Sun Nov 13 05:25pm EST
Snap judgments on Saturday's best.
ROBOTICS • Aaron Murray, Georgia.
Murray's arm was calibrated to perfection, firing to the proper coordinates on 14 of 18 passes with four touchdowns to four different receivers in a 45-7 rout over Auburn. The machine-like display easily extended Murray's lead as the most efficient passer in the SEC, and left him with a new school record for touchdown passes in a season (27).
The 38-point win was also the most lopsided in the series by either side since 1946, and put UGA within a game of its first division title since 2005.
THERMODYNAMICS • Oregon's Defense.
The Ducks successfully demonstrated that applying extreme heat to Andrew Luck can make even the most draft-ready quarterback in ages look human: Luck was sacked four times (a career high) and coughed up three turnovers (a career high) in a 53-30 blowout that reasserted Oregon as reigning Pac-12 overlord. (Thirty points was the Cardinal's lowest output in nearly two years.) All three turnovers led directly to touchdowns, two on short-field "drives" covering 12 yards and 20 yards, respectively, and a third on an interception return by Boseko Lokombo to seal the upset in the fourth quarter.
MUNITIONS • Casey Pachall, TCU.
Pachall dropped bombs all over the Boise State secondary, striking for touchdown passes of 74, 75 and 69 yards in the first half alone of the Horned Frogs' 36-35 upset in Boise. Pachall ended the day with 473 yards and five TDs through the air, making him the first quarterback over 300 yards passing against the Broncos, in any location, since 2007.
For all the streaks TCU busted on the blue turf — Boise State hadn't lost a game in Bronco Stadium since 2005, a regular season game in Bronco Stadium since 2001 or a conference game in Bronco Stadium since 1998 — it kept one of its own alive: The Frogs have now won 22 straight in Mountain West play dating back to 2008.
ETIQUETTE • Kawann Short, Purdue.
Feeling one introduction wasn't quite enough, Short introduced himself to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller on three separate occasions in the Buckeye backfield, part of a five-sack afternoon for Purdue's defense in a 26-23 upset. For his geniality, Short was named Walter Camp's national Defensive Player of the Week and moved to No. 2 in the Big Ten for sacks on the season.
ENGINEERING • Colin Klein, Kansas State.
Faced with a back-and-forth shootout against Texas A&M, the Wildcats put the entire offense on the back of their 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback, and rode him all the way across the finish line in quadruple overtime: Klein handled the ball as a rusher or passer on 63 of 79 offensive snaps, ultimately accounting for more than 90 percent of K-State's total offense and six of its seven touchdowns in a 53-50 upset. His 35 carries for the game were the most by any Big 12 player this season, regardless of position.
EFFICIENCY • Houston's Offense.
Not counting their final, clock-killing possession in the fourth quarter, the Cougars gained 735 yards and scored eight offensive touchdowns in a little under 18 minutes of possession time Thursday night in a 73-17 incineration of Tulane. Four of those scoring drives took less than a minute, and only one took more than two.
LOGISTICS • Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State.
Displaying his usual knack for delivering the ball anywhere and everywhere on the field it needs to be, Weeden hit nine different receivers for 423 yards and five touchdowns in the Cowboys' 66-6 incineration of Texas Tech. OSU scored touchdowns on all six first half possessions and put it in the end zone twice more in the third quarter before mercifully taking its foot off the throttle.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP • Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan.
If Toussaint hadn't locked down the Wolverines' starting tailback job before Saturday, he certainly did at Illinois, gouging a previously solid Illini defense for a career-high 192 yards on 27 carries in a 31-14 Wolverine win. The outburst was the best in either category by anyone not named "Denard Robinson" since the last time Michigan had a bona fide No. 1 tailback: Mike Hart in 2007.
CATCHES OF THE YEAR OF THE WEEK First prize this week goes to TCU freshman Brandon Carter, who refused to be denied on a high-flying tug-of-war for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown at Boise State:
Carter also contributed a 75-yard touchdown catch for the Horned Frogs' first touchdown, at which point the Bronco secondary was officially exposed.
Next up, it's Arkansas' Jarius Wright, whose juggling hot-potato grab against Tennessee may not have qualified as the highlight of the game, but does go down as arguably the most… let's say, persistent catch of the season:
McNutt bid adieu to Kinnick Stadium with eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, the only bright spot in a 37-21 loss that effectively eliminated the Hawkeyes from the Big Ten race.