GT Upsets VT; Illinois Wins In Big 10
by Mike Mitchell
A 21-point onslaught in the first quarter proved to be too much for No. 5 Virginia Tech to overcome as No. 33 Georgia Tech earned a 38-27 upset win at Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech closed the gap to 21-13 in the second quarter, but the Yellow Jackets added a field goal just before halftime. Georgia Tech then forced two quarterback fumbles early in the third quarter to extend the lead to 38-13. The Hokies scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was only enough to make the score appear more respectable as Georgia Tech avenged a 51-7 loss in the same stadium last year.
A 39-yard field goal with 6 seconds left gave No. 105 Illinois a 23-20 upset at No. 35 Michigan State. The Fightin' Illini snapped a 10-game losing streak to conference teams and a 12-game skid to 1-A opponents. It was their first win over a Big 10 team since Ron Zook became Illinois' head coach last season. The loss undoubtedly sent Spartan supporters deeper into despair after they witnessed their team blow a 37-21 fourth-quarter lead against Notre Dame last week.
The big surprise in Salt Lake City was how easy No. 14 Boise State crushed No. 30 Utah. The favored Utes fell 36-3 in front of the hometown fans, their worst showing at home in 17 years, as two quarterbacks combined to throw four interceptions.
No. 116 Rice also delivered a stunner as the Owls destroyed No. 81 Army 48-14. It was the first win for Rice head coach Todd Graham and ended a 6-game losing streak for the Owls.
No. 11 Florida won 28-13 but was challenged early by No. 27 Alabama. The Gators erased a 10-7 halftime deficit by outscoring the Tide 21-3 after intermission. Urban Meyer improved his record to 10-0 at "The Swamp" as head coach of the Gators.
No. 10 Georgia was in jeopardy for the second consecutive week. After rallying late to beat winless Colorado 14-13 last week, the Bulldogs staved off No. 109 Mississippi 14-9. Ole Miss is just 1-4 after the loss. Georgia has won its last two games by a total of 6 points over teams that now own a combined record of 1-9.
No. 39 Washington State gave No. 1 USC fits for the entire game. The Cougars never led, but the Trojans couldn't put them away. Even after USC grabbed its biggest lead at 28-15 in the fourth quarter, Washington State came right back down the field and cut the lead back to 6. The win wasn't sealed until the final play of the game - a Hail Mary pass by the Cougars that was intercepted short of the goal line.
A 37-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left in the game lifted No. 17 Texas Tech to a 31-27 win at No. 22 Texas A&M. The Red Raiders have now won five of the last six games in the series.
No. 24 Nebraska needed overtime to knock off No. 51 Kansas 39-32. The Jayhawks rallied from a 24-7 second quarter deficit to tie the game at 32-all on a 26-yard TD pass with only 46 seconds left in regulation. The Cornhuskers scored on the first overtime possession, then held Kansas out of the end zone to secure the
win. The Jayhawks ended a 36-game losing streak to Nebraska last year with a 40-15 victory in Lawrence, but they haven't won in Lincoln since 1968.
Elsewhere among ranked teams:
- No. 2 Ohio State methodically put away No. 16 Iowa 38-17 in the only battle between two unbeaten teams.
- No. 4 Michigan beat No. 47 Minnesota 28-14 to reclaim the Little Brown Jug.
- No. 7 Oregon burned won 48-13 at No. 31 Arizona State.
- No. 12 LSU had no trouble at home with No. 95 Mississippi State 48-17.
- No. 15 Clemson obliterated No. 80 Louisiana Tech 51-0.
- No. 19 Notre Dame opened a 28-7 second-quarter lead and marched to a 35-21 home win over No. 25 Purdue
- No. 20 Missouri remained unbeaten with a 28-13 home win over No. 98 Colorado, keeping the Buffaloes winless.
- No. 23 California won 41-13 at No. 46 Oregon State.
In other action, Miami (Fla.) avoided an embarrassing home defeat to Houston. Though Miami was only ranked 35th and Houston was ranked 36th, the Hurricanes were favored by over two touchdowns but only managed a 14-13 win. Miami didn't lead until late in the third quarter when a 2-yard TD pass put them ahead by what proved to be the final score. Two Houston possessions went nowhere in the fourth quarter and, after a Cougar punt, the 'Canes ran the final five-and-half minutes off the clock.
No. 32 Wisconsin spoiled Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner's return to the sideline after recent brain surgery with a 52-17 demolition of the 84th-ranked Hoosiers.
No. 58 Iowa State beat 1-AA Northern Iowa 28-27 on a TD pass with 1:05 left in the game. Northern Iowa missed a 51-yard field goal as time expired.
No. 92 Baylor beat No. 52 Kansas State 17-3 for just their 8th conference win since joining the Big 12 in 1996.
In early action on Saturday, No. 79 Bowling Green beat slightly favored No. 82 Ohio 21-9; No. 62 Air Force improved to 2-0 in the Mountain West with a 24-7 win over No. 72 New Mexico; No. 43 Navy rammed No. 60 Connecticut 41-17; No. 38 Tennessee routed No. 73 Memphis 41-7.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
A resurgent No. 77 Syracuse won for the third straight time and is 3-2 on the year after edging No. 89 Wyoming 40-34 in double-overtime.
Washington has won three games in-a-row and is 4-1 on the season after winning at Arizona for the second straight year. The No. 60 Huskies downed the No. 69 Wildcats 21-10.
Fresno State lost for the seventh time in its last eight games and saw its record sink to 1-3 after No. 67 Colorado State defeated the 45th-ranked Bulldogs 35-23.
OH, THAT WACKY SUN BELT
FAU, which had lost its first four games by a combined score of 192-20, opened Sun Belt play with a 21-19 road win over a two-touchdown favored Louisiana-Monroe.
FIU, which lost its first four games by a combined 11 points, was blasted 31-6 at home in its conference-opener by Arkansas State. Let's get this straight - FIU nearly beats Middle Tennessee, South Florida and Maryland on the road. Arkansas State, on the other hand, gets outscored 96-30 by Army, Oklahoma State and SMU. And Arkansas State crushes FIU??? Cur-razy, baby.
Middle Tennessee was involved in its third shutout in-a-row. Two weeks ago, they recorded their largest margin of victory in a game since 2000 when the Blue Raiders skunked Tennessee Tech 44-0. Last week, MTSU suffered its worst loss since moving up to 1-A in 1999, a 59-0 defeat at Oklahoma. On Saturday, Middle Tennessee trounced North Texas 35-0.
North Texas won 26 of its first 27 Sun Belt conference games from 2001-2005. Since losing to Troy last October, they have won just one of their last six conference games and dropped five in-a-row.
The Sun Belt is 6-21 in non-conference play.
LOOKING UP, BUT IT'S A HIGH CLIMB
Temple scored double-digit points for the first time they year, but they were still blown out 43-14 by Vanderbilt. In their previous four games, the Owls had scored a total of 10 points while allowing 174.
Utah State scored its first offensive points of the season in a 41-21 loss to Idaho. The Aggies had lost its four games by a cumulative score of 144-7 and their lone touchdown came on an interception return in the second quarter of its opening game against Wyoming. On Saturday, they actually grabbed a 14-0 lead on a TD pass and a TD run in the first quarter, but were losing 17-14 by halftime.
No. 22 Rutgers managed a 22-20 win at No. 49 South Florida on Friday night and the Scarlet Knights are 5-0 for the first time since 1976. USF nearly forced overtime, scoring on a 16-yard pass with 15 seconds left, but a 2-point conversion throw was dropped. The Bulls recovered their ensuing onside kick before it went ten yards, giving the ball over to Rutgers to run out the clock in the first Big East conference game of the year for both teams.
No 13 TCU fell to No. 61 Brigham Young 31-17 on Thursday night, ending the Horned Frogs' 13-game winning streak. Ohio State now owns the nation's longest winning streak at 11 games.
TCU had not lost a conference game since migrating to the Mountain West from CUSA after the 2004 season. It was the conference-opener for both schools.
No. 6 Auburn escaped South Carolina with a 24-17 win over the No. 54 Gamecocks. The Tigers extended a 14-10 halftime lead to 24-10 after holding onto the football for the entire third quarter.
Auburn began the second half with a drive that lasted nearly nine minutes and resulted in a chip-shot field goal. Then, they surprised South Carolina with an onside kick that led to a touchdown. The drive that culminated in a 1-yard scoring dive on fourth down on the first play of the fourth quarter.
South Carolina rallied to within a TD with 8:25 left. They drove to the Auburn 6 in the closing seconds where a 4th-down pass was deflected, one play after an apparent touchdown pass was dropped.
The college football week kicked off Tuesday night with Southern Miss pulling out a 19-14 win at UCF.
Colorado is 0-5 for the first time since 1984 after a 28-13 loss to Missouri and has scored a total of 49 points. They haven't started 0-6 since 1980.
The number of undefeated teams was cut from 19 to 13 over the weekend. The first-time losers were Houston, Iowa, Purdue, Texas A&M, Texas Christian and Virginia Tech.
The teams with perfect records are: Auburn, Boise State, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Oregon, West Virginia, Rutgers, Southern California and Wake Forest.
11 teams entered the weekend with goose eggs in the win column, but FAU and Rice broke through on Saturday. The Falcons beat Louisiana-Monroe and the Owls whacked Army. The remaining winless teams are Colorado, Duke, Eastern Michigan, FIU, Miami (O.), San Diego State, Stanford, Temple and Utah State.
1-A vs. 1-AA
The NCAA has officially re-named them the Bowl Division (1-A) and the Championship Division (1-AA).
5 teams played 1-AA schools over the weekend and none were beaten.
Iowa State needed a last-second TD and a last-play missed field goal to beat Northern Iowa 28-27.
1-AA schools 63-6 record against 1-AA teams this year. The 1-A teams went 52-2 in such games last year. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the 1-A schools are now 227-24 in games played against 1-AA teams.
Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent during the 2006 season.
USC has won 36 straight regular season games after its 28-22 win at Washington State. The Trojans also own a nation's-best streak of 28 home victories. USC has won 25 straight games against conference foes.
TCU saw its' 13-game losing streak come to an end with a 31-17 loss at home to BYU. It was TCU's first conference loss since migrating to the Mountain West Conference from CUSA after the 2004 season.
Ohio State owns the nation's longest winning streak at 12 games after a 38-17 win at Iowa.
Boise State has won 33 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (21-0).
Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak - now at 17 games - after a 43-14 loss at Vanderbilt. They've lost their five games this year by an average score of 43.4 to 4.8.
Duke has lost 12 straight games over-all, 15 straight to 1-A teams, after a 37-0 home loss to Virginia.
Illinois beat Michigan State to end a 12-game losing streak to 1-A teams, and a 10-game losing skid to Big 10 teams.
New Mexico State has lost 15 straight to 1-A teams. It is 2-0 against 1-AA teams this season. The Aggies lost to UTEP 44-38.
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.
Rice's Todd Graham pocketed his first win at Rice in a surprising 48-14 wallop of Army. Idaho's Dennis Erickson picked up his first win over a 1-A team as his squad vandalized Utah State 41-21.
Boise State, 5-0 under Chris Petersen, beat Utah 36-3.
Wisconsin, 4-1 under Bret Bielema, beat Indiana 52-17.
Kansas State, 3-2 under Ron Prince, lost to Baylor 17-3.
Middle Tennessee, 3-2 under Rick Stockstill, beat North Texas 35-0.
Idaho, 2-3 under Dennis Erickson, beat Utah State 41-21.
Northwestern, 2-3 under Pat Fitzgerald, lost to Penn State 33-7.
Buffalo, 1-3 with Turner Gill, did not play this week.
Rice, 1-4 under Todd Graham, beat Army 48-14.
San Diego State, 0-4 under Chuck Long, lost to San Jose State 31-10.
Temple, 0-5 under Al Golden, lost to Vanderbilt 43-14.
Colorado, 0-5 under Dan Hawkins, lost to Missouri 28-13.