Offensive struggles doom FSU, LSU and Georgia
(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
The three top-five teams that lost on Saturday all had one thing in common.
They left their offense at home.
Florida State, LSU and Georgia combined for a measly 29 points in road defeats over the weekend. That's less than the Seminoles, Tigers and Bulldogs are averaging per game this season -- and that includes Saturday's fruitless road trips.
Florida State's offense had powered its 5-0 start, as the Seminoles scored at least 49 points in their first four games.
They haven't even matched that total in two weeks.
After a tough 30-17 win over South Florida, the Seminoles were blanked in the second half of a 17-16 loss at N.C. State that put talk of a national title run on hold.
Florida State wasn't exactly dreadful against the Wolfpack, as E.J. Manuel threw for 218 yards and a score and Chris Thompson ran for 141 yards. But the Seminoles converted just three third downs in 15 tries in blowing a 16-0 lead.
OFFENSE ON PAWS: Even though LSU entered the weekend ranked fourth in the nation, its 14-6 loss at Florida wasn't entirely unexpected.
The Tigers struggled to put away FCS school Towson, and their offensive struggles were apparent from the start against the resurgent Gators.
LSU settled for red-zone field goals of 31 and 21 yards in the first half, and their dominant defense was worn down by Florida's Mike Gillislee. He ran for 146 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns on 34 carries.
Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger completed just 11 of 25 passes, and LSU is now 100th nationally in passing offense.
UGA-LY: Georgia's supposedly potent offense was brought to its knees by South Carolina. The Bulldogs scored 99 points in beating Vanderbilt and Tennessee at home to open league play. But the Gamecocks limited Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray to 11 of 31 passing for 109 yards.
Georgia entered Columbia with the SEC's top offense. The Bulldogs left with a brutal loss, and now they're a game behind the Gamecocks and Gators in the SEC East.
UNHAPPY HUSKERS: Nebraska certainly didn't leave its offense back in Lincoln, scoring 38 points Saturday night at Ohio State.
The Huskers just forgot to pack their black shirts.
Nebraska let the Buckeyes score their most points in a Big Ten game since 1983, as Ohio State pounded the Huskers 63-38. It's the second time this season that the Huskers defense failed them on the road, as UCLA gained a staggering 653 yards in a 36-30 win at the Rose Bowl last month.
EXTRA POINTS: West Virginia's trend of simply outscoring their opponent worked yet again, as Geno Smith threw for four more touchdowns and the Mountaineers survived at Texas 48-45...TCU's offense sputtered without suspended quarterback Casey Pachall. The Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home opener to Iowa State 37-23. Cyclones wide receiver Josh Lenz was responsible for all four of Iowa State's offensive touchdowns, catching three and throwing for another...Oregon State's Jordan Poyer is now tied for second in the nation in interceptions with four after he picked off Washington State three times in a 19-6 win. Fresno State's Phillip Thomas has six interceptions to lead the country.
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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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