College football roundup: Oklahoma defeats Texas in wild, four-overtime thriller
DALLAS — Spencer Rattler threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Drake Stoops in the fourth overtime, and Oklahoma survived a late rally from No. 22 Texas in regulation for a 53-45 victory Saturday as a most unusual version of the Red River rivalry ended with familiar dose of drama.
Rattler’s successful completion on the required two-point conversion didn’t matter when Sam Ehlinger’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Tre Brown to end just the second Big 12 game to go to four overtimes.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crowd was limited to 24,000 in the 93,000-seat Cotton Bowl, with the surrounding Texas state fair shut down for the first time since World War II. On the field, it was the first time since 1999 neither team was in the top 20.
But the small crowd, low rankings and previous losses didn’t matter much by the time the final five minutes came.
Ehlinger threw two touchdown passes in the final 3:28 of regulation after what appeared to be a game-sealing interception by Woodi Washington in the end zone with the Sooners leading 31-14 with five minutes remaining.
After tossing a two-yard score to Keaontay Ingram with 14 seconds left in regulation, Ehlinger opened overtime with his third rushing touchdown, from three yards.
Rattler answered with a an 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Stogner, then plunged over from the half-yard line on fourth down after his initial scoring run was overturned over review to start the second overtime.
With Pac-12 teams not scheduled to play until November, it’s time to bring ever-waiting West Coast fans up to date on the 2020 season.
Ehlinger’s career-best fourth touchdown run forced the third overtime, but the Longhorns (2-2, 1-2 Big 12 Conference) couldn’t avoid a second straight loss.
The Sooners (2-2, 1-2) had a chance to win in the third overtime, but Gabe Brkic’s 31-yard field-goal attempt was wide left after Perrion Winfrey blocked Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard try to start the extra period.
Rattler was replaced by sophomore Tanner Mordecai in the second quarter after throwing an interception and losing a fumble. He returned to start the second half.
“I thought Spencer did some good things early, then had a couple plays that I didn’t like,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “I felt like Tanner would go play well. I also felt like it would help Spencer step back for a second and kind of see the whole thing a little bit and settle down, and I think that happened.”
Rattler was 23 of 35 with three passing touchdowns, and T.J. Pedger ran for 131 yards and two scores.
Ehlinger threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 112 yards to with the four touchdowns.
“We showed the football team we are there at the end when we stay out of our own way, without penalties, a lot of different things, mistakes that are self-inflicted,” Ehlinger said. “It’s unfortunate. We’ve got to get better.”
No. 1 Clemson 42, No. 7 Miami 17
CLEMSON, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another as Clemson proved once more who’s boss in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a beatdown of Miami.
Travis Etienne rushed for 149 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard burst down the left sideline as the Tigers opened 4-0 for a sixth consecutive season.
This is was billed as an ACC showdown in which the Hurricanes (3-1, 2-1 ACC) could prove the swagger truly had returned to “The U.”
Instead, Miami’s offense was suffocated by the Tigers (4-0, 3-0) and held without an offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter.
Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King came in alongside Lawrence as the ACC’s dominant, dynamic playmakers. The Houston transfer, though, was swarmed by Clemson all game and completed just 12 of 28 passes for 121 yards with his first two interceptions of the season.
Miami entered as the ACC leader in offense at 499 yards a game. It was held to 210 and never truly came close to challenging the Tigers.
No. 2 Alabama 63, Mississippi 48
OXFORD, Miss. — Najee Harris ran for 206 yards and five touchdowns, and Alabama beat Mississippi and former Crimson Tide assistant Lane Kiffin in the highest-scoring Southeastern Conference regulation game ever.
Matt Corral passed for 365 yards for Ole Miss, and the Rebels put up 647 yards on the Tide. The teams combined for an SEC-record 1,370 yards.
Alabama and Ole Miss traded touchdowns for much of the night, but with the Tide (3-0, 3-0) leading 49-42, the Rebels (1-2, 1-2) misfired in Alabama territory and had to settle for a field goal. That was as good as a stop in this game. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith went 14 yards for a touchdown run to make it 56-45 with 3:16 left.
After another Ole Miss field goal, Alabama recovered an onside kick and Harris busted a 39-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it.
No. 3 Georgia 44, No. 14 Tennessee 21
ATHENS, Ga. — Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and Georgia bounced back from Tennessee’s goal-line stand on the final play of the first half, dominating the final 30 minutes.
The Bulldogs (3-0, 3-0) knocked off a ranked SEC team for the second week in a row, shaking off a a 21-17 deficit to completely wipe out the Volunteers over the final two quarters.
Showing they’re still not ready to compete with the league’s top programs, the Volunteers (2-1, 2-1) turned it over three times and managed just 71 yards of total offense in the second half.
Fittingly, Justin Guarantano was sacked on the final play of the game.
No. 5 Notre Dame 42, Florida State 26
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kyren Williams ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns and safety Shaun Crawford helped thwart a potential Florida State rally with a goal-line interception in Notre Dame’s victory.
Williams fumbled at the Fighting Irish 32-yard line on the second play from scrimmage, then riddled the Seminoles the rest of the way, picking up 130 yards and both of his touchdowns by halftime as Notre Dame (3-0, 2-0 ACC) took a 35-20 lead.
Ian Book completed 16 of 25 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 58 yards and another score.
With Notre Dame leading 42-26, Florida State (1-3, 0-3) drove 73 yards to the five-yard line, but Crawford picked off Jordan Travis’ pass with 8:21 left.
USC opens training camp ready after the coronavirus shutdown eager to address depth issues at offensive line and linebacker after injuries to key players.
Travis, making his first start for the Seminoles after excelling in relief last week against Jacksonville State, was 13 of 24 for 204 yards and led Florida State in rushing with 96 yards in 19 carries, even with a pair of sacks. He threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score.
Florida State’s Tamorrion Terry caught seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Irish wideout Javon McKinley had five receptions for 107.
No. 21 Texas A&M 41, No. 4 Florida 38
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Isaiah Spiller rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and Texas A&M beat Florida on Seth Small’s 26-yard field goal as time expired.
Spiller helped get the Aggies get into position for Small’s decisive kick, giving Jimbo Fisher his first win over a top-five team since taking over as Texas A&M coach.
Kellen Mond threw a 51-yard pass to Caleb Chapman for a tying touchdown with 4½ minutes to go.
The Gators were driving when Buddy Johnson forced a fumble by Malik Davis and it was recovered by DeMarvin Leal to set up the game-ending field goal.
Mond passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns to help the Aggies (2-1, 2-1 SEC) down the previously undefeated Gators (2-1, 2-1).
Chip Kelly knows UCLA’s success weighs heavily upon the defense improving significantly this season. What changes have the Bruins made to address the issue?
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns, but the Gators were done in by the late mistake and another poor performance by their defense.
Chapman finished with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Aggies bounced back from last week’s lopsided loss to No. 2 Alabama.
No. 8 North Carolina 56, No. 19 Virginia Tech 45
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Michael Carter ran for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns — including a 62-yarder midway through the fourth quarter — to help North Carolina win.
The Tar Heels (3-0, 3-0 ACC) leaned on a dominant running game. Javonte Williams rushed for a career-best 169 yards and two scores of his own, with both backs finding gaping lanes and weaving through defenders to keep the chains moving on the way to 399 yards on the ground.
UNC said it was only the second time in program history that the Tar Heels had two players reach the 150-yard mark in the same game, the other coming 39 years earlier.
Throw in Sam Howell’s three touchdown passes and UNC finished with its highest-scoring output ever against the Hokies along with 656 total yards — the No. 2 total ever posted against Virginia Tech’s defense, which was severely depleted in the secondary.
Khalil Herbert ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns for the Hokies (2-1, 2-1), who again played short-handed because of coronavirus and injury issues.
No. 13 Auburn 30, Arkansas 28
AUBURN, Ala. — Anders Carlson made the most of his second chance, hitting a 39-yard field goal with seven seconds left to lift Auburn to a victory over Arkansas.
The Tigers (2-1, 2-1 SEC) narrowly avoided a second consecutive loss, with drama and uncertainty continuing right up to that winning kick.
Facing third and one, Bo Nix couldn’t handle the snap, picked it up and spiked the ball — appearing slightly behind him — to draw an intentional grounding flag. The play was reviewed and upheld.
This time, Carlson delivered after missing a 34-yard field goal wide right with 2:38 left. Auburn’s defense had forced a three and out, and the Tigers got the ball back at the Razorbacks’ 45-yard line.
Arkansas was aiming for a second straight upset of a ranked team after last week’s win over then-No. 16 Mississippi State ended a 20-game SEC skid.
Auburn survived a week after getting dominated 27-6 by No. 3 Georgia. Freshman Tank Bigsby ran for 146 yards and caught four passes for 16 yards.
Feleipe Franks passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns for the Razorbacks.
No. 15 Brigham Young 27, Texas San Antonio 20
PROVO, Utah — Zach Wilson threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Allgeier ran for 116 yards and another score to lead Brigham Young past Texas San Antonio.
The Cougars (4-0) equaled their best start since 2014 while rolling up 472 yards. Allgeier posted his second 100-yard game of his career.
Lowell Narcisse threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns — all after halftime — on 17-for-20 passing to lead the Roadrunners. UTSA fell to 3-2.
Missouri 45, No. 17 Louisiana State 41
COLUMBIA, Mo. — In a game that was dominated by a pair of offenses that seemingly couldn’t be stopped, it was the much-maligned Missouri defense that managed to stand tall against Louisiana State when it came time to decide the game.
Connor Bazelak threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns despite missing three of his top receiving targets because of COVID-19 protocols, and coach Eli Drinkwitz’s bunch held four times at the one-yard line in the final minute to escape with a victory in a game moved from Baton Rouge because of Hurricane Delta.
“Our guys didn’t flinch today,” Drinkwitz said. “They didn’t flinch after terrible turnovers. They didn’t flinch at the goal line. They just kept fighting. And that’s our No. 1 core value — always compete.”
To contend in the Pac-12, let alone for a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Trojans know they can’t have any letups in a seven-game season.
LSU took a 41-38 lead when Cade York hit a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter. But when York tried to extend the lead midway through the fourth, his 45-yarder was blocked, and Missouri needed just four plays — the big one a 69-yard pass to Chance Luper — before Bazelak hit Nico Hea with the go-ahead touchdown with 5:18 to go.
Myles Brennan, who threw for 430 yards and four touchdowns, quickly moved LSU the other direction. Terrace Marshall Jr. had four catches on the drive, the last a completion to the one-yard line with 44 seconds left. But after Tyrion Davis-Price was stuffed twice up the middle, Missouri batted down two consecutive passes to preserve the upset.
No. 24 Iowa State 31, Texas Tech 15
AMES, Iowa — Brock Purdy passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns, Breece Hall ran for 135 yards and two scores, and Iowa State defeated Texas Tech.
The Cyclones (3-1, 3-0 Big 12) opened conference play with three consecutive wins for the first time since 2002 and only the second time since 1950.
Purdy was 32 for 43 with no interceptions. He also ran seven times for 42 yards.
The Cyclones rolled up 516 yards of total offense and held the Red Raiders (1-3, 0-3) to less than 100 yards until early in the fourth quarter.
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