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College Football Season

LSU Prevails; West Virginia Drilled; Notre Dame Survives

Sooners Do The Texas 2-Stomp; Iowa Sneaks Past Michigan State in 2 OT's; Virginia Tech Rallies From 20-0 Deficit

by Dave Congrove
October 14, 2012

Five of the computer's top 6 teams hit the road and it took its toll on West Virginia and South Carolina on the eve of the release of the first BCS Standings of 2012.

Overall, four teams suffered their first loss as Louisiana Tech and UTSA joined the Mountaineers and Gamecocks on that list.

The No. 2 Gamecocks were taken down 23-21 at LSU while Texas Tech drilled the No. 5 Mountaineers 49-14 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders rolled up 676 yards on the WVU defense and extended a 35-7 halftime lead to 49-7 before Geno Smith and Company added a late score.

In perhaps the craziest game of the day, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel led his team to a wild 59-57 win over previously unbeaten Louisiana Tech. Manziel threw for 393 and 3 scores, and ran for 181 and 3 more scores, in the make-up game at Shreveport that was scheduled for opening weekend until Hurricane Isaac forced its postponement.

UTSA's unbeaten run ended at 5-0. The Roadrunners were caught by the coyote at Rice 34-14.

No. 1 Alabama rolled 42-10 at Missouri, No. 3 Kansas State escaped with a 27-21 win at Iowa State and No. 6 Florida prevailed 31-17 at Vanderbilt. 4 Oregon was idle.

Mississippi State moved to 6-0 for the first time since 1999 with a 41-31 home win over Tennessee.

Rutgers is still perfect after staving off Syracuse 23-15 in Piscataway. Big East cohorts Louisville and Cincinnati kept pace as the Cardinals won 45-35 at Pitt and the Bearcats defeated FCS member Fordham 49-17 at home. Ohio moved to 7-0 by keeping upset-minded Akron at bay 34-28 in Athens.

Oregon State is still unscathed after drubbing BYU 42-24, even without QB Sean Mannion who sat out with a knee injury. Cody Vaz threw for 332 yards and 3 TD's in his first start.

Notre Dame is 6-0 after escaping Stanford with a 20-13 win in overtime at South Bend. A 22-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining tied the game and the Irish stopped the Cardinal on two 1-yard run attempts to preserve the win after scoring a touchdown on their first possession in the extra period.

Ohio State remained undefeated with a 52-49 win at Indiana. The Hoosiers topped their previous record of 41 points score against the Buckeyes, 15 of which came late in the 4th quarter within a 35-second span. Ohio State recovered an onside kick with 1:05 to play to end the threat. Urban Meyer's team is not eligible for the conference title or a bowl game due to NCAA probation.

Manziel's 72-yard touchdown run opened a 59-44 lead with 2:04 left, but Quinton Patton scored on Louisiana Tech's next play on a 62-yard run after a short pass from Colby Cameron. Patton, who finished with 21 catches for 232 yards and 4 TD's, slowed almost to a halt in front of a would-be tackler on the sideline, but then took off after the defender froze. The Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick and scored again just six plays later but failed to convert the 2-point pass attempt with 38 seconds left. The Aggies recovered the next onside kick to secure the win.

The teams combined for 1,315 yards of offense with A&M netting 689 to Louisiana Tech's 616. The Bulldogs trailed by as much as 34-7 in the first half.

Michigan State lost its third home game this season when Iowa tripped the Spartans 19-16 in double-overtime. A touchdown with under a minute to play sent the contest to overtime knotted at 13. The teams exchanged field goals in the first extra stanza, but Michigan State was intercepted in the 2nd bonus period after the Hawkeyes converted a 42-yard field goal attempt, the longest of four Mike Myers field goals on the day.

The Red River was flowing a bloody burnt orange after Oklahoma piled up nearly 700 yards of offense in a 63-21 blowout of Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. To make matters worse for the Longhorns, QB David Ash exited the game with a left wrist injury in the 4th quarter.

Duke opened a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and appeared to be well on the way to ruining Virginia Tech's Homecoming and dropping the Hokies to 3-4. More importantly, a continued onslaught would have likely knocked Virginia Tech out of the Coastal division race and definitely would have ended its string of 8 consecutive 10-win seasons. For Duke, a win would have made the Blue Devils bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 and left them undefeated in the ACC and a serious contender for the Coastal division title, but....

...a Virginia Tech team that has been missing in action on offense and defense all year finally stood tall and blitzed Duke with a 41-0 shutout over the last 46:03 of the game to pull out a 41-20 runaway win. The Hokies' absent running game produced a 182-yard back in J.C. Coleman and well over 500 yards of total offense while the defense registered 7 sacks and 4 takeaways.

Miami, Fla. also took its first ACC conference loss on Saturday, falling 18-14 at home to North Carolina. The Tar Heels improved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference but are not eligible for the ACC title or a bowl game due to NCAA probation.

Maryland - yes, Maryland - is the only ACC team remaining with an unblemished conference record (2-0) after a 27-20 win at Virginia.

Meanwhile, Mississippi ended its 16-game conference losing streak in the SEC with a 41-20 home win over Auburn. The Tigers fell to 1-5 overall and are now 0-4 in the SEC for the first time since 1980. The Rebels improved to 4-3, 1-2.

The nation's longest overall losing streak also ended on Saturday with Tulane's 27-26 win over SMU. It also snapped a 3-game losing streak to the Mustangs in a series that the Green Wave now leads 13-8. SMU had rallied from a 20-9 4th quarter deficit to take a 26-20 lead with 1:22 to play, but Tulane answered 5 plays later to snatch the rare win. The Green Wave have won just 3 of their last 21 games.

Two of the remaining three winless teams tried desperately to get a win, but failed, while UMass was idle.

Southern Miss fought valiantly dropping a 38-31 double-overtime decision at UCF. A 27-yard field goal by the Golden Eagles with 13 seconds left in regulation knotted the score at 24-all and completed the comeback from a 24-14 4th quarter deficit. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first extra period before the Golden Knights intercepted a pass in the 2nd overtime to prevent Southern Miss from countering another UCF touchdown.

Eastern Michigan also waged a fierce battle at home with Toledo before succumbing 52-47. The Eagles never led but stayed within 12 points or less throughout.

Temple, which was essentially kicked out of the Big East after the 2004 season for being a perennial laughing stock, is now 2-0 in the conference in the inaugural year of its second marriage. The Owls scored the tying TD with 14 seconds left at UConn, then won 17-14 on a 29-yard field goal in overtime after the Huskies missed a 28-yard field goal. UConn failed on four field goals in the game, including a 45-yarder that was blocked with under 3 minutes remaining in regulation. Former Boston College running back Montel Harris ran for 142 yards and a TD. Harris was dismissed from the Eagles' program for "repeated violations of team rules".

New Mexico, in its first season under Bob Davie as head coach, has won two in-a-row and is 4-3 on the season. The Lobos have also won their last two road games after breaking a 24-game skid in away contests earlier this year with their win at rival New Mexico State. The latest triumph was a 35-23 victory at Hawaii on Saturday night. The 4 wins ties the 2008 team for the most triumphs in a single season since the 2007 squad went 9-4. The school won just one game in each of the last three seasons.

The Arkansas-Kentucky game called with 5:08 to play in the 3rd quarter because of lightning near Razorback Stadium. The suspension followed a 1 hour and 6 minute delay in the first half. The Razorbacks won 49-7.

Boise State held off Fresno State 20-10 at home, and Nevada won the Fremont Cannon with a 42-37 win at Silver State rival UNLV. After those games, the top of the pecking order in the Mountain West resembles the old WAC with the Broncos and Wolf Pack essentially tied for first and the Bulldogs in a tie for third. Boise State moved over from the WAC last year while Nevada and Fresno State joined Hawaii in defecting to the Mountain West this year. Those moves led to the WAC dropping football after this season.

FBS vs. FCS:
The FBS went 1-0 vs. the FCS to improve to 89-10 (.899) on the year as Cincinnati beat Fordham 49-17. Since 2003, FBS schools are 727-65 (.918) in such games.

This year, 101 FBS teams play a total of 108 games against FCS foes. UTSA is in its first year of transitioning from the FCS and plays 4 such schools. Cincinnati, Florida State, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M each play two such games.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
9/29: Stony Brook 23, Army 3
9/15: Cal Poly 24, Wyoming 22
9/8: Sacramento State 30, Colorado 28
9/8: North Dakota State 22, Colorado State 7
9/8: Illinois State 31, Eastern Michigan 17
9/8: Northern Arizona 17, UNLV 14
9/1: Youngstown State 31, Pittsburgh 17
9/1: Tennessee-Martin 20, Memphis 17
8/30: McNeese State 27, Middle Tennessee 21
8/30: Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3

South Carolina - Saw its 10-game win streak end. Lost 23-21 at LSU on Saturday.

Alabama - Won 10 straight overall. Won 42-10 at Missouri on Saturday.

Oregon - Won 9 straight overall and 12 straight road games. Idle on Saturday.

West Virginia - Saw its 9-game win streak end. Lost 49-14 at Texas Tech on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 11 straight conference games (MAC) and 19 straight home games. Won 45-3 vs. Buffalo on Saturday.

LSU - 22 straight home wins and 41 straight nonconference wins. Won 23-21 vs. South Carolina on Saturday.

Tulane - Ended a 15-game overall losing streak. Won 27-26 vs. SMU on Saturday.

Akron - Lost 23 straight road games, 17 straight FBS games and 11 straight conference games (MAC). Lost 34-28 at Ohio on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 15 straight FBS games. Lost 20-14 vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Mississippi - Ended a 16-game conference (SEC) losing streak. Won 41-20 vs. Auburn on Saturday.

28 teams have a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. Last season saw 24 new head coaches, 10 of whom matched or exceeded the W-L record of their predecessors' final season.

Here are this week's games for each new head coach:

Team Coach Game
Akron Terry Bowden (1-6) Lost 34-28 Saturday at Ohio
Arizona Rich Rodriguez (3-3) 10/20 vs. Washington
Arizona State Todd Graham (5-1) Won 51-17 Thursday at Colorado
Arkansas John L. Smith (3-4) Won 49-7 Saturday vs. Kentucky
Arkansas State Gus Malzahn (4-3) Won 36-29 Saturday vs. South Alabama
Colorado State Jim McElwain (1-6) Lost 38-14 Saturday at San Diego State
FAU Carl Pellini (1-5) Lost 35-14 Saturday at Louisiana-Monroe
Fresno State Tim DeRuyter (4-3) Lost 20-10 Saturday at Boise State
Hawaii Norm Chow (1-5) Lost 35-23 Saturday vs. New Mexico
Houston Tony Levine (3-3) Won 39-17 Saturday vs. UAB
Illinois Tim Beckman (2-5) Lost 45-0 Saturday at Michigan
Kansas Charlie Weis (1-5) Lost 20-14 Saturday vs. Oklahoma State
Massachusetts Charley Molnar (0-6) 10/20 vs. Bowling Green
Memphis Justin Fuente (1-5) Lost 41-7 Saturday at East Carolina
Mississippi Hugh Freeze (4-3) Won 41-20 Saturday vs. Auburn
New Mexico Bob Davie (4-3) Won 35-23 Saturday at Hawaii
North Carolina Larry Fedora (5-2) Won 18-14 Saturday at Miami, Fla.
Ohio State Urban Meyer (7-0) Won 52-49 Saturday at Indiana
Penn State Bill O'Brien (4-2) 10/20 at Iowa
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst (2-4) Lost 45-35 Saturday vs. Louisville
Rutgers Kyle Flood (6-0) Won 23-15 Saturday vs. Syracuse
Southern Miss Ellis Johnson (0-6) Lost 38-31 in 2 OT's Saturday at UCF
Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin (5-1) Won 59-57 Saturday vs. Louisiana Tech (at Shreveport)
Toledo Matt Campbell (6-1) Won 52-47 Saturday at Eastern Michigan
Tulane Curtis Johnson (1-5) Won 27-26 Saturday vs. SMU
UAB Garrick McGee (1-5) Lost 52-47 Saturday at Houston
UCLA Jim Mora (5-2) Won 21-14 Saturday vs. Utah
Washington State Mike Leach (2-5) Lost 31-17 Saturday vs. California


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