Afternoon Snaps: Game on, purple cats
Midday musings from the sixth Saturday of the 2011 season. For today's early Snaps from Stewart Mandel, click here; for Andy Staples' take on Oklahoma's Red River blowout, click here. For Week 6 highlights from SI.com, click here. There, now you're all caught up.
• No. 20 Kansas State 24, Missouri 17: From Friday: " Kansas State being undefeated in Week 4 surprised us. Kansas State undefeated in Week 5 shocked us." And the hits just keep on coming. Despite allowing two unanswered touchdowns to Mizzou less than four minutes apart in the fourth quarter, K-State improved its record to 5-0.
Quarterback Collin Klein scored all three of K-State's touchdowns from inside the five-yard line, but it was little John Hubert who got the Wildcats most of the way there, with 125 yards on 26 touches. And although Mizzou outgained KSU by around 40 yards, the defense popped up at key momentum-killing moments, namely by intercepting James Franklin on the Tigers' first play from scrimmage.
The Wildcats have two very winnable road trips up next, to Texas Tech and Kansas, before playing four ranked teams in a row and Iowa State to close out the season. A very good bowl is a very high possibility here. Game on, purple cats. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 8 Clemson 36, Boston College 14: This week I got mail from a couple sullen Clemson fans who, rather than revel in their team's top 10 ranking and undefeated record, were sure something was about to go horribly wrong. Used to streaky play and bewildered by last season's win-loss-win-loss pattern, they were convinced this was where it would all fall apart.
And without Tajh Boyd, it might. The Tigers' starting quarterback, spearhead of a top 20 offense that's averaging over 450 yards per game, was carted off the field in the third quarter with what's being reported as a hip injury, severity unknown. Already up 23-7, the Tigers kept the game out of easy reach for BC with a pair of Chandler Catanzaro field goals and a late rushing touchdown by Andre Ellington. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 19 Illinois 41, Indiana 20: Who called this run for the Illini at the beginning of the season? Put your hands down, liars. It's easy to look good against Indiana, but Nathan Scheelhaase put some plays on his highlight reel today to keep his team undefeated, including touchdown passes of 67 and 77 yards. The 77-yarder was the first score of the game for the away team, erasing a troubling 10-0 early deficit that began with Indiana's Shane Wynn returning the opening kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown.
Keep in mind that the Illini's schedule gets significantly more treacherous toward the end of the season. They have already edged a ranked opponent, then-No. 22 Arizona State, by three points, but No. 12 Michigan and No. 4 Wisconsin await in back-to-back November home stands. The Zookster's band continues to surprise, but there's a gauntlet yet to run. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• No. 1 LSU 41, No. 17 Florida 11: LSU won every possible kind of field position battle and manhandled both of Florida's lines. In short, LSU was LSU, while the Gators operated behind their third-string true freshman quarterback. This one actually could have been worse. Foregone conclusion football aside, let's discuss the actual story of the game, which was the enforcement of the touchdown-revoking celebration rule ... against LSU's punter. Brad Wing, the statistical hero of that West Virginia game, ran off with what was supposed to be a punt on fourth-and-15 from LSU's 48-yard line, actually scored ... and raised his arms before crossing the goal line in what, to the officials, was an unconscionable act of poor sportsmanship. This rule. I swear. It is the worst, and I'd bet even poor downtrodden Gator fans would agree. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• Penn State 13, Iowa 3: On the question of James Vandenberg versus Penn State's able pass defense: Nyet. Vandenberg finished with a completion percentage of 50, two interceptions and no scores and was also sacked five times. Opposite that matchup, PSU's Silas Redd gouged the Hawkeyes for 142 rushing yards on 28 carries. The score here is deceptively high, believe it or not; a stripped ball from Vandenberg led to the game's first touchdown drive, culminating in a short-yardage touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to Kevin Haplea halfway through the fourth quarter. (RECAP | BOX)
• North Carolina State 38, Central Michigan 24: ATTENTION, NORTH CAROLINA STATE: This is not even the good directional Michigan. Allowing it to score points on your watch is not advised. The Chippewas' 96th-ranked offense has scored more points only once this season, last week against Northern Illinois. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 21 Virginia Tech 38, Miami 35: A Frank Beamer defense was very nearly upset by a team quarterbacked by Jacory Harris. Just let that marinate for a minute. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS) • No. 6 Oklahoma State 70, Kansas 28: Kansas is not a good football team. Oklahoma State is, and therefore won. And it could have been much, much worse, with the 'Pokes scoring five touchdowns in the first quarter and taking a 56-7 lead into the locker room before graciously removing Mike Gundy's foot from the accelerator. (RECAP | BOX)