Comeback by Irish keeps BCS cluttered
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 7:00 pm
By The Associated Press
It looked as if Pittsburgh was going to help sort out the national championship race, until Notre Dame made a huge comeback.
The fourth-ranked Fighting Irish rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter, and beat Pitt 29-26 in three overtimes Saturday.
Everett Golson scored on a quarterback sneak in the third overtime to end it.
Notre Dame (9-0) is off to its best start since 1993. Pitt (4-5) missed a potential game-winning field goal in overtime.
The Fighting Irish were among four unbeaten teams atop the BCS standings coming into the weekend. Notre Dame was supposed to have the easiest game of the three.
No. 2 Oregon stayed undefeated with a wild 62-51 victory at No. 18 Southern California.
No. 1 Alabama came from behind with a late touchdown to beat No. 5 LSU 21-17 in Death Valley, and No. 3 Kansas State beat Oklahoma State 44-30.
Alabama 21, LSU 17
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A.J. McCarron read an LSU blitz and flipped a swing pass to T.J. Yeldon, who did the rest on a 28-yard touchdown with 51 seconds remaining.
Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) now has a clear path to the league championship game in Atlanta.
But this one was a struggle. Led by embattled quarterback Zach Mettenberger, LSU (7-2, 3-2) fought back from a 14-3 halftime deficit with an offensive performance that was nothing like their dismal showing against the Tide in last season’s BCS championship game.
Mettenberger hooked up with Jarvis Landry on a 14-yard touchdown that put the Tigers ahead 17-14 with just under 13 minutes remaining.
Oregon 62, USC 51
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenjon Barner rushed for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns, Marcus Mariota threw four TD passes, and Oregon produced another landmark offensive performance against USC.
Josh Huff caught two touchdowns, and De’Anthony Thomas and Daryl Hawkins also caught scoring passes for the Ducks (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12), who outlasted USC in a back-and-forth second half to extend their winning streak to 12 games.
Oregon’s 730 yards and 62 points were the most ever allowed by USC, which began playing football in 1888.
Barner set a rushing record for a USC opponent by the third quarter, topping Curtis Enis’ 241 yards for Penn State in 1996, and smashed the school record shortly afterward as the Ducks gradually pulled away in their closest game of the year.
Matt Barkley passed for 484 yards and four touchdowns while hitting Marqise Lee with 12 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans (6-3, 3-3), who have lost two straight after a 6-1 start.
Kansas St. 44, OSU 30
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Collin Klein piled up more than 300 yards of offense before leaving in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury, and Kansas State remained unbeaten.
Klein had thrown for 245 yards and run for 64 more before sneaking in for his 50th career rushing touchdown with 9:47 left in the third quarter. The Heisman Trophy front-runner didn’t return to the field on the Wildcats’ next offensive series.
By that point, the Wildcats (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) simply had to protect a 38-17 lead.
Oklahoma State’s Wes Lunt also left with an injury after throwing his third interception in the third quarter. The freshman quarterback, who missed six weeks with a knee injury earlier this year, threw for 184 yards and a touchdown before giving way to Clint Chelf.
Chelf finished 16 of 27 for 233 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (5-3, 3-2.
Notre Dame 29, Pitt 26
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Everett Golson scored on a quarterback sneak in the third overtime and threw two touchdown pass during Notre Dame’s fourth-quarter comeback.
Notre Dame (9-0) won despite Ray Graham rushing for 172 yards for Pitt (4-5), which missed a potential game-winning field goal in overtime.
Golson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. Notre Dame’s chances for a comeback appeared to end when Pitt’s K’Waun Williams intercepted Golson in the end zone.
But the Irish defense held and Golson completed a 45-yard pass to DaVaris Daniels at the Pitt 5. Golson then threw a 5-yard TD pass and ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Published in The Messenger 11.5.12