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Top nine unchanged in updated AP Poll; UCF moves into top 15

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Though there were a handful of upsets on Saturday but since most of those didn’t occur in the top 10, the bulk of the places near the top remained unchanged heading into Week 4.

In fact the only change was No. 11 Michigan and No. 10 Utah flipping places after the Wolverines had the weekend off ahead of their matchup against No. 13 Wisconsin. The Badgers were actually tied at that ranking with co-No. 13 Penn State as changes were few and far between from No. 14 on up.

One pleasant surprise was the continued ascent of UCF, which moved into the top 15 following the Knights destruction of a Stanford team ranked in the top 25 just two weeks ago.

Speaking of the Pac-12, the conference really dominated the AP Poll’s back half. No. 16 Oregon, No. 19 Washington State and No. 22 Washington were joined by No. 23 California and No. 24 Arizona State. The six schools from the league tied the SEC for most by one league — though it just meant a little bit more for the latter with No. 17 Texas A&M being the lowest ranked of that bunch.

TCU also debuted in the poll at No. 25 while Michigan State, USC and Maryland dropped out.

The full AP Top 25 heading into Week 4:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. LSU
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Auburn
  9. Florida
  10. Utah
  11. Michigan
  12. Texas
  13. Penn State/Wisconsin

15. UCF

16. Oregon

17. Texas A&M

18. Iowa

19. Washington State

20. Boise State

21. Virginia

22. Washington

23. California

24. Arizona State

25. TCU

Virginia, Arizona State, Cal, Kansas State make debuts in latest Coaches Poll

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The latest Amway/USA Today Coaches Poll is out heading into Week 4 and there were a handful of movers and shakers after a somewhat quiet weekend that produced four ranked sides going down.

The Pac-12 may be the conference who receives the least respect nationally but fresh off a major upset and continued solid play from others, the league is at least being given its due by the coaches across the country.

Making their debuts in the top 25 were No. 25 Kansas State (after their upset of Mississippi State), No. 24 Arizona State (after beating Michigan State in East Lansing), No. 23 Cal and a No. 22 Virginia side that was ranked by the AP last week but finally sees the coaches coming around to the ACC Coastal Division favorite after holding on against Florida State on Saturday.

The Spartans and Bulldogs were among the four teams that were dropped from the poll as a result, joining USC and Maryland in moving out of the top 25 following losses.

Here’s the full poll:

  1. Clemson (62 first place votes)
  2. Alabama (3)
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. LSU
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Florida
  9. Auburn
  10. Michigan
  11. Utah
  12. Penn State
  13. Texas
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Texas A&M
  16. UCF
  17. Oregon
  18. Iowa
  19. Washington State
  20. Boise State
  21. Washington
  22. Virginia
  23. Cal
  24. Arizona State
  25. Kansas State

In Wazzu loss, Houston’s D’Eriq King ties Tim Tebow TD record

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Team-wise it was a bust, but Friday night was a good one personally for D’Eriq King.

Thanks in large part to Anthony Gordon‘s third straight 400-yard passing game in his first three career starts, No. 20. Washington State was able to take care of business against Houston in a 31-24 win at NRG Stadium in Houston.  In the loss, King, the Cougars’ starting quarterback, accounted for one touchdown through the air and another two on the ground.

That means that King has now scored at least one touchdown passing and rushing 14 straight games, tying the FBS record set by Florida’s Tim Tebow more than a decade ago.

In 14 games the past one-plus seasons, the under-the-radar King has accounted for 59 total touchdowns — 40 passing, 19 rushing.  In an injury-shortened 2018 campaign, King threw for 36 touchdowns and put up 14 on the ground.

King will get a chance to top Tebow’s FBS record at Tulane next Thursday night.

No. 20 Washington State overcomes Houston to win Leach-Holgorsen reunion

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Of course a game between Mike Leach and Dana Holgorsen would remain scoreless for the first 23 minutes. The all-Cougar reunion between Air Raid forefathers, who were together at Iowa Wesleyan when the Air Raid was born and popularized it together at Texas Tech, took a while to get going, but when it did Leach and No. 20 Washington zipped past Holgorsen and Houston, 31-24 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

After a scoreless first quarter, Houston started the second frame — literally, Washington State punted on the final play of the first quarter — and then took its time driving 82 yards, snapping the ball 15 times and eating 7:27 of clock, finally scoring on a 13-yard, third-and-goal strike from D’Eriq King to Marquez Stevenson.

The lid now sufficiently lifted, Washington State needed only five played and 117 seconds to answer, pulling even on a 39-yard strike from Anthony Gordon to Easop Winston, Jr.

Houston (1-2) then answered that answer with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Five of those seven plays were runs, including a 1-yard King sneak to put Houston back up with 2:27 left before halftime.

Washington State (3-0) threatened to pull even just before the break, but Gordon’s end zone toss was intercepted by Houston’s Gleson Sprewell with 24 seconds left in the first half.

That lead wouldn’t last long, though. A fumbled snap gave Washington State the ball at the Houston 44 to open to begin its second half offensively, and the Cougars quickly tied the game on a 1-yard Max Borghi run.

Washington State then took the lead for good on its next touch, racing 91 yards in only four plays, including a 39-yard scoring toss from Gordon to Dezmon Paton. After a Houston field goal, Washington State took control for good when Gordon found Travell Harris for a 7-yard score with 6:43 remaining.

Houston made it interesting again with a 12-yard King run with 2:21 to play, but its ensuing onside kick was recovered by Washington State.

Gordon completed 36-of-47 passes for 440 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, and in the process became just the third FBS quarterback in the past 15 years to throw for at least 400 yards and three touchdowns over the first three games of the season, joining familiar names Graham Harrell and Patrick Mahomes.

For Houston, King threw for 128 yards and a touchdown and rushed a game-high 17 times for 94 yards and two more scores.

The teams combined to commit 19 accepted penalties for 208 yards.

Houston leading Washington State at the half

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Houston has put No. 20 Washington State on upset watch, as the red-and-white Cougars hold a 14-7 lead over the red-and-gray Cougars at NRG Stadium in Houston.

After a scoreless first quarter, Houston started the second frame — literally, Washington State punted on the final play of the first quarter — and then took its time driving 82 yards, snapping the ball 15 times and eating 7:27 of clock, finally scoring on a 13-yard, third-and-goal strike from D’Eriq King to Marquez Stevenson.

The lid now sufficiently lifted, Washington State needed only five played and 117 seconds to answer, pulling even on a 39-yard strike from Anthony Gordon to Easop Winston, Jr.

Houston then answered that answer with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Five of those seven plays were runs, including a 1-yard King sneak to put Houston back up with 2:27 left before halftime.

Washington State threatened to pull even just before the break, but Gordon’s end zone toss was intercepted by Houston’s Gleson Sprewell with 24 seconds left in the first half.

King has carried Houston, hitting 10-of-14 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown while rushing a game-high nine times for 65 yards and another score. Gordon was 15-of-20 for 163 yards with a touchdown and a pick.