October 6, 2007

Saturday's Top 25 roundup

No. 1 LSU 28, No. 9 Florida 24

N0. 1 Louisiana State barely converted a pair of fourth-down runs before Jacob Hester powered over from the 2-yard line with 1:09 remaining, completing a stunning comeback that gave LSU a 28-24 victory over the No. 9 Gators.

Tim Tebow shredded the nation's top-ranked defense for three quarters, giving Florida a 24-14 lead with 15 minutes remaining.

But LSU kept rolling the dice and coming up with winners. The Tigers scored two touchdowns on fourth-down plays and another after pulling off a fake field goal. Then, on the game's decisive drive, they finally hit the jackpot.

Hester bulled his way into the end zone for LSU's first lead of the game. When the Tigers knocked down Tebow's final long pass in the end zone, the record crowd of 92,910 let out its biggest roar of all.

Stanford 24, No. 2 Southern Cal 23

Tavita Pritchard threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradford on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds remaining Saturday night, leading the 41-point underdog Cardinal over No. 2 Southern California.

In a season that started with Appalachian State's improbable victory over Michigan at the Big House, and a week after half the top 10 went down, the Cardinal pulled off what may very well be the biggest upset of all.

The Cardinal scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and moved 45 yards in 11 plays for the winning touchdown after USC's John David Booty threw the third of his four interceptions.

A leaping Bradford caught the ball over cornerback Mozique McCurtis in the corner of the end zone, leaving the crowd of 85,125 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in stunned silence. Bo McNally's interception thwarted USC's final chance.

No. 4 Ohio State 23, No. 23 Purdue 7

Todd Boeckman passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4 Ohio State beat No. 23 Purdue 23-7 on Saturday night.

Chris Wells ran for 85 yards on 18 carries and Ryan Pretorius made all three of his field goal attempts for Ohio State.

Purdue had averaged 45 points and 496 yards per game, but Ohio State held the Boilermakers to 272 total yards. Purdue ran for just 4 yards on 17 attempts, and Jared Armstrong tied a school record with 12 punts.

Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter, who had averaged more than 300 passing yards in his first five games, finished with 268. Much of that was gained in the fourth quarter against Buckeye reserves.

Illinois 31, No. 5 Wisconsin 26

Rashard Mendenhall led Illinois into unfamiliar territory, rushing for 160 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the Illini's win over No. 5 Wisconsin in Champaign, Ill.

The Illini ended Wisconsin's 14-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, and improved to 5-1 overall. Illinois is off to a 3-0 start in the Big Ten for the first time since 1990.

Mendenhall had 100 yards rushing in the first half, leading the Illini to a 17-6 lead. Wisconsin didn't score until less than three minutes were left in the half on a 38-yard Taylor Mehlhaff field goal.

Wisconsin's P.J. Hill entered the game as the Big Ten's top running back, averaging 133.4 yards a game. But the Illini held him to 78 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.

Benjamin Williams ran for 186 yards and four touchdowns, Matt Grothe added 120 yards rushing and a score and No. 6 South Florida held off fellow upstart Florida Atlantic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

South Florida (5-0) committed four turnovers for the second straight game. But Williams and Grothe did enough to overcome the mistakes.

Williams had a 10-yard scoring run to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter. Grothe made it 21-14 with a spinning, juking, tackle-breaking 32-yard run two possessions later.

Williams' second one was even better. He spun out of one tackle, broke two more and scampered 54 yards to make it 28-17 with about 10 minutes remaining.

No. 7 Boston College 55, Bowling Green 24

Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes and Boston College pulled away with four interceptions late in the first half to overwhelm visiting Bowling Green and get off to its best start in 65 years.

There was nothing questionable about the rout as Boston College scored 38 straight points after Tyler Sheehan's 6-yard pass to Freddie Barnes with 8:55 left in the half cut BC's lead to 14-10.

Less than seven minutes later, it was 38-10 as the Falcons pass-happy offense backfired when BC picked off four passes in the last six minutes of the half. Two were returned for touchdowns - 65 yards by Jamie Silva and 7 yards by Nick Larkin - and another led to a career-long 45-yard field goal by Steve Aponavicius.

No. 10 Oklahoma 28, No. 19 Texas 21

Sam Bradford threw for three touchdowns and hardly made a mistake in steering No. 10 Oklahoma past Texas in their annual grudge match in Dallas.

Bradford was 21-of-32 for 244 yards, helping the Sooners (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) rebound from a second-half meltdown against Colorado and end a two-game losing streak against Texas (4-2, 0-2).

The Longhorns - who were ranked seventh before a 20-point loss to Kansas State last weekend - could be in jeopardy of ending a 114-week stint in the AP poll, the longest in the country.

Bradford capped a 94-yard drive with a 35-yard TD toss to Malcolm Kelly on a third down with 10:42 left, which turned out to be the game-winner.

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy continued his sophomore slump. He was 19-of-26 for 324 yards, but four of his incompletions - and his lone interception - came in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee 35, No. 12 Georgia 14

Arian Foster rushed for 98 yards and three touchdowns, and Tennessee put an emphatic end to No. 12 Georgia's three-game winning streak in Knoxville, Tenn.

It was Georgia's worst loss since the 2003 SEC championship, a 34-13 loss to LSU, and coach Mark Richt's first loss at Tennessee.

Tennessee (3-2, 1-1 SEC) scored on four of its first five possessions. Montario Hardesty rushed for 68 yards and a score, and Erik Ainge was 17-of-22 for 165 yards. Lucas Taylor threw for a touchdown on his second career pass, and added six catches.

Georgia (4-2, 2-2) didn't cross midfield until after halftime. The Vols shut down elusive running back Knowshon Moreno, and Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns and 174 yards, but was under pressure much of the day. He finished 16-of-33, and threw one interception.

No. 13 West Virginia 55, Syracuse 14

Fullback Owen Schmitt scored his first two touchdowns of the season, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes returned an interception 19 yards for another score, and No. 13 West Virginia beat Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y.

It was the 100th victory for West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez and helped put last week's 21-13 loss at South Florida behind.

West Virginia quarterback Pat White suffered an apparent shoulder injury midway through the third quarter and never returned. Before he was relieved for the second straight week by Jarrett Brown, White was 12-of-15 for 148 yards and one touchdown and had 14 carries for a team-high 89 yards and another TD.

No. 15 Virginia Tech 41, No. 22 Clemson 23

The 15th-ranked Hokies had a record-tying 100-yard kickoff return TD by Victor Harris and an 82-yard punt return score from Eddie Royal in topping No. 22 Clemson 41-23 Saturday night.

In 21 seasons under coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have become college football's gold standard for special teams play. But Virginia Tech had never had both a kickoff and punt returned for scores in the same game before.

Virginia Tech's defense was strong, too. D.J. Parker had a 32-yard interception return TD on Clemson's first series and the Hokies held Clemson (4-2, 2-2) without a first down for nearly 21 minutes.

No. 17 Missouri 41, No. 25 Nebraska 6

Chase Daniel passed for a career-best 401 yards and ran for two scores and Missouri got a big game from its suspect defense.

Nebraska, which entered the game averaging 36 points, was held without a touchdown for the first time since a 31-3 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 13, 2004. Missouri's four nonconference opponents averaged 25 points, leading to pregame anticipation of a high-scoring affair that never materialized.

The Cornhuskers were outgained 606-297.

The Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) beat Nebraska decisively at home for the third straight time and go to 5-0 for a second straight season.

Marlon Lucky had 123 yards rushing and receiving for Nebraska, held to a pair of first-half field goals by Alex Henery.

Thomas Weber kicked a 37-yard field goal with 50 seconds left to lift No. 18 Arizona State to the in Pullman, Wash., and keep the Sun Devils undefeated under coach Dennis Erickson.

Washington State had a chance to tie with 12 second left, but Romeen Abdollmohammadi's 46-yard field goal missed left and Arizona State held on despite scoring its fewest points of the season for Erickson, who coached at Washington State from 1987-88.

Rudy Carpenter completed 19 of 27 passes for 217 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Arizona State (6-0, 3-0. Ryan Torain gained 116 yards on 24 carries and did most of the work on what turned out to be the game-winning drive.

Washington State (2-4, 0-3), which came in with the worst defense in the Pac-10, has lost three in a row and four straight to Arizona State.

No. 20 Cincinnati 28, No. 21 Rutgers 23

Ben Mauk threw two of his three touchdowns in a 19-second span late in the third quarter and No. 20 Cincinnati forced four turnovers, including a game-saving interception by linebacker Ryan Manalac with 1:19 to play as the Bearcats defeated No. 21 Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.

Mauk threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Goodman in the first half and found Marcus Barnett on a 2-yard toss and Marshwan Gilyard on a 27-yard pass in the lightning quick third-quarter spree that helped Cincinnati send Rutgers to its second straight defeat.

Kansas 30, No. 24 Kansas State 24

Todd Reesing threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns as the Jayhawks beat their archrivals and are off to a 5-0 start for just the third time in 39 years.

Reesing, the sophomore quarterback who had thrown for 1,119 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first four games, hit Dexton Fields with a 30-yard scoring pass for a 27-24 lead. That play came just 65 seconds after the Wildcats (2-3) had taken the lead on a halfback option pass.

Jeff Webb booted a 24-yard field goal a few minutes later when Kendrick Harper intercepted Josh Freeman's pass on the 26.

Freeman hit 31 of 48 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. But he was also intercepted three times, the last by Aqib Talib with 1:12 to play.

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