The Weekly Sports Report

USC held onto the #1 spot in the AP Top 25 poll, but their lead over 32 Oklahoma continues to shrink. The Trojans held off a final California drive to edge the Golden Bears 23-17, while Oklahoma shut out Texas 12-0. The rest of the Top 10 all changed.

Moving up from #4 to #3 was idle Miami. Auburn improved two spots to #4. Purdue jumped all the way from #9 to #5, despite a closer than expected win at Penn State. Virginia also advanced four spots to #6 after trouncing Clemson on Thursday night. Florida State's narrow win at Syracuse was enough to move them from #8 to #7. Wisconsin moved into the 10th spot from #15 after an impressive road win at Ohio State. California fell only one spot to #8 after their loss to USC. Texas dropped from #5 to #9 after their loss to Oklahoma. Georgia suffered the largest fall-off. The Bulldogs fell from #3 to #12 after their home loss to Tennessee. Newcomers to the Top 25 this week are Texas A&M at #23 and Southern Mississippi at #24.

Here's a detailed look at last week's action:


South -

#10 Virginia scored the game's final 27 points to rally past Clemson 30-10, imroving their record to 6-0. The Tigers scored on their opening possession on a 5 yard TD pass from junior QB Charlie Whitehurst to fellow junior RB Duane Coleman. A five yard TD pass from junior QB Marques Hagans to junior TE Heath Miller late in the 2nd quarter put the Cavaliers ahead to stay, 13-10. Junior kicker Connor Hughes added his 3rd field goal of the game to extend Virginia's lead to 16-10 after three quarters. The Cavs then put the game away on two 4th quarter TD runs by senior Alvin Pearman. Pearman rushed for 104 yards while Hagans completed 14-26 passes for 225 yards. Virginia's defense limited Clemson to 45 yards rushing in 21 carries.

Southern Mississippi remained undefeated at 4-0 after an exciting 35-29 overtime win over Houston. The Golden Eagles led 21-7 before the Cougars rallied to take a 29-21 lead in the 4th quarter. Southern Miss tied the game on an 18 yard scramble by junior QB Dustin Almond and a 2 point conversion run by junior Anthony Harris. Almond pulled a hamstring on his TD run, and back-up Damion Carter took over in overtime. Carter tossed a 4 yard TD pass to senior TE Otho Graves giving the Golden Eagles the lead, though the PAT was blocked. Southern Mississippi then held Houston on downs. The loss ruined a fine performance by Cougar's sophomore QB Kevin Kolb, who completed 19-36 passes for 345 yards and a TD.


West –

UNLV won their 2nd game in a row after opening 0-4, defeating BYU 24-20 in Provo. The Runnin' Rebels' winning score came on a 12 yard TD run by Dyante Perkins with 1:58 remaining in the 3rd quarter that gave them a 21-20 lead. Redshirt freshman kicker Sergio Aguayo extended the lead to 24-20 on a 4th quarter field goal, but UNLV had to withstand a last-ditch drive by the Cougars. BYU had a 1st and goal from UNLV's 10 yard line with 14 seconds left, but survived when BYU QB John Beck threw three straight incompletions before the clock ran out. Beck finished with 34 completions in 67 attempts for 358 yards and a TD, but BYU was badly hurt by four lost fumbles. For UNLV, Senior RB Dominique Dorsey rushed for 94 yards and a TD.


East -

#8 Florida State struggled past Syracuse, 17-13. The Seminoles trailed 10-3 at the half, and they were fortunate to be that close. The Orange's senior kicker Colin Barber missed two field goal attempts and senior RB Walter Reyes lost a fumble on a 1st and goal play from the FSU five yard line. After intermission, the Seminoles' defense and running game took over. Junior RB Leon Washington scored both of their TDs on runs of 21 yards in the 3rd quarter and 45 in the 4th. Washington finished with a career-high 164 yards. Meanwhile, FSU's defense limited Syracuse to just 60 yards of total offense in the 2nd half. A 39 yard Barber field goal closed the deficit to 17-13, but a final Syracuse drive was thwarted by an interception of a Perry Patterson pass in the end zone by junior LB Sam McGrew. Patterson completed 19-28 passes for a career-high 207 yards.

#9 Purdue also had a surprisingly tough time against Penn State. The teams entered the locker room tied at 10. On the opening possession of the 2nd half, Purdue scored the winning TD on a 40 yard pass from senior QB Kyle Orton to fellow senior WR Taylor Stubblefield. Penn St. then had two excellent scoring opportunities, but could only manage a field goal. The Nittany Lions had a 2nd and 1 at the Boilermaker's 7 yard line, but were forced to settle for a 27 yard field goal by senior Robbie Gould to close to 17-13. Penn St. then tried some trickery that failed. On a 4th and five from Purdue's 6 yard line, a run on a fake field goal by senior QB Zack Mills was stopped short. Boilermaker's junior kicker Ben Jones extended the margin back to seven points with a 46 yard field goal with 2:48 left. Purdue then held on two final drives by the Nittany Lions. Orton finished with 24 completions in 35 attempts for 275 yards and a TD. However, he suffered his 1st two interceptions of the season. Stubblefield had 7 receptions for 63 yards and broke the Big 10 record for career catches with 271. For Penn State, Mills completed 29-49 passes for 293 yards and a TD.

As usual, Pittsburgh had their hands full with Temple. The Owls dominated play throughout the 1st half. Junior QB Walter Washington threw TD passes to Tim Brown and Ikey Chuku and the Owls' defense sacked Pitt's sophomore QB Tyler Palko for a safety to lead 16-6. The Panthers were fortunate the deficit wasn't worse as they stopped a 4th down Washington run from inside their 1 yard line. After a scoreless 3rd quarter, Pitt's offense finally got rolling, thanks to a well-executed 50 yard flea flicker pass for a TD from Palko to sophomore WR Greg Lee. After holding the Owls to a "3 and out," the Panthers then took the lead on a one yard run by junior Raymond Kirkley. Kirkley scored on a five yard run on the Panthers' next possession to put them ahead 27-16. Temple refused to fold, closing to 27-22 on a short TD pass from Washington to senior WR Phil Goodman in the final minute. A two point conversion attempt failed and Pitt's sophomore TE Steve Buches recovered the Owls' on-sides kick off. Palko finished with 13 completions in 18 attempts for 191 yards while Lee had 8 receptions for 159 yards.

Congratulations to Army and new head coach Bobby Ross! The Black Knights snapped a 19 game losing streak, the longest in D1A, with a 48-29 upset of Cincinnati. Army held a slim 32-29 lead at the half, but outscored the Bearcats 16-0 in the 2nd half. Sophomore RB Tielor Robinson scored 5 TDs for the Black Knights, 3 rushing and 2 on passes from junior QB Zac Dahman. Junior RB Carlton Jones rushed for 180 yards. For Cincinnati, senior QB Gino Guidugli completed 25-39 passes for 350 yards and 4 TDs.

South -

#17 Tennessee traveled to Athens and upset #3 Georgia 19-14. True freshman QB Erik Ainge rebounded from a poor game last week against Auburn to lead the Vols to victory. He completed 12-21 for 150 yards and 2 TDs and had no turnovers. Ainge's 2nd TD pass was a 4 yarder to junior WR Chris Hannon with 14:04 left that extended Tennessee's lead to 19-7. Georgia responded with a one yard TD run on a 4th and goal play by freshman RB Danny Ware with 4:22 remaining. However, the Vols repulsed the Bulldogs' final drive as senior QB David Greene's last-ditch pass fell incomplete in the end zone as time expired. Greene had a tough evening, completing only 15-34 for 163 yards.

#6 Auburn easily disposed of Louisiana Tech 52-7. Senior QB Jason Campbell led a balanced attack, completing 13-18 passes for 201 yards and 2 TDs. One of the TD strikes went for 87 yards to senior WR Silas Daniels, the longest TD pass in school history. As usual, Auburn's rushing attack was also effective, led by senior Ronnie Brown's 109 yards on just 10 carries. Any hope the Bulldogs had was quickly erased when junior RB Ryan Moats, the nation's 2nd leading rusher, left the game with an ankle injury in the 1st quarter and did not return. Auburn's stingy defense recorded 9 sacks and forced 3 turnovers.

#24 LSU recovered from their pounding by Georgia last week to upset #12 Florida in Gainesville, 24-21. The Gators jumped off to a quick 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter, turning two interceptions of freshman QB JaMarcus Russell into TDs. Senior Marcus Randall replaced Russell, and he gradually got LSU back into the game. Sophomore kicker Chris Jackson nailed a 47 yard field goal to close the deficit to 21-17 in the 3rd quarter. However, the Gators blocked Jackson's 25 yard field goal attempt with 10:26 left. The Tigers began their final drive at mid-field with 2:06 remaining, and scored the winning TD on a 10 yard pass from Randall to junior RB Joseph Addai with just 27 ticks remaining on the clock. Randall finished with 18 completions in 28 attempts for 199 yards and 2 TDs.

#23 Maryland had their 13 game home winning streak ended by Georgia Tech, 20-7. The Terps were held scoreless until the 4th quarter and managed a miniscule 81 yards of total offense. Yellow Jackets' sophomore QB Reggie Ball completed 11-22 passes for 197 yards and a TD and added 43 yards on the ground while junior RB P. J. Daniels rushed 26 times for 91 yards and a TD. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen pulled starting QB Joel Statham in the 3rd quarter in favor of true freshman Jordan Steffy. Steffy led the Terps to their only score with 11:28 remaining. Following the game, Friedgen announced that he'll make a decision on the starting QB for this Saturday's tilt with North Carolina State today.

Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe employed an unusual strategy to upset #25 South Carolina 31-28 in Columbia. Cutcliffe rotated his three QBs on nearly every play. The unorthodox move confused the Gamecock defense, as the Rebels piled up 319 yards of total offense to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room. South Carolina made some adjustments in the 2nd half and held Mississippi to just 95 yards. However, most came on the Rebels' final drive, which ended with a game-winning 29 yard TD pass from sophomore QB Ethan Flatt to senior WR Bill Flowers on a 4th and ten play. Flatt completed 18-27 for 214 yards. For the Gamecocks, sophomore QB Syvelle Newton completed 12-27 for 291 yards and a TD and also was their leading rusher with 65 yards on 19 carries.

Junior RB Mike Imoh scored on a 7 yard TD run with 2:10 remaining to give Virginia Tech a 17-10 road win over Wake Forest. Imoh was the game's leading rusher, with 100 yards on 29 carries. Senior QB Bryan Randall completed 12 of 18 passes for 119 yards and a TD. For the Demon Deacons, junior QB Cory Randolph hit on 14-24 passes for 180 yards.

North Carolina evened their record to 3-3 with a dramatic 30-24 win over North Carolina St. in Chapel Hill. Senior QB Darian Durant was outstanding for the Tar Heels, completing 15-23 passes for 192 yards and 3 TDs. North Carolina's defense came up huge, twice stopping junior RB T.A. McLendon inches short of the goal line in the final seconds. The Wolfpack actually outgained the Tar Heels 577 yards to 356, but were badly hurt by 3 turnovers while North Carolina had none.

Rutgers outscored Vanderbilt 21-0 in the final quarter to rally past the Commodores 37-34. Junior QB Ryan Hart completed 31-40 passes for 344 yards and 2 TDs for the Scarlet Knights. The winning TD came on a 1 yard run by sophomore RB Brian Leonard with 1:11 remaining. It was Leonard's 4th TD of the game, all coming in the 2nd half.

Alabama stayed on the ground most of the time against Kentucky. The strategy worked as the Crimson Tide broke a 2 game losing streak with a 45-17 win over the Wildcats. Senior RB Ray Hudson carried 18 times for 99 yards and a TD before leaving the game with a knee injury in the 3rd quarter. His replacement, sophomore Kenneth Darby, also gained 99 yards on 20 carries and scored twice.

East Carolina finally broke into the win column and also ended a 9 game home losing streak with a dramatic 27-25 win over Tulane. Senior Cam Broadwell kicked a 30 yard FG with 12 seconds remaining to give the Pirates the win. RB Chris Johnson was also instrumental in the victory, rushing 31 times for 158 yards and 2 TDs.

Elsewhere, UAB improved to 4-1 with a 27-13 win over Mississippi State. Northern Illinois edged winless Central Florida 30-28. Finally, Middle Tennessee routed Arkansas State 45-17.

Midwest –

In a case of déjà vu all over again, #14 Michigan rallied past #13 Minnesota 27-24 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines trailed 24-17 in the 4th quarter. Sophomore Garrett Rivas booted a 29 yard field goal with 9:36 left to bring the Wolverines within four at 24-20. The winning TD came on a 31 yard pass from true freshman QB Chad Henne to junior TE Tyler Ecker with 1:57 remaining. Henne completed 33-49 passes for 328 yards and 2 TDs, but also suffered 2 interceptions in the 3rd quarter that could have allowed the Gophers to put the game out of reach. Another true freshman, RB Michael Hart, also had a huge game for the Maize and Blue. Hart carried 35 times for 160 yards and a TD and also caught 6 passes for 53 yards. Sophomore RB Laurance Moroney led Minesota with 19 carries for 145 yards and a TD, an 80 yard jaunt in the 1st quarter.

#15 Wisconsin improved to 6-0 with a 24-13 win over #18 Ohio State in Columbus. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, with the big play coming on a 65 yard punt return for a TD by true freshman Ted Ginn. The Badgers then scored two 2nd quarter TDs on a 31 yard run by senior RB Anthony Davis and an 8 yard pass from sophomore QB John Stocco to senior WR Darrin Charles. The Buckeyes responded with senior Mike Nugent's 2nd field goal, a 55 yarder on the final play before halftime. Wisconsin dominated play throughout the 2nd half, scoring in the 3rd quarter on a 26 yard field goal by senior Mike Allen and getting a 4th quarter TD on an 11 yard pass from Stocco to junior WR Jonathan Orr. Wisconsin's defense was once again outstanding, limiting Ohio State to 224 yards of total offense and no TDs.

Michigan State defeated Illinois 38-25, their 8th straight win over the Illini. Sophomore QB Drew Stanton completed 21-28 passes for 199 yards and 3 TDs to pace the Spartan win. Sophomore RB Pierre Thomas rushed 21 times for 188 yards and 2 TDs for Illinois.

Those Cardiac Kids from Evanston did it again. Northwestern won their 2nd consecutive overtime game, 31-24 in double OT over Indiana. It was also the 2nd consecutive year the Wildcats defeated the Hoosiers in OT. Trailing most of the game, Northwestern rallied to tie it on a 32 yard field goal by senior Brian Huffman with 32 seconds left. Indiana scored on their 1st possession of overtime on a 25 yard TD pass from senior QB Matt LoVecchio to Jahkeen Gilmore. The Wildcats responded with a 2 yard TD pass from junior QB Brett Basanez to fellow junior TE Taylor Jones. The winning score came on a 16 yard TD run by senior RB Noah Herron on a 4th and one after Wildcats' coach Randy Walker decided against attempting a field goal. Indiana's final opportunity ended when LoVecchio was sacked by Demetrius Eaton on 4th down. Herron was outstanding for the Wildcats, rushing for a career-high 197 yards and 3 TDs including the game-winner.

Kansas came from behind with two 4th quarter TDs, then held on to defeat arch-rival Kansas State 31-28 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks' win snapped an 11 game losing streak to the Wildcats. Junior QB Jason Swanson came off the bench to rally Kansas. Trailing 21-17, Swanson tossed a 31 yard TD pass to junior WR Mark Simmons and then led a drive resulting in a 43 yard TD run by John Randall with 3:16 remaining. The Wildcats refused to go away, responding with an 8 yard TD pass from sophomore QB Dylan Meier to senior TE Brian Casey with 2;06 left. However, Kansas recovered the ensuing onside kick and was able to run out the clock.

Ty Willingham beat his former school for the 3rd consecutive year as Notre Dame topped Stanford 23-15. The win was also the 800th in school history. Notre Dame trailed 15-10 late in the 3rd quarter when Cardinal freshman punter Jay Ottovegio dropped a snap and was tackled on their 27 yard line. Senior RB Ryan Grant finished off the short drive with a 3 yard TD run, his second of the game, to put Notre Dame ahead to stay. Grant gained 67 yards on 19 carries and freshman Darius Walker added 82 yards on 20 carries. For Stanford, sophomore QB Trent Edwards completed 17-38 passes for 267 yards and junior kicker Michael Sgroi booted 3 field goals.

Texas A&M scored in every quarter to rout Iowa State 34-3 in Ames. Junior QB Reggie McNeal paced the Aggie win, completing 16-27 passes for 222 yards and 3 TDs. McNeal also ran for another score. Sophomore RB Courtney Lewis rushed 18 times for 92 yards and was on the receiving end of one of McNeal's TD passes.

In MAC Conference play, Akron drubbed Buffalo 44-21. Elsewhere, Bowling Green got past Central Michigan 28-14. Eastern Michigan upset Ball State 31-24. Marshall edged Ohio 16-13. Miami (Ohio) routed Kent State 47-27. Finally, Toledo rolled over Western Michigan 59-33.

Southwest –

In a defensive struggle, #2 Oklahoma once again defeated #5 Texas 12-0. It was the Sooners' 5th consecutive win over the Longhorns. True freshman RB Adrian Peterson did most of the damage for Oklahoma, rushing 31 times for 222 yards. However, the Sooners only led 6-0 after 3 quarters on the strength of two field goals by junior Trey DiCarlo. The Sooners iced the game on a 6 yard TD run by senior KeJuan Jones. Both teams had 3 turnovers, with last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Sooner senior QB Jason White having a particularly difficult game with 2 interceptions and a lost fumble. However, Oklahoma's defense held Texas to 240 yards of total offense and the Sooner's ground game helped them to control the ball for over 36 minutes. The only offensive threat for the Longhorns was senior RB Cedric Benson, who rushed for 92 yards on 23 carries.

This was not exactly what Nebraska A.D. Steve Pederson had in mind when he replaced Frank Solich with ex-Oakland Raider head coach Bill Callahan after last season. The Cornhuskers set school records for the most points allowed and largest margin of defeat as they were bushwacked 70-10 by Texas Tech. The Red Raiders led 21-3 at intermission, but Nebraska closed to 21-10 on a 74 yard TD pass from sophomore QB Joe Dailey to junior WR Mark LeFlore. That was the last bit of good news for the Cornhuskers, as Texas Tech scored the final 49 points of the game. They were greatly aided by 5 Nebraska turnovers in the 2nd half, and 7 overall. Red Raider's senior QB Sonny Cumbie ran their spread offense to perfection, completing 44-56 passes for 436 yards and 5 TDs.

In other games, junior QB Brad Smith threw 3 TD passes to lead Missouri past Baylor 30-10. Rice outscored SMU 28-0 in the 2nd quarter en route to a 44-10 victory. Senior FB Ed Bailey ran for 4 TDs for the Owls.

West -

#1 USC revenged their only loss of last season with a hard-fought 23-17 win over # 7 California in the Coliseum. The Trojans came out on top despite being outgained 424 yards to 205. The Bears' junior QB Aaron Rodgers tied an NCAA record by completing his first 22 passes and finished 29 of 34 for 267 yards and a TD. However Rodgers misfired on his last 3 passes, which decided the game in USC's favor. California started their final drive on their 35 yard line with 4:30 left. Rodgers methodically drove the Bears to a 1st and goal at the Trojan's nine yard line. Rodgers' first down pass fell incomplete. He was sacked for a 5 yard loss on 2nd down, and his final two attempts fell incomplete in the end zone. California kicker Tom Schneider missed on a 36 yard field goal with 6:53 remaining, forcing the Bears to go for a winning TD instead of a tying field goal on their final drive. Cal's senior RB J.J. Arrington also had a big day in defeat, rushing for 112 yards on 21 carries. USC's running game was held in check most of the day, but junior QB Matt Leinart was solid, completing 15-24 for 164 yards and 2 TDs. Trojans' senior kicker Ryan Killean added 3 field goals.

#22 Oklahoma State scored an impressive 42-14 road win over Colorado. Junior RB Vernand Morency bulldozed the Buffaloes, rushing for 165 yards and 2 TDs on 27 carries. Redshirt freshman QB Donovan Woods made the most of his limited passing plays, completing 8-11 for 193 yards and 3 TDs.

In one of the day's more thrilling affairs, Oregon scored 27 points in the 4th quarter, including the final 13, to rally past Washington State 41-38 in Pullman. The Ducks' junior QB Kellen Clemens was involved in all 6 of their TDs. He completed 36-55 passes for a career-high 437 yards and 3 TDs and also ran for 3 TDs. Clemens' final TD run, a 13 yarder with 1:21 left, was the winning score.

Arizona did a great job of containing UCLA's star sophomore RB Maurice Drew, holding him to 22 yards on 11 carries. However, the Wildcats couldn't stop the rest of the Bruins offense as UCLA prevailed 37-17. Junior QB Drew Olson completed 17-25 passes for 234 yards and 4 TDs, 3 going to junior TE Marcedes Lewis. For the Wildcats, junior RB Mike Bell rang up 134 yards on 21 carries in a losing cause.

UTEP edged Fresno State 24-21. It was the 2nd straight loss for the Bulldogs and the first time they've ever started out 0-2 in the WAC. The Miners opened up a 24-14 lead early in the 4th quarter on a 91 yard TD pass from Jordan Palmer to Johnnie Lee Higgins. Fresno St. got within 3 points on a two yard run by junior QB Paul Pinegar with 9:01 left. However, the Miners' defense turned back several Bulldog drives, including two in the final 2 minutes.

Elsewhere, Air Force opened up a 21-0 halftime lead and hung on to defeat New Mexico 28-23. Hawaii outscored Nevada 17-0 in the 3rd quarter en route to a 48-26 win. Louisiana-Monroe snapped a nine game losing streak, winning 16-14 at Idaho. New Mexico State held off Louisiana-Lafayette 35-32. Freshman RB Jamario Thomas set a school record with 256 yards on 38 carries and scored 2 TDs as North Texas topped Utah State 31-23. Washington won their 1st game of the year, 21-6 over San Jose State as sophomore RB Kenny James carried 26 times for a career-high 189 yards and 2 TDs. Finally, Wyoming rallied from a 10-3 deficit at intermission to defeat San Diego St. 20-10.

Here's a breakdown of this week's top games:


East -

#17 West Virginia @ Connecticut – Believe it or not, a Husky win leaves Syracuse and Boston College tied for 1st in the Big East with 1-0 records. The injury status of the Mountaineers' star RB, senior Kay-Jay Harris, is still uncertain.


South -

#18 Louisville @ #3 Miami – The 4-0 Cardinals are much improved, especially on defense. Will that be enough to spring a huge upset in the Orange Bowl?


South –

TCU @ UAB – The Horned Frogs are 0-1 in CUSA and can't afford another loss. UAB is 2-0 in CUSA, and 4-1 overall with their only loss at Florida State. Watson Brown has done a great job with the Blazers so far.


East –

Navy vs. Notre Dame @ Giants Stadium – The Middies lost another heartbreaker to the Irish 27-24 last season. Is this the year they finally break their long losing streak to Notre Dame?

Boston College @ Pittsburrgh – Eagles' coach Tom O'Brien would love to end his 2 game losing streak to the Panthers before moving to the ACC next year, not to mention holding onto at least a tie for 1st place in the Big East. The Eagles had last week off, while the Panthers barely edged Temple.

South –

Arkansas @ #4 Auburn – This is one of the few remaining tough games for the undefeated Tigers. The Razorbacks have had an extra week off, which can't hurt.

#6 Virginia @ #7 Florida State – A Cavalier win keeps them undefeated, and they have #3 Miami at home on November 13th. The Seminoles can't afford a 2nd conference loss.

Vanderbilt @ #12 Georgia – The Bulldogs will be looking to bite someone after being upset by Tennessee last week. The Commodores are in the wrong place at the wrong time!

#13 Tennessee @ Mississippi – Both teams are coming off big upset road wins last week. Who will maintain their momentum?

#24 Southern Mississippi @ Alabama – The 4-0 Golden Eagles broke into the Top 25 after defeating Houston last week. Alabama went back to their traditional ground game to break a 2 game losing streak with a win at Kentucky.

Midwest -

#2 Oklahoma @ Kansas St. – At the start of the season, this looked to be a big test for the Sooners. However, the Wildcats are a disappointing 2-3, including losses in their last two games.

#5 Purdue @ #10 Wisconsin in the "Woolworth Bowl" – Purdue finally looked a bit vulnerable on both sides of the ball last week against Penn State. The Badgers offense has picked up with the return of star RB Anthony Davis. The winner is in the driver's seat for the Big Ten title, and maybe more.

#14 Michigan @ Illinois – The Wolverines are still alive for the Big Ten title, and the Illini should not present much of an obstacle.

Michigan State @ #19 Minnesota – The Spartans' offense came alive last week under sophomore QB Drew Stanton. Can their defense contain the Gophers' powerful running game?

#25 Ohio State @ Iowa – Forget the Big Ten title, the Buckeyes are trying to avoid a 3 game losing streak. Iowa has just one conference loss, and finishes the year with home games against Purdue and Wisconsin wrapped around a visit to Minnesota.

Southwest –

Missouri @ #9 Texas – Now that the Oklahoma game is history, the Longhorns usually get back on track quickly. Missouri is 2-0 in the Big 12 and looks to be the favorite to win the much weaker North Division.

#23 Texas A&M @ #16 Oklahoma St. – Both teams have been pleasant surprises, and would have an excellent chance to win the Big 12 – North. Too bad they're both in the South.

#21 Boise State @ Tulsa – The Broncos are very much in control in the WAC since Fresno State has lost their last two conference games.

West -

#15 Arizona State @ #1 USC – The Sun Devils have had an extra week off to prepare. The Trojans' secondary was burned by California QB Aaron Rodgers last week and faces another top passer in Andrew Walter. One big difference, the Sun Devils don't have a solid running game to go along with their passing.

UCLA @ #8 California – Can the Golden Bears recover from their tough loss to USC in time? UCLA has won 4 in a row since dropping their opener to Oklahoma State. Stopping Bruins' RB Maurice Drew will be a major challenge for Cal's defense. UCLA can still run the table and win the PAC 10 title.

North Carolina @ #11 Utah – The 5-0 Utes are still having BCS dreams. The Tar Heels are coming off a big upset win over North Carolina State, but will need to play even better to win in Salt Lake City.

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