While many of this weekend’s games were just tune-ups for showdowns to come, there were several great battles to keep things exciting, including Michigan’s last-second win over Notre Dame, South Carolina’s shootout victory over Georgia and Auburn stuffing Mississippi State at the goal line to win their 17th straight game.

With that, here are the highlights from the top 25 and other games of interest this week:

#1 Oklahoma BYE

The top-ranked Sooners had a week off to prepare for next week’s big showdown in Tallahassee against #5 Florida State.

#2 Louisiana State 49, Northwestern State 3

The Tigers had no problems with their tiny FCS opponent, as the LSU defense held Northwestern State to just 95 total yards — including minus-4 yards rushing — and just six first downs.

#3 Alabama 27, #23 Penn State 11

Alabama’s stifling defense forced three turnovers and held the Nittany Lions to just 251 yards of offense in front of the largest crowd (107,846) to ever see a Crimson Tide game. Joe Paterno came into the game planning to play two quarterbacks, but neither was effective. Starter Rob Bolden was just 11-29 for 144 yards and an interception, while his substitute, Matthew McGloin, fared even worse, going just 1-10 for zero yards.  The Crimson Tide was led by running back Trent Richardson, who carried the ball 26 times for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns.

#4 Boise State BYE

The Broncos will be back in action next week at Toledo, which gave Ohio State a serious scare this weekend.

#5 Florida State 62, Charleston Southern 10

Seminoles QB EJ Manual threw for four touchdowns and a career-high 329 yards as coach Jumbo Fisher’s team rolled over their mismatched FCS opponent in preparation for next week’s big game against top-ranked Oklahoma. This one was over early, as CSU had no completed passes, no first downs and just eight yards going into halftime trailing 34-0.

#6 Stanford 44, Duke 14

The Stanford offense struggled early, only leading by 3 with less than a minute to go in the first half, before junior QB Andrew Luck righted the ship and led the Cardinal to 34 unanswered points to bury the Blue Devils. Luck tied a career high with four touchdown passes and finished 20-28 for 290 yards. The win tied Luck with Jim Plunkett for the second-most wins in Stanford history.

#8 Texas A&M BYE

The Aggies will be back in action next week against Idaho, but most of the Aggies’ focus continues to be on the ongoing Big 12 stalemate holding up their move to the SEC.

#8 Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 0

The Russell Wilson experiment continues to pay dividends as the highly-touted transfer threw three touchdowns in the Badgers’ shutout of Oregon State. The Beavers managed just 23 yards rushing in the absence of freshman RB Malcolm Agnew, who missed the game with a pulled hamstring after rushing for 223 yards last week.

#9 Oklahoma State 37, Arizona 14

Cowboys WR Justin Blackmon extended his NCAA-record with his 14th consecutive 100-yard game, catching 12 balls for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Oklahoma State rolled up 594 yards of offense in their second throttling of the Wildcats in nine months — they whipped them, 36-10, in last year’s Alamo Bowl).

#10 Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29

The Cornhuskers needed 21 fourth quarter points to survive a serious upset bid by the visiting Bulldogs. Nebraska’s new-look offense continued to sputter for most of the game, while Bo Pelini’s usually stout defense had no answer for Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse, who carried the ball 36 times for 169 yards. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

#11 Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 10

Frank Beamer earned his 200th career win, as Virginia Tech held off a late ECU drive to secure the victory. The Hokies defense was dominant, holding the Pirates — who put up 37 points in their previous game at South Carolina — to just 112 total yards and minus-15 yards rushing.

#12 South Carolina 45, Georgia 42

Costly turnovers doomed the Bulldogs in a game that featured over 800 yards in total offense and seven lead changes. The Gamecocks got two defensive touchdowns to go along with a 68-yard special teams rushing touchdown off of a fake punt.

#13 Oregon 69, Nevada 20

Showing no signs of a letdown after last week’s loss to LSU, Oregon turned its already high-octane offense up a notch, rolling up 603 yards in a blowout of Nevada. Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 295 yards and a school record-tying six touchdowns on just 13/19 passing.

#14 Arkansas 52, New Mexico 3

The Razorbacks rolled up 641 yards of offense in their rout of the Lobos. Quarterback Tyler Wilson finished 20-29 for 268 yards and a touchdown. He also added 39 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

#15 Ohio State 27, Toledo 22

The Buckeyes needed a late defensive stop to secure a win and keep their 90-year victory streak against in-state opponents alive. Toledo outplayed the Buckeyes in many ways, but shot themselves in the foot with 14 penalties for 102 yards, a miss on one field goal attempt, a bad snap on another and a Buckeyes punt return for a touchdown.

Auburn 41, #16 Mississippi State 34

The defending national champions extended their 17-game winning streak with another close win, this time stopping the Bulldogs twice from inside the 2-yard line in the last minute of the game. The Bulldogs rolled up 531 yards (333 on the ground),  but needed one more as the game ended when the Tigers stopped Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf at the 1-yard line as time expired.

#17 Michigan State 44, Florida Atlantic 0

The Spartans’ offense really could have taken the day off, as the defense did more than enough to handle FAU.  For the game, the Owls managed just 48 yards of total offense and one first down.

#18 Florida 39, Alabama-Birmingham 0

The Gators rolled up 511 yards on offense as they posted their first shutout win since 2006.  Senior RB Chris Rainey carried the ball 16 times for 119 yards and a touchdown.


The Mountaineers actually trailed 12-10 at halftime before coach Dana Holgerson’s offense exploded for 45 unanswered points in the second half. West Virginia scored on their first seven possessions after halftime as part of their 533 total yards on the day.


After upsetting TCU last week, the Bears had a week off before getting back into action next week against Stephen F. Austin.


Missouri scored 14 points in the final 12 minutes of regulation to tie the game, but then missed a 48-yard field goal for the win with 12 seconds left. That miss proved costly as the Sun Devils scored first in overtime on an 11-yard TD pass from QB Brock Osweiler to Jamal Miles. Mizzou was unable to answer, securing an Arizona State win. Osweiler threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, including the overtime game-winner, and ran for another score in the contest.


The South Florida Bulls didn’t have a letdown after their big win at Notre Dame, cruising to an easy victory. Bulls quarterback B.J. Thomas threw for a career-best 359 yards before being pulled in the fourth quarter, and the Bulls’ defense forced three turnovers and held the Cardinals to just 225 yards of offense.


With BYU leading 13-0 in the Second Quarter, ineffective Texas starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert was benched in the second quarter after starting the game 2/8 for just eight yards and two interceptions.  But a backup rotation of Case McCoy and David Ash (9/11 for 92 yards) combined with a solid running game (43 carries by nine different players)provided a much-needed spark off the bench to rally the Longhorns.


TCU rebounded from last week’s loss to Baylor with a solid victory over a good Air Force squad. While Air Force moved the ball well (416 total yards) and actually outgained TCU, the Horned Frogs’ defense toughened when it mattered and kept Air Force out of the end zone until the game was well in hand.



In the first-ever night game at the Big House, Michigan rallied from a 24-7 fourth quarter deficit to stun the Fighting Irish with a go-ahead touchdown with just two seconds left on the clock. The NCAA-record crowd of 114,804 saw Wolverines’ quarterback Denard Robinson throw for 338 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 108 yards and a score.


The Cyclones snapped a three-game losing streak to their in-state rivals with a triple overtime thriller. Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns, while backup running back James White scored two touchdowns in overtime to secure the victory.

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