Alabama Escapes With Win, Penn State Does Not

Anarchy has returned to the BCS as undefeated Penn State, ranked 3rd in the nation, just lost at Iowa. A 31-yard field goal by Daniel Murray, Iowa’s backup field goal kicker gave Iowa the lead, 24-23, with one second to go. Penn State would not convert on a squib kick, and now the Nittany Lions are completely out of the title picture.

Penn State sad

Iowa was led largely by All-American candidate RB Shonn Greene, who kept his streak of +100 yard games alive with a 117-yard, 2 TD performance on 28 carries. The Hawkeye defense also kept Iowa in the game, holding QB Daryll Clark to 9-23 passing for 86 yards. Still, riding a remarkable performance from WR/RB/QB/KR/PR Derrick Williams, Penn State dominated the second and third quarters, and their 23-14 lead looked safe when the final quarter started.

After Iowa drove for a touchdown, Penn State was driving to salt the clock away, but a killer interception deep in Hawkeye territory kept Iowa alive, and the Lions could not stop Iowa’s deliberate final drive.

Now, the Rose Bowl berth is still in doubt; both Penn State and Michigan State have one conference loss, and the two teams play each other at Happy Valley in two weeks. Winner goes to Pasadena, loser is probably in the Capital One Bowl.

Meanwhile, Nick Saban and Alabama faced their toughest test of the year, heading down to Baton Rouge to face LSU, Saban’s old school. LSU fans haven’t forgotten, and their disdain for Saban was as loud as it was relentless. Few stadiums or fanbases are as hostile as LSU’s, and a top-ranked Alabama team that had rolled over everyone in their path thus far instead found themselves trailing in the first quarter, 14-7.

LSU’s offense began to struggle, though, as it often has this season. The Tigers couldn’t get into decent field position for most of the game, and a positively hideous Jarrett Lee pass was picked off for a TAINT (Touchdown After INT) by Rashad Johnson to tie the score.

The teams traded rushing scores by Glen Coffee and Charles Scott in the second half, and Albama seemed to get into position for an easy game-winning field goal with three seconds to go. But much to the delight of gamblers everywhere (the line was Alabama -3.0, and nobody likes a push), the kick was blocked, and the game went to overtime.

In OT, Alabama picked off another awful Jarrett Lee pass, and after a Julio Jones catch to the 2 yard line, the game-winning TD was merely a formality. John Parker Wilson plunged in from the 2 to close out the game at 27-21 and preserve Alabama’s title hopes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, this Iowa fan must go celebrate. And by celebrate I mean drink enough to see Jesus and punch Him in the face.