Georgia Loss Trims List Of Undefeated Teams To Five
by Mike Mitchell
Texas and UCLA avoided the upset bug but Florida's win over Georgia reduced the unbeaten ranks to five teams on Saturday.
Without quarterback D.J. Shockley, Georgia didn't have the offensive firepower to take out Florida. The Bulldogs lost the game 14-10 but remain in first place in the SEC east, a game ahead of the Gators.
Texas endured a first-half onslaught from Oklahoma State. But after trailing 28-9 in the second quarter, the Longhorns reeled off 37 unanswered points for a 47-28 win. It was the third consecutive year that the Cowboys took a first-half lead only to be skunked and routed after intermission. OSU has won the first halves of the last three meetings by a combined score of 79-33, but lost the second halves by a total of 118-0.
Unlike "Bullwinkle", UCLA is superb at pulling a rabbit out of their hat. "Rocky the Flying Squirrel" had to constantly remind the moose "that trick never works". For UCLA, it worked for the fourth time as the Bruins overcame a 24-3 deficit with under 8 minutes left in the game to force Stanford to overtime. UCLA won 30-27 in the extra stanza.
The Bruins have rallied from double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter of four ballgames and each gets a little trickier than the next. The first occasion was a 10-point comeback against Washington. They trailed California by 14 the next week and Washington State by 17 the week after that. UCLA got a reprieve last week by routing Oregon State but went back to the same magic act this week.
Meanwhile, that other school in Los Angeles went about their business in a matter-of-fact way. USC kept their record clean with a 55-13 stomping of Washington State. It was 28-3 at the end of the first quarter and Matt Leinart had thrown for over 300 yards by halftime. The Cougars trailed 7-6 after a missed PAT but didn't register a second touchdown until the fourth quarter.
On Thursday night, Boston College briefly held a 7-6 lead in the second quarter but a dominating ball-control performance helped the Hokies improve to 8-0 over-all, 5-0 in the ACC Coastal division. The 30-10 win included the 100th touchdown registered by defense or special teams in head coach Frank Beamer's tenure. Virginia Tech hosts Miami (6-1, 3-1) next week.
On Friday night, Colorado State spotted New Mexico 25-12 first-half advantage, then roared from behind for a 35-25 win in Albuquerque in a key Mountain West Conference game. The Rams never allowed New Mexico past their own 41-yard line in the second half while outscoring the Lobos 23-0. Colorado State (5-3, 4-1) visits conference-leader TCU (7-1, 5-0) next week.
One Year Ago: A year ago on this very same weekend, the "Big 3" in the Sunshine State lost on the same day for the first time in 26 years. Florida State, Miami and Florida fell to Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia.
They all faced the same schools on Saturday and exacted their revenge, but it wasn't easy.
UNC led Miami 16-7 in the first half before the Hurricanes recovered for a 34-16 win.
Maryland owned a 24-14 second half advantage over Florida State but the 'Noles rallied to a 35-27 victory.
Florida, as noted above, beat Georgia 14-10.
Fulmer Spurned By Spurrier - Again:
The last time a Tennessee team lost to South Carolina, Johnny Majors was fired six days later. Philip Fulmer was 12-0 against the Gamecocks but that was before Steve Spurrier was on board. South Carolina's 16-15 win on Saturday night was their first ever in Knoxville and only their 3rd win over the Vols in 24 meetings (3-19-2). Spurrier improved his record against Fulmer to 8-2. Spurrier is 10-5 all-time versus Tennessee. He was 8-4 with Florida, 1-1 with Duke and now 1-0 with South Carolina.
Zips Get Zapped, Then Zoom: Figure this one out. Last week, Akron got zapped by Army as the Black Knights ended their 11-game losing streak with a 20-0 win. This past Saturday, that same Akron team zoomed past an Omar Jacob-less Bowling Green team 24-14 and now finds itself zipping into the MAC east title hunt. The Zips are essentially in a 4-way tie for first with Miami, Bowling Green and Ohio. All are 3-2 in the conference. Akron, BGSU and Ohio are each 4-4 over-all. Miami is 5-3 in over-all and has already beaten Akron. The RedHawks have upcoming games against Bowling Green (home) and Ohio (away).
"Toledo, We Have A Problem": The Rockets exploded on impact at Central Michigan on Saturday. The Chippewas took over first in the MAC west with a 21-17 win over Toledo. Each team is now 4-1 in the conference but CMU owns the tie-breaker thanks to their first win over the Rockets since 1994, breaking a 10-game losing streak to Toledo.
Rice Is Nice On Any Day:The Owls almost blew it. Rice had the ball with a chance to tie UTEP late in the game but the Owls hung on for a 38-31 loss. Rice has registered a nation-leading 13 straight losses. From November 25th, 2003 (when Buffalo ended an 18-game losing streak) to October 22nd, 2005 (when Army blanked Akron 20-0) that streak had continuously belonged to either Army or UCF.
Derailed: Purdue has fallen off the tracks. The Boilermakers lost their sixth consecutive game, falling at Penn State 33-15. Purdue was the preseason favorite of many to win the Big 10 title and the computer forecasted the Boilermakers to go 11-0.
Bowl-Bound Rutgers?: Rutgers may be going bowling for the first time since 1978 when they lost to Arizona State in the short-lived and long-defunct Garden State Bowl at the Meadowlands. A 31-21 win over Navy on Saturday improved Rutgers to 6-2 over-all and 3-1 in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights are on a 3-game winning streak for the first time since 1992. It is only their second such streak since 1982.
Still Winning: Georgia has been kicked out of the club but five members still remain undefeated: USC, Texas, Virginia Tech, Alabama and UCLA.
In case you were wondering - at this point last season, there were still six undefeated teams - Auburn, Boise State, Oklahoma, USC, Utah and Wisconsin.
Still Losing:Four teams stayed on the ubiquitous winless list; Buffalo, New Mexico State, Rice and Temple.
New Mexico State had several chances to taste victory but, instead, opted to spit it out. In their 38-37 double-overtime loss to mighty Idaho (2-6), the Aggies had a wide receiver drop a perfectly thrown bomb that would have been the game-winning touchdown with 8 seconds left in regulation. In the first overtime, NMSU picked off an Idaho pass and had a long return before being forced out of bounds. On the Aggies first overtime possession, they fumbled the ball at the goal line. But wait, there's more! New Mexico State took a 37-30 lead in the 2nd overtime only to give up a TD to the Vandals, too. Idaho opted to go for two points and end the suspense - but - the pass to the endzone fell incomplete. True to form, NMSU was offsides on the snap and the Vandals made good on the second chance.
At this point last year, UCF was the only winless team.
1-AA Schools Strike Out: For the third 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 30 with the 55-13 win over Washington State. They have now won 41 of their last 42 games. USC also owns streaks of 24 straight home wins and 20 consecutive PAC-10 victories. The 30-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 15 straight games after its 47-28 win at Oklahoma St.
Virginia Tech has 16 consecutive regular season wins and 11 straight conference victories after beating Boston College 30-10.
Boise State owns nation-leading streaks of 29 straight home wins and 30 straight conference victories after their 49-14 win over Nevada.
Rice extended its losing streak to 13 games with a 38-31 home loss to UTEP.
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 for the season, by order of success, and how they performed this past week:
LSU, 6-1 under Les Miles, beat North Texas 56-3.
Florida, 6-2 under Urban Meyer, beat Georgia in Jacksonville 14-10.
Notre Dame, 5-2 under Charlie Weis, was idle.
Miami, O., 5-3 under Shane Montgomery, beat Temple 41-14.
South Carolina, 5-3 under Steve Spurrier, won at Tennessee 16-15.
Western Michigan, 5-3 under Bill Cubit, beat Kent State 44-14.
Indiana, 4-3 under Terry Hoeppner, lost at Michigan State 46-15.
Stanford, 4-3 under Walt Harris, lost to UCLA in OT 30-27.
BYU, 4-4 under Bronco Mendenhall, beat Air Force 62-41.
Marshall, 4-4 under Mark Snyder, beat Tulane in Mobile 27-26.
Ohio, 4-4 under Frank Solich, won at Buffalo 34-20.
Pittsburgh, 4-4 under Dave Wannstedt, was idle.
Utah, 4-4 under Kyle Whittingham, was idle.
East Carolina, 3-5 under Skip Holtz, lost to UCF 30-20.
Mississippi, 3-5 under Ed Orgeron, lost at Auburn 27-3.
Oklahoma St, 3-5 under Mike Gundy, lost to Texas 47-28.
Utah State, 2-5 under Brent Guy, lost 35-3 at Alabama.
Illinois, 2-6 under Ron Zook, lost 41-24 to Wisconsin.
Nevada-Las Vegas, 2-6 under Mike Sanford, was idle.
San Jose St., 1-7 under Dick Tomey, lost at Louisiana Tech 31-14.
Syracuse, 1-7 under Greg Robinson, lost to Cincinnati 22-16.
Washington, 1-7 under Ty Willingham, lost at Arizona State 44-20.
New Mexico St., 0-8 under Hal Mumme, lost to Idaho in 2 OT's 38-37.