Oregon moves to No. 2 in the nation after dominating Arizona.

By Joey Saade

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The Oregon football team has often been known for its high-scoring offense the past couple of seasons. However, it was the defense that came up big for the Ducks, as they shut out an offensive juggernaut in Arizona  on Saturday, 49-0.

No. 3 Oregon (4-0)  forced the No. 22 Wildcats (3-1) into five turnovers for the game, four of which came in the red zone, and two interceptions that resulted in defensive touchdowns.

On top of holding the Wildcats, who average 605 yards per game, to just 332, the Ducks shutout an Arizona team that  averaged 46 points in its first three games.

The Ducks struggled early offensively, and held a 13-0 lead at halftime before getting into their normal groove in the second half with 36 points.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota went 20-of-35 and threw for 260 yards with a pair of touchdowns and one interception.

The usually dominant Arizona offense was unable to find any rhythm throughout the entire game as quarterback Matt Scott completed only half of his passes (22-of-44) for 210 yards and was intercepted three times.

This dominant victory lifted the Ducks to the No. 2 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings behind Alabama.

With the loss, Arizona dropped out of the AP  poll.

Second-half sparks FSU

After a slow start in the first half, No. 4 Florida State  scored 35 points in a 20-minute span in the second half to get past No. 10 Clemson, 49-31.

The Seminoles (4-0) struggled early, missing two field goals and giving up a costly fumble that resulted in a Tigers (3-1)  touchdown that put them up 21-14 at halftime.

After a trick-play touchdown pass by Clemson’s Sammy Watkins in the opening minutes of the third quarter put the Tigers up 28-14, the Seminoles shifted gears and  converted five touchdowns.

Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel led the offensive attack, completing 27-of-35 passes while throwing for a career-high 380 yards and rushing for another 102. Manuel also had two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Clemson got on the board early after Tajh Boyd threw a 60-yard  touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins just 90 seconds into the game. It was the first touchdown allowed by  the Seminoles defense this year.

Boyd went on to complete 20 of his 36 passes, throwing for 237 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

With the win, Florida State remained at the No. 4 spot in the rankings, while Clemson dropped to No. 17.

LSU shuts down Auburn

Led by its strong defense, Louisiana State  came out of Auburn with an ugly, 12-10 victory.

LSU (4-0) stood up to the defensive challenge and held Auburn (1-3) to only 183 yards total – 86 rushing and 97 passing.

After trailing 10-9 at halftime, the Tigers  capitalized off an Auburn fumble on a punt return late in the third quarter with a 30-yard field goal that put them up 12-10.

From that point on, LSU’s defense held Auburn to only one first down in the entire fourth quarter, and destroyed any hope of an Auburn comeback.

As well as the defense played, the Tigers’ offense was inconsistent all night. Its only touchdown came in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Michael Ford.

Auburn held the LSU offense to a season low in points (10), and yards (351), but came up short offensively.

Despite the win, the Tigers have dropped down to the No. 3 spot in the rankings behind Alabama and Oregon.

Joey Saade can be reached at [email protected]