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Ohio State fends off comeback from Indiana, a strange fake punt and more Week 12 analysis

It’s Week 12 of the ever-evolving college football season. A quick glance across the schedule this week reveals these quirks:

Ohio State may be facing its biggest conference hurdle in … Indiana. Northwestern is 4-0 after winning three games last season. A top-25 Liberty team is playing its third game against the ACC. Tulane played its 10th game on Thursday night, while Utah is playing its first game on Saturday.

In other words, Week 12 is as weird as the rest of this season.

We’ll be watching the Top 25 teams and keeping up with the best highlights, moments and plays of the day all day.

Top 25 games

All times Eastern; lines courtesy Caesars sportsbook

  • North Alabama at No. 8 BYU (no line), 3 p.m., ESPN3/ESPN App

  • No. 7 Cincinnati (-5.5) at UCF, 3:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN App

  • No. 10 Wisconsin (-7.5) at No. 19 Northwestern, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App

  • UCLA at No. 11 Oregon (-17), 3:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN App

  • Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama (-30), 4 p.m., SEC Network/ESPN App

  • Kansas State at No. 17 Iowa State (-11.5), 4 p.m., Fox/ESPN App

  • Tennessee at No. 23 Auburn (-10.5), 7 p.m., ESPN/ESPN App

  • Mississippi State at No. 13 Georgia (-25), 7:30 p.m., SEC Network/ESPN App

  • No. 14 Oklahoma State at No. 18 Oklahoma (-7), 7:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App

  • No. 21 Liberty at NC State (-4.5), 7:30 p.m., ESPN3/ESPN App

  • No. 20 USC (-3) at Utah, 10:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN App

No. 3 Ohio State 42, No. 9 Indiana 35

Justin Fields had thrown just three interceptions in his career coming into Ohio State’s game against Indiana, and he threw just as many in 21 attempts on Saturday. Indiana put up a good fight after the Buckeyes came out swinging, but Ohio State showed why it’s a tier above most teams in college football. With Illinois coming up, it’ll be a good opportunity to revisit some shortcomings in the defense from this week.

Tom Allen’s team did a lot of the things they needed to do to beat Ohio State: play great defense, force Fields into turnovers and have Michael Penix Jr. play the best game of his career. But there were a few mistakes that ultimately made the difference in the game. Despite that, Indiana should feel good about the fight they put up against a Buckeyes team that’s easily one of the best in the nation. — Harry Lyles Jr.

No. 6 Florida 38, Vanderbilt 17

The Gators are not going to put their performance against Vanderbilt in a picture frame, but they did enough to pull away from the winless Commodores behind Kyle Trask and backup quarterback Emory Jones. Trask threw three touchdown passes to move to 31 on the season, the first SEC quarterback to throw that many through seven games. In addition, Florida scored at least 35 points for its ninth straight game and seventh straight SEC game, both school records. The defense gave up too many plays in the passing game — allowing freshman Ken Seals to throw for over 300 yards — leaving the unit open to criticism once again. — Andrea Adelson

No. 15 Coastal Carolina 34, Appalachian State 23

The Chanticleers’ dream season continues with a 34-23 win over Appalachian State, rallying on a Reese White touchdown run with 2:24 left in the game before adding a pick-six by D’Jordan Strong with 1:20 to seal it. It’s Coastal Carolina’s first-ever win in seven attempts against the Mountaineers and is also its first 8-0 start since 2014, when it was still in the FCS. Grayson McCall, who had two touchdown passes, now has 21 TDs to just one interception this season. Coastal has a commanding lead in the Sun Belt East and is on track to face Louisiana, who’s already clinched the West spot, in the conference title game. — Dave Wilson

No. 25 Tulsa 30, Tulane 24

Tulsa fell behind a quickly improving Tulane team in the second half, 14-0, and lost both of its top two QBs to injury. So the Golden Hurricane got blown out then? Nope! Third-stringer Davis Brin threw for 266 yards in barely more than 18 minutes, completed a 37-yard mini-Hail Mary to JuanCarlos Santana to force overtime and watched from the sideline as Hurricane star Zaven Collins took a pick six 96 yards to win the game in double OT. Always. Watch. Tulsa games. Stuff like this happens every week. — Bill Connelly

Making the most of it

Pitt’s creative approach to senior day this year? Video messages from families.

WOW!

What else is there to say about this catch from Ty Fryfogle.

Well, this is different

Not really sure what to make of this, but whatever it takes.

Maybe this was a little too easy to believe

To run or not run? Blake Hayes had a wide open field and yet he still hesitated three times to get the first down.

Suffice to say, Nebraska fans were long done with the game before that fake punt.

But hey, the Illinois social media team couldn’t wait to thank the Cornhuskers for making the game happen in the first place.

Who is he trying to fool?

Don’t think anyone is buying this Amad Murray flop.

play

0:16

Stephen F. Austin DE Amad Murray tries to draw a flag with this blatant flop.

Did TJ McDaniel get the memo?

SMU’s game against Houston got postponed, but apparently no one relayed the message to McDaniel.

LeBron was locked in

LeBron James, Ohio native and noted Ohio State fan, had all his attention on the game against Indiana.

Tackles like this showed why James was watching.

But it was Shaun Wade’s pick-six that really got hold of LeBron’s attention.

After the game, he made sure to pay his respects to the fight Indiana put up.

The Duck chronicles continue

The Oregon Duck has been trying its hardest to get into any of Oregon’s games this season, and this week it took things to a whole new level.

Alas, the Duck was caught and sent home.

Indiana’s defense rattled Fields at the start

Justin Fields entered the game with zero interceptions on the season, but in just the first quarter, the Heisman candidate threw two picks.

But that’s more a testament to Indiana’s stout defense.

Where did he get those pants?

Gov. Eric Holcomb is all decked out in his Indiana gear and even has an IU guitar handy as he watches the game.

Climbing the ladder

Trevon Grimes wasn’t going to let anything get in his way for this TD.

Will Sheppard got way up to complete this wild catch.

play

0:18

Vanderbilt QB Ken Seals throws a pass and WR Will Sheppard has to leap over a defender’s back to make the grab.

The latest on the Clemson-Florida State postponement

Florida State and Clemson will not play Saturday after the teams’ medical personnel could not mutually agree on moving forward with the game, the ACC said in a statement.

The teams were supposed to play at noon in Tallahassee, Florida.

A source told ESPN that a Clemson player tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after practicing with the Tigers during the week. That led Florida State to say it was not comfortable playing Saturday’s game, the source said.

Players from both sides weighed in after the announcement.

A wild finish in Tulsa

What happened in Tulsa-Tulane? Just about what you’d expect when the color-coded weather phenomena take the field. The Golden Hurricane spotted the Green Wave a 14-0 lead heading into the fourth, before storming back — get it, storming back? — to tie things up as time expired in regulation on a long touchdown pass.

Tulsa then outdid itself in the second overtime, when potential All-American linebacker Zaven Collins walked things off with a pick-six.

And then it was time to celebrate.

Making the most of the mask

The yellow mask works surprisingly well as a beak … when the rest of you is red. This Louisville fan gets it.

Who wore it best

Oregon celebrates ohana, or family, with design elements meant to honor Polynesian culture.

Penn State is wearing elements from uniforms from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s in one throwback set.

Appalachian State is wearing a white uni/white helmet combo with an American flag-themed Yosef on it.

Sourced from ESPN

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EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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