As if the road to the College Football Playoffs wasn’t already clear, things were made a little uneasy for the committee following three of the Top 4 teams going down over the weekend. The events of Week 11 make for an intriguing final stretch as the majority of teams in contention for the top 4 will have to strike up an impressive resume in order to be considered for the playoff. Here’s how the Top 25 performed in Week 11:
#1 Alabama – WEEK 11: W vs Mississippi State 51-3
Alabama now remains one of only two undefeated teams in the country following their dismantling of Mississippi State. Jalen Hurts had his game in the Crimson Tide uniform as he threw for 347 yards and ran for 100 yards, accounting for five total touchdowns. Hurts is the first quarterback in Alabama history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards. His lone rushing touchdown was his 11th of the season, the most rushing touchdowns for a quarterback under Nick Saban. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart also had one of his best outputs of the season, catching eight passes for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns. Alabama’s tough defense kept an opponent to under 10 points for the 5th time this season. The Tide have a tune-up game next week against Chattanooga.
#2 Clemson – WEEK 11: L vs Pittsburgh 42-43
A game-winning field goal by Pittsburgh kicker Chris Blewitt handed Clemson their first loss this season. The Tigers lost a fourth-quarter lead, with Pittsburgh scoring 9 points including the dagger from 48-yards out. Deshaun Watson threw for 580 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also threw 3 costly interceptions. Wayne Gallman was limited to 36 rushing yards and 18 carries but did have 3 touchdowns. Wideout Mike Williams had 15 catches for 202 yards and a score, while Artavis Scott made 13 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Clemson can still make the playoff with one loss, but will have win out and go on to win the ACC Championship to have a shot. The Tigers face Wake Forest in Week 12.
#3 Michigan – WEEK 11: L vs Iowa 13-14
The Wolverines were also upset at the hands of Big 10 rivals Iowa on the road. In similar fashion to Clemson, Michigan went down to a late field goal by Iowa kicker Keith Duncan. Michigan struggled on offense, only accounting for a total of 77 yards in the second half and averaging only 2.8 yards per rush. Quarterback Wilton Speight threw for a season-low 103 yards and an interception. It seems that a spot in the playoff will have to come down between Michigan and fierce rivals Ohio State in the season finale. For now, the Wolverines will focus on Indiana next week.
#4 Washington – WEEK 11: L vs #20 USC 13-26
Washington were the third team in the Top 4 to lose on the weekend, this time at home against a determined USC outfit. The loss ended their 12-game winning streak. Quarterback and Heisman candidate Jake Browning struggled, throwing for 259 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two picks. Receiver John Ross had a nice game in defeat, catching eight passes for 154 yards, which included a 70-yard score. Washington will have to win the rest of the games, including the Pac 12 title game to have any chance of making the playoff. The Huskies take on Arizona State in Week 12.
#5 Ohio State – WEEK 11: W vs Maryland 62-3
Once again, the Ohio State offense was on fire as the Buckeyes looked to convince the committee that they deserve to make the playoffs. JT Barrett threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding 47 yards and 2 scores on the ground. These four touchdowns took Barrett’s career tally to 98, breaking the all time Big Ten conference career touchdown record, previously held by Drew Brees (95). Versatile running back/receiver Curtis Samuel ran for 38 yards and 2 scores and caught five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. The Buckeyes look to be right back in playoff contention following the downfall of the teams ranked ahead of them. A showdown with Michigan later in the year may end of deciding one of the spots in the playoff. Week 12 sees Ohio State take on rivals Michigan State.
#6 Louisville – WEEK 11: W vs Wake Forest 44-12
After three quarters, it was 12-10 in favour of Wake Forest, but the Cardinals rallied to score 34 points in the fourth quarter to go to 9-1 for the season and remain undefeated at home this year. It wasn’t the best of games for Heisman leader Lamar Jackson, as he threw for only 145 yards and 1 touchdown and ran for 153 yards in the win. It was Jackson’s 7th 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Running back Brandon Radcliff ran for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns. On defense, corner Jaire Alexander returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals take on Houston next week in a matchup that was supposed to be a marquee game of the year until Houston’s stumble late in the season.
#7 Wisconsin – WEEK 11: W vs Illinois 48-3
Wisconsin remains on top of the Big Ten West and are on track to make the Big Ten championship game following a big win over Illinois. The running game was strong as the Badgers ran for 363 yards and 4 scores in total. Three players rushed for at least 80 yards each, led by Corey Clement, who ran for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dare Ogunbowale ran for 103 yards, while Bradrick Shaw rushed for 80 yards and a score. Wisconsin won the turnover battle 4-0, which also contributed to their victory. The Badgers go on to face Purdue in Week 12.
#8 Texas A&M – WEEK 11: L vs Ole Miss 28-29
The Aggies dropped consecutive games for the first time since October 2015 after losing a 15-point fourth quarter lead to the Rebels. With starting quarterback Trevor Knight out for the season with a shoulder injury, Jake Hubernak stepped in to throw 213 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick. Running back Trayveon Williams’ struggles continued, running for just 72 yards on 17 carries. A&M face UTSA in Week 12.
#9 Auburn – WEEK 11: L vs Georgia 7-13
Auburn controlled their own destiny in the SEC West, but their six-game winning streak, along with their College Football Playoff hopes came to an end at the hands of Georgia. The Tigers’ 7 point outing was their lowest score under coach Gus Malzahn. The offense struggled as they only recorded 164 yards, including just 32 yards in the second half. Quarterback Sean White threw for only 27 yards and an interception. Running back Kerryon Johnson ran for 99 yards and a touchdown. Auburn faces Alabama A&M in Week 12.
#10 Penn State – WEEK 11: W vs Indiana 45-31
The Nittany Lions won their sixth consecutive conference game with a hard-fought victory over Indiana. Penn State has now scored more than 40 points in three consecutive games. The offense had accounted for more than 500 yards in each of their past two games, but against Indiana, they could only muster 411 total yards. Signal-caller Trace McSorley threw for 332 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while also rushing for a touchdown. Star running back Saquon Barkley was limited to 60 yards on 33 carries, but did have 2 crucial rushing touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Barkley now has 13 rushing touchdowns for the season. Penn State goes on to face Rutgers next week.
#11 Oklahoma – WEEK 11: W vs Baylor 45-24
Oklahoma is inching closer to becoming Big 12 champions after handing Baylor their third consecutive loss. The Sooners have now won 13 consecutive conference games and head into a huge battle next week against West Virginia. Baker Mayfield threw for 300 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception, and also ran for a score. Running back Joe Mixon had 187 total yards and a touchdown on 19 touches. His partner in the backfield, Semaje Perine ran for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, in his first game back from a leg injury. Receiver Dede Westbrook had four catches for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns, but saw his six-game streak of recording at least 100-yards and 1 touchdown end. On defense, linebacker Jordan Evans became the first player in school history to have two interceptions and two sacks in one game.
#12 Colorado – WEEK 11: W vs Arizona 49-24
Colorado are half a game ahead of USC in the Pac 12 South division following a win over Arizona. Quarterback Sefo Liufau threw for 213 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception and also had a rushing touchdown. Running back Phillip Lindsay had 119 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Shay Fields caught six passes for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensive lineman Jimmie Gilbert had six tackles and two sacks. The Buffaloes take on Washington State in Week 12.
#13 Oklahoma State – WEEK 11: W vs Texas Tech 45-44
The Cowboys recorded 605 yards of offense in a high-scoring affair with Texas Tech to stay near the top of the Big 12 standings. Quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 395 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Justice Hill ran for 126 yards and a score. Wideout James Washington had six catches for 158 yards and a touchdown, while Chris Lacy recorded 100 yards receiving. Oklahoma State face TCU next week.
#14 Virginia Tech – WEEK 11: L vs Georgia Tech 20-30
Virginia Tech had a chance to take control of the ACC Coastal division, but they went down to the Yellow Jackets, who were without three starting players, including their quarterback. Quarterback Jerod Evans threw for 316 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions, while also rushing for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Hokies take on Notre Dame in Week 12.
#15 Utah – WEEK 11: W vs Arizona State 49-26
Utah’s defense recorded 11 total sacks in a big win over the Sun Devils. Quarterback Troy Williams threw for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 3 of his touchdowns going to wide receiver Raelon Singleton, who ended up with 116 receiving yards. Running back Joe Williams ran for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, in what was his fourth 1oo-yard game of the season. On defense, defensive end Hunter Dimick set a single-game Utah record with five sacks and tied the Utah career sack record with 27. The Utes face Oregon in Week 12.
#16 West Virginia – WEEK 11: W vs Texas 24-20
The Mountaineers just escaped Texas with a 24-20 and head into a crucial Big 12 showdown with conference leaders Oklahoma next week. Quarterback Skyler Howard threw for 269 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. Tailback Kennedy McKoy ran for 73 yards and 2 touchdowns.
#17 North Carolina – WEEK 11: L vs Duke 27-28
North Carolina’s ACC title hopes were dealt a major blow following a loss to rivals Duke. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for 297 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Tar Heels face The Citadel in Week 12.
#18 Florida State – WEEK 11: W vs Boston College 45-7
Florida State showed no mercy as they held Boston College to just 50 passing yards in the game and 146 yards total in their win. Quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns, before backup Sean Maguire came in and threw two touchdowns of his own. Dalvin Cook ran for 108 yards and a score, while wideout Auden Tate had six catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Seminoles take on Syracuse next week.
#19 Nebraska – WEEK 11: W vs Minnesota 24-17
Following their embarrassing loss to Ohio State last week, Nebraska bounced back to take down Minnesota. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr, who came into the game questionable with a concussion, threw for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also running for 61 yards and a touchdown. Running back Terrell Newby ran for 85 yards. The Cornhuskers face a struggling Maryland side in Week 12.
#20 USC – WEEK 11: W vs #4 Washington 26-13
The Trojans had one of the best wins under coach Clay Helton, ending Washington’s 12-game winning streak on the road. A strong second quarter, in which USC scored 14 points, saw them take control of the game and forced the Huskies to play catch-up. Quarterback Sam Darnold overcame some early mishaps to finish with 287 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Ronald Jones II ran for 93 yards and a score. On defense, cornerback Adoree Jackson picked off Washington star Jake Browning twice. The Trojans go on next week to face longtime rivals UCLA.
#21 Western Michigan – WEEK 11: W vs Kent State 37-21
We said earlier that Alabama was one of two undefeated teams in the nation after Week 11. The other? Western Michigan. The Broncos defeated Kent State in a game which was all about the running backs. Jarvion Franklin ran for 134 yards and a touchdown, while Fabian Johnson ran for 125 yards and a score. The Broncos are now 10-0 for the year and look to remain undefeated next week against Buffalo.
#22 Boise State – WEEK 11: W vs Hawaii 52-16
Boise steamrolled Hawaii, accounting for 603 yards of total offense to go to 9-1 for the season. Quarterback Brett Rypien had a near-perfect outing, throwing for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Jeremy McNichols ran for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson had 141 receiving yards and a score, while Thomas Sperbeck had 114 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. The Broncos take on UNLV in Week 12.
#23 Washington State – WEEK 11: W vs California 56-21
Big numbers were expected in this game, as Washington State came out on top in the end. The win, combined with Washington’s loss to USC, put Washington State in sole possession of first place in the Pac 12 North. Quarterback Luke Falk threw for 373 yards, 5 touchdowns and an interception. Tailback Gerard Wicks ran for 128 yards and a score. Wideouts Gabe Marks and River Cracraft each for 87 receiving yards, with Marks catching 2 scores and Cracraft catching three. Washington State goes on to face Colorado next week.
#24 LSU – WEEK 11: W vs #25 Arkansas 38-10
LSU rebounded from a tough loss to Alabama by using its dominating rushing attack to take down Arkansas in convincing fashion. Running back Derrius Grice ran for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns, which included a 96-yard touchdown run, while Leonard Fournette ran for 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Tigers face Florida in Week 12.
#25 Arkansas – WEEK 11: L vs #24 LSU 10-38
Arkansas were no match for LSU’s rushing attack as they went down to the Tigers. Quarterback Austin Allen threw for 210 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, while running back Rawleigh Williams III was limited to just 49 yards. The Razorbacks take on Mississippi State next week.