Pat White has No. 4 West Virginia on the brink of playing for a national championship.
White rushed for 186 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead the Mountaineers to a 66-21 win over No. 20 Connecticut last night in Morgantown, W.Va., clinching the Big East championship and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
With one more win next week against Pittsburgh, the Mountaineers might be headed to the biggest BCS game of all - the championship game Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
West Virginia (10-1, 5-1) will move up at least one spot to second in the BCS standings today following top-ranked LSU's loss to Arkansas Friday. The Mountaineers have won six straight since losing to South Florida Sept. 28.
"We want to finish the deal next week in a big rivalry game," Rodriguez said. "We haven't played Pitt with more at stake."
Connecticut's dreams of a BCS berth in only its fourth season in the conference were dashed in a big way. UConn (9-3, 5-2) was limited to one second-half touchdown and a defense that was ranked third in the nation in points allowed coming in (14 per game) gave up the most points the Huskies have permitted in seven years.
The Mountaineers amassed a season-high 517 yards on the ground. Freshman Noel Devine rushed for 118 yards on 11 carries. Steve Slaton had a pair of TD runs, which were set up by long runs by White.
"It was a great performance by us," White said. "The offensive line did an excellent job of blocking. They wore them out. There is a lot of speed in the backfield. It's a little dangerous. It gives defenses headaches."
UConn had the fewest turnovers in the Big East but West Virginia had three takeaways and turned them into touchdowns. Tyler Lorenzen was sacked five times.
"We just ran into an outstanding football team and one that I hope goes and wins a national championship," Huskies coach Randy Edsall said.
UCLA 16, Oregon 0 - Freshman Kai Forbath kicked three field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder, and the host Bruins took advantage of the No. 9 Ducks' shorthanded quarterback situation to hand Oregon its first shutout loss in more than 22 years.
Oregon (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) had been bounced out of the national championship picture Nov. 15, when Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon left in the first quarter of a 34-24 loss at Arizona with a torn knee ligament. The Ducks lost backup Brady Leaf late in the first quarter of this game, and young signal-callers Cody Kempt and Justin Roper were unable to generate any offense as Oregon was shut out for the first time since losing, 63-0, to Nebraska in 1985.
The result left No. 11 Southern Cal in a position to win its sixth straight Pac-10 championship and play in the Rose Bowl. All the Trojans (9-2, 6-2) need to do is beat UCLA (6-5, 5-3) next Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Ducks gained only 148 yards against the Bruins, who snapped a three-game skid despite gaining only 10 first downs and 220 total yards.
Tennessee 52, Kentucky 50 - The No. 19 Volunteers stuffed a scrambling Andre Woodson on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth overtime to secure a wild victory in Lexington, Ky., and a spot in the Southeastern Conference title game.
Tennessee's 23d straight win over Kentucky handed the Volunteers (9-3, 6-2) the SEC East title and a shot at LSU in next week's conference championship game. Tennessee and Georgia finished tied atop the division, but the Volunteers earned the title thanks to their 35-14 win over the Bulldogs Oct. 6.
Erik Ainge threw for a career-high 397 yards and seven touchdowns and running back Arian Foster had 216 total yards for the Volunteers. Woodson matched Ainge throw for throw, passing for 430 yards and six touchdowns, but the Wildcats (7-5, 3-5) let a chance to beat the Vols for the first time since 1984 get away.
Kentucky trailed by 17 in the second half but had its chances late, none better than in the second overtime, when after Sam Maxwell intercepted Ainge near the goal line, Lones Seiber's 35-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Dan Williams.
Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma St. 17 - Allen Patrick rushed for a career-best 202 yards and two scores as the No. 10 Sooners (10-2, 6-2) wrapped up a spot in the Big 12 championship game by blasting the rival Cowboys in Norman, Okla.
Sam Bradford returned from a concussion in Oklahoma's loss at Texas Tech last week to break the NCAA freshman record for touchdown passes. He had four, giving him 32.
BYU 17, Utah 10 - At Provo, Utah, Harvey Unga ran for an 11-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left as the No. 23 Cougars (9-2, 7-0) rallied past the Utes (8-4, 5-3) to clinch a second straight outright Mountain West title.
Cincinnati 52, Syracuse 31 - Ben Mauk threw for a career-high 431 yards and four touchdowns in Syracuse, N.Y., and the No. 24 Bearcats (9-3, 4-3 Big East) reached nine wins for the first time since 1953.
Auburn 17, Alabama 10 - The 25th-ranked Tigers (8-4, 5-3 SEC) won the Iron Bowl for a school-record sixth straight time when Brandon Cox scored on a 1-yard sneak with 3:50 left. The visiting Crimson Tide (6-6, 4-4) dropped their fourth in a row.