College football: Ohio State edges Maryland 52-51 in OT; Notre Dame pounds Syracuse
Tenth-ranked Ohio State went to overtime to avoid one of the most stunning upsets in this college football season, defeating Maryland 52-51 on Saturday in College Park, Md., when the Terrapins failed to convert a two-point conversion after the potential game-tying touchdown.
Favored by 14 1/2 points, Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) trailed by two touchdowns in the third quarter and 45-38 with under two minutes left before rallying to a pivotal victory.
After a five-yard touchdown run by Dwayne Haskins gave the Buckeyes the lead to start overtime, Tayon Fleet-Davis scored to get the Terrapins within a point. Interim coach Matt Canada decided to end it right there, going for 2, but Tyrrell Pigrome’s pass to Jeshaun Jones was off target.
The victory kept the Buckeyes in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State concludes the regular season next week in a game against Michigan that will decide the Big Ten East winner.
The Buckeyes never led until overtime against the upstart Terrapins (5-6, 3-5). Haskins ran for three touchdowns and was 28 for 38 for 405 yards and three TDs.
Ohio State finished with a whopping 688 yards, including 203 on the ground by J.K. Dobbins, but the defense allowed 535 yards and seven touchdowns.
Maryland freshman Anthony McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards in the first quarter and finished with 298 yards rushing — seven short of the school’s single-game record.
The Terps took a 45-38 lead when Chigoziem Okonkwo recovered a fumble by McFarland in the end zone with 1:41 left. Haskins then orchestrated a 50-yard, beat-the-clock drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory with 40 seconds remaining.
Up 24-17 at halftime, the Terrapins garnered further momentum on Ohio State’s first drive of the second half when RaVon Davis picked off a deflected pass and took it 37 yards for a score.
The Buckeyes answered with a 73-yard scoring drive that featured a pair of penalties against Maryland, including a pass interference call on a third-and-7. After Ohio State pulled even in the fourth quarter, Maryland moved back in front on a 27-yard touchdown pass by Pigrome, who was making his first start of the season after Kasim Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury last week.
Pigrome went 6 for 13 for 181 yards.
at No. 1 Alabama 50, Citadel 17: Tua Tagovailoa passed for 340 yards and three touchdowns but the Crimson Tide struggled for 30-plus minutes before putting away The Citadel.
The Crimson Tide (11-0), which had coasted against Southeastern Conference opponents, went into halftime tied 10-10 with the FCS Bulldogs (4-6). It wasn’t until `Bama scored two touchdowns in a 12-second span on its way to a 27-point third quarter that the Tide could rest easy.
at No. 2 Clemson 35, Duke 6: Trevor Lawrence was 21 for 38 for 251 yards and two touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson overcame a slow start to beat Duke 35-6 on Saturday night to finish a perfect Atlantic Coast Conference season.
Clemson (11-0, 8-0) fell behind 6-0 early. Lawrence was 0 for 7 on third downs in the first half and the Travis Etienne ran for just 4 yards as the Tigers led 14-6 at the break.
But Etienne ran for 77 yards on four carries in the second half with touchdowns runs of 27 and 29 yards, and Lawrence broke it open with a 10-yard TD pass to T.J. Chase early in the fourth quarter — his final play in another Clemson blowout.
No. 3 Notre Dame 36, No. 12 Syracuse : Ian Book returned to the starting lineup for the Fighting Irish and threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns at Yankee Stadium to stay on target for a trip to the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame held out Book from last week’s home game against Florida State with a rib injury, and he wasn’t missed as Notre Dame (11-0) rolled with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback.
Notre Dame clearly wanted to be cautious with Book ahead of its trip to the Bronx to face high-scoring Syracuse (8-3). The junior quarterback, who took over as the starter four games into the season, looked good as new.
at No. 4 Michigan 31, Indiana 20: Karan Higdon ran for a go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter and Jake Moody set a Michigan record with six field goals. The Wolverines (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) looked sluggish and it may have had something to do with looking ahead to next week’s game at No. 9 Ohio State, where they need a win to reach the Big Ten championship game for the first time. The Hoosiers (5-6, 2-6) were competitive against Michigan as they have been lately, losing in overtime twice in the previous three meetings, but came up short again. Indiana led 17-15 at halftime and finished with more yards (385) than anyone has had against Michigan’s top-ranked defense this season.
at No. 5 Georgia 66, UMass 27: Freshman Justin Fields threw two scoring passes and ran for another touchdown, Tyler Simmons had rushing and receiving scores, and the Bulldogs (10-1) protected their playoff hopes. Georgia gained 701 yards, including 426 yards on the ground, and never punted. UMass (4-8) trailed 42-13 at halftime.
at No. 7 Louisiana State 42, Rice 10: Joe Burrow passed for a career-high 307 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters and No. 10 LSU rolled to a 42-10 victory over struggling Rice. Burrow’s touchdowns went for 38 yards to Stephen Sullivan and 13 yards to senior tight end Foster Moreau. LSU can clinch its first 10-win season under coach Ed Orgeron and virtually ensure a New Year’s Day bowl bid by winning its regular season finale next weekend at Texas A&M.
at Oklahoma State 45, No. 9 West Virginia 41: Taylor Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace with 42 seconds remaining to rally the Cowboys to victory. Will Grier led West Virginia (8-2, 6-2 Big 12) to the Oklahoma State 14, but couldn’t connect with David Sills V on the final play. The loss all but ended West Virginia’s shot at the College Football Playoff. West Virginia faces Oklahoma next Friday and still has a shot at reaching the Big 12 title game. Cornelius passed for 338 yards and ran for 106 to help Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-5) become bowl eligible.
at No. 11 Central Florida 38, No. 24 Cincinnati 13: McKenzie Milton threw for 268 yards and accounted for four touchdowns to help No. 11 UCF remain unbeaten and extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 23 games with a 38-13 rout of No. 19 Cincinnati. The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii passed for three TDs without an interception and scored on a 3-yard run as the Knights clinched the American Athletic Conference East Division title and a spot in the league’s championship game.
at No. 13 Florida 63, Idaho 10: Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and the Gators 8-3) (ran up 600 total yards in a rout of the Vandals (4-7), who avoided a shutout when Cade Coffee made a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Florida rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown on the first play to start the onslaught. Four other touchdown drives took less than two minutes and the longest of the seven first-half scores came in 2:24.
No. 14 Penn State 20, at Rutgers 7: Trace McSorley threw two touchdown passes to tight end Pat Freiermuth and Nittany Lions’ defense set up two touchdowns with turnovers, sending the Scarlet Knights to their 10th straight loss. McSorley’s touchdown passes covered 6 yards in the second quarter and 18 in the fourth. Jake Pinegar added field goals of 22 and 19 yards.
No. 15 Texas 24, No. 16 Iowa State 10: Sam Ehlinger ran for a touchdown and passed for another before leaving with a shoulder injury, and No. 13 Texas smothered Iowa State freshman quarterback Brock Purdy in a 24-10 victory Saturday night that pushed the Longhorns closer to a berth in the Big 12 championship game. Texas (8-3) is in second place in the Big 12 and on track to play in the league title game if it wins at Kansas next week. Texas hasn’t won the Big 12 since 2009. Texas had given up 114 points and 1,675 yards in its previous three games. The Longhorns allowed Iowa State just 224 total yards.
at Florida State 22, No. 20 Boston College 21: Deondre Francois threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Tamorrion Terry with 1:49 left and Florida State beat Boston College to keep its bowl hopes alive. Francois was 19 of 39 for 322 yards, shaking off two first-half interceptions for his fourth 300-yard game of the season. Cam Akers had 19 carries for 110 yards for the Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). It was Florida State’s first victory in six attempts against Top 25 teams this season. Boston College (7-4, 4-3) hasn’t won in Tallahassee since 2008. A.J. Dillon ran a season-high 37 times for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles.
at No. 21 Mississippi State 52, Arkansas 6: Nick Fitzgerald threw for four touchdowns and ran for another score to lead jthe Bulldogs, 7-4, 3-4 SEC) past the Razobacks (2-7, 0-6). In his final home game, Fitzgerald had another big performance in a career full of them. He completed 9 of 14 passes for 127 yards and also ran for 85 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown. Senior Aeris Williams, who was starting in place of the injured Kylin Hill, added 104 yards rushing on 15 carries.
No. 22 Northwestern 24, at Minnesota 14: Isaiah Bowser rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns, and the Wildcats (7-4, 7-1 in Big Ten) turned three turnovers by Gophers (5-6, 2-6) quarterback Tanner Morgan into 10 points on the way to a victory that stretched their program-record road winning streak to eight games. Clayton Thorson completed 15 of 21 passes for 230 yards without a turnover and had a 13-yard touchdown run.
No. 23 Utah State 29, at Colorado State 24: Collin Hill’s apparent 34-yard touchdown pass to Preston Williams with no time left was negated by penalty, giving the Aggies (10-1, 7-0 Mountain West) in a wild and stunning finish to a game played in snow and freezing rain. Coloorado State was flagged for illegal touching after it was determined Williams had stepped out of bounds and was the first to touch the ball when he came back in bounds and made the leaping catch between two defenders in the end zone. Jordan Love threw a go-ahead 33-yard touchdown pass to Aaren Vaughns with 43 seconds remaing, the first offensive touchdown of the day for the Aggies. That score came on the heels of Hill’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Williams with 1:36 remaining for the Rams (3-8, 2-5).
In other games:
— Kenny Pickett threw a career-best three touchdown passes, all in the second half, and Pittsburgh (7-4, 6-1) picked up a 34-13 victory over host Wake Forest (5-6, 2-5) to clinch its first berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. Pickett finished 23 of 30 for a career-high 316 yards with scoring passes of 4 yards to Rafael Araujo-Jones, 63 yards to Taysir Mack and 23 yards to Maurice Ffrench.
— Barrett Pickering kicked three field goals in the fourth quarter, the last one a 47-yarder with 5:13 left, as Nebraska (4-7, 3-5 Big Ten) came from behind for a 9-6 defeat of visiting Michigan State (6-5, 4-4).
— Isaiah Wright returned a punt 73 yards for a go-ahead touchdown and Chapelle Russell recovered a fumble in the end zone to cap a big second half as Temple (7-4, 6-1 American Athletic) rallied for a 27-17 victory over host South Florida. The Bulls fell to 7-4, 3-4.
— Fullback Darnell Woolfolk rushed for three touchdowns, the 10th time in his career with multiple scores, and Kelvin Hopkins Jr. ran for another score as Army (9-2) held off visiting Colgate (9-1) for a 28-14 victory to snap the Raiders’ 14-game winning streak.
— Ryan Finley threw for 316 yards and a career-high four touchdowns and the Wolfpack (7-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast) cruises to the win over the Cardinals (2-9, 0-8). North Carolina State rolled up 518 yards and 45 straight points on the ACC’s second-worst defense. Kelvin Harmon caught seven passes for 100 yards and a score.
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