Okies crop Raiders out of title picture
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 5:30 pm
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Sam Bradford and Oklahoma are on their way up in the national championship race, and Texas Tech sure came down with a mighty fall.
Bradford threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, and DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown combined to run for five more scores as the fifth-ranked Sooners brought an unceremonious end to No. 2 Texas Tech’s run toward perfection in a 65-21 blowout Saturday night.
The question now is this: Did the Sooners (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) do enough to make up for that loss to Texas?
The Longhorns have held a trump card since the annual Red River Rivalry game in October, having beaten Oklahoma 45-35 on a neutral field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
But the Sooners came up with as resounding a statement as they could by stifling Graham Harrell, who came into Norman as the Heisman Trophy favorite but might have relinquished that title to Bradford
Harrell was 33-for-55 for 361 yards and three touchdowns, which looks good on paper, but most of those numbers didn’t mean much.
The Red Raiders (10-1, 6-1) fell into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South with Texas and Oklahoma, with only one week left in the regular season. If the three finished tied, the ECS standings would determine which team plays No. 12 Missouri in the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 6.
Penn St. 49, Michigan St. 18
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — After the Nittany Lions routed to earn a conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl, coach Joe Paterno said he doesn’t intend for his 43rd season as head coach to be his last — at least not yet.
Daryll Clark threw for career-highs of 341 yards and four touchdowns and a stingy Penn State defense held Javon Ringer to a season-low 42 yards.
With Paterno coaching again from the press box because of a sore hip, Penn State (11-1, 7-1) secured a share of the conference title and the school’s first trip to Pasadena since 1995.
Mississippi 31, LSU 13
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Jevan Snead threw two touchdown passes, and Markeith Summers ran for a 13-yard score out of the “Wild Rebel” formation to give the Rebels their fourth straight win.
Ole Miss (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) snapped a six-game losing streak against LSU (7-4, 3-4) with its first win in the long rivalry since 2001.
It also gave the Rebels the inside track to second-place in the SEC West, which could result in a Cotton Bowl bid.
Snead was 16-of-25 for 274 yards. His scoring passes went for 34 and 25 yards, both to Mike Wallace.
Florida 70, Citadel 19
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Tebow threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Rainey ran for 142 yards.
Florida (10-1) scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions, racked up 512 yards in the first half alone and became the first Southeastern Conference team to score at least 42 points in six consecutive games.
The Gators finished with 705 yards and did little wrong against an overmatched opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision. Even when they tried to run out the clock to end the opening half, Rainey broke up the middle for a 46-yard gain.
Another telling sign of the mismatch came early in the third quarter, when Gators coach Urban Meyer gave defensive tackle Javier Estopinan, a fifth-year senior who has undergone three knee operations and isn’t even listed on the depth chart, a carry near the goal line. Estopinan scored untouched from a yard out, the first TD of his career, to make it 56-6.
Utah 48, BYU 24
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is ECS bound once again.
Brian Johnson passed for 303 and four touchdowns and the eighth-ranked Utes completed a perfect regular season by beating No. 16 BYU 48-24 Saturday, winning the heated state rivalry and taking the undisputed Mountain West Conference title away from the two-time defending champion Cougars (10-2, 6-2).
Utah (12-0, 8-0) forced five turnovers by BYU quarterback Max Hall, including a career-high four interceptions, and went unbeaten in the regular season for the third time in school history. The last Utah team to do it was the ECS Busters of 2004, which was 11-0 before winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Boise St. 41, Nevada 34
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Kellen Moore threw for 414 yards and three touchdowns and Boise State kept the nation’s best rushing offense in check to remain undefeated.
Moore threw for 319 yards by halftime, when the Broncos led 24-3.
Ian Johnson broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for Boise State, which turned back a late Nevada rally to clinch its sixth WAC title in seven years. The Broncos (10-0, 7-0 WAC) close the regular season next Friday at home against Fresno State.
Colin Kaepernick passed for 241 yards and a touchdown and ran for 70 yards for Nevada (6-5, 4-3 WAC).
Ohio St. 42, Michigan 7
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State won its fifth straight over Michigan for the first time and ending a dreadful first season for Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez.
The Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1) used five big plays to win by the biggest margin in the rivalry since Woody Hayes was prowling and growling on the sidelines in a 50-14 rout of Michigan in 1968 — the game in which he said he went for a late 2-point conversion “because I couldn’t go for three!”
Freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor threw two TD passes, Brian Hartline caught two scoring passes and Dan Herron ran for two more touchdowns to give the Buckeyes a share of their fourth straight Big Ten title. No. 7 Penn State, which beat the Buckeyes 13-6 a month ago at Ohio Stadium, pounded No. 17 Michigan State 49-18 to clinch the Big Ten’s automatic Bowl Championship Series berth.
In Rodriguez’s first season since coming over from West Virginia to take over for the retired Lloyd Carr, the Wolverines (3-9, 2-6) lost the most games in school history, missed a bowl trip for the first time in 34 years and had the first losing season in 41 years.
TCU 44, Air Force 10
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to give the Horned Frogs another 10-win season.
TCU (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West) has its fifth 10-win season in seven years. The senior class won its 40th game, matching the 1932-35 TCU squads for the most in a four-year period, with an undetermined bowl still to play.
If not for a 13-10 loss at Utah in their last game 16 days earlier, the Horned Frogs could have been in contention for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series. But they rebounded strong.
Air Force (8-4, 5-3) was held to 150 yards rushing — 110 of that coming on only two runs. The Falcons were averaging 279.7 yards per game, fourth-best among FBS teams.
Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 14
CINCINNATI (AP) — Despite a broken arm, Tony Pike threw three touchdown passes, each to a different receiver, and led the Bearcats to the threshold of their first Big East championship with their first win in eight games against the Panthers (7-3, 3-2).
It was the pinnacle of a season in which the Bearcats (9-2, 5-1) went through four quarterbacks because of injury. For Pike, a junior playing with a broken left (non-passing) forearm, it was the best yet.
His steadiness put Cincinnati in position to clinch the Big East title with a victory at home next Saturday over 3-8 Syracuse, which will be coming off its 24-23 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
Oregon St. 19, Arizona 17
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Justin Kahut hit a 24-yard field goal as time expired to get the Beavers one victory away from their first Rose Bowl trip since 1965.
Kahut nailed the winner just minutes after missing the potential tying extra point.
The Beavers (8-3, 7-1 Pac-10) can clinch a trip to Pasadena, Calif., with a victory over No. 24 Oregon in the Civil War on Nov. 29.
Trailing 17-16 with 1:19 to play, the Beavers took over at their 20 with no timeouts left.
On the third play of the drive, backup quarterback Sean Canfield, who started in place of the injured Lyle Moevao, found Sammie Stroughter alone behind the Wildcats secondary for a 47-yard gain to the Arizona 7.
Four plays later, Kahut came on and calmly nailed a 24-yard field goal to seal the Beavers’ comeback.
Florida State 37, Maryland 3
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Florida State kept alive its hopes of advancing to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and buried Maryland’s title hopes under a barrage of sacks and takeaways.
Everette Brown had 3 1/2 sacks and forced a fumble, part of an overwhelming performance by the Seminoles’ defense.
Florida State (8-3, 5-3) turned two turnovers into touchdowns in taking a 21-0 halftime lead. That was enough to ensure Maryland (7-4, 4-3) its first home loss of the season and ruin the Terrapins’ bid to win the league’s Atlantic Division title.
If Boston College beats Maryland next week, it will win the division and play in the championship game. After eliminating the Terrapins from contention, Florida State now must rely on them: If Maryland beats Boston College, the Seminoles will capture the division title.
N.C. State 41, North Carolina 10
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and had a key run in the third quarter to set up another score, and N.C. State earned the program’s first season sweep of the state’s four other major college teams in more than two decades.
Jamelle Eugene ran for two touchdowns and Andre Brown ran for another for N.C. State (5-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which kept its bowl hopes alive with a surprising domination of a team that entered Saturday with slim hopes of winning the league’s muddled Coastal Division race.
Instead, the only title anyone was talking about afterward was the mythical “state championship” the Wolfpack had focused on entering the game. N.C. State has beaten North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and East Carolina in the same season for the first time since 1986.