College football Week 13 scores, Top 25 analysis and must-see moments

ByDave Wilson ESPN logo
Sunday, November 29, 2020

It was an eventfulWeek 13 of the college football season, also known as RIVALRY WEEK!

We saw an Iron Bowl without Nick Saban on the Alabama sideline after he tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss met for another Egg Bowl featuringElijah Moore, who became infamous last season with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for lifting his leg like a urinating dog. This season, he returned as the nation's leading receiver and had 139 receiving yards in the Ole Miss win.

In the spirit of giving thanks for what we can, we claim a few games -- like North Carolina-Notre Dame and Iowa State-Texas -- as new rivalry matchups due to scheduling quirks. Here are a few suggestions for trophies.

Here are your highlights and Top 25 analysis.

Top 25 results

No. 5 Texas A&M 20, LSU 7

The Aggies' defense put on a show, holding LSU to 1.4 yards per carry and harassing LSU quarterbacks all night with nine hurries and two sacks, and Buddy Johnson added a pick-six of freshmanTJ Finley. On offense, A&M couldn't get the passing game in rhythm on a rainy night, with Kellen Mond completing just 11 of 34 passes for 105 yards. But Isaiah Spiller kept plugging away, rushing for 141 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. It wasn't a dominant performance, but a year after a 50-7 loss to LSU, it was another step in a season of progress. -- Dave Wilson

No. 9 Georgia 45, South Carolina 16

JT Daniels didn't take over the game like he did in his debut against Mississippi State a week earlier, but that was actually a good thing because he didn't need to. This time the offense was more balanced, as the running game, led by James Cook and Zamir White, got going and helped Georgia out to a big early lead that was never threatened. If that continues and the defense holds up its end of the bargain, then the Bulldogs are in good shape to make a play for a New Year's Six Bowl. -- Alex Scarborough

No. 3 Clemson 52, Pitt 17

Anybody who questioned how Clemson would play in its first game since an overtime loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 7 found out within the first 10 minutes in a win over Pitt. A week after having their game against Florida State postponed because the schools' medical staffs could not agree on whether it was safe to play, the Tigers dominated from the start -- turning three early interceptions into 21 points and never looking back. Trevor Lawrence, making his first start since Oct. 24 after a positive coronavirus test kept him out against the Irish, threw for 403 yards and two touchdowns -- and 302 of those yards came in the first half. -- Andrea Adelson

Michigan State 29, No. 8 Northwestern 20

Pat Fitzgerald's team fell behind 17-0, and despite tying the game in the fourth quarter at 20 apiece, the Wildcats weren't able to keep the undefeated season alive. Northwestern showed discipline with just two penalties, however, three turnovers helped the Spartans pull off the upset after losing by a combined score of 73-7 in their previous two games. The good news for Northwestern is it still maintains first place in the Big Ten West because of its win over Wisconsin last week. -- Harry Lyles Jr.

No. 1 Alabama 42, No 22. Auburn 13

In the end, it didn't matter that Nick Saban had to watch the game from home. Alabama not only beat Auburn, the Crimson Tide beat the Tigers down, winning by 29 points. Steve Sarkisian, pulling double-duty as offensive coordinator and head coach, had Mac Jones in the zone as the junior had 305 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. But the defense -- Saban's baby -- didn't miss a beat, either, shutting down what had been a strong Auburn attack in recent games by forcing Bo Nix into two interceptions and Tank Bigsby to 39 yards rushing.

Everything that could go wrong against Alabama did. Nix, who played well in recent games, became a shell of himself, throwing no touchdowns and two interceptions. Bigsby, coming off an injury, was ineffective running the football, and even the reliable Seth Williams dropped a would-be touchdown pass in the first half. And the defense couldn't accomplish much of anything, allowing 5.3 yards per rush while giving up five passing touchdowns. -- Alex Scarborough

No. 20 Coastal Carolina 49, Texas State 14

The Chanticleers came into their game against Texas State ranked No. 20 by the College Football Playoff committee, and they looked eager to come out and make a statement in their 49-14 win. CJ Marable had a breakout game with 16 carries for 157 yards and three touchdowns, while Grayson McCall completed 11 of 18 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The Chants are now 9-0 and will prepare for a showdown with 9-1 Liberty next week, hoping to get another statement win. -- Harry Lyles Jr.

No. 23 Oklahoma State50, Texas Tech 44

The Cowboys were without injured running backs Chuba HubbardandLD Brown, but Dezmon Jackson seized the opportunity with 161 yards and three touchdowns, and he would have had a fourth if he hadn't slid late in the game to run out the clock. This was a classic Big 12 shootout full of twists, including a failed onside kick attempt by Tech in the third quarter that Jason Taylor II fielded easily and returned for a touchdown. The Cowboys stay alive in the Big 12 race. -- Dave Wilson

No. 12 Indiana 27, Maryland 11

Tom Allen's defense showed up yet again, not allowing a touchdown until the final two minutes of the game. The Hoosiers intercepted Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa three times on the afternoon, and they held the Terrapins to just 59 yards on the ground. Michael Penix Jr. suffered an injury to his right leg late in the third quarter and never returned to the game. His injury will be something to monitor, as they're set to face No. 18 Wisconsin next week in Madison. -- Harry Lyles Jr.

No. 6 Florida 34, Kentucky 10

The return of tight end Kyle Pitts meant the return of the Kyle 2 Kyle touchdown connection in a win over Kentucky. Pitts, playing in his first game since he sustained a concussion against Georgia on Nov. 7, caught three touchdown passes from Kyle Trask and finished with five catches for 99 total yards. Trask, a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, threw for 256 yards. Although the offense was not as prolific as we have gotten used to seeing, Trask did become just the second SEC player since the conference formed in 1933 with eight straight games with three passing touchdowns, joining Missouri's Drew Lock in 2017. -- Andrea Adelson

Oregon State41, No. 15 Oregon38

When the Pac-12 announced its return-to-play schedule, featuring just seven games (at most), it still figured to be a long shot for the conference champion to reach the College Football Playoff. Oregon's 41-38 loss to Oregon State, coupled with USC's cancellation, cements the conference on the outside looking in. The reality is that at no point have the Ducks looked like a team that belonged in the playoff. Not all is lost: Oregon can rebound, win the division, advance to the title game and punch its ticket to a New Year's Six bowl, which figured to be the team's real ceiling anyway. -- Kyle Bonagura

No. 2 Notre Dame31, No. 19 North Carolina17

All due respect to Clemson, but the biggest test of Notre Dame's defense might have come Friday, with a UNC team that's among the nation's most explosive in both the passing and running games. The Fighting Irish were dealt a huge blow early Friday, too, when star safety Kyle Hamilton was ejected for targeting. None of it mattered. The Irish overwhelmed the Tar Heels' offensive line, constantly grappling with quarterback Sam Howell in the backfield and stifling Javonte Williams and Michael Carter on the ground. Meanwhile, Notre Dame QB Ian Book again was a wizard when pressured, and Kyren Williams ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns. The Irish continue to look dominant, and Friday's performance, holding the Tar Heels to just 298 yards of offense, might've been their most complete victory yet.

The Mack Brown era has been marked by near misses, and Friday probably constitutes another one. UNC went to halftime tied with No. 2 Notre Dame, and until Kyren Williams' late TD, the Tar Heels still had a shot to pull the upset. Indeed, Friday might have been the most impressive performance of the season for the North Carolina defense, which pressured Book routinely but struggled to get off the field on a few crucial drives. The real shock was the performance of Howell and the offense, which simply couldn't elude a devastating pass rush and mustered just 298 yards -- its second-worst total since Brown took over as coach. Williams' second score put the game out of reach, making Friday's result the first time in Brown's 22 games during this tour as coach that UNC lost by more than a touchdown. --David M. Hale

No. 24 Iowa 26, Nebraska 20

Despite not playing their best, the Hawkeyes came away with a sixth consecutive victory over Nebraska to improve to 4-2 overall with a strong grip on the second spot in the Big Ten West. The run game turned up a notch in the second half, as the Hawkeyes compiled 94 yards on the ground after netting just 35 (2.1 yards per carry) in the first half. Tyler Goodson's workmanlike 30-carry, 111-yard performance led the way for Iowa. --Sam Khan Jr.

No. 13 Iowa State 23, No. 17 Texas20

The Cyclones are one step closer to the Big 12 championship game. Their road win over Texas on Friday, in which they trailed most of the game, makes them a virtual lock to make the title game. It was by no means pretty, but Iowa State patiently chipped away at a 10-point Texas lead until finally getting the go-ahead score from Breece Hall with 1:25 left. The victory was Iowa State's first road win over an AP Top 25 team in November (it was 0-43 in such situations before Friday).

The Longhorns are likely to be kicking themselves after this one. A game they controlled for much of the day slipped away thanks in part to a handful of second-half failures. A fake punt call was snuffed out, a fourth-and-1 attempt denied and Sam Ehlinger getting sacked on the penultimate play -- which led to a missed 58-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker that would've tied the game -- are all things coach Tom Herman will rue following a loss that's devastating to the Longhorns' hopes of reaching the Big 12 championship game -- Sam Khan Jr.

Perfect no more

Michigan State upset Northwestern, thus handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season, and probably eliminating their hopes of making the CFP.

How smooth is this

Very smooth, actually. And just overall impressive from BC'sCJ Lewis.

And the game ball goes to ...

Tom Allen presented his offensive line with the game ball after stepping up its performance.

'I believe I can fly'

At this point, Clemson's just off doing Clemson things.

So, this happened

There are no words. Just Syracuse football.

Jaret Patterson balled out

Eight touchdowns (ties an NCAA record), 409 yards. All in one game. What an incredible feat.

Though social media was eager to see him go for his ninth score and not too happy when he got taken out of the game.

But hey, probably won't see something like this again.

Special meaning in Clemson's Military Appreciation Day game

Justyn Ross will be honoring his mom by running the American flag prior to Saturday's game.

E.J. Williams will pay tribute to his father by wearing the No. 39.

Definitely checks out

Celebrate however you want against a rival.

Egg Bowl fashion

If this wasn't how you expected Lane Kiffin to show up to the Egg Bowl, then what else were you envisioning besides an A.J. Brown jersey?

Not like that

Texas Tech botched this onside kick like no other.

History made

Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game after kicking off to start the second half for the Commodores.

All the way home!

Aron Cruickshank goes the length of the field for the 100-yard kickoff return TD.

Trebor Pena ran this one back 98 yards.

And Julian Ross took this kick return 96 yards for the touchdown.

Pitts hasn't missed a beat

After missing the past two games, Kyle Pitts returned and picked up right where he left off.

And let's not ignore any good Kyle-Kyle scoring situation, which clearly one fan is all in on.

So, uh ... where does one find such a shirt?

Black Friday sale

Iowa wanted to remind Nebraska of the recent record in the rivalry. The Hawkeyes kept the receipts.

An axe to grind

After winning the Big Game for nine straight seasons, Stanford lost to California last year. That didn't sit right with the folks in Palo Alto, and the Cardinal wasted no time turning the rivalry back in their favor.

It is called the Stanford Axe, after all.

Three is a magic number

Just in case you forgot how many touchdowns UCF's Jacob Harris had against South Florida, he'll remind you.

Your everyday backhanded throw

Oh wait, this definitely doesn't happen regularly. Who else makes this throw other than Ian Book?

So who took out these ads?

Someone really misses Brian Lewerke. Like, really misses him.

That wasn't supposed to happen

Maybe Dillon Gabriel thought the football would work like a boomerang after accidentally hitting Jake Hescock.

How did they even make these catches?

Emery Simmons made sure that this jump ball was all his.

And Shaun Beyer extended way, way up for this one-handed grab.

A program-defining win

It was a big victory for Matt Campbell and his Iowa State Cyclones in Austin, Texas, on Friday. The coach wasn't afraid to show how much the win meant for the program.

A little history behind Campbell's passion for this Cyclones team.

Reflecting back

McKenzie Milton revisited the spot he suffered the knee injury that sidelined him two years with his teammates prior to UCF's game.

Shaw shows off a spin

Sean Shaw Jr. managed to get into the end zone after making a nice spin move.

Texas unveils Whittier statue

Texas paid tribute to Julius Whittier, the Longhorns' first Black letterman, by unveiling anew 12-foot statue of the former offensive lineman/tight endoutside the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Florida Man likes gravy

If you're one of those weirdos (like me) who doesn't like foods touching, this is basically an act of violence.

Saban substitution

Alabama coach Nick Saban is out Saturday for the Iron Bowl after testing positive for COVID-19, but his daughter, Kristen, says she has it under control.

Since the 2004 BCS National Championship (when Saban won his first national title), Kristen has given her dad a lucky penny before each game. She promised a special delivery this week.

Uniform update

For the War on I-4 matchup with UCF, USF went to a lot of neon and a lot of shiny stuff.

Here's UCF's take on its choice.

Here's Oregon's combo for the rivalry game against Oregon State.

Ohio State is feeling icy.

And Michigan State is bringing back its pop of color.

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