Can't-miss moments of college football season's first half

The first half of the 2015 college football has been chock-full o' thrills that delighted sports fans.

This is a neat collection of the very best ...

13. Nkemdiche puts on awesome show

Game: Ole Miss 76, Tennessee-Martin 3
Date: Sept. 5
Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field, Oxford, Miss.

It figured Ole Miss' 76-3 beatdown of overmatched Tennessee-Martin would provide a bevy of highlight-reel fodder, but this is noteworthy: Rebels junior defensive end Robert Nkemdiche lined up at fullback and hauled in a 31-yard touchdown reception. For added fun, later in the game he stormed through the Skyhawks' line to block a field-goal attempt. Yes, he's good.


12. True team effort for Sun Devils

Game: Arizona State 38, UCLA 23
Date: Oct. 3
Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

It was truly a team effort for Arizona State as it finished up an upset of UCLA at the historic Rose Bowl. Running back Kalen Ballage ran the ball into the teeth of UCLA's defense in the final minute and refused to go down, putting an appropriate exclamation point on the surprising win.


11. Near-pick turns into TD

Game: Missouri 24, South Carolina 10
Date: Oct. 3
Location: Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.

What should have been an interception for Missouri resulted in a touchdown for South Carolina. Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez's ill-advised pass hit Missouri cornerback Aarion Penton in a bad place, the hands. The ball bounced off Penton's hands and into the awaiting arms of running back Shon Carson, who crossed the plane of the goal for a short score.


10. Big boy touchdown

Game: Baylor 66, Kansas 7
Date: Oct. 10
Location: Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kansas

Thank you, football gods, for LaQuan McGowan. Baylor's 410-pound tight end scored his first touchdown of the season on an 18-yard reception. Really, Baylor was just playing around with Kansas in Week 6.


9. BYU does it again

Game: BYU 35, Boise State 24
Date: Sept. 12
Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah

For the second consecutive week, BYU pulled off a Hail Mary pass to prevail. Quarterback Tanner Mangum demonstrated a real flair for the dramatic early this season. Against Boise State, Mangum threw a 35-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds left to complete a 35-24 come-from-behind win (a pick six shortly after the TD pass put an exclamation point on the win).


8. All hail mighty MegaQuon

Game: Ole Miss 52, New Mexico State 3
Date: Oct. 10
Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field, Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell is one of the most highly regarded receivers in the college game, and this ridiculous one-handed touchdown catch against New Mexico State is only one example of his abounding skills.


7. Miller's spectacular spin move

Game: Ohio State 42, Virginia Tech 24
Date: Sept. 7
Location: Lane Stadium/Worsham Field, Blacksburg, Va.

In his first game as an H-back, Braxton Miller made highlight-reel plays, including a nasty spin move on a 53-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech. While Miller's spin move was stunning, take a good look at Ezekiel Elliott's soul-crushing block.


6. Punters are people, too

Game: Utah 62, Oregon 20
Date: Sept. 26
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.

Utah punter Tom Hackett pulled a Ray Guy, running a fake and scampering 33 yards for a first down in a fourth-and-13 situation. The fortuitous play for the Utes was indicative of how the night went in Oregon's most lopsided loss in 30 years.

This was Oregon's worst loss at home since falling 54-0 to Washington in 1977. Utah's 62 points are the most the team has scored against a Pac-12 opponent since joining the league in 2011, and also the most the Ducks have ever allowed in Eugene.


5. BYU wins opener on Hail Mary

Game: BYU 33, Nebraska 28
Date: Sept. 5
Location: Tom Osborne Field at Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska's 29-game winning streak in season openers -- the longest such streak in major college football entering this season -- was halted in the most dramatic way possible ... a game-winning Hail Mary play in the final second by BYU.

The Cougars' backup quarterback Tanner Mangum -- in the game after an injury to starter Taysom Hill -- connected on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Mathews for a thrilling win.

Could this be BYU's most amazing finish since Jim McMahon's Hail Mary touchdown against SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl?


4. Fournette terrorizes the Tigers

Game: LSU 45, Auburn 21
Date: Sept. 19
Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.

LSU running back Leonard Fournette built a strong early season Heisman Trophy resume in a rout of Auburn in Baton Rouge.

On this particular play -- a 29-yard touchdown run -- Fournette tossed aside an Auburn defender over his shoulder and then side-stepped another player en route to the end zone. Fournette finished the game with 222 yards and three touchdowns rushing.


3. So, this is how TCU beat Texas Tech, part 1

Game: TCU 55, Texas Tech 52
Date: Sept. 26
Location: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas

Down 52-48 and facing a fourth-and-goal situation at Texas Tech's 4-yard line, TCU won in an absolutely amazing fashion. Horned Frogs QB Trevone Boykin zipped a pass to receiver Josh Doctson, but the ball bounced off his fingertips and into the arms of TCU's Aaron Green in the back of the end zone. TCU took a 55-52 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining.


2. So, this is how TCU beat Texas Tech, part 2

Game: TCU 55, Texas Tech 52
Date: Sept. 26
Location: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas

The adventure didn't stop with Boykin's fortuitous touchdown pass to Green. Texas Tech got a roughing the passer penalty that put the ball on the 50-yard line for one last desperation play for victory. The Red Raiders very nearly pulled off a miracle.


1. Rebels with a cause

Game: Ole Miss 43, Alabama 37
Date: Sept. 19
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

This was, well, unbelievable. After a bad snap, Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly threw an ill-advised pass, which, after being tipped, bounced off of a defender's helmet and into the hands of Rebels receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who ran for a 66-yard touchdown.

We will enjoy this play until the end of days.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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