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Sunday, November 4, 2007

No. 2 BC falls from ranks of undefeated

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Winslow Townson, Butch Dill/AP Photos

Florida State's Antone Smith (6) runs past Boston College's Tyronne Pruitt (48). The Seminoles toppled No. 2 BC, 27-17, on Saturday in Boston.

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Winslow Townson, Butch Dill/AP Photos

Alabama coach Nick Saban applauds his team. Saban had his former team, LSU, on the ropes, but the Tigers rallied to win Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

— There goes another No. 2.

Geno Hayes returned Matt Ryan's third interception for a 38-yard touchdown with 1:10 to play Saturday night to help Florida State beat second-ranked Boston College, 27-17, ending the Eagles' run at an unbeaten season and shaking up the BCS standings yet again.

With the loss by BC (8-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), only Ohio State, Kansas and Hawaii remain unbeaten. A handful of one-loss teams - LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma among them - had their hopes for reaching the Bowl Championship Series title game aided by Florida State. LSU probably will take second place behind Ohio State in the BCS standings when they come out today.

"This does not deter us from what we want to do," BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski said, "and that's win the ACC championship."

The No. 2 team in the Associated Press Top 25 lost three consecutive weeks before Boston College took over the second spot on Oct. 21 and held on with a comeback victory over Virginia Tech last week. Southern California, California and South Florida were the others to lose as No. 2.

Drew Weatherford completed 29-of-45 passes for 354 yards for Florida State (6-3, 3-3).

Ryan finished 25-for-53 for two touchdowns and 415 yards - his fourth career 400-yard game, tying Doug Flutie for the most in school history.

But his interceptions were costly.

No. 1 Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 17

Columbus, Ohio - The Buckeyes' defense limited the Badgers to 12 yards rushing on 37 attempts, and Chris Wells ran for three second-half scores as Ohio State overcame a third-quarter deficit.

Vernon Gholston had four sacks, and linebacker James Laurinaitis 19 tackles for Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten).

The victory ended a three-game losing streak against Wisconsin (7-3, 3-3) at Ohio Stadium.

No. 3 LSU 41, No. 17 Alabama 34

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Maybe now those folks at LSU can get over Nick Saban and relish what they have: a living-on-the-edge team that's still in the thick of the national championship race.

Les Miles' Cardiac Tigers did it again Saturday night, scoring two touchdowns in the final three minutes, payback for the coach who won a title in Cajun Country but is now considered a turncoat by the purple and gold.

LSU (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) pulled this out in typical fashion, going down to the wire in its fourth straight game.

No. 4. Oregon 35, No. 6 Arizona State 23

Eugene, Ore. - Dennis Dixon threw four touchdown passes before leaving with an injury, and the fourth-ranked Ducks beat a top-10 team for the second consecutive week.

Dixon completed 13 of 22 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns, and he also ran for 57 yards.

Arizona State came into the game as one of five undefeated teams in major college football, with its own hopes for a national title run.

No. 10 Georgia 44, Troy 34

Athens, Ga. - Knowshon Moreno ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns and became the first Georgia freshman since Herschel Walker to top 1,000 yards rushing.

Georgia (7-2) lost fumbles on its first two possessions, but Moreno ran for three scores for the second week in a row. His 80-yard first-quarter TD was Georgia's longest in 10 years, and he added two one-yard scoring runs in the second half.

No. 13 USC 24, Oregon State 3

Los Angeles - John Booty passed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in four weeks, and the USC defense had nine sacks.

The victory was USC's 21st straight over the Beavers at the Los Angeles Coliseum, dating back to 1960.

USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac-10), a near-unanimous No. 1 pick entering the season, probably needs to win its final three games and get some help to earn at least a share of the conference championship for the sixth straight year.

No. 15 Michigan 28, Michigan State 24

East Lansing, Mich. - Chad Henne's 31-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham with 2:28 left lifted Michigan (8-2, 6-0 Big Ten) to its eighth straight victory.

The Spartans, who overcame an 11-point deficit at halftime to lead by 10 midway through the final quarter, drove to the Wolverines' 34 on the final drive before turning the ball over on downs.

Michigan State (5-5, 1-5) has lost five of six after starting the season strong under first-year coach Mark Dantonio.

Henne tied a school record with four touchdowns.

No. 16 Connecticut 38, Rutgers 19

Storrs, Conn. - Donald Brown ran for 154 yards, and the Huskies improved to 8-1 for the first time.

Brown, who had lost his starting job to Andre Dixon, came off the bench and had a 33-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 70-yard run to set up a fourth-quarter field goal that put the game out of reach.

No. 18 Florida 49, Vanderbilt 22

Gainesville, Fla. - Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, Percy Harvin became the first player school history with 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game, and the Gators rebounded from their third loss in four outings.

Tebow and Harvin helped the Gators extend their winning streak against Vandy to 17 games and stay in the hunt for the SEC Eastern Division title.

The Gators (6-3, 4-3) manhandled Vanderbilt's defense, which entered the game ranked third in the conference and 14th in the country. Tebow was 22-of-27 passing for 281 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He added 35 yards and two scores on the ground.

No. 19 Auburn 35, Tennessee Tech 3

Auburn, Ala. - Brandon Cox completed his first seven passes, leading Auburn to three early touchdowns before leaving the game in the second quarter.

Cox completed nine of 11 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown and Auburn (7-3) to scored on its first three possessions on homecoming.

The Golden Eagles, who play in the Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), fell to 0-19 against major-college teams.

Cincinnati 38, No. 20 USF 33

Tampa, Fla. - From national championship contention to last place in the Big East.

South Florida's rapid plunge continued with the Bulls' third straight loss, 38-33, to conference rival Cincinnati.

Antwuan Giddens scored on a 63-yard reception and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a second touchdown, helping the Bearcats (7-2, 2-2) stop a two-game losing streak that knocked them out of the Top 25.

Ben Mauk tossed three TD passes, and the Cincinnati defense forced eight turnovers, including four interceptions and a fumble by Matt Grothe, who threw for 375 yards but only one touchdown for USF (6-3, 1-3).

No. 21 Boise State 42, San Jose State 7

Boise, Idaho - Taylor Tharp threw three touchdown passes, two to Austin Pettis, to lead Boise State to its seventh straight victory.

Boise State (8-1, 5-0 WAC) beat the Spartans (3-5, 2-3) for the eighth consecutive time.

The offense piled up 434 total yards and the defense allowed San Jose State just 198 and had three sacks.

Virginia 17, No. 21 Wake Forest 16

Charlottesville, Va. - Mikell Simpson ran one yard for a touchdown with 2:18 to play to lift the Cavaliers (8-2, 5-1 ACC) to their third one-point victory in four games.

Virginia moved into first place in the Coastal Division, while Wake Forest (6-3, 4-2) lost for the first time in seven games.

Arkansas 48, No. 23 South Carolina 36

Fayetteville, Ark. - Darren McFadden ran for 323 yards and a touchdown, boosting his Heisman Trophy hopes with a breathtaking performance.

McFadden also threw for a touchdown, and Felix Jones rushed for 163 yards and three TDs for the Razorbacks. Arkansas had 541 yards rushing, and McFadden became the first Arkansas player to rush for 300 yards in a game.

No. 24 Tennessee 59, Louisiana-Lafayette 7

Knoxville, Tenn. - Antonio Reynolds scored on a 70-yard interception return, and Antonio Wardlow scored on a 20-yard blocked-punt return for the Vols (6-3).

The victory was Tennessee's most lopsided since a 70-3 homecoming victory over Louisiana-Monroe in 2000.

No. 25 Clemson 47, Duke 10

Durham, N.C. - Cullen Harper threw two touchdowns and ran for another, and Clemson scored 16 points in a 39-second span.

C.J. Spiller returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, James Davis had a career-long 70-yard scoring run, Aaron Kelly caught TD passes covering 19 and five yards, and Harper set a school record with his Atlantic Coast Conference-leading 23rd touchdown pass.

The Tigers (7-2, 4-2) won their third straight, shrugging off a slow start with a 23-point second quarter.

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