College football: No. 3 Ohio State tops No. 9 Indiana; JT Daniels lifts No. 13 Georgia
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Master Teague ran for a career-high 169 yards and two touchdowns, Justin Fields accounted for three scores, and No. 3 Ohio State held off a comeback bid by Michael Penix Jr., Ty Fryfogle and No. 9 Indiana to win 42-35 on Saturday.
The Hoosiers (4-1, 4-1 Big Ten) rallied from a four-touchdown deficit in the second half and made it a one-score game with 10:26 left when Penix and Fryfogle connected on a 56-yard touchdown.
Penix was 27 for 51 for a career-high 491 yards and five touchdowns for Indiana.
The Buckeyes (4-0, 4-0) put up 607 yards and led 35-7 early in the second half but struggled to contain Penix and Fryfogle, who caught seven passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns.
Fields was 18 for 30 for 300 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw his first three interceptions of the season and was sacked five times.
The Trojans force five turnovers and shut out the Utes in the second half in a 33-17 victory on the road Saturday night.
“Of course I made bad decisions,” Fields said. “I ended up with three picks, but we got the W today. That’s all that matters. We got the W, and we’re 4-0.”
Garrett Wilson had seven catches for 169 yards — his fourth straight game of 100-plus yards — and two scores for the Buckeyes.
The running game helped Ohio State maintain control when things were getting dicey.
Penix passed for four touchdowns in the second half but also made a critical error, tossing an interception that Ohio State’s Shaun Wade returned for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter.
Indiana had climbed its highest ranking in the Associated Press top 25 in more than a half-century, and the Hoosiers had pumped up their confidence by beating conference rivals Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State in the same season for the first time in program history.
“I loved what I saw today, but obviously we didn’t get the result wanted, so it hurts,“ Penix said.
No. 13 Georgia 31, Mississippi State 24
ATHENS, Ga. — JT Daniels made quite a debut between the hedges, throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns as Georgia held on for a victory over Mississippi State.
Playing for the first time since the 2019 opener with USC, Daniels became the third quarterback to start for the Bulldogs (5-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) this season.
It looks like they’ve finally found their guy.
The transfer from USC delivered one big play after another, capped by a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kearis Jackson that broke a 24-24 tie with 9:50 remaining. What made it more impressive: Jackson and George Pickens had dropped potential touchdown passes on back-to-back plays, and a holding penalty left Georgia with third and 20.
But Jackson slipped behind the secondary in the middle of the field, and Daniels spotted him to finally finish off pesky Mississippi State (2-5, 2-5).
Daniels became the first Georgia quarterback to pass for more than 400 yards since Aaron Murray against Auburn in 2013.
“That’s the first time I’ve taken snaps since Aug. 31, 2019, in a whole other part of the country,” Daniels said. “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet that I got to play football again.”
Freshman Jermaine Burton was Daniels’ favorite receiver, hauling in eight passes for 197 yards — including touchdown catches of 18 and 48 yards, no to mention another grab of 49 yards.
No. 1 Alabama 63, Kentucky 3
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — DeVonta Smith caught nine passes for 144 yards and set the Southeastern Conference career record with two more touchdowns in Alabama’s victory over short-handed Kentucky.
Mac Jones passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and Najee Harris ran for a pair of scores for the Crimson Tide (7-0, 7-0 SEC), both in less than three quarters. A slow start turned into a breezy return from a three-week layoff after Louisiana State was forced to call off last week’s scheduled game because of COVID-19 troubles.
The outmanned Wildcats (3-5) were missing a number of key players because of injuries or coronavirus protocol. They were competitive early on the stat sheet, but it didn’t hold up particularly long on the scoreboard.
Smith broke Amari Cooper’s SEC and Alabama record with his 32nd touchdown catch, a 10-yarder from Jones in the second quarter. He added an 18-yarder from freshman backup Bryce Young.
Jones completed 16 of 24 passes but also had a pass intercepted at the goal line.
No. 4 Clemson at Florida State, postponed
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The game between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State was postponed hours before kickoff Saturday when medical personnel from both schools could not agree it was safe to play.
The Tigers learned a day earlier that one of their players tested positive for COVID-19, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press.
The ACC showdown between Clemson and Florida State was postponed hours before kickoff Saturday because of coronavirus concerns.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the postponement, although it did not detail whether the game at Florida State was called off because of coronavirus issues.
“We listened to our medical folks and their assessment of the risk, and we decided it wasn’t safe to play today,” Florida State athletic director David Coburn told the AP.
No makeup date was announced, but Seminoles coach Mike Norvell said he hoped it would be in December.
Florida State is scheduled to play Virginia next Saturday. Clemson’s only open date is Dec. 12. The ACC title game is Dec. 19.
No. 6 Florida 38, Vanderbilt 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kyle Trask passed for 383 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 6 Florida rallied from an early deficit to beat Vanderbilt 38-17 on Saturday.
The Gators (6-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) pulled into Vanderbilt Stadium an hour before kickoff already in uniform, hoping to avoid the visitors locker room as a coronavirus precaution. The Commodores (0-7, 0-7) opened the game by driving for a touchdown, but Trask helped get Florida on track for its seventh consecutive win in the series.
Trask, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, completed 26 of 35 passes to nine different receivers. He is the first quarterback in SEC history to accrue 30 touchdown passes in seven games.
No. 7 Cincinnati 36, Central Florida 33
ORLANDO, Fla. — Desmond Ridder three two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, and Cincinnati beat Central Florida to head into the release of the first College Football Playoff rankings unbeaten.
The Bearcats (8-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter against their toughest opponent yet but grabbed the lead by halftime. Rider passed for 338 yards and ran for 57.
Quarterback Chase Griffin flashes his skills starting in place of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but it’s not enough as UCLA loses 38-35 to No. 11 Oregon.
Dillon Gabriel threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns with one interception as the Knights (5-3, 4-3) lost at home for the second time this season.
The first CFP rankings come out Tuesday night, and the Bearcats are hoping to become the first team from outside the Power Five conferences to crack the top 10 in the selection committee’s first top 25 of the season.
No. 8 Brigham Young 66, North Alabama 16
PROVO, Utah — Tyler Allgeier ran for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns, and Brigham Young routed overmatched North Alabama to improve to 9-0.
Allgeier had his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Zach Wilson threw for 212 yards and four touchdowns before halftime and added 33 yards rushing. He had a season-high 256.3 quarterback rating.
BYU scored touchdowns on all six first-half drives. The Cougars rolled up 394 total yards before halftime.
Rett Files threw for 198 yards and a touchdown for the Lions (0-4).
No. 19 Northwestern 17, No. 10 Wisconsin 7
EVANSTON, Ill. — Peyton Ramsey threw two touchdown passes, and Northwestern shut down Graham Mertz and Wisconsin to take control of the Big Ten West.
Northwestern forced five turnovers — four in the first half — and sacked Mertz three times in its first win over a top-10 team since a 28-25 victory over No. 9 Nebraska on Nov. 5, 2011. Ramsey, a graduate transfer from Indiana, was 23 for 44 for 203 yards, and Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman had four receptions for 95 yards.
The Wildcats improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2015. They also moved to 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1996.
Wisconsin (2-1, 2-1) had committed just one turnover this year, a fumble during a 45-7 win over Illinois on Oct. 23. The Badgers then had back-to-back games canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the program before rolling to a 49-11 victory at Michigan last weekend.
No. 18 Oklahoma 41, No. 14 Oklahoma State 13
NORMAN, Okla. — Spencer Rattler passed for 301 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score to help Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State.
Rhamondre Stevenson ran for a career-high 141 yards and Theo Wease caught two touchdown passes for the Sooners in their fifth straight victory. Oklahoma (6-2, 5-2) won its sixth straight in the series and extended its November winning streak to 23 dating to 2014.
Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard was held to 44 yards in eight carries, and the Cowboys (5-2, 4-2) gained just 246 total yards.
Iowa State leads the Big 12 with just one conference loss, and Oklahoma State joined Oklahoma and Texas with two league losses in the race to qualify for the Big 12 championship game.
No. 15 Coastal Carolina 34, Appalachian State 23
CONWAY, S.C. — Reese White scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run with 2:24 to play, and Coastal Carolina continued its perfect start with its first-ever win over Appalachian State.
The Chants (8-0, 6-0 Sun Belt Conference) had lost all six previous games to the four-time defending Sun Belt champion Mountaineers. But they held Appalachian State to two field goals in the second half after falling behind 17-9 at halftime.
The Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1) tried to rally after White’s score. But D’Jordan Strong intercepted Zac Thomas’ fourth-and-22 pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to clinch it.
The College Football Playoff committee meets Monday to select its first top 25 ranking. “We have an obligation to do our job and get it right,” says Bill Hancock.
Coastal Carolina, picked last in the Sun Belt in the preseason, is now a victory away from winning the league’s East Division and playing West winners Louisiana-Lafayette for the conference title next month.
No. 17 Iowa State 45, Kansas State 0
AMES, Iowa — Brock Purdy passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and Iowa State beat Kansas State for its most lopsided win over the Wildcats in 77 years.
Iowa State (6-2) improved to 6-1 in the Big 12, matching the school record for conference wins.
The Cyclones hadn’t had such a wide winning margin against the Wildcats since they beat them 48-0 in 1943. It was their biggest win over a Big 12 opponent since defeating Kansas 45-0 three years ago.
Kansas State (4-4, 4-3), which won 11 of the previous 12 meetings, started to unravel after failing to score on an early first and goal from the three-yard line.
Purdy completed 10 of his first 12 passes for 156 yards to six receivers and all three of his touchdowns. Breece Hall ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns in 13 carries.
North Carolina State 16, No. 21 Liberty 14
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State blocked Alex Barbir’s 39-yard field-goal attempt with 1:18 left to beat Liberty, handing the Flames their first loss this season.
Liberty (8-1) was trying to earn a third win against an ACC opponent this year, all on the road. The Flames had their shot to extend the best start in program history too, putting together a drive to give Barbir — who had kicked a 51-yard field goal to beat Virginia Tech earlier this season — a shot at the lead.
But Vi Jones deflected the kick to set off a celebration for the Wolfpack (6-3), who moved the chains once more to run out the clock and seal a win on a tough night for both offenses.
Zonovan Knight ran for two touchdowns to lead N.C. State, including the go-ahead four-yard score with 6:53 left.
No. 23 Auburn 30, Tennessee 17
AUBURN, Ala. — Smoke Monday returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, and Auburn overcame a slow start to beat Tennessee.
Auburn (5-2, 5-2 SEC) fell behind 10-0 to Tennessee (2-5, 2-5) and dealt with injuries to star running back Tank Bigsby and its two starting offensive tackles. The Tigers were playing their first game in 21 days after a scheduled off week and the postponement of a game at Mississippi State.
Bo Nix completed 17 of 26 passes for 220 yards, with a 54-yard touchdown to Anthony Schwartz and his first career interception in a home game. Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano started strong but finished with only 156 yards passing and the interception return for a touchdown that gave Auburn a two-score lead late in the third quarter.
Tennessee had its best offensive outing in weeks yet struggled after halftime. The Volunteers have been outscored 108-14 in the second half during their five-game losing streak.
Michigan 48, Rutgers 42, 3OT
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Hassan Haskins dove in from less than a yard out on fourth down in the third overtime, and Michigan outlasted Rutgers, avoiding its worst start in 53 years.
Sophomore Cade McNamara came off the bench and threw four touchdowns passes and ran for another as Michigan (2-3, 2-3 Big Ten) snapped a three-game losing streak and handed Rutgers (1-4, 1-4) its fourth straight loss.
The Wolverines missed the two-point conversion after Haskins’ touchdown, but safety Daxton Hill intercepted Noah Vedral’s desperation heave into the end zone from the 24-yard line to end the game that lasted 4½ hours.
Oregon State 31, California 27
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State quarterback Tristan Gebbia passed for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown and was on the receiving end of a score in the Beavers’ victory over California at Reser Stadium.
Gebbia is the first Pac-12 quarterback since 1996 to account for touchdowns via the air, ground and as a receiver.
Gebbia’s one-yard touchdown run with 4:30 remaining, set up by Jesiah Irish’s blocked punt, gave Oregon State its final lead.
California drove to the Beavers’ 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter, but on first and goal Chase Garbers’ pass was tipped by Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and intercepted by fellow linebacker John McCartan.
Jermar Jefferson’s 65-yard run with just less than a minute to go sealed the win for Oregon State (1-2, 1-2 Pac-12 Conference), which opened the season with losses to Washington State and Washington.
Jefferson ran for 196 yards, including a 75-yard jaunt on the game’s first offensive play.
California dropped to 0-2, 0-2.
Washington 44, Arizona 27
SEATTLE — Dylan Morris threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns, Washington got rushing touchdowns from three different running backs, and the Huskies routed Arizona.
Washington (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was thoroughly dominant, jumping to a 24-0 halftime lead and leading 37-0 before Arizona finally found the end zone early in the fourth quarter. For a while, it appeared the Huskies could be in line to post their first Pac-12 shutout since a 30-0 win over Washington State in the 2009 Apple Cup, but the Wildcats feasted on Washington’s backup defense in the fourth quarter.
While the Huskies’ defense stifled the Wildcats for three quarters, it was Morris and the Washington offense that showed efficiency and explosiveness that was absent in last week’s opening win over Oregon State.
Arizona (0-2, 0-2) lost its ninth straight game dating back to last season — a streak that started with a home loss to Washington — and took a step back from last week’s loss to USC.
Wildcats quarterback Grant Gunnell was 27 of 39 for 259 yards and three touchdowns, almost all of those numbers coming in the fourth quarter against Washington’s reserves. He was sacked five times.
Nevada 26, San Diego State 21
RENO — Carson Strong threw two touchdown passes, and Nevada’s defense stifled San Diego State in the second half, stopping the Aztecs with a last-minute goal-line stand in a victory.
Darren Hall intercepted Strong at the Wolf Pack 26-yard line with 3:23 remaining. The Aztecs (3-2, 3-2 Mountain West) reached the Nevada six-yard line with 1½ minutes left but were stopped on a fourth and goal with 29 seconds remaining.
Strong was 31-for-46 passing for 288 yards, going over 4,000 for his career. His 53-yard score to Romeo Doubs gave the Wolf Pack (5-0, 5-0) a 23-21 lead in the third quarter before Brandon Talton added his fourth field goal of the game.
Doubs finished with 133 yards receiving on five catches.
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