Top 25 Football Roundup
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 22, 2008
The Top 25 Roundup …
GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó Tim Tebow circled Florida Field, high-fiving fans, posing for photographs and listening to chants of “one more year.”
He took backup quarterback John Brantley along for the lap, a possible gesture that it was the Heisman Trophy winner’s last game at The Swamp.
“I don’t want to think about it like that at all,” Tebow said.
If it was his home finale, Tebow put on a show ó albeit a brief one.
Tebow threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Rainey ran for 142 yards and a score, and the third-ranked Gators overwhelmed The Citadel 70-19 on Saturday.
Florida (10-1) scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions, racked up 512 yards in the first half alone and became the first Southeastern Conference team to score at least 42 points in six consecutive games.
The Gators finished with 705 yards and did little wrong against an overmatched opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision. Even when they tried to run out the clock to end the opening half, Rainey broke up the middle for a 46-yard gain.
Another telling sign of the mismatch came early in the third quarter, when Gators coach Urban Meyer gave defensive tackle Javier Estopinan, a fifth-year senior who has undergone three knee operations and isn’t even listed on the depth chart, a carry near the goal line. Estopinan scored untouched from a yard out, the first touchdown of his career.No. 8 Utah 48, No. 16 BYU 24
SALT LAKE CITY ó Utah is BCS bound once again.
Brian Johnson passed for 303 and four touchdowns and the eighth-ranked Utes completed a perfect regular season by beating No. 16 BYU 48-24 Saturday, winning the heated state rivalry and taking the undisputed Mountain West Conference title away from the two-time defending champion Cougars (10-2, 6-2).
Utah (12-0, 8-0) forced five turnovers by BYU quarterback Max Hall, including a career-high four interceptions, and went unbeaten in the regular season for the third time in school history. The last Utah team to do it was the BCS Busters of 2004, which was 11-0 before winning the Fiesta Bowl.
No. 9 Boise State 41, Nevada 34
RENO, Nev. ó Kellen Moore threw for 414 yards and three touchdowns and Boise State kept the nation’s best rushing offense in check to remain undefeated.
Moore threw for 319 yards by halftime, when the Broncos led 24-3.
Ian Johnson broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for Boise State, which turned back a late Nevada rally to clinch its sixth WAC title in seven years. The Broncos (10-0, 7-0 WAC) close the regular season next Friday at home against Fresno State.
Colin Kaepernick passed for 241 yards and a touchdown and ran for 70 yards for Nevada (6-5, 4-3 WAC).
No. 15 TCU 44, Air Force 10
FORT WORTH, Texas ó Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to give the Horned Frogs another 10-win season.
TCU (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West) has its fifth 10-win season in seven years. The senior class won its 40th game, matching the 1932-35 TCU squads for the most in a four-year period, with an undetermined bowl still to play.
If not for a 13-10 loss at Utah in their last game 16 days earlier, the Horned Frogs could have been in contention for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series. But they rebounded strong.
Air Force (8-4, 5-3) was held to 150 yards rushing ó 110 of that coming on only two runs. The Falcons were averaging 279.7 yards per game, fourth-best among FBS teams.
Mississippi 31, No. 18 LSU 13
BATON ROUGE, La. ó Jevan Snead threw two touchdown passes, and Markeith Summers ran for a 13-yard score out of the “Wild Rebel” formation to give the Rebels their fourth straight win.
Ole Miss (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) snapped a six-game losing streak against LSU (7-4, 3-4) with its first win in the long rivalry since 2001.
It also gave the Rebels the inside track to second-place in the SEC West, which could result in a Cotton Bowl bid.
Snead was 16 of 25 for 274 yards. His scoring passes went for 34 and 25 yards, both to Mike Wallace.
No. 19 Cincinnati 28, No. 20 Pittsburgh 14
CINCINNATI ó Despite a broken arm, Tony Pike threw three touchdown passes, each to a different receiver, and led the Bearcats to the threshold of their first Big East championship with their first win in eight games against the Panthers (7-3, 3-2).
It was the pinnacle of a season in which the Bearcats (9-2, 5-1) went through four quarterbacks because of injury. For Pike, a junior playing with a broken left (non-passing) forearm, it was the best yet.
His steadiness put Cincinnati in position to clinch the Big East title with a victory at home next Saturday over 3-8 Syracuse, which will be coming off its 24-23 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
No. 21 Oregon State 19, Arizona 17
TUCSON, Ariz. ó Justin Kahut hit a 24-yard field goal as time expired to get the Beavers one victory away from their first Rose Bowl trip since 1965.
Kahut nailed the winner just minutes after missing the potential tying extra point.
The Beavers (8-3, 7-1 Pac-10) can clinch a trip to Pasadena, Calif., with a victory over No. 24 Oregon in the Civil War on Nov. 29.
Trailing 17-16 with 1:19 to play, the Beavers took over at their 20 with no timeouts left.
On the third play of the drive, backup quarterback Sean Canfield, who started in place of the injured Lyle Moevao, found Sammie Stroughter alone behind the Wildcats secondary for a 47-yard gain to the Arizona 7.
Four plays later, Kahut came on and calmly nailed a 24-yard field goal to seal the Beavers’ comeback.