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October 11, 2008

Saturday College Football Notebook

STARS

-Texas' Colt McCoy threw for 277 yards and a touchdown and the fifth-ranked Longhorns knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35 in Dallas.

-Oklahoma's Sam Bradford threw for 385 yards and five touchdowns. But he also had an interception in the Sooners' loss to Texas.

-Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree caught five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns as the seventh-ranked Red Raiders defeated Nebraska 37-31 in overtime. Crabtree has 32 career touchdown receptions, a school record.

-Southern California tailback Joe McKnight carried 11 times for a career-high 143 yards to help the eighth-ranked Trojans drub Arizona State 28-0.

-Army fullback Collin Mooney ran for 229 yards, his second straight career-high outing, and the Cadets beat Eastern Michigan 17-13 for their second straight victory.

No. 1 Oklahoma (5-1) lost to No. 5 Texas 45-35. Next: vs. No. 16 Kansas, Saturday.

No. 2 Alabama (6-0) did not play. Next: vs. Mississippi, Saturday.

No. 3 Missouri (5-1) lost to No. 17 Oklahoma State 28-23. Next: at No. 5 Texas, Saturday.

No. 4 LSU (4-1) lost to No. 11 Florida 51-21. Next: at South Carolina, Saturday.

No. 5 Texas (6-0) beat No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35. Next: vs. No. 3 Missouri, Saturday.

No. 6 Penn State (7-0) beat Wisconsin 48-7. Next: vs. Michigan, Saturday.

No. 7 Texas Tech (6-0) beat Nebraska 37-31, OT. Next: at Texas A&M, Saturday.

No. 8 Southern Cal (4-1) beat Arizona State 28-0. Next: at Washington State, Saturday.

No. 9 BYU (6-0) beat New Mexico 21-3. Next: at TCU, Saturday.

No. 10 Georgia (5-1) beat Tennessee 26-14. Next: vs. No. 13 Vanderbilt, Saturday.

No. 11 Florida (5-1) beat No. 4 LSU 51-21. Next: vs. Kentucky, Oct. 25.

No. 12 Ohio State (6-1) beat Purdue 16-3. Next: at No. 23 Michigan State, Saturday.

No. 13 Vanderbilt (5-1) lost to Mississippi State 17-14. Next: at No. 10 Georgia, Saturday.

No. 14 Utah (7-0) beat Wyoming 40-7. Next: vs. Colorado State, Saturday.

No. 15 Boise State (5-0) beat Southern Miss. 24-7. Next: vs. Hawaii, Friday.

No. 16 Kansas (5-1) beat Colorado 30-14. Next: at No. 1 Oklahoma, Saturday.

No. 17 Oklahoma State (6-0) beat No. 4 Missouri 28-23. Next: vs. Baylor, Saturday.

No. 18 Virginia Tech (5-1) did not play. Next: at Boston College, Saturday.

No. 19 South Florida (5-1) did not play. Next: vs. Syracuse, Saturday.

No. 20 Auburn (4-3) lost to Arkansas 25-22. Next: at West Virginia, Oct. 25.

No. 21 Wake Forest (4-1) beat Clemson 12-7. Next: at Maryland, Saturday.

No. 22 North Carolina (5-1) beat Notre Dame 29-24. Next: at Virginia, Saturday.

No. 23 Michigan State (6-1) beat Northwestern 37-20. Next: at No. 12 Ohio State, Saturday.

No. 24 Pittsburgh (4-1) did not play. Next: at Navy, Saturday.

No. 25 Ball State (7-0) beat Western Kentucky 24-7. Next: vs. Eastern Michigan, Oct. 25.

START THE CAROUSEL

No. 2 Alabama had the right idea Saturday.

The Crimson Tide took the day off and survived an upsetting day at the top of the polls.

Oklahoma woke up as the No. 1 team in the country and went to bed in fourth place in the Big 12 South, thanks to a 45-35 loss to No. 5 Texas.

It was that kind of day.

The top-ranked Sooners tumbled, No. 3 Missouri lost to 17th-ranked Oklahoma State 28-23 and No. 4 LSU was blown out by 11th-ranked Florida 51-21.

LSU's loss was notable because the defending national champs were the last unbeaten from the preseason Associated Press Top 10, outlasting Mizzou by about a half-hour. (Texas opened the season at No. 11.)

So what does it all mean?

It means that the Crimson Tide are in line to become the new No. 1 when the new Associated Press Top 25 is released on Sunday.

It also means that none of the highly ranked teams that went down on Saturday are out of the national title hunt, although Oklahoma now needs help to beat out Texas in the Big 12 South.

"It's not over by far," said OU receiver Manny Johnson, who caught three touchdowns.

NO REST FOR THE 'HORNS

Congratulations, Mack Brown, on your exhilarating 45-35 victory over top-ranked Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.

"Right now, this team would be known for heart and character and toughness and playing together," Brown said. "There are not individuals on the team, not guys who talk about themselves. It's been about `this team' from Day 1."

The Longhorns figure to creep up from No. 5 in Sunday's Associated Press Top 25. But it won't be easy for them to stay high in the rankings.

No. 3 Missouri, smarting over its loss to Oklahoma State, visits Austin next Saturday, and the red-hot Cowboys, ranked 17th, come to town the next weekend.

The Longhorns visit No. 7 Texas Tech on Nov. 1, and two weeks later they go to No. 16 Kansas.

AM I BLUE?

Lloyd Carr had Appalachian State.

Now Rich Rodriguez, Carr's replacement at Michigan, has Toledo.

Rodriguez presided over an unfathomable 13-10 home loss to the Rockets, Michigan's first loss in 25 games against Mid-American Conference opponents.

The MAC has some solid teams, but Toledo isn't one of them. The Rockets came to Ann Arbor 1-4, and their resume included blowout losses to Ball State (31-0) and Arizona (41-16).

The Rockets ranked 110th in scoring defense, conceding 35.8 points per game. But they limited Michigan to one touchdown under Rodriguez, an offensive mastermind.

"I wasn't in a hurry to get off the field," Toledo coach Tom Amstutz said. "I lingered a little bit because it was such a great feeling."

The Wolverines (2-4) have their worst six-game record since 1967 -- two years before Bo Schembechler started coaching them -- and their streak of playing in 33 straight bowls is in jeopardy.

THEY'RE GOLDEN

Minnesota had the nation's worst defense a year ago, conceding 518.7 yards per game en route to a 1-11 record.

Things have turned around under new defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

The Golden Gophers' defense gave up 551 yards against Illinois on Saturday, but they turned in numerous big plays to pull out a 27-20 victory in Champaign.

The Gophers staged a dramatic goal-line stand, stopping elusive Fighting Illini quarterback Juice Williams on fourth-and-goal. They also returned Williams' fumble for a touchdown and sacked him five times.

DOOM IN THE DESERT

Arizona State won its first eight games under new coach Dennis Erickson last year, rising to No. 4 in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Since then, the Sun Devils are 4-7 after a 28-0 pasting at No. 8 USC on Saturday.

The Sun Devils dropped to 3-27 against the Top 25 since 2000. They're 1-5 under Erickson in that span, with the five losses coming by an average of 19 points.

Adding to Arizona State's woes, starting quarterback Rudy Carpenter left the game in the second half after apparently aggravating an ankle injury. Carpenter made his 37th straight start, the second-longest active streak in the nation.

The Sun Devils aren't alone in their misery. In-state rival Arizona dropped out of first place in the Pac-10 with a 24-23 loss at Stanford.

LEACH GOES HOLLYWOOD

Tied 24-24 with Nebraska, Texas Tech faced a fourth-and-5 at its own 36 midway through the fourth quarter. Red Raiders coach Mike Leach decided to go for it, and quarterback Graham Harrell hit Michael Crabtree for a 47-yard gain.

Five plays later, Harrell scored to put the Red Raiders up 31-24, and they went on to a 37-31 overtime victory.

"It's like Sharon Stone said one time after a movie she did. She said, 'No guts, no glory," Leach told a television interviewer afterward. "Well, I thought we might be able to draw them off, and then if we didn't, I felt like we could get it, and we did."

15 MINUTES OF INFAMY

In what has to be one of the worst quarters by a USC quarterback in school history, Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the third quarter of a 28-0 victory against Arizona State.

BY THE NUMBERS

Stanford (4-3, 3-1 Pac-10) matched last year's victory total with a 24-23 victory over Arizona. With third-string quarterback Alex Loukas leading a last-minute drive, the Cardinal rallied to win on Toby Gerhart's 1-yard with 25 seconds to play in Palo Alto. ... Miami forced Central Florida to punt a school-record 12 times in a 20-14 Hurricanes victory. ... No. 9 BYU fell behind New Mexico 3-0 in the second quarter before rallying for a 21-3 victory. It's only the second time this season the Cougars have trailed. ... Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert broke the school career scoring record with an 18-yard field goal against Oklahoma State. The kick gave Wolfert 287 career points. ... Michigan has 19 turnovers and 15 touchdowns.

THEY SAID IT

"This is only one game and it's over now. We can learn from our mistakes and refocus our efforts on the rest of our games from here on out. We still have a lot of football left to play." -- Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

TOP 25 Capsules

No. 5 Texas 45 - No. 1 Oklahoma 35

DALLAS -- Mack Brown can finally say he's done something in the Texas-Oklahoma game that Bob Stoops hasn't -- pulled off an upset. And it's a big one.

Brown's Longhorns grabbed some second-half momentum by foiling a fake punt Saturday, then Colt McCoy and the defense built on it, carrying No. 5 Texas to a 45-35 victory over No. 1 Oklahoma.

The Longhorns (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) outscored the Sooners 25-7 after stopping the trickery, and their half of the record crowd of 92,182 fans loved every bit of it.

Brown and Stoops have brought their programs back to prominence over the last decade. Stoops has a reputation of outcoaching Brown, primarily because of two blowout wins. Truth is, the higher-ranked team has won every one of their matchups. In fact, this was the first upset in this series since 1996.

Sam Bradford was 28-of-39 for 387 yards and five touchdowns, three to Manny Johnson, but wasn't able to pull it out for Oklahoma (5-1, 1-1). He threw two interceptions, a meaningless one on the final play and another late in the second quarter that led to a Texas field goal.

McCoy was 28-of-35 for 277 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers. He was sacked four times, but also ran 14 times for 31 yards. His stewardship certainly helped his Heisman Trophy chances.

No. 17 Oklahoma State 28, No. 3 Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Oklahoma State snarled Chase Daniel and a Missouri offense that had been scoring at will, intercepting three passes in the second half in the upset.

Zac Robinson and Damian Davis hooked up on a pair of long scores in the second half, and Patrick Lavine's interception with 1:41 to go was the clincher for the Cowboys. Missouri (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) had appeared poised to challenge for No. 1 with a strong effort after top-ranked Oklahoma lost to Texas and No. 2 Alabama had the weekend off.

Instead, it was the coming-out party for the Cowboys (6-0, 2-0 Big 12). Oklahoma State, only 18-19 in coach Mike Gundy's first three seasons, is 6-0 for only the second time since 1945.

And it was Robinson, not Daniel, who played like a Heisman Trophy front-runner. Robinson was 19-for-28 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Kendall Hunter had 154 yards on 24 carries and a 68-yard scoring run.

Daniel was 39-for-52 for 390 yards and a touchdown for Missouri.

No. 11 Florida 51, No. 4 LSU 21

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes to Percy Harvin and ran for a score, and the Gators thumped defending national champions in The Swamp.

The fourth-ranked Tigers (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had won six consecutive games, 19 in a row at night and 23 straight in regulation. Florida (5-1, 3-1) ended all those streaks with a fast start and some huge plays from Tebow, Harvin, Jeff Demps and Brandon Spikes.

LSU lost for the first time in regulation since falling 23-10 two years ago in Gainesville -- taking the worst beating of coach Les Miles' four-year career with the Tigers. They had three turnovers, a near interception that went for a touchdown and a costly face-mask penalty.

It was the most-lopsided loss for LSU since a 31-0 beating at home by Alabama in 2002, when Nick Saban was leading the Tigers. The last time LSU gave up more points, Steve Spurrier's Gators beat the Tigers 56-13 in 1996.

Tebow finished 14-of-21 passing for 210 yards. He also ran 12 times for 22 yards. Harvin had six catches for 112 yards.

No. 6 Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7

MADISON, Wis. -- With coach Joe Paterno perched in the press box for the second straight week because of a sore hip, Daryll Clark threw for a touchdown and ran for two more as Penn State dismantled Wisconsin.

Cornerback Lydell Sargeant had two interceptions -- off of two different Wisconsin quarterbacks -- and Derrick Williams scored again in the return game as the Nittany Lions (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) made another strong statement asserting their place among the nation's top teams.

It is Penn State's 11th 7-0 start under Paterno and first since 1999. The Nittany Lions also won back-to-back Big Ten road games for the first time since '99.

It was the second straight home loss and most lopsided loss since 1989 for Wisconsin (3-3, 0-3), which opened conference play with three losses for the first time since 2002 -- a dismal start for a team considered a potential conference title contender going into the season.

No. 7 Texas Tech 37, Nebraska 31, OT

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Eric Morris had a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime and Jamar Wall made it stand up for Texas Tech with an interception.

Texas Tech (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) left the door open for the Cornhuskers (3-3, 0-2) to win it with a touchdown and extra point, when the Red Raiders botched the PAT after Morris' score.

But the mistake didn't cost the Red Raiders. Joe Ganz, who threw for 349 yards, was scrambling and trying to throw the ball away on the Huskers' second play when Wall intercepted it along the Texas Tech sideline to end the game.

Graham Harrell, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, was 20-of-25 for 284 yards for Texas Tech.

No. 8 USC 28, Arizona St. 0

LOS ANGELES -- Mark Sanchez passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and the Southern California defense dominated Arizona State.

Joe McKnight ran for a career-high 143 yards on 11 carries and Kevin Thomas returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown for the No. 8 Trojans (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10), who extended their winning streak over the Sun Devils to nine games, winning by an average of 20.1 points.

USC is 74-9 since the beginning of the 2002 season and has won 41 of its last 42 home games.

Arizona State (2-4, 1-2), meanwhile, has scored just 44 points in losing four straight for the first time since 2003. The Sun Devils gained only 229 yards while being shut out for the first time since Oct. 30, 2004 when they lost to California 27-0.

No. 9 BYU 21, New Mexico 3

PROVO, Utah -- Max Hall threw for three touchdowns and No. 9 BYU survived its lowest scoring game of the season, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 16 straight.

BYU (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) remained unbeaten at the halfway point of the season, but needed Hall's 8-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie with 3:05 left in the game to seal it.

New Mexico (3-4, 1-2) held the Cougars scoreless in opening quarter and scored before BYU, both firsts for the season. The Lobos also had a touchdown called back on a penalty midway through the fourth quarter when BYU was up only 14-3, then New Mexico failed to convert on a fourth-and-21.

The Cougars, who won their 16th in a row at home, scored at least four touchdowns in every game until Saturday.

No. 10 Georgia 26, Tennessee 14

ATHENS, Ga. -- Matthew Stafford passed for a career-best 310 yards, Knowshon Moreno ran for 101 yards and Georgia dropped Tennessee to 0-3 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in 20 years.

Tennessee netted only 1 yard on the ground, but the Volunteers capitalized on two Stafford interceptions for their only touchdowns. Nick Stephens, in his second career start, threw two touchdown passes.

Arian Foster had only three carries for three yards for the Vols (2-4, 0-3), one year after he rushed for 98 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Georgia (5-1, 2-1). He's been held under 40 yards rushing in all three of the Vols' SEC losses.

Stafford was 25-for-36 passing with a touchdown.

No. 12 Ohio St. 16, Purdue 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Malcolm Jenkins blocked a punt and Etienne Sabino returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to lead Ohio State to the win.

Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor had an erratic day and tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells totaled 94 yards on 22 carries for the Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten).

Ohio State has won four straight since a 35-3 loss at then-No. 1 Southern California prompted coach Jim Tressel to put sixth-year senior Todd Boeckman on the bench behind Pryor.

Pryor completed 10 of 14 passes for 97 yards and ran for 27 yards on 14 carries.

Curtis Painter threw for 228 yards for Purdue, becoming just the fourth Big Ten quarterback to surpass 10,000 passing yards.

Carson Wiggs booted a school-record 53-yard field goal early in the third quarter for the Boilermakers (2-4, 0-2).

Mississippi St. 17, No. 13 Vanderbilt 14

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Anthony Dixon rushed for 107 yards, De'Mon Glanton set up the game-clinching touchdown with an interception and Mississippi State handed Vanderbilt its first loss.

The Commodores (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) were looking to go 6-0 for the first time since 1928. Instead, the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-2) did to them what they've done to most of their opponents this season. Mississippi State played good defense -- Vandy gained 107 yards -- capitalized on mistakes and gutted out a close victory.

For Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom, it was the fourth time in his five seasons he's led the Bulldogs to an upset of a ranked opponent.

Chris Nickson and Jeff Jennings had rushing TDs for Vanderbilt.

No. 14 Utah 40, Wyoming 7

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Matt Asiata ran for a touchdown and caught a TD pass, and Utah's special teams scored two touchdowns.

Utah (7-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remained undefeated, having no problem clearing this hurdle after needing a last-second field goal to beat Oregon State last week.

Wyoming (2-5, 0-4) lost its fourth straight game, but managed to avoid being shutout for the third time this season.

Brian Johnson was 10-for-19 for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Asiata added 37 yards on 11 carries. Sean Smith intercepted two passes, returning one for a score.

Karsten Sween was 8-for-18 for 52 yards and three interceptions for Wyoming. Devin Moore rushed for 106 yards on 23 carries.

No. 15 Boise State 24, Southern Miss 7

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes and Boise State rolled to an easy win.

Moore hit 16 of 20 passes for 144 yards and all three touchdowns in the first half, connecting twice with Austin Pettis, for the efficient Broncos (5-0). The redshirt freshman quarterback continued to show an uncanny ability to make the right decisions despite his youth.

He came into the game completing 72 percent of his passes and hit 70 percent (21-of-30) against Southern Miss (2-4), which has lost three straight games for the first time since 2004.

With Moore guiding them, the Broncos look like they could be BCS busters again. It was Boise State's 25th road win since 2003 and its 14th regular-season win in its last 15 games.

Arkansas 25, No. 20 Auburn 22

AUBURN, Ala. -- Michael Smith rushed for 176 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 63-yard run in the fourth quarter and the Razorbacks mounted two late defensive stands.

Arkansas (3-3, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) forced Auburn's Kodi Burns into three straight incompletions from the 5 to halt one drive. Then Matt Harris made a diving interception with 29 seconds left on the Tigers' last chance.

Casey Dick rushed for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass from receiver Joe Adams for the Razorbacks, who had lost their last three games by a collective 139-31. The 19-point underdogs outgained Auburn 416-193 in the return of former Tigers offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino as Razorbacks coach.

The Tigers' second straight loss capped a tumultuous week. Coach Tommy Tuberville fired first-year offensive coordinator Tony Franklin three days before the game, then named assistant Steve Ensminger as the playcaller for the rest of the season.

No. 16 Kansas 30, Colorado 14

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Jake Sharp scored three touchdowns for Kansas, and Todd Reesing threw for 256 yards and another score.

The Jayhawks led only 16-14 after Cody Hawkins' 1-yard touchdown run at the end of the third period. But Reesing quickly engineered two scoring drives to salt away Kansas' 20th win in 23 games and its 13th in a row at home.

Sharp, a 190-pound junior, had 118 yards on a career-high 31 carries. Reesing was 27-for-34 without an interception.

It was the 10th straight road loss to a ranked opponent for Colorado (3-3, 0-2 Big 12), which trailed only 9-7 at halftime even though Kansas (5-1, 2-0) had a safety and two interceptions.

No. 22 North Carolina 29, Notre Dame 24

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Cameron Sexton scored on a leaping 4-yard keeper to start the fourth quarter and Quan Sturdivant returned an interception for a touchdown for North Carolina.

Ryan Houston scored on a short run for the Tar Heels (5-1), who are off to their best start since winning the first eight games of the 1997 season. Hakeem Nicks added nine catches for 141 yards, helping North Carolina rally from an 11-point first-half deficit and beat Notre Dame for just the second time in 18 meetings.

This one came down to a wild finish, with the Irish (4-2) reaching North Carolina's 7-yard line in the final seconds before officials ruled after a review that receiver Michael Floyd fumbled the ball after a catch. Trimane Goddard recovered the ball, giving it back to North Carolina for a joyous kneel-down with 3 seconds left.

Jimmy Clausen threw for 383 yards and two touchdowns for Notre Dame.

No. 23 Michigan State 37, Northwestern 20

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Javon Ringer ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a win over previously unbeaten Northwestern.

Brian Hoyer added two short touchdown passes as the Spartans never trailed. Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) scored 17 straight points in the first quarter with the help of a pair of Northwestern turnovers.

The 5-foot-9, 202-pound Ringer had his fifth straight 100-yard game and went over 1,000 yards for the second straight season. The bruising Ringer, who leads the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns, carried the ball 35 times.

Northwestern (5-1, 1-1) had been off to its best start since 1962. Tyrell Sutton rushed 23 times for 139 yards and caught six passes for 44 yards.

No. 25 Ball St. 24, Western Kentucky 7

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Nate Davis threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cardinals overcome a slow start in their first game as a ranked team.

MiQuale Lewis ran for 112 yards and a score for No. 25 Ball State (7-0), which needed more than a half to find any rhythm against the pesky Hilltoppers (2-5).

Perhaps the Cardinals were suffering from stage fright. They were dominated at times by WKU, which is in the final year of transition from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision.

The Hilltoppers piled up 352 yards of offense but turned the ball over three times and continually self-destructed in Ball State territory. David Wolke threw for 161 yards.



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