College Football 2011 Recap: Home Wrecked
By Cabrone D. Brewer
It was supposed to be another walk in the park for No. 3 Oklahoma Saturday evening in Norman, but lowly Texas Tech waited calmly in the shadows of Memorial Stadium to suddenly rain on the Sooners’ parade.
After heavy thunderstorms in the area delayed the start of the game by more than hour, unranked Texas Tech emerged from the locker room en fuego as quarterback Seth Doege threw for 441 yards while the Oklahoma defense subsequently relinquished a dismal total of 572 yards to help the Red Raiders escape Norman with a 41-38 victory.
The Sooners’ hopes for a spot in the national title game have severely diminished after the four-touchdown underdog Red Raiders became only the third team in the Bob Stoops era to defeat Oklahoma on their home turf.
Oklahoma simply couldn’t shake the problems with their red zone offense and special teams — Kicker Michael Hunnicutt missed a 39-yard-field goal in the first half and a critical 28-yarder off the right upright with 2:52 left in the game to hand OU its first home loss since TCU surprised the Sooners’ in the 2005 season opener.
No. 15 Michigan State enjoyed a completely different approach to their confrontation with a top five opponent at home Saturday, taking No. 4 Wisconsin to the wire and then downing the previously undefeated Badgers 37-31 on the final play of the game for one of the most astonishing victories in college football this season.
Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins that bounced off the facemask of Michigan State’s B.J. Cunningham with four seconds left in the game to break a 31-31 tie and lift the Spartans to victory over a Wisconsin team that has offensively dominated their previous opponents this season with relative ease.
Nichol, a former backup quarterback for Michigan State, was initially ruled short of the end zone, but after a review of the play officials overturned the call and awarded the last second touchdown — and victory — to the Spartans.
Rounding out the top ten this week: No. 1 LSU dominates No. 19 Auburn 45-10; No. 2 Alabama remains on a collision course with LSU by defeating Tennessee 37-6; No. 5 Boise State defeats Air Force 37-26; No. 6 Oklahoma State trumps Missouri 45-24; No. 7 Stanford rolls over No. 22 Washington 65-21; No. 8 Clemson reaches 8-0 by beating North Carolina 59-38; No. 9 Oregon handles Colorado 45-2; And No. 10 Arkansas narrowly defeats Mississippi 29-24.
We’ll return Friday with a preview of Week 9.
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