Spartans throttle Badgers

Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2004

EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State used a powerful rushing attack, a trick play and a key defensive stand to rout No. 4 Wisconsin 49-14 on Saturday and knock the Badgers out of the national championship race.

The Spartans (5-5, 4-3 Big Ten) handed the Badgers their first loss and knocked Wisconsin (9-1, 6-1) into a second-place tie with Iowa in the Big Ten behind Michigan. The win keeps bowl hopes alive for Michigan State.

The Badgers entered the game ranked fifth in the Bowl Championship Series standings, primarily because of a dominating defense that had allowed 9.1 points a game lowest in the nation. But Michigan State rolled up 551 yards of total offense, including 430 on the ground.

Jehuu Caulcrick had 146 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries for the Spartans. Jason Teague had 112 yards and a TD on 17 carries. He also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in the first half, with the ball thrown by wide receiver Aaron Alexander.

Anthony Davis led Wisconsin with 128 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown.

Michigan State grabbed a 28-14 lead on the first drive of the second half, sparked by the recovery of a surprise onside kick. It set up a 54-yard drive capped by Caulcrick's 1-yard touchdown run.

No. 3 Auburn 24, No. 8 Georgia 6

AUBURN, Ala. Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown and Auburn dominated in a victory that could give the Tigers the boost they need in the BCS standings.

Auburn (10-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) was third in both polls and in the BCS standings behind Southern California and Oklahoma this week. The top two teams in the final BCS standings will play in the Orange Bowl for the national championship.

The Tigers made quite a case for themselves against Georgia (8-2, 6-2) in the 108th meeting of the oldest rivals in the SEC.

Williams ran 19 times for 101 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards. He also threw a TD pass and returned a punt 40 yards to set up Brown's 15-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter that made it 24-0. Brown ran for 51 yards and caught seven passes for 88 yards.

Auburn's defense held the Bulldogs to 279 yards and came up with two key takeaways deep in their own territory. Georgia was scoreless for 57 minutes, before David Greene hit Leonard Pope with a 6-yard TD pass with 2:13 left.

No. 1 Southern California 49, Arizona 9

LOS ANGELES LenDale White ran for 118 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns, and Matt Leinart passed for 280 yards and three TDs to help the Trojans clinch the Pac-10 championship for the second straight year.

USC (10-0, 7-0 Pac-10) leads No. 5 California by one game with one remaining, but is the conference champion by virtue of its 23-17 victory over the Golden Bears.

USC extended its overall winning streak to 19 games, its streak in Pac-10 games to 14, and its string at the Los Angeles Coliseum to 20. That ties the school record for consecutive victories at home, accomplished twice in the 1920s. The Trojans have won 30 of their last 31 games and six this season by 30 or more points.

Leinart completed a career-high 27 passes in 35 attempts including 11 straight at one stage and wasn't intercepted. He has thrown 23 scoring passes this season, 61 in his career and two or more in 21 of his 23 collegiate starts.

Arizona is 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the Pac-10.

No. 2 Oklahoma 30, Nebraska 3

NORMAN, Okla. Jason White threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns to help Oklahoma rout Nebraska.

With star running back Adrian Peterson seeing little action because of a shoulder injury, White completed 29 of 35 passes. After throwing three incomplete passes on his first eight attempts, the sixth-year senior completed a school-record 18 in a row in his final home game for the Sooners (10-0, 7-0 Big 12).

Peterson, who entered the game as the fifth-leading rusher in the nation, played only sparingly in the first half after dislocating his left shoulder in Oklahoma's victory over Texas A&M last week.

Cory Ross was the only bright spot for the Cornhuskers (5-5, 3-4) with 130 yards on 30 carries before leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter with an injury.

No. 5 California 42, Washington 12

SEATTLE J.J. Arrington ran for 84 of his 121 yards in the second half and Aaron Rodgers shook off a slow start to throw two touchdown passes.

Marshawn Lynch added another 121 yards rushing with TD runs of 32 and 70 yards and a 29-yard scoring reception as the Golden Bears (8-1, 6-1 Pac-10) defeated the Huskies (1-9, 0-7).

Washington, which closes its worst season in 35 years next week at rival Washington State, hasn't finished winless in conference play since going 0-7 in the old Pac-8 back in 1973.

Arrington has posted 100-yard efforts in all nine games this season, a school record. The Pac-10 record is 11 by Southern California's Marcus Allen in 1981, when he won the Heisman Trophy. Arrington is 45 yards from breaking Chuck Muncie's 29-year-old school record of 1,460 yards rushing. He'll get another shot when the Bears play rival Stanford next weekend.

No. 6 Texas 27, Kansas 23

LAWRENCE, Kan. Vince Young scored on an 18-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left and threw a 22-yard TD pass to Tony Jeffery with 11 seconds remaining to rally Texas.

Kansas, a 22-point underdog, took a 23-13 lead with 7:41 left on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brian Luke to Lyonel Anderson. But the Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6 Big 12) were denied their biggest victory in nearly a decade by the play of Young.

On the ensuing drive for Texas (9-1, 6-1), Young scrambled for 22 yards on a fourth-and-18 and then completed the 87-yard drive with his 18-yard scoring run. After forcing Kansas to punt, Young connected with Jeffery for the winning touchdown.

It was the second come-from-behind win in a row by Texas, which rallied from a 35-7 deficit to beat Oklahoma State 56-35 last week in the biggest comeback in school history.

No. 7 Utah 45, Wyoming 28

LARAMIE, Wyo. Alex Smith passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a game-high 105 yards and another TD as Utah scored on its first five possessions in the game that start 1 hour, 39 minutes late because of a power outage.

Utah clinched its second straight Mountain West title and boosted its hopes for a marquee bowl. Utah's school-record 10-0 start combined with Wisconsin's 49-14 loss to Michigan State could move the Utes into the top six in the BCS standings and a likely berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Utah is 6-0 in conference play.

Wyoming dropped to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West.

No. 9 Michigan 42, Northwestern 20

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Michael Hart ran for 151 yards and a season-high three touchdowns, and Michigan scored TDs the first five times it touched the ball in the second half.

The Wolverines (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten) led the Wildcats by only one point at halftime before turning the game into a rout with scores on the ground, through the air and on a punt return. They have won 15 straight games at home and 13 conference games in a row.

If Michigan wins next week at Ohio State, the defending Big Ten champions will win the conference championship outright because Michigan State handed Wisconsin its first conference loss Saturday in East Lansing.

Northwestern (5-5, 4-3) has to beat Illinois and win at Hawaii for a second straight bowl bid and fifth in 10 years.

No. 18 Miami 31, No. 10 Virginia 21

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Roscoe Parrish returned a punt for a touchdown and caught a clinching touchdown pass in the final minute as Miami got back into the ACC title race. Frank Gore ran for 195 yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes.

Parrish took a punt at his own 38 with just over 7 minutes left, cut across the field and then down the sideline to make it 24-14. He later grabbed Brock Berlin's pass in the right corner of the end zone with 51 seconds left to complete the victory.

The Hurricanes (7-2, 4-2) ended a two-game losing streak and put themselves back in position to win the league title and its Bowl Championship Series bid with victories in their last two games. They play Wake Forest next weekend and Virginia Tech on Dec. 4, both in Miami.

The Cavaliers (7-2, 4-2) started the day tied with No. 16 Virginia Tech for first in the ACC and in control of their destiny, but fell back for the second time after losing to a team from Florida in a big game. Almost a month ago, they lost 36-3 at Florida State.

No. 21 Boston College 36, No. 13 West Virginia 17

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Paul Peterson threw two first-half touchdown passes and Boston College returned two punts for scores.

Boston College (7-2, 3-1 Big East) won in Morgantown for the first time since 1990, bolstering its conference title hopes and a possible Bowl Championship Series berth.

West Virginia (8-2, 5-1) lost in November for the first time under fourth-year coach Rich Rodriguez. It also had 10-game conference and home winning streaks broken. The Mountaineers squandered a chance to clinch their first BCS bid and a tie for a second straight conference title.

No. 14 Boise St. 56, San Jose St. 49, 2OT

SAN JOSE, Calif. Jon Helmandollar scored his third touchdown in the second overtime, allowing Boise State to barely extend the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games.

Jared Zabransky passed for 200 yards and scored one of eight rushing touchdowns by the Broncos (9-0, 6-0 WAC), who hung on despite 14 penalties and an inspired effort by the Spartans.

Lance Martin's 1-yard dive capped San Jose State's tying drive with 4:42 left in regulation. Jeff Carr could have won it for the Spartans (2-7, 1-5) in regulation, but his 30-yard field-goal attempt was blocked with 1:07 left.

No. 17 LSU 26, Alabama 10

BATON ROUGE, La. LSU defensive end Marcus Spears and linebacker Cameron Vaughn combined for the go-ahead touchdown for LSU.

With the Tigers trailing 10-6 in the third quarter, Spears hit Alabama quarterback Spencer Pennington on the Crimson Tide 8, forcing a fumble. Vaughn picked up the ball and scampered in for the TD to give LSU its first lead.

It was the ninth straight home victory for LSU (7-2, 4-2 SRC) and a rare victory over the Crimson Tide (6-4, 3-4) in Tiger Stadium.

Alabama's Kenneth Darby, coming off a 200-yard performance a week ago at Mississippi State and averaging 106.3 yards, gained 109 yards.

No. 19 Iowa 29, Minnesota 27

MINNEAPOLIS Rhys Lloyd's 51-yard field goal try drifted left with 28 seconds remaining, allowing Iowa to hold on for its sixth straight win.

No. 20 Arizona St. 45, Washington St. 28

TEMPE, Ariz. Andrew Walter passed for 332 yards and five touchdowns in his final home game for Arizona State.

The senior completed 26 of 41 passes without an interception while breaking the school record for touchdown passes in a season with 30. Mike Pagel set the old mark of 29 in 1981. Fifteen of Walter's TD passes came in his last three home games.

Walter, who holds the Pac-10 career record with 85 TD passes, threw for five touchdowns in a game for the fourth time. He had six against UCLA earlier this season.

Arizona State (8-2, 5-2 Pac-10) was unbeaten at home (6-0) for the first time since going 11-0 overall in the 1996 regular season.

No. 22 Texas A&M 32, Texas Tech 25, OT

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Courtney Lewis scored on a 25-yard run on the first play of overtime and Melvin Bullitt swatted away Sonny Cumbie's fourth-down pass into the end zone, sending the Aggies to a thrilling win.

Lewis' second touchdown run of the afternoon helped Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 Big 12) dramatically end a two-game losing streak that included an overtime loss at Baylor and a seven-point defeat against No. 2 Oklahoma last week.

No. 23 Texas-El Paso 35, Rice 28, 2OT

EL PASO, Texas Jordan Palmer threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Lee to give Texas-El Paso the lead in double overtime, then Rice's Ed Bailey fumbled on the 2 to give the Miners the victory.

Pittsburgh 41, No. 24 Notre Dame 38

SOUTH BEND, Ind. Tyler Palko became the first quarterback to throw five touchdown passes against Notre Dame, four in the first half alone, and Josh Cummings kicked a 32-yard field goal with 1 second left.

The Irish tied the game with a 45-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick with 1:11 left, but couldn't stop the Panthers. On Pitt's next play from scrimmage, Palko threw to Erik Gill for what appeared to be a short gain. But Irish linebacker Mike Goolsby tried to strip the ball and Gill broke free for a 36-yard gain. Palko completed two more passes to Gill on the drive to help set up the winning field goal.

No. 25 Oklahoma St. 42, Baylor 21

STILLWATER, Okla. Seymore Shaw was a solid replacement for the injured Vernand Morency, rushing for 172 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries for Oklahoma State.

Donovan Woods threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another as the Cowboys (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) beat the Bears for the ninth straight time.

Morency, the nation's sixth-leading rusher, did not play after having fluid drained from his knee.

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