BCS TOP 25 ROUNDUP
No. 15 Texas A&M 29, No. 1 Alabama 24
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel putting on a spectacular performance, and senior wide receiver Ryan Swope grabbing 11 passes for 111 yards, the No. 15 Aggies jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter and then held the reigning champions at bay for an upset win at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Although No. 1 Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC) can still clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game with a win against Auburn on Nov. 24, the loss made it highly likely that the league's run of six national titles is over.
Unlike the previous Saturday, when AJ McCarron was able to lead a game-winning drive against LSU, this time his last gasp was intercepted in the end zone by Deshazor Everett. The Crimson Tide subsequently stopped A&M with 40 seconds remaining, but on fourth down made a neutral-zone infraction penalty that gave the Aggies a first down and let them run out the clock.
Manziel completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and also had 92 rushing yards.
No.2 Kansas State 23, TCU 10
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The nation's No. 2 ranked Kansas State Wildcats answered upset alert calls with a convincing victory over the TCU Horned Frogs.
Senior quarterback and Heisman front runner Collin Klein led the Wildcats (10-0, 6-0 Big 12) with 145 yards passing and 50 yards on the ground a week after suffering a concussion against Oklahoma State. The Horned Frogs (6-4, 3-4) did little to respond to Klein's attack despite forcing the Wildcats into five first-half punts.
Complementing Klein, the Kansas State defense held the TCU offense scoreless until late in the fourth quarter. The Frogs were able to obtain just 279 total yards and turned the ball over two times.
With Alabama's loss to Texas A&M earlier in the day, Kansas State also finds itself on the inside track toward the BCS national championship game and likely the No. 1 position in the new BCS rankings set to release on Sunday. The position would be the first time that the Wildcats have been at the top of the BCS since its conception.
No. 3 Oregon 59, Cal 17
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Oregon struggled for a while against injury-plagued and slumping Cal at Memorial Stadium, but Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota made certain they would not suffer the same fate as Alabama.
Mariota tied a school record with six touchdown passes, including four in the second half, as the Ducks pulled away for a 59-17 victory that presumably will lift the Ducks to the No. 1 ranking in some polls for the first time this season.
Whether it was enough to earn Oregon the top spot in the BCS standings remains to be seen, but with Alabama's loss earlier in the day, Oregon (10-0, 7-0 in the Pac-12) now seems virtually assured of a berth in the national championship game if it wins its remaining games, starting with next week's home game against No. 15 Stanford.
The Bears had no answer for Mariota, who was 27-for-34 for a career-high 377 yards with no interceptions to go along with his six scoring tosses. He had to leave the game briefly in the second quarter when he landed on his left arm or shoulder on a run, but he returned later in the period and showed no ill effects.
No. 4 Notre Dame 21, Boston College 6
BOSTON -- Twice in the last 20 years, Boston College ended the national title hopes of rival Notre Dame. But the No. 4 Fighting Irish did what they had to do, cruising to a victory that lifted them to 10-0 for the first time since 1993.
That was the first year the Eagles spoiled things for the 10-0 Irish. It happened again in 2002. But those BC teams were both bowl teams. This one fell to 2-8 and it's very likely coach Frank Spaziani will be fired at the end of the season.
The Irish are going to need help to get to the BCS title game, and they got some Saturday when No. 1 Alabama lost. But ND, which hosts Wake Forest and visits USC in its last two regular season games, still needs more help.
Notre Dame's Everett Golson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in a superb performance that gave the Irish their fourth consecutive win over BC in the rivalry between college football's only two FBS Catholic schools.
No. 5 Georgia 38, Auburn 0
AUBURN, Ala. -- Georgia (9-1, 7-1) started quickly and never let up, racing past Auburn (2-8, 0-6) to win the SEC East Division title and claim a spot in the league championship game for the second consecutive year.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed 18 of 24 passes for 208 yards and three first-half touchdowns before being replaced to start the fourth quarter.
Murray had plenty of help. Freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall rushed for 116 and 105 yards, respectively, with one touchdown apiece. Marshall's touchdown came on a 62-yard run.
Auburn, meanwhile, continued to suffer through its worst season in recent memory, a loss that will no doubt add to speculation on whether or not Tigers coach Gene Chizik will be able to keep his job. The Tigers managed only 153 total yards against the Bulldogs.
No. 6 Florida 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 20
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Jelani Jenkins returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown with two seconds left as No. 6 Florida rallied from a late deficit.
Loucheiz Purifoy blocked the punt of Louisiana's Brett Baer, the ball twisting in the wind and into the arms of Jenkins.
It marked an amazing turnaround as the Gators (9-1) went from being down seven points to scoring 14 in a matter of seconds.
It was Florida's fourth blocked kick of the game and the second week in a row Purifoy got one. Louisiana fell to 5-4.
No. 7 LSU 37, No. 22 Mississippi State 17
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Sparked by a turnover and Zach Mettenberger's continued hot hand, No. 7 LSU overcame an early NMississippi State touchdown with a strong finish in the second half at Tiger Stadium.
Safety Craig Loston sealed the victory for LSU (8-2, 4-2 SEC) when he grabbed an interception in the closing moments and rambled 100 yards for a touchdown.
Mettenberger passed for 273 yards and a pair of touchdowns to anchor an impressive offensive night for the Tigers, who piled up 392 total yards and 22 first downs.
LSU needed most of that, especially over the final three quarters as No. 22 Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) snapped out of a two-game funk and played well, despite a 13th consecutive loss to the Tigers.
No. 8 South Carolina 38, Arkansas 20
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Playing their first game since running back Marcus Lattimore's devastating right knee injury, eighth-ranked South Carolina beat Arkansas.
The Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) finished league play by equaling their best-ever SEC record, set last season. With two regular season games and a bowl remaining, they sustained their hopes of matching last year's program-best 11-2 record. If they beat Wofford next week, they will finish undefeated at home for the first time since 1987.
Arkansas (4-6, 2-4) must beat Mississippi State and LSU to become eligible for a bowl. Before Saturday, the Razorbacks defeated South Carolina in three straight meetings (by 17, 21 and 16 points) and in five of the teams' past six matchups.
Lattimore's replacements are fifth-year senior Kenny Miles and true freshman Mike Davis. Miles ran 14 times for 37 yards. Davis ran 13 times for 53 yards and a two-yard touchdown. Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw picked apart Arkansas' poor pass defense and completed 14 of 22 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Syracuse 45, No. 9 Louisville 26
The Orange, playing in its final Big East home game before leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, built a 31-10 lead in the second quarter to rout the Cardinals.
The Orange (5-5, 4-2 Big East) scored on its first three possessions of the second quarter to turn a 10-10 tie into a laugher. Quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 15 of 23 attempts for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The loss prevented the Cardinals (9-1, 4-1) from starting 10-0 for the first time in school history. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has received Heisman Trophy attention, completed 36 of 49 passes for 424 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
No. 14 Stanford 27, No. 11 Oregon State 23
STANFORD, Calif. -- Thanks in large part to the clutch play of a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first collegiate start, No. 14 Stanford will head into next week's showdown against Oregon with its Rose Bowl hopes very much alive.
Kevin Hogan's statistics were impressive in his first start for Stanford, which rallied back from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat No. 11 Oregon State at Stanford Stadium.
Stanford (8-2, 6-1 in the Pac-12) had to overcome a 23-14 second-half deficit and four turnovers to beat Oregon State (7-2, 5-2 in the Pac-12), which scored 23 straight points to apparently take control of the game. However, Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz committed one critical turnover to give Hogan a chance to steal the game away.
Stepfan Taylor rushed for 114 yards for Stanford to go past the 1,000-yard mark for the third straight season, but the star for the second straight week was Hogan, who finished 22-for-29 for 254 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions (one of which came off a tipped pass) and two game-changing plays.
No. 12 Oklahoma 42, Baylor 34
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma got two touchdown passes from Landry Jones, a pair of scoring runs by Damien Williams and a pair of touchdowns from Brennan Clay to hold off Baylor in front of 84,945 at Owen Field.
The No. 12 Sooners (7-2, 5-1 Big 12) built an 11-point lead at halftime on two TD passes from Jones and scoring runs from Williams and Clay.
After Baylor opened with 10 straight points in the third quarter to cut Oklahoma's lead to 28-26, the Sooners pulled away with two touchdowns at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth. Damien Williams' 17-yard run with 2:10 left in the third gave the Sooners a 35-26 advantage, and Blake Bell pushed the lead to 42-26 with a 55-yard dash.
Lache Seastrunk scored three times for Baylor (4-5, 1-5).
No. 13 Clemson 45, Maryland 10
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tajh Boyd completed 18-of-26 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, sparking the Tigers to an Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
The victory not only gave the No. 13 Tigers (9-1, 6-1 in the ACC) a school-record 12th consecutive home victory, it kept alive Clemson's slim hopes for a third Atlantic Division title and ACC Championship Game appearance in four years.
Clemson must beat N.C. State next week and hope that division-leading Florida State, which beat Clemson, 49-37, on Sept. 22, stumbles next Saturday at Maryland.
Sophomore Adam Humphries caught the first touchdown pass of his Clemson career from Boyd with 7:19 left in the first quarter and the rout was on.
No. 16 Nebraska 32, Penn State 23
LINCOLN, Neb. -- No. 16 Nebraska produced its fourth double-digit comeback victory in Big Ten Conference play, using a quick start to the second half to rally past Penn State.
Nebraska (8-2, 5-1) trailed 20-6 at halftime but scored two touchdowns within the first 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to quickly erase that deficit. Penn State briefly regained a 23-20 lead, but Taylor Martinez hit slot receiver Jamal Turner on a slant route for a 5-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal, giving Nebraska a 27-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Nebraska tacked on a safety with 5:02 remaining, and Brett Maher kicked a 33-yard field goal with 23 seconds left, helping the Huskers maintain control atop the Big Ten's Legends Division with two games to play.
Zack Zwinak ran 21 times for 141 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run on the game's third play, to pace Penn State (6-4, 4-2), which was aiming to finish undefeated in Big Ten road games.
No. 17 Texas 33, Iowa State 7
AUSTIN, Texas -- David Ash completed 15 of his first 16 pass attempts and threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns as Texas won at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Texas lined up in the wishbone on the first play to honor the late Darrell K. Royal and used the formation to open the game with a little trickery. Ash flipped the ball to Jaxon Shipley, who threw a backward pass to Ash, who connected with Greg Daniels on a 37-yard play.
Ash also threw a 61-yard pass to Mike Davis that gave Texas a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and added a 3-yard TD pass to Barrett Matthews to put the Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) up 20-0.
Iowa State fell to 5-5.
No. 18 UCLA 44, Washington State 36
PULLMAN, Wash. -- UCLA scored 30 points in the second quarter to take a 37-7 halftime lead, then held off a furious rally by the Cougars.
Washington State scored the game's final 22 points on three touchdowns, adding a two-point conversion with 1:31 to play to pull within eight points. However, the Bruins recovered the ensuing onside kick to hold on for the win.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley completed 18 of 21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once.
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday threw five touchdown passes while going 26-for-43 for 330 yards. He also threw one interception. Bobby Ratliff and Dominique Williams each topped 100 receiving yards for the Cougars (2-8, 0-7 Pac-12).
Washington State outgained UCLA (8-2, 5-2) by a 456-261 margin.
No. 19 USC 38, Arizona State 17
LOS ANGELES -- Curtis McNeal ran for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns as USC overcame quarterback Matt Barkley's three interceptions to beat Arizona State before 80,154 at the Coliseum.
No. 19 USC (7-3, 5-3 Pac-12) can advance to the conference title game with a victory over UCLA next week.
The Trojans finally overcame their sluggishness in the third quarter and led 28-17 after McNeal took a short pass and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left.
Marqise Lee caught 12 passes for 178 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown with 1:36 left in the first quarter to tie the game 7-7.
Alden Darby returned one of Barkley's interceptions 70 yards for a touchdown for the Sun Devils (5-5, 3-4).
No.22 Texas Tech 41, Kansas 34 (2 OT)
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Running back Eric Stephens threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Darrin Moore in the second overtime and Texas Tech held Kansas out of the end zone for a victory at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Kansas, which erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, had one last chance to tie trailing by seven in double overtime. But Texas Tech defensive back D.J. Johnson broke up quarterback Michael Cummings' pass in the end zone on fourth-and-9.
Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12) extended its Big 12 losing streak to 19 games dating back to the 2010 season.
The Red Raiders (7-3, 4-3) did just enough to snap a two-game losing streak.
No. 23 Rutgers 28, Army 7
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Gary Nova completed 14-of-17 passes for 123 yards, and threw a go-ahead 31-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman in the fourth quarter to lift the Scarlet Knights past the error-prone Cadets.
Rutgers (8-1) capped a tumultuous two-week period since losing to Kent State on Oct. 27 by offering a positive result for a New Jersey fan base that was impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
The Scarlet Knights snapped a 7-7 fourth quarter tie, as Nova capped a four-play, 45-yard drive with his scoring pass to Coleman, and Rutgers added some insurance after two Army miscues in the final minutes.
Army (2-8) twice fumbled inside the Rutgers 15 and also had two field goal attempts blocked.
Michigan 38, No. 24 Northwestern 31 (OT)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Wolverines put together a second-half comeback and kept its narrowing Rose Bowl hopes alive with by beating the Wildcats in a Big Ten game at Michigan Stadium.
Quarterback Devin Gardner scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime, and linebacker Kenny Demens stopped Tony Jones of Northwestern on fourth-and-2 to end the game.
Tyris Jones' 15-yard touchdown catch with 3:59 left in the game gave Northwestern a 31-28 lead before Brendan Gibbon's 26-yard field goal with eight seconds left sent the game to overtime.
Gardner started at quarterback in place of Denard Robinson, who sat out his second straight game because of an ulnar nerve injury in his right arm.