Grading The Games: Week Ten
Alabama-LSU excelled in the classroom this time around. That's just one of the highlights in the latest edition of "Grading The Games."
By Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball
Oklahoma at Iowa State Grade: C+
Oklahoma seized control of this contest early in the third quarter, and never looked back. However, a 400-yard effort by Landry Jones earns a grade on the plus side of the curve.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State Grade: F
The highly anticipated battle for third place in the SEC West never materialized, as Texas A&M rolled up almost 700 yards total offense against an overmatched Bulldog defense. Despite the heroics of Johnny Manziel, a lopsided loss will not earn a passing grade.
Missouri at Florida Grade: B
Defense was the story of this game, as the Gators intercepted James Franklin four times. This contest earns a B because it wasn't over until Florida snared an interception with just 11 seconds to play.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky Grade: F
There's not much to say here. The Commodores destroyed the Wildcats while dominating every facet of the game.
Troy at Tennessee Grade: A-
This was clearly the most explosive game of the day, producing 103 points, 1,439 total yards, and then a total of three scores in the frantic final 3:24. Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter put on a clinic, combining for 400 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns.
New Mexico State at Auburn Grade: D+
Don't let the final score fool you: This contest was competitive for the first half. However, the Tigers got their ground game working in the third quarter, turning what was a barnburner into a laugher heading into the final stanza.
Georgia Tech at Maryland Grade: D
Unless you like watching Georgia Tech run the triple-option to perfection, there wasn't much entertainment value in this game. After all, Maryland was playing its fifth-string quarterback (who is actually a linebacker), thanks to a rash of injuries at the position.
Stanford at Colorado Grade: F
Yawn – the Cardinal blew out a completely inferior bunch of Buffaloes.
TCU at West Virginia Grade: A+
This classic Big 12 tilt wasn't over until the final gun sounded. Surprisingly, Gary Patterson elected to go for two at the end of the second overtime rather than play a third overtime. How could such a calculated gamble not earn an A+?
Nebraska at Michigan State Grade: B+
Nebraska's spirited comeback was definitely one of the more exciting finishes of the afternoon. While it looked like the Spartans had this locked up with a ten-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Huskers rallied to scored the game-winner with just six seconds to play.
Ole Miss at Georgia Grade: B
After sleepwalking through the first quarter, the Bulldogs finally got their act together shortly before halftime. Despite the lopsided margin of victory, Aaron Murray's 384-yard, four-touchdown performance gives this contest a higher grade.
Illinois at Ohio State Grade: D-
When the Illini kicked field goals on its first two possessions, it looked like this one might be close. However, the Buckeyes dominated the game in the final three periods, and took another step closer to a perfect season.
Texas at Texas Tech Grade: B+
There were plenty of fireworks in the game, as David Ash ended any debate about a potential quarterback controversy at Texas. While the final margin was nine points, it always seemed as though Tech was within striking distance.
Boston College at Wake Forest Grade: B
Even though the final score looks close, Wake Forest was always in control of the game. However, the Chase Rettig - Tanner Price quarterback duel was one of the more pleasant surprises of the afternoon, a development which earns a B for this clash.
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame Grade: A+
With a furious fourth quarter comeback and three overtimes, this tilt definitely earned an A+. It looked like Pittsburgh had this game put away with just four minutes to go in regulation, as well as in the second overtime when the Panthers had a chip-shot field goal for the win. However, Notre Dame continues to persevere through these situations, and simply wills its way to victory.
Penn State at Purdue Grade: F
This contest was painful to watch. The Nittany Lions took the Boilermakers to the woodshed. That is all...
Oregon at USC Grade: A-
This game is a candidate for Pac 12 Game of the Year honors. Both offenses seemingly scored at will, with Oregon making some crucial stops early in the game. However, since neither team did much defensively, I'm dropping the grade to an A-.
Clemson at Duke Grade: D+
Clemson dominated the action from the opening whistle, racing out to a 28-10 lead. Even though this contest was a blowout, Tajh Boyd's 346-yard, five-touchdown performance is enough to earn a passing grade.
Alabama at LSU Grade: A+
Without question, this was the best game of the year. Just when it looked like LSU had it locked up, A.J. McCarron marched the Crimson Tide down the field for the deciding score. Whenever a player vaults himself into the Heisman Trophy race, the game automatically earns an A.
Oklahoma State at Kansas State Grade: B+
The Wildcats staked their claim to the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings with a solid victory over Oklahoma State. While the final margin was 14 points, OSU had a chance to cut the lead to seven with just under three minutes to play before the K-State defense stopped the Cowboys on downs deep in Wildcat territory.
Arizona State at Oregon State Grade: B+
The last game of the day shaped up as the most exciting one throughout a wild first half, but it didn't turn into the fourth-quarter thriller it could have become. The Sun Devils jumped out to an early lead, and appeared to have the game well in hand. However, the Beavers came roaring back in the second quarter and scored the next 26 points. A tenacious comeback like always earns a high grade… but not an A, since Arizona State wasn't able to take Oregon State to the wire.