Alabama played a de facto tune-up game against overmatched Georgia State, as the Crimson Tide rolled to an easy 45-3 victory. Nick Saban used the game to get a good look at a number of young players, as seven players recorded at least one carry, while a whopping 15 different receivers had at least one catch. It’s becoming increasingly clear that ‘Bama’s road to BCS tickets runs through their showdown with LSU in November. Colorado hardly provided a challenge to Oregon, as the Ducks cruised to a 57-16 win in Boulder. Marcus Mariota strengthened his Heisman credentials, passing for 355 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for two additional scores. Taj Boyd was equally impressive in Clemson’s 49-14 victory over Syracuse, throwing for 455 yards and five touchdowns against the Orange. If the two signal callers keep playing at their current level, they appear destined to meet in person in early December in NYC for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
Ohio State outlasted Northwestern, 40-30, on the strength of a career day for senior RB Carlos Hyde. In his third contest back following a three-game suspension to open the season, Hyde was sensational, carrying the ball 26 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns. His production was especially critical, considering the struggles of star QB Braxton Miller. Coach David Shaw and Stanford were able to survive a scare of their own from Washington, with the Cardinal holding on for a 31-28 victory. While Stanford was outgained 489 to 279, the Cardinal were able to do just enough to sneak out with a victory over the much-improved Huskies. Ty Montgomery’s 99-yard return on the opening kickoff proved to be a critical score for the Cardinal.
With the top 10 holding steady this past weekend, the biggest news from a team chasing BCS tickets is No. 7 Georgia losing both RB Keith Marshall and WR Justin Scott-Wesley to season-ending knee injuries during Saturday’s 34-31 overtime victory over Tennessee. With the battle for spots in the BCS incredibly tight, the Bulldogs could ill afford to lose two of their best offensive playmakers.
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