NCF Nation: helmet stickers
Florida State’s freshmen: Jimbo Fisher has been bringing in big hauls on the recruiting trail for years, but it’s been rare that so many have paid such instant dividends as his 2014 signing class did against Louisville. Dalvin Cook, Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph had 284 of FSU’s 574 yards of offense and scored three times. Cook’s 110 yards rushing on nine carries was the difference as the Seminoles pulled away late after trailing by 21 in the first half. Since Oct. 1, Cook leads FSU in rushing with 265 yards, and Rudolph is second on the team in receiving with 268 yards.
Miami RB Duke Johnson and Pitt RB James Conner: We’re lumping the two together not as a slight, but to point out that we’re witnessing two of the truly great seasons by ACC running backs at the same time. Conner was tremendous in a losing effort against Duke, racking up 263 yards -- the most by a Power 5 running back this season -- and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Johnson had 226 yards from scrimmage and scored three times to lead Miami to a win. Through nine weeks, Conner has racked up 1,342 yards and Johnson 1,213. BC’s Andre Williams -- a Heisman finalist in 2013 -- is the only ACC running back to account for more rush yards through nine games in the past decade.
Duke WR Jamison Crowder: How crazy have the past two Duke-Pitt games been? The combined score of last year’s and this year’s game is Duke 106, Pitt 106. The Blue Devils managed to eek out the win in two overtimes this season after the Panthers botched a late field-goal try, but it was Crowder who kept Duke in the game all along. The senior had nine catches for 165 yards and two scores — his first touchdowns of the year against an FBS team. Add a 99-yard kick return for a score by DeVon Edwards, and Duke’s faint playoff hopes remain intact.
NC State DE Pharoah McKever: The Wolfpack offense continues to struggle to find the end zone, but the defense was up to the task against Syracuse. NC State forced three turnovers in the game, and none were more significant than McKever’s 82-yard interception return for a touchdown that turned a 14-9 deficit into a 17-14 lead. It was McKever’s first career INT, the first NC State defensive touchdown in an ACC game since 2012, and more importantly, it was Dave Doreen’s first conference win as the Wolfpack’s head coach.
Georgia Tech RB Synjyn Days: In the two games since Zach Laskey went down with an injury, Days has been a revelation. One week after racking up 110 yards on 22 carries - both career highs -- Days led the way to a win over Virginia by running for 147 yards and adding another 17 through the air, scoring twice. The Cavaliers entered the game with the No. 9-ranked rush defense in the nation, but Days became the first player to rush for 100 against them this season.
Boston College QB Tyler Murphy: The Eagles are bowl eligible for the second straight season, and Murphy is a big reason why. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, racking up 122 yards on 18 carries on the ground. Murphy’s 57-yard TD run with 2:59 to play effectively sealed the win over Virginia Tech, and he’s now just 35 yards shy of becoming the first ACC quarterback to run for 1,000 yards since Georgia Tech’s Josh Nesbitt in 2009.
K Cole Netten, Iowa State, and Josh Lambert, West Virginia: College kickers! We mean that in a good way this time. Lambert lifted West Virginia to a 40-37 victory with a 47-yard game-winner at Maryland. Netten, after Kirk Ferentz kindly iced a miss with a timeout, hit a 42-yarder on the road to steal the Cy-Hawk Trophy from Iowa, 20-17. Difficult kicks, clutch results, huge wins for their respective teams.
WR Kevin White, West Virginia: He's played at an All-Big 12 level in each of West Virginia's first three games. This time, White went for 216 receiving yards, including a 44-yard TD, on 13 catches in the last-second win at Maryland. He's surpassed nine catches and 100 yards in every game this season.
CB Julian Wilson, Oklahoma: As far as icing on the cake goes, it's hard to beat a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown to secure a 34-10 victory over Tennessee. Wilson grabbed a ball deflected by Jordan Evans and took it all the way to make a statement for the Sooners' defense.
LB Paul Dawson, TCU: Dawson was all over the place in a 30-7 win over Minnesota, racking up 15 tackles (nine solo), four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Josh Doctson had a heck of a day too, with one of the prettiest touchdown catches you'll see in the Big 12 this season. But we've got to tip our caps to a dynamite day from Dawson.
WR Lynx Hawthorne, Baylor: Sorry, Bryce Petty and KD Cannon. You'll get yours some other day. Hawthorne, a sophomore who caught two passes last year, is getting more run with all those Baylor receivers sidelined and making the most of it. He hauled in seven passes in Baylor's 63-21 victory over Buffalo on Friday for 123 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career, further confirming the belief that the Bears could not get much deeper at the receiver position.
LB Josh Furman, Oklahoma State: Why not give love to the defenders this week? The Michigan transfer shined with six tackles, two sacks and a pass breakup to help the Cowboys romp to a 43-13 win over a UTSA squad that had proven it can play. Honorable-mention props to Daxx Garman for a nice showing in his first career start.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Here are the top performers for Week 12:
Miami's defensive line. The Hurricanes had a season-high seven sacks in the Canes' 16-14 win against Virginia Tech. Defensive end Marcus Robinson had three, right tackle Marcus Forston and left tackle Joe Joseph each got one, and defensive end Allen Bailey made one on a critical fourth-down stop of Tyrod Taylor with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Maryland's offensive line. The Terps showed dramatic improvement since their loss to Virginia Tech, and it opened things up in both the running and passing game for a 17-15 win over UNC. They paved the way for a 195-yard rushing performance one week after finishing with minus-12 against the Hokies.
Boston College defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani. It's time to give this man some credit. He figured out a way to stop Florida State's running game, which was averaging 205.2 yards, and held them to 73 yards on the ground in the Eagles' 27-17 win over FSU. BC leads the nation with 21 interceptions, including 10 in the past three games. And the defense or special teams has scored in five straight games. The Eagles forced FSU quarterback Christian Ponder into one of his worst performances of the season.
NC State quarterback Russell Wilson. He accounted for all three of the Pack's touchdowns in a 21-17 upset of Wake Forest and also rushed for a team-high 69 yards. He threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns. In his past six games, Wilson has 12 passing touchdowns and no interceptions.
Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. He had 10 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown, and seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers' 31-7 win over Duke. Spiller's 83-yard touchdown catch and 24-yard scoring run put the Tigers one win closer to a bowl game.
Dustin Grutza, QB, Cincinnati: Forget the numbers (1-for-2 passing, 24 yards). Salute the guts of Grutza for coming in during the fourth quarter at Louisville in relief of Tony Pike and leading the team to the game-clinching score in the 28-20 win. Grutza hadn't played since Week 2 at Oklahoma when he suffered a gruesome broken leg.
Dominick Goodman, WR, Cincinnati: Goodman caught nine passes for 134 yards and had the go-ahead touchdown on a beautiful hookup with Pike.
Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers: Britt became the school's leading career receiver in the 49-16 win over South Florida, catching eight balls for 173 yards and a 93-yard touchdown. Britt has four straight 100-yard receiving days.
Jason McCourty, CB, Rutgers: The senior had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery in the win at South Florida.
Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut: The junior had his ninth 100-yard rushing day of the season and became his school's all-time leading rusher with 131 yards on 22 carries in a 39-16 win at Syracuse. He scored on a 49-yard dash.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
It was an extremely entertaining Saturday around the Big Ten, and here are some of the men who made it possible.
Purdue QB Justin Siller -- The sophomore has spent most of the fall practicing as a running back, but he certainly looked the part at quarterback against Michigan. Siller showcased his passing ability, completing 21 of 34 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He also did what he does best, racking up 77 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Michigan State K Brett Swenson -- The Big Ten's premier specialist this season came up big against Wisconsin after struggling the week before at Michigan. Swenson, who worked with former Spartans star Morten Andersen this summer, made his mentor proud by converting all four of his field-goal attempts, including the game-winning 44-yarder with seven seconds remaining.
Northwestern QB Mike Kafka -- Making his first start since 2006, Kafka stepped up to help Northwestern upset No. 17 Minnesota. He set a school single-game record for quarterback rushing with 217 yards and also tossed two touchdown passes. The junior finished the game 12-for-16 passing.
Michigan State WR Blair White -- I mistakenly left White off the sticker list last week, but he delivered another worthy performance against Wisconsin. White had seven receptions for 164 yards in the 25-24 win. The junior has 307 receiving yards in his last two games, the best two-game total for a Spartans receiver since Charles Rogers had 341 in 2002.
Illinois secondary -- I'm not too big on group stickers, but Illinois' secondary had a great collective effort in a must-win game against Iowa. Cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Donsay Hardeman recorded interceptions, and cornerback Dere Hicks made the play of the game in the fourth quarter with a sack, strip, scoop and score against Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh: Even though Notre Dame knew he was Pitt's Option A, B and C, McCoy ran for 169 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries and set up the game-winning field goal in the Panthers' 36-33 overtime victory.
Conor Lee, K, Pittsburgh: Lee was 5-for-5 on field goals and made all four in overtime, including the winning 22-yarder, at Notre Dame.
Pat White, QB, West Virginia: Let loose to run again, White carried 21 times for 109 yards and two scores and completed 11 of 18 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Mountaineers' 35-13 win over UConn.
Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia: Had two interceptions in the Mountaineers' victory.
Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut: Talk about a crowded hat. Brown makes it 4-for-4 on helmet stickers with 150 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns -- including the game-winner -- in Friday's 38-29 win against Baylor.