College Football Top 25 Review
Questions may remain about LSU's offense. No questions remain about LSU's defense, which looked championship-worthy in a lockdown effort against SEC West foe Mississippi State. The Tigers held the Bulldogs the 193 total yards, recording 15 tackles for loss, including four sacks. "We're not playing perfect," coach Les Miles said after the game. "But effort, intensity and style of play -- we're getting there."
Kellen Moore missed on his first two throws Friday against Toledo. He didn't miss many times after that, completing 32-of-42 for 455 passing yards and five touchdowns. Moore hit nine different receivers, including running back Doug Martin, who struggled on the ground but racked up 122 receiving yards against the Rockets.
The Russell Wilson show continues. The Badgers' new quarterback (pictured) threw for 347 yards and three scores and Montee Ball rushed for another two touchdowns as Wisconsin piled up more than 600 yards of total offense in a rout of Northern Illinois. The Badgers have won 31 straight against nonconference opponents in the regular season.
And Nebraska takes the rubber game. Quarterback Taylor Martinez passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third, leading the Huskers to a win in the teams' third meeting in 364 days. Washington's Chris Polk ran for 130 yards and Keith Price passed for 274 yards, but the Nebraska offense made up for an uncharacteristically poor showing from the Blackshirts.
Electric freshman De'Anthony Thomas (pictured) flashed some of his trademark speed and athleticism against Missouri State, but a familiar face carried the load for the Ducks: LaMichael James ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns, including a 90-yarder, as Oregon cruised to a 56-7 rout.
Virginia Tech is 3-0, but Hokies fans have to be concerned after two mediocre performances in a row against vastly inferior competition. Quarterback Logan Thomas (pictured) threw for 291 yards and two scores, but he was also picked off twice, and tailback David Wilson failed to rush for 100 yards (he had 86) despite getting 20 carries.
Notre Dame is finally in the win column. The Irish didn't cure their turnover bug, losing one interception and two fumbles, but they were able to overcome mistakes against the Spartans thanks to efficient offense and sound special teams play. Running back Cierre Wood (pictured) did the bulk of the scoring, punching in two touchdowns on just 14 touches.
Make it seven straight for the Gators over the SEC East rival Vols. A swarming Florida defense made life difficult for Tyler Bray and Tennessee, but the star of this showdown was Chris Rainey, who totaled 233 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown catch.
It looked like this was going to be a blowout, but Maryland made things interesting late, rallying from a 34-10 third-quarter deficit to move within three with 10:29 remaining. But after West Virginia chipped in a field goal, Maryland's luck ran out. Danny O'Brien threw his third interception of the day, this one on third-and-eight with 1:13 left.
The streak is over. Auburn's 17-game win streak featured numerous close-calls, including last year's overtime thriller against Clemson. The ACC's Tigers got the better of the nonconference duel in 2011 thanks to a mammoth day from freshman receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught 10 passes for 155 yards and two scores, and quarterback Tajh Boyd, who completed 30-of-42 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns.
It took TCU a while to get rolling, but two touchdown runs from Matthew Tucker (pictured) and a 94-yard kickoff return to start the second half helped the Horned Frogs recover from a slow start to secure the 38-17 victory. The team's 21st consecutive home win was also Gary Patterson's 100th victory as TCU head coach.
This was not what Rick Neuheisel needed. It was exactly what Mack Brown needed. New starter Case McCoy completed 10-of-14 passes for 167 yards, two touchdowns and no scores, but freshman tailback Malcolm Brown (pictured) carried the load, rushing 23 times for 114 yards and a score.
Marcus Lattimore ran for a career-high 246 yards enroute to the Gamecocks narrow 24-21 win over Navy Saturday. The standout running back carried the ball 37 times and helped thwart Navy's quest for its biggest upset since beating an undefeated Gamecocks squad 38-21 in Nov. 1984.
The South Florida certainly has something to smile about as junior quarterback B.J. Daniels led the Bulls to a commanding 70-17 rout over Florida A&M. Daniels completed 21 of 33 passes and threw for a career-high 382 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Darrell Scott also impressed, rushing 146 yards.
The game may have been cut short due to dodgy weather, but there was plenty of time for Heisman hopeful Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears to notch an impressive 48-0 win over Stephen F. Austin. RGIII was 20 of 22 for 247 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears dominated the Lumberjacks. It was Baylor's first shutout victory since 1995 and its first at home since 1985.
Opportunity may have presented itself in the form of two Aggies turnovers, but Idaho just wasn't able to capitalize on the No. 9 Texas A&M's missteps. The Vandals watched as Cyrus Gray delivered three touchdowns and 101 yards rushing and Ryan Tannehill threw for 337 yards in the Aggies' 37-7 win Saturday night.
Illinois took their record to 3-0, surprising No. 22 ranked Arizona State with a 17-14 win at Memorial Stadium. From the start, the Illini defense had set its sights squarely on 6-foot-8 Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler. Six sacks and a pair of interceptions later it was clear their work was paying off. "They brought a lot of pressure," Osweiler said after the game. "Shoot, it seemed like every snap."
The Crimson Tide rolled along Saturday, pummeling North Texas in a 41-0 shutout in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tailbacks Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy had career rushing highs of 160-plus yards and each scored a pair of touchdowns. The win marked Alabama's first shutout since a 45-0 victory over Chattanooga in November 2009.
The Razorbacks improved to 3-0 thanks largely to the efforts of Ronnie Wingo, who rushed for a career-high 109 yards against Troy. Wingo's performance helped Arkansas make up for the absence of three senior starters.
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to help the Hurricanes jump out early against the No. 17 Buckeyes. Miami outgained Ohio State 363 yards to 209 on offense.
Oklahoma's Kenny Stills caught a tiebreaking touchdown pass from Landry Jones midway through the fourth quarter to push the top-ranked Sooners past Florida State. The Seminoles played much of the second half without starting QB EJ Manuel, who left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.