September 29, 2007

Saturday's Top 25 roundup

For three-plus quarters, Southern California was teetering toward becoming the sixth and mightiest top-10 team to fall this weekend.

Ultimately, the top-ranked Trojans survived.

Stafon Johnson ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and Chauncey Washington added 106 yards and a score as USC overcame its own numerous mistakes and Washington in a 27-24 victory Saturday night.

The Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-10) committed three turnovers and 16 penalties - their most in more than two seasons - for 161 yards and had a missed a field goal and blocked punt. Yet they won for the 60th time in 64 games.

Redshirt freshman Jake Locker continued his erratic passing by missing three open receivers in or near the end zone for Washington (2-3, 0-3), which lost its third consecutive game and is now 1-9-1 against No. 1 teams - including 0-7 when USC is top ranked.

No. 2 LSU 34, Tulane 9

One good half was more than enough for second-ranked LSU to crush Tulane's early notions of an upset.

Jacob Hester's second touchdown of the game and Charles Scott's pair of scoring runs helped LSU (5-0) amass 24 unanswered second-half points in a victory in New Orleans.

Matt Flynn shook off six sacks to throw for 258 yards. His passing was inconsistent in the face of constant pressure and he was intercepted once, but he kept fighting to eventually lead the Tigers to the lopsided triumph everyone expected.

Colorado 27, No. 3 Oklahoma 24

Just as Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops predicted, the third-ranked Sooners couldn't run it up on Colorado. In fact, the Sooners couldn't even beat the Buffaloes in Boulder, Colo.

Kevin Eberhart kicked a career-long 45-yard field goal as time expired to send Colorado past the stunned Sooners.

It was the Buffaloes' first win over a top-five team since Dec. 1, 2001, when they bested Texas in the Big 12 title game.

After Eberhart's kick cleared the crossbar, the fans stormed the field as the dejected Sooners, who had blown a 24-7 second-half lead, walked off, their hopes of a national championship having taken a major hit.

Auburn 20, No. 4 Florida 17

MORE COVERAGE
Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan was in Gainesville for the game. Read his take here:
Auburn again foils Florida
Freshman Wes Byrum kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired to lift Auburn to a victory over fourth-ranked Florida in Gainesville, Fla.

The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the defending national champions and gave the Gators their first home loss under coach Urban Meyer. They had won 18 in a row, 17 straight since Meyer took over in 2005.

Friday: No. 18 South Florida 21, No. 5 West Virginia 13

No. 18 South Florida is not only basking in the national spotlight, the Bulls are thriving in it after Friday night's upset of No. 5 West Virginia in Tampa, Fla.

MORE COVERAGE
Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan was in Tampa for the game. Read his take here:
Big East has a new bully in USF

Matt Grothe upstaged West Virginia stars Pat White and Steve Slaton for the second consecutive year, and rapidly rising USF proved last year's victory over the Mountaineers in Morgantown was anything but a fluke.

Grothe scrambled to avoid a sack before throwing a 55-yard touchdown pass to Carlton Mitchell, and Ben Moffitt returned one of his two interceptions 26 yards for a TD to lead a stellar defensive performance in the Big East opener.

No. 6 California 31, No. 11 Oregon 24

MORE COVERAGE
Rivals.com's Steve Megargee was in Eugene for the game. Read his take here:
Cal makes statement at Oregon
DeSean Jackson had 11 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Forsett ran for 101 yards and another two scores to lead No. 6 California to a victory over No. 11 Oregon in Eugene, Ore.

The Golden Bears (5-0, 2-0 Pacific-10 Conference) snapped a seven-game losing streak at Autzen Stadium - they hadn't won there since 1987 - and needed a close call to go their way to hang on to the victory.

With 22 seconds to go, Oregon's Dennis Dixon hit receiver Cameron Colvin, who fumbled trying to reach the ball into the end zone when he was hit by Marcus Ezeff. The loose ball went through the end zone and was ruled a touchback and possession for Cal. The play was reviewed, the call stood and time ran out for Oregon (4-1, 1-1).

Kansas State 41, No. 7 Texas 21

Two kick returns for touchdowns and an interception return for another score propelled Kansas State to a win over the No. 7 Longhorns in Austin, Texas, handing Texas its worst home defeat in 10 years under coach Mack Brown.

Linebacker Ian Campbell scored on a 41-yard interception return in the second quarter and James Johnson took a kickoff 85 yards for a 21-14 lead moments after Texas had tied the score.

Jordy Nelson's 89-yard punt return in the third put the Wildcats up 34-21 and all but sealed their second consecutive victory over Texas.

No. 8 Ohio State 30, Minnesota 7

Chris Wells rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ohio State defense didn't budge in a 30-7 win at Minnesota.

The eighth-ranked Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) have allowed only 34 points in five easy victories, making life much easier for new quarterback Todd Boeckman. He wasn't great, but he threw for two scores and didn't turn the ball over - leaving Wells to wear down the overmatched Gophers (1-4, 0-2).

Boeckman delivered when the Buckeyes needed him to, throwing a perfect pass to Brian Robiskie for a 52-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the first half that stretched the lead to 20-7. Boeckman went 18-for-29 for 209 yards.

MORE COVERAGE
Gerry Ahern of Yahoo! Sports was in Madison for the game. Read his take here:
Hill carries Wisconsin
P.J. Hill ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns and No. 9 Wisconsin extended the nation's longest winning streak to 14 by holding off Michigan State in Madison, Wis.

The Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) seemed in complete control late in the third quarter after Hill ran for his second touchdown from a yard out to give Wisconsin a 34-24 lead.

However, Michigan State (4-1, 0-1) answered with 10 straight points, first off Brian Hoyer's 3-yard TD pass to Mark Dell to cap a 13-play drive with 13:54 to play.

Tyler Donovan, who finished 17-of-24 for 247 yards and two scores, had been sharp to that point leading the Badgers, but he didn't see safety Travis Key, who went right to the spot Donovan was looking for an easy interception. Brett Swenson kicked a 35-yard field goal to tie the game at 34-34 with just over 12 minutes to play.

Maryland 34, No. 10 Rutgers 24

Backup quarterback Chris Turner led three second-half scoring drives, Keon Lattimore rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and Maryland's defense shut down Ray Rice and No. 10 Rutgers' high-powered offense in a stunning victory in Piscataway, N.J.

It marked the second straight year that Rutgers (3-1) was upset after getting into the Top 10. Last year, Cincinnati surprised the Scarlet Knights a week after they reached No. 7 following an upset of then-No. 3 Louisville.

This year it was Maryland (3-2), which had dropped two straight games and was coming off a disheartening 31-24 overtime loss to Wake Forest, a game in which the Terps blew a 24-3 third quarter lead.

No. 12 Boston College 24, Massachusetts 14

Andre Callender ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Matt Ryan threw for one TD to lead No. 12 Boston College past feisty cross-state rival Massachusetts in Boston and give the Eagles their best start in more than 50 years.

Ryan was 24-for-42 for 204 yards, helping BC (5-0) open a 17-0 lead before slumping in the third quarter as UMass (4-1) closed within a field goal at 17-14. But Ryan answered with a 61-yard drive, completing 5-of-7 passes and adding a 14-yard scramble before Callender scored from the 4 to make it 24-14.

Georgia Tech 13, No. 13 Clemson 3

Georgia Tech stifled the dynamic running duo of James Davis and C.J. Spiller and took advantage of a stunningly poor performance by Dean Buchholz and the rest of Clemson's kicking game, upsetting the 13th-ranked Tigers in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets (3-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak and avoided their first 0-3 start in league play since 1994. It wouldn't have been possible if not for Clemson's woes in a phase of the game that often gets overlooked.

The Tigers (4-1, 2-1) missed four field goals, had a punt blocked to set up the only touchdown and fumbled on a kickoff return, setting up a field goal that gave Georgia Tech a 10-point lead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining

Andre' Woodson threw for a career-high five touchdowns but had his NCAA-record streak of consecutive passes without an interception snapped at 325 as No. 14 Kentucky dominated Florida Atlantic in Lexington, Ky.

Four different receivers caught scoring throws from Woodson, who completed 26 of 33 passes for a season-high 301 yards in just over three quarters.

Woodson would have had a sixth TD, but his toss to fullback John Conner was picked off by Tavious Polo as the two players battled for the ball near the goal line. It was the seventh interception of the year for the freshman cornerback, who came into the game as the national leader.

No. 15 Georgia 45, Mississippi 17

Thomas Brown ran for 180 yards - the most for Georgia in six years - and three touchdowns as No. 15 Georgia beat Mississippi in Athens, Ga.

The game was tied 17-17 early in the third quarter before Brown, who scored earlier on a 50-yard run, took over. The senior had four carries and one catch for a combined 45 yards on a seven-play touchdown drive that ended with his 4-yard scoring run. He added a 41-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

Brown's rushing total was the high for Georgia since 2001, when Verron Haynes ran for 207 yards against Georgia Tech. He matched his career high with the three touchdown runs.

Georgia's total of 328 yards rushing was its most in seven years under coach Mark Richt, topping its 280 yards against Louisiana-Monroe in 2005.

Freshman Chris Smelley threw for a career-best 279 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 16 South Carolina to a victory over Mississippi State in Columbia, S.C.

Smelley was given the starting job by coach Steve Spurrier before the Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) left the locker room at LSU's Death Valley last week after a 28-16 loss.

And Smelley's play made Spurrier look like a genius - again.

Smelley, who replaced fifth-year senior Blake Mitchell, connected with receiver Kenny McKinley on touchdown passes of 20 and 27 yards, the latter which put South Carolina ahead for good, 24-21, with 3:43 left in the third quarter.

Tyrod Taylor, Branden Ore and Virginia Tech still can't find their offense, but the defense made two more big plays Saturday and the No. 17 Hokies opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a victory over North Carolina in Blacksburg, Va.

Taylor scored on a 5-yard run and Ore scored on a 1-yard dive for the Hokies (4-1, 1-0), who managed just 241 yards of offense. Ore's touchdown was set up by an interception that Xavier Adibi returned 31 yards to the Tar Heels 12 yard-line.

North Carolina (1-4, 0-2), which closed to within a touchdown on Anthony Elzy's 1-yard TD run with 5:34 left, had an earlier drive end at the Hokies goal line when Orion Martin forced Ryan Houston to fumble and Kam Chancellor recovered in the end zone

No. 19 Hawaii 48, Idaho 20

Adam Leonard and Myron Newberry returned interceptions for touchdowns and No. 19 Hawaii overcame a career-high five interceptions by Colt Brennan as the Warriors routed Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Hawaii improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1981, when the Warriors started 7-0 and moved up to 16th in the rankings, the highest in school history.

Brennan finished 30 of 49 for 369 yards with three touchdown passes and added a 1-yard TD plunge in the third quarter. Brennan's five interceptions tied a school record, but while the Warriors' star struggled, Hawaii's talent easily overmatched the Vandals.

Illinois 27, No. 21 Penn State 20

Arrelious Benn returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and caught a pass for another and the Illinois defense intercepted three passes for a upset over No. 21 Penn State in Champaign, Ill.

The Illini forced Nittany Lions' quarterback Anthony Morelli into three interceptions and a fumble, all in the second half and all deep in Illinois territory.

Morelli completed 21 of 38 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, but he was picked off by linebacker J Leman and defensive backs Vontae Davis and Kevin Mitchell.

Florida State 21, No. 22 Alabama 14

Xavier Lee came off the bench to throw a pair of touchdown passes to De'Cody Fagg, and Antone Smith scored on a 5-yard run as Florida State defeated No. 22 Alabama in Jacksonville, Fla.

Florida State (3-1) gave Bobby Bowden, who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and always figured he was destined to follow Bear Bryant in Tuscaloosa, his 369th coaching win in his first game against Alabama.

Lee, who entered the game in the second quarter, hit Fagg with a 7-yard pass for the game's first touchdown on the first opening drive of the second half. The two then teamed up on a 70-yard TD pass with 4:46 left in the game to give the Seminoles a 21-7 lead.

No. 23 Arizona State 41, Stanford 3

Rudy Carpenter threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess late in the second quarter and Omar Bolden returned an interception for a score on the next play from scrimmage to lead No. 23 Arizona State to victory at Stanford.

Arizona State had been struggling offensively up until that point, giving up five sacks and being held to a pair of field goals by a Stanford team that had been unable to slow down its first two conference opponents.

Ben Mauk threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter and No. 24 Cincinnati scored on six of its first seven possessions to rout San Diego State in San Diego.

Mauk's threw TD passes of 4 and 80 yards to Marcus Barnett, and two 11-yarders to Dominick Goodman. Mauk completed 17 of 23 passes for 257 yards. Goodman had seven catches for 101 yards.

The Bearcats are 5-0 for the first time since 1954, when they won their first eight.

No. 25 Nebraska 35, Iowa State 17

I-back Marlon Lucky passed and ran for touchdowns and Bo Ruud scored on an interception return for the second straight week, leading No. 25 Nebraska to a victory over Iowa State in Lincoln, Neb.

Sam Keller and Thomas Lawson also teamed up for two touchdowns as the Huskers won their conference opener for the 11th time in 12 years.




 

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