Welcome to the quick recap of big things from Week 12 in the 20 Most Important College Football Thoughts Ever … at least for this week.
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20. LSU 27, Arkansas 24
LSU was really awesome last year, and now it’s struggling and a shadow of its former self in a lost season, and … give it credit. Through all of the problems, all of the talent losses, and all of the missed games, it’s still battling.
This was a game the Tigers should’ve lost, and instead, they controlled the game – they held the ball for almost 42 minutes – the D was amazing on third downs, and young parts like QB TJ Finley (271 yards and two touchdowns) and RB Tyrion Davis-Price (104 yards and a score) were able to pace the way to a win.
19. Boise State 40, Hawaii 32
Any time you can fly into Honolulu and come out with a win, you take it. Boise State still hasn’t quite put it all together yet, but Hank Bachmeier threw for 278 yards, Andrew Van Buren ran well, and the team was fine right up until it stopped moving the ball in the fourth quarter. Hawaii made it interesting, but Boise State is 4-0 in the Mountain West with an unbeaten San Jose State up next in the home finale.
18. Minnesota 34, Purdue 31
Was it really offensive pass interference on Purdue’s Payne Durham that negated what would’ve been a likely game-winning touchdown catch? It was very, very weak, but extend your arm, and officials are going to see that as a push off.
No, it should’t have been called, but Purdue had several chances to win or at least tie it, didn’t, and Minnesota got the gut-check win it desperately needed to avoid a 1-3 start. The passing game still isn’t clicking, but Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 102 yards and three scores and … it was a bad call.
17. NC State 15, Liberty 14
It shouldn’t have taken a blocked field goal for the ACC to avoid going 0-3 against Liberty, but NC State for the special teams play that Virginia Tech didn’t a few weeks ago when it called time out just before what would’ve been a game-sealing field goal block. Liberty’s defense held up well, NC State’s defense was better, and in an ugly game with little offense, 14 Wolfpack penalties and three Flame turnovers, the ACC will gladly take it.
16. Washington 44, Arizona 27
It’s time to put Washington right there with USC and Oregon as a true Pac-12 title contender. It’s cementing its identity under new head coach Jimmy Lake – great run D, great run O, repeat. The Huskies ran for 233 yards, threw for 239, and stuffed Arizona’s ground game. In this shortened season there isn’t a lot of time to improve, but UW is doing it.