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Around the Nation: College football 11/2/11
By Robert Gillard (Sports Writer)
Published November 2, 2011

No 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama will play this Saturday in the latest “Game of the Century.”  Photos by AP


After a highly contested battle at the Coliseum, Stanford inches closer to national championship contention. Also, Wisconsin continues to fall, Joe Pa moves ahead of another legend, and a look ahead at the latest “Game of the Century.” 

Stanford making a case for the BCS title game

Quarterback Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal came to the Coliseum and took care of business.

A game that Stanford led 10-6 at halftime ended in dramatic fashion after triple overtime, 56-48.

Luck completed 29 of 40 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Yet it was his lone interception that was the impetus for what turned out to be one of the best games of the season.

With the game tied late and at his own 33-yard line, Luck threw an interception that Trojans cornerback Nickell Robey returned for a touchdown, which sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Luck, like a true Heisman Trophy contender, responded with a 10-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off by a touchdown with 38 seconds remaining, and the Cardinal ultimately came up with the victory. 

Next for Stanford is Oregon State this Saturday.

Wisconsin continues to drop

When Wisconsin lost on October 22 to Michigan State on a hail-mary pass, they pretty much fell out of the national championship picture. Yet they still had much to play for, including a chance to play in the inaugural Big Ten championship game and in the Rose Bowl. Those goals appear to be out of reach now, too, as Wisconsin lost to Ohio State 33-29 on Saturday.

The game must have seemed eerily similar to Wisconsin, who saw Ohio St. quarterback Braxton Miller connect on a 40-yard pass to a wide open Devin Smith in the end zone with 20 seconds remaining.

Joe Paterno is on top

The biggest headline from Penn State’s 10-7 win over Illinois last week wasn’t about anything that happened on the field.

It was that the Nittany Lions head coach, 84-year old Joe Paterno, became the winningest coach in Division-I college football history with 409 victories.

Paterno surpassed the late Eddie Robinson, who coached at Grambling State University from 1941 – 1997.

Since becoming Penn State’s head coach in 1966, Paterno has had 38 winning seasons and has won two national championships.

The records keep coming for Houston’s Case Keenum.

A week after becoming the Football Bowl Subdivision all-time leader in total offense, Houston quarterback Case Keenum set the FBS record for most touchdown passes in last week’s drubbing of Rice.

The sixth-year senior threw nine touchdowns in the 73-34 victory, bringing his career total to 139.

The next attainable record for Keenum is career-passing yards. He needs 268 yards to eclipse the total of 17,072 set by Timmy Chang while at Hawaii. Keenum’s next chance is this Saturday against UAB.

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama

The game that college football fans have been waiting for all season is finally upon us. No. 1 LSU gets set to take on No. 2 Alabama this Saturday in a game that is being hailed as “The Tussle in Tuscaloosa.”

The winner of this game positions itself that much closer to the national championship game. The loser will be on the outside looking in.

Without question this game will be one predicated by defense, with each team boasting a top-five unit. The two teams combined have 12 players who were named to the preseason All-SEC defensive teams.

Both teams feature solid but unspectacular play at quarterback, with LSU averaging just 183 passing yards per game. Yet Alabama has the true difference maker at running back in Heisman hopeful Trent Richardson, who is averaging 123.6 rushing yards per game.

Nick Saban is 2-2 against his former team as head coach of Alabama.

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Categories: Football

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