B/R’s College Football Weekly Awards: Week 14 | News, Results, Highlights, Stats and Rumours

B/R’s College Football Weekly Awards: Week 14

0 out of 7

    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 3: Kansas State Wildcats players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Big 12 Championship game between TCU and Kansas State on December 3, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.  (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State have earned the spotlight. They travel to the college football playoffs and have a chance to bring home a national championship.

    However, Week 14 was about more than the elimination of the Top 4 and USC from the CFP race.

    Along with UGA and Michigan, eight programs won conference titles and two others achieved bowl eligibility. These accomplishments aren’t as impressive statewide as the CFP, but the celebrations are unique, special, and perhaps the greatest sporting moment for hundreds of college football players across the country.

    B/R’s Weekly Awards loves the 131 Football Bowl Subdivision teams alike, and our Week 14 Spotlight is all over the map.

Team of the week: Georgia Bulldogs

1 out of 7

    Darell Washington

    Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Folks, they’re terrifying again.

    The reigning champions took a beating on newly promoted LSU and rode to a 50-30 win in the SEC championship game. Georgia won its first conference crown in five years and earned a return to the CFP.

    Stetson Bennett sliced ​​through the LSU high school, completing 23 of 29 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. But the Dawgs also controlled the ground with 255 yards behind the trio of Kendall Milton (113 yards), Daijun Edwards (77 yards) and Kenny McIntosh (55 yards, two points).

    LSU stacked 549 yards and technically passed Georgia. Most of that damage, however, happened after the Dawgs built an overwhelming 35-7 lead before halftime.

    Georgia is the undisputed No. 1. Can the SEC champion bring home a second straight national title?

Spoiler of the week: Utah Utes

2 out of 7

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 02: Utah Utes' Cameron Rising #7 and Devin Kaufusi #90 celebrate with the Schwabacher Trophy after defeating the USC Trojans in the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas , Nevada, have defeated .  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

    David Becker/Getty Images

    Utah stumbled early and was out of the national title race, but the Utes remained a thorn in the Pac-12 game.

    That advantage became a huge problem for USC, who needed a win to secure their place in the College Football Playoffs. The Trojans were painfully left behind because Utah directly dominated.

    Cameron Rising smashed USC defenses and threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in the 47-24 triumph. Ja’Quinden Jackson rushed for 105 yards and two points while Micah Bernard added 88 yards and a touchdown. Utah, who recorded an exciting 43-42 win in the regular season, once again surpassed the 500-yard mark on USC.

    Utah’s upset victory prevented USC from completing a notable story in Lincoln Riley’s debut season. There is no championship and there is no CFP trip on the horizon.

    Instead, the Utes are Pac-12 champions for the second year in a row.

Excitement of the week: K-State Edges TCU

3 out of 7

    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 3: Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs the ball in the Big 12 Championship game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Kansas State Wildcats at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on December 3, 2022 (Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    After USC’s defeat, TCU went into Saturday with an exceptionally optimistic outlook. Unless the Horned Frogs lost in a blowout, they would likely go to the CFP.

    But make no mistake: 12-0 TCU wanted a Big 12 championship and an unbeaten year.

    Kansas State has put a damper on the party.

    Despite another TCU comeback in the second half, K-State pulled off a 31-28 win in overtime. After the defense twice bricked TCU at the goal line, Ty Zentner hit a 31-yard field goal to seal the upset and give Kansas State its first conference title in 10 years.

    When the Wildcats take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, they will aim to match a program record 11 wins in a single season.

The Vengeful: Tulane and Fresno States

4 out of 7

    Michael Pratt

    AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

    In October, Fresno State lost to Boise State 40-20 when star quarterback Jake Haener was sidelined with an injury. Tulane fell to UCF 38-31 when the teams met in mid-November.

    But both programs had their revenge on Saturday.

    Haener led Fresno State to a comfortable 28-16 win and helped the Bulldogs pull away in the fourth quarter. He threw for 184 yards while Jordan Mims rushed for 83 yards and two points.

    Tulane, meanwhile, jumped forward quickly and never fell behind with a 45-28 win. Michael Pratt accounted for 442 yards and Tyjae Spears finished a yard just under 200 on the ground.

    Fresno State celebrated its first Mountain West title since 2018, and Tulane — a first-time AAC champion — secured his spot in a New Year’s Six game: the Cotton Bowl vs. X.

Trend of the week: Michigan’s dominance in the second half

5 out of 7

    Purdue wide receiver TJ Sheffield runs with the ball while Michigan defenseman Gemon Green (22) defends during the first half of the NCAA college football game of the Big Ten Championship Saturday, December 3, 2022 in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

    AP Photo/AJ Mast

    When a team is 13-0, the point spreads are likely to be impressive. This part is not surprising.

    Still, Michigan did a remarkable job after halftime this season. Heading into the Big Ten Championship Game against Purdue, the Wolverines had outscored their opponents 227-87 in the first half. After the break, they had built a 251-65 lead.

    The seasonal trend has only become more apparent.

    After an Oct. 8 win in Indiana and including Saturday’s triumph, Michigan held a 157-20 advantage in the second half of games. This is by definition an overwhelming defense. And it reappeared.

    Michigan’s 14-13 halftime lead quickly rose to 28-13, and the Wolverines blocked every promising drive. Purdue entered the red zone with four possessions in the second half, but threw an interception and settled for three field goals, resulting in a comfortable 43-22 UM win.

    Whether Maize and Blue can continue the trend will determine their future. But that superb performance in the second half no doubt propelled Michigan back into the CFP.

Arrival of the week: Cade Klubnik

6 out of 7

    Cade Klubnik

    AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

    I’m not saying Cade Klubnik will be Clemson’s starter in 2023. I’m not saying that DJ Uiagalelei will change in the off-season.

    Yet if both become a reality, it’s fair to say that neither development will come as a surprise.

    A true 5-star newcomer, Klubnik made sporadic appearances throughout the season as Uiagalelei started hot. He produced about half of the campaign at a solid level. But since mid-October, Uiagalelei has resembled his 2021 version, which threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

    On Saturday evening, Klubnik announced himself to the nation.

    He completed 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards, rushed for 30 more, and had a touchdown in either direction. Backed by a solid defensive day, Klubnik and company shot past North Carolina 39-10 to win Clemson’s seventh ACC championship in the last eight seasons.

    Clemson is headed to the Orange Bowl for a matchup with Tennessee that will be without star quarterback Hendon Hooker (knee). No wonder Klubnik will land his first career start in the matchup.

The Best of the Rest: Week 14

7 out of 7

    UTSA coach Jeff Traylor, center, celebrates with his team after beating North Texas in an NCAA college football game for the Conference USA Championship in San Antonio, Friday, December 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    AP Photo/Eric Gay

    Silent Replay of the Week: UTSA Roadrunners

    Yes, Michigan and Utah also won a second straight conference title. But the Roadrunners continued their amazing rise, led by head coach Jeff Traylor, who has turned a humble Conference USA side into a powerhouse. UTSA posted a 26-32 record in Larry Coker’s tenure and a 19-29 record under Frank Wilson, but back-to-back C-USA champions are 30-9 with Traylor. Star quarterback Frank Harris totaled 390 yards and five points in the 48-27 win over North Texas.

    The champions: Toledo and Troy

    Toledo have returned to the top, winning their fourth MAC title since the league began hosting league games in 1997. The defense held Ohio to 262 yards in the 17-7 triumph. Troy capped his fantastic season with a win over Coastal Carolina and snatched the program’s first full Sun Belt championship since 2009. Both quarterback Gunnar Watson and running back DK Billingsley had three points in the 45-26 win.

    Golf Claps of the Week: Bowl Eligibility!

    In addition to 10 championship games, the roster included two regular season games. Buffalo beat Akron 23-22 and New Mexico State rolled Valparaiso out of the lower division 65-3. Though the makeup games might have seemed forgotten — if you even knew about it — Buffalo notched a sixth win to officially secure bowl eligibility, and NMSU added a sixth win to solidify its approved waiver.

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