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Winners and losers from Week 9's college football games

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Associated Press
While Ameer Abdullah had a record day for Nebraska, Charlie Strong's offense struggled to move the ball Saturday.

Week 9 of the college football season brought us highlights galore and a number of surprises that nobody could have predicted earlier this year. While we know who won and who lost the games from the box scores, who really came out of Saturday able to hold their heads high?

» Things you need to know from CFB Week 9

Winners

Bill Snyder: The Wildcats improved to 6-1 and continue to harbor CFB Playoff hopes thanks to a win over Texas, the program's 500th win all-time. It seems as though all 500 Kansas State wins have come under the Wizard in the Little Apple.

Les Miles: The LSU head coach tragically lost his mother the night before the game, but he paid tribute to her in a terrific way with a fourth-quarter, comeback win to upset Ole Miss.

Larry Fedora: After a long week in Chapel Hill stemming from an academic scandal, the UNC head coach gambled on an onside kick late in the game against Virginia and held on for a close victory. Guess the Tar Heels' iffy defense was a factor in the decision, but it was still a gutsy call and win. 

» Can't-miss Moments: Top plays from Week 9

Ameer Abdullah: The Nebraska tailback had a career day against Rutgers with a school-record 341 all-purpose yards, and that's quite the accomplishment at a school like that.

Tim Beckman: With his job in jeopardy, the Illinois head coach delivered a massive upset of division-leading Minnesota at home by holding on in the second half, improving to 4-4. Suddenly, a bowl game might actually be realistic.

» CFB Social: Week 9 as seen through social media

Keenan Reynolds: The Navy quarterback torched San Jose State (again) and finished with a career-high 251 yards rushing, the most any FBS signal-caller has had in a game this season.

Trevone Boykin: A conference-record 82 points fueled by the TCU quarterback's seven touchdowns? Take a bow.

Joey Bosa: The Ohio State defensive lineman was a beast against Penn State most of the night. Yes, the Nittany Lions don't have the greatest offensive line, but still -- he was the difference-maker on the road.

Georgia Southern: Not a bad season for the FBS newcomers, who rolled up 660 yards of offense against Georgia State and moved to 5-0 in the Sun Belt on the year.

Amari Cooper: On a day when West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White had a quiet performance, Cooper reminded a lot of folks he's the front-runner for the Biletnikoff Award.

Losers

Pitt: In the first 13 snaps of their game against Georgia Tech, the Panthers fumbled five times. That tied an FBS record for fumbles in a quarter and was somehow worse than being down 28-0 after five minutes of game time. They went on to lose 56-28.

Check out the top images from the ninth weekend of college football play.

Charlie Strong: The Texas head coach was shut out for the first time in his career Saturday against Kansas State. For the Longhorns, it was the first time in a decade that they were held scoreless.

SMU: The Mustangs scored their first touchdown at home all season (!) in a 48-10 blowout loss to Memphis. On the bright side, it was the second time all season they scored more than six points.

» SMU AD: No contact with Mack Brown over coaching job

Kyle Flood: Instead of running the clock out backed up against his end zone with less than a minute left in the first half, the Rutgers head coach tried to make something happen down 21-7. Instead, quarterback Gary Nova hurt his knee and was out for the rest of the game (and possibly longer) in the team's second consecutive blowout loss.

Big Ten Newcomers: Heartland teams proved greater than the league newcomers in early Big Ten action on Saturday. Maryland and Rutgers were outscored 94-31 by Wisconsin and Nebraska.

UCLA: A trendy preseason pick for the CFB Playoff, the Bruins nearly lost to Colorado, the worst team in the Pac-12. Not a good look for Jim Mora's boys.

Kent State: With a loss to Miami (OH), the Golden Flashes might be the second-worst team in FBS next to SMU.

Hugh Freeze and Bo Wallace: Ole Miss got tripped up on the road thanks to sub-par play by Wallace behind center and some questionable decisions down the stretch by Freeze.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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