No. 9 Oregon has nothing in reserve in loss to UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. — When Dennis Dixon went out, the explosive Oregon offense became average, at best. When his backup at quarterback was injured as well, the Ducks had no chance.
So now, unlikely as it might seem, the once-reeling UCLA Bruins have a shot at playing in the Rose Bowl game.
Freshman Kai Forbath kicked three field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder, and the Bruins took advantage of No. 9 Oregon's plight to hand the Ducks a 16-0 setback yesterday — their first shutout loss in more than 22 years.
"Our goal was to be in a position for this opportunity. I can't tell you I thought we'd be 6-5 with this opportunity," Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said. "But it is what it is.
"We were going to win this game. There was no question in our mind. We played smart and made critical plays when we needed to make them."
Oregon (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) had been bounced out of the national championship picture Nov. 15 when Dixon, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, left in the first quarter of a 34-24 loss at Arizona with a torn knee ligament.
The Ducks lost backup quarterback Brady Leaf late in the first quarter of this game, and young signal-callers Cody Kempt and Justin Roper were unable to generate any offense as Oregon was blanked for the first time since losing 63-0 to Nebraska on Sept. 28, 1985.
Oregon entered averaging 40.9 points and 505.8 yards of total offense in its first 10 games, mainly with Dixon at the controls.
The Ducks gained only 148 yards against the Bruins, who snapped a three-game losing streak despite getting only 10 first downs and gaining 220 yards.
The result left No. 11 Southern California (9-2, 6-2) in position to win its sixth straight Pac-10 championship and play in the Rose Bowl with a victory over the Bruins next weekend.
Should UCLA upset USC and Arizona top No. 7 Arizona State the same day, the Bruins (6-5, 5-3) would get the Rose Bowl bid — a shocking development considering their recent slump and the possibility that Dorrell's job is in jeopardy.
"Next week's game is what we need to focus in on," Dorrell said. "That's the most exciting game in football, in my opinion — a great rivalry game. We will find a way to do the things necessary to make us successful."
NO. 4 WEST VIRGINIA 66, NO. 20 CONNECTICUT 21
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Pat White has No. 4 West Virginia on the brink of playing for a national championship.
White rushed for 186 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead the Mountaineers (10-1, 5-1 Big East) over the Huskies (9-3, 5-2), clinching the Big East championship and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
With one more win next week against Pittsburgh, the Mountaineers, who racked up 517 yards rushing, might be headed to the BCS championship game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
NO. 6 GEORGIA 31, GEORGIA TECH 17
ATLANTA — Matthew Stafford ran for one touchdown and threw for another, Thomas Brown rushed for 130 yards, and the Bulldogs (10-2), of the SEC, beat the Yellow Jackets (7-6), from the ACC, for the seventh straight time.
Georgia closed the regular season winning six straight and could earn an at-large BCS bid. Georgia Tech hasn't beaten Georgia since 2000, and there's plenty of speculation that this latest loss could cost coach Chan Gailey his job.
NO. 8 VIRGINIA TECH 33, VIRGINIA 21
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Sean Glennon threw for 260 yards and the other half of the quarterback rotation, Tyrod Taylor, ran for two touchdowns, as the Hokies (10-2, 7-1) beat the Cavaliers (9-3, 6-2) to earn a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
The Hokies also got a season-high 147 yards rushing from Branden Ore and six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown from Eddie Royal as they earned a rematch with No. 15 Boston College in Saturday's conference title game in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jameel Sewell ran for two touchdowns for Virginia, which would have gone to the conference title game with a victory.
NO. 15 B.C. 28, MIAMI 14
BOSTON — Matt Ryan threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns to send the Eagles (10-2, 6-2) into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with their first victory over the Hurricanes (5-7, 2-6) since the 1984 "Hail Flutie" pass — a span of 15 games.
BC will play in the conference title game Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., against Virginia Tech. The Eagles beat the Hokies 14-10 on Oct. 25 when Ryan threw a 24-yard touchdown pass across the field with 11 seconds left.
NO. 10 OKLAHOMA 49, OKLAHOMA STATE 17
NORMAN, Okla. — Allen Patrick ran for a career-best 202 yards and two touchdowns as the host Sooners (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) routed the Cowboys (6-6, 4-4) to wrap up a spot in the Big 12 championship game.
Quarterback Sam Bradford returned after sustaining a concussion in Oklahoma's 34-27 loss at Texas Tech last week to break the NCAA freshman record for touchdown passes in a season. He had four scoring passes to give him 32 this year.
NO. 12 FLORIDA 45, FLORIDA STATE 12
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow threw for 262 yards with three touchdown passes, and also ran for two scores, powering the Gators (9-3) of the Southeastern Conference to their fourth straight win over the Seminoles (7-5) of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Tebow led the Gators to touchdowns on four of their first five possessions.
NO. 19 TENNESSEE 52, KENTUCKY 50
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Volunteers (9-3, 6-2) stuffed a scrambling Andre Woodson on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth overtime to secure their 23rd straight win over the Wildcats (7-5, 3-5) and a shot at LSU in next week's SEC title game.
Tennessee and Georgia finished tied atop the East, but the Volunteers earned the title thanks to their 35-14 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 6.
Erik Ainge threw for a career-high 397 yards and seven touchdowns and running back Arian Foster had 216 total yards for the Volunteers.
NO. 21 CLEMSON 23, SOUTH CAROLINA 21
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mark Buchholz kicked a 35-yard field as time expired as the Tigers (9-3) handed the Gamecocks (6-6) their fifth straight loss, the longest of coach Steve Spurrier's college career.
Buchholz, who starred on the Tiger soccer team this fall, had missed two earlier field-goal attempts.
NO. 23 BYU 17, UTAH 10
PROVO, Utah — Harvey Unga ran for 151 yards, including 11 yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds left, as the host Cougars (9-2, 7-0) rallied past the Utes (8-4, 5-3) to clinch a second consecutive Mountain West title.
Max Hall threw to Austin Collie for the 2-point conversion, which put BYU up by a touchdown 56 seconds after Darrell Mack had given Utah its first lead with a 1-yard TD run.
NO. 24 CINCINNATI 52, SYRACUSE 31
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ben Mauk threw for a career-high 431 yards and four touchdowns, three to Marcus Barnett, to give the Bearcats (9-3, 4-3 Big East) their first nine-win season since the 1953, while handing the Orange (2-10, 1-6) their second 10-loss season in Greg Robinson's three years as head coach.
NO. 25 AUBURN 17, ALABAMA 10
AUBURN, Ala. — Brandon Cox scored on a 1-yard sneak with 3:50 left and the Tigers (8-4, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) recovered an onside kick following an Alabama field goal with 2:11 to play to beat the Crimson Tide (6-6, 4-4) and win the Iron Bowl for the sixth straight time.