The College Football Notebook

January 2, 2011 6:19 AM

A Rose Bowl Worthy Of The Stakes

TCUWinsRoseBowl.jpgWisconsin and TCU played a Rose Bowl worthy of the stakes, as the nation's #5 and #3 teams went right down to the wire before the Horned Frogs stopped a two-point conversion with two minutes to play, preserving a 21-19 win. Neither team turned the ball over. Both quarterbacks, Andy Dalton for TCU and Scott Tolzien for Wisconsin, were clutch. TCU linebacker Tank Carder made big plays throughout the game, none bigger than when he elevated to bat down Tolzien's two-point pass to an open receiver in the end zone. TCU ultimately won because they executed a little bit better close to the end zone. They cashed in all three of their drives for touchdowns. UW had a dropped pass on the first drive and a missed field goal from 39 yards. Neither one was an awful mistake--the field goal was from a hash that kicker Philip Welch kicking against his body and it narrowly hooked a little too far. But in a game this tight, it was enough to make the difference.

Bob Stoops can breathe a sign of relief in Norman as Oklahoma rolled to a Fiesta Bowl win over UConn. The Sooners had this one in control from the outset, jumping to a quick 14-0 lead, although some mistakes--most notably an interception the Huskies ran back for a touchdown--let them hang around just enough to make it worth watching, but not so much that you ever thought an upset was in the making. OU finally pulled away late in the fourth quarter to lock up the 48-20 win.

The SEC absolutely dominated the Big Ten in the early part of the day and it was a particularly awful day in the state of Michigan, as Michigan and Michigan State lost their games by a combined score 101-21. The Wolverines got off to a good start, but Mississippi State blew it open in the second quarter and never looked back. The Bulldogs kept Denard Robinson contained on the ground, while their own quarterback, Chris Relf, was 18/23 for 281 yards. Michigan State was destroyed by Alabama 49-7 because their running game was completely shut down, with Edwin Baker getting 14 yards on 12 carries. Florida completed the SEC sweep with a 37-24 win over Penn State. The Nittany Lions played well, but couldn't overcome five interceptions thrown by Matt McGloin, the last one taken to the house for a clinching score when Penn State was driving for a chance to win. And Northwestern fought gallantly with backup quarterback Evan Watkins, but just didn't have enough firepower to keep up with Texas Tech. Red Raider QB Taylor Potts threw for 369 yards, his primary target being Lyle Leong as Tech won 45-31. Including the Wisconsin-TCU game, the Big Ten goes 0-for-5 for the day.

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