Ah, rivalry week. As exciting as the rest of the regular season is, there’s something about this final week before conference championship games that really sets college football apart.
Not only did Week 13 feature several head-to-head matchups between teams that simply do not like each other, but there were several conference championship and College Football Playoff dreams on the line.
From Ohio State and Michigan’s classic double overtime thriller to Alabama’s third straight Iron Bowl victory and Kentucky’s stunning upset over Lamar Jackson and Louisville, read on for a recap of all the top action from Week 13.
Tuesday, Nov. 22
Ohio 9, Akron 3 — GameCenter
Thanks to a stellar performance from its kicker, Ohio locked up the East Division’s berth into the MAC Championship by edging rival Akron in a low-scoring kicking battle. The Bobcats’ fourth win in five games advanced them to the conference championship for the first time in five years while the Zips dropped their fourth straight game and fell just short of becoming bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.
Thursday, Nov. 24
LSU 54, Texas A&M 39 — GameCenter
The Tigers saved their best offensive performance of the season for last, routing Texas A&M while accomplishing a feat no other LSU team had ever pulled off. The Aggies’ late-season slide continued with four losses in their last six games, dropping them below LSU into fourth place in the SEC West.
Friday, Nov. 25
No. 5 Washington 45, No. 23 Washington State 17 — GameCenter
Social Game: Washington victorious in the Apple Cup
No. 5 Washington rushed No. 23 Washington State with 28 first-quarter points on the way to a win, claiming the Apple Cup for the fourth straight season as well as the Pac-12 North title. The Huskies riddled Cougars quarterback Luke Falk and got him to throw three interceptions on the way to the 28-point win.
Iowa 40, No. 16 Nebraska 10 — GameCenter
Iowa embarrassed the Cornhuskers, pulling off its second upset in three weeks and eliminating Nebraska from Big Ten West contention. The Hawkeyes held their opponent to just 217 total yards of offense, while picking up over 400 over their own.
Air Force 27, No. 19 Boise State 20 — GameCenter
Air Force held Jeremy McNichols to just 88 yards on the ground while picking up 314 rushing yards as a team to upset Boise State. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was just 9-of-26 passing in the loss.
Memphis 48, No. 20 Houston 44 — GameCenter
Riley Ferguson connected with Anthony Miller on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining to lift Memphis to an upset over No. 20 Houston.
No. 21 Western Michigan 55, Toledo 35 — GameCenter
Western Michigan capped off a perfect regular season, winning the MAC West division in the process. While it was the running game that led the way for the Broncos, the game was also notable for senior Corey Davis breaking the all-time receiving yards record with a grab in the second quarter. He finished with 82 yards and a touchdown.
— WMU Football (@WMU_Football) November 26, 2016
Saturday, Nov. 26
No. 2 Ohio State 30, No. 3 Michigan 27 — GameCenter
College Football: Ohio State defeats Michigan in double OT
College football fans couldn’t ask for a better performance or finish in The Game, which Ohio State came out on top in double overtime. The Buckeyes victory marked the first overtime classic in the rivalry’s long history. Curtis Samuel provided the walk-off touchdown after Michigan scored a field goal on its shot in the second overtime period. Ohio State originally brought the game to OT after Tyler Durbin shook off two early missed field goals with the game-tying kick in the final minute of regulation
Kentucky 41, No. 11 Louisville 38 — GameCenter
The Cardinals dropped their second straight game and Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson took another hit to his award campaign as the Wildcats took the stunning win in the in-state rivalry. Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis connected on the game-winning 47-yard field goal with under 30 seconds left to finish off the upset. Jackson finished with more than 450 yards of offense and four touchdowns but also three costly interceptions.
Georgia Tech 28, Georgia 27 — GameCenter
— GeorgiaTech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) November 26, 2016
The Yellow Jackets stormed back and outscored the Bulldogs 14-0 over the final frame to pick up the one-point road victory in Athens. Georgia Tech combined for 226 yards on the ground and four touchdowns while quarterback Justin Thomas only attempted 10 passes in the victory. The deciding score was set up by what appeared to be a trick play in the works, but running back Qua Searchy instead tucked the ball and carried it in from six yards out in the final minute.
No. 1 Alabama 30, No. 13 Auburn 12 — GameCenter
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 26, 2016
The Tide took the 81st edition of the storied Iron Bowl and did so in convincing fashion. Alabama outscored Auburn 17-3 in the second half and limited the Tigers to just seven first downs and under 200 yards of total offense. Jalen Hurts added three more touchdowns to his fantastic freshman campaign and the Tide now heads into next weekend’s SEC championship with a perfect record and an apparent easy road back to the College Football Playoff.
No. 6 Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17 — GameCenter
The Big Ten West champion Badgers overcame a 10-point deficit at the half by going on a 24-0 unanswered run to close the game and top the Golden Gophers. Corey Clement reached 100 yards on the ground and two touchdowns and Jazz Peavy totaled 130 yards of offense out of the backfield and as a receiver to pace Wisconsin to its 10th win of the year.
No. 7 Penn State 45, Michigan State 12— GameCenter
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) November 27, 2016
While Ohio State and Michigan stole much of the headlines this year out of the Big Ten East — as well as most of the attention this rivalry week — it’s the Nittany Lions who overcame the odds to claim the division crown. Penn State posted 35 unanswered points over the final two frames to turn a competitive game into an easy win. The Nittany Lions saw an outstanding performance from quarterback Trace McSorley, who finished 17-of-23 for 376 yards and four touchdowns.
No. 12 Southern California 45, Notre Dame 27 — GameCenter
Sam Darnold passed for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns and and Ronald Jones II rushed for 134 yards and a score as the Trojans remained hot and took down the rival Irish in Los Angeles. USC took the lead for good midway through the first quarter and opened the lead by the half thanks to a 14-0 run before the break.
No. 4 Clemson 56, South Carolina 7 — GameCenter
Deshaun Watson threw six touchdown passes to lead Clemson past the in-state rival Gamecocks in Death Valley. Mike Williams was on the receiving end of three of those touchdowns, finishing with six receptions for 100 yards, and running back Wayne Gallman added 112 more on the ground in the rout. Clemson opened up a 42-0 lead before South Carolina finally reached the scoreboard in the third quarter.
No. 9 Colorado 27, No. 22 Utah 22 — GameCenter
Run, Ralphie, run!
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) November 27, 2016
The Buffs are heading to the Pac-12 championship game next week thanks to its sixth straight win Saturday night against the fellow-ranked Utes. Sefo Liufau finished with two touchdowns — one passing and one rushing — to lead the Buffs offense. Meanwhile, Colorado’s defense held Utah to 6-of-21 on third down conversions and forced two fumbles in the victory. Next up for the darkhorse Playoff contenders is a trip to face No. 5 Washington for the conference crown.
No. 14 Florida State 31, No. 15 Florida 13— GameCenter
Florida may be heading to the SEC Championship game, but the Seminoles came out of Saturday’s rivalry matchup with bragging rights in the three-score victory. In possibly his final game playing in front of the home crowd in Tallahassee, tailback Dalvin Cook rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown in the win. Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois added two of his own. With the loss, Florida’s slim CFP hopes take a hit; meanwhile, the Seminoles may be positioned nicely for a New Year’s Six bowl shot despite not playing in next week’s ACC title game.