PENN STATE 25
THE SITUATION: Looking to move into the driver's seat in the Big Ten, undefeated Penn State led Michigan 25--21 with one second left, but the Wolverines had the ball at the Nittany Lions' 10.
THE FINISH: The Wolverines call it Python, and quarterback Chad Henne says the team practices the play about 15 times every Wednesday as part of its red-zone package. Freshman wideout Mario Manningham was split to the right, with Steve Breaston in the slot. At the snap Breaston--the first read for Henne--ran what the Wolverines call a B-line, sprinting to the five and cutting toward the goalpost. Manningham (above) stayed outside on a deeper post route. "The call was perfect," said Breaston. "I could see Chad's eyes light up when he saw the defense." Strong safety Calvin Lowry cheated inside to help linebacker Paul Posluszny with Breaston. So Henne checked down to Manningham, who made a nifty cut and beat All-America corner Alan Zemaitis to the inside. "One second I was looking for the ball," said Breaston, "the next, all I heard was this roar."
NEXT UP: Penn State travels to Illinois while Michigan is at Iowa.
OLE MISS 10
THE SITUATION: Undefeated Alabama, the leader in the SEC West, went into Oxford as a double-digit favorite, but it was locked in a 10--10 tie with the Rebels with 24 seconds left.
THE FINISH: Facing third-and-one from the Ole Miss 31, Crimson Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle called two plays in the huddle. The first was a sneak that picked up two yards, momentarily stopping the clock while the first-down marker was being reset. The second, known as 20 Paint, was a draw play out of the shotgun that coach Mike Shula hoped would get Alabama five yards closer for a field goal attempt. But Ken Darby, who in the third quarter had scored on a 48-yard run, took the handoff and sprinted 15 yards to the Ole Miss 14. "I think they thought we were going to throw," says Croyle. "They had only three down linemen, and they were bluffing their safety like they had been all day. Kenny gashed them." On the next play Jamie Christensen (above) drilled a 31-yard field goal as time expired.
NEXT UP: Alabama gets into the meat of its SEC schedule, with a game in Tuscaloosa against No. 17 Tennessee.