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Iowa State Blows Chance to Play for the Big 12 Title

November 27, 2005|From the Associated Press

Iowa State had a chance to wipe away the bitter memory of last season's missed opportunity. Instead, the Cyclones let a berth in the Big 12 Conference title game slip away in overtime again.

Last season it was Missouri that beat Iowa State to prevent the Cyclones from playing in the league championship game for the first time.

This season it was Kansas.

The Cyclones wasted an 11-point lead and missed a field-goal attempt in overtime, then watched Scott Webb kick a 34-yarder to give the host Jayhawks a 24-21 victory Saturday that makes them bowl eligible and sends Colorado to Houston next weekend to meet No. 2 Texas for the Big 12 championship.

"It's rare in life to get second opportunities," Iowa State Coach Dan McCarney said. "Sometimes you wait 10, 15, 20 or 30 years and don't get another opportunity like we did today, coming up short like we did last year in overtime. We had that opportunity today again in overtime, but again we came up short."

Colorado (7-4, 5-3) will trudge into next week's matchup with the unbeaten Longhorns coming off a 30-3 loss to Nebraska on Friday. That gave Iowa State (7-4, 4-4) a chance to tie Colorado for the North title. The Cyclones would have gone to the title game because they beat the Buffaloes in the regular season.

Before Webb kicked his game-winner for Kansas (6-5, 3-5), Iowa State's Bret Culbertson missed from 41 yards in overtime. Culbertson missed a field goal last year that would have beaten Missouri in regulation.

"I was hoping to make up for last year," Culbertson said. "But it [stinks] to let your team down again. I just missed the kick."

The Cyclones, who tied Colorado for the North title last year but lost to the Buffaloes in the regular season, missed an opportunity to play for their first outright conference championship in 114 years of football.

The Cyclones entered last year's regular-season finale in the same spot, needing to beat Missouri. But they lost, 17-14, after Culbertson missed a 24-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds, and Iowa State then couldn't convert in overtime on first and goal from the three.

No. 5 Virginia Tech 30, North Carolina 3 -- Cedric Humes ran for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns and the Hokies (10-1, 7-1) advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a victory over the Tar Heels (5-6, 4-4) at Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia Tech led only 6-3 at halftime, but Humes scored on runs of one and three yards and Branden Ore had a touchdown run, all in the third quarter.

No. 10 Miami 25, Virginia 17 -- Kyle Wright threw for 248 yards and the go-ahead score, then scampered a career-long 31 yards to set up the final touchdown as the Hurricanes (9-2, 6-2) beat the Cavaliers (6-5, 3-5) in an ACC game at Miami.

Wright completed 23 of 30 passes, including a 17-yard touchdown to Sinorice Moss that put Miami ahead for good. And his long run with 1:58 left set up Charlie Jones' one-yard run that sealed Miami's fifth regular season with at least nine wins in the last six years.

No. 13 Georgia 14, No. 20 Georgia Tech 7 -- D.J. Shockley threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryan McClendon with 3:18 left and Tim Jennings clinched the victory with an interception at the goal line, giving the Bulldogs (9-2) the victory over the Yellow Jackets (7-4) at Atlanta.

Georgia defeated its state rival for the fifth year in a row.

No. 17 Louisville 41, Syracuse 17 -- Montrell Jones caught six passes for a career-high 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Brandon Johnson had a key third-quarter interception to help the Cardinals (8-2, 4-2) overcome a sloppy performance to beat the Orange (1-10, 0-7) in a Big East Conference game at Louisville, Ky. Louisville won its school-record 12th straight home game.

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