Snap judgments from the Week 8 swing shift. For early Snaps, click here. For a look at how all Top 25 teams fared this week, click here. For highlights from SI.com, click here.
• No. 1 LSU 45, No. 19 Auburn 10: The Bayou Bengals' Helm's Deep is still two weeks away, but in their last tuneup before playing a presumed 1-2 matchup against the Crimson Tide, the LSU Tigers acquitted themselves admirably. It was all right, I guess, if you're into 400 yards of offense and a score that's a full touchdown ahead of the season average from a team that's been carried by its defense all year.
(That's not to say LSU's defense failed to show up; it is, after all, LSU's defense. Defensive end Barkevious Mingo recorded sacks on consecutive possessions, delighting both fans of quarterback hustling and announcers who got to say "Barkevious Mingo.")
It's safe to say LSU's operation has reached elevated plug-and-play levels: Down two crucial starters and a frequent contributor, these Tigers managed to virtually skip to victory twining daisy garlands about their helmets. But stay grateful, Baton Rouge, that you get those three back in time to face a healthy offense, stout lines and a defense that isn't coached by Ted Roof. Gaudy stat of the night: Rueben Randle's five catches for 106 yards and two scores. [RECAP | BOX]
• Miami 24, No. 20 Georgia Tech 7: The Ramblin' Wreck's roll hath been slowed, and the Yellow Jackets have been dealt their second consecutive loss by a team thought not to be their equal. Averaging close to 517 yards of offense per game headed into this afternoon's contest, Tech was held to 211 yards by an injury ravaged 'Canes defense. (Injuries also hampered the Jackets, who lost their starting center on their first series.) Jacory Harris had a miserable outing, completing 8-of-23 passes for 140 yards, no scores and an interception, but the defenders stood up and Lamar Miller and Mike James punched it in for Miami's two offensive touchdowns. The third was achieved on a punt return fumble recovery, and make sure to click through on the full recap on this one, because you're going to want to hear about safety JoJo Nicholas, the player who made that special teams score, and the day he had today. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 9 Oregon 45, Colorado 2: Dressed in stormtrooper white, the Ducks came to Boulder with LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, but won without them. In their steads: Quarterback Bryan Bennett, who completed 11-of-20 passes for 156 yards and two scores and ran for 69 yards with one fantastic 43-yard scramble, and Kenjon Barner, whom some of you may have heard of. Barner recorded 115 yards on 10 carries, and was followed closely by Tra Carson (80 yards), Ayele Forde (54 yards) and De'Anthony Thomas (50 yards). All told, the Ducks put together a blistering 371 yards of ground-based offense. And you're reading it right: That's a safety for Colorado, with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter. Those were the final points added to the scoreboard in Boulder. It almost makes it worse, somehow. The Buffs were without the services of starting quarterback Tyler Hansen, who was concussed on an early slide, for most of the game. At this point, it might be more expedient to list uninjured Colorado players before every game. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• TCU 69, New Mexico 0: Bears mentioning here solely because TCU apparently broke a Horned Frogs single-game scoring record, and I was a little startled to learn they'd never sniffed 70 so closely before. Still plenty of time to better that mark against UNLV, guys! [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 13 Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14: Again, nothing terribly noteworthy in trouncing this year's Minnesota team, but you need to see the Huskers gaining a first down thanks to a backwards pass. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 17 Texas A&M 33, Iowa State 17: Not the best day for Ryan Tannehill against a Cyclones defense playing with the speed of its namesake, but the 23 passes he completed were good for 263 yards, which ain't bad for an off game. Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray made the difference in crucial situations, recording 140 yards and 127 yards on the ground, respectively. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 5 Boise State 37, Air Force 26: Air Force. Your deal. What is it? The Falcons strategized brilliantly against the Broncos, operating under a "DO NOT LET KELLEN MOORE HAVE THE BALL" philosophy, leaning on the nation's third-ranked rushing offense to hold possession for over 36 minutes of clock time. Against a less efficient scoring machine, it might have worked, too. Moore managed a "mere" 281 yards and three scores, but Doug "Muscle Hamster" Martin was money on the ground with 125 yards on 21 carries. Moore also tied Colt McCoy's NCAA wins record with his 45th. [RECAP | BOX]
• Western Kentucky 42, Louisiana 23: See, this is what happens when you crown a new Sun Belt power team too early. I blame myself. Not only does it go out and get walloped by a team assumed to be one of the worst in the nation, but it extends to three games a victory streak for a team that won two games last season and none the season before. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 21 Houston 63, Marshall 28:
This deserves mention in this space for a few reasons: Case Keenum broke the NCAA record for career total offense, did it in the first quarter at a home game and proceeded to run the scoreboard way the hell up on a team whose defenders had publicly bragged they were going to knock him out of the game. And
Keenum left enough time on the clock to get his backup 100 yards' worth of offense of his own. When manufacturing bulletin board material, choose your targets carefully, and make sure your team is good at football. [RECAP | BOX]