Snap Judgments from the Week 5 evening slate. For more coverage, check out midday Snaps and early Snaps, Holly Anderson's coverage of Baylor-West Virginia, Andy Staples' coverage of Ohio State-Michigan State, Stewart Mandel's coverage of Stanford-Washington and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 12 Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36: It may be impossible, even for devoted students of hyperbole such as ourselves, to demonstrate how much we're looking forward to next week's Texas-West Virginia game. Texas quarterback David Ash is going to draw statistical comparisons, over the course of this week, to Geno Smith, comparisons in which he will fall short in a numerical sense, even having faced a Cowboys' defense that was missing several key components.
But for those of you who study the delicate science of clutchology, witness the Longhorns' final scoring drive in Stillwater tonight, in which Ash hit D.J. Grant with a pass that resulted in a 29-yard gain, a pass caught so quickly it looked like a flicker in the cable feed on our crummy hotel television, and then less than a minute later connected with Mike Davis over the top of a Cowboys defender for 32 yards more. OUR NOTES ARE ALL IN CAPS AT THIS POINT, PROBABLY BECAUSE GUS JOHNSON WAS CALLING THIS GAME, BUT ALSO BECAUSE BOTH OF THESE PLAYS WERE REALLY NEAT.
Two plays later, Joe Bergeron tried to punch in a touchdown from two yards out and, depending on which shade of orange you prefer, either scored heroically or fumbled the ball and was handed a score by an inept set of officials. (On our subpar viewing monitor, it didn't look like a score, but we weren't there. What we do know is that we agree with our colleague Andy Staples that this was one of those games that just begged for ref suspensions. Bad calls went to both sides.)
And it stands, because that was basically just a huge cluster of bodies and whatever.
— SB Nation (@sbnation) September 30, 2012
Anyway: Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh, starting in place of the injured Wes Lunt, threw an incomplete pass on first down with less than 30 seconds to play, was sacked on second down, and got off one more positive-yardage effort (an eight-yard pass to Tracy Moore) before the Pokes, faced with fourth-and-eight, attempted an entertaining but ultimately futile series of laterals to try for a go-ahead score. Don't be too hard on the kid: He accounted for 310 aerial yards and 63 rushing yards all by himself. Joseph Randle had one hell of a night as well, recording 195 yards on 25 carries. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 22 Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27: Now here's something you don't see every day (or on almost any day, ever): Monteé Ball coughing up a fumble. Ball's first career fumble came just last Saturday; his second came with 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter against the Huskers. Ball also provided three of Wisconsin's four touchdowns on the evening; Nebraska actually trailed 27-10 early in the third quarter before scoring 24 points in the second-biggest scoreboard comeback in school history. The Huskers have won 10 straight night games at home. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 3 LSU 38, Towson 22: While we know, academically, that when Les Miles says, "We can't play the football we're playing," he means that the Bayou Bengals cannot continue on as they have done in recent games if they wish to succeed in the SEC West, we prefer to think he is presenting his audience with some sort of paradox for their particular amusement. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 6 South Carolina 38, Kentucky 17: Steve Spurrier has only lost to Kentucky once in his entire collegiate head coaching career. His top-10 Gamecocks trailed 17-7 at halftime, before remembering they were, in fact, playing Kentucky. We would give a kidney to have been at that postgame press conference, just to see whether the OBC spat a tooth at somebody. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 1 Alabama 33, Mississippi 14: Nick Saban, on the other hand, is firing up his smartphone eBay app the second he gets in the house tonight, to buy up all the spare teeth he can find to spit at those around him. He'll need all of his to chew out his defense. Those are the fifth and sixth touchdowns the Alabama defense has allowed this season! The Tide have gone SOFT, we tell you what. [BOX | RECAP]
• Texas Tech 24, Iowa State 13: The Cyclones blinked first in this battle of Big 12 unbeatens as the Red Raiders forced three turnovers, but here's a fun tidbit: Texas Tech is now 0-4 in 2012 regular-season coin tosses. This probably pleases Tommy Tuberville, somehow. Gives his kids character. [BOX | RECAP]
• Sun Belt shakeout: In a doubleheader of games expected to decide the early direction of a surprisingly deep Sun Belt, Western Kentucky beat Arkansas State 26-13 [BOX] and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled Florida International 48-20 [BOX]. Much more on these games, obviously, in this week's Profiles in Profiteroles. • No. 24 Boise State 32, New Mexico 29: Michigan State scored 17 points against Boise. BYU scored 6. New Mexico scored ... 29? We are clearly starting to see things in the box scores that cannot exist and are taking to our bed. Good night, everybody! [BOX | RECAP]