College Football: Top 25 Roundup

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 15, 2008

Associated Press
The Top 25 roundup …
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó Javier Arenas ran back a punt 80 yards for one touchdown and set up a score with another long return, helping No. 1 Alabama roll to a 32-7 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 SEC) didn’t need a dominant offensive performance to turn back a team that had given ‘Bama fits the past two years.
Kareem Jackson blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety and Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals to help keep Alabama on track for a perfect regular season leading up to a showdown with No. 3 Florida in the SEC championship game.
Mississippi State (3-7, 1-5) had won the past two meetings with coach Sylvester Croom’s alma matter.
No. 4 Texas 35, Kansas 7
LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Colt McCoy burned the Big 12’s worst pass defense for 255 yards and two record-breaking touchdowns and Texas stayed in the thick of the national championship hunt.
The win gave Texas (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) double-digit wins for the eighth year in a row. More importantly to the Longhorns’ long-range hopes, the 28-point margin was similar to blowouts Kansas suffered earlier at the hands of Big 12 South rivals Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
No. 7 Penn State 34, Indiana 7
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Penn State overcame a sluggish start to move a step closer to the Rose Bowl. Derrick Williams ran for one score and caught a touchdown pass, Daryll Clark threw for 240 yards and two scores in an uneven outing, and a stifling defense held Indiana to six first downs.
Heavy underdogs coming into Beaver Stadium, Indiana (3-8, 1-6 Big Ten) trailed just 10-7 at halftime in large part because of miscues by Penn State (10-1, 6-1).
No. 8 Utah 63, San Diego State 14
SAN DIEGO ó Brian Johnson kept No. 8 Utah on a BCS-busting course by throwing a career-high five touchdown passes in a 63-14 win over San Diego State.
Utah (11-0, 7-0) clinched at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title. The Utes will try to finish the regular season undefeated when they host No. 16 BYU in their big rivalry gamenext week.
No. 9 Boise State 45, Idaho 10
MOSCOW, Idaho ó Jeremy Avery rushed for a career-high 156 yards and two touchdowns to help Boise State keep alive its hopes of returning to a BCS bowl.
Boise State (10-0, 6-0 Western Athletic) won its 10th straight over the Vandals, and also clinched at least a share of its sixth WAC title in the past seven seasons.
No. 10 Ohio State 30, Illinois 20
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. ó Beanie Wells ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and Terrelle Pryor added another 110 yards, as the victory kept the Buckeyes (9-2, 6-1) in the chase for the Big Ten title.
It was also revenge for last year’s loss to the Illini (5-6, 3-4), which ended Ohio State’s pursuit of a perfect season.
No. 11 Oklahoma State 30, Colorado 17
BOULDER, Colo. ó Zac Robinson broke Colorado’s hearts again, leading No. 11 Oklahoma State past the Buffaloes 30-17 Saturday night, four years after spurning a scholarship offer from the Buffaloes.Playing in his home state for the first time since high school, Robinson threw for 217 yards and a touchdown and ran for another.
The Cowboys (9-2, 5-2 Big 12) have a week off before their showdown with archrival Oklahoma
No. 12 Missouri 52, Iowa State 20
AMES, Iowa ó Chase Daniel threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns and Missouri clinched the Big 12 North and a spot in the conference title game.
Daniel went 32-of-40 and completed his first 16 passes as the Tigers (9-2, 5-2 Big 12) jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead.
No. 16 BYU 38, Air Force 24
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. ó BYU’s Max Hall threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns.
Harvey Unga added two touchdowns in a 74-second span in the third quarter, helping the Cougars (10-1, 6-1 MWC) set up a clash with No. 8 Utah next weekend for a share of the Mountain West Conference title.
No. 19 LSU 40, Troy 31
BATON ROUGE, La. ó LSU roared back from 28 points down to beat Troy, completing the biggest comeback in school history when Charles Scott scored with 4:50 left to put 19th-ranked LSU ahead for good in a 40-31 win.
Troy went up 31-3 midway through the third quarter, but LSU (7-3) answered with a touchdown and then ran off 30 points in the fourth quarter to avoid an embarrassing loss.
LSU had touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to cut Troy’s lead to 31-24 with 10:33 left.The go-ahead score was set up when a punt bounced off the leg of Troy’s Jorrick Calvin and the Tigers recovered at the Trojans’ 16. Scott scored four plays later after about two-thirds of the fans had left by the end of the third quarter.
No. 23 Oregon State 34, California 21
CORVALLIS, Ore. ó Oregon State edged closer to its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1965.
Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers and his older brother James each ran for touchdowns for the Beavers (7-3, 6-1 Pac-10), who won their fifth straight.
Because Oregon State defeated then-No. 1 USC 27-21 on Sept 21, the Beavers hold the tiebreaker for a Rose Bowl berth should both teams win out. Oregon State visits Arizona next weekend before hosting Oregon in the Civil War rivalry game.
Houston 70, No. 25 Tulsa 30
HOUSTON ó Case Keenum threw a career-high six touchdowns and ran for another score to help Houston stun No. 25 Tulsa 70-30.
The Cougars (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) took advantage of Tulsa’s miscues to jump out to a 14-0 lead and never trailed.
Keenum threw five TD passes in the first half. Two were to Tyron Carrier, who added a third touchdown on a 93-yard punt return.
It is the second straight loss for Tulsa (8-2, 5-1) after the team started the season with eight straight wins. The Golden Hurricane were uncharacteristically sloppy Saturday and finished with five turnovers.
The win left Houston, Tulsa and Rice tied for the C-USA West Division lead.