College football: No. 21 Oregon State stuns No. 9 Oregon; No. 5 LSU loses
Isaiah Newell ran for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:11 remaining, and No. 21 Oregon State took advantage of critical mistakes in the fourth quarter by No. 9 Oregon to rally for a 38-34 victory Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.
The Beavers (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12 Conference) trailed 31-10 late in the third quarter and 34-17 early in the fourth, but the Ducks (9-3, 7-2) gave their rivals a short field on three consecutive possessions, leading to touchdowns.
First, Oregon gave up a 48-yard kickoff return by Silas Bolden, and a facemask penalty set up Oregon State at the Ducks’ 36-yard line. Newell ran for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 34-24.
Next, Oregon punter Alex Bales dropped the snap and fell on the ball at the Ducks’ two-yard line. Two plays later, Ben Gulbranson pounded it in from one yard out to get Oregon State to within 34-31.
J.J. McCarthy had three touchdown passes and ran for a score and Donovan Edwards had two long TD runs as No. 3 Michigan beat No. 2 Ohio State 45-23.
Oregon then went for it on fourth and one at its 29-yard line, and Bo Nix was stopped for a one-yard loss on the Ducks’ only called quarterback run of the game. Newell scored four plays later, with a convoy of blockers helping to push him into the end zone from six yards out.
“I felt like we won the Super Bowl,” Oregon State wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey said.
Oregon State concluded by far its best regular season under fifth-year coach Jonathan Smith, who took over a program that went 1-11 in 2017.
“Didn’t play our best for a long period of time,” Smith said. “But knowing this game was a long, long game, they found a way at the end.”
The Ducks still could have made the Pac-12 championship game, but they needed Washington State to beat No. 13 Washington later Saturday. Washington won, which means No. 14 Utah advances to the title game against No. 6 USC.
“Coach Smith was very well prepared for this game,” first-year Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “We were prepared for half or three quarters of the game as it turned out.”
In accounting for four touchdowns in USC’s 38-27 victory over Notre Dame, Caleb Williams made a convincing case that he should win the Heisman Trophy.
Oregon State ran for 268 yards and five touchdowns, overcoming its lack of a passing game. The Beavers did not attempt a pass on their three fourth-quarter touchdown drives.
Damien Martinez led the way with 103 yards in 15 carries, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game. Ben Gulbanson was just six for 13 for 60 yards with two interceptions, but he ran for two scores. Newell scored on his only two carries.
Nix passed for 327 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon finished with 470 total yards, but Nix’s limited mobility because of a right ankle injury was a major factor.
at Texas A&M 38, No. 5 Louisiana State 23
Devon Achane had a career-best 215 yards rushing with two touchdowns, and the Aggies (5-7, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) stunned the Tigers (9-3, 6-2), all but certainly knocking LSU out of contention for the College Football Playoff.
Conner Weigman threw two touchdown passes for Texas A&M, and Demani Richardson returned a fumble for a score. The score was tied at 17 in the third quarter before the Aggies scored 21 straight points.
LSU had already secured a spot in next week’s SEC title game against unbeaten No. 1 Georgia, and a win there could have put the Tigers in the playoff. But with three losses, even beating the Bulldogs likely won’t be enough.
Quarterback Caleb Williams’ Heisman Trophy bid got a big boost and USC kept its College Football Playoff dreams alive with a 38-27 win over Notre Dame.
South Carolina 31, at No. 8 Clemson 30
Spencer Rattler threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown, Mitch Jeter hit the go-ahead field goal with 11 minutes left, and the Gamecocks crushed the playoff hopes of a second straight top-10 team with a victory over the Tigers.
South Carolina was the talk of college football last week after its 63-38 dismantling of Tennessee, ending the Volunteers’ hopes of a CFP berth.
South Carolina and Rattler, who threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns against Tennessee, ended any chance Clemson had of reaching the CFP. The Gamecocks rallied from 14-0 down 10 minutes in to end Clemson’s seven-game series winning streak and 40-game home winning streak that dated to 2016.
Antwane Wells Jr. had nine catches for 131 yards, including touchdowns of four and 72 yards.
Rattler finished 25-for-39 passing with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a 35-yard touchdown. Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei completed eight of 29 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Shipley rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown.
South Carolina will await its bowl destination. Clemson will face North Carolina in the ACC championship game next Saturday.
Caleb Williams dazzled on the ground and through the air, making a strong case to win the Heisman Trophy during USC’s victory over Notre Dame.
at No. 1 Georgia 37, Georgia Tech 14
Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes, and the Bulldogs (12-0) completed back-to-back undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history by overcoming a slow start to beat the Yellow Jackets (5-7).
Georgia was down 7-0 early and led Georgia Tech only 10-7 at halftime. Then the Bulldogs overpowered the Yellow Jackets with their running game to score 37 unanswered points and notch their fifth consecutive win in the state rivalry.
Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton ran for touchdowns. Georgia outrushed Georgia Tech 264-40.
The defending national champion Bulldogs are in good position to retain their No. 1 CFP ranking entering next week’s SEC championship game against No. 6 Louisiana State.
L.A. Times readers believe Bruins coach Chip Kelly gets most of the blame for UCLA’s loss to USC. And then there was the season-finale win over Cal.
at No. 4 Texas Christian 62, Iowa State 14
Kendre Miller ran for two touchdowns as the Horned Frogs (12-0, 9-0) completed the first undefeated regular season by a Big 12 Conference team since 2009 with a victory over the Cyclones (4-8, 1-8), getting TCU closer to making the four-team CFP.
Max Duggan threw touchdown passes to three receivers for the Frogs, who still have the Big 12 title game to play next Saturday against Kansas State in coach Sonny Dykes’ first season. But they will go into that as one of only three undefeated teams remaining.
at No. 7 Alabama 49, Auburn 27
Bryce Young passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown in perhaps his final home game for Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide (10-2, 6-2 SEC) past the Tigers (5-7, 2-6) in the Iron Bowl.
Alabama reached double digits in wins for a 15th consecutive season despite being unable to fulfill those ever-present national title aspirations. Auburn was trying to ensure bowl eligibility and salvage a disappointing season that included the firing of coach Bryan Harsin on Oct. 31.
Young, a junior, completed 20 of 30 passes with an interception and ran for 48 yards. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner is projected as a high NFL draft pick if he leaves early, as is Tide All-American linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who had a fourth-quarter sack to help stall a late Tigers drive.
The Bruins gave up four touchdown passes to the Golden Bears on Friday, but creating two crucial turnovers preserved the win in regular-season finale.
No. 10 Tennessee 56, at Vanderbilt 0
Jaylen Wright ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns in five carries, Jabari Small rushed for two more scores, and the Volunteers (10-2, 6-2 SEC) never trailed in routing the in-state rival Commodores (5-7, 2-6) on a rainy night.
Tennessee rebounded from losing two of its previous three games to clinch its first 10-win regular season since 2003, and first overall since 2007. The losses had dropped the Volunteers from first in the inaugural CFP rankings to 10th.
at No. 11 Penn State 35, Michigan State 16
Sean Clifford threw four touchdown passes, and the Nittany Lions’ defense tightened up late in a win over the Spartans in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Tight end Theo Johnson caught two touchdown passes for Penn State (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten). Michigan State (5-7, 3-6) was down a handful of players because of injuries and suspensions. Seven of those suspended in the melee after the Michigan game Oct. 29 were charged Wednesday.
at No. 12 Kansas State 47, Kansas 27
Will Howard threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns, Deuce Vaughn ran for 147 yards and a score, and the Wildcats (9-3, 7-2) pounded the Jayhawks (6-6, 3-6) to earn a shot at payback against TCU in the Big 12 championship game.
Malik Knowles added a pair of touchdown runs and Philip Brooks and Sammy Wheeler also reached the end zone as Kansas State beat its biggest rival for the 14th straight time in a game the Wildcats needed to win.
Kansas State blew a 28-10 lead and lost 38-28 to the Horned Frogs during the regular season. Now the teams will face each other again Dec. 3 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with a CFP spot likely on the line for TCU.
No. 13 Washington 51, at Washington State 33
Michael Penix Jr. threw for 484 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns, and the Huskies (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) reclaimed the Apple Cup with a wild victory over the Cougars (7-5, 4-5).
A year after Washington watched Washington State celebrate ending a seven-game skid on the turf of Husky Stadium, the Huskies kept alive their hopes for a New Year’s Six bowl game. Washington finished with 702 yards of offense.
No. 14 Utah 63, at Colorado 21
Cameron Rising threw three touchdown passes before taking a seat for the second half, Ja’Quinden Jackson ran for three scores, and the Utes (9-3, 7-2) routed the Buffaloes (1-11, 1-8). Late Saturday, Utah gained the last spot in the Pac-12 title game on a tiebreaker. The Utes will face No. 6 USC on Friday in Las Vegas.
Utah entered the weekend with an outside shot at defending its league title, and things fell into place for the Utes.
UCLA did its part for Utah by knocking off California on Friday. Then came a big assist — No. 21 Oregon State surprising No. 9 Oregon, with the Utes fans at Folsom Field cheering when the score was flashed on the scoreboard. All that remained was No. 13 Washington beating Washington State late Saturday. That created a three-way tie between the Utes, Ducks and Huskies. Utah’s league opponents had the highest combined winning percentage in conference games, giving the Utes the final spot.
Utah handed the Trojans their only loss of the season last month.
“We’ll be ready for it,” Rising said after the game.
No. 22 Central Florida 46, at South Florida 39
Alec Holler made a leaping, one-handed catch for a touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Mikey Keene with 20 seconds left to lead the Knights (9-3, 6-2) to a win over the Bulls (1-11, 0-8) that earned UCF a spot in the American Athletic Conference championship game.
The Knights will play at No. 19 Tulane (10-2, 7-1) in the AAC title game Saturday.
at Kentucky 26, No. 25 Louisville 13
Will Levis passed for two touchdowns, including a three-yarder to Barion Brown in the third quarter, Matt Ruffolo kicked a career-best four field goals, and the Wildcats (7-5) topped the rival Cardinals (7-5) for their fourth consecutive Governor’s Cup victory.
Kentucky limped in with five losses in seven games but regrouped to overwhelm Louisville in all phases.
Brigham Young 35, at Stanford 26
Jaren Hall threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Cougars (7-5) to a victory over the Cardinal (3-9).
BYU scored touchdowns on its first four possessions to take control in its regular-season finale and assure itself of a winning record for a fifth consecutive season.
Hall threw two touchdown passes to Isaac Rex, but BYU did much of its damage on the ground with 358 yards rushing. Tanner McKee threw for 313 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Stanford from posting back-to-back seasons with at least nine losses for the first time in school history.
Purdue 30, at Indiana 16
Aidan O’Connell threw two touchdown passes and Devin Mockobee ran for a touchdown to help the Boilermakers (8-4, 6-3 Big Ten) clinch their first Big Ten West Division title with a victory over the Hoosiers (4-8, 2-7).
Purdue faces No. 3 Michigan next weekend in Indianapolis with a chance to win its first conference title since 2000. The Boilermakers also won their fourth Old Oaken Bucket in five games and produced their first back-to-back eight-win seasons since 1997-98.
Illinois 41, at Northwestern 3
Safety Sydney Brown returned a fumble and an interception for touchdowns, and the Illini ( 8-4, 5-4 Big Ten) ended a three-game skid with a rout of the Wildcats (1-11, 1-8).
Illinois entered with a chance to win the Big Ten West and advance to the conference championship for the first time. However, Purdue defeated Indiana to win the division title.
Minnesota 23, at Wisconsin 16
Athan Kaliakmanis connected with Le’Meke Brockington on a tiebreaking 45-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 remaining, and the Golden Gophers (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten) hung on in the final minute to beat the Badgers (6-6, 4-5).
Minnesota retained possession of Paul Bunyan’s Axe, which goes to the winner of this annual matchup. The Gophers also tied the most-played Football Bowl Subdivision rivalry — these two Big Ten foes have been facing each other since 1890 — at 62-62-8.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.