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What we learned from Week 10 in college football

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  • By Chase Goodbread, Mike Huguenin and Dan Greenspan
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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was held without a sack yet again on Saturday.

With the first November Saturday of the 2013 college football in the books, we offer up some of the biggest things we learned from the day's action:

1. Sackless in Columbia

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney came up empty in the sack category once again Saturday, and he wasn't very pleased with his personal performance. But he couldn't have been happier that the Gamecocks remained in the hunt for the SEC East with a win over Mississippi State. And with South Carolina extending its home winning streak to 15 games, he made a promise of sorts about the next home game: "We won't let this streak end against Florida." Based on the way Florida's offensive line is playing, however, Clowney's sackless streak could be in real jeopardy.

2. Hurricanes QB unimpressive

Miami QB Stephen Morris' underwhelming senior season continued in Saturday's loss to Florida State. Morris was 16 of 29 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and though FSU's Jameis Winston didn't stand out, he still handily won the QB battle with Morris. It was Morris' fourth game this season with fewer than 200 passing yards. He did have two well-thrown TD passes to Allen Hurns, one a laser covering 33 yards and the other covering 14. But for the most part, he didn't do all that much. One of his interceptions came on a severely underthrown deep ball to WR Stacy Coley, who had beaten FSU CB P.J. Williams by at least a yard. But Morris threw it about 5 yards short. In the past three games, Morris has three touchdowns and six picks.

3. Johnny Be Good

Johnny Manziel made quick work of Texas-El Paso on Saturday night in the Aggies' final non-conference game of the season, accounting for six touchdowns in less than three quarters of action. One of them, a 49-yard scramble for a second-half score, was classic Manziel.

4. Davis runs wild

South Carolina running back Mike Davis further established himself as the SEC's most dynamic newcomer with a 128-yard effort against Mississippi State. It's Davis' speed that separates him from other running backs, and for that matter, from defensive backs on the field. This week's breakaways from Davis included a 43-yard run and a 30-yard reception.

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5. Finding the freshman

Quarterbacks facing Florida this season have had to pick their poison among three outstanding cornerbacks -- Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and freshman Vernon Hargreaves. Juniors Purifoy and Roberson are potential early-entry draft candidates. Georgia's Aaron Murray picked his poison, all right. But the bad taste was left in Hargreaves' mouth, not Murray's.

6. Who's that? Buckeyes TE has big day

While Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller's big day will get most of the attention, Buckeyes junior TE Jeff Heuerman (6-6, 252) deserves notice. He had five catches for 116 yards and a TD in Ohio State's 56-0 win over Purdue. It's the most productive day by an Ohio State tight end since John Frank had 123 yards at Michigan in 1983. Heuerman had just 139 receiving yards and a TD on the season heading into the game. If he truly has emerged as a weapon, it adds to the embarrassment of riches on that side of the ball for Miller.

7. Thomas' pick dooms Hokies

Virginia Tech senior QB Logan Thomas (6-6, 254) threw for a career-high 391 yards, but the Hokies lost at Boston College. Overshadowing the yardage was a pick-six tossed by Thomas midway through the fourth quarter in a tie game. Facing a 3rd-and-5 from Tech's 30, Thomas faced a strong rush. While backpedaling, he threw off his back foot into a crowd and Boston College LB Kevin Pierre-Louis intercepted it; he returned it 33 yards for a TD and a 27-20 lead with seven minutes left in the game. In his postgame news conference, Hokies coach Frank Beamer said Thomas told him he was trying to throw it away.

"You have to throw it away to the sideline," Beamer said.

You'd think a fifth-year senior would know that. Thomas showed off his strong arm and made some nice throws. Still, the interception overshadowed it all and led directly to the loss.

8. Another big day for BC's Williams

Boston College TB Andre Williams (6-0, 227) continued his impressive senior season by rushing for 166 yards and two TDs on 33 carries in the Eagles' victory over Virginia Tech. Williams now has rushed for 1,176 yards and 10 TDs and has reached the 100-yard mark five times this season. Williams doesn't have great speed, but he is a physical runner who has a burst and can handle a heavy workload. He is moving himself into third-day draft territory.

9. Robinson sets Penn State record

Penn State junior WR Allen Robinson (6-3, 215) had 11 receptions for 165 yards in the Nittany Lions' overtime victory over Illinois. That gives him 66 catches for the season and makes Robinson the first Nittany Lions receiver to ever have two 60-catch seasons. He had 77 receptions last season. Robinson has OK speed and is strong and physical; he's an accomplished route-runner who is one of the top-five receivers nationally.

» Davis: Penn State's Robinson has tools to do it all

10. Iowa linebackers do good work vs. Wisconsin

As usual, Iowa received good play from its senior linebackers, but it wasn't enough as Wisconsin beat Iowa 28-9 behind a big game from senior TB James White. MLB James Morris (6-2, 240) led the Hawkeyes with 12 tackles and had two tackles for loss, including a sack. OLB Christian Kirksey (6-2, 235) had 11 tackles and a quarterback hurry, and OLB Anthony Hitchens (6-1, 233) had seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Wisconsin finished with 218 rushing yards, its second-lowest total of the season. Iowa's offense finished with just 289 total yards, and the Hawkeyes' defense kept it close until White scored two fourth-quarter TDs against a worn-down unit.

11. Wake's stud wide receiver is hurt

Wake Forest's offense suffered a big blow in the first quarter against Syracuse when senior wide receiver Michael Campanaro, the team's best player, suffered a broken collarbone. The Orange won 13-0. Campanaro, who should garner third-day interest in the 2014 draft, has 229 career receptions, third-most in ACC history. Wake's offense scares no one without Campanaro, who could miss 4-6 weeks. If that is the case, his regular season would be over. Wake has three games left.

12. FCS QB has another big day

Eastern Illinois senior QB Jimmy Garoppolo (6-3, 222) threw for 399 yards and four TDs as the Panthers, ranked second in the FCS poll, hammered Tennessee Tech 56-21. Garoppolo, ranked 40th on NFL Media draft analyst Gil Brandt's list of the nation's top 100 seniors, has passed for 3,544 yards, 39 TDs and eight interceptions this season; he is completing 65.7 percent of his passes. He broke school records held by Tony Romo (career TD passes) and Sean Payton (career completions) earlier this season.

13. Whaley still can scoot

Chris Whaley hasn't played running back for Texas since 2010, but those instincts showed up on a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a win over Kansas. It was the second defensive touchdown this season for Whaley, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound redshirt senior who has been at the heart of the Longhorns' resurgence in Big 12 play. Jayhawks running back James Sims was held to 48 yards on 15 carries, totals that would have been inconceivable watching UT's run defense buckle in non-conference play.

14. Pachall pumps up TCU passing offense

The Horned Frogs' hopes of becoming bowl eligible were seriously dashed in a 30-27 overtime loss to West Virginia, but TCU quarterback Casey Pachall did his part by throwing for a season-high 394 yards and three touchdowns. Pachall did throw two interceptions, which led to 10 points for the Mountaineers, but did enough to rally TCU back for bonus football, looking like the signal-caller that earned preseason All-Big-12 first-team recognition. Pachall will have to deliver NFL-caliber performances for TCU to win its final three games and make the postseason, including the Nov. 30 finale against Baylor.

15. Sims shines in WVU's overtime win

The playcalling of West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has been shaky for much of this season; he's refused to just ride Houston transfer running back Charles Sims. Holgorsen changed his ways in the 30-27 overtime win at TCU, giving Sims 24 carries, which Sims turned into 154 yards, both season-highs. Sims also caught three passes for 35 yards and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). While it hasn't been the breakout season against BCS competition many were expecting, this performance against a quality Horned Frogs defense should do what Sims hoped his move to the Big 12 would do and enhance his draft stock.

16. Ka'Deem carries on, Denker delivers

Arizona State leads the Pac-12 South, UCLA can take that division title later this month at the Rose Bowl, and USC is the stalking darkhorse. But don't forget about Arizona, which still faces the Bruins and Sun Devils.

Running back Ka'Deem Carey just grinds out yards (32 carries for 152 yards Saturday vs. Cal), posting his 11th straight game topping the century mark dating back to last season. The real surprise is the continued development of quarterback B.J. Denker, who threw for 261 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 44 yards and three touchdowns, as a real dual-threat option in Rich Rodriguez's spread option offense.

If Denker can keep up that level of proficiency, Arizona will be the team that decides who plays for a shot at the Rose Bowl on Dec. 7.

17. Spartans' Langford has another 100-yard game

Michigan State junior TB Jeremy Langford (6-0, 206) quietly put together his fourth consecutive 100-yard game as Michigan State dominated Michigan 29-6 behind a stifling defense. Langford ran for 120 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries; his TD finished off the day's scoring. He has rushed for 464 yards and six TDs in the past four games. Saturday's outing also was his fourth consecutive game with at least 22 carries. He's not going to get much attention in the Big Ten because of the rushing attacks at Ohio State and Wisconsin, but Langford has given the Spartans a quality rusher for an offense that lacks playmakers.

18. Big dog eats

Georgia's pass rush had a field day Saturday against Florida's beleaguered offensive line, and the primary beneficiary was defensive end Garrison Smith. The senior tallied 2.5 sacks of UF quarterback Tyler Murphy. Georgia had four sacks on the day.

19. Blanket coverage

One of the more talented cornerbacks in the SEC, South Carolina's Victor Hampton, delivered a team-high eight tackles Saturday with a career-high three pass breakups. He also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and the eye of defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward: "Vic has played well the past couple games. We put him in some situations where he knows he is one-on-one with some help. I think his film study is better, and I think he knows what types of routes he is typically going to get in a game," Ward said.

20. Hogs can't corral Mason

Auburn running back Tre Mason broke loose for four touchdown runs against Arkansas on Saturday, including a nifty one on a 12-yard draw play to finish Auburn's scoring. Is he big enough for the NFL at 5-foot-10, 205? You be the judge.

21. Defensive players star for Tech, Pitt

Two of the ACC's most-talented defensive players were able to show off in the Georgia Tech-Pittsburgh game, which Tech won 21-10. Georgia Tech senior defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu (6-3, 242) took advantage of Pitt QB Tom Savage's lack of mobility and sacked him twice; Savage was sacked five times overall. And Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald (6-0, 285) had six tackles for loss. Tech ran 63 plays, so Donald had a TFL once every 10 plays. Donald now has 19.5 tackles for loss this season and 57 in his career.

22. Oklahoma State finds its offense

Oklahoma State had been surviving this season in decidedly un-Oklahoma State-like fashion, hoping that its inconsistent offense would do enough to complement a solid defense. But the Cowboys returned to form in a 52-34 win at Texas Tech on Saturday night to maintain control of their own destiny in the Big 12 title chase, thanks to quarterback Clint Chelf and emerging running back Desmond Roland.

Roland rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns, giving him seven scores in two games since seizing the starting job. Chelf was adept running and passing, accounting for two touchdowns on the ground and two through the air, and directed an offense that capitalized with three touchdowns on drives that started in Red Raiders territory.

If the offense can catch up to an aggressive and opportunistic defense that had 10 tackles for loss and three takeaways, the Fiesta Bowl would be in reach for the second time in three seasons.

23. Amaro shows skills in loss

Jace Amaro had never fumbled in a college game before last week's loss at Oklahoma. The talented Texas Tech tight end picked a bad time to do so again, losing a first-quarter fumble after getting flipped upside down to negate a promising drive Saturday vs. Oklahoma State. Amaro finished with 15 receptions for 174 yards and one touchdown, so it is hard to fault him in the Red Raiders' 52-34 loss to the Cowboys. Amaro isn't as thickly built as most conventional NFL tight ends, but is as natural a receiver as you will find at the position.

24. Bruins still looking for ground game

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was back to his productive and confident self against struggling Colorado, but the Bruins running backs were surprisingly M.I.A. even with the return of starter Jordon James. James rushed for eight yards on six carries, and Paul Perkins fared even worse (four carries for three yards).

Damien Thigpen (four carries for 38 yards and one touchdown) showed enough in his return from a torn ACL that he might be an option down the road, but without some balance, UCLA won't get a shot at the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12 South champion.

25. Barr barely makes the blotter

We've reached the point where it becomes newsworthy when UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr doesn't record a tackle for loss. Barr had five tackles against Colorado but didn't have a stop behind the line of scrimmage for the first time since moving over from offense last season.

26. Gaines back with vengeance

For all the talk about how much Missouri has missed James Franklin the last couple of weeks at quarterback, little mind has been paid to the importance of the loss of E.J. Gaines at cornerback, to a quad injury. Gaines returned to the lineup Saturday with a stark reminder of why he's as important to the Mizzou defense as anyone.

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