NCAA National Football Tournament (Elite 8/Final 4 Results)
I had just realized that I didn't even post last week's Elite 8 results. Sorry guys. That's what happens when you work two jobs I guess.... Anywho.... Here are the results, setting up the big title game.
#1 Oklahoma State d. #6 Penn State, 36-7
Brandon Weeden passed for 334 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Cowboys to a lopsided victory. Weeden connected on touchdown passes with Justin Horton, Tracy Moore, and Colton Chelf. Justin Blackmon remained his favorite target with 11 catches for 113 yards. Meanwhile, Quinn Sharp was perfect on field goals, connecting on five of them with a long of 44.
Penn State, meanwhile, never got it going as Matt McGloin completed just fifty percent of his passes for 138 yards, a lone 31-yard TD to Justin Brown, and 3 interceptions. Silas Redd added 109 yards on the ground in the loss.
#1 Alabama d. #2 Oregon, 37-24
AJ McCarron had a miserable day. Although he connected on 20 of his 36 passes for 275 yards and a TD, he also threw 4 interceptions causing concern for Nick Saban heading forward. Dee Milliner played a large part in the win by bringing down 3 interceptions and being honored as the player of the game. Marquis Maze was McCarron's favorite target, hauling in 5 passes for 83 yards, and adding a special teams TD with a 81-yard punt return. Trent Richardson had 119 yards on 25 carries and Jeremy Shelley hit 5 of his 6 FG attempts to power the Tide.
LaMichael James led the Ducks with 166 yards and 2 TDs. He was the lone spark on offense however as QB Darron Thomas struggled with 14-of-30 passing for 100 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT. Defensively, Boseko Lokombo had 2 picks and Nick Musgrove had 2 sacks. Oregon had the game tied at 10 at halftime, trailed 23-17 by the start of the fourth, and ended up with a 13-point loss.
#2 Boise State d. #4 Michigan, 27-14
Kellen Moore had a heckuva day, tossing for 300 yards and 2 TDs. Doug Martin added 128 yards and a rushing TD. Moore connected with Tyler Shoemaker on a 29-yard TD and Kirby Moore for a 18-yard TD to lead the Broncos.
Michigan's Denard Robinson played well, completing nearly 67% of his passes for 179 yards and a TD while adding 72 yards on the ground. Fitzgerald Toussaint became largely ineffective despite his 94 yards rushing and kicker Brendan Gibbons missed two field goals.
#7 USC d. #1 LSU, 36-31
With :24 left in the third quarter, LSU's hopes looked dim. The Bayou Bengals were trailing 30-10 and getting basted by Matt Barkley (25-43, 344 yds, 3 TDs, INT) and Robert Woods (10 rec, 146 yds, TD). They made a valiant comeback behind the arm of Jordan Jefferson who completed two TD passes, one to Reuben Randle and the other to Russell Shepard. Alfred Blue added a 19-yard TD, but Spencer Ware was the main back with 93 yards and a TD.
Curtis McNeal and Marc Tyler added a rushing threat as McNeal marched for 71 yards and a TD and Tyler rushed for 47 yards and hauled in a 10-yd TD reception. Brandon Carswell had 5 catches for 110 yards.
#1 Oklahoma State d. #1 Alabama, 37-28
The nation's top defense, largely considered one of the greatest of all-time and loaded with first-round draft picks, looked very average for at least one quarter. The Tide were outscored in the second quarter, 24-7, and trailed 31-14 at halftime. Brandon Weeden led the Cowboys with 371 yards and 3 TDs. Justin Blackmon had 11 catches for 107 yards, showing why he is the top receiver in the draft against top competition. Josh Cooper had 100 yards receiving as well. Joseph Randle added a different dimension, handling 123 yards on just 19 carries, and also had 4 receptions for 30 yards and a TD.
Alabama's Trent Richardson held his own with 24 carries for 148 yards and a TD of 36 yards. AJ McCarron, largely considered the weak link to this team, was 18 of 37 for 230 yards and an interception, but he did rush for an 11-yard score. Dont'a Hightower harrassed Weeden with 3 sacks.
#7 USC d. #2 Boise State, 47-41
In a wild see-saw battle, USC found a way to win. The Trojans jumped out of the gates early, securing a 21-0 lead with 3:45 left in the second quarter. Boise State answered with two quick TDs to cut the defecit to a single TD at halftime. In the second half, as the two teams started scoring even quicker, USC seized a 3 point lead late in the fourth. However, the Broncos surged forward and Dan Goodale hit a 25-yard FG with :41 left to tie the game. The game looked to be going to OT, but Matt Barkley quickly drove his team down the field. On a late rush to set up FG positioning at the 22-yard line, Curtis McNeal broke through and scored the game winning TD as the final seconds ticked away.
McNeal, the hero, had 131 yards rushing on 18 carries. Barkley had another brilliant day with 314 yards and 2 TDs, and Robert Woods, once again, showed his place as one of the nation's best receivers with 10 catches for 149 yards and a TD. Marc Tyler added 2 rushing TDs.
Kellen Moore held up his end in the QB duel, passing for 322 yards and 4 TDs with one pick. Doug Martin added 177 yards on the ground with a 53-yard TD to balance the Broncos' attack.
I should mention the National Title game featuring the USC Trojans and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
For USC, it has been a obstacle-laden journey, pressed by the NCAA sanctions on the program. For Oklahoma State, its a chance to win back-to-back championships and become the first team since the NCAA tournaments have been played to do so.
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