What You Need To Know - BCS Rank No. 9-17

Posted Nov 5, 2012

Notes and thoughts for the teams ranked ninth through 17 in the BCS

Top Team Notes & Thoughts

Week 10 - Part Two

By Pete Fiutak
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Week 10 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 1-8 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State  

No. 9 Louisville (9-0)
Last week: at Louisville 45, Temple 17

Notes: Teddy Bridgewater continues to be fantastic. This isn’t some sort of a dink-and-dunk offense; he’s pushing the ball down the field and he’s still exceptionally accurate, completing 19-of-28 passes for 324 yards and five scores. … The defense might have slipped and struggled for a few weeks, but it stepped up its play against the Owls with a terrific start. … The punting game might not be netting a slew of yards, but Ryan Johnson had a good game putting three of the five kicks inside the 20. … For the first time in a long time, the Cardinals didn’t play down to its opponent. The secondary that has been so strong, though, is going to have to take its game to another level against Ryan Nassib and Syracuse next week.

No. 10 Florida State (8-1)
Last week: Didn’t Play This Week. Up Next: at Virginia Tech

Notes: The Seminoles are on a three-game winning streak and should have few problems on the road against Virginia Tech and Maryland as long as their head is screwed on straight. Turnover margin has been a wee bit of an issue, but as long as there isn’t a major disparity against the Hokies and Terps, FSU should be 10-1 going into the showdown against Florida. … FSU’s biggest problem? Punting. The Seminoles aren’t getting too many opportunities, but Cason Beatty is only averaging 38 yards per kick. … The defense will come into the game against the Hokies No. 1 in the nation and No. 3 in scoring D.

No. 11 Oregon State (7-1)
Last week: at Oregon State 36, Arizona State 26

Notes: Is Cody Vaz really going to be the answer over the rest of the season? He threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns with a pick, but he only completed 14-of-33 passes and was awful on third downs. The Beavers only converted 3-of-15 chances. … Terron Ward went off. The Oregon State running game hasn’t been great, but Ward came up with a big game running for 146 yards and a score on just 19 carries, while Markus Wheaton did a little of everything running three times for 57 yards and catching four passes for 108 yards and two scores. … The run defense was okay, allowing 150 yards and a score, and the pass protection was a disaster, giving up five sacks, but the Beavers got the bounceback win after the loss to Washington and now have a showdown against Stanford. It’ll be the last road game of the season.

No. 12 Oklahoma (6-2)
Last week: Oklahoma 35, at Iowa State 20

Notes: There was some thought that Iowa State was going to pose a major threat. The Cyclones are always pesky at home and they’ve been playing well this year. Landry Jones took care of that with 405 yards and four scores. Despite the two picks, he came up with one of his most decisive and strongest games of the season. … Brennan Clay picked up the rushing slack with Damien Williams banged up, rushing for 157 yards and a score on 24 carries. … The OU offense never let Iowa State get into a groove, converting third down after third down on the way to keeping the ball for over 36 minutes. … An at-large BCS bid is on the table. The Big 12 title dream is probably gone – Kansas State isn’t likely to lose twice – but at 10-2, there’s a good shot at a big money game.

No. 13 Clemson (8-1)
Last week: Clemson 56, at Duke 20

Notes: Shhhh, very quietly, Clemson is rolling with a five-game winning streak tearing up everything in its path. Outside of the loss to Florida State and the opener against Auburn, no one has come within double digits of the Tigers. The offense is clicking at the right time. … Tajh Boyd isn’t in the Heisman race, but he’s playing as well as any quarterback in the country. Yes, he threw three picks, but he bombed away for 344 yards and five scores and ran for 72 yards and a touchdown. … DeAndre Hopkins continues to blow up. He destroyed the Blue Devil secondary with four catches for 128 yards and three scores. … How strong was the offense? It converted 7-of-10 third down chances and rolled up 28 first quarter points on the way to the easy win. … Winning the ACC title almost certainly won’t happen, but with two wins in the final three games, especially with a win over South Carolina, an at-large BCS bid should be on the table. 11-1 would ensure it.

No. 14 Stanford (7-2)
Last week: Stanford 48, at Colorado 0

Notes: Everyone is getting fat on Colorado, but the team needed to open things up a bit. Kevin Hogan stepped in at quarterback and was nearly perfect, completing 18-of-23 passes for 184 yards and two scores. Adding more of a rushing element than Josh Nunes, he ran for 48 yards on seven carries. … The nation’s No. 1 run defense came up with seven sacks and held the Buffs to -1 yard rushing. …The Cardinal is still deep in the hunt for the Pac-12 North title with Oregon State up this week and Oregon to follow. However, while there’s hope for a big finish, closing out with those two and a trip to UCLA could mean a 7-5 regular season unless the offense can be more consistent and the passing game more efficient.

No. 15 Texas A&M (7-2)
Last week: Texas A&M 38, at Mississippi State 13

Notes: The Aggies came out with a quick tempo and a good rhythm, and MSU didn’t know how to respond. Johnny Manziel was hot early on and he didn’t cool off, completing 30-of-36 passes for 311 yards and ran 21 times for 129 yards and two scores. … Everything worked on offense, rolling up close to 700 yards. Manziel was in total control under little pressure and with few problems spreading the ball around. Ryan Swope caught nine passes for 121 yards, but ten different targets made plays. … Somewhat quietly, the Aggies are rolling up a tremendous season. Now comes the big chance to make a statement with Alabama up next.

No. 16 Nebraska (7-2)
Last week: Nebraska 28, at Michigan State 24

Notes: So what was Nebraska going to do with Rex Burkhead out? Was Taylor Martinez going to be more of a runner, or was he going to open up the passing game a bit more? Both. The passing attack had issue until late, with Martinez completing 16-of-36 passes for 160 yards and two scores with three picks, but he was phenomenal on the ground with 205 yards and two scores. … Ameer Abdullah added 110 yards. Michigan State’s run defense has been tremendous all season long, but it was gouged for 313 yards. … Safety P.J. Smith made plenty of big plays coming up with 12 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and a broken up pass. … This was the dangerous game. Penn State and Minnesota will be tricky, but those games are at home. The Legends isn’t a done deal, but this was a huge step.

No. 17. Texas (7-2)
Last week: Texas 31, at Texas Tech 22

Notes: Reports of David Ash’s demise were greatly exaggerated. He ran a bit, but he was on point throwing the ball completing 11-of-19 passes for 264 yards and three scores with Mike Davis making four grabs for 165 yards and two touchdowns. … The pass rush didn’t get to Seth Doege on a regular basis, but it generated just enough pressure to keep the high-powered passing game from blowing up. … Does one big game mean the Longhorns are back? That’s going to be the narrative, with a strong game against a dangerous Texas Tech team on the road, but remember, it was just one game ago when they struggled to get by Kansas. Even so, they’re on a three-game winning streak with a chance to make a whole bunch of noise with home games against Iowa State and TCU before closing out with a showdown at Kansas State.  

Week 10 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 1-8 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State