College Football:Top 25 Roundup
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Polishing off Joe Paterno’s greatest nemesis, No. 3 Penn State ended a dozen years of disappointment against Michigan.
Behind the running of Evan Royster and a few momentum-shifting plays by the defense and special teams, the Nittany Lions withstood the Wolverines’ early flurry and snapped a nine-game losing streak to their Big Ten rivals, 46-17 Saturday.
Paterno wasn’t on the field to enjoy his team’s highest-scoring game against Michigan, relegated to working from the press box for a third consecutive week because of a sore hip and leg. Surely, his 380th victory looked just as good from the bird’s-eye view.
Even more important for JoePa’s team: When the first BCS standings come out on Sunday, Penn State should be no worse than third.
No team had ever won as many in a row against Penn State during Paterno’s 43 seasons at the helm than Michigan. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0) to break the streak it was now. The struggling Wolverines (2-5, 1-2) have looked little like the winningest program in college football history in their first season under coach Rich Rodriguez.
No. 2 Alabama 24, Mississippi 20TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó John Parker Wilson threw for a season-high 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama made a late defensive stand.
Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) scored 24 consecutive points after falling behind for the first time this season, 3-0, and allowing its first points in an opening quarter. Then Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3) answered 17 straight points and closed to within 24-20 on Joshua Shene’s 35-yard field goal with 6:09 left.
No. 4 Oklahoma 45, No. 16 Kansas 31NORMAN, Okla. ó Sam Bradford passed for an Oklahoma record 468 yards and had three touchdown passes to help the Sooners bounce back from their first loss.
The Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) started pulling away in the third quarter to keep themselves right in the thick of the national championship chase after losing their No. 1 ranking to Texas in last week’s Red River Rivalry loss.
No. 6 USC 69, Washington State 0PULLMAN, Wash. ó Mark Sanchez became the first USC quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a half and the No. 6 Trojans breezed this time as a huge favorite.
It was the largest shutout victory for USC (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) since a 69-0 win over Montana in 1931, and the Trojans were showing signs of mercy late in the first half.
No. 7 Texas Tech 43, Texas A&M 25COLLEGE STATION, Texas ó Graham Harrell threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more to give Texas Tech its best start in 32 years.
Harrell completed 44 of 56 passes for 450 yards as the Red Raiders moved to 7-0 ó 3-0 in the Big 12.
No. 8 Oklahoma State 34, Baylor 6STILLWATER, Okla. ó Dez Bryant made sure there would be no letdown for Oklahoma State.
Bryant had a career-high 11 catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns and Keith Toston added two scoring runs as Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) set up a showdown next Saturday at No. 1 Texas.
No. 10 Georgia 24, No. 22 Vanderbilt 14ATHENS, Ga. ó Knowshon Moreno rushed for a season-high 172 yards, freshman A.J. Green had 132 yards receiving and 10th-ranked Georgia overcame its mistakes.
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes for Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC), which twice built 14-point leads but didn’t put away the Commodores until Blair Walsh kicked a 39-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining.
The Commodores (5-2, 3-2) lost their second in a row, again missing a chance to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 1982.
No. 12 Ohio State 45, No. 20 Michigan State 7EAST LANSING, Mich. ó Terrelle Pryor showed some of his potential during a spectacular start that gave No. 12 Ohio State at least a share of first place in the Big Ten.
Pryor ran for a score and threw for another in the first half, helping the Buckeyes build a four-touchdown lead. The freshman quarterback finished 7-of-11 for 116 yards and a TD and had 72 yards rushing on 12 carries, including an 18-yard for a score early in the game.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) entered the game tied with Penn State and the Spartans (6-2, 3-1) atop the conference.
No. 13 LSU 24, South Carolina 17
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Jarrett Lee went 16-of-26 for 189 yards and LSU held South Carolina to minus-7 yards in the fourth quarter.LSU (5-1, 3-1 SEC) took the lead for good on Charles Scott’s 2-yard TD run with 4:16 to go. It capped a grinding, 83-yard drive that took more than six minutes.
Then Curtis Taylor picked off Stephen Garcia two plays later, souring an otherwise remarkable game for the freshman, who accounted for 230 of 254 yards for South Carolina (5-3, 2-3) in his first career start.
LSU held South Carolina to 42 total yards in the second half after allowing two touchdowns in the final 2:28 of the first half.
No. 14 Utah 49, Colorado St. 16SALT LAKE CITY ó Backup quarterback Corbin Louks ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns and starter Brian Johnson threw two touchdown passes as No. 14 Utah remained unbeaten.
The Utes improved to 8-0 for the fourth time ever and gained a season-high 549 yards of offense in Johnson’s 21st win as a starter, tying Alex Smith’s school record.
No. 19 South Florida 45, Syracuse 13TAMPA, Fla. ó Quarterback Matt Grothe threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.
The Bulls (6-1, 1-1 Big East) seemed to be back on track after a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 2, which knocked them out of the top 10 in the polls.
Grothe, who was also the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards, finished 19-for-26 for 255 yards.
No. 23 Pitt 42, Navy 21ANNAPOLIS, Md. ó LeSean McCoy rushed for three touchdowns and had 156 yards to help No. 23 Pittsburgh rout Navy.
It was the fifth win in a row for the Panthers, who have started the season at 5-1 for the fourth time since 2000.
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