Alabama beats LSU in OT; Iowa stuns No. 3 Penn State

Published 11:28 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

With a heavy police escort, Nick Saban returned to Tiger Stadium wearing crimson. He barely got out of town with Alabama still unbeaten and No. 1.

After the Crimson Tide missed a chip-shot field goal on the final play of regulation, John Parker Wilson scored on a 1-yard sneak in overtime to give Alabama a 27-21 victory over No. 15 LSU on Saturday, clinching a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

The Tide (10-0, 6-0 SEC) has its eyes on a bigger prize, of course, and stayed on course for its first national title in 16 years. This was its toughest test yet, coming at a school Saban led to a share of the national championship in 2003.

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The coach is now reviled by many of the Tigers faithful, who consider him a traitor for turning up at rival Alabama just two years after he traded LSU for the NFL. He was booed loudly when he came on the field, surrounded by a contingent of state troopers that grew to a dozen by the time the game finally ended.

After Charles Scott tied it for LSU on a 1-yard touchdown run with just over 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Alabama drove into position to win it. From the 12, Wilson ran to the middle of the field and fell down, then Saban called his final timeout with 3 seconds remaining.

Leigh Tiffin lined up for a 29-yard field goal, but his kick was low and Ricky-Jean Francois swiped it away with his big right hand.

But Jarrett Lee threw his fourth interception in overtime, and Alabama didn’t bother with another field-goal try. Wilson hit Julio Jones along the sideline, and the freshman dragged his defender to the 1. LSU stuffed the Tide on first down, but Wilson powered across on the next play to win it.

Iowa 24, No. 3 Penn State 23

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Penn State is perfect no more, its hopes for giving coach Joe Paterno another national title given a sharp and surprising kick by Iowa.

Daniel Murray hit a 31-yard field goal with a second left and Iowa rallied to stun the Nittany Lions, likely dashing Penn State’s hopes for a spot in the BCS national title game.

Shonn Green rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and Ricky Stanzi bounced back from an interception and a fumble to lead the Hawkeyes (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) on their winning drive, which came after Daryll Clark threw an interception.

The Nittany Lions (9-1, 5-1) were third behind Alabama and Texas Tech in the most recent Bowl Championship Series standings, in danger of being squeezed out of the national title game even if they stayed unbeaten.

No. 5 Texas 45, Baylor 21

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Colt McCoy passed for 300 yards and five touchdowns, Ryan Palmer returned an interception 22 yards for a tiebreaking score and the Longhorns beat Baylor for a much-needed rebound victory a week after their last-second loss at Texas Tech.

Texas (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) scored on its first two drives before Baylor (3-7, 1-5) tied it by scoring twice in 4 minutes. The Longhorns went ahead to stay when Palmer picked off a deflected pass, pulling it off his shoulder pads, then spinning and running to the end zone.