The final straight towards the College Football Playoff is upon us and in the way of most championship contenders were their despised rivals looking to spoil the party. One of the highlights of the weekend was the rivalry game between #2 Ohio State and #3 Michigan with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line Which team came out on top? And which teams would be competing for conference championships next weekend? Here’s how the Top 25 performed this week:
#1 Alabama – WEEK 13: W vs #13 Auburn 30-12
The Crimson Tide finished the regular season with a perfect record after pulling away in the second half to take down Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Despite throwing two interceptions, Jalen Hurts accounted for all three of Bama’s touchdowns, throwing for two touchdowns for 286 yards and adding a score and 37 yards on the ground. Receiver ArDarius Stewart had 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Tide now roll into next week’s SEC title game against the Florida Gators.
#2 Ohio State – WEEK 13: W vs #3 Michigan 30-27
For the first time in the history of the rivalry known as ‘The Game’, Ohio State and Michigan went to overtime. In the second overtime period, a rushing score by Curtis Samuel ended the game after Michigan only managed a field goal on their possession, putting the Buckeyes in a good position to make the College Football Playoff, while dashing the hopes of their rivals from up north. JT Barrett threw for 124 yards and an interception, but also ran for 125 yards and a score. Barrett is now the third quarterback in the rivalry’s history to win three starts. On defense, safety Malik Hooker had a pick-six, his third of the season.
#3 Michigan – WEEK 13: L vs #2 Ohio State 27-30
After failing to stop JT Barrett’s surge on 4th and 1, Michigan’s CFP hopes are all but over following Curtis Samuel’s run to the end zone on the next play. It was a tough day for Michigan seniors, as they have once again failed to defeat the Buckeyes during their collegiate careers. Wilton Speight threw for 219 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Amara Darboh had eight catches for 68 yards and a score. Jabrill Peppers managed to collect his first career interception in his Michigan career.
#4 Clemson – WEEK 13: W vs South Carolina 56-7
Clemson look strong heading towards next week’s ACC Championship game against Virginia Tech following a dispatching of in-state rivals South Carolina, where they recorded 622 total yards. Deshaun Watson had a Heisman-worthy performance, throwing for 347 yards and 6 touchdowns. Wayne Gallman ran for 112 yards and a score, while wideout Mike Williams had six catches for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Ben Boulware led the Tigers with seven tackles and had two sacks.
#5 Washington – WEEK 13: W vs #23 Washington State 45-17
The Huskies claimed the Pac 12 North title and now head into the Pac 12 Championship game next week against Colorado. Jake Browning threw for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tailback Lavon Coleman ran for 82 yards and 2 scores, while wideouts Dante Pettis (86 yards, 2 touchdowns) and John Ross (80 yards, 1 touchdown) had solid contributions on offense. The ferocious Washington defense forced three interceptions from Washington State quarterback Luke Falk.
#6 Wisconsin – WEEK 13: W vs Minnesota 31-17
Wisconsin came from 17-7 down to punch their ticket to the Big Ten Championship game next week against Penn State. The Badgers claimed their 13th consecutive win over Minnesota and their 6th straight to close out the season. Alex Hornibrook suffered a concussion near the end of the first half, which left Bart Houston to come in and throw for 123 yards. Corey Clement ran for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior cornerback Sojourn Shelton had two interceptions to cap off his senior year with four picks.
#7 Penn State – WEEK 13: W vs Michigan State 45-12
Penn State came out on top of the Big Ten West division and will go on to face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game following a resounding victory over the Spartans. Trace McSorley threw for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns. Saquon Barkley was held to just 14 yards, but managed to score a touchdown in his 5th straight game. Wide receiver Chris Godwin had five catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns.
#8 Oklahoma – WEEK 13: BYE
Oklahoma will face Oklahoma State in Week 14.
#9 Colorado – WEEK 13: W vs #22 Utah 27-22
The Buffaloes held on at home to win the school’s first Pac 12 division title and will go on to face Washington in the Pac 12 Championship game next week. Sefo Liufau threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, while also running for 59 yards and a score on the ground. Receiver Devin Ross led the team with nine catches and 94 yards.
#10 Oklahoma State – WEEK 13: BYE
Oklahoma State takes on Oklahoma in Week 14.
#11 Louisville – WEEK 13: L vs Kentucky 38-41
A last second field goal in regulation handed Louisville their second straight loss to end the regular season. Heisman candidate Lamar Jackson threw for 281 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Jackson also ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cole Hikutini had seven catches for 100 yards and a score.
#12 USC – WEEK 13: W vs Notre Dame 45-27
USC recorded their eighth consecutive win taking down Notre Dame at home. Adoree Jackson had an outstanding game, making two tackles, catching a 52-yard touchdown pass, returning a punt 55 yards for a score and also returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Jackson finished with 279 all-purpose yards. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns, while running back Ronald Jones II ran for 134 yards and a score. Trojans linebacker Cameron Smith recorded a game-high ten tackles, while defensive back Ajene Harris made five tackles, recorded a sack and returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown.
#13 Auburn – WEEK 13: L vs #1 Alabama 12-30
Auburn was no match for their longtime rivals, as their highly-touted rushing attack was limited to just 2.5 yards per carry in this game by the strong front seven of the Tide. John Franklin III was the leading passer for the Tigers, but only threw for 85 yards. Wide out Eli Stove had four catches for 87 yards.
#14 Florida State – WEEK 13: W vs #15 Florida 31-13
The Seminoles were too good for their in-state rivals, taking an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter and never looking back. Deondre Francois threw for just 138 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but contributed 63 yards and a touchdown in the running game. Dalvin Cook ran for 153 yards and a score, while Travis Rudolph had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
#15 Florida – WEEK 13: L vs #14 Florida State 13-31
Florida struggled offensively, only recording 207 yards of offense, their lowest output of the season. Austin Appleby threw for 149 yards, while receiver Antonio Callaway had six catches for 58 yards. The Gators’ only touchdown of the game came when defensive back Marcell Harris returned a fumble 12 yards for the score. Florida will need to bounce back as they take on #1 Alabama in the SEC Championship game next week.
#16 Nebraska – WEEK 13: L vs Iowa 10-40
Although star quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr suited up, he was ineffective as Nebraska were shut down by the Hawkeyes. Armstrong completed only 13 passes from 35 attempts for 125 yards and a score. It was a disappointing end to Nebraska’s season, as all three of their losses this season came in the final five games of the year.
#17 Tennessee – WEEK 13: L vs Vanderbilt 34-45
The Volunteers suffered a major upset at the hands of Vanderbilt, who were motivated by the opportunity to play in bowl season. Josh Dobbs threw for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns, and added 53 yards on the ground. Running back Alvin Kamara ran for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 72 receiving yards and a touchdown. Wideout Josh Malone made seven catches for 121 yards and a score.
#18 West Virginia – WEEK 13: W vs Iowa State 49-19
West Virginia bounced back from last week’s loss to Oklahoma to take down Iowa State in a landslide victory. Skyler Howard threw for 330 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Martell Pettaway ran for 181 yards and a score, while receiver Shelton Gibson made three catches for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Mountaineers take on Baylor in Week 14.
#19 Boise State – WEEK 13: L vs Air Force 20-27
Boise were held out of the end zone at the end of the game, going down to Air Force and recording their second loss of the season. Brett Rypien threw for 316 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy McNichols ran for 88 yards and his FBS-leading 27th touchdown of the season. Only two receivers made catches for Boise, as Cedrick Wilson had four catches for 193 yards and a score, while Thomas Sperbeck had five catches for 123 yards.
#20 Houston – WEEK 13: L vs Memphis 44-48
A touchdown pass with 19 seconds left on the clock led to Houston going down at the hands of Memphis in a huge upset. Greg Ward Jr had a big game, throwing for 487 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Ward also added 65 yards on the ground. Linell Bonner exploded for 17 catches for 235 yards and a touchdown.
#21 Western Michigan – WEEK 13: W vs Toledo 55-35
Western Michigan completed a perfect regular season and now head to the MAC championship game after a big win over Toledo. Zach Terrell threw for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Jamauri Bogan ran for 198 yards and a score. Corey Davis had a big day, leading the game with eight catches for 81 yards and a score. But the reason the day was big for Davis was that he became the FBS all-time leader in receiving yards with 5,068 yards, breaking former Nevada receiver Trevor Insley’s record. Davis also became the first player in FBS history with 300 catches, 5,000 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns. The Broncos now face Ohio in the MAC Championship game.
#22 Utah – WEEK 13: L vs #9 Colorado 22-27
The Utes committed four turnovers and went down to Colorado in a tough battle. Troy Williams was held to 160 passing yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions. Joe Williams ran for 97 yards, while Tim Patrick led the team with 78 receiving yards.
#23 Washington State – WEEK 13: L vs #5 Washington 17-45
The Cougars struggled to keep up with Washington after the first quarter and it all went downhill from there. Luke Falk threw for 269 yards and a touchdown, but also had three interceptions. Receiver Gabe Marks had 11 catches for 112 yards and a score.
#24 Stanford – WEEK 13: W vs Rice 41-17
Stanford capped off a strong end to the year, winning their fifth straight game and their third straight game scoring more than 40 points. Quarterback Keller Chryst threw for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also running for 49 yards and a score. Christian McCaffrey ran for 204 yards and a score, while Bryce Love ran for 111 yards and a score.
#25 Navy – WEEK 13: W vs SMU 75-31
Navy put up a season-high 75 points, destroying SMU in a strong way to end the regular season. Quarterback Will Worth threw for 104 yards and a touchdown. Worth also ran for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns, becoming the first Navy quarterback to ever throw for 100 yards and rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games. Zach Abey ran for 111 yards and a score. Navy takes on Temple in the AAC Championship game next week.