College football scores, Top 25 schedule, analysis and picks

ByESPN Staff ESPN logo
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Can you believe Thanksgiving is already just a few days away?

But let's wait for next week's full spread and enjoy the appetizer in the form of some big rivalry games this week.

No. 6 Oregon saw its College Football Playoff hopes evaporate with a loss at Arizona State, No. 2 Ohio State cemented its spot in the Big Ten championship game by beating No. 8 Penn State, and No. 4 Georgia eked out a win over Texas A&M. Alabama cruised with Mac Jones at QB, while Baylor rebounded from last week's loss to Oklahoma and clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game.

More than that, this week was filled with on- and off-the-field highlights, from a cat running onto the field to Shaq doing Shaq things

Here are the top highlights and analysis from Week 13.

Jump to: Top 25 games | Best of Week 13

The coaching quiz: You make the call

Can you make the right late-game decisions? If you've ever screamed "GO FOR IT!" at your TV on fourth-and-1 or shaken your head as your school decided not to go for two, this is your chance to test your instincts and see what the percentages say are the best bets.

Take the college football coaching quiz here.

Best of the week

Get pumped up

Texas coach Tom Herman may or may not have channeled his inner Danny Bateman (shoutout to "The Replacements") when he tried to get his team fired up before Saturday's game against No. 14 Baylor.

The King's approval

JJ Watt sends a message

Is Chase Young the NFL's next premier pass-rusher? JJ Watt seems to think so.

Profiles in courage

Watch this incredible story. And then make sure to check out Adam Rittenberg's story from August on Lowe.

Shaq Daddy returns to LSU

Shaquille O'Neal, aka The Big Shaqtus, aka The Big Aristotle, returned for LSU's game against Arkansas and showed exactly why he was also nicknamed Superman by lifting up a cheerleader with ease.

Yale rallies after climate change protest

The second half of Harvard-Yale was delayed by nearly an hour when spectators rushed the field to stage a climate change protest at halftime. But Yale made sure the wait was worth it. The Bulldogs rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to beat Harvard 50-43 in double overtime.

Play of the day

Youngstown State senior quarterback Nathan Mays suffered a season-ending leg injury on Nov. 2 against North Dakota State. But his career didn't end then. Mays took the game-ending kneel-down in the Penguins' 21-3 win over Illinois State on Saturday, his teammates helping him onto the field one final time.

Invite everybody, 'even ya granny!'

Louisville wants everybody to celebrate after the Cardinals beat Syracuse 56-34. And Cardinals receiver Tutu Atwell means everybody -- "even ya granny!"

Twice is nice

Duke's Damond Philyaw-Johnson had not one, but two kick returns for touchdowns against Wake Forest.

Tua in the house

Tip drill

Maryland had two chances to intercept Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez. Instead, the ball was deflected and landed in the hands of wide receiver JD Spielman for a 25-yard touchdown.

They're good dogs

Georgia and Texas A&M are battling each other on the field, but fortunately their dogs don't hate each other. Georgia's Uga X met Texas A&M's Reveille IX prior to the game. 13/10 would throw footballs to each of them.

Another animal runs onto the field

Remember when a black cat interrupted Monday Night Football a few weeks ago? Or whenMark Schlabach's dog ran onto the field during the 1997 Georgia-Kentucky game? It happened again ... at the University of South Florida.

Dad of the year?

Not only did this father wrap his child inside his own sweatshirt, but he also made sure to take a selfie for good measure.

Watch and learn

A real challenge

Fans at the Minnesota-Northwestern game pass the time in very different ways ... like solving a Rubik's Cube.

Top 25 games

No. 1 LSU 56, Arkansas 20

The Tigers coasted to a blowout win over rival Arkansas, clinching a spot in the SEC title game, where they'll face Georgia. Joe Burrow padded his Heisman Trophy candidacy by surpassing 4,000 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns. Ed Orgeron won't be pleasedwith how his team finished, allowing Arkansas some fourth-quarter points, and that should get his team's attention heading into the regular-season finale against Texas A&M. The stakes for LSU remain the same: Keep winning and the Tigers will remain in prime position for a playoff berth.-- Sam Khan

No. 2 Ohio State 28, No. 8 Penn State 17

Ohio State held off a scare from Penn State to remain undefeated and give the Buckeyes a berth in the Big Ten championship game. Michigan is the last game on the schedule, and the Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor to take on their rival in a game that still has a lot of importance despite the fact that Michigan can't get to the conference championship or the playoff. Ohio State had issues with turnovers against Penn State, which will have to get cleaned up before the Buckeyes make the trip up north. There is still a ton of confidence in what this team can do, and Ohio State will be looking to make a statement in the final game of the season.

Penn State came close to making its largest comeback in school history, trying to erase a 21-point deficit, but was ultimately unable to beat Ohio State. The game eliminates the Nittany Lions from the Big Ten championship game and, unless something outrageous happens, likely the College Football Playoff. Penn State finishes the season against Rutgers and has a good shot at finishing 10-2. It was an up-and-down season for the Nittany Lions, but not making it to the conference championship game will sting in Happy Valley.-- Tom VanHaaren

No. 4 Georgia 19, Texas A&M 13

There's no question Georgia's defense is good enough to put up a fight against LSU in the SEC championship game. The question, of course, is whether Georgia's offense can score enough points, and the Bulldogs didn't do anything to alleviate those concerns in Saturday's 19-13 win over Texas A&M. UGA's defense held the Aggies to minus-1 rushing yard on 20 attempts with two sacks. But Georgia's offense had to settle for four field goals, and quarterback Jake Fromm completed fewer than 50% of his passes for the third straight game. The wet conditions and absence of star receiver Lawrence Cager were contributing factors, but Georgia's offense has been an enigma for much of the season. When Georgia's defense finally broke and allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Aggies were down only six points. The positive: Tailback D'Andre Swift ran for 103 yards on 19 carries and helped pick up three big first downs in the closing minutes.-- Mark Schlabach

No. 5 Alabama 66, Western Carolina 3

If you were watching Saturday's game expecting a tentative Mac Jones at quarterback as he took over the reins from an injured Tua Tagovailoa, you had it all wrong. Jones, a redshirt sophomore making just his second career start, came out firing against Western Carolina, taking more than his fair share of deep shots. Not all of them connected, but he made enough to finish with 275 yards and three touchdowns passing in essentially two quarters of play. While no one will confuse his ability with that of Tagovailoa, what Jones showed during Alabama's home finale had to give fans hope heading into next weekend's pivotal rivalry game against Auburn.-- Alex Scarborough

Arizona State 31, No. 6 Oregon 28

Oregon's playoff hopes all but ended in the desert with the shocking loss at Arizona State.Justin Herberthas to find a way to bounce back from one of his worst games of the season, and while the Ducks are still headed to the Pac-12 title game in a couple of weeks, they have to emotionally rebound for their Civil War with pleasant surprise Oregon State next weekend. It won't be easy, and with how well the Beavers are playing, they won't be intimidated in Autzen Stadium. -- Edward Aschoff

No. 7 Utah 35, Arizona 7

On a night where Oregon bowed out of the CFP race, Utah stepped forward as the Pac-12's only contender with another dominating performance. The Utes' defense continued to look like one of the nation's best units, stifling Khalil Tate and Arizona, which finished with seven points and 196 yards. Linebacker Francis Bernard's emergence as a bona fide star ties together all three levels of Utah's defense, which has allowed more than seven points just once in the past six games. Quarterback Tyler Huntley had another efficient night, and running back Zack Moss went off for 203 yards and a touchdown. After missing some first-half scoring chances, Utah thoroughly dominated to move a step closer to a South Division title. -- Adam Rittenberg

No. 9 Oklahoma 28, TCU 24

Oklahoma earned no style points in its win against TCU. The Sooners raced out (a 21-0 lead in the second quarter), then spaced out. They needed a fourth-down interception by Brendan Radley-Hiles at the Sooners' 32 with 1:47 to play to seal the win. That's four consecutive games that the Sooners have alternated between beating the other team and disappearing. Quarterback Jalen Hurts gave up two turnovers inside the TCU 10 on consecutive fourth-quarter possessions, which may hurt him in the Heisman race on a night when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow rested for much of the second half. Oklahoma has a week to find some answers to its inconsistency before heading up I-35 to take on Oklahoma State and its four-game winning streak. To win Bedlam, the Sooners need to stop creating their own bedlam.-- Ivan Maisel

No. 10 Minnesota 38, Northwestern 22

The Golden Gophers rebounded after a tough loss to Iowa and did exactly as expected against Northwestern, setting up a monster showdown against Wisconsin next Saturday with the Big Ten West title on the line. Tanner Morgan set the new school single-season record for passing touchdowns, and both Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman went over 1,000 yards receiving. Two contrasting offenses will be on full display next week. Minnesota has its second 10-win season in the past 110 years, but that win total will be even more meaningful if the Gophers can clinch their first appearance in the Big Ten championship game.-- Andrea Adelson

No. 12 Wisconsin 45, Purdue 24

The Badgers looked down and out a few weeks ago after consecutive Big Ten losses threatened to end their conference championship hopes. But after rebounding with wins over Iowa and Purdue, they find themselves with an opportunity once again to get into the Big Ten championship game. All they have to do is win at Minnesota next Saturday in what has turned into a winner-take-all game for the West Division. To make it there, Wisconsin relied once again on Jonathan Taylor and its powerful run game against Purdue. If it can do the same against the Golden Gophers, a rematch against Ohio State awaits. -- Andrea Adelson

No. 13 Michigan 39, Indiana 14

Quarterback Shea Patterson threw five touchdown passes against Indiana, and Michigan's offense is hitting its stride when it matters most -- just in time for rival Ohio State. The Wolverines have now won four straight since their Oct. 19 loss at Penn State, but will probably need to be more balanced offensively to beat the Buckeyes. Michigan had 87 rushing yards to 366 passing against IU, and the defense held the Hoosiers scoreless in the second half.-- Heather Dinich

No. 14 Baylor 24, Texas 10

The Bears showed no hangover from their first loss of the season, putting together a stifling defensive effort in their win over Texas. Baylor held Texas out of the end zone until the final second of the game, showing why it's still a legitimate threat to win the league. The win clinches Baylor's spot in the Big 12 championship game, which could end up being a rematch with Oklahoma. With only a game against Kansas left, the Bears are looking at a potential 11-1 finish, a 10-win improvement from Matt Rhule's first season at Baylor, when the Bears went 1-11 in 2017.-- Sam Khan

No. 15 Auburn 52, Samford 0

The Tigers followed the script and disposed of Samford with ease, racking up their fourth 50-point game this season, tied for their most such games in a season under coach Gus Malzahn. The question now is if three-loss Auburn can play the role of spoiler in the Iron Bowl and knock Alabama out of the playoff conversation for good. The Tide need a convincing win, but likely also some chaos elsewhere to earn the fourth spot without winning the SEC.-- Heather Dinich

No. 16 Notre Dame 40, Boston College 7

Notre Dame, which plays five ACC games each season, went undefeated against the conference this year after handling Boston College with ease. Quarterback Ian Book threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions, tying Everett Golson for the third-most touchdown passes in a single season in school history with 29. Notre Dame's season ends Saturday at Stanford, and if the Irish win, they will have back-to-back seasons in which they didn't lose in November.-- Heather Dinich

No. 17 Iowa 19, Illinois 10

The Hawkeyes fended off a late rally by Illinois to hold on for a 19-10 win Saturday. It was par for the course for an offense that has topped 26 points against a Power 5 foe just once this year (Rutgers), but the defense continues to look dominant. Iowa can wrap the regular season with nine wins for just the second time since 2010 with a win next week against Nebraska. All three of the Hawkeyes' losses have come to ranked teams.-- David Hale

No. 18 Memphis 49, South Florida 10

It all comes down to next Friday afternoon at home against Cincinnati for the Tigers to keep their conference championship and New Year's Six hopes alive. After overcoming a sloppy first quarter to cruise over USF, Memphis can clinch the American West Division with a win over the Bearcats in what could be a preview of the conference championship game the following week. Both Memphis and Cincinnati are jockeying for the Group of 5 New Year's Six spot out of the American Conference, so the next two weeks will be absolutely crucial for both. -- Andrea Adelson

No. 19 Cincinnati 15, Temple 13

Cincinnati gave up on style points a while ago. Since beating UCF to gain an edge in the AAC East race, the Bearcats have just been getting by. But hey, ugly wins are wins, and despite just 210 total yards, the Bearcats clinched a spot in the conference title game. At 10-1, they still have an excellent shot at a New Year's Six bowl, no matter how ugly the football is at the moment. -- Bill Connelly

No. 20 Boise State 56, Utah State 21

After iffy performances and injury-related QB shuffling, Boise State appears to have a found fifth gear. The Broncos walloped New Mexico last week and dominated in every way at Utah State this week, neutralizing a home crowd quickly and rolling to a lopsided victory. Next week's trip to Colorado State will be a tune-up in advance of the Mountain West Conference title game. Beat Colorado State and Hawai'i, and you've got a solid shot at the Group of 5's New Year's Six bowl. -- Bill Connelly

No. 21 Oklahoma State 20, West Virginia 13

With its eighth win of the season, No. 21 Oklahoma State surpassed last year's win total and officially branded 2018's 7-6 record an anomaly. It will be tough to match the 10-win total of the three years before that, with No. 9 Oklahoma headed to Stillwater next Saturday. But the Cowboys' third straight win at West Virginia -- and who does that? -- is a sign that the good times have returned. So is showing that running back Chuba Hubbard can catch the ball as well as he runs with it. And so is holding the Mountaineers to a season low in points at a home game. All in all, a good day. -- Ivan Maisel

No. 22 Iowa State 41, Kansas 31

Another week, another close game for the Cyclones, who looked in danger of falling to Kansas before closing with two TDs in the final 5:10 of action.Brock Purdy continues to look exceptional, throwing for 372 yards and accounting for five touchdowns in the win. Purdy passed Seneca Wallace for most passing yards in a season in program history. It's the eighth game this season decided by 10 points or less for Iowa State.-- David Hale

No. 23 USC 52, UCLA 35

USC's win keeps the Trojans mathematically alive in the Pac-12 South race. A Utah loss next week against Colorado would send the Trojans to the conference championship game against Oregon. Although a Utah loss would be very unlikely, it potentially complicates things for athletic director Mike Bohn, who would be unlikely to move on from a coach while the team is still in contention for a conference title. If Bohn wants to fire Clay Helton, he will probably have to wait until USC is officially eliminated.-- Kyle Bonagura

No. 24 Appalachian State 35, Texas State 14

After becoming the first team from the Sun Belt to appear in the playoff rankings, Appalachian State surely will remain there for a second straight week. As the fourth-highest-ranked Group of 5 team, the Mountaineers are still in the mix for the Cotton Bowl, but they would likely have to win out plus see Memphis, Cincinnati, Boise State and, probably, SMU all lose games down the stretch. App State closes the regular season at Troy on Friday.-- Kyle Bonagura

Navy 35, No. 25 SMU 28

A week after sneaking back into the committee's top 25, SMU should fall back out again after its close road loss to Navy. The Midshipmen outscored SMU 25-7 in the second half and outgained the Mustangs 378-93 in total rushing yards. Both teams lost earlier to Memphis and are still looking up at the Tigers in the AAC's West Division, but Navy can still win it if Memphis loses to Cincinnati on Friday.-- Heather Dinich

Related Video