College football: Georgia passes road test over Kentucky; Ohio State and Notre Dame escape upsets; Auburn edges Texas A&M
D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 156 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries against Kentucky’s vaunted defense and No. 6 Georgia beat the No. 11 Wildcats 34-17 on Saturday to wrap up its second straight Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title.
Swift had an 83-yard breakaway in the third quarter that gave Georgia (8-1, 6-1, No. 6 College Football Playoff) a 28-3 lead. He also had a nifty 20-yard scoring run in the second period when the game was close.
Elijah Holyfield ran for a career-high 115 yards on 18 carries, scoring on a 4-yarder in the third quarter.
Georgia rushed for a season-high 331 yards to earn a spot in the SEC championship game Dec. 1 in Atlanta. Kentucky (7-2, 5-2, No. 9 CFP) has never reached the SEC championship game, which has been played every year since 1992.
at No. 10 Ohio State 36, Nebraska 31: J.K. Dobbins ran for three touchdowns and Dwayne Haskins Jr. passed for two more a Ohio State, which is No. 10 in the College Football Playoff ramkings, rallied in the second half and held off Nebraska 36-31 on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
After Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to JD Spielman to pull within five with 3 minutes left, Dobbins pounded away for two first downs to run out the clock.
Before the late Nebraska score, Dobbins broke through the right side and romped for a 42-yard touchdown with 5 minutes left to give Ohio State (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) breathing room.
The Buckeyes much-maligned running game and defense finally showed up in the second half.
Dobbins rushed for a season-high 163 yards — only his second 100-yard game this season. Running back Mike Weber added 91 yards on the ground.
Down 21-16 at half after the Cornhuskers (2-7, 1-5) turned two Ohio State fumbles into touchdown drives, the Buckeyes forced five straight punts and held Nebraska to a field goal when a drive stalled at the 1.
Dobbins broke off his run between the center and right guard to cap the next series.
Haskins fumbled twice and didn’t look sharp at times but nevertheless threw for 231 yards, with a long touchdown pass to Johnnie Dixon and a shovel pass that Parris Campbell turned into a score. He also threw an interception.
Nebraska freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez bested Haskins, who was in the Heisman Trophy conversation a month ago. Martinez threw for 266 yards and touchdown and rushed for two more.
No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 17 Texas: West Virginia’s Will Grier threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings with 16 seconds left, and then ran in the 2-point conversion to send the 12th-ranked Mountaineers to a 42-41 win over No. 15 Texas.
Grier broke his finger on a run to the pylon in the first quarter of a loss to Texas last year, and his game-winning run came on a similar scramble. But there was no defender near him this time as he held the ball up while crossing the goal line untouched.
The 2-point conversion came moments after Grier connected with David Sills. Texas had called timeout just before the ball was snapped so the Mountaineers had to line up again. Grier dropped back, took a step into the pocket, and then swung out to his left to break for the corner of the end zone.
No. 4 Notre Dame 31, at Northwestern 21: Ian Book threw for threw two touchdown passes and ran 23 yards for a score in the closing minutes to lead No. 3 Notre Dame to a 31-21 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night.
The Fighting Irish (9-0, No. 4 CFP) remained in line for a playoff spot and continued to build on their best start since the 2012 team went undefeated before losing to Alabama in the BCS championship game. The Wildcats (5-4) had won four in a row to grab the Big Ten West lead and they stayed in this one when it looked like Notre Dame was ready to pull away.
Book threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Miles Boykin in the corner of the end zone and a 47-yarder to Michael Young in the third to give the Irish a 21-7 lead. He sealed it in the closing minutes when he turned up the left side for that 23-yard run.
at No. 2 Clemson 77, Louisville 16: Travis Etienne rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns and 350-pound defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence added a two-yard TD burst for the Tigers.
Auburn (6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) improved to 9-0 for the third time in four seasons and can wrap up their fourth ACC Atlantic Division title next week at Boston College.
Trevor Lawrence threw a pair of early touchdowns for Clemson. Etienne went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark and scored his ACC-leading 15th touchdown. Tavien Feaster added 101 yards rushing for the Tigers.
Freshman Lyn-J Dixon ran for 116 yards, the second time this season Clemson has had three runners with 100 or more yards. They finished with a season high 492 yards rushing.
Etienne and Feaster put Clemson up 14-0 less than three minutes into the game and the Tigers never let up on Louisville (2-7, 0-6).
at No. 5 Michigan 42, No. 14 Penn State 7: Shea Patterson accounted for three touchdowns and No. 5 Michigan put together a dominant performance on defense in a 42-7 win over No. 14 Penn State on Saturday.
The Wolverines (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten, No. 5 CFP) moved a step closer toward their goals of winning a conference championship for the first time since 2004 and earning their first spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Nittany Lions (6-3, 3-3, No. 14 CFP) scored with 1:59 left, avoiding getting shut out for the first time since 2001 against Michigan.
No. 7 Oklahoma 51, at Texas Tech 46: Kyler Murray recovered from a pair of early interceptions that led to a two-touchdown deficit, throwing for 360 yards and three touchdowns and running for 100 yards and another score to rally No. 7 Oklahoma to a 51-46 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night.
Trey Sermon set career highs with 206 yards rushing and three TDs, including a clinching 30-yarder , as the Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) stayed in the hunt for a return to the College Football Playoff with their 19th straight win in a true road game and 14th consecutive November victory.
Oklahoma was seventh in the first playoff rankings released this past week.
Missouri 38, at No. 11 Florida 17: Drew Lock picked apart Florida’s defense for the second straight year, throwing three touchdown passes to lead Missouri to a 38-17 victory against the 11th-ranked Gators on Saturday.
Lock completed 24 of 32 passes for 250 yards, with scoring throws to Albert Okwuegbunam, Kam Scott and Emanuel Hall that stunned the Swamp.
Fortunately for the Gators (6-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), they won’t have to face the senior and possible first-round draft pick again.
They might have seen the last of Feleipe Franks, too.
at Southern Methodist 45, No. 17 Houston 31: Ben Hicks threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns and SMU beat No. 17 Houston 45-31 on Saturday night, the second time in three years the Mustangs upset a ranked Cougars team.
The Mustangs (4-5, 3-2 American) never trailed, jumping out to a 17-0 lead after Hicks threw his second TD, a 17-yarder to Tyler Page less than a minute into the second quarter. Houston played its first game as a ranked team under second-year coach Major Applewhite.
Hicks threw three touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in the shocker two years ago, when SMU beat the then-No. 11 Cougars 38-16 and knocked them all of the way out of the poll.
at Purdue 38, No. 19 Iowa 36: Spencer Evans made a 25-yard field goal with 8 seconds left Saturday, giving Purdue a 38-36 upset over No. 19 Iowa and putting the Boilermakers back in the Big Ten’s West Division title hunt.
David Blough threw three touchdown passes to Terry Wright and topped the 300-yard mark for the fifth time this season.
The Boilermakers (5-4, 4-2 Big Ten) have won five of their last six and beat their third ranked team this season — the first time they’ve achieved that feat since 2003 — to move within one game of division leader Northwestern.
The Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3) lost their second straight road game despite Nate Stanley’s big day. The junior quarterback threw for 275 yards with one TD and ran for another but the conference’s No. 2 scoring defense allowed a season-high point total.
at Auburn 28, No. 20 Texas A&M 24: Seth Williams caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham with 1:41 left to lift the Tigers to the win.
Auburn (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) sputtered early on offense but finished with a 14-point outburst over the final 5:14 and the defense came up with big stops. Stidham delivered big on both final drives.
Kellen Mond and the Aggies (5-4, 3-3) pushed the ball into Auburn territory on their final drive, converting a fourth-and-five play. Then a holding call pushed them back across midfield and Mond’s desperation pass into the end zone was incomplete. Officials put one second back on the clock but Mond was sacked by Nick Coe on the final play.
at No. 18 Mississippi State 45, Louisiana Tech 3: Nick Fitzgerald threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns and No. 18 Mississippi State beat Louisiana Tech 45-3 on Saturday night.
Mississippi State (6-3, No. 18 CFP) didn’t have much trouble, scoring 21 points in the first quarter of what quickly turned into a lopsided game. Fitzgerald completed 17 of 28 passes and threw his touchdowns to Stephen Guidry, Deddrick Thomas, Kylin Hill and Jesse Jackson.
Fitzgerald also ran for 107 yards. Mississippi State has a 16-3 record during Fitzgerald’s career when he breaks the 100-yard mark.
No. 19 Syracuse 41, at Wake Forest 24: Eric Dungey rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown as well as passed for 157 yards while Jarveon Howard ran for two scores for the Orange.
Dungey — whose average of 294.1 total yards per game ranks second in the ACC — completed 23 of 35 passes for Syracuse (7-2, 4-2 ACC), which won its first game as a top-25 team since the Dwight Freeney days in 2001.
Sam Hartman completed 21 of 37 passes for 275 yards for the Demon Deacons (4-5, 1-4) with two touchdown passes.
No. 23 Fresno State 48, at Las Vegas Nevada 3: Marcus McMaryion threw for two touchdowns and 274 yards, while the Fresno State defense had a near-perfect game as the No. 20 Bulldogs cruised past UNLV 48-3 on Saturday night.
Fresno State (8-1, 5-0 Mountain West) won its seventh straight and ended its two-game losing streak to the Rebels. The Bulldogs kept their one-game lead in the West Division over San Diego State, which won at New Mexico 31-23 Saturday night.
McMaryion completed 26 of 35 passes and rushed for 39 yards as his defense held UNLV to 175 total yards of offense through three quarters.
No. 24 Boston College 31, at Virginia Tech 21: Travis Levy ran for two touchdowns and No. 24 Boston College beat Virginia Tech 31-21 on Saturday to set up a huge home game against Clemson next week for the Eagles.
BC (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 22 CFP) limited the Hokies to 32 yards in the third quarter and erased a 14-7 deficit with 21 unanswered points after halftime. First-place in the ACC Atlantic Division will be on the line when the second-ranked Tigers visit Boston College.
In other games:
— Charlie Brewer threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Mims with seven seconds left to give host Baylor a 35-31 win over Oklahoma State. Brewer didn’t play the first three quarters after spending the week in concussion protocol since Baylor’s last game. But he led the Bears (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) to consecutive touchdown drives after entering the game, including a 36-yard TD pass to Jalen Hurd with 5:43 left. Baylor’s game-winning drive started after Oklahoma State (5-4, 2-4) was stopped on fourth down, when Chris Miller sacked Taylor Cornelius for a 9-yard loss with 1:31 left.
— Jonathan Taylor rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, and Wisconsin (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) played smash-mouth football in the second half to run away from visiting Rutgers (1-8, 0-6) for a 31-17 win. Ryan Connelly led a strong effort from the front seven with eight tackles, while Andrew Van Ginkel blocked a field-goal attempt for the Badgers.
— Visiting Michigan State capped a rough week for the unsettled Maryland football program, using a stout defensive performance to defeat the punchless Terrapins 24-3. Connor Heyward ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns to help the Spartans (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) become a bowl eligible for the second year in a row. The Terrapins (5-4, 3-3) managed only 100 yards and nine first downs for interim coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
— Fullback Darnell Woolfolk rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. scored on a six-yard run, and Army held off service academy rival and visiting Air Force 17-14. It was the 11th straight victory at Michie Stadium for Army (7-2), which will keep the Commander in Chief’s Trophy, emblematic of supremacy among the three service academies, regardless of the outcome of its game next month against archrival Navy. Army won the trophy outright last season for the first time since 1996. Air Force (3-6), which beat Navy 35-7 a month ago, is 33-14 in Commander in Chief’s Trophy games against Army since the trophy was first awarded in 1972.
— Freshman Ricky Person Jr. scored three touchdowns while Jakobi Meyers had a big receiving day to help North Carolina State beat Florida State 47-28. Meyers had nine catches for 125 yards and a score for the Wolfpack, who snapped a two-game skid to become bowl eligible for the fifth straight year. James Blackman threw for a career-best 421 yards and four touchdowns for the Seminoles, who suffered a second straight lopsided loss.
— Quardraiz Wadley ran for 91 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns and UTEP ended one losing streak and continued another with a 34-26 win over Rice. Entering the game, UTEP was the only winless FBS team this season and had lost 20 straight games.
—Juwan Washington had 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries to help San Diego State beat New Mexico 31-23. A John Baron II field goal with three minutes remaining put the Aztecs ahead for good at 24-23 with 2:56 to play.
at Oregon 42, UCLA 21
USC 38, at Oregon State 21
at No. 8 Washington State 19, California 13
at Arizona State 38, No. 15 Utah 20
No. 1 Alabama 29, at No. 3 Louisiana State 0
at Alabama Birmingham 52, Texas San Antonio 3
Appalachian State 23, at Coastal Carolina 7
at Arkansas State 38, South Alabama 14
at Boise State 21, Brigham Young 16
at Cincinatti 42, Navy 0
Duke 20, at Miami, Fla. 12
at Eastern Michigan 17, Central Michigan 7
Florida Atlantic 49, at Florida International 14
Georgia Tech 38, at North Carolina 28
at Illinois 55, Minnesota 31
Iowa State 27, at Kansas 3
at Louisiana Monroe 44, Georgia Southern 25
at Massachusetts 62, Liberty 59, 3OT
Memphis 59, at East Carolina 41
at New Mexico State 52, Alcorn State 42
South Carolina 48, at Mississippi 44
at Southern Mississippi 26, Marshall 24
at Tennessee 14, Charlotte 3
at Texas Christian 14, Kansas State 13
Texas State 40, at Georgia State 31
Troy 26, at Louisiana Lafayette 16
Tulane 41, at South Florida 15
at Tulsa 49, Connecticut 19
at Wyoming 24, San Jose State 9
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