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Tebow, Gators swamp Tigers

Florida running back Jeffrey Demps runs for a 42-yard TD in the second half on Saturday.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida running back Jeffrey Demps runs for a 42-yard TD in the second half on Saturday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Tim Tebow and No. 11 Florida looked like the juggernaut everyone expected this season.

Tebow threw two touchdown passes to Percy Harvin and ran for a score, and the Gators thumped defending national champion LSU 51-21 Saturday night at The Swamp in Gainesville, Fla.

The fourth-ranked Tigers (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had won six consecutive games, 19 in a row at night and 23 straight in regulation. Florida (5-1, 3-1) ended all those streaks with a fast start and some huge plays from Tebow, Harvin, Jeff Demps and Brandon Spikes.

LSU lost for the first time in regulation since falling 23-10 two years ago in Gainesville – taking the worst beating of coach Les Miles’ four-year career with the Tigers. They had three turnovers.

It was the most-lopsided loss for LSU since a 31-0 beating at home by Alabama in 2002, when Nick Saban was leading the Tigers. The last time LSU gave up more points, Steve Spurrier’s Gators beat the Tigers 56-13 in 1996.

LSU trailed 20-0 late in the first half, but scored touchdowns going into the locker room and coming out to make it a game and put all the pressure on Florida.

Tebow hardly flinched, responding with a 67-yard TD drive that included a perfect pass to Louis Murphy down the sideline and a few nifty runs.

The Gators pulled away from there, getting a 42-yard TD run from Demps, a 52-yard interception return for a score from Spikes and a short TD run from Kestahn Moore.

Tebow finished 14-of-21 passing for 210 yards. He also ran 12 times for 22 yards. Harvin had six catches for 112 yards.

(6) Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7: With coach Joe Paterno perched in the press box for the second straight week because of a bum leg, Daryll Clark threw for a touchdown and ran for two more as the Nittany Lions (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) dismantled the Badgers (3-3, 0-3) in Madison, Wis.

It is Penn State’s 11th 7-0 start under Paterno and first since 1999. The Nittany Lions also won back-to-back Big Ten road games for the first time since ’99.

It was the second straight home loss and most lopsided loss since 1989 for Wisconsin.

(9) BYU 21, New Mexico 3: Max Hall threw for three touchdowns and the Cougars (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) survived their lowest scoring game of the season to beat the Lobos (3-4, 1-2) in Provo, Utah, extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 straight.

BYU needed Hall’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie with 3:05 left in the game to seal it.

(10) Georgia 26, Tennessee 14: Matthew Stafford passed for a career-best 310 yards, Knowshon Moreno ran for 101 yards and the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) beat Tennessee in Athens, Ga., leaving the Volunteers 0-3 in the SEC for the first time in 20 years.

Tennessee netted only 1 yard on the ground, but the Vols capitalized on two interceptions thrown by Stafford for their only touchdowns. Nick Stephens, in his second career start, threw two TD passes for Tennessee.

(12) Ohio State 16, Purdue 3: Malcolm Jenkins blocked a punt and Etienne Sabino returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to lead the Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) over the Boilermakers (2-4, 0-2) in Columbus, Ohio.

Tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells totaled 94 yards on 22 carries for the Buckeyes.

Mississippi State 17, (13) Vanderbilt 14: Anthony Dixon rushed for 107 yards, De’Mon Glanton set up the game-clinching touchdown with an interception and the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-2 SEC) upset the Commodores (5-1, 3-1) in Starkville, Miss.

Vanderbilt was looking to go 6-0 for the first time since 1928.

(14) Utah 40, Wyoming 7: Matt Asiata ran for a touchdown and caught another and the Utes (7-0, 3-0 MWC) romped to a victory over the Cowboys (2-5, 0-4) in Laramie, Wyo.

Cornerback Sean Smith led the Utah defense with two interceptions.

(16) Kansas 30, Colorado 14: Jake Sharp carried 31 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Reesing threw for 256 yards and another score, leading the Jayhawks (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) past the Buffaloes (3-3, 0-2) in Lawrence, Kan.

Arkansas 25, (20) Auburn 22: Michael Smith rushed for 176 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 63-yard run in the fourth quarter and the Razorbacks (3-3, 1-2 SEC) mounted two late defensive stands to upset the Tigers (4-3, 2-3) in Auburn, Ala.

Arkansas, a 19-point underdog, outgained Auburn 416-193.

(22) North Carolina 29, Notre Dame 24: Cameron Sexton scored on a leaping 4-yard keeper to start the fourth quarter, Quan Sturdivant returned an interception for a touchdown and the Tar Heels (5-1) rallied to beat the Fighting Irish (4-2) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Ryan Houston scored on a short run for the Tar Heels, who are off to their best start since winning the first eight games of the 1997 season. Hakeem Nicks added nine catches for 141 yards and freshman walk-on Casey Barth kicked three field goals, helping North Carolina rally from an 11-point first-half deficit and beat the Fighting Irish for just the second time in 18 meetings.

(23) Michigan State 37, Northwestern 20: Javon Ringer ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) over the Wildcats (5-1, 1-1) in Evanston, Ill.

Brian Hoyer added two short touchdown passes for the Spartans, who jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back.

(25) Ball State 24, Western Kentucky 7: Nate Davis threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns and the Cardinals (7-0) overcame a slow start to beat the Hilltoppers (2-5) in Bowling Green, Ky.

MiQuale Lewis ran for 112 yards and a score for Ball State, which was playing its first game as a ranked team in school history.


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