College Football Top 25 Review
A week after wearing all white against USC, Oregon came out in all black against Washington -- and it was a dark start for the Ducks, who suffered their first scoreless quarter of the season. But the nation's No. 1 team overcame mistakes and penalties to outscore the Huskies 35-13 in the second half, thanks to a big day from LaMichael James, who ran for 121 yards and three scores.
Quarterback Kellen Moore threw two uncharacteristic interceptions, but there's not much else bad to say about Boise State. Moore also passed for 507 yards and three touchdowns, Jeremy Avery (pictured) delivered 93 yards and three scores on just 10 carries and the Boise defense held the nation's leading passing attack to 136 yards.
Off-field distractions couldn't slow Cam Newton -- and neither could the Chattanooga Mocs. Two days after allegations surfaced regarding Newton's recruitment, the Auburn star passed for a career-high 317 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a fifth -- all in the first half.
Much hype preceded this battle of Mountain West unbeatens, but it wasn't much of a battle at all. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton passed for a career-high 355 yards and three touchdowns and TCU's top-ranked defense made life miserable for Utah starter Jordan Wynn, who managed just 148 yards, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. The Horned Frogs eliminated the Utes from the BCS discussion while boosting their own stock with an all-around dominant showing.
Alabama is no longer in the national championship discussion; LSU might have re-entered it. The Tigers used some trademark fourth-quarter trickery to put the nail in the Tide's coffin, setting up a huge score with a 23-yard reverse on fourth-and-one. But DeAngelo Peterson was far from the Tigers' only hero. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee each made big plays late and defensive tackle Drake Nevis was a thorn in the side of Alabama's offense all game long.
Wisconsin got off to a sluggish start offensively against Purdue, managing just two first-half field goals. But sparkplug Montee Ball rushed for two second-half touchdowns and the Badgers held Boilermakers quarterback Sean Robinson to 142 passing yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and 31 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
Iowa State took Nebraska to overtime, but the Cyclones couldn't knock off the Huskers for the second year running. Nebraska struggled with quarterback Taylor Martinez sidelined, but defensive back Eric Hagg intercepted holder Daniel Kuehl's pass on a fake two-point conversation attempt in OT to keep Nebraska atop the Big 12 North.
Andrew Luck threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, leading Stanford its highly anticipated showdown with Arizona. Stepfan Taylor added four short touchdown runs for the Cardinal (8-1 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-10), who won easily in the first meeting with Arizona (7-2, 4-2) when both teams were ranked. The Cardinal are enjoying their best season in 40 years and are alone in second place in the Pac-10, keeping alive their hopes for a Rose Bowl bid if they can win their final three games.
Ryan Tannehill (shown) threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, Cyrus Gray added 122 yards rushing another score as the Aggies broke a seven-game losing streak to the Sooners. Texas A&M won its third straight overall and beat the Sooners for the first time since 2002. It ended a string of misery against the Sooners that included being outscored 131-38 in the last two meetings.
Taylor Potts came off the bench and threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns to lead Texas Tech. Potts didn't start for the first time this season, but came in late in the first half and threw TD passes of 8, 5 and 16 yards on three straight Red Raiders possessions spanning the halves. Meanwhile, Mizzou has lost to Nebraska and Texas Tech since toplling Oklahoma.
Iowa managed to keep pace with the Big Ten's other one-loss teams, but barely. The Hawkeyes managed just four field goals until quarterback Ricky Stanzi found a wide-open Marvin McNutt for a 52-yard go-ahead score with 2:50 remaining. Freshman running back Marcus Coker (pictured) helped Iowa keep pace until that play, rushing for 129 yards in place of the injured Adam Robinson.
Michigan State had little trouble bouncing back from its first loss of the season thanks to a huge day from Edwin Baker, who ran for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Give the Spartans credit for gutsy play-calling: Two of Baker's scores came on fourth-down runs near the goal line.
Arkansas brought the country's second-best air attack and the league's top passer in Ryan Mallett into Williams-Brice. But Knile Davis (center) rushed for 110 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns as Arkansas handed South Carolina its worst home loss in five years. South Carolina can still take the SEC East title and reach its first league title game by beating Florida at The Swamp next Saturday. However, the Gamecocks are 0-12 in Gainesville, Fla.
Who knows what would have happened if Baylor and Oklahoma State had played one week ago, when Cowboys receiver Justin Blackmon was serving a one-game suspension. Blackmon made his presence felt early and often Saturday, catching 13 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another score on a 69-yard end-around. It was Blackmon's eighth straight 100-yard receiving game -- and Oklahoma State's eighth win on the year.
Virginia Tech nearly redshirted sophomore running back David Wilson. After Thursday night's win over Georgia Tech, the Hokies were very glad they didn't. Wilson scored on a 15-yard run to even the score at 14 a piece in the fourth-quarter, then scored the game-winning touchdown on a 90-yard kickoff return with 2:23 to play. Virginia Tech remains the only unbeaten team in ACC play.
Clemson fumbled five times (losing two), threw an interception, had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty and missed two short field goals -- yet still managed to beat NC State by a point thanks to a strong defensive effort from the Tigers, who held Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack to 275 total yards.
Florida State fans are no strangers to the words "wide right," and they heard them again Saturday against UNC. The Tar Heels got a huge day from quarterback T.J. Yates (439 yards, three touchdowns) and three clutch field goals from Casey Barth, including what proved to be the game-winner with 55 seconds left. The Seminoles couldn't match that, as kicker Dustin Hopkins missed two field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 40-yarder with seven seconds left that went wide right.
Colin Kaepernick is best known as one of the most prolific running quarterbacks of all time. The Nevada star can throw it around, too. Kaepernick (right) threw a career-high five touchdown passes and No. 25 Nevada piled up a team-record 844 yards of offense as the Wolf Pack cruised.