NCAA

Heisman Watch: Nine touchdowns later

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Heisman Watch: Nine touchdowns later

Another week of college football, and another two undefeated teams go down.

Last week it was Oklahoma and Wisconsin, this week it was No. 5 Clemson and No. 8 Kansas State (who are now ranked No. 11 and No. 14 respectively).

Is there any question as to what the game of the week was? The answer is no. Stanford's come-from-behind, potential National-Championship-saving triple overtime 56-48 victory over USC is the game of the year thus far in college football (Sorry Baylor-TCU, Michigan-Notre Dame, Wisconsin-Michigan State, Wisconsin-Ohio State).

Stanford's victory, and Andrew Luck's heroics, have given the future No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft his largest lead in the Heisman race to date...

Rank Player, Position, School Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 29-40, 330 yards, 3 TD, INT, rush TD in 56-48 3OT win at USC 174-242 (72), 2218 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT, 2 rush TD At Oregon State 2 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Idle 149 rushes, 989 rush yards (6.6 YPC), 17 TD, 212 rec. yards, rec. TD No. 1 LSU 3 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State Idle 174-228 (76), 2010 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT At UNLV 4 Case Keenum, QB, Houston 24-37, 534 yards, 9 TD, INT in 73-34 win over Rice 218-303 (72), 3219 yards, 32 TD, 3 INT At UAB 5 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State 24-36, 274 yards, 3 TD in 59-24 win over Baylor 246-345 (71), 2710 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT No. 14 Kansas StateOn the bubble: Landry JonesQBOklahoma, Ryan BroylesWROklahoma, Robert Griffin IIIQBBaylor

Analysis:

1) Andrew Luck: The pick-six he threw late in the 4th quarter against USC was the best thing that could have happened for his Heisman bid. If Stanford had lost, he would still be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, if he doesn't lead Stanford on the game-tying touchdown drive to force overtime, or if the Cardinal simply lose in overtime, Stanford's national title game hopes go up in smoke, and he takes a big hit in the Heisman race. Instead, Stanford's victory pushed them up two spots to No. 4 in the BCS standings, and the legend of Andrew Luck grew so much that the Twittersphere has started to ask, "Is Andrew Luck underrated?" Good question.

2) Trent Richardson: In case you already weren't aware Mr. Richardson, Saturday's meeting with the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers is the biggest game of your life. It's simple: if you have a monster performance and lead the Crimson Tide to victory, you have a legitimate shot at catapulting past Luck and into the lead. If the Tide loses, and Tyrann Mathieu and the rest of the frighteningly good Tigers defense keeps you in check, you will drop a few spots. Alabama's national title hopes and your Heisman candidacy are on the line Saturday. No pressure.

3) Kellen Moore: Nobody benefited more from Clemson's loss and Tahj Boy's lackluster performance than did Boise State and Kellen Moore. The only way Boise State sneaks into the title game is if... well... they really don't stand a chance. And the only way Moore can win the Heisman is if several of the other top candidates completely shoot themselves in the foot. Oh, and he has to be nearly close to perfect. Good luck.

4) Case Keenum: In case you scrolled past it, scroll back up the page and look at Case Keenum's "Recent Game Stats."... I know, insane right? I don't care if you are playing against just eight defenders, it is nearly impossible to throw nine touchdowns in a game. His 5th touchdown pass against the Owls was the 135th of his career, making him the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Div. 1-A) all-time leader in career touchdown passes. He is also just 268 passing yards away from surpassing Timmy Chang (17,072 career passing yards) and becoming the all-time leader. Several NCAA records, an undefeated season, a birth in a BCS bowl game, and an invite to the Heisman ceremony all in the same year? It's possible.

5) Brandon Weeden: He narrowly edged out Oklahoma's Landry Jones, and the main reason why: the Cowboys are No. 3 in the BCS and the Sooners are No. 6. Weeden has 2710 passing yards, Jones 3094. Weeden has 22 total touchdowns, Jones 28. Weeden is completing 71.3 of his passes, Jones 66.5. Weeden has thrown seven interceptions, Jones nine. You know what's great? The Sooners and Cowboys will meet in Stillwater on December with national title and Heisman implications on the line. Fun stuff.

Drew Shiller is a web producer for CSNBayArea.com and you can follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report