It's Week 12 of the ever-evolving college football season. A quick glance across the schedule this week reveals these quirks:
Ohio State faced its biggest conference hurdle to date in ... Indiana. With a win over Wisconsin, Northwestern is 5-0 after winning three games last season. A top-25 Liberty team played (and narrowly lost) its third game against the ACC. Tulane played its 10th game on Thursday night, while Utah played 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 results
After needing late-game touchdowns to win against Arizona State and Arizona to start the season, the Trojans went to Salt Lake City and won somewhat comfortably. The Trojans managed just 358 yards of offense but limited Utah, which was playing its first game of the season, to just 288. -- Kyle Bonagura
Oklahoma played a perfect first 10 minutes and rode that to an easy Bedlam victory. The Sooners scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, and with Oklahoma State fielding backup quarterback Shane Illingworth for most of the second and third quarters, OU was content to sit on the ball and run clock. Rhamondre Stevenson, who missed the first five games of the season, combined 141 rushing yards with 54 receiving yards, and Oklahoma is once again well-positioned to keep its Big 12 title streak alive.
The good -- well, less bad -- news for Oklahoma State: The Cowboys didn't lose to OU with their full-strength team. Quarterback Spencer Sanders missed a good portion of the game, and star Chuba Hubbard hasn't been full strength for a while. The outright bad news: It wouldn't have mattered. OU has hit its stride, and OSU's path to the Big 12 title game just got a lot more complicated after yet another Bedlam loss, the Pokes' 16th in the past 18 years. -- Bill Connelly
After climbing to No. 21 on the strength of eight wins against bad to average opponents, Liberty's undefeated run is over. The Flames had a chance to go ahead with 1:18 left in the game but NC State's Vi Jones blocked a 39-yard field goal to preserve a 15-14 win for the Wolfpack. Neither team was particularly sharp and Liberty's three turnovers proved costly. -- Kyle Bonagura
JT Daniels is the real deal. The USC transfer showed in his Georgia debut that he has a live arm that is capable of making all the throws. Watching him carve up the Mississippi State defense, it was easy to see how much better off the offense is with him at quarterback than Stetson Bennett and D'Wan Mathis. But for as improved as the passing game looked, the running game fell by the wayside. And the defense was downright bad. Mississippi State, which averaged fewer than 10 points per game in its previous five games, was able to march up and down the field with long drives, scoring 24 points in defeat. -- Alex Scarborough
It wasn't how coach Gus Malzahn drew it up, losing running back Tank Bigsby to a hip injury early and then watching his run defense struggle throughout the night. But quarterback Bo Nix did a good job of taking care of the football, safety Smoke Monday had a 100-yard pick-six and the Tigers handled their business and hung on to beat Tennessee in a much-needed tune-up before next week's Iron Bowl against No. 1 Alabama. - Alex Scarborough
The Bearcats fell down 14-3 early and after rallying for a halftime lead entered the fourth quarter trailing 25-22. They were able to grind out a 36-33 victory, quarterback Desmond Ridder turning in yet another good week with 338 passing yards and two touchdowns, as well as 57 yards and two more scores on the ground. Aside from the slow start, Cincinnati is still looking strong heading into the final weeks of the season. -- Harry Lyles Jr.
The Wildcats made a big statement that they're for real, breaking a nine-game losing streak to top-10 teams with a win over No. 10 Wisconsin. Northwestern's defense was the star: It forced five turnovers, including three interceptions of Graham Mertz, and held a top-10 team to seven points or fewer for the first time since 1967. Wildcats quarterback Peyton Ramsey, meanwhile, was efficient enough, completing 23 of 44 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats are 5-0 for the first time since 2015 and are sitting atop the Big Ten West.
The Badgers took a significant hit to their College Football Playoff hopes as the offense couldn't avoid disaster with five turnovers. Mertz, who had thrown seven TDs and completed 74% of his passes in the first two games, completed 23 of 41 for 230 yards with one score and the three picks. The Badgers went 3-of-16 on third down and were shut out for the final three quarters; they once again buckled in Evanston, Illinois, and are 1-6 in their past seven games there. -- Dave Wilson
Top teams Florida and Ohio State stumbled out of the gates in the first half, but not Alabama. The Crimson Tide were firing on all cylinders against Kentucky, jumping out to a four-touchdown lead and never looking back. And it's a testament that even after three weeks without a game, the offense was ready. Quarterback Mac Jones continued to make his case for the Heisman Trophy, wide receiver DeVonta Smith set an SEC career record for touchdowns and Najee Harris moved into the Alabama top five in rushing touchdowns. With two regular-season games -- including next Saturday's against rival Auburn -- and an SEC championship game remaining to be played, the record books might come further under attack in Tuscaloosa. -- Alex Scarborough
Iowa State allowed 62 yards to Kansas State on the Wildcats' first drive of the game, stuffed a fourth-and-goal attempt, then allowed just 87 yards the rest of the way. The Cyclones absolutely throttled K-State, with quarterback Brock Purdy nearly matching his 236 passing yards with a 229 passer rating and Breece Hall gaining 135 yards in only 15 rushes. Since losing to Louisiana in the season opener, ISU is 6-1 with only a coin-flip loss at Oklahoma State marring a perfect conference record. -- Bill Connelly
If marching to the Pac-12 title game unblemished was the goal, then the Ducks remain on schedule. But if a run to playoff consideration is what Oregon is after, then its 38-35 victory at Autzen Stadium against Chip Kelly and UCLA falls short. Quarterback Tyler Shough completed 19 of 30 passes for 334 yards with three touchdowns, but the Ducks were limited to just 88 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.6 yards per carry). -- Kyle Bonagura
As expected, FCS North Alabama did not present any sort of challenge for BYU as the Cougars quickly built a big lead en route to a 66-14 rout. The game was so lopsided that quarterback Zach Wilson didn't come off the bench in the second half after throwing four touchdown passes in a 42-point first half. -- Kyle Bonagura
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 his first 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.
Coach Tom Allen's Hoosiers did a lot of the things they needed to do to beat Ohio State: play great defense, force Fields into turnovers and have quarterback 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 it put up against a Buckeyes team that's easily one of the best in the nation. -- Harry Lyles Jr.
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 starting quarterback Kyle Trask and backup 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 consecutive game and seventh straight in the SEC, 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
The Chanticleers' dream season continued with a victory over Appalachian State, rallying on a Reese White touchdown run with 2 minutes, 24 seconds 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 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, which has already clinched the West spot, in the conference title game. -- Dave Wilson
Tulsa fell behind a quickly improving Tulane team 14-0 in the second half and lost 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 Golden 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
This referee took quite the beating after getting caught up in this play.
A Hulk-like celebration
The Abilene Christian offensive line took celebrating to a whole new level by turning OL coach Mason Hite's polo into a tank top.
Does Landon Dickerson need dance lessons?
He might. But Nick Saban's daughter, Kristen, is fully in support.
That's my OL pic.twitter.com/6GPvNt9Ovg— KRISTEN SABAN SETAS (@KristenSabanS) November 21, 2020
The best kind of touchdowns?
The big-man pick-six, of course. This one brought to you by Iowa's Daviyon Nixon.
Maybe he's low on towels
If losing the ball wasn't enough, JR Pace decided to steal a couple towels from Wisconsin.
Representing the family name
Frank Gore Jr. took off with tremendous speed to score this touchdown.
"Like father? Nah, it's like son!"— ESPN (@espn) November 21, 2020
Frank Gore Jr. made his namesake proud with this score 💥 pic.twitter.com/fGFGruCp08
Najee Harris not only hurdled one defender, but he stiff-armed another on the same TD run.
Najee Harris hit the stiff arm before finding the end zone 😤 pic.twitter.com/JTZh0cMoFz— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 21, 2020
What's the worst that could happen?
Well, a pick-six, that's what. UCLA went for the Hail Mary right before halftime, but Oregon intercepted it and returned it for the touchdown to take the lead.
JR Pace celebrates Northwestern INT by stealing towel
Northwestern's Brandon Joseph intercepts a pass intended for Wisconsin's Hayden Rucci. To add insult to injury, Northwestern's JR Pace steals Rucci's towel after the play.
No quit in Indiana
While the Hoosiers came short of upsetting Ohio State, coach Tom Allen couldn't have been happier about this team's efforts.
Proud of our fight!! I love this team. pic.twitter.com/K4PHDkPnmv— Coach Tom Allen (@CoachAllenIU) November 21, 2020
Verone McKinley III made a heads-up play to tap the ball away from the defender so he could scoop it up on his own.
Oregon ends the half with a pick-six
UCLA's Chase Griffin is hit as he's thrown and it's intercepted by Jordan Happle who takes it 58 yards for the Oregon touchdown.
Making the most of it
Pitt's creative approach to senior day this season? Video messages from families.
Senior Day in 2020. Players running on the field one by one as their families deliver a video message to them. Strange times, but this is well done by Pitt, making the best of an obviously unusual situation pic.twitter.com/lfJ2lpIXbV— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) November 21, 2020
What else is there to say about this catch from Ty Fryfogle?
Cincinnati's Josh Whyle caught the UCF defense napping and the Bearcats remained unbeaten.
Well, this is different
Indiana celebrated a Michael Penix Jr. touchdown with ... chairs?
Ref gets roughed up while caught in the action
A referee in the Alabama-Kentucky game finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as he withstands several hits and takes a tumble to the ground.
Maybe this was a little too easy to believe
To run or not run? Illinois punter 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.
IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN pic.twitter.com/re9SxjdMK4— WWF Hall of Famer Ivan Bologna (@PV_GIA) November 21, 2020
But hey, the Illinois social media team couldn't wait to thank the Cornhuskers for making the game happen in the first place.
Good game Nebraska. Thanks for bringing back B1G football.— Illinois Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) November 21, 2020
Who is he trying to fool?
Don't think anyone is buying this Amad Murray flop.
Oregon's McKinley taps fumble to himself and runs it into UCLA territory
Oregon defensive back Verone McKinley III hits the fumbled ball away from a UCLA offensive lineman and picks it up for a 35-yard return.
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.
And just like that. 7-0 Good Guys! 🌰— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 21, 2020
Tackles like this showed why James was watching.
But it was Shaun Wade's pick-six that really got hold of James' attention.
✌🏾 Pick 6. Mr. Wade! 🌰 #GoBucks— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 21, 2020
After the game, he made sure to pay his respects to the fight Indiana put up.
IU got a great team, QB got amazing touch, playmakers on the outside, defensive 4 is tough! They're going to be scary good very soon! Look out! Salute. Nevertheless #GoBucks— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 21, 2020
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.
snuck past the security guard on his lunch break yesterday... it's been 16 hours and still nobody has seen me yet... i think imma make it to saturday... OVER pic.twitter.com/IWzVfIf45P— The Duck (@TheOregonDuck) November 20, 2020
still haven't been spotted... starting to get hungry... i finished my bag of chips 5 minutes after i got here. only 21 more hours until the game.. this just might work... OVER pic.twitter.com/FH6ff4Qmiw— The Duck (@TheOregonDuck) November 20, 2020
i am now in position... i repeat... i am now in position for the game... OVER pic.twitter.com/ArGGJE1mht— The Duck (@TheOregonDuck) November 21, 2020
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 Trophy candidate threw two picks.
But that's more a testament to Indiana's stout defense.
Indiana now has multiple interceptions in all five of its games this season, which is the most games with multiple interceptions for all FBS teams this season per @ESPNStatsInfo— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) November 21, 2020
Where did he get those pants?
Gov. Eric Holcomb is all decked out in his Indiana gear and even had an IU guitar handy as he watched the game.
Climbing the ladder
Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes wasn't going to let anything get in his way for this TD.
Kyle Trask threw it up ⬆️— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 21, 2020
Trevon Grimes brought it down ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/22mbGMNWEl
Vandy's Will Sheppard got way up to complete this wild catch.
Stephen F. Austin player has an epic flop
Stephen F. Austin DE Amad Murray tries to draw a flag with this blatant flop.
The latest on the Clemson-Florida State postponement
Florida State and Clemson did 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.
We were too ‼️ We good over here 👀 https://t.co/RzplTwn8FD— J Rob (@JanariusD1) November 21, 2020
I smell fear— walker (@walkerparks64) November 21, 2020
A wild finish in Tulsa
What happened in Tulsa-Tulane? Just about what you'd expect when the color-coded weather phenomenon takes 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 FORCES OT WITH THIS HAIL MARY 😳 pic.twitter.com/4oR9n0jgP7— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 20, 2020
Tulsa then outdid itself in the second overtime, when potential All-American linebacker Zaven Collins walked things off with a pick-six.
🤯 TULSA WINS IN 2OT!— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 20, 2020
The Golden Hurricane are now 4-0 when trailing by 14 points or more this season. They're the first time to do so since 2005. pic.twitter.com/axeu2srX5u
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.
A responsible way to have school spirit pic.twitter.com/CorxcGxA4e— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 21, 2020
Who wore it best
Oregon celebrated ohana, or family, with design elements meant to honor Polynesian culture.
Penn State incorporated from uniforms from the 1950s, '60s and '70s in one throwback set.
Appalachian State had a white uni/white helmet combo with an American flag-themed Yosef on it.