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September 19 College Football Recap

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here's a brief look at the highlights of the third week of the college football season - the Top-25 made a bid for no upsets, but if you stayed up late on Saturday, you saw Arizona and UCLA and Pac-10 pull off the only upsets (in the rankings) of the week. The rankings used in this recap are the AP rankings from prior to the games.

GAME OF THE WEEK
Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 31: Apologies to Notre Dame fans, but another spectacular game ends in a loss for the Irish. This time, Michigan State improves to 3-0 by shocking ND with a fake field goal in overtime, instead passing for the game-winning touchdown.

UPSETS
#24 Arizona 34, #9 Iowa 27: After building a big lead, the Wildcats see the Hawkeyes storm back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but Nick Foles connects with William Wright with 3:57 to go to clinch the win, which gives the ‘Cats a big jump in the poll to No. 14.
UCLA 31, #23 Houston 13: After two miserable performances, UCLA pulls together and dominates Houston, but the biggest story is the loss of Cougar star quarterback and Heisman-candidate Case Keenum to an ACL injury.

SLIPPING BY
#7 Oklahoma 27, Air Force 24: The Sooners continue inconsistent play as Air Force scores two fourth-quarter TDs to put a scare into the Big 12 power.
#11 Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 19: The Sun Devils appeared to have tied the game late in the fourth quarter, but Wisconsin's Jay Valai slipped through and blocked the game-tying extra-point attempt to preserve the win.
#16 Auburn 27, Clemson 24 (OT): In another thrilling finish, Auburn holds on in overtime to defeat Clemson in one of the hardest-hitting college football games in years.
#20 Michigan 42, Massachusetts 37: It was expected that Michigan could give do-everything quarterback Denard Robinson some rest with an FCS team in town, instead the Minutemen gave the Wolverines everything they could handle, forcing Robinson to play the whole game and account for 345 yards in a tight victory.
#25 Oregon State 35, Louisville 28: Star tailback Jacquizz Rodgers tallied three TDs as the Beaver offense has started clicking; however, the defense needs some work as two late TDs by Louisville made this one close.

SEC KEYS
#10 Florida 31, Tennessee 17: The Gators are still taking criticism for not being dominant, but they remain undefeated after rallying for 24 second-half points.
#12 Arkansas 31, Georgia 24: Ryan Mallett solidified his Heisman candidacy with a monster game, including the game-winning TD pass with 15 seconds to go as Georgia drops to 0-2 in SEC play for first time under Mark Richt.
#15 LSU 29, Mississippi State 7: Some thought the Tigers could be upset here, but the Tigers dominant defense allowed just 268 yards and star cornerback Patrick Peterson made two sensational interceptions.
Vanderbilt 28, Ole Miss 14: Vanderbilt snaps a 10-game SEC Losing streak with a solid performance against the Rebels.

OTHER SOLID WINS
#6 Texas 24, Texas Tech 14: It was a sloppy game with seven turnovers, but Texas did what it had to, including a surprising fake punt in the fourth quarter, to pick up the key Big 12 win on the road.
#18 USC 32, Minnesota 21: The Trojans continue to be inconsistent, but they also continue to win, this time using a 97-yard kickoff-return TD by Robert Woods to secure victory, their second road win of the season.
#21 West Virginia 31, Maryland 17: Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith is coming into his own, leading his squad to a solid victory against previously undefeated Maryland.

SURPRISING BLOWOUTS
#4 TCU 45, Baylor 10: No surprise that the Frogs upended their former Southwest Conference foe, but they dominated all phases of the game to cruise to victory.
#8 Nebraska 56, Washington 21: Another fashionable upset pick, Washington had no answer for Cornhusker budding star Taylor Martinez, who scored four TDs while the defense held the Huskies to 246 yards.
#19 Stanford 68, Wake Forest 24: Again, not a surprise that the Cardinal won, but 68 points?! Quarterback Andrew Luck played eight possessions; and Stanford scored eight touchdowns as Wake never adjusted to kicking off at 11:15 Eastern time.

EXPECTED BLOWOUTS
#1 Alabama 62, Duke 13: Heisman winner Mark Ingram returns to the lineup and rushes for over 100 yards - on his first three carries - as Bama wins its 17th straight game.
#2 Ohio State 43, Ohio 7: Terrelle Pryor has a solid performance, at one point completing a school-record 16 straight passes, as the Buckeyes roll over the state-rival Bobcats.
#3 Boise State 51, Wyoming 6: One simple stat tells the story here, Boise gained 648 yards and the Cowboys had 135. Kellen Moore and the Broncos continue to roll.
#5 Oregon 69, Portland State 0: Oregon entered this game averaging a point-a-minute against FBS foes; lower-division Portland State didn't stand a chance as the Ducks improved that average.
#13 South Carolina 38, Furman 19: This game was actually closer than the score as a late interception return for a TD sealed it, but the Gamecocks were never truly threatened.
#14 Utah 56, New Mexico 14: While New Mexico continues to make a case for being the worst team in the FBS, this was still impressive by Utah, registering its second straight blowout with backup quarterback Terrance Cain at the helm.
#22 Penn State 24, Kent State 0: The Nittany Lion offense may not have been dominant, but the defense sure was, holding the Golden Flashes to just 228 yards.

INTO THE RANKINGS - Michigan State is the only team to move into the AP rankings this week after their thriller over Notre Dame.

This Week's Key Games (with current AP rankings)
#1 Alabama at #10 Arkansas: Has been tabbed since the summer as a huge game in the SEC and the early results have built it up still more. First of three straight games against Top-12 teams for the Tide.
#22 West Virginia at #15 LSU: West Virginia is emerging as the top team in the Big East, a win on the road in Baton Rouge would boost its case as a top team in the nation.
#24 Oregon State at #3 Boise State: WAC teams such as Fresno State and Nevada are looking solid, but this still appears to be the toughest challenge remaining between Boise State and a perfect season.
#19 Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh (Thursday): Both teams have suffered early losses, the winner of this game will solidify its place in the national picture.
Virginia Tech at Boston College: Neither team is ranked, but it's still a match-up of top ACC title contenders.
#8 Oklahoma at Cincinnati: Sooners have been inconsistent, but still undefeated; defending Big East champ Cincinnati has suffered a pair of bad losses to Fresno and NC State.
Temple at #23 Penn State: Temple had a big non-league win against UConn on Saturday; the Owls, under former Penn State player Al Golden, hope to make a national name for themselves in Happy Valley.
#16 Stanford at Notre Dame: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has been very impressive, but this is a big opportunity for him to announce himself on a national stage; Irish have lost back-to-back heartbreakers.

Manning Award Stars of the Week
From the players currently on the Watch List for the Manning Award, here are some of the standout stars from week three:

Andy Dalton, TCU (21-of-23, 267 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Dalton sets school-record for completion percentage in a 45-10 blowout of former SWC foe Baylor.

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (10-of-15, 181 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Running the pistol offense to perfection, Kaepernick also rushed for 148 yards and three scores in a convincing 52-31 victory over Cal.

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas (21-of-33, 380 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Mallett continues to justify the hype, recording big numbers and throwing a 40-yard game-winning TD pass with 15 seconds to go in a crucial SEC road game against Georgia.

Kyle Padron, SMU (19-of-34, 280 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Sophomore sensation also adds a running touchdown as Mustangs hold off Washington State, 35-21.

Russell Wilson, North Carolina State (26-of-40, 333 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
After spending the spring and summer playing baseball, Wilson seems to be back on track, leading the Wolfpack to a 30-19 win over Cincinnati and their first 3-0 start since 2002.

Manning Award Players to Watch
While 33 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season. Here's a look at this week's best performances from players making a bid to be added.

Zac Dysert, Miami, Ohio (18-of-22, 231 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Dysert has an impressive effort in a 31-20 non-league win over Colorado State.

Bryan Ellis, UAB (23-of-37, 360 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT)
Ellis rallies the Blazers from a 23-7 halftime deficit, throwing the game-winning score with no time left in 34-33 win over Troy.

Taylor Martinez, Nebraska (7-of-11, 150 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Martinez adds 137 rushing yards and three more TDs in a 56-21 blowout of Washington on the road.

Geno Smith, West Virginia (19-of-29, 268 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Sophomore continues to shine, leading Mountaineers to 31-17 win over previously undefeated Maryland.

Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (23-of-32, 409 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT)
Weeden leads an offensive explosion for the Cowboys, who crush state-foe Tulsa, 65-28.

Week 3 Bowl Predictions
ESPN (Schlabach): Arkansas vs. Oklahoma (replace Florida with the Hogs)
ESPN (Adelson): Alabama vs. TCU (remains the same as last week)
CBS Sports: Auburn vs. Nebraska (Nebraska replaces Iowa)
College Football News: Alabama vs. TCU (TCU replaces Nebraska)
SI.com (Mandel): Florida vs. Nebraska (Nebraska replaces Texas)

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