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College Football Top 25 Weekend Recap – Week Three

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones looks downfield.
Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

Week Three is in the books, and it was an exciting one featuring a slugfest between two top five teams, the end of the nation’s longest winning streak and a bunch of outstanding individual performances. Here is this week’s wrap-up from the top 25.

#1 Oklahoma 23, #5 Florida State 13

Oklahoma’s defense dominated the game, holding the Seminoles to just 27 yards rushing, forcing three turnovers and getting six sacks. Oklahoma sophomore receiver Kenny Stills had seven catches for 125 yards, including the eventual game-winner, a 37-yard jump ball reception for a touchdown with 7:00 to go in the fourth quarter. Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, while ‘Noles receiver Kenny Shaw was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after a helmet-to-helmet personal foul in the second. On the other side of the ball, the Sooners defense was bolstered by the return of star middle linebacker Travis Lewis, who was  back in action after suffering a broken toe during preseason practice.  Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones passed former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford as the Sooners’ all-time leading passer.

#2 Alabama 41, North Texas 0

A stingy Crimson Tide defense held the Mean Green to just 169 total yards in a shutout that was over before it started. Although the Alabama offense didn’t click on all cylinders for much of the game, running back Trent Richardson did rush for 167 yards (143 in the second half) and three touchdowns.

#3 Louisiana State 19, #25 Mississippi State 6

The LSU defense was dominant, holding a Bulldogs team that had been averaging 321 rushing yards and 46 points per game to just six points and 52 yards on the ground. LSU has now won 12 in a row in this series.

#4 Boise State 40, Toledo 15

Toledo gave Ohio State a big scare in week two, but Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore made sure the Broncos would have no such problems this week. The senior quarterback finished 32/42 for 455 yards and five touchdowns in the big Friday night win.

#6 Stanford 37, Arizona 10

Quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns and running back Stepfan Taylor added 153 yards on the ground as the Cardinal rolled in their first conference game of the season.  Already one of the nation’s worst rushing teams, Arizona netted just 51 yards on 23 carries. With Auburn’s loss, Stanford now holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 11 games.

#7 Wisconsin 49, Northern Illinois 7

Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns as the Badgers rolled up 49 points and 621 yards in the win.  Wisconsin scored on six of its first seven possessions and seven Badgers finished with 50 or more yards of offense.

#8 Oklahoma State 59, Tulsa 33

Joseph Randle continued the Cowboys’ strong start on the ground, carrying the ball 25 times for 128 yards and three touchdowns as Oklahoma State handed the Golden Hurricane its second loss of the season to an in-state top 10 team. OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon’s NCAA-record streak of 14 100-plus yard receiving games came to an end as the returning Biletnikoff Award winner was held to 57 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ win over Tulsa. Due to heavy thunderstorms and lightning in the area, kickoff was delayed until after midnight and the game didn’t end until 3:35 a.m.

#9 Texas A&M 37, Idaho 7

The Aggies started slow, but exploded for 20 points in the second quarter en route to the easy win.  A&M running back Cyrus Gray finished with 159 total yards and three touchdowns, while the Wrecking Crew defense held the Vandals to just 187 total yards and 2 of 14 on third down conversions.

#10 South Carolina 24, Navy 21

Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore’s career day (246 yards and three touchdowns) helped South Carolina survive a strong upset bid by Navy. Lattimore touched the ball on 41 of the Gamecocks’ 69 offensive plays. And the South Carolina defense held the Navy triple-option offense, which came in averaging over 400 yards per game on the ground, to 274 on the ground and just 61 through the air.

#11 Nebraska 51, Washington 38

Nebraska scored 24 unanswered points to open the second half and blow open a lead in this shootout.  Meeting for the third time in the last 12 months, the scoreboard got a workout as the two teams combined for 89 points and almost 900 yards of offense. Three special teams mistakes (two kick catch interference penalties and a fumbled kickoff return) by Washington led to 17 Nebraska points.  This is the first time since 1995’s national championship season that the Cornhuskers have scored 40-plus points in their first three games.

#12 Oregon 56, Missouri State 7

Missouri State actually got on the board first in this game, but the Ducks answered with 56 unanswered points. One of last season’s Heisman finalists, LaMichael James, ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries as Oregon rolled up nearly 700 yards in total offense.

#13 Virginia Tech 26, Arkansas State 7

Arkansas State came into the game averaging over 480 yards per game and had put up at least 300 yards in 14 straight games. But they were no match for a Hokies defense that held the Red Wolves to just 269 total yards, forced two turnovers, got three sacks and were responsible for a safety when Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin was called for intentional grounding in the end zone.

#14 Arkansas 38, Troy 28

Razorbacks running back Ronnie Wingo, Jr. had a career-high 109 rushing yards and three touchdowns to help Arkansas survive the upset bid by the Trojans.  Troy quarterback Corey Robinson threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns on 36-63 passing in the loss.

Notre Dame 31, #15 Michigan State 13

After two tough losses to open the season, the Fighting Irish finally got into the win column, knocking off Michigan State in South Bend. The Notre Dame defense held the Spartans to just 29 yards rushing.  The Irish did turn the ball over three times, but that was better than the five lost turnovers in each of their two previous games.

#16 Florida 33, Tennessee 23

Gators running back Chris Rainey had 212 total yards and blocked a punt, while the Gators defense continued its stellar 2011 to help Florida win its seventh straight game against Tennessee. Rainey’s 83-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter was the longest pass play for the Gators since a Danny Wuerffel-to-Jacquez Green 85-yarder in 1996.  The Gators defense, which had not given up a point coming into this game, held the Volunteers to minus-9 yards rushing.

Miami 24, #17 Ohio State 6

Hurricanes sophomore running back Lamar Miller rushed for 184 yards as Miami got its first win of the year. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris returned from his one-game suspension, going 16-23 for 123 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. This is the first time in 23 years the Buckeyes, who managed just 35 passing yards for the game, have a lost a nonconference road game to an unranked team.

#18 West Virginia 38, Maryland 31

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith threw for a career-high 388 yards and a touchdown as the Mountaineers held on to get the win in College Park. The Terrapins scored 21 unanswered points to pull within three with 10:29 to go, but were unable to strike again after that. West Virginia has won six in a row in this series.

#19 Baylor 48, Stephen F. Austin 0

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in a game that was mercifully called late in the third quarter due to heavy lightning. Baylor has now outscored SFA 201-0 in four all-time meetings.

#20 South Florida 70, Florida A&M 17

Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels rolled up a career-high 382 yards and four touchdowns (plus a rushing touchdown) in the rout.  South Florida outgained the Rattlers, 745-181.

Clemson 38, #21 Auburn 24

After surviving two straight weeks of close scares, Auburn’s 17-game winning streak finally came to an end in Death Valley, as Clemson moved to 3-0 all-time when hosting the previous year’s national champion. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was outstanding in the win, going 30-42 for 386 yards and four touchdowns (no interceptions) as his Tigers rolled up 624 yards of offense.

Illinois 17, #22 Arizona State 14

Illinois’ defense sacked Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler six times and forced three turnovers in their upset of Arizona State. The win breaks Illinois’ 10-game losing streak to top-25 teams.

#23 Texas 49, UCLA 20

Case McCoy completed 12 of 15 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, earning his first win as the starter for the Longhorns. Texas rushed for 284 yards, compared with just 85 on the ground during last year’s loss to UCLA in Austin.

#23 Texas Christian 38, Louisiana-Monroe 17

The Horned Frogs defense held ULM to just 125 yards and no points in the final three quarters of play.  TCU trailed at the end of the first period, and only led by four going into halftime. But they blew the game open in the third quarter, including a 94-yard touchdown return of the second half’s opening kickoff.

Notes from other games:

  • With BYU going independent and Utah joining the Pac-12 this season, this week’s matchup, a 54-10 Utes win, was the first non-conference game between these two in 113 years.
  • Wyoming beat Bowling Green 28-27 when Wyoming blocked a Bowling Green extra point attempt with just three seconds left.
  • In a 66-24 beatdown of Kansas, Georgia Tech rolled up a school-record 604 rushing yards on just 50 carries for a new NCAA-record average of 12.1 yards per carry (minimum 50 rushes).
  • Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege went 40 of 44 in the Red Raiders win over New Mexico. His 90.9 completion percentage is a new NCAA record for accuracy (minimum 40 completions).
  • Missouri set a school record with 744 yards of offense in their 69-0 win over Western Illinois. WIU had just 44 yards of offense.

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