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Week 9 Rewind

Before a record crowd at The Horseshoe, Penn State solidified its case as a national-title contender by rallying for a 13-6 win over Ohio State. The Nittany Lions hooked up their backers as two-point road favorites.

Trailing 6-3 in the fourth quarter and without its starting quarterback, back-up QB Pat Devlin led a pair of scoring drives. His one-yard sneak for a touchdown proved to be the game winner.

Joe Paterno’s team goes into its bye week with a 9-0 record. The Lions have just one road game left, at Iowa on Nov. 8. They close the regular season with back-to-back home games against Indiana and Michigan State.

Texas cleared another hurdle in its quest to go to the BCS Championship Game for the second time in four years. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 28-24 thanks to another stellar performance from Colt McCoy, who threw for 391 yards and rushed for 41 more. The Heisman Trophy favorite had a pair of touchdown passes and also scored on a three-yard scamper.

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With that said, we should note that Oklahoma St. covered the number as a 12-point underdog. With Texas, Ball St. and Georgia Tech failing to cover Saturday, the Cowboys are now the nation’s lone team that remains perfect for our purposes with its 8-0 against-the-spread record.

Alabama beat Tennessee for the third time in four years with a 29-9 win as a 5 ½-point road ‘chalk.’ The blowout defeat at home might be the final blow for Phillip Fulmer, who is rapidly losing support in Knoxville. Nick Saban’s team will now host Arkansas St. in a look-ahead spot before a Nov. 8 showdown at LSU that’ll be Saban’s first trip back to Baton Rouge.

Florida has now looked nasty in back-to-back games. After an open date that was preceded by a 51-21 romp over LSU, the Gators picked up where they left off, punishing Kentucky 63-5 as 26-point home favorites.

Urban Meyer wouldn’t allow his players to talk about Georgia in the post-game press conference, but you know his team is amped to avenge last year’s 42-30 loss to the Dawgs. Remember, UGA hasn’t beaten UF in consecutive seasons since the 1980s.

Oklahoma put up 55 on Kansas St. in the first half of a 58-35 win as 18-point road ‘chalk.’ DeMarco Murray scored four touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) to ignite the Sooners, who host Nebraska this Saturday.

Texas Tech flexed its muscle in an eye-opening 63-21 win at Kansas. Graham Harrell threw for five TDs and ran for another. The Heisman hopeful completed 34-of-42 passes for 386 yards without an interception. The Red Raiders get top-ranked Texas in a monster showdown this weekend in Lubbock.

Georgia stayed in the national-championship picture with its 52-38 win at LSU in a pick ‘em affair. Knowshon Moreno was the catalyst for the Dawgs, rushing for 163 yards and one TD.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Vandy lost for the third straight time since starting the season 5-0. Duke went into Nashville and knocked off the Commodores 10-7. Bobby Johnson's team needs one more win to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1982. The 'Dores get a needed open date this weekend before finishing the regular season with this stretch of games: vs. Florida, at Kentucky, vs. Tennessee and at Wake Forest.

--Check out the Virginia Cavaliers, who have won four in a row and suddenly lead the ACC's Coastal Division. They went on the road and beat Georgia Tech as double-digit underdogs. They play host to Miami this week. Kudos to Al Groh for a remarkable in-season turnaround.

--Best Week 10 Games:
1-Texas at Texas Tech
2-Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
3-FSU at Ga. Tech
4-West Va. UConn
5-Pitt at Notre Dame

--Coach of the Year:
1-Nick Saban (Alabama)
2-Mike Leach (Texas Tech)
3-Mike Gundy (Oklahoma St.)
4-Brady Hoke (Ball St.)
5-Bobby Johnson (Vandy)

--Biggest Disappointments:
1-Clemson
2-Auburn
3-Tennessee
4-Arizona State
5-Wisconsin

Brian Edwards can be reached at briane@vegasinsider.com.

  
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