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College Football Today

- Associated Press - Sunday, December 5, 2010

STARS

_ Cam Newton, Auburn, passed for a career-best 335 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for a couple of TDs to lead the No. 2 Tigers past 18th-ranked South Carolina 56-17 for the Southeastern Conference title.

_ LaMichael James, Oregon, ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns to send the top-ranked Ducks into the

_ Kellen Moore, Boise State, threw three touchdown passes, ran for another and the No. 9 Broncos bounced back from a loss that ended its BCS hopes by beating Utah State 50-14 in their Western Athletic Conference farewell.

_ Geno Smith, West Virginia, threw for a career-high 352 yards on 23-of-28 passing and the No. 23 Mountaineers overcame turnover problems to beat Rutgers 35-14 to clinch at least a share of the Big East title.

_ Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, ran for a career-high 261 yards and four touchdowns on a snow-covered field, leading the Panthers to a 28-10 victory over Cincinnati and a share of the Big East title.

_ Latavius Murray, Central Florida, rushed for 94 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead the Knights to a 17-7 victory over Southern Methodist in the Conference USA championship game. national title game for the first time with a 37-20 win over Oregon State in the Civil War rivalry.

_ Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, ran for three scores, including a dazzling 28-yard scramble on fourth-and-9, and the No. 14 Wolf Pack earned a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship with a 35-17 victory over Louisiana Tech.

_ Chris Polk, Washington, ran for a career-high 284 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns, helping the Huskies become bowl eligible for the first time in eight years with a 35-28 win over rival Washington State.

_ Dave Teggart, Connecticut, had four field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder with 17 seconds to play, as the Huskies clinched the Big East's automatic Bowl Championship Series berth with a 19-16 win over South Florida.

_ Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, threw three touchdown passes and scrambled for another and surging Hokies captured their third Atlantic Coast Conference title in four years with a 44-33 victory over Florida State.

_ Travis Lewis, Oklahoma, had an interception in the end zone and recovered two fumbles as the No. 10 Sooners rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat No. 13 Nebraska 23-20 in the Big 12 championship game.

DUCK PARTY

Top-ranked Oregon celebrated its 37-20 victory over Oregon State in the Civil War in the corner of Reser Stadium as its fans poured onto the field, a party that was headed 40 miles south down Interstate 5.

Next stop: Glendale, Ariz., for the national championship game against Auburn on Jan. 10.

Oregon State represented the last hurdle for Oregon in its bid to play for a first national championship. The Beavers made it tough, but the Ducks wore them down behind Heisman Trophy contender LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and a stiff defense to finish the regular season 12-0.

CAM-TASTIC TIGERS

Auburn is headed to the national championship game thanks to Heisman Trophy contender Cam Newton.

The Tigers (13-0) came into the day sitting atop the Bowl Championship Series standings and they left nothing to chance with a 56-17 blowout of 18th-ranked South Carolina.

Newton accounted for six TDs, joining Florida's Tim Tebow as only the players in the history of the top division to run and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season.

While many will surely consider any title to be tainted because of Newton's father seeking out illegal payments during the recruiting process, the Tigers can counter that this makes up for the 2004 season.

Auburn went 13-0 that year but didn't get a chance to even play for the national title, when USC and Oklahoma met in the Orange Bowl.

USC-UCLA BRAWL

Police say dozens of fans brawled in a Rose Bowl parking lot before the USC-UCLA football game, leaving two men stabbed, two police officers with minor injuries and three people arrested for investigation of attempted murder.

An estimated 50 to 75 fans of both schools fought in Parking Lot 1 near the Brookside Golf Course about three hours before the crosstown rivalry between the Bruins and Trojans was set to start, Pasadena police Cmdr. Darryl Qualls said.

The stabbing victims were taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital, where they were in fair condition, Qualls said. One officer was treated for a sprained hand, the other for a sprained ankle, and both were released, he said.

SOONER COMEBACK

No. 10 Oklahoma needed a record-breaking comeback to become Big 12 champion.

Rallying from a 17-point deficit, Oklahoma earned a trip to the Fiesta Bowl with a 23-20 over Nebraska in the biggest comeback in Big 12 championship history.

Oklahoma won its seventh Big 12 title _ more than twice as many as any other school _ and the seventh straight by schools from the South Division.

The Cornhuskers self-destructed in their final game as a Big 12 member, squandering a 17-0 lead with four turnovers and getting shut out in the second half for the first time all season.

WYNN SURGERY

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn will have shoulder surgery and will miss the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22.

Coach Kyle Whittingham said Wynn had an MRI Friday night after experiencing shoulder soreness in practice. Wynn initially hurt his shoulder in Utah's 68-27 win over Iowa State on Oct. 9, but Whittingham said he recovered enough to play in the seven games that followed before reinjuring the shoulder in Utah's 17-16 win over BYU on Nov. 27.

MILESTONES

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick tied the NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback with 59 after scoring three on the ground in a win over Louisiana Tech. He tied mark held by Nebraska's Eric Crouch. ... Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger coached in his 300th career college game in a 44-7 loss to Troy. ... Utah State's Kerwynn Williams set an FBS single-season record for kick return yards in the Aggies' season finale against Boise State. Williams' 17-yard return in the third quarter gave him 1,421 return yards, breaking the previous mark of 1,410 yards set earlier this season by Taveon Rogers of New Mexico State.

CENTRAL FLORIDA'S CLIMB

Central Florida has come a long way under George O'Leary.

Since going 0-11 in the former Georgia Tech's first season, the Knights have won two Conference USA championships, earned four bowl bids and capped off a second 10-win season by beating Southern Methodist 17-7. Central Florida earned a trip to the Liberty Bowl, where it'll most likely face Georgia on New Year's Eve.

SMU accepted an invitation to play Army in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30 _ a game that will be played in its own stadium since TCU is renovating its stadium.

QUOTABLE

"That's exactly what we needed to happen for us. We were asking 'How are we going to respond?' I'd say they responded well." -- Boise State coach Chris Petersen, after the Broncos' 50-14 victory over Utah State that came a week after Nevada ended their BCS hopes.

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