By Tim Letcher
The third weekend of college football ended with a battle of ranked teams in the desert of Arizona, where the 24th-ranked Arizona Wildcats proved that they are contenders in the Pac-10 by beating No. 9 Iowa 34-27 in Tucson.
Arizona dominated the first half, outscoring Iowa 14-0 in the first quarter and taking a 27-7 lead into the half.
However, Iowa was able to make a game of it in the second half. When Broderick Binns returned an interception 20 yards for a score, Iowa tied the game, and was ready to take the lead on the extra point. But the kick by Trent Mossbrucker was blocked, and the game remained tied.
With 3:57 left in the game, Arizona quarterback Nick Foles hit William Wright with a four-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the winning score for the red-clad Wildcats.
Arizona had three turnovers that kept Iowa in the game, but the Wildcats were able to overcome those mistakes to pull off the victory. Mike Stoopsâ€™ team hosts California this weekend in the conference opener.
Iowa still has a chance at the Big Ten title, which Kirk Ferentz must focus his team on now. The Hawkeyes must visit Michigan, but they host Penn State and Ohio State in conference play, so donâ€™t count Iowa out of that race by any means.
Stock up â€“ Teams on the rise after Week 3
Oklahoma State â€“ The Cowboys moved to 3-0 on the season with an easy 65-28 win over Tulsa. Oklahoma State is averaging 57 points per contest, paced by running back Kendall Hunter and quarterback Brandon Weedon (see below). Mike Gundyâ€™s squad is off this week before opening Big 12 play against Texas A&M.
Michigan State â€“ One gutsy overtime call proved to be huge for the Spartans. Down three points to Notre Dame in overtime, Spartan head coach Mike Dantonio called for a fake field goal, which worked, giving Michigan State a dramatic 34-31 win in East Lansing. The Spartans are 3-0, and face Northern Colorado over the weekend. (All the best to Dantonio, who apparently suffered a mild heart attack after the Notre Dame game, but is expected to return soon.)
Missouri â€“ It appeared that Missouri was going to waste their 2-0 start by losing to San Diego State. But when Blaine Gabbert hit T.J. Moe with a 68-yard pass with 51 seconds left in the game, the Tigers prevented the upset. The 3-0 Tigers host Miami (Ohio) this weekend.
Georgia Tech â€“ Paul Johnsonâ€™s team frankly didnâ€™t play well at Kansas in their second game of the season. However, the Yellow Jackets rebounded nicely with a 30-24 win at North Carolina. The win was big for Tech to establish themselves as one of the teams to beat in the ACCâ€™s Coastal Division.
Vanderbilt â€“ Fans must love Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell. Heâ€™s a Southern good old boy, with country charm and wit. And the Commodores handed Caldwell his first career victory on Saturday, winning 28-14 win at Ole Miss. The Commodores have looked good in two-of-three games this season.
Stock down â€“ Teams needing to regroup after Week 3
Houston â€“ The Cougars were ranked nationally heading into Saturdayâ€™s contest at UCLA. The Bruins had looked bad in two games so far this season, so this one appeared to be an easy choice. And it was. But it was UCLA that dominated the game, winning 31-13 at the Rose Bowl. Case Keenum managed only 83 yards passing in the game before leaving with an apparent leg injury.
Georgia â€“ Mark Richtâ€™s Bulldogs put up a good fight on Saturday, but Arkansas made plays down the stretch to win 31-24 in Athens. Georgia is now 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. And things donâ€™t get any easier for the Bulldogs, as they hit the road this weekend to face Mississippi State. They also still must face Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech this season.
California â€“ The Golden Bears appeared to be a team on the rise after two easy wins to open the season. But, facing tougher competition for the first time, Jeff Tedfordâ€™s team was crushed, losing 52-31 at Nevada. As if that wasnâ€™t bad enough, the Bears visit Arizona this Saturday.
Ole Miss â€“ The Rebels are an up-and-down team this season. In the opener, they lost to Jacksonville State. Last week, they looked much better while beating Tulane. But this week, it was back to â€œbadâ€ Ole Miss, as they lost, at home, to Vanderbilt. And the schedule for Houston Nuttâ€™s team is brutal. The Rebels still face Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and Mississippi State.
Washington â€“ The 2010 season started with high hopes for the Huskies. And big things could still happen, but Saturdayâ€™s 56-21 loss, at home, to Nebraska proved that Steve Sarkisianâ€™s squad has quite a bit of ground to make up to be one of the big boys. The next five weeks will determine the season for the Huskies. After an open date, they are at USC, host Arizona State, host Oregon State and visit Arizona.
Statistical Studs â€“ Week 3
Mark Ingram, Alabama â€“ Saturday was a spectacular return for the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Ingram only carried the ball nine times, but he racked up 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Tide rolled past Duke.
Brandon Weedon, Oklahoma State â€“ The Cowboy quarterback had a huge game on Saturday, connecting on 23-of-32 passes for 409 yards and six touchdowns in an easy win over Tulsa. The former professional baseball player is currently second in the nation in passing yardage.
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada â€“ For those that have never seen Kaepernick play, please do so before the season is over. The Nevada quarterback was spectacular on Friday night as the Wolf Pack beat California 52-31. Kaepernick was 10-of-15 through the air for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 148 yards and three scores.
Jordan Todman, Connecticut â€“ It was in a losing effort, but Todman had a huge day on Saturday against Temple. He rushed 26 times for 192 yards and a touchdown in the game. Todman is currently fourth in the nation in rushing yardage.
Trevor Vittatoe, UTEP â€“ The Minersâ€™ quarterback had a big day in Saturdayâ€™s win over New Mexico State. Vittatoe was 19-of-30 passing for 246 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-10 win.
Games Weâ€™ll Be Watching in Week 4
No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas
No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State
No. 12 South Carolina at No. 17 Auburn
No. 5 Oregon at Arizona State
No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU
In one of the best games of the weekend, No. 9 Richmond held off seventh-ranked Elon 27-21.
No. 10 Stephen F. Austin won at No. 13 Northern Iowa, 22-20.
Division II Headlines
No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth hammered No. 18 Wayne State (Neb.), 42-10.
Missouri Western, ranked 11th, won at No. 15 Washburn, 36-33.
Division III Headlines
Salisbury broke several school records in an 84-7 thumping of Husson.
Mount Union rolled past John Carroll, winning 51-7.