COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State took awhile to get untracked before Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. hooked up on two touchdown passes as the top-ranked Buckeyes rolled to a 37-7 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday.
Much like its win at Texas last week, Ohio State was overpowering when it had to be and always seemed to come up with a big play at the right time.
The defense held the Bearcats (1-2) to minus-4 yards on 22 attempts. The Buckeyes (3-0) had eight sacks for minus 59 yards.
Still, they didn't have a firm grip on the game until tailback Antonio Pittman raced 48 yards around left end for a score with 10 minutes remaining to push the lead to 27-7. Pittman finished with 155 yards on 16 carries.
Smith, who tossed passes to Ginn when both were at Cleveland's Glenville High, completed 21 of 30 passes for 203 yards before taking most of the fourth quarter off.
Ginn was limited to five catches for 33 yards, including touchdowns of 12 and 9 yards.
Leading just 13-7 at the half, Ohio State got some breathing room on its second possession of the third quarter. Pittman had runs of 13, 6, 8 and 11 yards and Smith hit Anthony Gonzalez for 13 yards to give the Buckeyes a first down at the 9. Smith then found Ginn, who was crossing over the middle, ducking inside a potential tackler for the touchdown.
NO. 8 TEXAS 52, RICE 7
In Houston, Texas had no trouble rebounding from last week's loss to Ohio State as Colt McCoy and the Longhorns defeated overmatched Rice.
Texas (2-1) easily avoided losing two consecutive games for the first time since 1999 while Rice (0-3) has lost 19 of its past 20.
McCoy threw for 124 yards and two touchdowns and Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles both ran for more than 100 yards and scored a touchdown each.
The Longhorns scored on their first three possessions and then tacked on touchdowns on defense and special teams to take a 31-0 lead.
McCoy threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Limas Sweed just before halftime to make it 38-0.
NO. 16 IOWA 27, IOWA STATE 17
In Iowa City, Iowa, Drew Tate threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns to lead Iowa over in-state rival Iowa State.
The Cyclones (2-1) had taken six of the past eight from Iowa - including a 23-3 thumping last season - and looked poised to make it seven of nine. But Tate, who missed last week's game with an abdominal strain, led Iowa (3-0) back by throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the second half.
Tate threw for 93 yards on consecutive scoring drives that put Iowa ahead 24-17 early in the fourth quarter. He found Tony Moeaki for a 19-yard touchdown with 3:32 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 17, then hit Tom Busch for a 2-yard scoring strike that proved to be the game-winning score.
NO. 21 CALIFORNIA 42,
PORTLAND STATE 16
In Berkely, Calif., Marshawn Lynch ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on just six carries and California tuned up for its Pac-10 schedule with a victory over Portland State.
Nate Longshore passed for 225 yards and two scores in the first half for the Golden Bears (2-1), who substituted liberally after rolling to a 32-point lead midway through the second quarter. DeSean Jackson caught five passes for 103 yards and a score.
Cal's defense knocked two of the Division I-AA Vikings' quarterbacks out of the game with injuries on crushing hits in the first quarter.
NO. 25 PENN STATE 37, YOUNGSTOWN STATE 3
In State College, Pa., Tony Hunt ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and A.J. Wallace scored on a 76-yard reverse for Penn State (2-1).
The Nittany Lions were too big and fast for the Division I-AA Penguins most of the afternoon. Penn State had 568 yards of total offense, including 389 on the ground, and held Youngstown State to 184 total yards.
No. 18 Oregon 34, No. 15 Oklahoma 33
In Eugene, Ore., Dennis Dixon and Oregon rallied for two touchdowns in the final 72 seconds - with help from a disputed onside kick - and the Ducks blocked a field goal on the final play to seal a wild victory over Oklahoma.
Dixon's 16-yard keeper with 1:12 left brought the Ducks within 33-27 and set up the onside kick attempt.
The Ducks (3-0) recovered the kick on their own 48, but Oklahoma (2-1) argued that an Oregon player touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards, which would have given the Sooners possession. Officials delayed play for an instant replay review, but the call stood.
no. 20 TCU 12, No. 24 Texas Tech 3
In Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Christian got the ultimate revenge against Texas Tech.
Not only did the Horned Frogs win, they held Texas Tech's pass-happy offense without a touchdown two years after the Red Raiders' 10-touchdown assault in the last meeting between the former Southwest Conference rivals.
Chris Manfredini kicked four field goals for Texas Christian (3-0), which won its 13th consecutive game. His longest kick was 34 yards, and the last was a 23-yarder with 4:19 left.
Texas Christian's winning streak is the longest in NCAA Division I-A.