Saturday's Top 25 College Football Capsules
LSU sends resounding message before Bama showdown
Sunday, October 23, 2011
LSU’s last statement before its biggest game of the season was a doozy.
The top-ranked Tigers, playing without three key suspended players, pummeled Auburn 45-10 and now can start looking toward their matchup with No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 5.
The Tide beat Tennessee 37-6 later Saturday to set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
No. 19 Auburn stayed close for about a quarter and a half. LSU led 7-3 before Reuben Randle caught two long touchdown passes in the final five minutes of the first half. The Tigers scored three touchdowns in about 2 1-2 minutes in the third and the game was a rout.
LSU was without star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, leading rusher Spencer Ware and defensive back Tharold Simon — all suspended one game for violating the team’s drug policy. Still, the Tigers rolled to their eighth double-digit win of the season.
Randle caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Jordan Jefferson and a 46-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Lee.
Freshman Kenny Hilliard scored the first two touchdowns of his career while rushing for 65 yards on only 10 carries for LSU (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference). Randle finished with five receptions for 106 yards. Lee was 14 of 20 for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while Jefferson completed two of three passes for 54 yards.
With Michael Ford leading the way (12 rushes, 82 yards), LSU gained 174 yards on the ground.
Even without two key defensive backs, LSU held first-time starter Clint Moseley to 145 yards passing, sacked him six times and intercepted him once. If anyone questioned how deep LSU could really be at defensive back, it was none other than Mathieu’s replacement, Ron Brooks, who made the interception and returned it 28 yards to make it 42-3 halfway through the third quarter.
Auburn (5-3, 3-2) was held to 87 yards rushing, led by Michael Dyer’s 60 yards.
While LSU and Alabama marched toward an unbeaten matchup, two other top four teams too their first loss.
No. 4 Wisconsin lost on the last play of the game at No. 15 Michigan State and No. 3 Oklahoma was upset by Texas Tech.
No. 2 Alabama 37, Tennessee 6
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — AJ McCarron passed for 284 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score to lead Alabama to a second-half surge.
The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) scored on its first five possessions after halftime to turn a tie game with the rival Volunteers (3-4, 0-4) into a blowout. That set up a two-week bonanza of hype ahead of Alabama’s showdown with No. 1 LSU, which routed Auburn 45-19 in a game that ended shortly before this one kicked off.
Now, both SEC powers head into an open date. The “LSU” chants began with a couple of minutes left with most of the fans staying until the end.
Alabama had either first downs or touchdowns on its first 10 plays of the second half to bust open a 6-6 game.
The Tide outgained the Vols 280-41 in the second half and didn’t allow a first down.
No. 15 Michigan State 37, No. 4 Wisconsin 31
Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard desperation heave from Kirk Cousins on the game’s final play for a tiebreaking touchdown, giving No. 15 Michigan State a stunning 37-31 win over No. 4 Wisconsin on Saturday night.
With 4 seconds left, Cousins rolled out to his right and threw it about as far as he could. The ball went into the end zone but caromed off Michigan State receiver B.J. Cunningham’s facemask back to Nichol, who caught it just outside the end zone and struggled for the goal line, fighting two Wisconsin defenders and just barely breaking the plane.
The former backup quarterback was initially ruled short of the end zone, but officials overturned the call after a review, giving the Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) the win and knocking the Badgers (6-1, 2-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Russell Wilson had led the Badgers from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 1:26 left on a to 2-yard touchdown pass to Montee Ball.
Texas Tech 41, No. 3 Oklahoma 38
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Seth Doege threw for 441 yards and connected with Alex Torres on three of his four touchdown passes, and Texas Tech snapped Oklahoma’s 39-game home winning streak.
Doege carved up an Oklahoma defense missing three starters, guiding the Red Raiders (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) to their biggest win yet under second-year coach Tommy Tuberville. He pulled off a feat that Mike Leach couldn’t accomplish in his 10 years in charge in Lubbock, Texas, and Tech became just the third team to beat OU coach Bob Stoops at home.
The Sooners are now 75-3 on Owen Field in Stoops’ 13 years. Oklahoma State and TCU are responsible for the other losses.
Landry Jones ended up with 412 yards passing and five touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to rally Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) back from a sluggish start and save its unbeaten season.
No. 5 Boise State 33, Air Force 26
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Kellen Moore threw three touchdowns, Doug Martin scored twice and the defense and special teams did just enough to help Boise State hold off Air Force.
Moore was precise as usual, going 23 of 29 for 281 yards. His three TDs give him 123 in his career, making him fourth best all-time. The victory gave him 45 career wins, putting him in a tie with Colt McCoy for most wins for college quarterbacks.
Martin rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries and the Broncos (7-0, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) rolled up 423 yards of offense.
But the Broncos’ defense struggled to stop Air Force and its potent option game. The Falcons (3-4, 0-3) pounded out 265 yards rushing, helping them control the clock and keep Boise State’s offense off the field.
No. 6 Oklahoma State 45, Missouri 24
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Joseph Randle scored four touchdowns, two on runs that capitalized on big defensive plays by Shaun Lewis, and Oklahoma State ended Missouri’s 10-game home winning streak.
Randle had 138 yards on 14 carries and scored on runs of 16, 59 and 12 yards. He also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Brandon Weeden had three touchdown passes after the opening snap of the second quarter. Lewis’ interception and fumble recovery helped the Cowboys (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) pull away despite injuries to both starting wide receivers.
Henry Josey had 138 yards on 25 carries and T.J. Moe had six catches for 103 yards and a score for Missouri (3-4, 1-3), which has yet to win consecutive games.
Stanford 65, No. 22 Washington 21
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson powered Stanford to a school-record 446 yards rushing.
The running backs gave Heisman Trophy hopeful Andrew Luck some rest as the Cardinal (7-0, 5-0 Pac-12) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 15 games. Taylor ran for 138 yards, Gaffney 117 yards and Wilkerson 93 yards to break the previous team mark of 439 in a victory over Oregon State in 1981.
Facing the first ranked opponent of the season, Stanford pounded the Huskies (5-2, 4-1) in a critical Pac-12 North matchup.
Chris Polk ran for scores from 46 and 61 yards in the first half to keep Washington close early. He finished with 144 yards rushing as the Cardinal’s defense clamped down.
No. 8 Clemson 59, North Carolina 38
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Tajh Boyd tied a school record with five touchdown passes, defensive end Kourtnei Brown scored on interception and fumble returns and Clemson improved to 8-0 for the first time in 11 years.
The Tigers (5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) again put on an offensive display with 450 yards as Boyd matched Cullen Harper’s 2007 mark on the day the school celebrated the 30th anniversary of its 1981 national champions.
Brown became the first Clemson defensive lineman to score a pair of touchdowns in one game in 57 years.
North Carolina (5-3, 1-3) turned the ball over six times and tailback Giovani Bernard was held to 44 yards, ending his streak of five consecutive games with 100 yards rushing.
No. 9 Oregon 45, Colorado 2
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Playing without Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, Oregon bulldozed injury-riddled Colorado.
The Ducks lost none of their quick-strike scoring ability without their injured quarterback and running back. Thomas was out with a knee injury and James missed his second straight game while recovering from a dislocated elbow.
With Bryan Bennett under center and Kenjon Barner at tailback, the Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-10) used four drives that averaged just 1:36 each to build a 29-0 lead after one quarter.
Barner reeled off touchdown runs of 4 and 84 yards and Bennett found running back De’Anthony Thomas for a 14-yard touchdown and tight end David Paulson from 31 yards out.
No. 10 Arkansas 29, Mississippi 24
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Tyler Wilson threw for 232 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, and Arkansas rallied from an early 17-point deficit.
Arkansas (6-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) continues its best start under fourth-year coach Bobby Petrino, staying in the mix in the loaded Western Division that includes LSU and Alabama. Dennis Johnson rushed for 160 yards on 15 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown. Joe Adams caught four passes for 124 yards.
Eric Bennett’s late interception sealed the victory.
Ole Miss (2-5, 0-4) took a surprising 17-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter after Randall Mackey’s 3-yard touchdown run, but the Razorbacks responded with 29 unanswered points.
The Rebels set a program record for SEC futility, losing 10 straight league games dating to last season.
No. 12 Kansas State 59, Kansas 21
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Collin Klein threw for a career-high 195 yards and accounted for five touchdowns, freshman Tyler Lockett returned a kickoff for a score and caught a touchdown pass, and Kansas State tuned up for a big showdown next week with Oklahoma.
The Wildcats (7-0, 4-0) are riding their best start since 1999, when they won their first nine games. They’ll host the third-ranked Sooners next Saturday in a matchup that should go a long way toward deciding the Big 12 champion now that there’s no conference title game.
Jordan Webb threw for 169 yards and a touchdown for Kansas (2-5, 0-4), which has dropped five straight, including a 47-17 loss to the Sooners last week.
No. 13 Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rex Burkhead rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown and No. 13 Nebraska racked up 346 yards on the ground.
The Huskers (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) took over TCF Bank Stadium in their first trip to the Twin Cities since 1989. More than two-thirds of the stadium was filled with red-clad Nebraska backers, and they had plenty to cheer about.
Taylor Martinez threw for 162 yards and a touchdown and Austin Cassidy returned a fumble for another score in the romp.
MarQueis Gray was 9 for 18 for 122 yards for the Golden Gophers (1-6, 0-3), but was just 2 for 8 for 9 yards in the first two quarters. Minnesota has been outscored 144-31 in three Big Ten games this season.
No. 16 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 14
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — David Wilson got Virginia Tech’s offense untracked with a long touchdown run in the third quarter and Logan Thomas threw for a touchdown and ran for another as the Hokies won their third straight.
The Hokies (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 7-6 at halftime, but Wilson broke off a 42-yard touchdown run on their first possession of the third quarter, and Thomas then led consecutive scoring drives, waking up a Lane Stadium crowd that had had little to cheer about.
Chase Rettig led a short scoring drive that gave the Eagles (1-6, 0-4) a 7-0 lead after just 3 minutes, and hit Chris Pantale with a 7-yard TD throw in the fourth quarter. He had trouble getting inside the Hokies’ 40 otherwise, and threw a drive-killing interception.
No. 17 Texas A&M 33, Iowa State 17
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and Texas A&M held off Iowa State for its third straight Big 12 win.
Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray each rushed for more than 100 yards for the Aggies (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), who used Tannehill’s scoring passes late in the first half to jump ahead 20-7.
Michael’s 9-yard TD run early in the third quarter gave Texas A&M a 30-7 lead.
Michael had 142 yards on 18 carries, Gray added 125 yards and Jeff Fuller and Michael Lamothe each had TD receptions for Texas A&M.
Freshman Jared Barnett, who replaced a struggling Steele Jantz in the first quarter, was 16-of-36 passing for 180 yards for the Cyclones (3-4, 0-4), who have dropped four in a row.
Miami 24, No. 20 Georgia Tech 7
MIAMI (AP) — JoJo Nicholas recovered a fumbled punt for a touchdown plus added an interception, Lamar Miller ran for 93 yards and a score and Miami’s banged-up defense was dominant.
Mike James also had a touchdown run for Miami (4-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won consecutive games for the first time this season and has now beaten Georgia Tech three straight times.
Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2) came into Saturday averaging 517 yards of offense this season. The Yellow Jackets got only 211 on Saturday, their lowest total since a loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl after the 2009 season.
Purdue 21, No. 23 Illinois 14
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Caleb TerBush passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns to help Purdue upset Illinois.
Raheem Mostert ran for a touchdown and tackled the punter on a play that led to another score for the Boilermakers (4-3, 2-1 Big Ten). It was Purdue’s first victory over a ranked team since beating No. 7 Ohio State in 2009.
Illinois (6-2, 2-2) lost its second straight. The Fighting Illini scored on a 16-yard run by Jason Ford with 8:12 remaining, and a 2-yard run by quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase cut Purdue’s lead to 21-14 with 54 seconds to play. But Purdue’s Justin Siller recovered the onside kick, and the Boilermakers ran out the clock.
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