Joe Paterno has been saying all year he has a good football team. His Nittany Lions finally proved it on the field, allowing Paterno to end his 39th season at Penn State with a victory in State College, Pa.
The Nittany Lions scored four third-quarter touchdowns in a 37-13 win yesterday over Michigan State, and students who booed during three previous home losses chanted "Joe Paterno" and "Joe Pa, Joe Pa" as the game wound down.
Tamba Hali and Paul Posluszny had interceptions, and Donnie Johnson blocked a punt for Penn State (4-7, 2-6 Big Ten), which wrapped up its fourth losing season in five years. The loss eliminated Michigan State (5-6, 4-4) from bowl consideration.
There have been calls for the 77-year-old coach to step down, though Paterno again dismissed any suggestion this season might be his last.
"Have I ever said I wasn't [coming back]? Is that wishful thinking? I'm planning to be back next year," Paterno said.
* PURDUE 63, INDIANA 24: Kyle Orton threw for 522 yards and six touchdowns, setting a school record with 530 total yards, to lead the host Boilermakers.
Taylor Stubblefield also had a record-setting day. He passed the NCAA's receiving mark by catching 14 passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 309 career receptions. Louisville's Arnold Jackson caught 300 passes from 1997 to 2000.
The Boilermakers (7-4, 4-4) finished with a Big Ten-record 763 yards in total offense and scored 60 points for the first time since 1913. Indiana (3-8, 1-7) ended its season with three straight losses.
* NORTH CAROLINA 40, DUKE 17: Chad Scott rushed for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns to help the visiting Tar Heels become bowl eligible for the first time in three years.
Ronnie McGill also ran for a touchdown and Darian Durant threw for another score for North Carolina (6-5, 5-3 ACC). The Blue Devils are 2-9, 1-7.
* IOWA STATE 37, KANSAS STATE 23: Bret Meyer threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and the Cyclones scored three touchdowns in the final 31/2 minutes to win on the road.
The Cyclones (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) will win their first North Division title if they beat Missouri next week. Kansas State dropped to 4-7, 2-6.
* NORTHWESTERN 28, ILLINOIS 21: Brett Basanez connected with Jonathan Fields on a seven-yard scoring pass in overtime to lift the host Wildcats.
It was the fourth overtime game this year for Northwestern (6-5, 5-3 Big Ten), keeping its bowl hopes alive. Illinois (3-8, 1-7) has gone 9-26 since going to the Sugar Bowl three years ago.
* OREGON STATE 50, OREGON 21: Derek Anderson threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns as the host Beavers (6-5, 5-3 Pacific-10) became bowl eligible.
The archrivals both entered the Civil War needing a win to qualify for a bowl berth. While Oregon State awaits a postseason invite, the Ducks (5-6, 4-4) headed home with their first losing season since 1993.
* KANSAS 31, MISSOURI 14: Fourth-stringer Brian Luke threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Jayhawks end a 13-game Big 12 road losing streak.
Clark Green had 118 yards and a touchdown for Kansas (4-7, 2-6 Big 12). Missouri fell to 4-6, 2-5.
* AIR FORCE 47, COLORADO STATE 17: Shaun Carney threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and the Falcons (5-6, 3-4 Mountain West) scored four touchdowns in the second half in Denver.
Air Force had had 576 total yards to end a three-game losing streak to Colorado State (4-7, 2-5).
* UAB 20, ARMY 14: In West Point, N.Y., Darrell Hackney completed 20 of 32 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Blazers (7-3, 5-2 Conference USA).
* MEMPHIS 38, EAST CAROLINA 35: DeAngelo Williams rushed for 225 yards and four touchdowns, and Steven Gostkowski made a tiebreaking field goal with six seconds left for the visiting Tigers (7-3, 4-3 Conference USA).
* ARKANSAS 24, MISSISSIPPI STATE 21: Matt Jones passed for 215 yards, and Pierre Brown returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for a touchdown to lead the visiting Razorbacks (5-5, 3-4 SEC).
* WASHINGTON STATE 28, WASHINGTON 25: Alex Brink threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the host Cougars (5-6, 3-5 Pac-10) ended a seven-year drought in the Apple Cup against the Huskies (1-10, 0-8).
* IVY LEAGUE: Ricky Williamson scored on a 100-yard interception return, and Brian Edwards ran back a punt for another touchdown to help Harvard, at home, complete a perfect season with a 35-3 win over Yale. The Crimson finished 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the conference. Yale dropped to 5-5, 3-4. . . . Defensive lineman Bobby Fallon intercepted a tipped pass and ran 17 yards for a touchdown to start Penn (8-2, 6-1) on its way to a 20-14 win over host Cornell (4-6, 4-3). . . . Princeton's James Williams ripped the ball from a teammate's arms after a blocked field goal and raced 24 yards for the game-winning touchdown as host Princeton (5-5, 3-4) defeated Dartmouth (1-9, 1-6), 17-10. . . . Mark Hartigan rushed for 179 yards and four touchdowns to lead host Brown (6-4, 3-4) to a 33-21 win over Columbia (1-9, 1-6).