sports, OU has the nation's current No. 21 recruiting class, with five 4-star commitments. 

That young talent could help alleviate the current unrest in the Sooners' fanbase. The Oklahoman beat writer Jason Kersey noted Sanchez's reaction:

And don’t forget, transfer wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham would be eligible next season (assuming he doesn’t declare for the NFL draft).

Changes and improvements must be made for the Sooners to return to their former glory. But the potential certainly remains, if Stoops is interested in sticking it out and moving forward.

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Duke Williams Injury: Updates on Auburn Star's Knee and Return

Auburn will have to survive without one of its top offensive playmakers as D'haquille "Duke" Williams was injured in the team's game against Texas A&M.

Joel Erickson of AL.com provided the initial concern about the injury:

TexAgs later reported the receiver would be out for the rest of the game:

Wesley Sinor of AL.com passed along a photo of Johnson on the sideline:

Bryan Fischer of NFL.com added his analysis of the injury:

Williams had just one catch for 11 yards before coming out in the first half, but he was the team's leading receiver coming into the game. The junior entered Saturday with 37 catches for 598 receiving yards and five touchdowns, all team highs.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Penn State vs. Indiana: Game Grades, Analysis for the Nittany Lions

No matter how it looked, the Penn State Nittany Lions just needed a win against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday—to halt the bleeding from a four-game losing streak, to turn the season around and to keep their bowl hopes alive.

They got one, winning 13-7 in Bloomington, Indiana. 

Though there wasn't a whole lot about which to get excited on the offensive side of the ball, PSU's stingy defense kept Tevin Coleman under 100 yards and continued IU's struggles in the passing game. The only touchdown the Hoosiers mustered was a 47-yard interception return by Mark Murphy for a touchdown.

The Nittany Lions moved to 5-4 on the season with remaining games against Temple, Illinois and Michigan State.

So, how'd PSU fare grade-wise in its nail-biting win Saturday that was short on style points?

 

Penn State Nittany Lions Grade Analysis

Pass Offense

It's hard to put all the struggles on the broad shoulders of Christian Hackenberg when he's being sacked five more times, making it 35 for the season. But the sophomore signal-caller didn't do himself any favors against the Hoosiers.

Hackenberg threw two ill-advised interceptions, including one where he simply didn't read the safety blitz and passed the ball right into the awaiting arms of Murphy, who rumbled 47 yards for a touchdown.

He also had a couple of drives where he made crucial misreads, including one where he should have run the football on 3rd-and-4 inside the IU 10 but instead threw incomplete in the end zone, leading to a field-goal attempt. He's now thrown interceptions in five straight games and has seven scoring tosses and 12 picks.

 

Run Offense

Gaining 162 rushing yards behind this offensive line probably feels like an "A+" effort for a PSU team that has been much maligned in that area this season.

But other than Bill Belton's 92-yard scamper, the Lions finished with 36 carries for 70 yards. Any other day, that's a terrible effort. So, while the long run must be factored in, it was far from a banner day on the ground for PSU.

Through the ebbs and flows of the game, the Lions couldn't sustain drives, and the game was forced onto Hackenberg's arm time and time again. It was a step in the right direction, but it wasn't a sterling effort.

 

Pass Defense

It's possible that without Nate Sudfeld under center, Indiana's pass offense is the worst in all of major-conference football, so handing out a gold star is difficult here.

But Penn State can't control who it plays, and it was flat-out dominant, covering up all of IU's receivers and really not allowing Zander Diamont any window of opportunities for much of the day. Then as the Hoosiers threatened late, Nyeem Wartman put an end to the drive with a big interception.

Not only did PSU make the plays throughout the game, it made the biggest with the game on the line. Diamont had just 68 passing yards and a couple of picks.

 

Rush Defense

Allowing a quarterback to gain 84 yards on 14 carries is unacceptable, but Bob Shoop's stingy rush defense is tops in the nation for a reason. It obviously had the game plan of stopping Coleman, and it did.

Simply put, Penn State's defense won this football game. Coleman—the nation's leading rusher—had just 71 yards on 20 carries and was kept out of the end zone.

Regardless of the quarterback scampers (many of which came because coverage was so good downfield), any time you hold Coleman that much in check, a good grade is forthcoming.

 

Special Teams

Sam Ficken was the reigning Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, and he nailed a couple of short field goals, but the Nittany Lions also had a 23-yarder blocked.

In most games, getting a close one blocked that way could be a momentum-swinger, but IU couldn't do anything with it.

Since PSU really didn't do anything in the return game and struggled punting, the couple of short field goals don't carry much weight. The only redeeming quality is they were the difference in the game on the scoreboard.

 

Coaching

It's hard to scheme around a poor offensive line, but this has gone on all season, and James Franklin's team still doesn't seem to be able to get past it.

Hackenberg is one of the highest-potential weapons in the country, but it appears he is regressing. Also, PSU wound up getting stuffed by a bad IU defense on three plays from the 1-yard line. When you can't come up with a play to punch the ball in the end zone, that has to fall somewhat on the coaches.

From a defensive standpoint, Shoop is a mastermind, and the nation is seeing it. The game plan to bottle up Coleman worked perfectly, and PSU's defensive backs made their coaches look good by playing well enough to allow the Lions to stack the box.

When nothing is working and you rely on field position to win the game, it isn't a good look. Luckily for the Lions, they survived with a win. But they've got to play (and coach) better.

 

All stats and information taken from GoPSUSports.com.

Brad Shepard covers college football for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

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NC State QB Throws Circus Interception, Returner Fumbles, then QB throws Pick-6

If you're wondering how No. 24 Georgia Tech managed to obliterate North Carolina State, 56-23, in Raleigh, this series of plays might give you an idea.

Early in the second quarter, NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett looked to hit senior wide receiver Bryan Underwood for a red-zone touchdown reception, but Georgia Tech safety Chris Milton was there for the hit. As contact was made, Underwood missed the catch and Milton inadvertently kicked the ball with the back of his foot...directly to his teammate, linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.

Nealy coasted down the sideline for a would-be pick-six, but the redshirt senior let up on the gas, opening the door for Wolfpack tight end/fullback Jaylen Samuels to strip it loose. Wolfpack ball.

Two plays later, Brissett threw a pick-six to Georgia Tech defensive back D.J. White.

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Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill Gets Down in Locker Room After Big Win over Iowa

The Minnesota Golden Gophers destroyed the Iowa Hawkeyes, 51-14, to reclaim the Floyd of Rosedale trophy, and no one was happier than Jerry Kill.

The Minnesota head coach, surrounded by his players, got his groove on in the locker room.

He discussed his dance moves at the postgame press conference.

[Snappy TV, Marcus Fuller]


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LSU Cheerleaders Photobomb Tim Tebow by Pretending to Kiss Him

Tim Tebow, you sly dog. 

Over the course of Tebow's playing career at Florida, and then with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and New England Patriots, he garnered an unprecedented amount of supporters, and an equal share of haters. His smiley persona, voluble displays of faith and can-do-no-wrong aura polarized even the most neutral of parties. 

There is one area in which his support never seemed to waver, though, and LSU cheerleaders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, proved Tim's still the object of every woman's affection with a masterful photobomb prior to their team's showdown with Alabama:

The ladies love Tim Tebow, even when they photobomb him. Check the LSU cheerleaders behind him. pic.twitter.com/86077ZXP1S

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 8, 2014

[Twitter]

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Presbyterian College vs. Ole Miss: Game Grades, Analysis for the Rebels

After suffering two disappointing losses to LSU and Auburn, Ole Miss got back on the winning track as it blew past Presbyterian College 48-0. The final box score can be found at NCAA.com.

The Rebels dominated on offense, defense and special teams. And it was a game where they needed to fix some things before they finish the season with Arkansas and Mississippi State. Winning against an FCS team is not a big accomplishment, but it’s good to go into a bye week with a win, and that’s what the Rebels did on Saturday.

Here are some game grades and analysis for the Rebels against the Blue Hose.

Passing Offense

The Rebels did not throw all over the field against PC, but the three quarterbacks who played for the Rebels passed with accuracy and made good decisions while they were in the pocket. Bo Wallace led the way, going 11-of-15 with 140 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.

Devante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan also played, and they were a combined 13-of-15 for 98 yards and one touchdown. Not only did we see a good Wallace, but we saw good Ole Miss backups as well, and that’s always a positive.

 

Running Offense

The run game was on another level as the Rebels rushed for 402 yards and averaged 11.2 yards per carry. Jordan Wilkins had 171 of those yards, while Mark Dodson had 128. Both players showed great speed, better explosion and the vision you need to be effective at running the ball. The way the Rebels ran the ball against PC will help them be better at it when they take on Arkansas and Mississippi State.

 

Passing Defense

The Ole Miss defense is one of the best in the country, and the Blue Hose got a good taste of it for 60 minutes. PC quarterback Heys McMath could never get in a rhythm, as he only completed nine of his 17 pass attempts for 56 yards and one interception. Serderius Bryant got a pick to go along with his six tackles. Senquez Golson had a pass breakup, and Channing Ward notched a sack. Ole Miss was too fast for the Blue Hose, which is why McMath was not effective in the pocket.

 

Running Defense

The running game for the Blue Hose was not any better; they rushed for 89 yards on 36 carries. Carlos Thompson was a big reason why PC could not get the ground game going, tallying 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Fadol Brown was another key component in the run defense with three tackles for loss.

The Ole Miss front seven was too much for the Blue Hose offensive line, and it’s almost amazing they were able to get any yards, given how the Ole Miss defense was playing.

 

Special Teams

If there was one area that wasn’t as stellar as it could have been, it’s the special teams. C.J. Moore did get a blocked field goal, and the return game was solid. But the Rebels missed two field goals (one was blocked), and the coverage teams weren’t as tight as they have been this season. That might be too critical, but they can’t miss multiple field goals or be loose in coverage when they finish out the season in two weeks.

 

Coaching

After two emotional losses, Hugh Freeze did a good job of getting his players physically and mentally ready to play against Presbyterian College. This could have been a game where the Rebels just go through the motions. But the Rebels put the pressure on the Blue Hose from start to finish, and that was because the coaches would never let the players take any plays off.

Even though the College Football Playoff may not happen for the Rebels, they are not out of the SEC West race, and the coaching staff needed the players to play effective in this game in order to evaluate for the final two games of the season as well as the 2015 season.

 

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Bryce Petty's Record Day Keeps Baylor's Big 12 Title Hopes Alive and Well

If you stopped paying attention to Baylor, well, it's time to take a second look. Senior quarterback Bryce Petty and the Bears made that clear Saturday afternoon at Oklahoma with a record-setting day.

Baylor began 2014 with aspirations of making the inaugural College Football Playoff, but a 41-27 loss at West Virginia—coupled with a weak nonconference schedule comprised of SMU, Buffalo and FCS foe Northwestern State—has kept the Bears on the fringe of the playoff picture.

However, Petty and Baylor still have plenty to play for, and they showed it Saturday.

In Baylor’s 48-14 rout of the Sooners, Petty torched Oklahoma for 387 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. It was his 14th career 300-yard passing game, breaking the program record held by Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. His 32 completions were also a career high. 

More importantly, Baylor (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) stayed firmly in the mix for its second consecutive outright Big 12 championship.

With three regular-season games remaining, the Bears control their own destiny for another league championship. While Kansas State was undefeated in league play entering Saturday evening’s showdown against TCU, Baylor and K-State will face off in the regular-season finale on Dec. 6.

Even if K-State enters that game unbeaten, the Bears would win the Big 12 championship with a victory, and playing at home will give them a major edge. It could also give them a boost in the eyes of College Football Playoff committee members putting the finishing touches on the four-team field. 

All three of the Bears’ remaining regular-season games are at home (Oklahoma State visits on Nov. 22, while Texas Tech comes calling on Nov. 29).

Saturday, the Bears looked like one of the Big 12’s best teams, without question. After spotting Oklahoma an early 14-3 lead, Baylor scored 45 consecutive points and left Sooner defenders arguing with their coaches on the sidelines.

Baylor entered the game with the nation’s top scoring offense, averaging 50.4 points per game, and with Petty at the controls, it looked every bit as potent as advertised. Petty targeted receiver Corey Coleman repeatedly, and Coleman looked explosive with 15 receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown. The Bears backfield, led by tailback Shock Linwood, was also impressive; Linwood scored twice on the ground.

The Bears defense repeatedly harassed OU quarterback Trevor Knight, eventually knocking him out of the game following a fourth-quarter sack. Knight was immobilized but was moving his arms and legs and waved to the Memorial Stadium crowd as a cart drove him off the field.

With a favorable schedule coming down the stretch and Saturday’s impressive performance in the books, it’s easy to see the Bears as the favorites to win the Big 12 championship.

And with attrition sure to happen in the group of one-loss teams ahead of them in the College Football Playoff rankings, it isn’t out of the question to see Baylor make a run at one of the four playoff spots by season’s end.

The Bears are peaking at the right time. How high can they rise? We’ll just have to see.

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Baylor vs. Oklahoma: Score and Twitter Reaction

What was billed as a pivotal showdown in the Big 12 turned out to be a one-sided slaughter for the road team. The 12th-ranked Baylor Bears withstood an early onslaught from the Oklahoma Sooners before kicking things into gear. 

The Sooners grabbed a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. It seemed like the game was going to get out of hand early, but that was as good as things would get for Bob Stoops' team. Everything went downhill in the second quarter and just kept snowballing. Baylor scored 45 unanswered points to end the game.

Baylor's performance on Saturday also erased a lot of bad history for the program. According to ESPN Radio producer Jon Madani, the Bears ended two long streaks with one victory:

Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman was the clear standout in the game, though there are a lot of game balls to go around. As Chris B. Brown of SmartFootball.com noted on Twitter, the Sooners had no answer for Coleman:

It's important to note that Coleman had those numbers before the end of the third quarter. He finished the game with 15 catches, 224 yards and two total touchdowns.

Oklahoma's problem was defending the pass, as Coleman's huge game illustrates. David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest noted how the coverage schemes for the Sooners were baffling in how bland and predictable they were:

Bryce Petty was masterful for Baylor, easily his most impressive performance of the season, going 32-for-42 with 387 yards and one touchdown. He made history in the process, breaking Robert Griffin III's school record for 300-yard passing games, per Baylor Football's official Twitter:

Even though Petty finished the game with just one touchdown pass, it was his work through the air that set up most of the easy rushing touchdowns Baylor had. Head coach Art Briles talked about his quarterback's focus all week to The Associated Press, via The Dallas Morning News:

“He’s focused and ready, and he’s in a no-nonsense attitude, which I appreciate whole-heartedly, and that’s the way our whole football team needs to be,” Briles said. “We’ll play around in January. Right now it’s business.”

Petty needed a great game in a big spot to quiet any doubts about how his season was going. 

Despite Petty's three touchdown passes in a blowout win over Kansas last week, his completion percentage over the previous two games was 49.2 and West Virginia humiliated him on October 18. Getting back on track in a nationally televised rivalry game can do wonders for his confidence moving forward. 

Speaking of national television, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports pointed out during the game how the early start time may end up benefiting Baylor in the eyes of the College Football Playoff selection committee:

On the other side, this was one of those games where the rain came pouring down on Oklahoma early and never let up. The Sooners played the entire game without Sterling Shepard, who is battling a groin injury suffered last week. 

By the time the game ended, quarterback Trevor Knight was taken off the field on a cart due to an injury following a fourth quarter sack on a fourth down play, via SportsCenter:

Knight didn't haven't a good game before getting hurt. He looked out of sorts most of the day, He threw a bad interception over the middle in the second quarter that set up a one-yard touchdown to give Baylor the lead. He badly under-threw an open receiver on what should have been a touchdown. 

Nothing worked right for the Sooners after that first quarter. Their seven drives after taking a 14-3 lead ended in an interception, missed field goal, punt, punt, turnover on downs, punt and turnover on downs. 

Oklahoma's national title hopes effectively ended with that loss to Kansas State on October 18. Now, its shot at a Big 12 championship are slim with three conference losses. Baylor kept its Playoff hopes alive with this huge win and a showdown with Kansas State waiting at the end of the season. 

 

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Watch Georgia Freshman Isaiah McKenzie Take Two Returns to the House

Two is better than one. That was the case for Georgia Bulldogs freshman Isaiah McKenzie, as he returned the opening kickoff and a punt return to the house in Georgia's 63-31 dismantling of the Kentucky Wildcats. 

Was this the best special teams performance of the season?

Check out the video and let us know!

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Georgia vs. Kentucky: Game Grades, Analysis for Bulldogs and Wildcats

The Georgia Bulldogs got back on track on Saturday with a convincing 63-31 road win over the Kentucky Wildcats.  

A 21-0 lead was never squandered, as Georgia's offense looked altogether unstoppable, and the Bulldog defense buckled down to allow just seven second-half points.

With the win, the Dawgs remain in SEC East contention.  Meanwhile, the loss puts pressure on Kentucky, a team that opened the season 5-1, to win one of its final two games and reach bowl eligibility.

Here are first- and second-half game grades and analysis for both teams.

 

Georgia Bulldogs Grade Analysis

Passing Offense

Hutson Mason was brilliant in the first half, completing 10 of 12 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns.  He distributed the ball to five different targets, threw the ball with zip and placed several deep balls perfectly.  In the second half, he picked up where he left off, and backup Brice Ramsey was equally impressive in his late-game appearance.

 

Rushing Offense

Georgia continued to run the ball well in the first half thanks primarily to a 116-yard showing by Nick Chubb (on just seven carries).  Fellow freshmen Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie also added sparks on the ground.  The second half yielded more of the same, as Chubb and Michel continually found running lanes.

 

Pass Defense

Georgia's pass defense looked strong in the game's first two quarters.  On the day, the defense held Kentucky to just 139 yards on 30 pass attempts, which is downright stellar.

 

Run Defense

For the second consecutive game, Georgia was torched on the ground in the first half.  Kentucky ran the ball well up the middle, to the outside and even with its quarterback.  The Wildcats scored three times on the ground in the first half.  Fortunately, Georgia looked more stout against the run in the second half and as a result, the Kentucky offense stalled out time and time again.

 

Special Teams

Georgia's special teams play opened in terrific fashion thanks to McKenzie's touchdown return on the game's opening kick, but things fell apart thereafter, as the Bulldogs lost a muffed kick and struggled to reel in pooch kicks repeatedly.  In the second half, McKenzie got free for another score (this time on a punt return), and the sloppy play was cleaned up.

 

Coaching

The clear confusion on special teams returns was a blatant lack of coaching, as the same mistake was made more than once in more than one way.  Additionally, it seemed like Georgia could have used a little more clock on some drives to give the defense more rest in the first half.  Overall, however, it's hard to knock a lopsided win on the road in the SEC.

 

Kentucky Wildcats Grade Analysis

Passing Offense

Patrick Towles didn't have much time to throw the ball unless he was on the run in the first half.  As a result, the passing game never gained consistent traction.  That story remained very much intact in the second half, as Kentucky's offense remained run-heavy.

 

Rushing Offense

Kentucky ran the ball very well in the first half—both on early downs and in short-yardage situations.  The scores on the ground kept the Wildcats in the game.  In the second half, the yardage was harder to come by, and ultimately, that's why the Wildcats fell so far behind.

 

Pass Defense

Kentucky had no answer for Hutson Mason and the passing game.  Multiple receivers were open downfield in the first half and Mason took full advantage.  In the second half, the Kentucky defense remained unimpressive against the pass, as Mason and Ramsey both found success.

 

Run Defense

Kentucky couldn't stop the Bulldogs ground attack either, as the Dawgs racked up 172 rushing yards over the game's first two quarters.  By comparison, the second half looked better statistically, but Georgia still ran the ball at will en route to more than 300 rushing yards on the day.

 

Special Teams

After giving up a long kick return for a score on the game's first play, Kentucky adjusted its philosophy.  That was a good move, but Georgia's inability to execute made it a great move.  In the second half, however, punt coverage deficiencies led to another Georgia special teams score.

 

Coaching

Falling behind 21-0 at home is not reflective of a program on the rise, which is what Kentucky wants to be, and an inability to keep things respectable late hurt the team's momentum.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of NCAA.com

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