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Broncos gain on Horned Frogs

NEW YORK — Watch out, Texas Christian. Boise State is gaining.

The Broncos narrowed the gap on the Horned Frogs in the Bowl Championship Series standings and put themselves in position to pass their BCS-buster rivals down the stretch.

Oregon and Auburn are still in the top two spots in the standings released Sunday. TCU remained third, but it had a bad week in BCS terms.

The Horned Frogs and Broncos are vying for two prizes. The team in third place in the BCS standings is likely to be next in line for the national championship game if Auburn or Oregon slip up down the stretch.

Auburn plays Alabama the day after Thanksgiving and South Carolina in the SEC title game.

Oregon has off this weekend, followed by a home game against Arizona and a road game against Oregon State.

Even if a title game spot doesn't open up, TCU and Boise State are still competing for an automatic BCS bid, one that would likely send the highest ranked team to the Rose Bowl while the other could get left out of the BCS all together.

The Horned Frogs played their closest game of the season Saturday, a 40-35 victory against San Diego State. TCU also was hurt by Utah's 28-3 loss at Notre Dame. The Horned Frogs beat the previously unbeaten Utes 47-7. It looked like a big win at the time, but a week later, beating the Utes doesn't look so impressive, and Boise State has crept closer.

"It was as bad a day as you can have and not lose your game," BCS analyst Jerry Palm said about TCU's Saturday.

Added to TCU's day was offensive line coach Eddie Williamson going to the hospital after experiencing chest pains on the sideline. TCU spokesman Mark Cohen says Williamson was "doing great" Sunday but still expected to remain in the hospital "another day or two."

With three more games to play, compared with one for TCU, the Broncos might have enough left to edge past the Frogs.

Boise State jumped TCU and moved into third in both the Harris and coaches' polls, though in both cases the Broncos and Frogs are separated by less than a dozen points. TCU still holds a decided edge in the computer ratings at third compared to Boise State's sixth.

Miami is 24th in the BCS and FSU is 25th.

AP poll: Oregon and Auburn remained Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the media poll, with the Hurricanes again checking in at 24. Florida and UCF fell out after their losses. The media poll has no bearing on the BCS.

Georgia: Coach Mark Richt would not say if he filed a complaint to the SEC about the hit by an Auburn player that knocked quarterback and former Plant High star Aaron Murray out of Saturday's game. Richt also would not answer questions about Murray's health. Murray had to be helped off and did not return after Auburn's Nick Fairley hit his knee. Fairley was penalized for a late hit on Murray earlier in the game.

UCF: After leading by 14 then losing 31-21 to Southern Mississippi, the Knights look ahead to the first of two crucial Conference USA road games that will determine whether they earn a spot in the conference title game. The Knights (7-3, 5-1) visit Tulane (4-6, 2-4) Saturday. "It's a wake-up call," senior defensive end Bruce Miller said. "We saw that we're not invincible. We can't count on guys to score as many points as we have recently. We scored enough points to win, and we didn't get off the field and make stops, and they beat us."

Miami: Coach Randy Shannon said his team will take "baby steps'' with quarterback Jacory Harris, so he likely will sit out his third game because of a concussion. Quarterback Stephen Morris had no interceptions and one touchdown in the 35-10 win over Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes (7-3, 5-2) play Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) on Saturday. If Miami wins, and the Hokies lose the following week against Virginia, the Hurricanes will win the Coastal Division. Should Virginia Tech win Saturday, it clinches the division title on Miami's home field.

Southern Miss: Three players were shot during a fight at a nightclub, and all three are in fair condition at a local hospital, police Hattiesburg said. Linebackers Martez Smith and Tim Green and defensive end Deddrick Jones were shot just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday, police spokesman Sgt. Allen Murray said. No arrests have been made, and police did not comment on possible suspects. Murray said it's possible the shooting was gang-related.

Late Saturday

Oregon 15, California 13: Jeff Maehl caught a 29-yard touchdown pass and the Ducks got stellar effort from its defense and a huge break on a missed field goal to stay unbeaten. Cliff Harris returned a punt 64 yards for the only touchdown in the first half by the Ducks. Giorgio Tavecchio missed a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would have given the host Golden Bears a 16-15 lead. The miss came after he was called for a false start that wiped a 24-yard field goal off the board.

Nebraska 20, Kansas 3: Rex Burkhead and Roy Helu Jr. ran for touchdowns and the host Cornhuskers held Kansas to 87 total yards.

Stanford 17, Ariz. St. 13: Andrew Luck threw for 292 yards and engineered a long fourth-quarter scoring drive to set up Owen Marecic's second 1-yard touchdown dive for the visiting Cardinal.

Okla. State 33, Texas 16: Brandon Weeden passed for 409 yards and Kendall Hunter ran for two touchdowns as the visiting Cowboys ended a 12-year losing streak to Texas and kept them in first place in the Big 12 South.

USC 24, Arizona 21: Marc Tyler ran for a career-high 160 yards for the visiting Trojans, who climbed into a tie with the Wildcats for third in the Pac-10.

Okla. 45, Texas Tech 7: Ryan Broyles caught three of Landry Jones' five touchdown passes for the host Sooners.

Nevada 35, Fresno State 34: Colin Kaepernick set a school record with his 55th career rushing TD, and Vai Taua's third score gave the visiting Wolf Pack the win.

Texas A&M 42, Baylor 30: Cyrus Gray ran for 137 yards and scored three of his career-high four touchdowns in the second half as the visiting Aggies rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit .

Information from the Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report.

Broncos gain on Horned Frogs 11/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2010 6:23pm]

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