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Oklahoma State passes a big test

No. 7 Cowboys rally, top No. 8 Texas A&M

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden passed for a school-record 438 yards and two touchdowns. Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden passed for a school-record 438 yards and two touchdowns. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)
Associated Press / September 25, 2011

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Brandon Weeden threw for a school-record 438 yards and two scores and Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper combined for 244 receiving yards as No. 7 Oklahoma State rallied for a 30-29 win over No. 8 Texas A&M yesterday in College Station, Texas.

The Aggies built a 20-3 halftime lead before the Cowboys (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) took advantage of three Texas A&M turnovers and numerous penalties to reel off 27 straight points for a 30-20 lead.

“The way they handled that situation was beautiful,’’ Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said of his team’s second half. “And the win makes it special. The way they fought back as a group shows a lot about their character.’’

Jeff Fuller caught a 4-yard touchdown pass with 2:20 remaining for A&M’s first score since the second quarter to get A&M within 30-27.

A&M’s defense forced a punt and the Aggies (2-1, 0-1) got the ball back with almost two minutes remaining, but Ryan Tannehill threw his third interception to seal the Cowboys’ win.

Blackmon ran 39 yards into A&M’s end zone for a safety as time expired to leave it at 30-29.

Oklahoma State won its fourth straight in the series and seventh overall on the road in the first top-10 matchup at Kyle Field since 1975.

Texas A&M kept Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense in check through the first two quarters, but looked frazzled and tired dealing with its frenetic pace after halftime.

“They did a nice job of coming out in the second half and changing the tempo of the game and taking advantage of it,’’ Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said. “They kind of had us on our heels.’’

Jeremy Smith ran untouched into the end zone on a 13-yard run that cut the lead to 20-10 early in the third quarter. Blackmon’s TD catch got the Cowboys within 3, and they took a 24-20 lead when Weeden found Tracy Moore on a 4-yard pass after an A&M fumble. Quinn Sharp added two short field goals in the fourth quarter to extend the lead.

Tannehill threw for 309 yards and two scores and Ryan Swope had 105 receiving yards for A&M.

Cooper had 11 catches for 123 yards, Blackmon had 11 receptions for 121 yards, and Hubert Anyiam had 10 receptions for 92 yards. It was the first time in Oklahoma State history that three receivers had at least 10 catches in a game.

LSU 47, West Virginia 21 - Jarrett Lee threw three touchdown passes, Michael Ford ran for two scores, and the No. 2 Tigers made a case to be No. 1, beating the No. 16 Mountaineers in Morgantown.

The Tigers (4-0) converted two turnovers into scores, built a big early lead, and withstood West Virginia’s strong comeback for its third win over a ranked opponent this season, with all of three coming away from home. Every win so far has been by double digits.

West Virginia (3-1) outgained LSU, 533-366, and Geno Smith set school records for completions (38), attempts (65), and passing yards (463). But he was intercepted twice after making one in the previous three games.

Alabama 38, Arkansas 14 - Trent Richardson rushed for 120 yards and caught a 61-yard touchdown pass as the No. 3 Crimson Tide overwhelmed the No. 14 Razorbacks in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern) scored on special teams, defense, and using the old-fashioned power run to emphatically win the SEC West showdown that Arkansas (3-1, 0-1) hoped would stamp it as a legitimate contender. Instead, the league’s top defense thoroughly overpowered Tyler Wilson and the No. 1 offense.

Tide quarterback AJ McCarron also came up big in his first SEC start, completing 15 of 20 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. McCarron, also the holder, hooked up with tight end Michael Williams for a 37-yard touchdown on a fake field goal.

Marquis Maze scored on an 83-yard punt return and DeQuan Menzie returned an interception 25 yards for another score.

The Razorbacks came in averaging 47 points and 517 yards a game against questionable competition, but didn’t muster many threats this time. They managed just 17 yards on 19 rushes and were outgained, 397-226.

Oklahoma 38, Missouri 28 - Landry Jones threw for 448 yards and three touchdowns to Ryan Broyles, leading the top-ranked Sooners back from a rare home deficit to beat the Tigers.

Missouri (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) pounced early to take a 14-3 first-quarter lead, breaking a streak of 20 straight home games in which Oklahoma (3-0, 1-0) never trailed. It didn’t last long, though. The Sooners roared back with 28 straight points to avenge a loss in Columbia last year when they were first in the BCS standings and move their home winning streak to 38 straight games.

Boise St. 41, Tulsa 21 - Kellen Moore tossed four touchdown passes, a pair to Tyler Shoemaker, in less than 2 1/2 quarters, Jerrell Givens intercepted Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinnie twice, and the No. 4 Broncos (3-0) rolled past the Hurricanes (1-3) in their home opener, their 33d straight win in Boise.

Moore tossed his final TD pass on the Broncos’ first drive of the second half, a 10-yard strike to Mitch Burroughs then donned a blue baseball cap and headset the rest of the night. He finished 23 of 29 for 279 yards and now has 12 touchdowns against two interceptions in three games.

Wisconsin 59, South Dakota 10 - Nick Toon had a career-high 155 yards receiving and two touchdowns, helping the No. 6 Badgers blow out the Championship Subdivision Coyotes at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin (4-0) recovered from a slow start to take control with a 21-point outburst in the final six minutes of the second quarter. James White had a 49-yard touchdown run, Toon scored on a 59-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Russell Wilson and Toon added another score with 12 seconds left to send Wisconsin into halftime with a 31-3 lead.

Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14 - Rex Burkhead rushed for two touchdowns and a career-high 170 yards, Taylor Martinez threw for 157 yards and another score, and the No. 9 Cornhuskers rolled past the Cowboys.

Nebraska (4-0) rolled up 490 yards total offense, including 333 on the ground, in their first road game of the season and last game before their Big Ten opener at Wisconsin next weekend.

South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 3 - Marcus Lattimore scored two touchdowns and had 150 yards from scrimmage to lead the No. 12 Gamecocks past the visiting Commodores.

South Carolina (4-0, 2-0 SEC) won on defense, holding the Commodores (3-1, 1-1) to 77 yards. The Gamecocks are 4-0 for the first time in coach Steve Spurrier’s seven seasons.

Florida 48, Kentucky 10 - Jeff Demps ran 10 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 15 Gators routed the host Wildcats for their 25th straight win in the series.

Florida (4-0, 2-0 SEC) scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:31 during the first quarter, taking advantage of two turnovers by Kentucky (2-2, 0-1). Trey Burton had a 1-yard TD that put the Gators up, 21-0, and Demps ran 84 yards for a score, Florida’s longest since Emmitt Smith’s 96-yarder against Mississippi State in 1988.

Baylor 56, Rice 31 - Robert Griffin continued his incredible feat of throwing more touchdown passes than incompletions, tossing for five scores and running for another to lead the No. 17 Bears (3-0) past the Owls (1-2) in Waco, Texas.

Griffin was 29 of 33 for 338 yards, upping his season totals to 13 touchdowns and 12 incompletions.

South Florida 52, UTEP 24 - B.J. Daniels threw for 202 yards and ran for 130 more, leading the No. 18 Bulls (4-0) to the home rout of the Miners (2-2).

TCU 55, Portland St. 13 - The No. 20 Horned Frogs (3-1) scored three TDs in a span of 1:18 just before halftime and Waymon James ran 65 yards for a score on the first play of the second half en route to their 22d straight home win.

Michigan 28, San Diego St. 7 - Quarterback Denard Robinson ran for three scores in the first half to give the No. 22 Wolverines a three-touchdown lead and finished with a season-high 200 yards rushing in a rout of the visiting Aztecs.

The matchup pitted new coach Brady Hoke and Michigan (4-0) against San Diego State (3-1), which had been coached the last two seasons by Hoke.

Illinois 23, W. Michigan 20 - Troy Pollard rushed for a career-high 133 yards and the No. 24 Illini (4-0) needed all three of Derek Dimke’s field goals to survive the visiting Broncos (2-2).