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Winners and losers from Week 12 in college football

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Geoff Burke/USA Today
Mark Dantonio led his Michigan State team to a stunning upset of Ohio State.

The 12th weekend of the college football season brought with it more than its share of heroes and goats. College Football 24/7 takes a look at who had a game to remember, and who needs to turn the page.

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Winners

Mark Dantonio: Nobody was a bigger winner in college football on Saturday than the Michigan State coach who knocked off undefeated Ohio State, 17-14 and, in so doing, put his team back in the College Football Playoff hunt. He managed a very difficult road game without his starting quarterback, and bullied a tough Ohio State defense late in the second half even as OSU knew the Spartans weren't a real threat to pass.

Vernon Adams: USC's defense was embarrassingly bad against Oregon's transfer quarterback in a 48-28 loss. Adams threw six touchdown passes, the most ever against USC, completing 20 of 25 for 407 yards.

KD Cannon: Nobody in college football did more with less Saturday than the Baylor sophomore receiver. Cannon caught just five passes in a win over Oklahoma State, but made the most of them with 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Jalen Tabor: OK, it came against Florida Atlantic, but Florida's outstanding sophomore cornerback still had a day to remember. The Robin to Vernon Hargreaves' Batman recorded five pass breakups and an interception in a 20-14 win. After the game, he was just as bold with his comments as he was with his play.


» Can't-miss moments: Best of Week 12 in college football


Brad Kaaya: With Miami's season a washout, its sophomore quarterback isn't playing like it. He threw for 300 yards (16 of 25) in a 38-21 win over Georgia Tech, and did it with very little support from his running game. The next Hurricanes coach has a complete rebuilding job in front of him, but quarterback won't be one of his worries.

Cyrus Jones: The Alabama cornerback had, albeit against an outmanned Charleston Southern team, two punt returns for touchdowns, three tackles for loss, and an intercepted option pitch that went in the scorebook as a fumble both forced and recovered. If Jones' Thanksgiving turkey isn't stuffed, his stat sheet will be.

Dak Prescott: The Mississippi State senior quarterback threw for 508 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-50 thriller over Arkansas.

Christian McCaffrey: The engine of the Stanford offense churned out 389 all-purpose yards in a win over Cal: 192 rushing, 49 receiving and another 148 in kickoff returns. That included a 98-yard return for a score and a 49-yard touchdown catch.

Losers

Check out the top images from the 12th weekend of college football play.

Ezekiel Elliott: Blasting one's coaching staff isn't a good look for NFL scouts. The Buckeyes' junior running back said there's no chance he'll be back at Ohio State next season, and ripped the team's coaches after Michigan State's 17-14 win over OSU. Yes, Elliott was understandably heated after a devastating loss, and his standing in the eyes of NFL scouts will be determined by his talent, not his mouth. Still, in the NFL, tough losses happen every week, and he'll have to answer for his postgame temperament in pre-draft interviews.

Paxton Lynch: With NFL scouts from five clubs on hand, the Memphis star quarterback had his worst performance of the season. He was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season in a 31-12 loss to Temple, and managed just 156 yards on 25 completions. His longest completion of the day, 21 yards, was also a season-low.

Shawn Elliott: The interim South Carolina coach found a rock-bottom for a truly awful Gamecocks team on Saturday in a 23-22 upset loss to The Citadel, which ran for 350 yards and attempted three passes. Typically, it takes a miracle play or a slew of turnovers to facilitate an FCS-on-FBS upset. In this case, the Gamecocks had no turnovers -- they simply got bullied -- and the only miracle was that South Carolina's SEC membership wasn't revoked. Up next for South Carolina is -- gulp -- Clemson.

The SEC East: South Carolina wasn't the only embarrassment in its division Saturday. Florida was taken to overtime by Florida Atlantic before surviving 20-14, and Georgia was taken to overtime by Georgia Southern in a 23-17 win. The lesson here? Tune-up games still require show-up efforts.

Dadi Nicolas: How does one acquire 20 yards worth of penalties without a snap being taken? Virginia Tech's senior defensive end, who happens to be one of the Hokies' top draft prospects, found a way. And it was pretty embarrassing.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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