College Football Top 25 Review
Well, at least one man is ready to admit that Boise State might be the best team in the country. After the Broncos outgained his team 516 yards to 125 yards, Fresno State coach Pat Hill had this to say: "They got all the pieces, I mean they really do. I think the truth of the matter is people are scared to play them. ... I'll say it. I have no problem saying it. I'll take Boise State against anybody in the country."
Jordan Jefferson delivered the best passing day of his career, but it wasn't all rosy for LSU. The Tigers trailed 36-35 with 4:57 remaining and surrendered 420 yards and 36 points to a four-win Ole Miss team. Stevan Ridley scored the game-winner for LSU and the Tigers sealed the victory on a Patrick Peterson interception.
Nothing against John Clay, but Montee Ball and James White are flat-out tearing it up for Wisconsin in Clay's absence. The pair combined for 354 rush yards and six touchdowns against Michigan, leading the Badgers to their first win at the Big House since 1994. Wisconsin closes next week at home against Northwestern and is guaranteed at least a share of the Big Ten title with a win.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck played eight possessions against Cal; the Cardinal scored on all eight. Luck completed 16-of-20 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 72 yards as Stanford gained its most lopsided win in the Big Game in 80 years.
Ohio State's quest for a sixth straight Big Ten title lives to see another week. The Buckeyes trailed 17-10 early in the fourth quarter, but a Devin Barclay 48-yard field goal narrowed the gap, and Terrelle Pryor engineered a 76-yard drive (including a key 14-yard scramble on fourth down) to take the lead. The Buckeyes are tied with Wisconsin and Michigan State atop the Big Ten standings and close against rival Michigan.
In a game where points were at a premium, the Aggies got two fourth-quarter field goals from Randy Bullock, the last a 19-yarder with 3:02 to play, to forge the upset. Ryan Tannehill completed 19-of-29 passes for 173 yards and Cyrus Gray added 139 rushing yards on 26 carries as A&M improved to 8-3. The win was Texas A&M's fifth straight and keeps Nebraska (9-2 overall, 5-2 in the Big 12) from clinching the Big 12 North title. The Cornhuskers will have another chance to do it in their regular-season finale next week against Colorado. NU quarterback Taylor Martinez missed the last five minutes of the first quarter and the entire second quarter after injuring his right ankle. He returned for the third quarter and played the rest of the game despite looking hobbled.
Auburn has a bye before the Nov. 26 Iron Bowl. Alabama simulated a bye by playing Georgia State on Thursday night. Greg McElroy completed 12 of 13 passes, the defense intercepted four passes and the Tide cruised, posting their highest points total since beating Vanderbilt 66-3 in 1979.
It looked like Michigan State's Rose Bowl quest was over. Then the Spartans scored 22 fourth-quarter points. Kirk Cousins threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns, ran for another and connected on a two-point conversion to fend off Purdue's upset bid and keep the Spartans alive in the Big Ten race.
It was a record-setting day for Oklahoma State. Quarterback Brandon Weeden set the school record for total offense, running back Kendall Hunter closed in on another Big 12 rushing title and receiver Justin Blackmon extended his own record by delivering at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in his 10th straight game. The result: a guaranteed share of the Big 12 South title and solid positioning to win it outright.
Ryan Mallett threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Knile Davis in double overtime, to power the Razorbacks. The Bulldogs had a chance to tie the game in the second overtime, but Chris Relf was hit hard as he tried to complete a fourth-down pass. On top of his touchdown reception, Davis rushed for 191 yards and two scores as Arkansas (9-2 overall, 5-2 in the Southeastern Conference) won its fifth straight.
Virginia Tech's miraculous turnaround continues. Just over two months after opening the season with consecutive losses, the Hokies clinched the ACC Coastal Division with a win over fellow contender Miami. Tailback Ryan Williams rushed for 142 yards and two scores and the Hokies D picked off freshman quarterback Stephen Morris three times.
Blaine Gabbert threw this first-quarter touchdown pass to Michael Egnew and No. 15 Mizzou turned a fake punt into another score in its Big 12 North victory. On a chilly night in the heartland, Missouri (9-2 overall, 5-2 in the Big 12) sputtered offensively for most of the game. But the Tigers' defense remained stout and they made just enough plays with the ball to deny Iowa State (5-7, 3-5) the victory it needed for bowl eligibility.
Landry Jones threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns with a 5-yard score to Ryan Broyles, who became the first Oklahoma receiver with a 100-catch season. DeMarco Murray turned a short pass into a long touchdown and ran for another score in the opening minutes as the Sooners kept their Big 12 title hopes alive. The Sooners play their regular season finale next Saturday at 12th-ranked Oklahoma State. The Bedlam rivalry could determine who will represent South Division in the league's last scheduled championship game, or could set up a three-way tie.
The Gamecocks wrapped up the SEC East title last week, but they didn't use that as an excuse to come out flat against Troy. Freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore rushed for three first-half touchdowns and South Carolina led 56-7 at the half en route to its highest points total under Steve Spurrier.
We're in for quite a showdown between Boise State and Nevada on Friday. The Wolf Pack handled New Mexico State with ease, winning their 11th straight home game and the program's 500th overall. Vai Taua ran for 111 yards and two scores and caught a 79-yard touchdown pass and the Nevada defense delivered six sacks and two interceptions.
Jacquizz Rodgers (right) rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown and Ryan Katz threw for 154 yards and two more scores as the Beavers (5-5 overall, 4-3 in the Pac-10) built a 20-0 lead by halftime and avoided their first three-game losing streak since 2002. The Trojans (7-4, 4-4) lost quarterback Matt Barkley to a sprained left ankle just before the break. But they were already doomed by the purposeful Beavers, who are fighting for bowl eligibility.
Matt Asiata (left) rumbled in for the first of two Utah rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Utes (9-2, 6-1 Mountain West Conference) came from behind to avoid their third straight loss. Jordan Wynn brought Utah back from a 34-24 fourth-quarter deficit, completing 21-of-33 passes for 360 yards and two scores. Ryan Lindley threw for a career-high 528 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort for San Diego State (7-4, 4-3).