Snap Judgments from the Week 7 midday slate. For more coverage, check out early Snaps, late Snaps and our complete Top 25 review.
• Texas Tech 49, No. 5 West Virginia 14: The headlines will say Texas Tech "stunned" No. 5 West Virginia, but the Vegas odds makers would beg to differ.
Despite their undefeated record and Heisman-contending quarterback, the Mountaineers went to Lubbock as just three-point favorites, the result of a clear lack of confidence in West Virginia's non-existent defense. Saturday, that defense once again had no answer for a prolific opposing passer. Texas Tech, however, had an answer for Geno Smith.
There's no longer any discounting first-year coordinator Art Kaufman's Tech defense. West Virginia's star quarterback came in completing 81.4 percent of his passes. Against the nation's second-ranked defense, Smith managed to go just 29-of-55 for 275 yards and only found the end zone in the first quarter. His receivers were constantly blanketed, and West Virginia's run game was little help this week.
Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) quarterback Seth Doege had no such trouble, throwing for 499 yards and six touchdowns to earn his second win in as many seasons over a top five opponent. His coach, Tommy Tuberville, has made a career out of games like this, going 6-2 against top five foes. Unlike last year, when the Red Raiders failed to win another game after beating undefeated Oklahoma, this dramatically improved defense should help keep Tech relevant in the ultra-deep Big 12 this season.
As for the Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1), they must shake off Saturday's blowout in a hurry, because 6-0 Kansas State comes to town next week. Smith's Heisman hopes took a hit, but they're far from dead given his astounding start. Theoretically, WVU can still win the Big 12, too, though it's hard to imagine given that brutal defense. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 7 Notre Dame 20, No. 17 Stanford 13 (OT): There had been a notable absence of Notre Dame backlash during the Irish's 5-0 start. Expect that to change following a controversial ending Saturday in which replays showed that Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor may have scored on fourth down in overtime. As it stands, Notre Dame recorded a goal-line stand. Amazingly, its defense has not allowed a touchdown since Sept. 8 against Purdue. Andy Staples was on the scene in South Bend. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 1 Alabama 42, Missouri 10: The rain was dense, the field a Slip 'n' Slide with yard lines. At one point lightning sent the teams back to the locker room. The Crimson Tide got big rushing days from both Eddie Lacy (18 carries, 176 yards, three touchdowns) and T.J. Yeldon (18, 144, two), while C.J. Mosley and the defense dominated in predictable fashion. The only suspense came when 'Bama quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a third-quarter leg injury, but he returned to action shortly thereafter. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 10 Oregon State 42, BYU 24: Jump on the Oregon State bandwagon now or risk being left behind. This is one heck of a team. In its first game without injured quarterback Sean Mannion, the Beavers (5-0) merely went to Provo and scored as many touchdowns as BYU's third-ranked scoring defense had allowed in its first six games combined. Mannion's replacement, Cody Vaz, went 20-of-32 for 332 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, while cornerback Jordan Poyer, who was coming off a three-interception performance, broke the Cougars' backs with a 47-yard pick-six. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 24 Boise State 20, Fresno State 10: The Broncos can play some defense. Fresno, which figured to be one of Boise's toughest foes in this season's Mountain West, came in averaging 39.5 points per game. Boise (5-1) held the Bulldogs without a touchdown for nearly 58 minutes. Now it must root hard for Texas A&M against Louisiana Tech tonight. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 25 Michigan 45, Illinois 0: Don't look now, but the Wolverines are playing some defense. Following this shutout, they've now gone five consecutive games without allowing more than 13 points and will now take a 2-0 Big Ten record into next week's game against struggling rival Michigan State. [RECAP | BOX]