Weekend review: The 10 most impressive performances of Week 14

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Saturday November 29, 2014

Week 14 of the college football season is in the books, and the regular season is over for most teams.

Here are the 10 most impressive performances of the weekend.

1. Lane Kiffin sticks to it, and Alabama puts up 55 on Auburn. After Blake Sims threw his third interception and Alabama trailed 33-21 in the third, Jacob Coker was warming up on the sideline. But Kiffin stuck with Sims, dialed up more plays for Amari Cooper, and the Tide scored touchdowns on their final five drives in a 55-44 win. Kiffin was celebrating a Cooper touchdown before Cooper turned a route at one point.

2. Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech reach 10 wins with a 30-24 comeback against Georgia. Johnson and the staff have done an incredible job this year, winning the ACC Coastal and upsetting UGA on Saturday. The offense averaged 5.7 yards per carry, went 8-for-16 on third down and put together a game-tying drive with 18 seconds left. Ted Roof’s defense continued its strong play, allowing 17 points and forcing three turnovers, including the game-winning interception. 

3. Brent Venables shuts down South Carolina as Clemson ends rivalry losing streak. The Tigers held the Gamecocks to 1.9 yards per carry, 6-for-15 on third down, forced one turnover and recorded four sacks in a 35-17 win. It’s Clemson’s first win in the rivalry since 2008.

4. Western Kentucky’s offense and Jeff Brohm go nuts and end Marshall’s undefeated season. The Hilltoppers put up 738 yards and threw eight touchdown passes in a 67-66 overtime win against a Marshall defense that is the best in Conference USA. Head coach Jeff Brohm calls the plays, and WKU went 7-5 in his first year as head coach, averaging 44.0 points per game. Brohm dialed up a great play on the game-winning two-point conversion. Also credit offensive coordinator Tyson Helton.

5. Lance Anderson and Stanford shut down UCLA. The Bruins were playing for a Pac-12 South championship, but Stanford held UCLA to 3.8 yards per carry, 5-for-14 on third down, 262 total yards and recorded five sacks in a 31-10 win.

6. Sark and USC roll over Notre Dame. The Trojans put up 577 yards and went 13-for-18 on third down with no turnovers in a 49-14 win over the Irish. USC led 21-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 in the second. Also credit offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Clay Helton. Cody Kessler went 32-for-40 with six touchdowns.  

7. Gary Patterson and TCU make an impression in win at Texas. The Horned Frogs forced six turnovers, including two returns for touchdowns, and held Texas to 280 yards in a 48-10 win on Thursday. Also credit defensive coordinator / defensive line coach Dick Bumpas.

8. Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze put up 532 yards on Mississippi State in a 31-17 win. A week ago, the Rebels were shut out at Arkansas. On Saturday, Ole Miss averaged 6.6 yards per carry. After losing three of their past four games, the Rebels finished on a strong note with a win over the No. 4 Bulldogs.

9. Justin Fuente takes Memphis from 3-9 to an AAC title. Barry Odom’s defense held UConn to 3.0 yards per carry and 5-for-15 on third down in a 41-10 win. Fuente took over one of the most difficult situations in 2012. After going 3-9 last year, the Tigers are 9-3 this year and have clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference championship.

10. Amid distractions, Bill Clark gets UAB bowl-eligible. With the future of the program up in the air, first-year head coach Bill Clark and the Blazers beat Southern Miss 45-24 to get to 6-6 and earn bowl-eligibility for the fourth time in school history. UAB’s lone bowl appearance came in 2004.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.