Kansas State bolsters national title hopes

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein beats TCU defenders Elisha Olabode (6) and Chris Hackett to the end zone during the No. 3 Wildcats ‘ victory.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein beats TCU defenders Elisha Olabode (6) and Chris Hackett to the end zone during the No. 3 Wildcats ‘ victory. –AP

Collin Klein, starting a week after suffering an apparent head injury, ran for two touchdowns and No. 3 Kansas State bolstered its national title hopes with a 23-10 victory over Big 12 newcomer Texas Christian Saturday night in Fort Worth.

Only a few minutes after Kansas State’s game started, and a rare Klein turnover, SEC newcomer and former Big 12 team Texas A&M finished off its 29-24 victory at Alabama, the No. 1 team in the BCS standings and AP poll.

That set up the Wildcats (10-0, 7-0 Big 12) to likely take over the top spot when the new BCS rankings come out Sunday.

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Kansas State, 10-0 for only the second time under coach Bill Snyder, was already No. 2 in the BCS standings, one spot ahead of Oregon. The Ducks, No. 2 in the AP poll, played California later Saturday night.

Klein’s third interception of the season came on only the fourth play against TCU. Freshman defensive end Devonte Fields was back in coverage when he made a diving grab for his first career pick. The Horned Frogs (6-4, 3-4) failed to take advantage by going three-and-out and Klein then hit Chris Harper for a 62-yard pass, and ended that drive with a 7-yard TD run.

Georgia 38, Auburn 0 — Aaron Murray passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for more than 100 yards, and the No. 5 Bulldogs (9-1, 7-1 Southeastern) overwhelmed the host Tigers (2-8, 0-7) sending Georgia back to the SEC title game.

Florida 27, La.-Lafayette 20 — Jelani Jenkins returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown with two seconds remaining, giving the No. 7 Gators (9-1) the comeback win over visiting Ragin’ Cajuns.

Florida (9-1) did little on offense and looked to be in serious trouble when quarterback Jeff Driskel left the game with an ankle injury.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (5-4) led, 20-13, after Alonzo Harris’s 2-yard run and a blocked punt for a touchdown. But Florida backup Jacoby Brissett rallied the Gators, hitting Quinton Dunbar for 3-yard score with 1:42 remaining.

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LSU 37, Mississippi St. 17 — Zach Mettenberger passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and the ninth-ranked Tigers (8-2, 4-2 SEC) kept alive faint hope of a Southeastern Conference title with a win over the No. 23 Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) in Baton Rouge.

Clemson 45, Maryland 10 — Tajh Boyd threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 10 Tigers (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast) routed the Terrapins for their sixth straight win and record 12th in a row at Death Valley. The Terps (4-6, 2-4) again started linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback because of season-ending injuries to their four scholarship passers.

Syracuse 45, Louisville 26 — Ryan Nassib threw for 246 yards, Jerome Smith ran for 144 yards, and the host Orange (5-5, 3-3 Big East) handed the No. 11 Cardinals (9-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season.

Teddy Bridgewater completed 36 of 49 passes for 426 yards and three TDs for Louisville.

South Carolina 38, Arkansas 20 — Connor Shaw threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score as the No. 12 Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern) rolled past the visiting Razorbacks (4-6, 2-4).

Stanford 27, Oregon State 23 — Kevin Hogan threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start, and the host No. 16 Cardinal (8-2, 6-1) overcame four turnovers to rally past the No. 13 Beavers (7-2, 5-2) and stay in control of their Pac-12 title hopes.

Cody Vaz fumbled late in the fourth quarter to give Stanford the ball at the Beavers’ 29. Hogan hit tight end Zach Ertz for a 13-yard go-ahead touchdown.

Oklahoma 42, Baylor 34 — Landry Jones threw for 277 yards and two TDs, Damien Williams ran for 99 yards and two scores, and the No. 14 Sooners (7-2, 5-1 Big 12) beat the visiting Bears (4-5, 1-5) to move Bob Stoops into second place on the school’s career victory list with his 146th win.

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Nebraska 32, Penn State 23 — Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner for Nebraska’s first lead, and the No. 18 Cornhuskers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) overcame a double-digit, second-half deficit for the fourth time this season and edged the visiting Nittany Lions (6-4, 4-2).

Texas 33, Iowa State 7 — David Ash passed for 364 yards and two touchdowns and the No. 19 Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) honored former coach Darrell Royal by whipping the visiting Cyclones (5-5, 2-5) .

Texas paid tribute during the game to Royal, who died Wednesday at age 88. Texas lined up in the wishbone, the formation Royal introduced to college football in 1968, on the Longhorns’ first play. Instead of a run, Texas ran a trick play that resulted in a 47-yard pass.

La. Tech 62, Texas St. 55 — Kenneth Dixon ran for four touchdowns to set a single-season NCAA freshman record and the No. 19 Bulldogs (9-1, 4-0 WAC) scored on all but two possessions to beat the host Bobcats (3-6, 1-3). Dixon set records for rushing touchdowns (24) and total points (150) by a freshman.

Southern Cal 38, Arizona State 17 — Marqise Lee caught 10 passes for 161 yards and a TD, Curtis McNeal rushed for 163 yards and two scores, and the No. 21 Trojans (7-3, 5-3 Pac-12) bounced back from consecutive losses to rout the visiting Sun Devils (5-5, 3-4).

Rutgers 28, Army 7 — Brandon Coleman ignited a 21-point burst in the final 8:48, scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 31-yard pass from Gary Nova, and the No. 24 Scarlet Knights (8-1) edged the visiting Black Knights (2-8).

Texas Tech 41, Kansas 34 — Eric Stephens threw a 3-yard pass to Darrin Moore for a touchdown in double overtime to lead the No. 25 Red Raiders (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) past the visiting Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7).

The win was marred by Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville appearing to slap a graduate assistant on the sideline, a video of which went viral on the Internet as the game was still being played. Tuberville downplayed the incident on the sideline in the third quarter, saying he didn’t mean to hit graduate assistant Kevin Oliver.

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