NCAA

Heisman Watch: Same five, different order

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Heisman Watch: Same five, different order

For the first time all season, the top five Heisman hopefuls this week are the same as last week. The only difference is a shift in the order. Except for at the top, of course.

Rank Player, Position, School Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 20-30, 206 yards, 3 TD, INT in 38-13 win at Oregon State 194-272 (71), 2424 yards, 26 TD, 5 INT, 2 rush TD No. 7 Oregon 2 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State 18-31, 219 yards, 5 TD, 12-yard reception in 48-21 win at UNLV 192-259 (74), 2229 yards, 29 TD, 5 INT No. 24 TCU (USA Today Poll) 3 Case Keenum, QB, Houston 39-44, 407 yards, 2 TD, 2 rush TD in 56-13 win at UAB 257-347 (74), 3626 yards, 34 TD, 3 INT, 2 rush TD At Tulane (Thursday) 4 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 23 rush, 89 yards, five catches, 80 yards in 9-6 OT loss to No. 1 LSU 172 rush, 1078 yards (6.3 YPC), 17 TD, 23 catches, 292 rec. yards, rec. TD At Mississippi State 5 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State 36-46, 502 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT in 52-45 win over No. 14 Kansas State 282-391 (72), 3212 yards, 26 TD, 9 INT At Texas Tech
On the bubble: Landry JonesQBOklahoma

Analysis:

1) Andrew Luck: The future No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft faces his toughest challenge of the season Saturday night when the No. 4 Cardinal host the No. 7 Oregon Ducks in what is being called the biggest regular season game in Stanford football history. That's not an exaggeration. If Luck leads the Cardinal to victory, Stanford locks up a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game (which will be at home), keeps the Cardinal alive in the hunt for the BCS title game, and all but cements Luck as the Heisman winner. However, many of Luck's offensive weapons, including WR Chris Owusu and tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, are questionable for Saturday's showdown. Can the Cardinal fly past the Ducks without them?

2) Kellen Moore: Five touchdowns against UNLV certainly don't hurt Moore's chances at leap-frogging Luck. The Broncos face their toughest opponent this Saturday, TCU, since their opening-weekend win against the Georgia Bulldogs (which is suddenly looking like a HUGE victory considering the 'Dawgs control their own destiny and will most likely meet LSU in the SEC title game). If Luck stumbles against Oregon, and Moore dices up TCU's defense (Baylor's Robert Griffin III threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns against the Horned Frogs in Week 1) it could be the southpaw in first-place next week.

3) Case Keenum: Don't look now, but the 6th-year senior has Houston at No. 11 in the BCS Standings. If they close out the regular season undefeated and take care of No. 22 Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship Game, the Cougars should be BCS bound (but you never know because the BCS is the single worst "thing" in all of sports -- more on that at a later date). Three weeks ago, Keenum surpassed Hawaii's Timmy Chang to become the all-time FBS leader in total offense. Two weeks ago, Keenum put Graham Harrell in his rear-view mirror and became the all-time FBS leader in career touchdown passes. And over the weekend, Keenum once again surpassed Timmy Chang to become the all-time FBS leader in passing yards. Amazing stuff.

4) Trent Richardson: In a game that featured probably 20-30 future NFLers, Richardson was the best player on the field. The problem -- he was on the losing team. This guy simply doesn't go down after first contact and requires a multitude of defenders to bring him down. He makes up for his lack of Chris-Johnson-type-speed with some razzle-dazzle and head-and-shoulder fakes that cause defenders to whiff. Had the Tide won, he would easily be sitting in the No. 2 spot on the list and quite possibly head of Luck. But as they say -- "To the victor, go the spoils."

5) Brandon Weeden: It's hard for a matchup between the No. 3 and No 14 ranked teams in the country to go virtually unnoticed, but that's what happens when you play on the same day (let alone the same time) as the "Game of the Century." Weeden led the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys past the No. 14 Kansas State Wildcats in a 52-45 barn-burner that was the antithesis of LSU-Alabama. Weeden did throw two interceptions in the win, but he also threw four touchdowns, and it should have been five had All-World wide receiver Justin Blackmon not fumbled as he was crossing the goal-line. Trap game coming up this weekend as the Cowboys head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.

Drew Shiller is a Web Producer at CSNBayArea.com. 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