College GameDay Bristol Blog: Week 11

College GameDay Bristol Blog

Originally Published: November 10, 2007
ESPN.com

Every Saturday during the 2007 season, the ESPN.com college football team will be blogging live from Bristol, bringing you inside information and commentary from our writers and analysts who are at the top games at stadiums across the country. Refresh this page often to keep track of all the entries throughout the afternoon.

Have a question or comment on today's action? E-mail us and let us know what you're thinking.

ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel, Chris Low and David Albright will be tracking all of Saturday's games and providing insight on all of the day's action.

9:30 a.m.: ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach

Here's a look at 10 things to watch for today:

1. Can Michigan and Ohio State hold serve in the Big Ten?
Next week's showdown in the Big House won't have quite the buildup of last season's "Game of the Century" between the bitter rivals -- see the Wolverines' season-opening loss to Division I-AA Appalachian State as Exhibit A for the reasons why -- but the game might still have huge postseason ramifications. The unbeaten Buckeyes have to defeat Illinois in Ohio Stadium today and then beat the No. 12 Wolverines for the sixth time in seven meetings to secure a spot in the BCS championship game. Michigan can still get to the Rose Bowl by winning at Wisconsin today and then upsetting the No. 1 Buckeyes next week.

2. Will Kansas stay unbeaten?
The No. 4 Jayhawks are 9-0 for the first time since 1908 and haven't opened a season with 10 consecutive victories since 1899. Time has to run out on Kansas' miracle season at some point, right? Maybe not. Kansas is coming off a 76-39 thumping of Nebraska, but hasn't beaten the Cowboys in its last five tries. Oklahoma State is coming off a 38-35 loss to Texas, in which they squandered leads of 21-0 and 35-14.

3. Can Georgia protect its house?
The No. 10 Bulldogs have lost 10 of their last 12 games against Auburn at home. The road team has always enjoyed the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. The Tigers are 18-9 in Athens; the Bulldogs are 13-9-2 at Auburn. Georgia upset the No. 5 Tigers 37-15 at Auburn last season, a game that turned around the Bulldogs' season. Georgia has to win its last two SEC games -- against Auburn and Kentucky -- and hope Tennessee loses one of its remaining three to win the SEC East. The Bulldogs haven't beaten Florida and Auburn in the same season since 1982.

4. Will Connecticut stay atop the Big East standings?
The No. 13 Huskies should get a stiff test at Cincinnati, which already has beaten two ranked opponents this season. Connecticut has made its living by protecting the football with only 10 turnovers. Quarterback Tyler Lorenzen has thrown only four interceptions, tied for second-fewest in the country. The Bearcats are great at forcing turnovers with 34 takeaways (21 interceptions), most in the country. Cincinnati is 3-0 against the Huskies.

5. Can Clemson cash in on its gift?
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden handed Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, his son, an early Christmas gift by upsetting then-No. 2 Boston College 27-17 last week. If the No. 21 Tigers can win their last two ACC games -- against defending league champion Wake Forest today and then Boston College next week -- they'll win the Atlantic Division and play in the conference championship game for the first time. Clemson has won three games in a row and finally has running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller in sync. Wake Forest has won two of its last four meetings against Clemson.

6. Will Darren McFadden get back in the Heisman Trophy race?
The Arkansas running back certainly got back in the Heisman mix last week after running for 321 yards in a 48-36 win over South Carolina, which tied the SEC single-game record. McFadden and Felix Jones combined to run for 487 yards against the Gamecocks, the most combined yards by teammates in a Division I-A game in NCAA history. They might have a chance for another big game today against No. 24 Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers rank 74th in the country in run defense, allowing 167.7 yards per game. McFadden had 190 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-14 win over Vols last season.

7. Will Coach Fran go out with a whimper?
Whether or not you believe Texas A&M officials have already started negotiations to buy out the rest of coach Dennis Franchione's contract, it seems to only be a matter of time before there's a new coach in College Station. The Aggies have lost three of their last four games and still must face the No. 6 Tigers and No. 14 Texas on Nov. 23. The Tigers must beat the Aggies and Kansas State on the road to set up a Big 12 North showdown against No. 4 Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Nov. 24. Missouri is 5-0 at home and has won 14 of its last 15 games at Faurot Field.

8. Will Texas need another fourth-quarter comeback?
The No. 14 Longhorns have won four games in a row, but needed late comebacks to beat both Nebraska and Oklahoma State. If Texas wins out against Texas Tech and Texas A&M, the Longhorns could play themselves into a BCS at-large spot. Texas can't afford to fall behind the Red Raiders, who lead the country in total offense and are fifth in scoring. Texas Tech has lost two of its last three games.

9. Can Pac-10 teams bounce back?
Arizona State looks to rebound from its first loss of the season at UCLA today. If the Sun Devils can manage the remaining portion of its schedule -- against UCLA, USC and Arizona -- it can still win the Pac-10 title -- if Oregon loses at least once. The Trojans go to California and try to remain in the Pac-10 race, or at least stay in contention for a BCS at-large berth.

10. Will Fresno State have more bite?
The Bulldogs go to the islands to face No. 16 Hawaii, which embarrassed them in a 68-37 loss last season. Fresno State has rebounded this season with a 6-3 record, but the defense will have to slow down quarterback Colt Brennan. The Warriors are about to face the toughest part of their schedule. After hosting the Bulldogs, they play at Nevada on Nov. 16, host No. 20 Boise State on Nov. 23 and finish the season against Washington on Dec. 1. Hawaii not only has to win to stay in contention for a BCS spot, but also must look impressive in doing it.

12:02 p.m.: ESPN.com's Pat Forde
MADISON, Wis. -- Three keys to the game for Michigan and Wisconsin, which kicks off now on ESPN:

1. Can Bucky stop the run? Wisconsin is eighth in the Big Ten and 57th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 148 yards per game. That means Mike Hart -- if he's healthy enough -- could have another 30-plus-carry day. If he's not, the Wolverines will give it to Brandon Minor and Kevin Brown plenty. The Michigan game plan isn't likely to change, no matter who is at tailback.

2. Filling in for Hill. The Wisconsin Winnebago, P.J. Hill, is expected to be up on blocks for this game and perhaps the rest of the year. That means it's up to freshman Zach Brown and sophomore Lance Smith to pick up a whole lot of slack in the Badger running game.

3. Who wins the matchup between Michigan WR Mario Manningham and Wisconsin CB Jack Ikegwuonu? Manningham has caught six passes for 40 or more yards this year. Ikegwuonu is the Badgers' best healthy corner. If Manningham beats him deep Wisconsin is in trouble.

12:15 p.m.: From Nichols in Hartford:
Are you starting to believe UConn can beat West Virginia for the Big East crown? Could we be in for an all-New England Orange Bowl with UConn-BC?

ESPN.com's David Albright
Win today at Cincinnati and then we'll talk. No doubt the Huskies are having a storybook season, assuming there's selective memory applied thanks to some questionable calls by officials. But where's the good road win? Duke and Pitt don't count, and UConn's only loss came at Virginia way back on Oct. 13. Speaking of which, that was the Huskies last venture away from Connecticut. So get the victory today, and if WVU win at Cincinnati next Saturday, then the Nov. 24 game in Morgantown sets up as a couch-burner. And yes, UConn could win that game if the Mountaineers are as careless with the ball as they were on Thursday night against Lousville.

12:25 p.m.: From Matt in Bloomington, Ind.:
Will ESPN be giving The Game any love next weekend? With wins today, Yale will be 9-0 and Harvard 7-2, both 6-0 in the Ivy League, setting up one of the biggest Games in decades. Seems to me that if Gameday will go to Amherst-Williams, it definitely shouldn't miss this Game.

ESPN.com's David Albright
I'm sure the GameDay gang will make mention of all the big rivalry games next weekend (don't forget Lafayette at Lehigh), but there's a little game in Ann Arbor that will likely be the site of next week's show if the Wolverines and Buckeyes hold serve today. No doubt Harvard at Yale is a big game, but Amherst at Williams was a unique situation -- and a great showcase for D-III football. Speaking of D-III and the NESCAC, who's going to win the big Bates-Hamilton grudge match in upstate New York? And could Notre Dame beat either of them this year?

ESPN.com's David Albright
12:30 p.m.: No. 21 Clemson has jumped out to an early 10-0 lead over Wake Forest in Death Valley. As Mark Schlabach mentioned above, a pair of wins by the Tigers over the Deacs today and against Boston College next Saturday (7:45 p.m. ET on ESPN or ESPN2) and Clemson will find itself playing for the ACC Championship on Dec. 1. Not to mention that coach Tommy Bowden will likely cool off his proverbial hot seat quite a bit.

ESPN.com's David Albright
12:40 p.m.: In other top 25 action, No. 23 Penn State is up 14-0 at Temple at the end of the first quarter. And Joe Paterno tried to make everyone (anyone?) believe that the Nittany Lions were ripe to be picked off by the upstart Owls. Sure, Temple is much improved by Temple standards, but Penn State is unbeaten in its last 32 games vs. the Owls (31-0-1). The Owls haven't beaten the Nittany Lions since Oct. 18, 1941. No, JoePa wasn't roaming the sidelines for that one.

12:55 p.m.: Score updates in the top 25:
No. 6 Missouri 7, Texas A&M 0 (1Q)
Wisconsin 7, No. 12 Michigan 0 (2Q)
No. 21 Clemson 10, Wake Forest 7 (2Q)
No. 22 Alabama 3, Mississippi State 0 (1Q)
No. 23 Penn State 14, Temple 0 (2Q)
Tennessee 7, No. 24 Arkansas 3 (1Q)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

1:02 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Good news for Clemson fans today as the Tigers were up 10-7 at the end of the 1st quarter. Clemson had been outscored 41-13 in the opening period in the last five games and trailed in each of those games entering second quarter. Also, QB Cullen Harper didn't throw an interception and three of his four interceptions this season have been in the first quarter.

1:05 p.m.: ESPN.com's Pat Forde
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin is up 10-0 on Michigan and looks like the more motivated and focused team here at Camp Randall Stadium. The UW students were late arriving for the 11 a.m. local kickoff, but the team was ready from the opening whistle.

Michigan was killed by two personal fouls on linebacker Shawn Crable on Wisconsin's first-quarter touchdown drive, both for hitting quarterback Tyler Donovan high. The calls infuriated Michigan coach Lloyd Carr to an unheard-of degree, to the point that he had to be restrained from going after the officials.

The Wolverines have now fallen behind by double digits in the fourth straight game. They won the previous four, but this one will be a tough rally. Running back Michael Hart (sprained ankle) hasn't played yet, spending time on a sideline exercise bike. Quarterback Chad Henne (slight separation of the shoulder) played the first two series before giving way to freshman Ryan Mallett.

1:10 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
The Wolverines now trail 17-0 at Camp Randall. But keep in mind that Michigan, even if it spits the bit today in Madison, still controls its own destiny in the Big Ten. A win over Ohio State next Saturday in Ann Arbor would still give Michigan the conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Then again, if Lloyd's boys play next week like they have so far today, that will be a moot point.

1:20 p.m.: Score updates from around the nation:
Indiana 14, Northwestern 10 (2Q)
NC State 17, North Carolina 7 (2Q)
South Florida 10, Syracuse 0 (2Q)
Michigan State 14, Purdue 14 (2Q)
Iowa 14, Minnesota 7 (2Q)
Colorado 7, Iowa State 0 (2Q)
Kansas State 10, Nebraska 7 (1Q)
Georgia Tech 7, Duke 0 (1Q)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

1:30 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
No. 24 Tennessee has extended its lead over Arkansas with another Daniel Lincoln field goal. The 28-yarder put the Vols up 13-3 midway through the second quarter. Darren McFadden? Just three carries for 11 yards in the early going of his encore to last week's 321-yard performance. Then again, Tennessee is clearly winning the time of possession game and it's hard to run when you don't have the ball.

1:38 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
No. 6 Missouri is struggling a bit at home against Texas A&M. The Tigers had a 7-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Chase Daniel just found TE Chase Coffman on a 6-yard TD pass to cap an 87-yard drive and extend the lead to 14-2. Coffman now has four TDs in the last two games. Remember last week in Boulder when Mizzou trailed the Buffs 10-7 at the end of the first quarter before ripping off 24 second-quarter points en route to a 55-10 win. The point being that the points can come in a hurry when Daniel and the Tigers' offense are on the field.

1:45 p.m.: ESPN.com's Chris Low
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The best defense for Darren McFadden is to keep him off the field.

To this point, Tennessee has been able to do that by establishing its own running game and keeping the football. The Vols' first scoring drive consumed 11 plays. Their most recent drive, putting them ahead 13-3, covered 12 plays.

Late in the second quarter, McFadden has carried it just three times for 11 yards. He's lined up twice as the quarterback in the WildHog package, but handed it off both times to Felix Jones.

In other words, he's got a ways to go to match his SEC record-tying 321-yard effort from a week ago.

But if you've seen McFadden play enough, you know it doesn't take him long to get going.

Here's the real mystery, though. The Hogs decide to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 45 and do so with both McFadden and Jones standing on the sideline. Peyton Hillis gets the call and is stuffed by the Tennessee defensive line.

Talk about out-smarting yourself.

1:50 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
• With three receptions and 29 yards so far today at halftime, Indiana junior WR James Hardy has 2,525 career receiving yards and 172 receptions, breaking both all-time school records. Courtney Roby (2001-04) previously held both records (2,524 yards and 170 receptions).

• Michigan State's Jehuu Caulcrick has 2 TDs vs. Purdue in the first half. He is the first running back in Division I-A with 20 TDs this season.

2:00 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
Last home game of the year in Lincoln and the Huskers showed up (to this point). Nebraska just kicked a 27-yard FG with 6:39 left in the second quarter to take a 24-10 lead over Kansas State. QB Joe Ganz has two TD passes on 173 yards and Cortney Grixby returned a kickoff 94 yards for the Huskers' first score of the day. After last week's woodshed whipping in Lawrence, raise your hands along with me if you thought Nebraska had completely mailed in the rest of the season. A win today would put the Huskers at 5-6 heading into the Nov. 23 season finale at Colorado. You have to believe that Bill Callahan is all but gone, but it's nice to see the Big Red show up and play today -- especially for the loyal fans.

2:15 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
No. 22 Alabama had a 9-3 lead in Starkville and the Tide was driving for another score in the closing seconds of the first half. But QB John Parker Wilson was picked off in the end zone by Anthony Johnson, who returned it 100 yards for a Mississippi State TD and a 10-9 halftime lead for the Bulldogs. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that halftime "talk" by Nick Saban.

2:25 p.m.: Score updates in the top 25:
No. 6 Missouri 24, Texas A&M 9 (Half)
Wisconsin 23, No. 12 Michigan 7 (3Q)
No. 21 Clemson 34, Wake Forest 10 (3Q)
Mississippi State 10, No. 22 Alabama 9 (Half)
No. 23 Penn State 17, Temple 0 (3Q)
Tennessee 20, No. 24 Arkansas 3 (3Q)
No. 25 Kentucky 0, Vandy 0 (1Q)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

2:30 p.m.: ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Three keys to the game for Illinois and No. 1 Ohio State, which kicks off in one hour on ABC (3:30 ET):

1. Todd Boeckman has had a remarkable season for a quarterback with virtually no experience. But the Ohio State team that has sprung to life against Penn State and Wisconsin has everything to do with the return to health of tailback Beanie Wells. The sophomore has rushed for 527 yards the last three weeks.

2. Expect the Buckeyes to try to make Juice Williams throw the ball. Easier said than done, but Williams ranks 94th in the nation in passing efficiency (111.76) and has thrown more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (eight). That's not why Williams is the Illini quarterback -- that would be the 568 yards and five touchdowns he has picked up on the ground -- but the thing is, no one is rushing on the Buckeyes this season, anyway. They're allowing 65 yards per game on the ground.

3. Jim Tressel-coached teams don't beat themselves (unless they're playing Florida in January, so don't expect Ohio State to get caught looking ahead to Michigan. Not only do Tressel teams play smart, but it's Senior Day at Ohio Stadium. Last reason: Michigan falling behind early at Wisconsin. You think that won't sink in? If Illinois wants to win, the Illini will have to take it. Ohio State won't give it away.

2:38 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
A final from Williamstown, Mass., site of this week's College GameDay: Williams 20, Amherst 0. Another "Biggest Little Game in America" is in the books, and it's time for the Williams players, in full uniform, to make the walk down Spring Street to St. Pierre's Barber Shop for the victory celebration.

2:46 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
You can't make this stuff up. Notre Dame's first play from scrimmage is a completed pass from Jimmy Clausen to John Carlson for a 28-yard gain. But it doesn't end there. Carlson promptly fumbled and it was recovered Air Force. For all of the criticism fired at Charlie Weis, the players still need to execute. And when your best and most experienced players make negative plays it can snowball an already bad situation.

3:00 p.m.: Score updates from around the nation:
Northwestern 24, Indiana 21 (4Q)
NC State 24, North Carolina 20 (4Q)
South Florida 41, Syracuse 10 (4Q)
Michigan State 34, Purdue 24 (4Q)
Iowa 21, Minnesota 10 (4Q)
Colorado 21, Iowa State 21 (3Q)
Nebraska 38, Kansas State 10 (3Q)
Georgia Tech 27, Duke 17 (Half)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

3:10 p.m.: ESPN.com's Chris Low
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- If Arkansas is going to pull off a fourth-quarter comeback against Tennessee, Darren McFadden will have to go it alone.

His backfield sidekick, Felix Jones, has a deep thigh bruise and isn't expected to return today. Jones has spent most of the day on the sideline riding the stationary bike or trying to get loose. He's carried the ball just three times for 3 yards, and Tennessee leads Arkansas 27-6.

3:25 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
It looks like Wisconsin is going to hang on and beat Michigan. The Badgers lead 23-7 entering the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines came back with a pair of TD passes by freshman QB Ryan Mallett -- one to Mario Manningham and one to Adrian Arrington. That made it 23-21. But an ill-advised pass by Mallett on third-and-29 deep in his own territory resulted in his second interception of the day. The Badgers cashed it in on a 6-yard run by Zach Brown (101 yards) and it's now 30-21 Wisconsin with 3:11 left. This will be a nice win for Wisconsin and a bad loss for Michigan heading into Ohio State next Saturday.

3:35 p.m.: A few final scores from around the nation:
No. 21 Clemson 44, Wake Forest 10
No. 23 Penn State 31, Temple 0
Northwestern 31, Indiana 28
NC State 31, North Carolina 27
Iowa 21, Minnesota 16
South Florida 41, Syracuse 10
Michigan State 48, Purdue 31
Follow all the scores from today's action here

3:40 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
For those of you still arguing the tiebreaker procedure in the Big Ten, here it is, straight from the conference:

Rose Bowl. Unless ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS poll, the conference champion shall participate in the Rose Bowl. The championship shall be determined on the percentage basis of conference games (tie games counts win and loss). If there is a tie for the championship, the Rose Bowl representative will be determined as follows:
1. An ineligible team shall not be considered in the standings for determination of the conference representative.
2. If there is a tie for the championship, the winner of the game between these two teams shall represent the conference.
3. If there is still a tie for the championship, or if the tied teams did not play each other, the team that played more games against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams shall be eliminated.
4. If there is still a tie, or if the tied teams did not play each other, or if both teams played the same number of games against an FCS team(s), the representative shall be determined on the percentage basis of all games played.
5. If there is still a tie, the most recent team earning BCS automatic selection shall be eliminated.

Meaning that next week's winner in Ann Arbor is the Big Ten champion.

3:45 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
More Cowbell. Mississippi State upset No. 22 Alabama 17-12, and with the win the Bulldogs (6-4) are bowl eligible for the first time since 2000. And it marks the second straight win over the Tide by MSU -- a special fact for coach and Bama alum Sylvester Croom. When Titus Brown, a Tuscaloosa native, sacked John Parker Wilson on the final play of the game, the celebration in Starkville began. And longtime radio announcer Jack Cristil most assuredly could be heard saying, "you can wrap that in maroon and white."

3:50 p.m.: ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia is wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history in today's game against No. 18 Auburn at Sanford Stadium. The No. 10 Bulldogs twice wore black pants in the past -- during the 1938 season and again in the 1997 Outback Bowl -- but they've never wore black tops. It's another motivational ploy by Georgia coach Mark Richt, who sent his entire team onto the field after the Dogs' first touchdown to celebrate in a 42-30 win over Florida on Oct. 27. Georgia's players requested fans to wear black shirts to create a "blackout" in Sanford Stadium. Richt tried to keep the jersey colors a secrets all week, and even sent out the team captains in red jerseys for the coin toss. Auburn has won 10 of its last 12 games in Sanford Stadium.

4:00 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
If Nebraska deserves credit for showing up against Kansas State (the Huskers currently lead 66-17 over K-State), then Texas A&M also deserves credit for not folding in the face of coach Dennis Franchione's uncertain future. On the road in Columbia against No. 6 Mizzou, the Aggies trailed 24-9 at the half. But a 17-7 scoring edge in the second half has trimmed the lead to 31-26 late in the fourth quarter. But the Tigers are driving deep in A&M territory and one more score would likely put the game away.

4:20 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
A few more notes from the upset win in Starkville:

• Mississippi State: Defeated Alabama in back-to-back years for the first time since 1996-98.

• Mississippi State: First time beating Alabama and Auburn in the same season since 2000

• 1st loss by Nick Saban to Mississippi State (5-0 as LSU head coach)

• 4th win in 18 all-time meetings in Starkville vs. Alabama in Starkville

4:30 p.m.: Scores of top 25 games from around the nation:
No. 1 Ohio State 14, Illinois 14 (2Q)
UCLA 10, No. 9 Arizona State 0 (2Q)
No. 10 Georgia 10, No. 18 Auburn 3 (2Q)
No. 11 Virginia Tech 6, Florida State 6 (1Q)
Cincinnati 13, No. 13 Connecticut 0 (2Q)
No. 14 Texas 14, Texas Tech 10 (2Q)
No. 20 Boise State 31, Utah State 0 (2Q)
No. 25 Kentucky 20, Vandy 13 (3Q)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

4:35 p.m.: ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some first quarter stats to think about:

• Ohio State had allowed seven touchdowns all season, and gave up two to Illinois.

• The longest rush by any opposing player had been 28 yards until Daniel Dufrene went 80 on the Illini's second snap.

• The longest touchdown from scrimmage had been by an opponent had been 28 yards until Juice Williams threw a 33-yard scoring pass to Jacob Willis.

• And the poor kickoff return team: the Buckeyes had returned only 20 kicks all season, which is what happens when the opponents never score. Ohio State returned three in the first quarter alone. Those guys must be worn out.

4:45 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Daniel Dufrene's 80-yard run for Illinois in the first quarter is tied for the third-longest rushing play allowed by an Ohio State defense in school history. The other two running backs to go for 80 against the Buckeyes: O.J. Simpson (USC) in the 1969 Rose Bowl and Clinton Jones (Michigan State) in 1965. The longest rushing play allowed by Ohio State was a 91-yard run by Larry Ferguson (Iowa) in 1960.

5:00 p.m.: ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell is having a sick game. He's hit 20 of his first 21 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns -- and his team is still behind 28-17 to Texas with 6:25 left in the first half. The Red Raiders and Longhorns have already combined for 420 yards of total offense and 26 first downs and only 24 minutes have been played.

5:15 p.m.: ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Illinois put No. 1 Ohio State on its heels in the first half with quick offense, limiting the Buckeyes' ability to substitute for down-and-distance, and by winning the field-position game, a part of the game that Jim Tressel's teams rarely lose. Illinois scored on touchdown drives of 55 yards and 52 yards.

Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman set up the first one by short-arming a pass into the hands of Dere Hicks. The Illini defense set up the second one by gaining 28 yards on an exchange of punts.

Juice Williams set a career-best in the first half with three toucdhown passes -- and has a half to go. Yikes. Illinois has 21 points and 230 yards of total offense in a half against a team that has allowed 9.7 and 221.2, respectively.

Boeckman has not had time to throw, and when he has, he has missed receivers, including a wide-open tight end Jake Ballard at the Illini 10. The Buckeyes got to the Illini 37 on that drive before a false start and a sack pushed them on the wrong side of midfield. After completing his first five passes, Boeckman finished the half 2-for-8.

This is not a No. 1 team. Lucky thing for Ohio State, no one votes at halftime. Stay tuned.

5:25 p.m.: Scores of top 25 games from around the nation:
Illinois 21, No. 1 Ohio State 14 (3Q)
UCLA 13, No. 9 Arizona State 10 (2Q)
No. 10 Georgia 17, No. 18 Auburn 10 (Half)
No. 11 Virginia Tech 20, Florida State 6 (Half)
Cincinnati 13, No. 13 Connecticut 3 (Half)
No. 14 Texas 28, Texas Tech 20 (Half)
No. 20 Boise State 38, Utah State 0 (3Q)
No. 25 Kentucky 27, Vandy 20 (4Q)
Follow all the scores from today's action here

5:30 p.m.: ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- It's a weird offensive battle. Texas Tech has picked up 237 yards of total offense -- minus-3 yards rushing and 240 passing. Texas is a little more balanced -- 184 yards rushing and 90 passing. I still get the idea that whatever team has the ball last will end up winning this one.

Despite allowing a lot of yards between the 20-yard lines, Texas' defense came up with key third-down stops to force Tech field goals. Holding them to three points rather than seven is the main reason the Longhorns are ahead at the half, 28-20.

Texas' banged-up offensive line took another hit when starting left tackle Tony Hills went down with an ankle injury that required him to be carted off the field. Starting center Chris Hall moved to LT and backup Buck Burnette entered the lineup.

Jamaal Charles isn't waiting for the fourth quarter to become a force. He rushed for 165 yards on 18 carries, including runs of 12, 11, 10, 14, 36 and a 24-yard TD run. Charles rushed for a career-best 290 yards against Nebraska two weeks ago, which is the fourth best in school history. UT's top effort was Ricky Williams (350 yards) against Iowa State in 1998.

Tech QB Harrell hit his first 12 passes and 20 of his first 21 passes before throwing back-to-back incompletions. He finished the first half with 24 of 30 for 240 yards and two TDs.

5:45 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Illinois leads 28-14 late in the third quarter in Columbus, but history tells you it's far from over because there's a big difference between leading and winning. Consider the Illini's history against No. 1 teams:

Illinois is 3-14 all-time against top-ranked opponents and hasn't beaten a No. 1 team since 1956 (beat Michigan St. 20-13). The Illini have lost 11 straight meetings with No. 1 teams. Ironically, Illinois' last 6 meetings vs No. 1 teams have all been against Ohio State. Furthermore, Illinois has never beaten a No. 1 ranked team on the road.

5:50 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Notable streaks on the line (OSU is down 2 touchdowns):
• Ohio State has won Big Ten record 20 consecutive conference games
• Buckeyes have won school-record 28 consecutive regular season games
• Buckeyes have won 18 straight home games, tied with LSU for longest active streak
• Illini have lost 11 consecutive games vs No. 1 teams (last 6 vs OSU)

6:00 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Irish fans can look forward to next season. Every time the Irish have lost 7 or more games in a season, they went at least .500 in the next season. If the Irish do lose today, it'll be the first time in school history they've lost 9 games in a season. It would also mark the first time since 1944 that ND lost to two service academies in the same season.

6:05 p.m.: ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas pushed the lead to 35-20 on a 20-yard pass from Colt McCoy to Quan Cosby where McCoy bought extra time by scrambling for a couple of moments before Cosby broke free. The 17-play, 86-yard drive that consumed 6 minutes, 51 seconds was extended by a 6-yard run by Jordan Shipley on a fake field goal play. But of more immediate concern was an injury to Jamaal Charles, who limped off the field with a gimpy left ankle on his first carry and missed the rest of the drive. Texas trainers taped Charles' ankle and he was walking along the Longhorn sidelines. It could be hard for the Longhorns to put away Tech if Charles doesn't return.

6:15 p.m.: ESPN.com's David Albright
While we're waiting to see how the Illinois-Ohio State game turns out, is anybody paying attention to what's going on in Denton, Texas? At the half, North Texas leads Navy 49-45. At the half. UNT QB Giovanni Vizza has 342 passing yards and 7 TDs. And the two teams have combined for 828 total yards. Did I mention it was at the half?

6:25 p.m.: ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas' defense might have come up with the stop that turns the game around, holding the Red Raiders on fourth down from the Texas 23 when Tech QB Graham Harrell overthrew Danny Amendola in the Texas end zone.

On the play before the stop, Tech scored on a fourth-down 13-yard TD pass from Harrell to Amendola. The play was nullified after Tech LG Louis Vasquez was flagged for holding.

Jamaal Charles has returned to the Texas locker room to have his injured ankle re-taped.

The game is turning chippy with a lot of jawing between both sides. Tech coach Mike Leach went out on the field after two plays on Tech's last possession, but was not penalized. And after the drive, Leach was jawing with referee Randy Christal after two replays went Texas' way on the drive.

6:30 p.m.: Scores of top 25 games from around the nation:
Illinois 28, No. 1 Ohio State 21 (Final)
No. 9 Arizona State 24, UCLA 20 (4Q)
No. 10 Georgia 31, No. 18 Auburn 20 (4Q)
Florida State 21, No. 11 Virginia Tech 20 (3Q)
Cincinnati 27, No. 13 Connecticut 3 (4Q)
No. 14 Texas 35, Texas Tech 20 (4Q)

Follow all the scores from today's action here

6:35 p.m.: From ESPN Research:
Some notes after Illinois' 28-21 win over No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus:

• 1st win vs. No. 1 team since 1956 (Michigan State)
• 1st-ever win vs. No. 1 team on road
• 4th all-time win vs. No. 1 team (18th game)
• 3rd win in last 4 games at Columbus
• 8 wins for 1st time since 2001 season
• 1st team to rush for over 200 yards vs Ohio State since 2001 (Minnesota)

6:45 p.m.: Thanks for joining us this afternoon and we'll see you next week. Enjoy the rest of your college football Saturday. And follow the fortunes of (or lack thereof) your favorite team here.