Six Teams Still Undefeated
by Mike Mitchell
Texas slammed Texas Tech 52-17 to knock the Red Raiders from the unbeaten ranks. All the other undefeated teams managed to keep their perfect records intact, though Georgia and Alabama barely survived.
The Longhorns lead was only 17-10 in the second quarter but they took advantage of a blocked punt and an endzone interception to extend the lead to 31-10 at halftime.
For the second week-in-a-row, Alabama needed a last-second field goal for the victory. This week, it was a 33-yarder with 8 seconds left that lifted the Tide over Tennessee 6-3 and gave 'Bama its second win over the Vols since 1994. Tennessee won 9 of the previous 10 meetings.
Georgia lost QB D.J. Shockley to a sprained knee in the second quarter of their 23-20 win over Arkansas. Junior Joe Tereshinski finished the game under center and will likely start next week against Florida where a win would clinch the east division title. Tereshinski was 5-of-9 for 91 yards as the offense finished with just 217 yards, well below their average of 454 per game. The Razorbacks had been allowing 424 per game
USC had no trouble with Washington, humiliating the Huskies 51-24 as Reggie Bush scored on an 84-yard punt return and Matt Leinart threw four touchdown passes.
UCLA clocked Oregon State 51-28 to keep the Bruins on course for a conference championship showdown with USC at the Coliseum on December 3rd.
On Thursday night, Virginia Tech won its 15th consecutive regular season game and notched its 10th straight ACC victory, downing Maryland 28-9.
Oregon improved to 4-1 in the PAC-10 and remained mathematically in the PAC-10 hunt by beating Arizona 28-21 on a 4th quarter fumble return for a touchdown. But starting quarterback Kellen Clemens was lost for the season with a broken ankle in the third quarter and backup Dennis Dixon went out with an injury on the Ducks' next possession. Oregon finished the game with Sophomore Brady Leaf, brother of Ryan Leaf, at QB.
Stanford surprised Arizona State with a 45-35 ambush and the Cardinal is now 3-1 in conference play. Stanford opened a 45-7 lead before the Sun Devils closed the game with 28 unanswered points.
Auburn is no longer unbeaten in conference play as they missed five field goals in a 20-17 overtime loss at LSU. Among the misses were a 49-yarder at the end of regulation and a 39-yard attempt in overtime that clanked off the left upright. LSU improved to 4-1 in the SEC west, 5-1 over-all, and gets a crack at Alabama on November 12th in Tuscaloosa. Auburn fell to 5-2 over-all but, at 3-1 in the conference, is not entirely out of the division title picture. They get Alabama in the Iron Bowl at Auburn on November 19th.
One week after beating Florida State 26-21, Virginia managed just 5 points against a North Carolina defense that had surrendered 69 points to Louisville in its last outing back on October 8th. The 7-5 loss dropped the Cavaliers to 2-3 in the ACC coastal division and lifted the Tar Heels to 2-1 but just 3-3 over-all.
Florida State, meanwhile, rebounded from last week's loss at UVa with a 55-24 romp at Duke. The 'Noles are now 4-1 in the ACC Atlantic (6-1 over-all) and a half-game up on Boston College. The Eagles (6-1, 3-1) visit Virginia Tech on Thursday night.
With Hurricane Wilma advancing toward Florida, the Georgia Tech-Miami game and the West Virginia-South Florida games were postponed to later dates. The Yellow Jackets and 'Canes will now hook-up on November 19th while the Mountaineers and Bulls were rescheduled for December 3rd.
Tulane's game at Central Florida was moved up from Saturday to Friday due to the worries about Wilma. The Green Wave, who have now had three games rescheduled by hurricanes, lost 34-24.
Meanwhile, Southern Miss capitalized on early UAB punt defense mistakes to take a 17-0 lead and held on for the 37-28 win in Birmingham on Friday. The Blazers fell to 3-4 over-all, 1-3 in conference play.
Central Florida, whose only loss in its last five games was at Southern Miss, is now 4-3 over-all and 3-1 in CUSA's east division. Southern Miss (4-2, 3-1) is the only other team in that division with just one conference loss.
Tulane and UAB were the computer's preseason picks to play for the CUSA title. After Friday night losses, those schools are in danger of missing the bowl season altogether.
On Saturday in CUSA, Tulsa and UTEP each notched victories to stay atop the west division. The Golden Hurricane is 4-1 in the conference after a 20-13 over visiting SMU. The Miners improved to 3-1 with a 31-3 whacking of Marshall after the Herd entered the contest at 2-1. East Carolina also lost its second conference game, a 27-24 setback at Memphis.
CUSA saw five teams leave the league in the offseason and six teams enter to fill their void.
In other Saturday action, Northwestern shocked Michigan State with a 49-14 rout on the Spartans' home field. The Wildcats are 3-1 in Big 10 play after that victory.
Three of the other four teams in the Big 10 that began the weekend with just one conference loss picked up victories as well. Ohio State trounced Indiana 41-10; Penn State ripped Illinois 63-10; Wisconsin downed Purdue 31-20.
Iowa, however, suffered a second conference loss and saw its 22-game home winning streak come to an end as Michigan downed the Hawkeyes 23-20 in overtime. Last weekend, the Wolverines beat Penn State 27-25 on the last play of the game. Iowa had not lost a home game since September 14, 2002 when rival Iowa State did the trick 36-31.
In the Big 12, Colorado and Missouri are now tied for the north division lead after the Buffaloes romped past Kansas 44-13 and the Tigers beat Nebraska 41-24. Those results leave Colorado and Missouri with identical records of 5-2, 3-1 as a potential November 5th showdown looms in Boulder.
In Missouri's win over the Cornhuskers, QB Brad Smith accounted for 246 yards rushing and 234 yards passing.
Louisville, the preseason favorite to win the Big East, won 46-22 at Cincinnati for its first conference win. But the Cardinals are just 1-2 in league play and sit behind West Virginia (3-0), Rutgers (3-1), Pittsburgh (3-1) and South Florida (1-1). Connecticut is 1-2.
Rutgers held off Connecticut 26-24. Pittsburgh rallied past Syracuse 34-17 to keep the Orange winless in league play at 0-4.
In the Mountain West, TCU controls its own destiny. The Horned Frogs are 5-0 in the conference after a 48-10 blitzing of Air Force. Colorado State stayed a game back in the loss column with a 39-31 win over Wyoming. The Rams visit TCU on November 5th.
In the MAC, Western Michigan knocked Bowling Green QB Omar Jacobs out of the game in the first quarter and proceeded to bully the Falcons 45-14. BGSU was up 6-0 when Jacobs was driven to the turf and fumbled on an attempted pass play. The Broncos returned it for a score and the rout was on. It was 31-6 before the Falcons scored again.
Just two weeks ago, in Western Michigan's last game, they fell 60-57 at home in five overtimes to lowly Ball State as the Cardinals won for the first time all year. Ball State was averaging just 8.5 points per game entering that contest. This week at Bowling Green, WMU was facing a team that was averaging 39.5 ppg.
BGSU (4-3, 3-1) still leads the MAC east as the only team with fewer than two conference losses.
Toledo continues to sit alone atop the MAC west. A 38-15 win over Buffalo puts the Rockets at 6-1 over-all, 4-0 in league play. Central Michigan and Northern Illinois are a game back in the loss column. The Chippewas were idle while the Huskies downed Kent 34-3.
The WAC still has three teams that are undefeated in conference play. Boise State beat Utah State 45-21 for its 29th consecutive conference victory. Fresno State baked Idaho 40-10. Nevada was idle.
The Broncos host the Wolf Pack next Saturday and visit the Bulldogs on November 10th. Fresno State travels to Reno to face Nevada on November 26.
Idle Louisiana-Monroe continues to lead the Sun Belt at 3-0 but three teams are chasing the Indians with just one conference loss. Arkansas State beat FAU 3-0 in overtime and is now 3-1. Troy is 2-1 after escaping FIU 18-13 on Friday night. North Texas' 40-14 loss to Louisiana Tech was a non-conference game so the Mean Green stays 2-1 in league play.
Middle Tennessee entered the weekend 1-1 but likely fell from the conference title chase with a 13-10 upset loss at home to Louisiana-Lafayette. It was the first conference win of the season for the Ragin' Cajuns.
The Mighty Quinn: Brady Quinn threw a school record 6 touchdown passes as Notre Dame clobbered BYU 49-23. The Irish broke a four-game home losing streak in which all of the losses had come in the final minute. Charlie Weis was the first Notre Dame coach in 109 years to lose his first two home games but he now has the Irish at 5-2 and still in contention for a BCS bowl bid.
Rice Is Nice On Any Day: Army halted an 11-game losing streak with a 20-0 pasting of Akron. Rice assumes sole possession of the nation's longest losing streak after the Owls fell 41-9 to Navy for their 12th straight loss. It's the first time that the longest losing streak doesn't at least partially belong to either Army or Central Florida since Buffalo ended an 18-game losing streak on November 25, 2003.
Oops, I Did It Again: Washington State lost its fourth straight after a 3-0 start and remains winless in PAC-10 games at 0-4. The Cougars gave it a valiant effort, rallying from a 28-10 halftime deficit to California by scoring the first 28 points of the second half for a 38-28 fourth quarter lead. But a week after blowing a 21-point lead over UCLA, the Cougars did it again. California tallied the last 14 points of the game to escape with a 42-38 win and avoid losing their third straight game.
Derailed: Purdue has fallen off the tracks. The Boilermakers lost their fifth consecutive game, falling at Wisconsin 31-20.
Close, But No Cigar: Baylor (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) is now 0-15 all-time versus Oklahoma but they came close on Saturday, losing in double-overtime 37-30. The Bears completed an 11-point comeback in the fourth quarter on a 55-yard TD pass and 2-point conversion with 1:17 left to tie it in regulation. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, but Oklahoma scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the second overtime. An incomplete fourth-down pass sealed Baylor's fate. It was the second overtime road loss of the year for Baylor which is now just 1-39 in Big 12 road games.
The win pushed Oklahoma (4-3) above the .500 mark for the first time this year and boosted the Sooners' conference mark to 3-1.
Still Winning: Texas Tech has been kicked out of the club but six members still remain undefeated: USC, Texas, Virginia Tech, Georgia, UCLA and Alabama.
In case you were wondering - at this point last season, there were still seven undefeated teams - Auburn, Boise State, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, USC, Utah and Wisconsin.
Still Losing:Army dismissed itself from the winless brigade but four teams stay on that ubiquitous list; Buffalo, New Mexico State, Rice and Temple.
At this point last year, UCF was the only winless team.
1-AA Schools Strike Out: For the second consecutive week, no games were played between 1-AA schools and their higher-classified brethren over the weekend. For the season, fifty such games have taken place and the 1-A teams are 48-2. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, 1-A teams have won 160-of-178 such games or 89.99 percent.
Streaks: USC extended the nation's longest winning streak to 29 with the 51-24 win at Washington. They have now won 40 of their last 41 games. USC also owns streaks of 23 straight home wins and 19 consecutive PAC-10 victories. The 29-game over-all winning streak is the longest in PAC-10 history, breaking their own record of 25 games set in 1931-1933.
Texas has won 14 straight games after its 52-17 win over Texas Tech.
Virginia Tech has 15 consecutive regular season wins and 10 straight conference victories.
Boise State owns nation-leading streaks of 28 straight home wins and 29 straight conference victories after their 45-21 win at Utah State.
Auburn had its 13-game conference winning streak snapped at LSU in a 20-17 overtime loss.
Iowa had its 22-game home winning streak broken in a 23-20 overtime loss to Michigan.
Army's losing streak was ended at 11 games with a 20-0 shutout victory at Akron.
Rice extended its losing streak to 12 games with a 41-9 home defeat at the hands of Navy.
New Coaches: The 2005 season began with 23 coaching changes.
San Jose State has not beaten a 1-A team yet. New Mexico State is still looking for its first win over anybody under Hal Mumme.
Here is how each has fared, by order of success:
LSU, 5-1 under Les Miles, beat Auburn in OT 20-17.
Florida, 5-2 under Urban Meyer, was idle.
Notre Dame, 5-2 under Charlie Weis, beat Brigham Young 49-23.
Stanford, 4-2 under Walt Harris, beat Arizona State 45-35.
Indiana, 4-3 under Terry Hoeppner, lost to Ohio State 41-10.
Miami, O., 4-3 under Shane Montgomery, won at E. Michigan 24-23.
South Carolina, 4-3 under Steve Spurrier, beat Vanderbilt 35-28.
Western Michigan, 4-3 under Bill Cubit, won at Bowling Green 45-14.
Pittsburgh, 4-4 under Dave Wannstedt, beat Syracuse 34-17.
Utah, 4-4 under Kyle Whittingham, won at UNLV 42-32.
BYU, 3-4 under Bronco Mendenhall, lost at Notre Dame 49-23.
East Carolina, 3-4 under Skip Holtz, lost at Memphis 27-24.
Marshall, 3-4 under Mark Snyder, lost at UTEP 31-3.
Mississippi, 3-4 under Ed Orgeron, beat Kentucky 13-7.
Ohio, 3-4 under Frank Solich, beat Ball State 38-21.
Oklahoma St, 3-4 under Mike Gundy, lost at Iowa State 37-10.
Utah State, 2-4 under Brent Guy, lost to Boise State 45-21.
Illinois, 2-5 under Ron Zook, lost to Penn State 63-10.
Nevada-Las Vegas, 2-6 under Mike Sanford, lost to Utah 42-32.
San Jose St., 1-6 under Dick Tomey, lost to Hawaii 45-38.
Syracuse, 1-6 under Greg Robinson, lost at Pittsburgh 34-17.
Washington, 1-6 under Ty Willingham, lost to USC 51-24.
New Mexico St., 0-7 under Hal Mumme, was idle.