College Football Top 25 Review
It may not have delivered fully on the "Game of the Century" hype, but LSU-'Bama was a dramatic, closely fought battle of wills befitting a game with stakes this high. Alabama failed to score in overtime, and LSU maintained the inside-track to the national title game on a 25-yard game-winning field goal. Neither team reached the end zone in Tuscaloosa, but Alabama came up short after missing four field goals.
LSU-Alabama might have been the Game of the Year, but this was arguably the Game of the Night. Brandon Weeden threw for a school-record 502 yards and four touchdowns to help the Cowboys match their best start (9-0, 6-0) in school history. Kansas State had three shots at the end zone in the final 12 seconds, but failed to punch in the tying score.
When Oregon State moved within 17-13 a few minutes into the third quarter, Stanford fans had to fear the Cardinal had fallen into the trap following last week's thrilling triple-overtime win over USC. But Andrew Luck (pictured) threw three touchdown passes (to one pick) and the Cardinal escaped to improve to 8-0 on the year.
A slow start for Boise State did little to diminish Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore's 46th career victory. Despite a sluggish first half in which UNLV matched Boise's first two touchdowns, the Broncos found their stride right before halftime with a go-ahead score and surged in the second half behind Moore's five total touchdowns to a 46-21 win.
Oregon's LaMichael James returned from an elbow injury to tally 156 yards and a touchdown and help the No. 6 Ducks overwhelm Washington in the second half and defeat the Huskies 34-17 for the eighth straight time, the longest winning streak for either side of the border-state rivalry.
Oklahoma got a boost from backup quarterback Blake Bell (pictured), who did his best Tim Tebow impression by rushing for two touchdowns. But the Sooners also suffered a crushing loss: All-everything receiver Ryan Broyles tore his ACL, prematurely ending his Oklahoma career in cruel fashion.
Despite the final score, this was a close one early in the fourth quarter, with Arkansas leading just 30-28. But the Hogs got a pair of late touchdown runs from Ronnie Wingo and Broderick Green to improve to 8-1 on the year and 4-1 in the SEC. Tyler Wilson (pictured) threw for 299 yards and two scores.
So much for Nebraska being back in the Big Ten driver's seat. The Huskers rallied late, but still fell to 7-2 on the year on a day when battering ram Rex Burkhead fumbled and was held to an uncharacteristically low 57 rushing yards. The Wildcats countered with 203 rushing yards as a team to pull the upset and improve to 4-5.
Iowa broke up the three-way tie atop the Big Ten Legends Division with its third straight win over Michigan. The Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) moved even with Michigan in the division, just behind Nebraska and Michigan State. Marcus Coker led the way with 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Denard Robinson was held to 17-of-37 passing for 194 yards, including a Christian Kirksey interception (pictured), and 55 rushing yards for the Wolverines (7-2, 3-2).
Michigan State trailed 24-21 going into the fourth quarter, but Le'Veon Bell's 35-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes left proved the winning score. The Spartans (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) stayed in the thick of the Legends Division race with Michigan losing. Kirk Cousins completed passes to seven different receivers, including tight end Brian Linthicum (pictured), for 295 yards. The Gophers fell to 2-7 and 1-4 in the Big Ten.
Needing just 267 yards, Houston QB Case Keenum threw for 407 yards on Saturday to become the NCAA's all-time leading passer in a rout over UAB. Keenum surpassed Timmy Chang's record of 17,072 yards with a 16-yard strike to Justin Thompson in the third quarter. Keenum, who threw nine TDs in a win last week, finished 39-of-44 with two TDs.
Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes in the second quarter as Georgia (7-2, won its seventh straight game, crushing New Mexico State. Former walk-on receiver Brandon Harton (pictured) rushed for a complementary 98 yards as the Bulldogs were without three running backs. Murray completed 18-of-23 passes for 238 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, playing just the first half of the blowout.
Derrick Coleman (pictured) scored the go-ahead touchdown from the one-yard line with 49 seconds left to help UCLA pull off a 29-28 upset over Arizona State. ASU's Alex Garoutte missed a 46-yard field goal as time expired that would have given his team the lead. The Bruins (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) now improbably move into first place in the Pac-12 South.
Now there's the Wisconsin team that wowed the nation through six games before suffering shocking back-to-back losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. The Badgers hit their stride again thanks to a monster day from Montee Ball (pictured), who carried 20 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns.
Matt Barkley set a school record with six touchdown passes as the Trojans romped over the Buffaloes. In all, Barkley completed 25-of-39 passes for 318 yards. USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) also had four rushers average better than six yards per carry. Tyler Hansen was held to 17-of-37 passing for Colorado (1-9, 0-6), which has lost seven straight.
West Virginia beat Louisville to a Big 12 bid, but the Cardinals exacted some payback with a victory that shook up the Big East standings. The Cardinals (5-4, 3-1) were outgained 533-351 yards, but were boosted by returning a blocked field goal for a score. West Virginia (6-3, 2-2) got 410 yards from Geno Smith, but he couldn't bring them all the way back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Isaiah Pead (pictured) rushed 22 times for 118 yards and quarterback Zach Collaros overcame two interceptions to score twice on the ground to help the Bearcats down the Panthers. With the victory, Cincinnati improves to 7-1 on the season.