Opponents Recap

Here's how the opponents of Notre Dame did this weekend in college football action.

***Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets lost 28-26 at Virginia to fall to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the ACC. Georgia Tech had a chance to win it with under a minute remaining but Travis Bell's 52-yard field goal was wide right.

Maryland (4-2, 1-1) led for most of the contest, including 28-17 in the fourth quarter. A Bell field goal closed the gap to 28-20. It was 28-26 when Taylor Bennett connected on a 39-yard scoring strike to Demariyus Thomas with just over eight minutes remaining. But the two-point conversion to tie the contest failed, setting up Bell's final minute field goal miss.

The Yellow Jackets amassed 484 yards of total offense. Bennett was 22-of-34 for 309 yards while running back Tashard Choice ran for 132 yards on 32 carries and scored a touchdown. Choice is 23rd in the nation in rushing, averaging 106 yards a contest. Georgia Tech has lost three of four after starting out 2-0. Next weekend, the Yellow Jackets will go on the road at Miami (FL).

***Penn State: After back-to-back losses, the Nittany Lions regrouped at home with a 27-7 win over Iowa. Senior Rodney Kinlaw rushed for a career-high 169 yards while quarterback Anthony Morelli tossed for another 233 yards to give Penn State their first Big Ten victory of the season.

Kinlaw's 169 yards is the most for a Nittany Lions running back since Larry Johnson's 279 yards back in 2002. Kinlaw's second touchdown of the day increased the lead to 20-0, more than enough for the dominating Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions surrendered just eight first downs to Iowa and 194 yards of total offense.

Penn State has won 18 of the past 19 games in Happy Valley. Next weekend, the Nittany Lions will host Wisconsin in State College, PA.

***Michigan: The Wolverines stepped out of conference and had no problem beating Eastern Michigan 33-22. Mike Hart rushed for 215 yards and three scores and in the process became Michigan's all-time leading rusher, surpassing Anthony Thomas. Hart now has 4,655 yards for his stellar career.

Chad Henne was back from injury and threw for 195 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Adrian Arrington. Arrington caught six balls for 102 yards on the day. The Wolverines pulled away in the third quarter. After an Eastern Michigan (2-4, 1-1) touchdown cut the deficit to 16-14, Michigan scored the next 17 points to pull away to a 33-14 advantage. Hart had both touchdowns in the decisive stretch.

The Wolverines (4-2, 2-0) will jump back into Big Ten action next weekend. Michigan will host Purdue at the Big House in a crucial conference tilt.

***Michigan State: A week after a tough 37-34 defeat at Wisconsin, the Spartans lost once again, this time to Northwestern 48-41 in overtime. The home defeat sends Michigan State to 3-2 on the year and 0-2 in the Big Ten. The Spartans could not overcome a career-high 520 passing yards from the Wildcats' C.J. Bacher.

Michigan State was lucky just to get into overtime. Northwestern missed two field goal chances late in the fourth quarter to win the game. In overtime, the Bacher found Omar Conteh for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 48-41. The Spartans' Brian Hoyer fired four straight incompletions to give Northwestern (3-3, 1-2) the victory.

The loss erased 185 rushing yards from Michigan State's Javon Ringer. Ringer scored three times, including from distances of 47 and 80 yards. The Spartans will try to avoid their third loss in a row next weekend when they welcome in upstart Indiana into East Lansing.

***Purdue: The Boilermakers were stifled by the Ohio State defense on Saturday night in their in 23-7 loss to the Buckeyes. Only a last-second touchdown avoided the shutout. Purdue suffers their first loss of the year in dropping to 5-1 and 1-1 in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0) showed the conference they're the team to beat, spearheaded by a suffocating defense. Ohio State held the Boilermakers to four total rushing yards and forced Purdue to air it out 60 times. The Buckeyes' Todd Boeckman tossed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns while Chris Wells rushed for 85 yards.

Purdue's Curtis Painter threw for 268 passing yards and threw a late touchdown pass to Jeff Lindsay. The Boilermakers road doesn't get any easier. Purdue goes on the road to face Michigan next weekend in Ann Arbor.

***Boston College: The Eagles fast start continued with a 55-24 pasting of Bowling Green. Boston College's Matt Ryan, a Heisman Trophy contender, threw four touchdown passes in helping the Eagles to a 6-0 start. The win moved Boston College up to No. 4 in both polls.

Ryan's precision was a little too much for Bowling Green to overcome. The fifth-year senior was 24-of-32 for 312 yards. Another good performance next weekend on national television at Notre Dame will only enhance his growing Heisman contender status.

Bowling Green (3-2, 1-0) actually was only down 14-10 in the second quarter. But the Eagles rattled off 38 straight points to put the contest away. Running back Andre Callender scored three touchdowns and amassed 158 yards of total offense. A potential problem for Boston College is their defense. The Eagles allowed Bowling Green to rack up 465 yards of total offense, including 401 through the air.

***USC: The Trojans were stunned by Stanford 24-23 in Los Angeles in one of the biggest upsets in recent college football memory. The Cardinal, a 40-point underdog, converted a 4th-and-Goal when quarterback Tavita Pritchard, making his first collegiate start, connected with Mark Bradford with less than a minute remaining for the winning score. USC falls to 5-1 on the year and 1-1 in the Pac-10.

With so much hype about the Trojans being one of college football bests, Stanford showed that nothing can be taken for granted. The Cardinal converted a 4th-and-20 on the decisive drive and the touchdown pass to Bradford was Pritchard's first of his career. Stanford sealed the deal on the ensuing drive with their fourth interception of USC quarterback John David Booty on the evening.

The numbers all favored the Trojans. USC outgained the Cardinal (2-4, 1-3) 459-235. But five costly turnovers and eight penalties proved critical in the final outcome. The Trojans will try to rebound next weekend they host Arizona at The Coliseum.

***Navy: The Midshipmen were off this weekend. Navy (3-2) will next play at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. ESPN will televise the contest.

***Air Force: The Falcons beat UNLV 31-14 behind Chad Hall's 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns. After the Running Rebels had closed the score to 21-14, Air Force scored the game's final 10 points to put the contest away. The Falcons are now 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain West.

Hall had one of the better performances for an Air Force back in some time. The 169 yards on the ground were the most for a Falcons running back since 1991. Hall's eight-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter increased the Air Force lead to 31-14. On the day, the Falcons ran for 309 yards. Quarterback Shaun Carney was an efficient 9-of-14 for 123 yards.

Air Force will try to make it two straight wins when the Falcons travel to face Colorado State next weekend.

***Duke: The Blue Devils miracle comeback fell short in a 41-36 loss to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had built a 34-9 lead but Duke started the rally late in the third quarter. The Blue Devils could not complete the deed and fell to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the ACC.

Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis tossed for 291 yards and four touchdowns in the defeat. A Lewis-to-Austin Kelly 19-yard scoring strike cut the Wake Forest lead to 41-36. But a pooch kickoff failed and the Demon Deacons (3-2, 2-1) ran out the clock. Wide receiver Eron Riley totaled 143 yards in receptions, including two touchdowns. Despite outgaining Wake Forest 386-336, the Blue Devils lost again.

Duke will try to find conference victory No. 1 next weekend. The Blue Devils will host Virginia Tech.

***Stanford: The Cardinal pulled off one of the biggest upsets in a long time, beating No. 2 USC 24-23 on Pritchard's last second touchdown to Bradford. Stanford improves to 2-4 on the year and 1-3 in Pac-10 play.

What makes the Cardinal's upset mind boggling? Stanford had lost their three previous conference contests by a combined margin of 141-51. The Cardinal's only victory was a 37-0 win over San Jose State. USC had not lost at home since 2001. But five turnovers by the Trojans, including four interceptions by quarterback John David Booty, were the difference in the contest. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, no matter what happens in the final six games, has a signature victory in his first year at the helm of Stanford.

The Cardinal will try to carryover the momentum from the upset next weekend. Stanford will host TCU.


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