By Cabrone D. Brewer
With only three weeks left in the season, the BCS carnival isn’t close to clearing out yet.
No. 3 Stanford had a chance to make a solid bid for a spot in the national championship game at the end of season, but the No. 6 Oregon Ducks refused to let the Cardinal march towards the title on their watch.
Oregon running back LaMichael James ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns, as the Ducks’ high-powered offense ended the nation’s longest winning streak at 17 games by defeating Standford 53-30.
Early Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon, but two interceptions and a costly fumble late in the game placed Luck and his Cardinal teammates in the outer realms of the BCS conversation.
In addition to Oregon’s intense offensive pressure throughout the game, the Ducks’ defense forced an uncharacteristic five turnovers from the hands of the Cardinal.
A matchup between two perennial BCS Bowl busters produced a slightly unanticipated outcome Saturday, as No. 5 Boise State fell to current Mountain West Conference foe TCU 36-35 in a thrilling game that came down to the final minute.
Kellen Moore threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns, but suffered a loss at home for the first time in his career when Freshman kicker Dan Goodale sent a 39-yard field goal wide right as time expired to allow TCU to escape with a rare victory on the Smurf Turf.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall was 24 of 37 for a career-high 473 yards with five touchdown passes, setting a new Mountain West Conference record of 12 straight conference road wins and giving the Horned Frogs 32 straight wins overall against conference opponents.
On the other end of the spectrum No. 12 Penn State, poised to strengthen the schools image after the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sexual-abuse charges, came up short against No. 19 Nebraska 17-14 in the first game since 1950 without legendary head coach Joe Paterno.
Rounding out the top ten: No. 1 LSU handled Western Kentucky 42-9; No. 2 OSU demolished Texas Tech 66-6; No. 4 Alabama beat Mississippi State 24-7; No. 8 Arkansas rolled past Tennessee 49-7; No. 9 Clemson escaped Wake Forest’s advances 31-28; and No. 10 Virginia Tech defeats No. 20 Georgia Tech 37-26.
Check back Friday for a preview of Week 12 action.
College Football 2011 Week 11: Moving Forward
Paterno and Spanier Out at Penn State, Effective Immediately
College Football 2011: Worth the Hype