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Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun Delivers 2nd Monster Suplex of the Season

The Michigan State Spartans got a 45-31 win on Saturday over the Purdue Boilermakers, and this tackle might have summed up the game.

In the third quarter, Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun suplexed a Purdue running back. The hit was huge, but it was actually Calhoun's second suplex of the season.

The first suplex came back in September when he threw down Eastern Michigan quarterback Rob Bolden.

[VineFor the Win]

 

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Washington's Shaq Thompson Returns Fumble 99 Yards for TD vs. Cal

Washington Huskies running back/linebacker Shaq Thompson continues to find the end zone, making another huge play on Saturday.

In the first quarter against the California Golden Bears, Thompson returned Cal quarterback Jared Goff's fumble near the end zone 99 yards for a touchdown, giving the Huskies an early 7-0 lead.

Thompson now has an incredible four defensive touchdowns this season, as well as a rushing touchdown on offense.

[NFL.com]

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Is Marcus Mariota Back in Heisman Race After Huge Win?

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota had a disappointing performance in a loss against Arizona last week, but he silenced most of his critics with a fantastic game vs. UCLA in Week 7.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer discusses whether he has propelled himself back into Heisman contention. 

Is Marcus Mariota the Heisman favorite?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Marcus Mariota vs. UCLA: Stats, Heisman Impact and Twitter Reaction

Coming off an ugly loss last week at home, Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota had work to do on Saturday at UCLA to keep his team in the College Football Playoff race and his own Heisman hopes alive. The junior more than held his own in hostile territory in the team's best performance of the season. 

The Ducks were brilliant early, building up a huge lead. Their defense came to play against Brett Hundley, who was held under 100 yards passing until the fourth quarter. Mariota led the offense with four touchdowns in the first 36 minutes of play.

The 42-30 final score isn't indicative of how lopsided this game was. Oregon was up 42-10 early in the first quarter, and then the defense was basically in prevent mode the rest of the way. 

Since Oregon jumped out to such a big lead early, Mariota didn't have to do much through the air. He was efficient passing the ball, but he really stood out on the ground. We have full analysis of his day coming up after a look at his stats:

After last week's loss against an undefeated Arizona, Mariota was quick to point out what that says about the depth in the Pac-12. Here's what he told reporters, via The Associated Press (via ESPN): "They're undefeated. It's obviously a testament to our conference. If you're not prepared each week, if you're not ready to play, you'll lose."

It's safe to say Mariota and the Ducks were more than prepared to handle their business against 18th-ranked UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Dan Greenspan of Scout.com summed up Mariota's effort in the best and most succinct way possible:

Here's how well things went for Mariota and the Ducks on Saturday: Mariota fumbled the ball on a read-option, picked it up and ran for a 23-yard touchdown that put Oregon up 28-10 in the third quarter. 

Chantel Jennings of ESPN also pointed out that Oregon's offense was going so well that an offensive lineman was able to catch a pass on a deflection that would normally be intercepted:

Even though this hasn't been a banner start to the season for Oregon prior to Saturday, thanks in large part to a patchwork offensive line, Paul Myerberg of USA Today did note that Mariota has never lost his ability to find the end zone through the air:

Another great stat in Mariota's favor is he still hasn't thrown an interception in 155 pass attempts through six games this season. 

Spinning Mariota's performance forward, this will help his Heisman chances. UCLA may not be as good as we expected coming into the year, but there's a lot to be said for winning on the road against a ranked team and accounting for four touchdowns. 

Even though Oregon's loss against Arizona did shine a light on Mariota, the Heisman pundits never really wavered in their support.

According to the latest ESPN Heisman Watch poll published on October 6, Oregon's quarterback was third behind Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. Gurley's position on the list is guaranteed to drop because of his suspension for an alleged violation of NCAA rules

Prescott has been ascending all season, particularly after last week's win against Texas A&M. He had another marquee game against Auburn on Saturday but threw two interceptions on back-to-back drives in the second quarter, which could knock him down the ranks. 

ESPN's Joe Tessitore offered his Heisman ballot on Thursday's SportsCenter. It had the same top three as the Heisman Watch poll:

Mariota was always fighting an uphill battle to win the Heisman. He's cursed with the burden of knowledge. Everyone in college football knows who he is, so it's not good enough to merely play up to expectations; he has to exceed them. 

The Heisman is as much a narrative award as it is a measurement of what have you done on the field. Prescott will likely be the new favorite this week because he's played well for an undefeated team that no one was talking about before the season. 

It was impossible for Mariota to be under the radar. Oregon started the year ranked third in the AP Top 25 and moved up to second in Week 3, and he has been touted as a potential No. 1 draft pick. You need to have a historic season to win the Heisman with that much publicity around you. 

Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York even tweeted that he wouldn't mind seeing the Jets play so bad this season that Mariota ends up wearing green again next year:

Don't despair yet, Oregon fans. Mariota still has a chance to move into the top spot with a game against Stanford's ferocious defense on tap for November 1. He's never defeated the Cardinal as a starting quarterback, so that will be his statement game of the year for voters. 

The Ducks got back to their winning ways, while Mariota accounted for four of the team's six touchdowns. This win couldn't have been scripted better by anyone associated with Oregon's football program. 

 

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Marcus Mariota vs. UCLA: Stats, Heisman Impact and Twitter Reaction

Coming off an ugly loss last week at home, Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota had work to do on Saturday at UCLA to keep his team in the College Football Playoff race and his own Heisman hopes alive...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Oregon vs. UCLA: Score and Twitter Reaction

Perhaps the rumblings of Oregon's demise were a little exaggerated.

The No. 12 Ducks bounced back from last week's near-crippling home loss against Arizona in impressive fashion Saturday, going into the Rose Bowl and laying a 42-30 thumping on No. 18 UCLA, beating the Bruins for the sixth straight time.

"Every loss is a test of our character to see how we respond," Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu told reporters before the game, via ESPN.com.

Well, Mark Helfrich's team clearly isn't lacking character. Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns, added another 75 and two scores on the ground, and the Ducks led by as many as 32 before a late fourth-quarter surge from UCLA narrowed the final margin.

As The National Football Post's Dave Miller noted, it was a performance that quickly quieted Oregon's critics:

Perhaps more importantly than the statistical output or margin of victory, Mariota's offensive line kept him upright. Oregon's big boys in the trenches have received seemingly endless criticism this season—especially after an unsatisfactory performance against the Wildcats—but they allowed zero sacks and opened up cavernous lanes for Royce Freeman (18 carries, 121 yards, two touchdown) and Thomas Tyner (13 carries, 58 yards) to stroll through.

Scout.com's Josh Webb noted the difference in Oregon's speedy offense when the linemen are playing well:

There was no receiving touchdown this week, but Mariota scored in a variety of ways—and made it look easy.

In the first quarter, he kept the ball himself on an option and outraced UCLA's defenders to the outside for a 13-yard score. NFL.com's Bryan Fischer applauded the dual threat:

After opening up the Ducks' lead with a pair of passing touchdowns—a 21-yard screen pass to Tyner and a perfect throw down the sideline to Pharaoh Brown for 31—Mariota began the second half with another running score.

His gaudy athleticism was especially on display in the latter, as he picked up his own fumble and still managed to explode through UCLA's defense. The Pac-12 Networks Twitter feed provided a look at the unique touchdown:

On the other side of the football, UCLA was similarly dominant on the ground. Paul Perkins ran 21 times for 187 yards, while Brett Hundley ran for 89 and a touchdown of his own. But Hundley struggled to move the ball through the air for most of the game and made a pair of critical mistakes.

The first, a fumble on which he failed to recognize pressure, and the second, an interception by Ekpre-Olomu on a poorly thrown ball.

Not only did those turnovers dig the Bruins into an insurmountable hole, setting up Oregon for two touchdown drives under 15 yards, but they seriously bruised Hundley's NFL draft stock, as CBS Sports' Dane Brugler and former NFL scout John Middlekauff noted:

UCLA exploded for 20 fourth-quarter points as things finally started to click for Hundley and the passing game, but it was too little and too late.

The loss puts the Bruins at 1-2 in the conference and ahead of only Colorado in the Pac-12 South. Jim Mora's team will try to right the ship next week at California, but preseason expectations of a conference championship have all but disappeared.

For the Ducks, they remain in the thick of the hunt in the North, and more importantly they control their own fate: After hosting Washington next week, they have meetings with division leaders California and Stanford.

There are bigger goals in Eugene, though, and judging by Saturday's performance on the road, it's far too early to remove them from the College Football Playoff picture.

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Penn State vs. Michigan: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan 7, Penn State 3 (Early 1st Quarter)

Devin to Devin.

Forty-three yards. Touchdown. Michigan.  

Michigan (2-4) is looking for its first Big Ten win, while Penn State (4-1) is looking to turn out the lights in Ann Arbor. 

Keep your browser locked to this live blog for the latest updates, analysis and commentary. 

 

New Duds

Here's a look at the "UTL" fashion.

Little different than the MDen pic RT @darrenrovell: Up close of Michigan jersey for October 11 game vs Penn State pic.twitter.com/xrBAAa56yW

— Joshua Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke) August 9, 2014

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

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Florida State Cruises Past Syracuse, but How Ready Are 'Noles for Notre Dame?

Through six games, Florida State doesn't exactly look 2013 good. With so many of the stars of last year's national championship team gone, it's unfair to compare the two teams.

But after a 38-20 win over Syracuse on Saturday, a game in which No. 1 FSU moved the ball at will and often stopped the Orange in the red zone, the Seminoles are finding their rhythm.

Coming off a shaky defensive showing at N.C. State and some offensive struggles against Wake Forest, FSU put together its best effort going into a Top 10 showdown with Notre Dame next Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida.

Subtract two starters on offense, center Austin Barron and tailback Karlos Williams, and FSU still found ways to score at will. FSU put points on the board on five of its first seven drives and ran for 165 yards.

Jameis Winston turned in one of his best games, completing 30 of 36 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. Winston surpassed 275 passing yards for the fourth time in five games.

FSU won its 22nd straight game and became bowl-eligible for a 33rd straight season. But now the Seminoles turn their attention to Notre Dame.

 

FSU's offense finding success

For all the criticisms of FSU's offensive line and of how Winston has performed a year after winning the Heisman Trophy, here are some numbers to chew on.

Florida State has scored 37, 23, 56, 43 and 38 points against its five Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. That's an average of 39.4 points.

After struggles on the ground in its first two games against FBS teams, FSU has run the ball well. The Seminoles had 166 yards against N.C. State, 171 yards versus Wake Forest and 165 yards at Syracuse. 

And Winston? He has thrown for 1,605 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games, an average of 321 passing yards. While completing 70 percent of his passes, better than the 66.9 percent from his Heisman season.

How does that translate versus Notre Dame? Quite well for FSU.

The Fighting Irish are very good against the run, putting together one of the nation's top 15 rush defenses (95 yards per game allowed going into the UNC game on Saturday). But Notre Dame is just 46th nationally in passing yards allowed, giving up 220 yards per game. Notre Dame has played a majority of its games against teams that succeed against the run (like Rice and Stanford), while FSU has leaned more toward Winston and the passing game while the rushing game developed.

FSU's balanced attack should give Notre Dame plenty of problems on defense.

 

FSU's defense strong in red zone

Florida State bent on defense in the first half against Syracuse but was at its best in the red zone. Syracuse managed just two field goals in four drives that went inside the 20, with safety Jalen Ramsey coming up with an interception and FSU stopping the Orange on downs with about two minutes to go before halftime.

A game that easily could have been very close was instead 24-6 FSU at the half. This is where FSU's defense is superb: The Seminoles will let a team drive but then find a way to hold opponents to a field goal—or force a turnover—inside the 20.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher makes sure that the Seminoles are situationally sound, and they are one of the top 20 teams in the FBS in red-zone efficiency. Notre Dame has scored on 19 of 22 trips into the red zone going into the UNC game.

One thing that works in FSU's favor is Notre Dame's struggling ground attack (78th nationally). Quarterback Everett Golson is good enough to beat FSU with his arm and his legs, but Notre Dame is too one-dimensional on offense.

Of course, you probably could have guessed which way Holtz was leaning.

Notre Dame at FSU is shaping up to be one of the best games of the season. Give FSU the early edge because of its balance on offense and ability to force turnovers on defense.

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report; all quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter. All recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

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