With the college football regular season nearing an end, the top ranked sides were looking to avoid defeat as they look to make the playoffs. Ohio State looked to survive before their battle with Michigan next week, Alabama had to overcome Chattanooga before next week’s Iron Bowl, and Louisville had to avoid defeat at the hands of former contenders Houston. Did anyone survive the penultimate week of the season? Here’s how the Top 25 performed this week:
#1 Alabama – WEEK 12: W vs Chattanooga 31-3
It wasn’t a strong performance from the #1 team in the nation, as they were behind 3-0 after one quarter, but they did enough to grab a victory over the #11 ranked FCS side. It’s Alabama’s 23rd straight win dating back to last year and 11th win this season. Jalen Hurts threw for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding 68 yards on the ground. Two of his touchdowns went to receiver Gehrig Dieter, who had an unfamiliar stat line of three catches for one yard. Calvin Ridley had seven catches for 94 yards and a score. Running back Damien Harris ran for 91 yards and a touchdown. The Tide now face longtime rivals Auburn next week in the Iron Bowl.
#2 Ohio State – WEEK 12: W vs Michigan State 17-16
The Buckeyes were a 2-point conversion away from being upset and having their playoff hopes dashed at the hands of rivals Michigan State. JT Barrett only threw for 86 yards and a touchdown, but did run for 105 yards on the ground. Running back Mike Weber ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and is the third freshman in Ohio State history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Offensive weapon Curtis Samuel was limited to just 53 yards on eight touches. The win sets up a Big East title showdown with Michigan next week, with the winner clinching a spot in the College Football Playoff.
#3 Michigan – WEEK 12: W vs Indiana 20-10
The rushing attack of the Wolverines propelled them to victory in a snowy affair in the Big House. Backup quarterback John O’Korn was held to just 59 passing yards. Running back De’Veon Smith ran for 158 yards, his highest rushing output for the season, as well as 2 touchdowns. Michigan now heads into a Week 12 showdown with longtime rivals Ohio State, in a game with huge implications.
#4 Clemson – WEEK 12: W vs Wake Forest 35-13
Clemson bounced back from last week’s upset to dispatch Wake Forest. Deshaun Watson threw for 202 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tailback Wayne Gallman averaged 7.3 yards per carry as he ran for 161 yards on 22 carries and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Mike Williams had six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers end the regular season by taking on South Carolina next week.
#5 Louisville – WEEK 12: L vs Houston 10-36
The playoff hopes of the Cardinals are all but over after they were blown out by Houston in what was a key game to look out for earlier in the season. Heisman candidate Lamar Jackson was sacked 12 times and was held to 211 passing yards and 33 rushing yards, with a passing touchdown to his name. Louisville now looks to bounce back in Week 12 against Kentucky.
#6 Washington – WEEK 12: W vs Arizona State 44-18
Washington’s playoff hopes are still alive after taking care of Arizona State at home, racking up 539 yards of offense in the process. Jake Browning threw for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also had 2 interceptions. Running back Myles Gaskin had 127 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Dante Pettis had seven catches for 105 yards and a score, while John Ross had 12 catches for 95 yards. The Huskies are now in a tie for first place in the Pac 12 conference standings with Washington State – the team they face next week.
#7 Wisconsin – WEEK 12: W vs Purdue 49-20
Wisconsin remains on top of the Big Ten West division following their win over the Boilermakers. Quarterbacks Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook combined for 197 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Corey Clement ran for 112 yards and a score, while Bradrick Shaw had 68 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on eight carries. Wisconsin fullback Alec Ingold had a rushing and a receiving score, despite only carrying the ball four times and catching one pass. The Badgers defense had three interceptions from Purdue quarterback David Blough, including a pick-six from TJ Watt, younger brother of NFL star JJ Watt. Wisconsin takes on Minnesota in Week 13.
#8 Penn State – WEEK 12: W vs Rutgers 39-0
Penn State remains in contention for the Big Ten title and a long shot to make the College Football Playoff after shutting out Rutgers. They finished with 549 total yards on offense, including 339 rushing yards. Trace McSorley threw for 210 yards and a score, while also rushing for 55 yards on the ground. Running back Saquon Barkley ran for 92 yards and a touchdown. The Nittany Lions face Michigan State in their season finale.
#9 Oklahoma – WEEK 12: W vs #14 West Virginia 56-28
Oklahoma jumped out to a 34-0 lead before holding off West Virginia’s comeback attempt to win their 15th consecutive Big 12 game. The win ensures the Sooners that they will get at least a share of the Big 12 title. Baker Mayfield threw for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 2 rushing touchdowns. Running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon had strong games, with Perine rushing for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Mixon ran for 147 yards and a score. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook had just two catches, but finished with 100 yards, including a 75 yard catch and run touchdown. The Sooners go on to take on in-state rivals Oklahoma State next week.
#10 Colorado – WEEK 12: W vs #22 Washington State 38-24
Colorado handed Washington State their first loss in eight games after a strong performance in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Sefo Liufau threw for 345 yards and rushed for 108 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Phillip Lindsay ran for 144 yards and 2 scores. Wide receiver Devin Ross had eight catches for 121 yards. The Buffaloes have now won five straight and are now in sole possession of first place in the Pac 12 South division. They take on Utah next week.
#11 Oklahoma State – WEEK 12: W vs TCU 31-6
In a surprisingly low scoring Big 12 game, the Cowboys took down TCU with ease. Mason Rudolph threw for 207 yards and a touchdown. Justice Hill ran for 154 yards, while Chris Carson ran for 146 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Chris Lacy had four catches for 109 yards and a score. Oklahoma State now face Oklahoma in Week 12.
#12 Utah – WEEK 12: L vs Oregon 28-30
A touchdown on the last play of the game saw Utah’s hopes for the Pac 12 title game spoiled at the hands of the Ducks. Quarterback Troy Williams threw for 235 yards and a touchdown. Running back Joe Williams ran for 149 yards and a score. The Utes will look to recover in Week 12 against Colorado.
#13 USC – WEEK 12: W vs UCLA 36-14
USC retained the Victory Bell in their rivalry against UCLA by limiting their rushing attack and doing just enough on offense to get the job done. Sam Darnold threw for 267 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Ronald Jones III ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, his third 100-yard game this year. Jones has scored nine rushing touchdowns in his last five games. USC has now won their 7th straight game since starting the year 1-3. They look to win their eighth straight next week against Notre Dame.
#14 West Virginia – WEEK 12: L vs #9 Oklahoma 28-56
Four turnovers, including three lost fumbles hurt West Virginia as they went down to Oklahoma at home, ending their hopes of winning the Big 12 title. Quarterback Skyler Howard had 191 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also had 2 rushing touchdowns in the loss. Running back Justin Crawford ran for 331 yards, the most by anyone in a loss over the last four years. The Mountaineers face Iowa State in Week 12.
#15 Auburn – WEEK 12: W vs Alabama A&M 55-0
After last week’s loss to Georgia, the Tigers bounced back by shutting out Alabama A&M, their first shutout since 2008. Auburn poured on 598 yards of offense, including 451 rushing yards. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson had an efficient evening, throwing for 147 yards and a touchdown. He also added 42 yards and two scores on the ground. Running back Kam Martin ran for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Kerryon Johnson ran for 108 yards and a score. Auburn takes on rivals Alabama in next week’s Iron Bowl.
#16 LSU – WEEK 12: L vs #23 Florida 10-16
The Tigers were stuffed at the goal line on the last play of the game and went down to the Gators at home. Danny Etling threw for 204 yards. Derrius Grice ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. Leonard Fournette was held to just 40 yards on 12 carries. LSU now takes on Texas A&M in Week 12.
#17 Florida State – WEEK 12: W vs Syracuse 45-14
Behind the strong play of Heisman-caliber tailback Dalvin Cook, the Seminoles took down Syracuse with ease, racking up 654 yards of offense. Cook ran for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns. Quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 315 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. The Noles face Florida in Week 12.
#18 Nebraska – WEEK 12: W vs Maryland 28-7
Nebraska took down Big Ten folks Maryland with ease in Week 11. Backup quarterback Ryker Fyfe, filling in for the injured Tommy Armstong Jr, threw for 220 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Terrell Newby ran for 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Jordan Westerkamp had eight catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
#19 Tennessee – WEEK 12: W vs Missouri 63-37
The Volunteers took care of business at home behind a 28-point fourth quarter, including three touchdowns in the final two minutes, to defeat Missouri. Joshua Dobbs threw for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also running for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Running back John Kelly ran for 101 yards and a score. Tennessee look to finish the season with a fourth consecutive win in Week 12 against Vanderbilt.
#20 Boise State – WEEK 12: W vs UNLV 42-25
Boise went to 10-1 for the year behind a big performance from running back Jeremy McNichols. McNichols ran for 206 yards and 4 touchdowns. He now leads the FBS in rushing touchdowns with 22. Quarterback Brett Rypien only threw for 109 yards in the win. The Broncos face Air Force in Week 12.
#21 Western Michigan – WEEK 12: W vs Buffalo 38-0
Western Michigan is marching towards a perfect regular season after shutting out Buffalo. Quarterback Zach Terrell had an outstanding game, throwing for 445 yards and 4 touchdowns. Corey Davis had 13 catches for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Michael Henry had six catches for 121 yards and a score. The Broncos look to complete a perfect regular season by defeating Toledo next week.
#22 Washington State – WEEK 12: L vs #10 Colorado 24-38
Washington State’s eight-game winning streak ended at the hands of Colorado and are now left in a tie with Washington for first place of their Pac 12 division. Despite the loss, quarterback Luke Falk threw for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also threw a pick. The Cougars face off with Washington next week with Pac 12 title game implications on the line.
#23 Florida – WEEK 12: W vs #16 LSU 16-10
After a tough defensive struggle against the Tigers, it was fitting Florida won by stuffing LSU at the goal line as time expired. The win clinches Florida their second consecutive SEC East Division title. Quarterback Austin Appleby threw for 144 yards and a touchdown, including a 98-yard touchdown pass to Tyrie Cleveland. Cleveland had three catches for 124 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Scarlett ran for 108 yards. The Gators take on in-state rivals Florida State next week.
#24 Stanford – WEEK 12: W vs California 45-31
Stanford produced 555 total yards on offense as they won their fourth straight game for the year. Christian McCaffrey had his best performance of the season, running for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns, while catching 4 passes for 22 yards. Signal-caller Keller Chryst threw for 198 yards and 2 scores. JJ Arcega-Whiteside had four catches for 107 yards. Stanford finish the year by taking on Rice.
#25 Texas A&M – WEEK 12: W vs UTSA 23-10
Top defensive prospect Myles Garrett had a big day as Texas A&M just held off UTSA. Garrett recorded 4.5 sacks, as well as adding seven tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. His sack total for his career is now at 32.5, making him the eighth player in SEC history to tally at least 30 sacks in a career. On the offensive side of the ball, Jake Hubenak threw for 248 yards and a touchdown. Running back Trayveon Williams ran for 80 yards and a score, while Josh Reynolds had seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. The Aggies finish the year next week by taking on LSU.