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Week 12 - Washington survive a scare, Battle of L.A., Michigan's 1,000th win and tough break for FSU

College football returns to the UK


Starting off with huge news last weekend that college football is available to watch again in the UK. Sky Sports announced that they had agreed a deal with ESPN to show three games per week and College Gameday, until the end of the 2024/25 college football season.


Sky weren't hanging around. The afternoon of the announcement, UK viewers were able to watch Louisville-Miami, Notre Dame-Wake Forest and Washington-Oregon State.


At a time when interest in college football has never been higher in the UK, it's a massive opportunity to continue to raise the growing enthusiasm for this fantastic game. I'm fortunate to be part of the UK and Ireland college football media who vote for our Top 25 teams each week and grateful to members of that community, also the talented guys that broadcast The College Chaps podcast for continuing to lobby the powers that be to enable this development and give the British fan an easier opportunity to watch this fascinating sport.


On to events on the field. With conference championship places in the balance, here are the highlights of a compelling Week 12 in college football.


No.5 Washington hangs on against No.11 Oregon State, 22-20.


Rome Odunze catching one of two touchdowns in Washington's win over Oregon State (Image credit: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

No.5 Washington advanced into the Pac-12 championship game with their 18th straight win, hard-fought, over a game No.11 Oregon State team in the rain pouring down on Corvallis, Oregon. Michael Penix Jr. threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground. The dreary conditions seemed to dampen the Huskies' explosive offense, with Penix c0mpleting just 46% of his passes for 162 yards, half his average for the season.



Rome Odunze, one of the best receivers in college football, was Penix's main target, hauling in seven receptions for 106 yards and two crucial touchdowns. Odunze has amassed 1,100 receiving yards this season so far, behind only LSU's Malik Nabers (1,284 yards) and Virginia's Malik Washington (1,199 yards) in the nation. The win extended Washington's impressive 18-game winning streak,


Damien Martinez racked up 167 total yards, 123 yards on the ground and two touchdowns for the Beavers, while quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, like Penix, was also less effective in the poor conditions, completing just 15 of 31 passes for 164 yards. Oregon State's hopes for a conference championship place look beyond their grasp.


Washington sits at the top of the Pac-12, one spot ahead of Oregon, who have just one loss this season – a defeat to the Huskies. Oregon State could foil their in-state rivals in their bid to reach the Pac-12 final and potentially, the College Football Playoff.


“Job is not done. We still got work to do,” - Washington coach Kalen DeBoer.

UCLA's defense swarms USC, win Battle of L.A., 38-20.


UCLA's outstanding edge Laiatu Latu runs down USC quarterback Caleb Williams (Image credit: Joseph Jimenez/Daily Bruin)

In an impressive turnaround from their lacklustre 17-7 defeat against Arizona State last week, UCLA delivered a dominant display in a 38-20 victory over arch-rivals USC in the 97th meeting between the two L.A. teams and the last before they both depart for the Big Ten. Head coach Chip Kelly, under scrutiny over his future, steered the Bruins to a commanding win. UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers, returned to the lineup and threw for three touchdowns and 155 yards. Running back T.J. Harden led the line with 142 rushing yards and a touchdown.



The Bruins' defense was relentless against USC. They forced three turnovers, stifled the Trojans' rushing offense to just three yards on 22 carries, and sacked Caleb Williams four times, two from the outstanding Laiatu Latu, who now has 13 sacks for the season. Defensive back Alex Johnson's 11-yard scoop-and-score touchdown, resulting from a crucial run stop, put the cherry on top of a superb performance. UCLA faces Cal at the Rose Bowl on Saturday to close out their season while USC regroups after a frustrating run of games.

“This entire performance was for him (UCLA head coach Chip Kelly). It shows a lot about our team and this culture that we can come from last week to this week and do this.” - UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers.


No.1 Georgia dominant in 38-10 win over Tennessee.


Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint caught two touchdowns against Tennessee (Image credit: AP/Wade Payne)

No.18 Tennessee couldn't have asked for a better start in their bid to upset No.1 Georgia at a sellout Neyland Stadium. Dolly Parton belted out "Rocky Top" before Volunteers' running back Jaylen Wright opened the scoring with a 75-yard run on the first play of the game.


Georgia assumed control and didn't look back, scoring five unanswered touchdowns and dominating possession, owning control of the football for 41 of the game's 60 minutes. The Bulldogs amassed 472 yards of offense on 10 drives with Carson Beck continuing to mature as Georgia's starting quarterback. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint caught two touchdown passes, one from running back Dillon Bell on a brilliant trick play.


Georgia, in ominously impressive form, moves to 11-0 and faces Georgia Tech, while Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt in Rivalry Week.


No.17 Arizona wins again, thrashes Utah 42-18.


(Image credit: YouTube)

Where Colorado grabbed the Pac-12 limelight at the start of the season, No.17 Arizona are threatening to steal it at the end. The Wildcats became the first team in the FBS to beat four ranked opponents this season (Georgia would match this a few hours later) with a 42-18 hiding of No.22 Utah in Tucson.




Arizona raced to a 28-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter, having opened the scoring with a spectacular trick play from receiver Tetairoa McMillan who threw a touchdown pass to Michael Wiley, having received a backward pass from quarterback Noah Fifita. Fifita completed 22 of 30 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to his touchdown pass, McMillan had eight receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown.


Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns, continuing to fill in for Cam Rising, who announced this week he is returning to the Utes for a sixth season in college football. Rising was part of the Class of 2018, which for context, featured Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.


Utah faces Colorado in the final week of the regular season while Arizona faces Arizona State on the road.


“We came out hot and didn't let our foot off the gas,” - Arizona safety Dalton Johnson.

Elsewhere in the Top 10...


TreVeyon Henderson ran through Minnesota's defense (Image credit: Buckeyes Wire)

No.2 Ohio State warmed up for Michigan with a 37-3 trouncing of Minnesota in Columbus. TreVeyon Henderson ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, while Kyle McCord threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns.


No.3 Michigan survived a scare at Maryland, finally overcoming the Terrapins, 31-24. Blake Corum spearheaded the Wolverines once again, accounting for 103 total yards and two touchdowns. J.J. McCarthy appeared more muted, completing just 12 of 23 pass attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown. Maryland quarterback Tauia Tagovailoa threw for 247 yards but was picked off twice by Michigan.


Horrible news from Tallahassee where No.4 Florida State lost starting quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending leg injury in their 58-13 win over North Alabama. In came redshirt junior Tate Rodemaker, who threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The Seminoles' hopes of lifting the ACC title and going to the College Football Playoff rest with him. No pressure.


Bo Nix is the new Heisman favourite after a stunning six-touchdown performance in the first half of No.6 Oregon's 49-13 dismantling of Arizona State. Nix completed an outstanding 83% of his passes for 404 yards, while Troy Franklin had eight receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Oregon are keeping the heat on the top four.


No.7 Texas moved to 10-1 with a 26-16 win over former bogey team Iowa State, who had won three of their last four contests in Ames. Quinn Ewers completed 22 of 33 passes for 281 yards and freshman running back C.J. Baxter, filling in for the injured Jonathon Brooks, ran for 117 yards.


No.8 Alabama ran up 574 yards of offense in a 66-10 thrashing of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Jalen Milroe threw three touchdown passes, one to Jermaine Burton, who had 105 yards, Chattaooga back Gino Appleberry ran for 104 yards.


No.9 Missouri held off SEC rival Florida 33-31 and moved to 9-2 with 331 yards from Tigers quarterback Brady Cook, while No.10 Louisville moved to 10-1 and into the ACC title game with a 38-31 win over Mario Cristobal's Miami.



Who's in contention for the Power Five Conference Championship Games?


ACC


Louisville sealed their first-ever place in the ACC Chanpionship Game with their 38-31 win over Miami on Saturday. They will face Florida State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on 2nd December.


Big Ten


Iowa, winners of the Big Ten West, sealed their place in the Championship Game with a 15-13 win over Illinois. The Hawkeyes will play the winner of the Big Ten East (led by 11-0 Ohio State and Michigan) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on 2nd December.


Big 12


Texas (7-1 in conference play) is in control and can secure a place in the Big 12 final with a win over Texas Tech this weekend. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State are all in with a chance of reaching the Championship Game in Arlington. All to play for...


Pac-12


Washington clinched thir place in the conference championship game thanks to their narrow win over Oregon State, Oregon are in if they beat in-state rival Oregon State. A loss for the Ducks would mean Arizona would enter a tiebreaker with Oregon for the right to play the Huskies.


SEC


Georgia, winners of the SEC East, will play Alabama, winners of the SEC West, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on December 2nd.


CFP Rankings


(Image credit: College Football Playoff)

Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan stay put in the top three. Washington moves to No.4 after their win over Oregon State, who slip to No.16. Florida State slides out of the Playoff places but are still in the frame at No.5, especially knowing that one of Ohio State or Michigan could fall out with a bad loss in their showdown this weekend. Washington, Oregon, Texas, Alabama and possibly Louisville could all sneak in to one of the hallowed Playoff spots.


College football games to watch in "Rivalry Week"!


(Image credit: X)

No.12 Ole Miss @ Mississippi State - "The Egg Bowl" - Lane Kiffin's Mississippi travel to their old rivals in a Thanksgiving Thursday kickoff.


(Image credit: Ohio Sports Betting)

No.2 Ohio State @ No.3 Michigan - "The Game" - a place in the Big Ten title game, a place in the College Football Playoff and bragging rights in their 119th game at stake? Enough said.


No.16 Oregon State @ No.6 Oregon - formerly known as "The Civil War", this is the 127th instalment of a historic rivalry first played in 1894. The Beavers have a chance to deny their old rivals a place in the Pac-12 championship game.


No.8 Alabama @ Auburn - "The Iron Bowl" - the 88th meeting between these two in-state rivals. Auburn coach Hugh Freeze has two wins over Nick Saban and will want to halt Alabama's three-game winning streak in this historic fixture.


Washington State @ No.4 Washington - "The Apple Cup" - the Huskies have won eight of the last ten meetings and will be hell bent on protecting their unbeaten season record at home to the Cougars.


No.5 Florida State @ Florida - "Sunshine Showdown" - the Seminoles, having slipped out of the top four, will be hungry for a big performance against the Gators to propel them back into national contention.


No.1 Georgia @ Georgia Tech - "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" - separated by just 70 miles in a state rivalry going back 130 years and 116 meetings. The Yellow Jackets will be desperate for a famous victory over the No.1 team in the country.


Across The Pond College Football Podcast



Rebecca and I talk about the fascinating Pac-12 race, Michigan's 1,000th win, a tough break for Florida State, and the return of college football to the UK. We also take a look ahead to some incredible matchups ahead of next week's "Rivalry Week".


One more thing...



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