College football Week 13 recap: Best highlights and takeaways

Minnesota's Dylan Wright makes sensational catch over defender (0:22)

Minnesota gets the huge gain as Dylan Wright goes over the top of the defensive back for the catch. (0:22)

Week 13 brought several upsets, an excessive celebration, an emotional goodbye and a shift in the Heisman standings.

The final weekend of the regular season started with Mississippi State's Thanksgiving Day victory over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. The College Football Playoff standings will shift again after four teams in the top 10 lost (No. 2 Ohio State, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Oregon).

Let's catch up on the best moments from the week.

Wildest play

Give us all the jump passes from the unlikeliest of people. We'll put every single one of them on repeat.

For more of the best plays from The Game, check this out.

Best upset

Clemson entered its rivalry game against South Carolina as a 14.5-point favorite for plenty of good reasons.

The Tigers had seven straight wins in the series -- tied for the longest streak in the history of the rivalry.

The Tigers had won 40 straight at home, the longest home winning streak in the nation. In their game last year, a "down" Clemson team won 30-0. In their previous two meetings, Clemson won by a combined 68-3.

So is it any wonder the entire College GameDay crew picked Clemson?

South Carolina coach Shane Beamer clearly noticed.

The Gamecocks came out fired up from the start of the game, and though they found themselves trailing by 14 (note the closing line!), they kept fighting, forcing crucial turnovers and doing a number on Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. South Carolina blitzed on 19 of 30 dropbacks -- its highest blitz rate in a game since 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Meanwhile, Spencer Rattler was dropping perfectly thrown passes down the field on what felt like one play after another -- clearly outplaying Uiagalelei and leading South Carolina to a 31-30 victory.

Make no mistake. South Carolina earned the win. The Gamecocks outplayed and outcoached Clemson in the same way they outplayed and outcoached Tennessee the previous week.

When it was all said and done, Rattler found a way to celebrate in the locker room.

Beamer is clearly keeping the receipts.

-- Andrea Adelson

Best celebration

Rivalry week got off to a roaring start on Thanksgiving night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State met for the 119th time on Thursday in a rivalry that's not at all short on hate. With that hate sometimes comes fun and excessive celebrations. This celebration from Lane Kiffin's son comes up in the former category, as he got rowdy with the team by using a fire extinguisher after a touchdown.

In the end, Mississippi State got the best of Ole Miss 24-22 on a cool and rainy night in which neither offense ever needed a fire extinguisher.

Some Ole Miss fans likely celebrated later with their fire extinguishers as Kiffin signed an extension with the Rebels despite a whirlwind of a week filled with rumors of a potential departure to Auburn.

-- Harry Lyles Jr.

Small-school moment

The smaller-school playoffs have something for everybody. They are the best things this sport has to offer. Do you like down-to-the-wire action decided by a field goal? Southeastern Louisiana and Idaho put on a 45-42 track meet, but Idaho's kicker slipped while attempting to send the game to OT.

Do you like top seeds falling? The No. 12 Keiser Seahawks took down Morningside, the 2018, 2019 and 2021 national champion, by a 29-28 score in Iowa.

Do you like big, explosive runs and dudes high-fiving each other on the way to the end zone? Max Brosmer and New Hampshire have you covered there, too.

The FCS playoffs kick off the round of 16 this coming weekend, the D2 and D3 playoffs have reached the quarterfinals and only four teams remain in the fight for the NAIA crown. Pick a level and dive in.

-- Bill Connelly


Caleb Williams finally struck the Heisman pose.

To hear USC's Caleb Williams tell it, he wasn't interested in striking the Heisman pose after scoring his second, third and fourth touchdowns in the Trojans' win over Notre Dame. But how could he not? Fans were chanting, "Heisman," a few in the front of the student section had the word spelled out in paint across their chest, and his teammates, of course, wanted to see it.

So Williams obliged.

"My teammates kept telling me to do it," Williams said with a wry smile postgame.

With or without the Heisman pose, Williams left those who watched from near or far starstruck by his performance. The sophomore quarterback has been doing a version of this all season. Still, against the Fighting Irish, it was as if Williams knew he needed to flourish on another level, and needed to turn every play into a Heisman moment. Aside from one sack he took that he and Lincoln Riley joked about postgame, every scramble seemed to work, and every escape seemed to turn into a gain.

"He's the best player in college football," running back Austin Jones said.

The award may not be decided yet, but there's a clear favorite now. And as Jordan Addison put it, if USC does what it has to do Friday in the Pac-12 championship game, "it's going to be his."

The season USC has enjoyed is what Williams and Riley envisioned when they decided to leave Norman, Oklahoma, for Los Angeles. The fact that it has all come to fruition this quickly and has included a Heisman front-runner is striking. What's more: Williams has to play another year of college ball before he can declare for the NFL draft. USC still has meaningful games ahead, but it's fair to begin to wonder: What will Williams do for an encore?

-- Paolo Uggetti

C.J. Stroud leaves behind a legacy at Ohio State.

Surrounded by family, C.J. Stroud entered the Ohio State interview room Saturday with a mix of disappointment, perspective and gratitude.

Stroud didn't duck the reality of what had just happened: a 45-23 loss to archrival Michigan, which knocked Ohio State out of the Big Ten championship race, and perhaps the College Football Playoff, too. Despite his 349 passing yards, Stroud's chances for the Heisman Trophy -- the award many pegged him to win throughout the season -- also likely disappeared.

For all the incredible numbers he generated in two seasons as Ohio State's starting quarterback -- 7,775 passing yards, 81 touchdowns -- two losses will stick to his Buckeyes legacy.

"People are going to say I never won The Game, and I understand, people are going to say I never won the Big Ten championship, I understand," Stroud said. "When it comes to that, I just have to eat it. It's life. Nothing's ever been easy for me."

Stroud wasn't to blame for Ohio State's losses to Michigan the past two years. Michigan bullied the Buckeyes in 2021 and gashed them Saturday for five touchdowns of 45 yards or longer. But Stroud accepted responsibility, saying, "This game's really on me. I've got to do more."

He said he prepared as hard as he could to beat Michigan after last year. Stroud said he "stopped living a personal life." He wouldn't take calls when watching film, even from his mother.

"There's no stone I didn't turn over to try to win this game," he said.

Projected as a top-five pick for the 2023 NFL draft, Stroud almost certainly played his final game at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. He hasn't decided whether he would participate in a bowl game outside of the College Football Playoff.

On Saturday, Stroud became the first Ohio State quarterback to eclipse 3,000 passing yards in multiple seasons. But what likely will be his final home start ended like his first last year against Oregon: with a loss.

"I came a long way, man, from my first game playing in The Shoe, being booed, everybody not saying very nice things about me," Stroud said. "I think I've earned everybody's respect as time has gone on, and I've fallen in love with Columbus, Ohio, and Buckeye Nation.

"So I've enjoyed every second of it. A lot of ups, a lot of downs, man, but I appreciate everybody that comes and supports every game."

-- Adam Rittenberg