College football: No. 9 Miami rallies to win; No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 11 Oregon prevail
BLACKSBURG, Va. — D’Eriq King threw for 255 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score to rally No. 9 Miami to a 25-24 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Hurricanes (7-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) rallied from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to win their fourth straight and stay very much alive for a spot in the ACC championship game.
Miami scored the game’s final 12 points and held the Hokies (4-4, 4-3 ACC) scoreless on their final five possessions.
King guided the Hurricanes on two long second-half scoring marches. A 13-play, 75-yard drive ended with Cam’Ron Harris’ six-yard touchdown run and cut the lead to 24-19 with 1:27 left in the third quarter. Miami failed to convert a two-point conversion.
Miami put together a 10-play, 82-yard drive that ended with King throwing a dart to Mark Pope for a 36-yard touchdown to take a 25-24 lead with 5:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
USC flirted with disaster for a second consecutive week before earning a comeback victory, this time prevailing 34-30 in the last minute at Arizona.
The Hurricanes announced they had 13 players unavailable before the game, including three starters and several offensive linemen. There were 15 games called off this week across major college football because of COVID-19, the most of any week both by number and percentage of the schedule.
Miami-Virginia Tech was nearly No. 16.
“We were on the brink,” Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz said. “The players’ attitude was the most telling. They wanted to play. We were right on the brink at some position groups as to whether we could function as a team.
“We brought the team, and the players came here to win the game. I told them I thought they won the game on Friday with their mentality and their attitude, with all the things we had to go through this week.”
King, who rushed for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter, completed 24 of 38 passes.
Hendon Hooker paced Virginia Tech, throwing for 201 yards and rushing for 53 yards and a touchdown.
No. 2 Notre Dame 45, Boston College 31
BOSTON — Ian Book passed for three touchdowns and ran for another, and Notre Dame overcame an early deficit to roll to a win over Boston College.
The Fighting Irish’s eighth straight victory in the series between the Football Bowl Subdivision’s only Catholic institutions gave coach Brian Kelly his 100th career victory at the school, tying him with Lou Holtz for second all time. He is now just five behind coach Knute Rockne.
Coming off a thrilling victory against Clemson, Notre Dame (8-0, 7-0 ACC) racked up a season-high 561 total yards against BC. Book finished 20 of 27 for 283 yards.
A massive celebration after the Notre Dame-Clemson game was a potential super-spreader event, but experts say it could shed light on the coronavirus.
He also ran for a 85 yards and a touchdown. Ben Skowronek caught all three of Book’s touchdown passes but also had one of three Notre Dame fumbles on the day. C’Bo Flemister ran for two touchdowns before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent left leg injury.
Phil Jurkovec, a transfer from Notre Dame playing against his former team for the first time, finished 18 of 40 for 272 yards, a touchdown and interception for Boston College (5-4, 4-4).
No. 11 Oregon 43, Washington State 29
PULLMAN, Wash. — Tyler Shough threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns, and Oregon came back to beat Washington State.
Travis Dye caught two second-half touchdown passes for the Ducks (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12 Conference), who piled up 582 yards of total offense.
USC was fortunate to beat Arizona, but at least the Trojans are playing and coach Clay Helton is keeping things in perspective during the pandemic.
Freshman Jayden de Laura threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars (1-1), who led at halftime but could not stop the Ducks in the second half. Freshman defensive back Ayden Hector recovered three Oregon turnovers in the first half.
The Ducks have won 17 of their last 19 games and are on track to claim a second consecutive Pac-12 championship. They overcame three consecutive turnovers in the first half to win their first game in Pullman since 2014.
No. 6 Florida 63, Arkansas 35
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kyle Trask extended his school record for consecutive games with at least four touchdown passes to six, and Florida overwhelmed Arkansas in the Swamp.
Trask threw for 356 yards and six scores against the Razorbacks (3-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference), who were without coach Sam Pittman and without much of a chance by halftime. It was the second time this season Trask tossed six touchdown passes in a game. He’s the only player in school history to accomplish that feat.
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, a three-year starter for the Gators, was booed in his return to Florida Field and unable to do much to steal the spotlight from Trask.
Trask started a new streak by throwing at least four touchdown passes in the first half for the second straight week, quite possibly raising his stock from Heisman Trophy hopeful to Heisman front-runner. He had five in Florida’s first six drives and might have had another had the Gators (5-1, 5-1) not failed to convert a fourth-down play at the Arkansas 16-yard line.
Trask’s six touchdown throws went to four different receivers — Trevon Grimes (twice), Keon Zipperer (twice), Justin Shorter and Jacob Copeland — as the Gators torched what had been the SEC’s second-ranked pass defense.
No. 10 Indiana 24, Michigan State 0
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michael Penix Jr. threw for 320 yards and hit Ty Fryfogle for two touchdown passes as Indiana remained unbeaten with an easy victory.
The Hoosiers (4-0, 4-0) set up a showdown next weekend at Ohio State, the only other unbeaten team in the Big Ten East.
Penix threw two interceptions in the first half, but that didn’t matter much. The Spartans (1-3, 1-3) were just as sloppy — to the point where quarterback Rocky Lombardi was pulled in the second quarter.
Fryfogle had 11 catches for 200 yards — both career highs. He did most of that in the first two quarters, when all the game’s scoring occurred.
With UCLA set to play Cal after its game against Utah was canceled because of positive coronavirus tests, the Bruins must make quick adjustments.
Indiana has won its first four Big Ten games for the first time since 1987, and the Hoosiers beat Michigan State for the Old Brass Spittoon for only the second time in the last 12 meetings.
Since beating rival Michigan on Oct. 31, the Spartans have lost their last two games by a combined 73-7.
No. 13 Wisconsin 49, Michigan 11
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Nakia Watson and Mason Stokke each scored two touchdowns in the first half, helping Wisconsin build a big lead in a rout of Michigan.
The Badgers (2-0, 2-0 Big Ten) returned to competition after canceling two games of their all-Big Ten schedule because of a COVID-19 breakout within the program and didn’t look rusty at all against a hapless team.
The Wolverines (1-3, 1-3) fell behind 28-0 at halftime, their largest deficit at home since the Big House opened in 1927, and are off to their worst start since 1967.
Early on, it appeared Michigan might put up a fight before getting knocked out in front of friends and family in its mostly empty stadium.
Kedon Slovis passed for 325 yards and led USC to another comeback victory, but he admits he wasn’t at his best and vows to fix his throwing mechanics.
The Wolverines forced the Graham Mertz-led offense to punt after the game’s opening possession, only to give the ball back on the next snap when a dropped pass was picked off by Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal.
The Badgers’ first two touchdowns — Watson’s two-yard run and Mertz’s one-yard pass to Stokke — were four plays after Joe Milton’s passes were intercepted. The running back and fullback scored their second touchdowns on runs in the second quarter, giving the Badgers a 28-0 lead that was large enough against an offensively challenged team.
The Badgers finished with 341 yards rushing and five scores on the ground. Mertz was 12 for 22 for 127 yards with two touchdowns.
Milton was nine for 19 for 98 yards with two interceptions and was replaced when the Wolverines were down 35-3 late in the third quarter. In relief, Cade McNamara completed four of seven passes for 74 yards and a touchdown.
No. 16 Marshall 42, Middle Tennessee 14
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Redshirt freshman Grant Wells threw a season-high five touchdown passes, and Marshall commemorated the 50th anniversary of the worst disaster in U.S. sports history.
Marshall (7-0, 4-0 Conference USA) got another standout performance from its defense and turned three turnovers into scores on a day when the university and surrounding community remembered 75 people killed in a Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash.
“Just a great day,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “A special day.”
Marshall wore special black uniforms and the No. 75 on its helmets to honor those who were lost, which included most of the Thundering Herd football team. The crash occurred as the team’s plane was returning from a game at East Carolina. There were no survivors.
Wells grew up 50 miles away in Charleston and learned about the Marshall tragedy as a young child. He said this week that playing in the crash’s silver anniversary game was going to be surreal.
Wells found his groove after several early overthrows, and Marshall kept the momentum for good. Wells finished 25 of 37 for 336 yards, all season highs. He threw two touchdown passes apiece to Corey Gammage and Willie Johnson.
Tulsa 28, No. 19 Southern Methodist 24
TULSA, Okla. — Zach Smith threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns to help Tulsa recover from a 21-point second-quarter deficit and upset Southern Methodist.
After throwing an interception and losing a fumble that led to another touchdown on his first two possessions, Smith bounced back. He completed 26 of 38 passes, including a four-yard touchdown toss to James Palmer for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:11 remaining.
It was the third time this season the Golden Hurricane (4-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) won after trailing by double digits in the first half, and the second time they did it against a ranked team. They trailed 23-5 against No. 11 Central Florida on Oct. 3 before rallying to win 34-26.
For the fifth straight meeting, SMU and Tulsa played a game decided by six points or fewer, including an SMU triple-overtime win last season.
Shane Buechele completed 18 of 36 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown, along with one interception, for SMU (7-2, 5-2), which missed an opportunity to move ahead of Tulsa into second place in the American standings.
Tulsa was playing just its second home game of the season in front of a socially distanced crowd of 3,940.
No. 22 Liberty 58, Western Kentucky 14
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Malik Willis threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores, leading Liberty past Western Carolina.
Liberty (8-0) won its 10th consecutive game and remained second behind Notre Dame for the nation’s longest active winning streak.
Willis completed 14 of 19 passes with touchdown strikes of 44, 40 and 83 yards. He scored on runs of 11 and 43 yards and rushed for 97 yards in eight carries. Kevin Shaa caught two passes for a career-high 137 yards and a touchdown. CJ Daniels added 96 yards and two touchdowns on two catches.
Western Carolina was playing its first game of the season.
No. 23 Northwestern 27, Purdue 20
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Peyton Ramsey threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns, all to Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, and Northwestern (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten) beat Purdue.
The Wildcats’ defense also made two late stops to preserve a fifth straight Big Ten win and the school’s first 4-0 start in league play since coach Pat Fitzgerald was still playing in 1996.
Purdue (2-1, 2-1) has lost five consecutive home games in the series.
Ramsey completed 23 of 36 passes and had one interception but looked as poised and efficient as he did last November when he led Indiana to an overtime victory at Purdue. Northwestern held Purdue to two yards rushing.
No. 25 Louisiana Lafayette 38, South Alabama 10
LAFAYETTE, La. — Levi Lewis passed for 252 yards and three touchdowns, Louisiana Lafayette gained 254 yards on the ground, and the Ragin’ Cajuns wrapped up a third straight Sun Belt Conference West Division title.
Lewis tossed touchdown passes of five yards to Jalen Williams and three yards to Errol Rogers. He also hit running back Trey Ragas for a 25-yard score on a fourth-down conversion, with Ragas narrowly staying inside the left sideline to put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Chris Smith and Elijah Mitchell each had touchdowns rushing for Louisiana Lafayette (7-1, 5-1 Sun Belt). The Ragin’ Cajuns have won four in a row since falling to No. 15 Coastal Carolina on a last-second field goal.
Desmond Trotter threw for 133 yards and a touchdown for South Alabama (3-5, 2-3).
Colorado 35, Stanford 32
PALO ALTO — Sam Noyer passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more, Jarek Broussard had another strong day rushing, and Colorado held on to beat Stanford.
Dimitri Stanley caught six passes for 126 yards and a score as the Buffaloes, who defeated UCLA 48-42 last weekend, remained unbeaten under first-year coach Karl Dorrell.
Noyer, a fifth-year senior who nearly transferred out of Colorado after playing safety last season, threw an interception on his fourth pass of the afternoon and then settled in to complete 15 of 24 attempts for 255 yards. Noyer scored on a seven-yard option keeper midway through the second quarter and then led the Buffaloes on three scoring drives coming out of halftime.
Brenden Rice had a 34-yard touchdown catch and Jaren Mangham added a one-yard touchdown run for Colorado (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12).
Davis Mills passed for 327 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season for Stanford (0-2, 0-2). Mills was one of four players forced to sit out last week’s game against Oregon because of coronavirus concerns. The Pac-12 later admitted errors in the testing protocol that kept the four Stanford players out.
Jet Toner added three field goals for the Cardinal. Stanford lost its home opener for the first time since 2007.
Washington 27, Oregon State 21
SEATTLE — Sean McGrew rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown, Dylan Morris added a one-yard touchdown plunge, and Washington opened the Jimmy Lake era as head coach with a win over Oregon State.
McGrew was part of a multifaceted rushing attack by Washington (1-0, 1-0 Pac-12) that rolled up 267 yards rushing. McGrew had just nine carries and scored on a 21-yard run. Kamari Pleasant added 61 yards and a 15-yard touchdown.
Lake won his debut taking over for Chris Petersen, who stepped away from coaching after last season. The debut was delayed after last week’s game at California was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns with the Golden Bears.
Peyton Henry kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left, the only points scored in the second half by either team.
Jermar Jefferson rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown for Oregon State, his 12th career 100-yard rushing game. But Jefferson was stopped twice needing less than a yard from the Washington five-yard line early in the fourth quarter and the Beavers (0-2, 0-2 Pac-12) on the cusp of taking the lead. Jefferson was stuffed on third- and fourth-down runs, although Oregon State appeared to get unfriendly spots on both runs.
B.J. Baylor had a three-yard touchdown run for Oregon State in the second quarter, and Jefferson scored from the four just before halftime.
Tristan Gebbia was just 11-for-24 passing for 85 yards and was intercepted on a deflected fourth-down pass with 54 seconds left.
The question of who would be Washington’s starting quarterback was answered when Morris, a redshirt freshman, took the first snap. The expectation was either Morris or graduate transfer Kevin Thomson would be the starter. But Thomson was in street clothes on the sideline and Morris directed the Huskies.
Morris was 14 of 24 for 141 yards. He wasn’t helped early by his wide receivers, who dropped a few passes, including Ty Jones being unable to haul in a potential touchdown toss in the first quarter.
San Diego State 34, Hawaii 10
Greg Bell ran for a career-high 160 yards and two touchdowns, and San Diego State defeated Hawaii at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
Bell became the first player in school history to open his SDSU career with four consecutive 100-yard rushing games. The Nebraska transfer’s big day included a career-best 62-yard score.
The Aztecs (3-1, 3-1 Mountain West), coming in ranked seventh in the FBS at 265 yards rushing per game, kept their offense on the ground with 326 of their 356 total yards. Carson Baker was only four-for-13 passing for 30 yards and two interceptions, but the Aztecs still snapped a two-game losing streak to the Rainbow Warriors (2-2, 2-2).
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