Somber day at Penn State, major upset at Boise
At Penn State, the coach who wasn’t there was the story and the result of the game was almost secondary after a tumultuous week in Happy Valley.
In the national championship race, TCU made the big news Saturday.
The Horned Frogs upset No. 5 Boise State 36-35, scoring a touchdown and a 2-point conversion with 1:05 remaining to take the lead. Broncos kicker Dan Goodale booted a 39-yard field-goal attempt wide right as time expired.
Consider Boise State’s national championship hopes over, as well as its chances to reach the Bowl Championship Series.
It’s the second straight season the Broncos’ unbeaten run ended with missed kicks. Two errant short field goals helped Nevada beat Boise State 34-31 in overtime last November.
Kellen Moore and the Broncos (8-1, 3-1) will again likely be relegated to a second-tier bowl.
TCU has a clear path to the Mountain West Conference title in its final year with the league. The Frogs also have won a league-record 22 straight games against conference foes and an MWC-record 12 consecutive conference road games.
Boise State’s 35-game home winning streak was also snapped.
In State College, Pa., No. 12 Penn State lost the first game of the post-Joe Paterno era, 17-14 to No. 19 Nebraska.
Paterno was fired Wednesday amid questions about whether he did enough to stop, report or investigate what a grand jury report said was the molestation of boys as young as 10 by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
No. 1 LSU 42, WESTERN KENTUCKY 9
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard each scored two touchdowns, and No. 1 LSU overcame a slow start.
One week after playing most of LSU’s 9-6 overtime victory at Alabama, Jordan Jefferson made his first start of the season against the Hilltoppers, hitting 8 of 14 passes for 168 yards, including a 59-yard scoring strike to Rueben Randle.
LSU (10-0), which came in favored by nearly six touchdowns, led only 14-7 at halftime before dominating the second half.
Keshawn Simpson had a 2-yard touchdown run for Western Kentucky (5-5), which saw its winning streak end at five.
Hilltoppers quarterback Kuwaun Jakes completed 11 of 24 passes for 97 yards and was intercepted once by linebacker Tahj Jones.
No. 2 OKLAHOMA STATE 66, TEXAS TECH 6
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Brandon Weeden threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns and Joseph Randle ran for three more scores to send the Cowboys to the first 10-0 start in school history.
The Cowboys, who improved to 7-0 in the Big 12, next play at Iowa State before closing their season at home against Oklahoma in the Bedlam game. Win both, and they likely will be headed to the BCS championship game.
Weeden threw touchdown passes of 2, 27, 28, 48 and 66 yards, and had no interceptions before his backup came in late in the third quarter. Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper each had more than 100 yards receiving.
It was the Red Raiders’ most lopsided loss ever and the most points allowed in program history. Seth Doege completed 25 of 43 passes for a season-low 169 yards and an interception for Texas Tech (5-5, 2-5).
No. 6 ORGEON 53, No. 3 STANFORD 30
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – LaMichael James ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns and Oregon sprinted past Stanford.
James ran for scores from 1, 4 and 58 yards and had Stanford (9-1, 7-1) defenders slipping all over a slick field. The Ducks (9-1, 7-0) ended the nation’s best winning streak at 17 games – which the Cardinal began after a loss in Eugene more than a year ago – and can clinch the league’s North Division crown over Stanford with a win in one of their final two games.
Andrew Luck threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions and a fumble. Stanford had five total turnovers.
No. 4 ALABAMA 24, MISSISSIPPI STATE 7
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Trent Richardson rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown and Alabama’s defense gave up just 131 total yards.
It was a typical no-frills victory for Alabama (9-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference), which has won nine of its last 11 against Mississippi State, including four straight. The Crimson Tide defense has held 11 straight opponents to 14 points or less.
Alabama struggled again with field goals, missing two of them in the first half after missing four in last week’s loss to No. 1 LSU. But Richardson and Eddie Lacy, who rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns, made up for those miscues.
Mississippi State (5-5, 1-5) remains one victory from bowl eligibility. Third-year coach Dan Mullen is now 2-11 against SEC Western Division rivals, with both victories coming against Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs averaged just 2.2 yards per play.
TCU 36, No. 5 BOISE STATE 35
BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Casey Pachall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Carter with 1:05 left, then connected with Josh Boyce on the go-ahead 2-point conversion, and Boise State’s Dan Goodale booted a 39-yard field-goal attempt wide right as time expired.
Pachall threw for 473 yards and five touchdowns as the Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-0) secured a clear path to the Mountain West Conference title and snuffed out the Broncos’ hopes of playing in the BCS championship game.
After Broncos running back Drew Wright fumbled in TCU territory with 2:26 remaining, Pachall marched the Horned Frogs down the field, capping a seven-play scoring drive with a TD pass to Carter to close to 35-34.
TCU coach Gary Patterson made a gutsy call to go for the lead instead of a tying kick. Pachall tossed a short pass to Boyce, who pushed his way into the end zone to give the Horned Frogs the lead.
Boise State (8-1, 3-1) had won 35 consecutive home games.
No. 8 ARKANSAS 49, TENNESSEE 7
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Dennis Johnson accounted for 140 total yards and a pair of touchdowns and Arkansas won its sixth straight.
The Razorbacks (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) kept alive their hopes for a second-straight BCS bowl game – and possibly more. They also earned their seventh straight win against an SEC East opponent.
Johnson led Arkansas with 97 yards rushing, including a 71-yard touchdown run in the first half. He also had 43 yards receiving.
Jarius Wright added five catches for 94 yards, setting the school record for career receptions. Wright now has 154 catches, moving ahead of Anthony Eubanks’ previous record of 153.
Rajion Neal had an 11-yard TD run for the Volunteers (4-6, 0-5).
No. 9 CLEMSON 31, WAKE FOREST 28
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired and No. 9 Clemson rallied from 14 points down in the second half to win the ACC Atlantic Division title.
Catanzaro missed a 30-yard attempt 2 minutes before his game-winner for the Tigers (9-1, 6-1). However, Clemson’s defense quickly got the ball back for one last drive. This time, Catanzaro’s attempt was straight and true and sent the Tigers to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game for the second time in three years.
Catanzaro was mobbed by teammates as fans swarmed the field in celebration.
The Tigers, 7-0 at home this year, completed their first perfect season at Death Valley since 1990 and next weekend will face North Carolina State with a chance to reach 10 wins for the first time since 1991.
Tajh Boyd overcame a poor outing with two touchdown passes after Wake Forest (5-5, 4-3) had taken a 28-21 lead. Andre Ellington rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.
No. 13 MICHIGAN STATE 37, IOWA 21
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Kirk Cousins threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns and 13th-ranked Michigan State took control of the Big Ten’s Legends Division.
B.J. Cunningham caught a pair of TD passes for the Spartans, who snapped a seven-game losing streak at Iowa dating to 1989.
Michigan State (8-2, 5-1) took a commanding 31-7 lead with two touchdowns in a 36-second stretch late in the second quarter. Cunningham followed Le’Veon Bell’s 25-yard TD run with a 22-yard touchdown catch to put Michigan State up by 24 at the break.
The Spartans now can earn a spot in the Big Ten title game with wins over Indiana and Northwestern in the next two weeks.
James Vandenberg threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa (6-4, 3-3), which absorbed its first home loss.
No. 15 SOUTH CAROLINA 17, FLORIDA 12
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Freshman Brandon Wilds rushed for 120 yards as the No. 15 Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern) edged the Gators (5-5, 3-5) and left themselves a chance to make it to a second straight SEC title game.
South Carolina led 14-3 after Shaw’s sneak just before the half, but Florida rallied. A 2-yard touchdown run by Jacoby Brissett made it 14-12, but the Gators never threatened again.
The win gives South Carolina six SEC victories for the first time since joining the league in 1992. But the Gamecocks will need Georgia to lose to Kentucky next week to win the SEC East.
No. 14 GEORGIA 45, No. 24 AUBURN 7(equals)
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes to surpass Matthew Stafford’s school record and Georgia moved within one win of playing for the Southeastern Conference championship.
The Bulldogs (8-2, 6-1) won their eighth in a row with a dominating performance in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry. They raced to a 35-7 halftime lead over the stunned Tigers (6-4, 4-3) and finished with their biggest win in the series since 1946.
Georgia can clinch its first division title in six years at home next weekend against Kentucky.
Murray now has 27 TDs for the season – nine in the past two weeks. He broke the school mark of 25 set in 2008 by Stafford, a top pick in the NFL draft.
No. 16 WISCONSIN 42, MINNESOTA 13
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Montee Ball broke the Big Ten’s single-season touchdown record and 16th-ranked Wisconsin trampled Minnesota to keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the eighth straight year.
Russell Wilson had a season-high four touchdown passes. He was on target with every throw and every decision, connecting on all but his last throw, a deep ball that Nick Toon had in his hands but let trickle out as he hit the turf hard midway through the third quarter. Toon, who finished with eight catches for 100 yards and two scores, was shaken up on that play. Wilson went 16 for 17 for 178 yards.
In just 10 games, Ball has 27 total touchdowns.
The Gophers (2-8, 1-5) scored twice on special teams, a 5-yard run by kicker Jordan Wettstein on a fake field goal and a 96-yard return of the second-half kickoff by Duane Bennett, but they were dominated on both sides of the ball all day.
No. 17 KANSAS STATE 53, TEXAS A&M 50, 4OT
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Collin Klein scored on a sneak in the fourth overtime for his sixth touchdown of the game, giving Kansas State a dramatic victory.
Klein threw for a career-high 281 yards and added 103 yards on the ground for the Wildcats (8-2, 5-2 Big 12), who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 6 minutes of regulation to hand the Aggies (5-5, 3-4) their third consecutive loss.
The Aggies had the ball first in the fourth overtime and moved down to the Kansas State 3 before their drive stalled. Facing fourth-and-1, coach Mike Sherman played it safe and kicked the field goal, and that gave Kansas State the opening it needed.
Klein pounded forward for three yards on third-and-3 at the 18 for a first down, and a pass interference call on Toney Hurd Jr. in the end zone gave Kansas State the ball at the 2.
Klein went straight up the middle twice, getting across the goal line on his second try as the crowd erupted, and the Wildcats poured off the sideline to celebrate the victory.
No. 18 USC 40, WASHINGTON 17
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Southern California’s Marqise Lee caught a touchdown pass and returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards for a score, and Curtis McNeal had a 79-yard TD sprint while accumulating a career-high 148 yards rushing.
Matt Barkley passed for 174 yards and a touchdown and also ran for an early score for the Trojans (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12), who made sure the Huskies had no chance to beat them on a last-second field goal, as they did in each of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian’s first two meetings with his former employer.
Marc Tyler also rushed for a score for the bowl-banned Trojans, who have won five of six heading into next weekend’s trip to Oregon.
Keith Price passed for just 125 yards for Washington (6-4, 4-3) before leaving with an injured left knee in the third quarter.
MISSOURI 17, No. 21 TEXAS 5
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Kendial Lawrence topped 100 yards with a touchdown in relief of injured Henry Josey and Missouri ended a six-game losing streak in the series.
James Franklin completed his first 10 passes and ran for a 2-yard score for the Tigers (5-5, 3-4 Big 12), who beat Texas for the first time since 1997. Lawrence had 106 yards on 18 carries with a 35-yard score in the second quarter.
Texas (6-3, 3-3) entered with injury concerns at running back and was held to 76 yards rushing in only its third road game of the year. Missouri allowed only a chip-shot field goal for the game’s first score and a safety off a blocked punt in the third quarter.
Texas was kept out of the end zone for first time since 2004.
No. 22 MICHIGAN 31, ILLINOIS 14(equals)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 192 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Devin Gardner threw a key TD pass for Michigan.
Denard Robinson didn’t play after a big third-quarter hit. Details about his injury weren’t available. Gardner came in and hit Martavious Odoms for a fourth quarter touchdown that gave Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) a 24-7 lead after Illinois scored.
The Illini (6-4, 2-4) finished with 214 yards of offense but had just 30 at halftime. They’ve lost four straight.
Illinois trailed 17-7 after quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase’s 14-yard third-quarter touchdown run. But he was intercepted by J.T Floyd on the next Illinois possession to set up Odoms’ TD.
WEST VIRGINIA 24, No. 23 CINCINNATI 21
CINCINNATI (AP) – Geno Smith threw for 372 yards and led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that rallied West Virginia past No. 23 Cincinnati – which lost both quarterback Zach Collaros and control of the Big East race.
Eain Smith blocked Tony Miliano’s attempt for a tying 31-yard field goal as time ran out, giving the Mountaineers (7-3, 3-2) a win they needed to stay in contention.
The Bearcats (7-2, 3-1) lost Collaros to a lower-leg injury in the second quarter and he watched the rest of the game on crutches from the sideline with his right foot and ankle heavily wrapped.
Untested sophomore quarterback Munchie Legaux got the 48,152 fans at Paul Brown Stadium chanting his first name when he led the Bearcats to a pair of touchdowns for a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. Legaux ran 7 yards for a score, and Isaiah Pead went 10 yards for his second touchdown.