No. 1 Oregon 53, No. 24 USC 32
Los Angeles — Southern California really thought it had figured out how to stop Oregon’s high-octane offense when the Trojans took a third-quarter lead on the nation’s top-ranked team.
Turns out the Ducks were only pausing on the way to another convincing victory.
LaMichael James rushed for 239 yards and three touchdowns, Darron Thomas threw three of his four scoring passes to Jeff Maehl, and Oregon roared back from a second-half deficit with a victory over the Trojans on Saturday night.
Thomas passed for 288 yards, and Maehl had eight catches for a career-high 145 yards for the fleet-footed Ducks (8-0, 4-0 Pac-10), who racked up 599 total yards in yet another barn-burning offensive performance. Oregon still trailed in the third quarter for just the second time all season after USC scored two touchdowns in 21⁄2 minutes to take a 32-29 lead.
“We have a tendency to wear people down,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “I’m not into statements. I’m just into winning games.”
FBS rushing leader James led the Ducks to 24 consecutive points to close their first win at the Coliseum since 2000.
Matt Barkley passed for 263 yards, and Marc Tyler rushed for two scores for the Trojans (5-3, 2-3), who used trickery and big defensive plays to stay competitive until the third quarter.
“We thought we had this game in the bag, but they played a hell of a game,” said USC defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, whose interception set up the Trojans’ first score in the third quarter.
The role reversal atop the Pac-10 is essentially complete with this victory for the Ducks, who toiled for much of the past decade in the shadow of USC’s seven consecutive conference titles.
No. 3 Auburn 51, Mississippi 31
Oxford, Miss. — Cam Newton caught a touchdown pass, to go along with the two TD passes he threw, and Mike Dyer ran for 180 yards for Auburn.
The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) are ranked atop the BCS standings for the first time.
The Rebels (3-4, 1-4) ended Newton’s string of four straight 170-yard rushing efforts against SEC defenses, but the Heisman Trophy contender passed for 199. He also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from receiver Kodi Burns.
Auburn scored on Demond Washington’s 95-yard punt return, Onterio McCalebb’s 68-yard touchdown run and Dyer’s 30-yarder in a rare buffet of big plays not involving Newton.
No. 18 Iowa 37, No. 5 Michigan State 6
Iowa City, Iowa — Ricky Stanzi threw three touchdown passes, and Iowa handed Michigan State its first loss decisively.
Adam Robinson added a pair of touchdowns for the charged-up Hawkeyes, who rolled to a 30-0 halftime lead and dealt a crushing blow to the Spartans’ national-title hopes.
Iowa (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) jumped ahead 17-0 when Micah Hyde went 66 yards after taking a pitch from safety Tyler Sash, who had picked off a pass.
No. 8 Utah 28, Air Force 23
Air Force Academy, Colo. — Utah’s defense forced five turnovers and stopped the Falcons twice on downs in the final quarter to win heading into its big game with TCU next weekend.
Safety Greg Bird came up with one big hit after another, and Eddie Wide scored twice as the Utes ran their record to 8-0 for the third time in the last seven years.
No. 10 Ohio State 52, Minnesota 10
Minneapolis — Terrelle Pryor threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns, and Dan Herron rushed for 114 yards and another score in the first half to lead Ohio State.
Pryor completed 18 of 22 passes and also rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown for the Buckeyes (8-1, 4-1 Big Ten), who are trying to ram their way back into the national championship picture.
No. 13 Stanford 41, Washington 0
Seattle — Andrew Luck ran for one score and threw for another, and Stanford scored touchdowns on its first four possessions.
Facing Washington quarterback Jake Locker in a matchup of touted NFL Draft prospects, Luck was easily more impressive. The Stanford sophomore completed 19 of 26 passes for 192 yards and added another 92 yards rushing. Stepfan Taylor ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns for Stanford (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10).
No. 15 Arizona 29, UCLA 21
Pasadena, Calif. — Backup Matt Scott passed for a career-high 319 yards, and Arizona held off UCLA.
Scott, playing for injured starter Nick Foles (knee), was 24 of 36 with one interception and one touchdown. The junior also carried 12 times for 71 yards.
Scott threw for 233 yards and ran for another 65 in a 44-14 victory over Washington last weekend filling in for Nick Foles, who sprained his right knee two weeks ago. Foles might be healthy enough to return Saturday when the Wildcats play at No. 13 Stanford.
Keola Antolin rushed for 111 yards on 23 carries for the Wildcats (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10), off to their best start since winning seven of their first eight games en route to a 12-1 finish in 1998.
No. 17 South Carolina 38, Tennessee 24
Columbia, S.C. — Alshon Jeffery’s 70-yard touchdown catch broke a fourth-quarter tie and kept South Carolina in control of the SEC East.
The Vols (2-6, 0-5 Southeastern Conference) had rallied from a 14-point deficit on a pair of touchdown passes from backup quarterback Tyler Bray to tie the game at 24.
No. 19 Arkansas 49, Vanderbilt 14
Fayetteville, Ark. — Ryan Mallett threw for a school-record 409 yards, and Arkansas beat Vanderbilt.
Mallett topped his own record of 408 yards, set last year against Georgia, and finished 27-of-44 as the Razorbacks (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) won their second straight game. The junior also threw for three touchdowns, and Arkansas scored 43 straight points after trailing early.
Virginia 24, No. 22 Miami 19
Charlottesville, Va. — Virginia intercepted Miami’s backup quarterbacks four times after Jacory Harris was hurt and pulled off the upset.
Virginia (4-4, 1-3 ACC), which had lost nine straight conference games, knocked Harris from the game on a huge hit by John-Kevin Dolce in the second quarter with the score still 0-0.
No. 23 Mississippi St. 24, Kentucky 17
Starkville, Miss. — Vick Ballard rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, and Mississippi State relied on its running game and defense.
The Wildcats threatened to tie the game in the final minute, but Mike Hartline’s pass was intercepted by Johnthan Banks at the goal line to seal a sixth straight victory for Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) — its longest streak since 1999.