Tide turns Georgia every way but loose
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2008 5:12 pm
By: By The Associated Press
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ Alabama has the look of a national championship contender, racing to a 31-point halftime lead over third-ranked Georgia on the way to a decisive 41-30 victory Saturday night.
The Bulldogs became the third member of the top four to lose on a miserable week for ranked teams, while No. 8 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) figures to move up at least three or four places to its highest spot yet under second-year coach Nick Saban.
The first half was a stunner. John Parker Wilson threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. Mark Ingram, Glenn Cofee and Roy Upchurch ran for scores. The Alabama defense stifled the penalty plagued Bulldogs.
Georgia (4-1, 1-1) closed to 31-17 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. But that wasn’t nearly enough to stem the Tide.
Mississippi 31, Florida 30
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Houston Nutt needed just five games to get a signature win at Mississippi.
Jevan Snead threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score and led the Rebels to a stunning victory at Florida.
Snead, the former Florida recruit who backed out of his commitment when he learned the Gators were going after Tim Tebow, outplayed last year’s Heisman Trophy winner.
And he did it in The Swamp, where Florida (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) had won 21 of its last 22 games.
The victory came in Snead’s fifth career start and gave Nutt a huge win in his first season with Ole Miss (3-2, 1-1).
Snead was 9-of-20 passing for 185 yards, not great numbers, but he made plays when the Rebels needed them. His biggest was an 86-yard TD pass to Shay Hodge that put the Rebels ahead 31-24 with 5:26 to play.
Michigan 27, Wisconsin 25
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan celebrated its 500th game at the Big House with the first big win of the Rich Rodriguez era.
The Wolverines rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit, and when Wisconsin’s Allan Evridge misfired on a two-point conversion pass with 13 seconds left, Michigan had sealed a victory.
Wisconsin (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) seemed to tie the game and set up overtime with David Gilreath’s 22-yard touchdown catch and Travis Beckum’s reception for 2. But the conversion was negated by a penalty, and on the retry, Evridge’s pass went high and through the end zone.
Michigan (2-2, 1-0 Big Ten) had five turnovers in the first half, leading to a 19-0 deficit, and didn’t score until late in the third quarter. But they scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and took a 20-19 lead on John Thompson’s 25-yard interception return for a touchdown with 10:27 left in the fourth quarter, just seconds after Brandon Minor’s 34-yard touchdown run.
Oklahoma 35, TCU 10
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Sam Bradford threw for a career-best 411 yards and four touchdowns, Manuel Johnson set a school record with 206 yards receiving and the Sooners avenged their last loss at Owen Field.
With top-ranked Southern California and three other top 10 teams losing, Oklahoma (4-0) made as strong a case as anyone to get back to No. 1 for the first time since it lost to Kansas State in the 2003 Big 12 championship game.
It didn’t matter that the Horned Frogs (3-1) felt they’d been called cheaters following their 2005 upset in Norman, or that they brought in the nation’s top-ranked defense. Oklahoma aired it out behind Bradford and found the same success it had in winning its first three games by a 164-42 margin.
LSU 34, Mississippi St. 24
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Charles Scott surpassed 100 yards rushing for the fourth straight game and punched in two short touchdowns, and LSU remained undefeated.
The Bulldogs (1-4, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) turned in a feisty performance in a bid to add another surprising result to a week highlighted by several upsets.
But Scott’s 27 carries for 141 yards kept LSU (4-0, 2-0) moving and the clock rolling.
Jarrett Lee, who went the whole way with Andrew Hatch still recovering from a concussion, put the game away with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd, which made it 34-17 with less than five minutes to go.
Texas 52, Arkansas 10
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Colt McCoy put up five touchdowns in another near-perfect start, and Texas routed Arkansas to hand Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino an embarrassing debut in a rivalry famous for close games.
The loss was the most lopsided in the series since a 35-point Texas victory in 1970. In the previous 10 meetings between Texas and Arkansas (2-2), the average margin of victory was fewer than nine points.
The Longhorns (4-0) have outscored opponents 198-36 this season.
McCoy completed 17 of 19 passes and threw three touchdowns, pushing his season total to 14. He also ran for a game-high 84 yards and two scores, the most impressive a 35-yard bolt down the sideline before stumbling in the endzone in the second quarter.
Penn St. 38, Illinois 24
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Derrick Williams caught a touchdown pass, ran for a TD and returned a kickoff 94 yards for another score and Penn State defeated Illinois.
Daryll Clark threw for two scores and ran for a touchdown as the Nittany Lions improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2005.
Juice Williams connected with Arrelious Benn for touchdown catches of 33 and 54 yards, and the Illini (2-2) were able to move the ball on Penn State’s tough defense.
Joe Paterno won his 377th career game, staying one ahead of Florida State’s Bobby Bowden for most victories among major college coaches.
South Florida 41, N.C. State 10
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Matt Grothe threw for 259 yards and a touchdown, completing his first 11 passes during South Florida’s rout.
Jamar Taylor and Mike Ford added 1-yard touchdown runs, and the Big East’s only nationally ranked team had the look of a legitimate contender even without All-America defensive lineman George Selvie, who was in uniform but sat out with an ankle injury.
The Bulls (5-0) didn’t need him. They scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, recorded two safeties, built a 31-10 halftime lead and had 354 of their 514 total yards in the first half against the Wolfpack (2-3).
Ohio St. 34, Minnesota 21
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells rushed for 106 yards in his first game in a month and quarterback Terrelle Pryor ran for two scores and threw for another to lead the Buckeyes.
It was the first time the two had started in the same backfield.
Wells, out after injuring his right foot in the season-opener, carried 14 times and showed his old form by racing for 28 yards on his second attempt. He also vaulted a potential tackler on another big gainer.
In his second start as a true freshman, Pryor ran for 97 yards on eight carries, scoring on runs of 33 and 1 yard. He also completed 8-of-13 passes for 70 yards, including an 8-yard scoring hook-up with Brian Robiskie. He also had a 31-yard touchdown catch from Todd Boeckman, who Pryor replaced as starter a week earlier.
It was the Big Ten opener for both teams. Ohio State (4-1) won its second in a row while tuning up for next Saturday’s showdown at No. 9 Wisconsin. Minnesota (4-1) was hoping to prove how far it had turned things around from last year’s dismal 1-11 mark.
Navy 24, Wake Forest 17
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Eric Kettani rushed for a career-high 175 yards and backup quarterback Jarod Bryant scored the decisive touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Navy its first win over a ranked team in 23 years.
Coming in with a nation-best plus-10 turnover ratio, the Demon Deacons (3-1) committed six turnovers in a dreadful performance a week after dominating Florida State.
Riley Skinner’s fourth interception midway through the fourth quarter set up Bryant’s 4-yard run with 3:45 left and ended Wake Forest’s comeback from a 17-0 deficit.
Navy (3-2) won its second straight game despite losing starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada in the second quarter when he aggravated a left hamstring injury after rushing for two scores in the Midshipmen’s quick start.
But Navy’s much-maligned defense, which gave up 76 points in consecutive losses to Ball State and Duke, stepped up. Four different players had interceptions in Navy’s first win over a ranked team since a 17-13 win over No. 20 Virginia in 1985.
Utah 37, Weber St. 21
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Louie Sakoda kicked three field goals and four extra points to become the leading scorer in Utah history and the Utes welcomed back Weber State coach Ron McBride with a win.
Bryan Johnson passed for two touchdowns and Matt Asiata ran for two scores for the Utes (5-0), who avoided any hiccups against their Championship Subdivision neighbors and remained unbeaten for Thursday night’s home game against Oregon State, which upset top-ranked Southern California on Thursday night.
Johnson passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns in the first three quarters, then rested through the fourth as Utah’s reserves finished off the Wildcats (3-2). Weber State added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including one with 12 seconds left to make the score a little closer.
It was homecoming for McBride, who coached Utah from 1990-2002. Utah showed a short video honoring McBride before the game and McBride waved to the applauding fans from the sideline opposite of where he spent so long building Utah into contender.
Maryland 20, Clemson 17
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Chris Turner threw for a touchdown and Da’Rel Scott rushed for one to rally Maryland to its second straight Death Valley victory.
Maryland (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) came in as a big underdog, just like in 2006 here, against the preseason favorites for the conference title. And just like two years ago, the Terps overcame a second-half deficit for the win.
Maryland trailed 17-6 in the third quarter when Darrius Heyward-Bey went 76 yards on a reverse — the longest run Clemson (3-2, 1-1 ACC) allowed in eight years — to give the Terps a 1st-and-goal.
Two plays later, Turner found a wide-open Torrey Smith to make it 17-13.
Still down in the final quarter, Turner got the Terps going again. He hit Danny Oquendo with passes of 11, 11 and 21 yards to get Maryland to the Clemson 1.
Scott, the ACC’s leading rusher entering the game, ran in for the go-ahead score.
Houston 41, East Carolina 24
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Case Keenum threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns, and Houston earned its first win against a ranked opponent in a dozen years.
Patrick Edwards had 11 catches for 146 yards and a score for the Cougars (2-3, 1-0 Conference USA), who had no trouble moving the ball and finished with 621 total yards. Bryce Beall ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Houston’s defense didn’t allow the Pirates (3-2, 1-1) to score an offensive touchdown until midway through the third quarter.
Houston never trailed, building a 21-10 halftime lead and then getting a long touchdown catch from Kierrie Johnson early in the fourth quarter to turn away the Pirates’ rally hopes.
Fresno State 36, UCLA 31
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Tom Brandstater threw for three touchdowns and Ryan Mathews ran for one score and caught another and Fresno State outlasted UCLA.
In a game marked by rapid shifts in momentum, the Bulldogs (3-1) took final control after the Bruins’ Derrick Coleman fumbled at the Fresno State 10 and the Bulldogs’ Wilson Ramos recovered with 8:55 remaining.
With Mathews grinding out yards from there, Fresno State ran out the clock with a 17-play drive that ended on the UCLA 4 as time ran out.
Although they played much better than their past two games, the loss was the third in a row for the Bruins (1-3), who had opened coach Rick Neuheisel’s first year at the helm with an upset of Tennessee.