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9 big takeaways from week 12 of the college football season




Seventeen ranked teams were in action on Saturday in week 12 of the 2020 college football season, including three Top 25 meetings. In one, No. 3 Ohio State narrowly beat No. 9 Indiana 42-35 in a top-10 matchup. Here are nine takeaways from this week’s action.

No. 3 Ohio State avoids collapse against No. 9 Indiana, holds for 42-35 win

The Buckeyes seemed on their way to an easy win early in the third quarter. A touchdown pass of nine feet fromJustin FieldstoGarrett Wilsongave Ohio State a pillow of 35-7 just 2:50 in the second half. But the Hoosiers would not go down without a fight. Indiana’sMichael Penix Jr.led back-to-back touchdown drives from 75 and 60 yards to halve the deficit, 35-21. Even after Buckeyes is in the cornerShaun Wadean interception answered for a score, putting Ohio State at 21, Indiana refused to leave. Penix threw two touchdown passes in a two-minute period at the start of the fourth to make it a 42-35 game with 10:26 remaining. The Hoosiers defense did its bit the rest of the way, keeping the Buckeyes scoreless in the fourth quarter.

No. 18 Oklahoma uses quick start to hammer 14 State of Oklahoma

Before Oklahoma State could even blink, the Cowboys were down 21-0. The Sooners scored three consecutive touchdowns in the first nine minutes of the game. Oklahoma cooled off a bit, but OU never allowed Oklahoma State to play the game again. Sooners quarterbackSpencer Rattler threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns while completing 17 of the 24 pass attempts. Oklahoma State signal callersSpencer SandersandShane Illingworth both struggled. The two combined for a 15-for-40 pass for 168 yards. The Cowboys couldn’t get closer than 14 points and were eliminated in the second half. Oklahoma has now won six consecutive games against its in-state rival.

Highest ranked Alabama destroys Kentucky 63-3

Mac Jones threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns Najee Harris ran for a few scores to the ground after 30 minutes of play. The Crimson Tide had nearly completed the game by then, ahead of Kentucky28-3. After Harris’ second touchdown, he became the only player in Alabama history to record 16 hasty touchdowns in seven games. The second half was more of the same, with the Tide a further 35 points. Four different ball carriers (Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, Brian Robinson Jr. and Harris) found the end zone for Alabama. His defense also held the Wildcats to 179 yards of total offense.

No. 6 Florida beats Vanderbilt 38-17 while Kyle Trask shines again

Led by quarterbackKyle Trask, the Gators keep rolling. The senior threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns while completing 26 of his 35 pass attempts in Florida’s 38-17 win over Vanderbilt. Nine different Gatorscaught passes, and six managed to catch more than one. The Commodores managed to take an early 7-0 thanks to a touchdown pass from 16 yardsKen Sealsto Chris Pierce Jr. about five minutes into the game. They were leading 10-7 after the first, but from then on it was all Florida. The Gators scored the next 24 points before Vanderbilt finally responded with a touchdown late in the third quarter.

No. 23 Northwestern defeats No. 10 Wisconsin in pivotal Big Ten West battle

The Wildcats forced five turnovers from Wisconsin in a grueling 17-7 win over the Badgers. Those five giveaways were the most by Wisconsin since a 13-7 loss to Northwest on Nov. 21, 2015, exactly five years today. Both violations struggled to find a rhythm. After a 25 meter touchdown pass from Northwestern’s Peyton Ramsey to Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman in the last minute of the first half, the next (and last) score would come Charliekuhbander‘s 32-yard field goal with 11:35 left. His kick gave the Wildcats that 17-7 lead. Ramsey threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns while completing 23 of his 44 pass attempts. Northwestern joins Ohio State as the lone unbeaten team remaining in the Big Ten.

No. 7 Cincinnati is keeping the undefeated season alive

After falling behind early, No. 7 Cincinnati held back UCF. The Knights jumped to a 14-3 lead in less than eight minutes into the game. But Cincinnati settled in and scored 16 in a row for UCF kicker Daniel Obarski nailed a 36-yard field with a second to play in half. Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridderthrew for 338 yards and two touchdowns while running 57 yards and also two scores. UCFsDillon Gabriel (243 yards, three touchdown passes) had a strong outing, but threw a costly interception that was Cincinnati safetyDarrick Forrestreturned to the Knights’16-yard line. The Bearcats needed only four plays to score the starting touchdown on a one-yard run by Ridder.

17 Iowa State blanks Kansas State in 45-0 blowout

The Cyclones recorded their first shutout win since 2017 dominating the Wildcats. Iowa State had a small 7-0 lead at the end of the first, before dropping 28 points in the second quarter. QuarterbackBrock Purdywas fantastic, completing 16 of his 20 passes while throwing 236 yards and three touchdowns. However, it was a balanced attack for the Cyclones.Breece Hall ran for 135 yards and two scores on 15 carriers, and Iowa State put up 539 yards of total offense, while Kansas State was limited to just 149. Two quarterbacks, Nick Ast and Will Howard, saw action for the Wildcats, but combined only 76 yards, nine completions and one interception on 19 passes.

NC State takes down No. 21 Liberty 15-14 in a low-scoring affair

Liberty’s perfect season is over. The Flames fell into an unranked NC State in a game that was hit only four times (and one safety). Liberty quarterbackMalik Williswas responsible for two of those scores, but also threw three interceptions. Two of its sales came in the fourth quarter when the Flames were down by one. Wolfpack runs backZonovan Knightled NC State’s offense with 96 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

No. 15 Coastal Carolina remains perfect after 34-23 win over Appalachian State

The Chanticleers were pushed to their limits on Saturday. There were six lead changes in Coastal Carolina’s 34-23 win over the Mountaineers. Appalachian State only scored two touchdowns. Only three field goals out Chandler Staton kept the mountaineers close at hand. Still, the Chanticleers found just enough insult to eventually back off. Quarterback Grayson McCallthrew for 200 yards and two touchdown passes while also rushing for a score.

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