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Saturday, November 5, 2011
2nd half surges key for Sooners, Cardinal


The late afternoon slate of games featured three top-10 teams trying to remain in the hunt for a BCS bowl bid, and two of them ended up on the winning side thanks to dominating second-half performances.

Oklahoma overwhelms the Aggies
The Oklahoma Sooners had a slim three-point lead at halftime over the Texas A&M Aggies this afternoon, and had been outgained on offense despite controlling the ball for nearly two-thirds of the first half.

After punting on their first possession of the second half, the Sooners found the end zone on their next four drives in the third quarter and cruised to a 41-25 win. It was the first time since at least 2004 that Oklahoma scored four touchdowns in the third quarter of a game.

The Sooners took advantage of Texas A&M’s miscues, scoring 17 points off four Aggie turnovers. The Sooners entered this game with a -6 turnover differential in their last three games and +1 for the season.

Oklahoma received some bad news following the game when coach Bob Stoops announced that the team’s leading receiver, Ryan Broyles, suffered an ACL injury and is out for the year. Broyles owns the FBS career receptions record and was less than 500 yards shy of setting the career receiving yards mark.

Stanford pulls away from Oregon State
The Stanford Cardinal also struggled early, holding just a four-point lead in the third quarter against Oregon State, before scoring 21 straight points to finish with a 38-13 win in Corvallis.

The Cardinal improved to 9-0 for only the fourth time in school history and the first time since 1951. Stanford also extended its school-record win streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the nation.

The Cardinal have won eight true road games in a row, matching the longest streak in school history set from 1933-35. It was their first win the state of Oregon since 2005.

Andrew Luck passed for three touchdowns and now has 71 in his career, one shy of second place on the Stanford all-time list. Luck has thrown at least two touchdowns in every game this season. The last Pac-12 quarterback to throw multiple TD passes in nine straight games in a season was Drew Olson in 2005.

Northwestern stuns Nebraska in Lincoln
The Nebraska Cornhuskers trailed 14-3 in the third quarter against the Northwestern Wildcats, but couldn’t overcome their slow start and fell 28-25 in Lincoln. The unranked Wildcats were the first current Big Ten team to beat the Cornhuskers at home since Penn State in 1981.

Beating an AP top-10 team on the road is nothing new for Northwestern. In 2000 they defeated No. 7 Wisconsin in Madison and in 2009 they beat No. 9 Iowa in Iowa City.

For the first seven weeks of the season, the only upset (according to rankings) was when Auburn beat 10th-ranked South Carolina on October 1. Since then, following the first release of the BCS standings, a top-10 team has lost to an unranked team in each of the last three weeks.