October 20, 2007

Saturday's Top 25 roundup

Ohio State built a comfortable lead and then gave up two touchdowns off turnovers late in the third quarter - and almost lost another fumble deep in its own territory on the next play - to slip past Michigan State in Columbus, Ohio.

The Buckeyes rolled for most of the first three quarters, building their big lead on two touchdown passes by Todd Boeckman, the running of Chris Wells and a bruising defense that thoroughly shut down Michigan State.

Ahead 24-0 late in the third quarter, they were seemingly in command and looking ahead to next week's test at Penn State.

In the span of four plays, it was 24-14 and Michigan State blew a chance to recover another Ohio State turnover on the very next play when two defenders touched Wells' fumble, but the back ended up recovering.

Thursday: Rutgers 30, No. 2 South Florida 27

South Florida became the third second-ranked team to lose in the last three weeks, having their unexpected unbeaten run snapped by tricky Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.

Third-string quarterback Andrew DePaola threw a 15-yard touchdown pass off a fake field goal to give the Scarlet Knights the lead in the third quarter and Rutgers also used a fake punt to set up a field goal in the first quarter.

Ray Rice provided a more conventional 181 yards on 39 carries for Rutgers (5-2, 2-1 Big East) and Mike Teel threw two touchdown passes to Tiquan Underwood.

No. 4 Oklahoma 17, Iowa State 7

Chris Brown ran for two second-half touchdowns and Oklahoma survived a major scare from Iowa State, beating the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa.

D.J. Wolfe's end-zone interception midway through the fourth quarter helped turn the tide for the Sooners, who won at Iowa State for the 20th straight time.

Oklahoma, which was stunned by Colorado 27-24 in its only other Big 12 road game, committed three turnovers and didn't take the lead until the fourth quarter.

No. 5 LSU 30, No. 18 Auburn 24

BATON ROUGE, La. — Matt Flynn threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd with a second left to lift fifth-ranked LSU to a 30-24 victory over No. 18 Auburn on Saturday night, keeping LSU's national title hopes alive.

With South Florida losing earlier in the week, LSU is certain to move up to at least third in the BCS standings, behind only Ohio State and possibly Boston College, which was idle this weekend.

Flynn finished with 319 yards passing and three touchdowns

Mackenzi Adams threw two touchdown passes and D.J. Moore had two key interceptions as Vanderbilt upset South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., ending Steve Spurrier's unblemished record against Vandy that began in 1987.

Spurrier came into this 14-0 all-time vs. the Commodores and, with the Gamecocks ranked as high as they'd been since 1984, seemed a strong bet to keep that streak alive.

Instead, Vanderbilt took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and held off Spurrier's club the rest of the way.

No. 7 Oregon 55, Washington 34

Jonathan Stewart rushed for a career-high 251 yards and two touchdowns, and Andre Crenshaw added a pair of second-half scoring runs as Oregon held off pesky in Seattle.

With backfield-mate Jeremiah Johnson out of the season with a knee injury, the Ducks turned to Stewart as never before. The Seattle-area native who spurned Washington, responded with a career performance.

Stewart's 32 carries were seven more than his previous high. Stewart rushed for 144 yards at halftime, had 198 at the end of the three quarters, and became the first Oregon back to rush for 200 yards since Ontario Smith set a school record with 285 yards against Washington State in 2001.

No. 14 Florida 45, No. 8 Kentucky 37

Tim Tebow threw for a career-high four touchdowns and Florida rebounded from back-to-back losses with a victory over Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. It was the Gators' 21st straight win against the Wildcats.

The victory puts the defending national champions back in the Southeastern Conference title hunt despite their recent losses to Auburn and LSU. The Gators are now tied with South Carolina and Georgia for first in the SEC East.

Tebow connected on 18 of 26 passes for 256 yards. He nearly had a fifth TD pass, but Cornelius Ingram allowed the ball to slip through his fingers. Tebow's previous career-high of three TDs came earlier this year in games against Troy and Western Kentucky.

Pat White threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in the first half, leading No. 9 West Virginia to a 38-13 win over Mississippi State in Morgantown W.Va.

Steve Slaton rushed for 127 yards and a score for the Mountaineers (6-1).

West Virginia scored on its first five possessions and wasn't threatened. The Mountaineers now enter the heart of the Big East schedule with a showdown next Saturday at Rutgers.

UCLA 30, No. 10 California 21

Nate Longshore's return wasn't enough to get the California Golden Bears back on the winning track. Having Patrick Cowan back did the trick for UCLA.

With Cal in UCLA territory, Alterraun Verner intercepted Longshore's pass and sprinted 76 yards to the end zone with 1:33 remaining to seal Saturday's 30-21 victory over the No. 10 Bears.

Kahlil Bell rushed for 142 yards on 22 carries and Kai Forbath kicked three field goals as UCLA remained perfect in conference play.

The loss almost certainly cost Cal, which came up short at the end for the second week in a row, any chance at the Pac-10 title.

Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes in South Bend, Ind., - two on short drives after miscues by the Fighting Irish - and USC won by the largest margin of victory for the Trojans' in the 79-game history of the stories rivalry.

Sanchez threw TD passes of 10, 8, 5 and 48 yards and the Trojans won their sixth straight over the Irish, the longest streak for USC against Notre Dame. The Irish won 11 straight from 1983-93.

No. 15 Missouri 41, No. 22 Texas Tech 10

Chase Daniel threw for 210 yards and a touchdown and Missouri intercepted Graham Harrell four times, returning one for a score while throttling the nation's top offense in Columbia, Mo.

Backup tailback Jimmy Jackson had 59 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries filling in for Tony Temple, sidelined a second straight game by a sprained ankle.

Freshman Derrick Washington added 66 yards on nine carries for Missouri, which rebounded from a 10-point loss at Oklahoma last week and is 2-1 during a three-game stretch against ranked opponents.

No. 15 Kansas 19, Colorado 14

Kansas forced three turnovers and stopped Colorado on downs twice in the fourth quarter, escaping Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo., with a victory.

It was the Jayhawks' first win in Boulder since 1995. Kansas has won seven straight to start the season for only the second time since 1968. The team also started 7-0 in 1995.

No. 19 Texas 31, Baylor 10

Colt McCoy overcame two interceptions, missing a wide-open receiver in the end zone and a personal foul penalty with 293 yards passing and a touchdown in the Longhorns' victory in Waco, Texas.

This 10th straight victory over Baylor wasn't nearly as easy as most have been for the Longhorns, who won the previous nine games by an average of 41 points.

Alabama 41, No. 20 Tennessee 17

John Parker Wilson passed for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns, DJ Hall had a school-record 13 catches for 185 yards and Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

It was a rollicking debut for Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban in the intense border rivalry that had been dominated lately by the Volunteers.

Alabama got its biggest win in the series since a 56-28 victory in 1986 and had lost 10 of the last 12 meetings.

Pittsburgh 24, No. 23 Cincinnati 17

LaRod Stephens-Howling scored the go-ahead touchdown and was one of two Pittsburgh running backs with more than 100 yards of total offense, helping the Panthers upset Cincinnati in Pittsburgh.

Pitt, which had lost four in a row coming into the contest, didn't take the lead until Stephens-Howling carried the ball for the fifth consecutive play during a fourth-quarter drive that ended with a 7-yard score.

Cincinnati entered the game leading the Big East in rushing defense but was shredded by a Pitt running attack that featured big days by Stephens-Howling and LeSean McCoy. Stephens-Howling carried 13 times for 100 yards and McCoy, a freshman, gained 137 yards on 25 carries.

No. 24 Michigan 27, Illinois 17

Carlos Brown ran for 113 yards filling in for Mike Hart and Mario Manningham scored two touchdowns to give Michigan a win in Champaign, Ill.

Hart, the nation's leading rusher with 152 yards a game, watched from the sideline in street clothes after hurting an ankle last weekend in a win over Purdue.

But Brown's 25 carries and Manningham's nine catches for 109 yards, combined with a bunch of Illinois mistakes, helped Michigan extend its winning streak to six games.

Jason Ricks kicked a 26-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining and Oklahoma State overcame the best passing performance of Josh Freeman's career to beat Kansas State in Stillwater, Okla.

The Wildcats called all three of their timeouts as Ricks was setting up, but his kick was right down the middle to cap a comeback made necessary when K-State coach Ron Prince decided to go for two points instead of the tie after Leon Patton's 11-yard touchdown run with 1:10 remaining.

Josh Freeman threw for a career-best 404 yards and three touchdowns to star receiver Jordy Nelson, who also caught the go-ahead 2-point conversion, but it wasn't enough for the Wildcats.


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