The most important takeaway for each Top 25 team

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Oklahoma won a thriller over rival Oklahoma State, Alabama’s dominant defense recorded another shutout and Michigan keeps rolling along.

What else have we learned so far in Week 11? Check back all day for updates as each game ends.


No. 1 Alabama 24, No. 16 Mississippi State 0

There were some signs of the emotional post-LSU hangover coach Nick Saban feared. The defense gave up a couple of big plays on the ground and through the air. Tua Tagovailoa, on the other hand, gave up his second interception of the season. The refs didn’t call it, but there probably should have been another turnover in there early. But the season is long, and heavy is the head that wears the crown. Recovering from a draining game at LSU and bouncing back to beat a tough Mississippi State team at home means something, even if it fell short of our now outsized expectations. The good news is that Tagovailoa & Co. will have the chance to regroup next week against the Citadel before closing out the regular season against archrival Auburn. — Alex Scarborough

The final score might not tell you that the Bulldogs played a half-decent game. But they did. The defensive line got after Tagovailoa and even helped force his second interception of the season. And while Nick Fitzgerald didn’t light up the scoreboard, he did complete a few nice passes and, more importantly, didn’t give the game away. But like a lot of teams in the SEC, State didn’t have the horses to beat Alabama. And the goal has to be the same as LSU’s following a loss to the Tide last week: Don’t let one loss become two. Joe Moorhead hasn’t had the season many in Starkville hoped for, but with Arkansas and Ole Miss remaining, the Bulldogs can finish with eight wins and in a respectable bowl game. — Alex Scarborough


No. 3 Notre Dame 42, Florida State 13

The drama was gone in this game after about three plays. Without starting quarterback Ian Book, the Irish had no problem running over, around and through Florida State on a cold night in South Bend. Dexter Williams ran for 202 yards and two long touchdowns. Brandon Wimbush helped add to the ground game in his return to the starting lineup while throwing three touchdown passes. His inconsistency (two interceptions and 48 percent completion rate) served as reminders that this offense will need Book to stay steady and balanced during the last couple weeks of the regular season and beyond. — Dan Murphy


No. 4 Michigan 42, Rutgers 7

The Wolverines followed the script, once again showcasing their stingy defense and taking advantage of a Rutgers team that remains winless in the Big Ten. Michigan moved one step closer to the season-ending showdown against Ohio State in Columbus, but will first host Indiana, a game ESPN’s FPI gives the Wolverines a 96.2 percent of winning. Shea Patterson had his fourth game with three passing touchdowns, the most in a season by a Michigan quarterback since Chad Henne in 2005. — Heather Dinich


No. 5 Georgia 27, No. 24 Auburn 10

Tailback D’Andre Swift got healthy at the just the right time for the Bulldogs. Swift opened the season still recovering from a groin injury he suffered last season. But the sophomore from Philadelphia has hit his stride in the last three games. He had a career-high 186 yards with one touchdown on 17 carries in Georgia’s victory. His 77-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter helped the Bulldogs pull away for good. He had more than 100 yards in each of the past three games, after failing to break the century mark in each of the first seven. Elijah Holyfield added 93 yards on 15 carries, as UGA outgained Auburn 302-102 on the ground. — Mark Schlabach

Georgia’s Sanford Stadium continues to be a house of horrors for Auburn. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers at home for the sixth straight time and won for the 14th time in the last 18 games in the series overall. It was much of the same story for Auburn’s offense under Gus Malzahn, as it failed to score an offensive touchdown after the first quarter for the fifth straight game in Athens. Malzahn was Auburn’s offensive coordinator in two of those games and head coach in the other three. After the Tigers scored a touchdown and then kicked a field goal on consecutive possessions to take a 10-6 lead, they punted on each of their next five drives (not including a one-play possession at the end of the first half) and turned the ball over on downs on their final possession. — Schlabach


No. 6 Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 47

In yet another Bedlam scorefest, it was a defensive play that proved to be the difference. After converting a fourth-and-12 into a 23-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma State went for two and the win. But OU corner Tre Brown batted down Taylor Cornelius’ underthrown rollout pass attempt to Tylan Wallace, and the Sooners escaped with the victory to keep their Big 12 title and College Football Playoff hopes alive. Even under interim coordinator Ruffin McNeill, OU’s defense remains a total mess, underscored by the 39 first downs it surrendered to the Cowboys. And yet, it came through when it had to, forcing a fumble to set up OU’s game-winning drive, then stopping the two-point try on the ensuing possession. That might not be good enough should the Sooners make the CFP. And it might not be good enough in two weeks at West Virginia. But at the least, it was good enough Saturday.– Jake Trotter


No. 7 LSU 24, Arkansas 17

As the highest-ranked two-loss team that’s boxed out of conference title hopes, all the Tigers can do is continue to win and hope to get some help in the form of upsets of higher-ranked teams. LSU took care of its business on Saturday night, maintaining control of Arkansas for most of the night until the Razorbacks made it mildly interesting in the fourth. The defensive effort was solid (Arkansas gained only 216 yards, including a meager 16 rushing, and was 2-for-12 on third downs) and the offense did what was necessary. All that’s left the Tigers is a home finale vs. Rice and a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Texas A&M; a 10-win regular season is well within reach for Ed Orgeron’s squad. — Sam Khan Jr.


No. 8 Washington State 31, Colorado 7

Following Wazzu’s win at Colorado, the only thing standing in the way of a de facto Pac-12 North championship game in the Apple Cup is an unlikely loss by Washington next week at home against Oregon State. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is on track to become the first Heisman finalist from Washington State since Ryan Leaf in 1997 and the Cougars remain in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Minshew struggled dealing with the wind in the first half in Boulder but still finished with 335 yards passing in arguably the Cougars’ most complete win of conference play. — Kyle Bonagura


No. 9 West Virginia 47, TCU 10

With the resounding win over TCU, the Mountaineers are one step closer to playing in the Big 12 championship game, but still have arguably their two most difficult opponents remaining — at Oklahoma State and home against Oklahoma on the final Friday night of the regular season. It was the third straight game West Virginia had scored at least 40 points, but the lopsided win came against a struggling TCU team that has now lost four of its last five. As long as the Mountaineers have just one loss, they remain in the playoff conversation, but might have to beat OU twice in two weeks to actually get there. — Heather Dinich


No. 10 Ohio State 26, No. 18 Michigan State 6

Ohio State’s offensive line struggled early on against Michigan State, specifically with defensive end Kenny Willekes. The entire offense struggled to get anything going and was held to only 14 rushing yards in the first half. After trying to emphasize the run game against Nebraska, it looked as though the Buckeyes were trying to get some kind of production against the stout Michigan State defense to no avail. The Buckeyes got some help from an intentional safety by Michigan State and the Ohio State defense falling on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. But there are still a lot of questions as this team heads toward its final game against Michigan. The Buckeyes play Maryland first and have a chance to correct their mistakes, but they haven’t been able to fix the problems yet this year and show no signs of doing so before Michigan travels to Columbus.– Tom VanHaaren

For the most part, Michigan State’s defense did its job against Ohio State, but the offense made mistakes and couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm. The offense fumbled the ball in the end zone, resulting in a touchdown for Ohio State, and it was the offense that couldn’t move the ball away from the one-yard line that led to Michigan State intentionally snapping the ball out of bounds on a punt to give the Buckeyes a safety. Quarterback Brian Lewerke only completed 50 percent of his passes in the first half and still looks as though he was nursing an injury, as his passes were erratic all game. This was the fourth loss for Michigan State overall and the third conference loss, so its hopes to make a big-time bowl game are all but over. — VanHaaren


Tennessee 24, No. 11 Kentucky 7

This is starting to look all too familiar to Kentucky fans. It’s been a really good season for the Wildcats, their first winning season in SEC play since 1977, but the 24-7 loss to archrival Tennessee on Saturday is going to sting. The Wildcats simply haven’t been the same team the past few weeks and are painfully limited on offense right now. — Chris Low


No. 12 UCF 35, Navy 24

UCF won its 22nd straight game and has scored at least 30 points in all of them, tying for the third-longest streak in the AP Poll Era (since 1936) with that many points. But the 13 members of the CFP selection committee have made it clear that they’re not influenced by streaks. The No. 12 Knights are unlikely to improve their spot much in Tuesday’s ranking after beating a Navy team that has lost eight games this year, but McKenzie Milton did have another outstanding performance. Milton had his 18th career game with at least three touchdowns responsible for (two passing, one rushing). UCF’s defense struggled to slow down Navy’s option offense and allowed the Midshipmen 374 total yards — all on the ground. — Heather Dinich


No. 13 Syracuse 54, Louisville 23

The Orange took their turn beating up on Louisville, scoring at least 40 points in their fourth straight ACC game. It is the first time the Orange have scored at least 40 points in four consecutive conference games since 1996, when the team shared the Big East championship. Syracuse now has five ACC wins, the most since joining the conference in 2013. Taking advantage of a weak run defense, Syracuse ran for more than 300 yards on the ground. But the competition gets way tougher next week against Notre Dame, with a possible playoff spot on the line for the Irish, and a possible New Year’s Six bowl berth on the line for the Orange. Though the outcome against the Cards was never really in doubt, there will be plenty for Syracuse to work on this week. The Orange made multiple red-zone errors that led to field goals, and they also turned the ball over three times. If they want to have any shot against a top-five team like Notre Dame, they are going to have to play a near perfect game. Making mistakes like that against Louisville is one thing. Making them against Notre Dame is an entirely different story. — Andrea Adelson


Wake Forest 27, No. 14 NC State 23

The annual rite of passage for Wolfpack fans happened again, as NC State lost a game it had no business losing. The culprit? Plenty of blame to go around but the lack of any serious ground attack has been an ongoing concern and meant the Wolfpack struggled to finish drives and were 0-for-2 on fourth down. — David M. Hale


No. 15 Florida 35, South Carolina 31

The Gators showed some fight on Saturday. After looking like they were headed for another regrettable defeat — a week after an embarrassing loss to Missouri — they put together their best finish of the season, scoring 21 unanswered points after being down 31-14 at one point. It’s an encouraging sign for Dan Mullen’s crew to get off the mat after digging itself such a significant hole. The running game was outstanding, compiling a season-high 367 yards, and even quarterback Feleipe Franks — who has taken his share of criticism of late — was solid down the stretch, leading the go-ahead drive in the fourth. All positive signs for this Florida squad, which needed some positivity in a big way. — Sam Khan Jr.


No. 20 Penn State 22, Wisconsin 10

The Nittany Lions turned Wisconsin’s offense into a one-man show and kept workhorse Jonathan Taylor from hurting them on the scoreboard. Quarterback Trace McSorley (19-of-25 passing) continues to show his mettle while playing through a leg issue, but it was running back Miles Sanders who did a lot of the heavy lifting while getting Penn State over its toughest remaining hurdle in the regular season. — Dan Murphy


Northwestern 14, No. 21 Iowa 10

True to form, Iowa and Northwestern played a game characterized by equal parts defense and struggle on a cold night at Kinnick Stadium. The first half featured nine punts followed by a field goal. While Iowa’s defense played well enough to win, the offense never found a rhythm. The Hawkeyes managed only 52 rushing yards and scored their only touchdown on a short field after an interception en route to the fourth loss of the season. The Big Ten West has been a bit jumbled and nonsensical in 2018, so it was fitting that the division’s only ranked team helped unranked Northwestern lock up a spot in the conference championship game. — Dan Murphy


No. 22 Iowa State 28, Baylor 14

The Cyclones are 5-2 in league play for the first time since 1977 and bowl eligible for a second straight season. They’ve also won five straight conference games in a single season for the first time ever. Heady stuff for ISU, which may be without star running back David Montgomery as the Cyclones visit Texas next week in a game that the visitors must win to stay alive for a spot in the Big 12 title game. Montgomery was ejected in the third quarter Saturday for fighting with Baylor defensive end Greg Roberts. The status of Montgomery, who has rushed for 765 yards this season, is subject to a Big 12 ruling. If he’s limited, Iowa State will rely even more heavily on true freshman QB Brock Purdy, who remains unbeaten as a starter. — Mitch Sherman


Boise State 24, No. 23 Fresno State 17

After climbing into the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings, Fresno State won’t be back next week, and the Bulldogs’ loss to Boise State means their hopes of reaching a New Year’s Six bowl are just about shot. Had they won out and UCF faltered at some point, there would have been a case for Fresno State to receive the Group of Five bid, but with two losses, that scenario is much more unlikely. In the Mountain West, Fresno State can win the West division with a win against San Diego State next week and would play either Utah State or Boise State in the conference title game. — Kyle Bonagura

Source : http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/25233931/top-25-college-football-results-most-important-takeaways