College football: Buckeyes disintegrate vaunted defense of No. 4 Michigan; Clemson wins in shootout; Texas A&M-LSU play in 7 OT thriller
Dwayne Haskins threw five touchdown passes, freshman Chris Olave scored twice and blocked a punt that was returned for a TD and No. 10 Ohio State continued its mastery over No. 4 Michigan with a record-setting 62-39 victory Saturday that sends the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship game.
The Wolverines were two victories away from their first conference championship since 2004 and a trip to the College Football Playoff, facing an Ohio State team that has looked discombobulated on defense and one-dimensional on offense much of the season. Looking to snap a six-game losing streak against the Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1, No. 10 CFP) and get coach Jim Harbaugh his first victory in four tries in the rivalry known simply as The Game, the Wolverines (10-2, 8-1, No. 4 CFP) wilted.
In the 115th meeting between two of college football’s most storied rivals, Ohio State scored more points than it ever had against Michigan — more points than any team has ever scored in regulation against Michigan. The previous high was 58 by Cornell in 1891.
And now, despite all the dysfunction at Ohio State this season — both on and off the field — the Buckeyes will face No. 20 Northwestern next week in Indianapolis with a chance to repeat as Big Ten champs and maybe even squeeze into the playoff.
Maybe most satisfying of all, Ohio State made it 14 victories in the last 15 meetings against the team it loves to beat the most.
Olave, who came into the game with five catches and no touchdowns, caught two TD passes and broke it open on special teams in the third quarter. He looped through a seam in the line and got a chunk of Will Hart’s punt. The ball sailed off high and to the side and landed in the arms of Sevyn Banks, who cruised 33 yards for a touchdown that made it 34-19 and sent the Ohio Stadium crowd into a frenzy
at No. 1 Alabama 52, Auburn 21: Tua Tagovailoa threw five touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 52-21 victory over rival Auburn on Saturday.
Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 1 CFP) took over with an explosive third quarter, when the Heisman Trophy contender threw three long touchdown passes. He’s the first Alabama player to have a hand in six TDs in a game and matched the school record with the five scoring passes.
Now, `Bama heads to the SEC championship game against No. 5 Georgia with a guaranteed playoff spot on the line.
at No. 2 Clemson 56, South Carolina 35: Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 393 yards, Adam Choice rushed for three touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson capped a perfect regular season with a 56-35 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night for its fifth consecutive rivalry win.
The Tigers reached 12-0 for the second time in four seasons and for the third time in program history, starting with its 1981 national title season.
Clemson (CFP No. 2) kept pace for another title run with their latest success over the Gamecocks (6-5), its longest since winning seven in a row from 1934-40.
Jake Bentley had career highs with 510 yards — the second most ever allowed by Clemson — and five TDs for South Carolina. The Tigers had not given up that many points in 28 games since a 42-35 win over Virginia Tech in the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
at No. 5 Georgia 45, Georgia Tech 21: Jake Fromm threw four touchdown passes, D’Andre Swift ran for 105 yards and No. 5 Georgia romped into the Southeastern Conference championship game with a 45-21 rout of Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (11-1, No. 5 CFP) couldn’t afford a slip-up, not with top-ranked Alabama looming next week in Atlanta.
This game was over by halftime.
Georgia went to the locker room with a 38-7 lead — which, in an interesting twist, was the score of last year’s dominating victory over the Yellow Jackets. The Bulldogs held a 343-66 edge in total yards, piling up 18 first downs to only four by Georgia Tech (7-5).
at No. 22 Texas A&M 74, No. 7 Louisiana State 72: Kellen Mond’s 2-point conversion to Kendrick Rogers in the seventh overtime gave Texas A&M 74-72 victory over No. 8 LSU on Saturday night in a game that tied the NCAA record for most overtimes in an FBS game.
Mond connected with Quartney Davis on a 17-yard throw to tie it at 72. Greedy Williams was called for pass interference on the first 2-point conversion try, giving the Aggies (8-4, 5-3, No. 22 CFP), another shot. After a false start by Texas A&M, Mond found Rogers for the conversion to end it.
Joe Burrow had a 10-yard TD run to put LSU (9-3, 5-3, No. 7 CFP) up 72-66 in the seventh OT, but his 2-point conversion throw failed.
No. 11 Florida 41, at Florida State 14: Feleipe Franks had three touchdown passes and No. 11 Florida used a punishing ground attack to end a five-game losing streak to Florida State, defeating the Seminoles 41-14 on Saturday.
Lamical Perine had a 74-yard touchdown run as Florida ran for 278 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Perine ran for 129 yards, averaging 9.9 yards per carry.
The Gators (9-3) halted Florida State’s bowl streak, which began in 1982, and handed the Seminoles their first losing season since 1976, which was Bobby Bowden’s first season as head coach.
The Seminoles (5-7) suffered six double-digit losses and fell to Miami, Clemson and Florida in the same season for the first time since 2009.
at No. 12 Penn State 38, Maryland 3: Trace McSorley completed 12 of 22 passes for 230 yards and had a hand in three touchdowns to help No. 15 Penn State rout Maryland 38-3 on Saturday.
McSorley added 64 rushing yards on 11 carries for the Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten, No. 12 CFP). He threw a 34-yard bullet through freezing rain to KJ Hamler on the game’s first play, sprinted downfield to throw a block that opened Miles Sanders up for a 35-yard run on the next, then skipped into the end zone from 3 yards out to cap the quick opening drive.
No. 15 Kentucky 56, at Louisville 10: Terry Wilson accounted for 340 yards and four touchdowns, Benny Snell Jr. rushed for two scores and No. 17 Kentucky blew out archrival Louisville 56-10 on Saturday night to win the Governor’s Cup.
The Wildcats (9-3) scored TDs on all five first-half drives and never trailed in posting their first nine-win regular season since 1977, scoring TDs on all five first-half drives. Wilson’s 3-yard scoring run provided a 14-0 lead before he tossed TD passes of 28 and 13 yards to Lynn Bowden for a 35-10 cushion late in the second quarter. The sophomore transfer threw a 32-yard TD to Josh Ali in the third to make it 42-10.
Wilson completed 17 of 23 passes for 261 yards and rushed for 79 in his biggest game with Kentucky. Snell rushed for TDs of 7 and 24 yards, A.J. Rose ran for a 75-yard score and Kavosiey Smoke had a 37-yard TD run as Kentucky posted its most lopsided series win over the Cardinals (2-10) since `98 (68-34).
at No. 19 Northwestern 24, Illinois 16: Clayton Thorson accounted for three touchdowns, Isaiah Browser rushed for 166 yards on 18 carries and No. 20 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-16 on Saturday for its seventh straight Big Ten win.
Thorson completed 12 of 18 passes for 110 yards and two TDs. He also ran for a score, and Bowser posted his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
The Wildcats (8-4, 8-1, No. 19 in CFP) will face No. 10 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game next weekend in Indianapolis. Illinois (4-8, 2-7) lost for the sixth time in seven games. AJ Bush Jr. completed 23 of 39 passes for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Ricky Smalling finished with seven receptions for 72 yards and a TD.
No. 20 Syracuse 42, at Boston College 21: Eric Dungey ran for three touchdowns and threw for 362 yards and three more scores to lead No. 20 Syracuse to a 42-21 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
The Orange (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) gave up the first score of the game and then scored touchdowns on three straight possessions, starting with a 75-yard pass from Dungey to a wide-open Sean Riley. BC fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up Dungey’s 4-yard run to make it 14-7 and the Eagles (7-5, 4-4) never got any closer.
Dungey followed with a 2-yard touchdown run and also scored on an 18-yard quarterback sneak right before the half to give the Orange a 28-14 lead.
Riley caught five passes for 115 yards, and Dontae Strickland carried 20 times for 129 yards for Syracuse, which bounced back from a 36-3 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame to win for the fifth time in six games.
Boston College finished with a three-game losing streak after opening the season 7-2 and rising to No. 17 in the AP Top 25.
at No. 23 Boise State 33, No. 21 Utah State 24: Brett Rypien threw for 310 yards and a touchdown, Alexander Mattison rushed for 200 yards and three scores, and No. 21 Boise State beat No. 14 Utah State 33-24 on Saturday night.
Boise State (10-2, 7-1), which has won seven straight since losing to San Diego State on Oct. 6, will host Fresno State for the Mountain West championship on Saturday in a rematch from last season.
Utah State (10-2, 7-1) had its 10-game winning streak snapped as had its hopes dashed of earning a berth to one of the New Year’s Six bowls.
at Miami (Fla.) 24, No. 24 Pittsburgh 3: Travis Homer rushed for 168 yards and a long touchdown, DeeJay Dallas ran back a punt for one of his two scores and Miami closed its regular season by knocking off No. 24 Pittsburgh 24-3 on Saturday.
Dallas also had a rushing touchdown for the Hurricanes (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Homer is up to 969 yards this season, and would have a chance to become the 10th runner in Miami history with a 1,000-yard season if he gets 31 in the bowl game. His career rushing total is now 1,979 yards, which moved him four yards past Frank Gore for 12th on the Hurricanes’ list.
Kenny Pickett completed 14 of 22 passes for 130 yards for Pitt (7-5, 6-2), which had already locked up the ACC’s Coastal Division and a berth in next weekend’s conference title game against Clemson. It was a reversal of last season, when Miami had the Coastal clinched and lost to Pitt in the regular-season finale for both clubs.
at No. 25 Iowa State 42, Kansas State 38: David Montgomery ran for three touchdowns, including the winner with 4:34 to go, and 25th-ranked Iowa State rallied from 17 down in the fourth quarter to stun Kansas State 42-38 on Saturday night and snap a 10-game skid against the Wildcats.
Montgomery had 149 yards rushing for the Cyclones (7-4, 6-3 Big 12), who clinched their best-ever finish in the Big 12.
Down 38-21, Iowa State scored twice in just 1:44 early in the fourth — on a short Brock Purdy TD pass and a 21-yard fumble return by Mike Rose — to pull within 38-35. The beleaguered Cyclones’ defense then made a stop, and Montgomery’s 18-yard touchdown run gave Iowa State an improbable lead.
Other games of note:
- Purdue’s David Blough threw three more touchdown passes and receiver Rondale Moore scored twice to lead the Boilermakers to a 28-21 victory at rival Indiana. Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket for the second straight year and became bowl-eligible in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2011-12. Indiana lost six of its final seven games and came up one win short of the postseason for the second year in a row.
- Justin McMillan connected with Jaetavian Toles for a 26-yard touchdown with 1:27 left and the Green Wave gambled on a 2-point conversion to pull out a 29-28 win over Navy. The victory allowed Tulane to avoid a devastating collapse and become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013. Navy had scored 25 straight in the second half to take a 28-21 lead before the Green Wave’s winning drive.
- Reggie Gallaspy II ran 1 yard in overtime for a touchdown, his school-record-tying fifth TD, and North Carolina State beat North Carolina 34-28 in a rivalry game marred by a fight in the end zone after it ended. Gallaspy rushed for a career-high 129 yards and scored on runs of 1, 4 and 34 yards before scoring the tying TD from 5 yards out in regulation.
- Charlie Brewer threw for 308 yards with three touchdowns and ran for a score as Baylor beat Texas Tech 35-24 in the regular season finale to get bowl eligible a year after winning only one game. The Red Raiders ended their third consecutive losing season with lingering questions about the future of coach Kliff Kingsbury. Their former quarterback is 35-40 in six seasons as head coach. They lost their last five games.
- Cade Carney rushed for a career-high 223 yards and Wake Forest closed out its regular season with a 59-7 win over Duke. Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5 ACC) secured bowl eligibility for the third time in coach Dave Clawson’s five seasons at the school.
- Brent Stockstill passed for 261 yards and two touchdowns and Middle Tennessee beat UAB 27-3 to set up a rematch for the Conference USA championship in Murfreesboro next Saturday. The Blue Raiders (8-4, 7-1) clinched the East Division earlier Saturday when Marshall knocked off FIU. Middle Tennessee will host the championship, earning the tiebreaker by virtue of its victory over the Blazers (9-3, 7-1).
- Receiver Isaiah Wright scored on a run and a kickoff return as Temple routed UConn 57-7 and the Huskies finished the season with several records for defensive futility. The Owls who started the year 0-2, finished the regular season with three straight wins and victories in six of their final seven games. The Huskies this season gave up the most yards (7,409), yards per game (617.4), points (605) and points per game (50.41) of any major college football team in NCAA history.
- Demetrius Douglas returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown, Minnesota’s defense held up on the road and the Golden Gophers ran away from Wisconsin for a 37-15 win on Saturday to snap a 14-game losing streak in the rivalry and reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 121 yards and a 10-yard touchdown run on 26 carries for Minnesota, which became bowl eligible for the first time under second-year coach P.J. Fleck.
- Jawuan Johnson returned a fumble 15 yards and Jalen Reagor ran 83 yards for a score right after halftime and the Horned Frogs got bowl eligible with a 31-24 victory over Oklahoma State. Reagor also had a 6-yard TD catch for the injury-plagued Horned Frogs. TCU is going to its 16th bowl in Gary Patterson’s 18 seasons as head coach.
No. 3 Notre Dame 24, at USC 17
Stanford 49, at UCLA 42
at No. 17 Utah 35, Brigham Young 27
Arizona State 41, at Arizona 40
at California 33, Colorado 21
at Appalachian State 21, Troy 10
Arkansas State 33, at Texas State 7
Charlotte 27, at Florida Atlantic 24
at Fresno State 31, San Jose State 13
Georgia Southern 35, at Georgia State 14
Hawaii 31, at San Diego State 30, OT
Louisiana-Lafayette 31, at Louisiana-Monroe 28
at Liberty 28, New Mexico State 21
Marshall 28, at Florida International 25
at Michigan State 14, Rutgers 10
at Middle Tennessee 27, Alabama Birmingham 3
at Nevada Las Vegas 34, Nevada 29
North Texas 24, at Texas San Antonio 21
at Rice 27, Old Dominion 13
Southern Mississippi 39, Texas El Paso 7
at Tulsa 27, Southern Methodist 24
at Vanderbilt 38, Tennessee 13
Western Kentucky 30, at Louisiana Tech 15
Wyoming 31, at New Mexico 3
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