College Football 2013: 5 Things We Learned in Week 7
Several teams ranked in the Top 25 were upset on Saturday, while others narrowly avoided a similar fate. Here are some of the highlights:
Michigan Was Sad in ‘Happy Valley’
It took four overtime periods, but Bill Belton’s 2-yard touchdown run gave Penn State a 43-40 win over formerly unbeaten No. 18 Michigan at Beaver Stadium in Pennsylvania’s so-called Happy Valley on Saturday. Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke sure didn’t look happy at the end of the game. The victory was the biggest win for Penn State in head coach Bill O’Brien’s two seasons with the Nittany Lions. Michigan seemed to have the game in hand late in the fourth quarter after digging themselves out of a 21-10 halftime deficit, but they couldn’t close out the win. The loss dropped the Wolverines behind Nebraska and Michigan State in the Legends Division of the Big Ten.
Stanford Got an Impressive Ty and a Depressing Loss
Fifth-ranked Stanford beat Washington in a Pac-12 showdown game last week thanks to a spectacular performance from kick returner Ty Montgomery, but the Cardinal lost on the road at unranked Utah, 27-21 on Saturday. Montgomery had three returns for 160 yards against the Utes, including a 100-yard touchdown on a kickoff, but Stanford gave up 21 first-half points to an offense led by QB Travis Wilson. The loss snapped the Cardinal’s 13-game win streak, and may have cleared the path for No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 North.
The Red River Had a Burnt Orange Tint
Unranked Texas and embattled head coach Mack Brown convincingly beat No. 12 Oklahoma, 36-20, in the Red River Rivalry game in Dallas. The burnt orange and white faithful at the Cotton Bowl observed their beloved Longhorns skewering the Sooners on offense, defense and special teams, including a touchdown on Chris Whaley’s 31-yard interception return and another score on Daje Johnson’s 85-yard punt return. The biggest return of the day, however, was that of “Big Tex” — the giant statue at the nearby State Fair of Texas that replaced the one that burned down last October.
Missouri Might Be OK in the SEC After All
Despite losing quarterback James Franklin with a shoulder injury in the second half, 25th-ranked Missouri upset No. 7 Georgia, 41-26, in Athens, Ga. The improbable win allowed the Tigers to stay unbeaten, including a 2-0 record in the Southeastern Conference. Sure, the Bulldogs were without several key skill players on offense, but they still had quarterback Aaron Murray, who was intercepted twice. When Missouri failed to reach a bowl for the first time since 2004 last season, some pundits thought the Tigers might be over-matched in the deep and talented SEC. Saturday’s win proved otherwise.
Johnny Manziel Doesn’t Get Hurt, He Just Gets Better
Johnny Manziel threw for 346 yards and ran for two second-half touchdowns, as ninth-ranked Texas A&M beat Ole Miss 41-38 on Josh Lambo’s 33-yard field goal as time expired. It looked like Johnny Football would be watching from the sidelines when he grabbed his knee after stumbling in the first quarter. As Aggie Nation panicked, Manziel returned on the next drive and helped lead A&M to a win over the pesky Rebels, who twice led by a touchdown in the fourth quarter.