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

Posted Nov 12, 2012

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

Top Team Notes & Thoughts

Week 11 - Part Two

By Pete Fiutak
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Week 11 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 1-8 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State  
No. 9 South Carolina (8-2)

Last week: at South Carolina 38, Arkansas 20

Notes: It took a little while to put the game away, but it was a total team effort in the third quarter to take control. … How did the Gamecocks roll without Marcus Lattimore? They spread the work around with Mike Davis running for 53 yards on 13 carries and Kenny Miles running 14 times for 37 yards. … Connor Shaw is putting together a terrific year that's being lost a bit in the shuffle. He completed 14-of-22 passes for 272 yards and two scores. … Corner D.J. Swearinger was fantastic, outside of a few penalties, leading the team with 13 tackles with a tackle for loss and a 69-yard interception return for a score. … The team has earned a week off against Wofford before going to Clemson. There's still an outside shot at an at-large BCS bid, but it's going to take an impressive win over the Tigers, and a lot of help, to get close.

No. 10 Florida State (9-1)

Last week: Florida State 28, at Virginia Tech 22

Notes: It might not have been the prettiest or cleanest of wins, but when the Noles were pushed by a good home team with its back against the way, they came up with the plays they needed to have. It helped to have the lightning speed of receiver Rashad Greene to blow through the Hokie secondary with a 25-yard scoring grab in the final moments of the first half and the game-winning catch-and-dash with 40 seconds to play. … -15 yards rushing. The loss of Chris Thompson to a season-ending knee injury was supposed to be a problem, but it wasn't supposed to be this bad. Giving up five sacks had something to do with it. That's not a good sign with Florida and its nasty run defense to deal with at the end of the regular season. … The nation's No. 1 defense coming into the game was exposed a bit, allowing 385 yards, but the three takeaways were a big key.

No. 11 Clemson (9-1)

Last week: at Clemson 45, Maryland 10

Notes: Without much fanfare, the Tigers are crushing and killing everything in their paths with their last eight wins coming by double digits. The schedule might not be that nasty, but the offense is humming. The days of good old flaky Clemson might be gone. … Tajh Boyd isn't in the Heisman hunt, but he's putting together a whale of a season. He lit up the Terps for 261 yards and three scores on an 18-of-26 day, spreading the ball around extremely well. … While the ACC title dream might be all but gone, needing Florida State to gag against Maryland, a 12-win season is possible and a BCS appearance is definite by beating NC State and South Carolina over the next two weeks.

No. 12 Oklahoma (7-2)

Last week: at Oklahoma 42, Baylor 34

Notes: The defense did its job against the high-octane Baylor passing game. The secondary didn't allow much of anything, giving up just 172 yards with 56 of them coming to star Terrance Williams. … However, the run defense was ripped up allowing 252 yards and with 91 of them and three scores coming from Lache Seastrunk. The linebackers had a rough day. … Landry Jones might have seen his streak of four straight 300-yard games broken, but he was effective throwing for 277 yards and two scores. The offense converted 9-of-13 third down chances. … Safety Tony Jefferson continues to have an All-America caliber season with 11 tackles and a sack. … Oklahoma fans, get ready for the fun of Blake Bell as the main man – most likely – next year. He's a special talent, evidenced by his speed on the 55-yard touchdown dash. … Can the Sooners still get a BCS bowl bid? Absolutely if they can beat West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU over the final three games.

No. 13 Stanford (8-2)

Last week: at Stanford 27, Oregon State 23

Notes: The Cardinal has gotten terrific quarterback play out of quarterback Kevin Hogan over the last few weeks. He was outstanding against a dangerous Beaver defense completing 22-of-29 passes for 254 yards and three scores, and he ran for 49 yards. However, he threw two picks and the Cardinal turned it over four times. … Stepfan Taylor was his typical bruising self running for 114 yards and a score on 19 carries. He was helped by Hogan taking off some of the workload. … The secondary might have given 226 yards, but the D broke up seven passes and was great on third downs. … It's all there for the taking over the next few weeks. If the Cardinal can beat Oregon and UCLA on the road, it's on to the Pac-12 championship. If the lines can be as physical as they were against the Beavers, they'll have a shot at the Ducks.

No. 14 Nebraska (8-2)

Last week: at Nebraska 32, Penn State 23

Notes: The Huskers are certainly making this fun. They're proving time and again that they're able make the big comeback with Taylor Martinez able to shine in the clutch. He has more than proven himself. It might not always be a thing of beauty, but he's coming through when he has to. … There's still work to do. One loss opens the door for Michigan, but if Nebraska can't beat Minnesota and Iowa, it probably doesn't deserve to play for the Big Ten title. … The running game keeps on working without Rex Burkhead. Martinez was able to rumble for 104 yards and Ameer Abdullah came up with a workmanlike 116 yards on 31 carries. … Yeah, Nebraska caught a big break on a bad fumble call against the Nittany Lions, but Martinez and the team pounced on the break scoring the final 12 points.

15. Texas (8-2)

Last week: at Texas 33, Iowa State 7

Notes: Each and every week the team is starting to get better and better. Now on a four-game winning streak, the victory over Iowa State was the team's best overall performance since blasting New Mexico in early September. Everything is coming together at just the right time with TCU and Kansas State coming up. … David Ash was brilliant completing 25-of-31 passes for 364 yards and two scores. He did a great job of pushing the ball down the field and he was outstanding at keeping the chains moving. Texas had the ball for over 38 minutes and converted 8-of-14 third down plays. … The defense didn't let Iowa State breathe. It gave up a few yards, but it only allowed one decent scoring drive.

No. 16 Oregon State (7-2)

Last week: at Stanford 27, Oregon State 23

Notes: The Beavers have lost two Pac-12 games, but there's still time and hope to win the Pac-12 title. It'll take a Stanford win over Oregon to spark the discussion, but there's still a chance. … The combination of Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks gave the Cardinal fits, combining for 14 catches for 173 yards and a score. … Third downs made the difference. Stanford converted 7-of-12 chances, while OSU converted just 3-of-13 tries. … The defense did a great job of taking the ball away, there weren't enough key stops. The Cardinal was able to move the ball way too easily. … With three home games to close against Cal, Oregon and Nicholls State, a ten-win season is a must.

No. 17 UCLA (8-2)

Last week: UCLA 44, at Washington State 36

Notes: Here it is, UCLA. Beat USC and go to a second straight Pac-12 championship, only this time it will be for real. … The pass rush continues to be phenomenal. Anthony Barr and Cassius Marsh each made two sacks and Damien Holmes added one, but it was linebacker Eric Kendricks who had the great game with 15 tackles with a 40-yard fumble return for a score. However, the secondary got torched when the Cougars made things interesting with 29 second half points. … Could Brett Hundley be playing any better? He completed 18-of-21 passes for 261 yards and three scores with a pick. … Against the Trojans, the pass rush has to be working from the start and it can't let up the pressure. The secondary is giving up over 266 yards per game and could be in for a long day.

Week 11 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 1-8 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State