Wisconsin falls, 33-31; Hawaii up next
• Photo gallery: College football Saturday
EVANSTON, Ill. — A purple mob rushed to the middle of Ryan Field, a home crowd celebrating Northwestern's 33-31 victory over No. 17 Wisconsin yesterday.
"I was right in the middle in the thick of things; it got a little rowdy in there. It's definitely a great feeling having fans rush the field," Northwestern's Jordan Mabin said yesterday after his interception in the closing seconds clinched the win.
The Wildcats built a 27-14 halftime lead behind the passing of Mike Kafka to Andrew Brewer and then used late defensive plays from Brian Peters and Mabin to hold off the Badgers.
"It was definitely an emotional day, having your parents walk out on the field with you. But we were here to win the game," said Brewer, a senior and converted quarterback who finished with six catches for 102 yards.
Northwestern (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) improved its postseason positioning with its third straight victory and will get a chance to win the school's first bowl game since the 1949 Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin (8-3, 5-3) still has one more game to play at Hawai'i Dec. 5. The Badgers couldn't get in position yesterday for a game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter, even though they had ample opportunities.
"When we took the ball with about four minutes left, I felt pretty comfortable about being able to drive the ball down and if not score (a touchdown), put ourselves in field goal range," coach Bret Bielema said.
Scott Tolzien found Garrett Graham wide open in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard pass with 10:45 to go, pulling the Badgers within 33-31.
Wisconsin then got the ball back three more times, but had turnovers on two of the possessions.
No. 20 Oregon State 42, Washington State 10: Sean Canfield threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting Beavers (8-3, 6-2 Pac-10) handed the Huskies (1-10, 0-8 Pac-10) their eighth straight loss. Washington lost to Hawai'i, 38-20, Sept. 9.
Nevada 63, New Mexico State 20: The visiting Wolf Pack (8-3, 7-0 WAC) rushed for 575 yards in rolling past the Aggies (3-8, 1-5).
Luke Lippincott had 162 yards on 19 carries, putting him at 1,028 yards for the season. He joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Vaia Taua as 1,000-yard rushers as Nevada became the first team in NCAA history to have three players in one season top 1,000 yards rushing.
Kaepernick ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 96 yards and two more scores for Nevada, which beat Hawai'i, 31-21, Oct. 31. New Mexico State lost to Hawai'i, 24-6, Nov. 14.
Fresno State 30, Louisiana Tech 28: Kevin Goessling's 35-yard field goal on the game's final play lifted the host Bulldogs (7-4, 6-2 Western Athletic Conference) over Louisiana Tech (3-8, 2-5). Fresno State beat Hawai'i, 42-17, Oct. 10. Louisiana Tech defeated Hawai'i, 27-6, Sep. 30.
McNeese State 21 Central Arkansas 17: Bernardo Henry ran 64 yards for a third-quarter touchdown run and a 21-10 lead, and the host Cowboys (9-2, 6-1) held off the Bears (5-6, 2-5) to clinch a tie for the Southland Conference championship with Stephen F. Austin (9-2, 6-1). Central Arkansas lost to Hawai'i, 25-20, Sept. 4.