Defensive Alabama holds off Ole Miss
Posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 5:41 pm
By: By The Associated Press
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — John Parker Wilson threw for a season-high 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama made a late defensive stand.
The Crimson Tide stopped the Rebels on fourth-and-5 from its 43-yard line in the final minute, when Jevan Snead’s pass to Dexter McCluster fell incomplete. He was well covered by Javier Arenas.
Alabama (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) scored 24 consecutive points after falling behind for the first time this season, 3-0, and allowing its first points in an opening quarter. Then Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3) answered 17 straight points and closed to within 24-20 on Joshua Shene’s 35-yard field goal with 6:09 left.
LSU 24, South Carolina 17
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jarrett Lee went 16-of-26 for 189 yards and LSU held South Carolina to minus-7 yards in the fourth quarter.
LSU (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) took the lead for good on Charles Scott’s 2-yard touchdown run with 4:16 to go. It capped a grinding, 83-yard drive that took more than six minutes off the clock.
Then Curtis Taylor picked off Stephen Garcia two plays later, souring an otherwise remarkable game for the freshman, who accounted for 230 of 254 yards for South Carolina (5-3, 2-3) in his first career start.
The Tigers had a season-best six sacks. The last one ended South Carolina’s final drive into LSU territory and prompted Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier to drop his headset on the ground and kick it. LSU held South Carolina to 42 total yards in the second half after allowing two touchdowns in the final 2:28 of the first half.
Texas 56, Missouri 31
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A week after earning Texas’ first regular-season No. 1 ranking since 1984 by knocking off Oklahoma, Colt McCoy and the Longhorns used a stunning blend of dominating offense and defense in the first half to crush No. 11 Missouri 56-31 Saturday night.
The game was supposed to be a battle between two national title contenders and Heisman Trophy-caliber quarterbacks in McCoy and Missouri’s Chase Daniel. The Tigers had been within one victory of playing for the national title last season and were ranked as high as No. 3 just a week ago.
It wasn’t close. Not even for a little while.
The Longhorns (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) played as close to a perfect half of football as you could get, bolting to a 35-0 lead in front of a feverish record crowd of 98,383.
Texas scored on each of its first five possessions as McCoy picked apart the Tigers defense at will.
He stiff-armed defenders when he ran and one time when he was nearly sacked and fumbled, he picked up the ball and fired a 23-yard completion.
McCoy finished with 337 yards on 29-of-32 passing with two touchdowns, ran for two more and at one point completed a school-record 17 passes in a row. He stiff-armed defenders away from tackles and one time, when he was nearly sacked and fumbled, he picked up the ball in stride and fired a 23-yard completion.
Penn State 46, Michigan 17
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Polishing off Joe Paterno’s greatest nemesis, No. 3 Penn State ended a dozen years of disappointment against Michigan.
Behind the running of Evan Royster and a few momentum-shifting plays by the defense and special teams, the Nittany Lions withstood the Wolverines’ early flurry and snapped a nine-game losing streak to their Big Ten rivals, 46-17 Saturday.
Paterno wasn’t on the field to enjoy his team’s highest-scoring game against Michigan, relegated to working from the press box for a third consecutive week because of a sore hip and leg. Surely, his 380th victory looked just as good from the bird’s-eye view.
Even more important for JoePa’s team: When the first ECS standings come out on Sunday, Penn State should be no worse than third.
No team had ever won as many in a row against Penn State during Paterno’s 43 seasons at the helm than Michigan. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0) to break the streak it was now.
The struggling Wolverines (2-5, 1-2) have looked little like the winningest program in college football history in their first season under coach Rich Rodriguez.
Oklahoma 45, Kansas 31
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Sam Bradford passed for an Oklahoma record 468 yards and had three touchdown passes to help the Sooners bounce back from their first loss.
The Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) started pulling away in the third quarter to keep themselves right in the thick of the national championship chase after losing their No. 1 ranking to Texas in last week’s Red River Rivalry loss.
DeMarco Murray scored his second touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run in the third quarter, and Bradford found third-string tight end Kolby Smith for a 2-yard touchdown pass as Oklahoma stretched its lead to 45-24 with 12:02 to play.
Todd Reesing was able to keep the Jayhawks (5-2, 2-1) in the game by dodging pressure to make plays, but the Sooners eventually got to him. Once Kansas got within 31-24, Oklahoma sacked him on three of the next four drives in forcing four straight punts.
USC 69, Wash. St. 0
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Mark Sanchez became the first USC quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a half and the No. 6 Trojans breezed this time as a huge favorite.
It was the largest shutout victory for USC (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) since a 69-0 win over Montana in 1931, and the Trojans were showing signs of mercy late in the first half.
USC’s defense, ranked first in the nation coming in by allowing just 9.4 points per game, ended the Cougars’ streak of scoring at 280 games dating to Sept. 15, 1984, when Ohio State beat Washington State 44-0. That scoring streak was second-longest in the nation to Michigan’s 295 games.
The Cougars absorbed their largest margin of defeat since they began playing in 1894.
Texas Tech 43, Texas A&M 25
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Graham Harrell threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more to give Texas Tech its best start in 32 years.
Harrell completed 44 of 56 passes for 450 yards as the Red Raiders moved to 7-0 — 3-0 in the Big 12 — after beating A&M for the seventh time in eight meetings.
Jerrod Johnson completed 26 of 39 passes for 283 yards for the Aggies (2-5, 0-3 Big 12), who led 23-20 at halftime. A&M gained outgained Texas Tech 274-254 in the first half, but mustered only 32 yards and five first downs in the second.
Michael Crabtree caught two touchdowns and Baron Batch rushed for 87 yards and another score.
Texas Tech led 36-25 with 24 seconds left when coach Mike Leach called time out and asked referees to review a run by Shannon Woods to the 1-yard line. Harrell scored a meaningless touchdown on the next play.
Oklahoma State 34, Baylor 6
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Dez Bryant made sure there would be no letdown for Oklahoma State.
Playing its first game as a top 10 team since 1985, No. 8 Oklahoma State made quick work of Baylor, scoring on four straight first-half possessions en route to a 34-6 win.
Bryant had a career-high 11 catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns and Keith Toston added two scoring runs as Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) set up a showdown next Saturday at No. 1 Texas.
The Cowboys, who won at then-No. 3 Missouri a week ago, are off to their best start since their 9-0 Sugar Bowl season of 1945. Oklahoma State has won eight straight games for the first time since an eight-game streak spanning the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
Ohio State 45, No. 20 Michigan State 7
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Terrelle Pryor showed some of his potential during a spectacular start that gave No. 12 Ohio State at least a share of first place in the Big Ten.
Pryor ran for a score and threw for another in the first half, helping the Buckeyes build a four-touchdown lead. The freshman quarterback finished 7-of-11 for 116 yards and a TD and had 72 yards rushing on 12 carries, including an 18-yard for a score early in the game.
Ohio State’s Chris “Beanie” Wells had season highs with 31 carries, 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) entered the game tied with Penn State and the Spartans (6-2, 3-1) atop the conference.
Utah 49, Colorado St. 16
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Backup quarterback Corbin Louks ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns and starter Brian Johnson threw two touchdown passes as No. 14 Utah remained unbeaten.
The Utes improved to 8-0 for the fourth time ever and gained a season-high 549 yards of offense in Johnson’s 21st win as a starter, tying Alex Smith’s school record.
Utah (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West) caught Colorado State (3-4, 1-2) off guard by subbing the speedy Louks for Johnson periodically and he capitalized by taking two option keepers for touchdowns, including a 69-yard, zig-zagging run that put Utah up 49-16 with 9:30 left to play.
The Utes have been 8-0 only three other times — 1930, when they were perfect in an eight-game season, 1994, and 2004. The last of those teams went undefeated and played in the Fiesta Bowl, feats they’re still in position to repeat.
Boston College 28, Virginia Tech 23
BOSTON (AP) — Rich Gunnell returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Boston College overcame an off night by quarterback Chris Crane.
Crane threw three interceptions — two of them returned for touchdowns — and fumbled away another turnover. But BC (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) stayed in the game with its defense, which limited the Hokies (5-2, 2-2) to a season-low 240 total yards.
The Eagles overcame a 10-point deficit last year in the final 3 minutes to beat the Hokies in the regular season, but Virginia Tech won the rematch in the ACC championship game. Former BC quarterback Matt Ryan, the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, was in the stands Saturday night to watch his understudy struggle but come out with the victory.
Virginia 16, North Carolina 13, OT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Cedric Peerman scored from two yards in overtime to continue the Tar Heels’ struggles in Charlottesville.
Virginia (4-3, 2-1, Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 10-3 with 2:18 to play, but Peerman scored on a two-yard run with 47 seconds left in regulation and Robert Randolph’s conversion was barely good to send the game into overtime.
Casey Barth kicked a 28-yard field goal to begin OT, and North Carolina (5-2, 1-2) led 13-10.
Tight end John Phillips caught a 19-yard pass from Marc Verica to put the ball on the Tar Heels’ four. Peerman ran for two yards and then two more for the winning score.
The win extended the Cavaliers’ 14-game winning streak at Scott Stadium.
South Florida 45, Syracuse 13
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Quarterback Matt Grothe threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.
The Bulls (6-1, 1-1 Big East) seemed to be back on track after a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 2, which knocked them out of the top 10 in the polls.
Grothe, who was also the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards, finished 19-for-26 for 255 yards. His second touchdown pass in the third quarter was the 40th of his career, good for second in the history of South Florida.
Running back Curtis Brinkley was the Orange’s lone bright spot, rushing for a team-high 117 yards on 21 attempts and a touchdown. It was his fifth 100-yard plus game of the season.
Maryland 26, Wake Forest 0
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Chris Turner threw for 321 yards to back a strong defensive showing by Maryland in the Terrapins’ fifth straight win over a Top 25 team.
Maryland (5-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) also defeated California and Clemson this season, but lost 24-14 to unheralded Middle Tennessee State and 31-0 to Virginia.
Turner completed 28 of 41 passes, the last a 50-yard touchdown to Danny Oquendo. Darrius Heyward-Bey had a career-high 11 catches for 101 yards and Obi Egekeze kicked four field goals to help the Terrapins move into a tie atop the league’s Atlantic Division.
Wake Forest (4-2, 2-1) was in sole possession of first place before being rendered helpless by a defense that had two weeks to think about its misdeeds against Virginia. The Terrapins’ last shutout of a ranked opponent was Sept. 24, 1955, a 7-0 win over top-ranked UCLA.
Pitt 42, Navy 21
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — LeSean McCoy rushed for three touchdowns and had 156 yards to help No. 23 Pittsburgh rout Navy.
It was the fifth win in a row for the Panthers, who have started the season at 5-1 for the fourth time since 2000. Navy (4-3) had entered the contest with a three-game winning streak, but couldn’t contain the Panthers offense. Pitt rolled up 501 yards.
McCoy, a sophomore, has now collected 10 100-yard rushing games in his short career. In the last three games he has 447 yards rushing and five touchdowns. He has scored three touchdowns in a game four times.
Arizona 42, California 27
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman Keola Antolin ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns, and Arizona rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat California.
Trailing 24-14 at halftime, the Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 Pac-10) blitzed the Golden Bears (4-2, 2-1) with four touchdowns in 11:45 of the third quarter.
Arizona moved into a four-way tie for first in the Pac-10 with Oregon, Oregon State and Southern California — and the sixth-ranked Trojans visit Arizona Stadium next week. The Wildcats beat a ranked team for the sixth time in Mike Stoops’ five seasons.