College Football 2020: Surprises, awards by conference from Week 12

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Even with 18 college football games canceled or postponed in Week 12, there was still exciting action with some outstanding performances as well.

Let’s first take a look at the most surprising and shocking games from Week 12.

  • The most surprising ACC game: The Panthers dominated the Hokies for three quarters and won by a final score of 47-14. Virginia Tech lost their two previous games but those two losses were against two top 25 ranked teams and they lost those games by a combined four points. Pitt had lost four of their last five games prior to this game but they played very well in their victory against the Hokies.
  • The most surprising Big Ten game: Illinois going on the road to bear Nebraska by 18 points was shocking. Midway through the third, Illinois was winning 31-10 and was able to stop any comeback attempt by the Cornhuskers. The Illini have lost three of their last four games heading into this one and Nebraska had just come off of a victory of Penn State. On paper, the outcome of the game may not seem like a surprise but Illinois dominated a team on the road that was predicted to be better this season.
  • The most surprising Big 12 game: Oklahoma came into its game against in-state rival Oklahoma State ranked No. 18. The Cowboys entered the game ranked No. 14 and controlled their own destiny in the quest to become Big 12 champions, holding the tie-breaker with their victory over Iowa State earlier in the season. However, the Sooners not only defeated Oklahoma State and essentially ended its hopes of earning the Big 12 crown, but they dominated 41-13 and entered the title race as one of the favorites to play in the conference title game.
  • The most surprising SEC game: Georgia only beat Mississippi State by single digits. The Bulldogs’ offense played well with JT Daniels playing very well at quarterback for Georgia throwing for over 400 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. However, the Bulldogs’ defense gave up over 330 yards passing and allowed two rushing touchdowns in the game. Mississippi State doesn’t usually do well against quality defenses like Georgia’s. For example, they scored zero offensive points against Alabama and Kentucky. The game was also at Georgia which makes it more complexing that the other Bulldogs were able to make this a close game.
  • The most surprising Pac-12 game: Oregon struggled at home against UCLA and only won by three points. The Bruins were without their starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson but they were able to take a 21-14 lead going into halftime against the No. 11 undefeated Ducks. UCLA is not a bad team but it’s not considered a top-tier squad. If the Bruins had not turned the ball over four times, they could have easily upset Oregon. The Ducks were lucky to escape with a victory.
  • The most surprising Group of Five game: Coastal Carolina defeated App State by double-digits. After the Chanticleers’ previous game against Troy was canceled last week, Coastal Carolina would face their biggest challenge left on their regular-season schedule. Before this game, the Mountaineers were undefeated in Sun Belt play. App State was in a good position to pull off an upset but the Chanticleers once again proved why they are ranked and this victory gives them more on an argument for them to qualify for a New Year’s Six game.

Let’s look at the achievements and give recognition to the players and teams that played exceptionally well in Week 12 play.

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