ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan’s tuneup turned into quite a test.

Trailing by eight, Ball State threw an incomplete pass into the end zone with 2:46 left and couldn’t connect on a heave from midfield on the final play, allowing the second-ranked Wolverines to escape with a 34-26 victory on Saturday.

Mike Hart ran for 154 yards and a TD and teammate Brandon Minor rushed for 108 yards and another score. Chad Henne was 17-of-24 for 155 yards with a TD and an interception that Ball State ran back for a score in the first quarter.

Ball State’s Nate Davis was 18-of-34 for 250 yards with a TD pass. Dante Love had six receptions for 107 yards and a score.

Michigan trailed for just the second time this season – 9-7 in the first quarter – then seemed to pull away with 17 points on three straight drives in the second quarter for a 24-9 lead.

But the Cardinals of the Mid-American Conference rallied and were down 34-26 with the ball at the Michigan 7 late in the fourth quarter. Davis’ pass on fourth down was wide of Love, but Ball State got still another chance to pull out a miracle.

Finally, Ryan Mundy intercepted Davis’ desperation pass from Ball State’s 45 in the end zone on the last play.

No. 1 Ohio State 17, Illinois 10

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Buckeyes built a 17-point halftime lead against Illinois and overcame a ho-hum performance by its offense to hold off the stubborn Illini.

The Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0, Big Ten) had won each of their first nine games by at least 17 points.

Rashard Mendenhall’s 3-yard TD run with 1:40 to go brought Illinois within seven and after Ohio State’s Brian Robiskie’s recovered an onside kick by the Illini, the Buckeyes were forced to punt.

Illinois (2-8, 1-5) got the ball at its own 2 with four seconds left and 98 yards to go and couldn’t pull off a miracle play.

Chris Wells and Antonio Pittman had short TD runs for the Buckeyes and Troy Smith. Smith completed 13 of 23 passes for 108 yards and rushed for 37 more on 11 carries.

No. 17 Wisconsin 13, Penn State 3

MADISON, Wis. – Penn State coach Joe Paterno injured his knee in the second half when one of his own players ran into him on the sideline during Wisconsin’s victory.

The 79-year-old Paterno stood with his hands on his knees for several minutes after freshman tight end Andrew Quarless rolled into him after catching a sideline pass.

Paterno was carted to the locker room near the end of the third quarter.

A Penn State spokesman said Paterno had a knee injury and was flying back to State College, Pa., with a member of the school’s medical staff ahead of the rest of the team. He is expected to be X-rayed on Saturday evening and could undergo an MRI today or Monday.

Wisconsin (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) scored the first touchdown given up by Penn State’s defense in more than two games. Penn State (6-4, 4-3) squandered the few scoring chances it had.

No. 6 Auburn 27, Arkansas State 0

AUBURN, Ala. – Brandon Cox passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns and Auburn held Arkansas State to 177 total yards.

The Tigers (9-1) turned the ball over four times, but got the easy tuneup they hoped for to set up season-ending games with traditional rivals Georgia and Alabama.

The Indians (5-4) gained 86 yards and four first downs in the first three quarters before finally starting to move the ball against Auburn’s backups.

No. 7 Florida 25, Vanderbilt 19

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (- Chris Leak ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Gators survived a fourth-quarter rally and beat Vanderbilt for the 16th straight time.

With the win and Tennessee’s loss to LSU, the Gators (8-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) clinched the Eastern Division and a spot in the SEC championship game for the first time since 2000.

Chris Nickson threw for a career-high 298 yards for Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-5). He started the 13-point rally early in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard TD pass to George Smith. Bennett finished with 13 catches for 157 yards.

No. 13 LSU 28, No. 8 Tennessee 24

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – JaMarcus Russell hit Early Doucet with a 4-yard touchdown pass with 9 seconds left to lift LSU.

Russell’s third touchdown pass of the game gave the Tigers (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) their first road win of the season.

No. 9 USC 42, Stanford 0

STANFORD, Calif. – John David Booty threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter and Terrell Thomas scored on a 71-yard blocked field goal return to help USC roll to its most lopsided win of the season.

Booty went 12-for-21 for 203 yards, Dwayne Jarrett caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, and the Trojans finally had a laugher after sweating it out until the end the last four games.

The Cardinal (0-9, 0-6) lost their 11th straight game to match a school record.

No. 11 Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 26

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brady Quinn passed for four touchdowns and a season-high 346 yards to help Notre Dame beat North Carolina.

It appeared for a while the Fighting Irish would put the game away early, breaking a 7-7 tie with a pair of touchdowns and a field goal to move ahead 24-7. But the Irish gave up a 90-yard kickoff return by Brandon Tate and a 72-yard touchdown catch by Hakeem Nicks as the Tar Heels kept it respectable.

No. 22 Wake Forest 21, No. 16 Boston College 14

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Kevin Marion had an 81-yard touchdown run and Patrick Ghee intercepted a pass in the end zone with just under a minute left as Wake Forest held on.

Jyles Tucker had two sacks and forced a key fourth-quarter fumble and the Demon Deacons limited the Eagles to 28 yards rushing to move to 8-1 for the first time since 1944. At 4-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Wake is in a first-place tie with Maryland in the Atlantic Division.

Maryland 13, No. 19 Clemson 12

CLEMSON, S.C. – Dan Ennis kicked a 31-yard field goal as time ran out, lifting Maryland to its fourth straight victory and keeping the Terps tied for first in the ACC’s Atlantic division.

The Terps (7-2, 4-1 ACC) kept Clemson’s powerful running game in check, but it looked like it wouldn’t matter after Jad Dean kicked his fourth field goal with 2:25 left to put the Tigers (7-3, 4-3) ahead 12-10.

No. 24 Oregon 34, Washington 14

EUGENE, Ore. – Jonathan Stewart ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon rolled up 316 yards on the ground.

Patrick Chung opened the scoring with a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown and had an interception for Oregon (7-2, 4-2). Dennis Dixon completed 14 of 25 passes for 109 yards for the Ducks, but the Huskies (4-6, 2-5) capitalized on his two interceptions for their only scores.

Dixon has not thrown for more than 150 yards in four straight weeks.

Arizona 27, No. 25 Washington State 17

PULLMAN, Wash. – Chris Henry ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns on a school-record 35 carries and Arizona limited Washington State to 45 yards rushing.

Arizona (4-5, 2-4 Pac-10) entered the game last in the conference, averaging 71.4 yards rushing per game. But Henry and Mike Thomas kept the ground game going at critical moments to give Arizona 116 yards rushing.

Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama returned after missing two games because of a concussion, completing 10-of-17 for 159 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.

Alex Brink completed 18-of-33 for 265 yards and a touchdown for Washington State (6-4, 4-3).


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