No. 1 Alabama looks lethargic in 20-7 win at Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- T.J. Yeldon rushed for 160 yards, A.J. McCarron threw two touchdown passes and No. 1 Alabama overcame four turnovers to beat Mississippi State 20-7 on Saturday night.
It was a lethargic performance for Alabama (10-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference), which led 10-7 midway through the third quarter before pulling away. Alabama has won six in a row against the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State (4-6, 1-5) kept the game far closer than most anticipated, but couldn't take advantage of Alabama's mistakes. Tyler Russell started for the injured Dak Prescott and completed 15 of 24 passes for 144 yards and an interception before leaving with an apparent shoulder injury when the Bulldogs were trying to rally in the fourth quarter.
McCarron tossed two rare interceptions and Yeldon had a costly fumble that led to Mississippi State's only touchdown, but Alabama survived to set up a much-anticipated Iron Bowl with Auburn.
No. 2 Florida State dominates Syracuse
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jameis Winston showed no effects from a tumultuous week during No. 2 Florida State's 59-3 win against Syracuse on Saturday. The redshirt quarterback completed 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles rolled during the Atlantic Coast Conference game.
News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. The attention of college football enthusiasts moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.
On the field, it was business as usual for the Seminoles (10-0, 8-0) on Saturday. They led 28-0 after the first quarter. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.
No. 3 Ohio State downs Illinois to stay unbeaten
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Carlos Hyde ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns and Braxton Miller had another 184 yards rushing and two scores Saturday to push No. 3 Ohio State past Illinois 60-35.
But even with Hyde's offensive explosion, the Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) needed a third-quarter defensive stop and safety to secure the win.
After trailing 28-0 in the second quarter, Illinois (3-7, 0-6) closed to 35-21 in the third on two Nathan Scheelhaase touchdown passes.
Illinois had the momentum when the Buckeyes' Ryan Shazier sacked backup quarterback Reilly O'Toole in the end zone. Illinois recovered his fumble but the safety gave the Buckeyes a 37-21 edge and the ball. Minutes later, a Hyde touchdown put them up 44-21.
Hyde tacked on two late, long touchdowns runs of 55 and 51 yards.
Miller threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Scheelhaase led the Illini with 288 yards passing and two touchdowns.
No. 4 Baylor overcomes double-digit deficit to beat Texas Tech
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bryce Petty threw three touchdowns and ran for two more as No. 4 Baylor stayed undefeated, overcoming its first double-digit deficit of the season in a 63-34 victory against Texas Tech on Saturday night.
The Bears (9-0, 6-0), even without several key offensive players, stretched their school-record winning streak to 13 games. They are the outright Big 12 leader after No. 23 Texas suffered its first conference loss earlier in the day, and are one of six undefeated FBS teams.
Shock Linwood, effectively the Bears' third-string running back, ran 29 times for 187 yards and a touchdown while Devin Chafin, another redshirt freshman, had 11 carries for 100 yards and two TDs. Levi Norwood had TD catches of 40 and 58 yards, and also returned a punt 58 yards for a score.
Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4) lost its fourth consecutive game since a 7-0 start for first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.
USC tops No. 5 Stanford on late 47-yard field goal
LOS ANGELES -- Andre Heidari kicked a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play, and Southern California's stalwart defense repeatedly came up big in a 20-17 victory against No. 5 Stanford on Saturday night.
Cody Kessler passed for 288 yards for the revitalized Trojans (8-3, 5-2 Pac-12), who earned their fifth win in six games under interim coach Ed Orgeron.
USC's remarkable defensive performance included two fourth-quarter interceptions against the powerful Cardinal (8-2, 6-2), who followed up last week's win against Oregon by getting knocked out of the national title chase and maybe the Rose Bowl race as well.
After the inconsistent Heidari's field goal and Stanford's final play, USC fans stormed the Coliseum field, where Stanford had won in its last three trips.
Mariota's knee not a problem as No. 6 Oregon beats Utah
EUGENE, Ore. -- Marcus Mariota's knee didn't matter all that much against Utah.
Oregon's sophomore quarterback threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns and the sixth-ranked Ducks rebounded from last week's loss to Stanford with a 44-21 victory against Utah on Saturday.
Mariota went into the game with questions about the health of his left knee, which impacted his mobility in the 26-20 loss to the Cardinal.
De'Anthony Thomas caught a touchdown pass and scored on an 86-yard kickoff return for the Ducks (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12). Byron Marshall ran for two additional scores but the Ducks were slowed on the ground by Utah's defense, rushing for 145 yards after averaging nearly 302 yards a game this season.
Utah (4-6, 1-6) was dealt a blow before the game when starting quarterback Travis Wilson didn't make the trip to Eugene because of a concussion. Backup Adam Schulz threw for 157 yards and a touchdown and ran for another.
No. 7 Auburn scores late, stops No. 25 Georgia on doorstep to win
AUBURN, Ala. -- Ricardo Louis scored on a deflected 73-yard pass on fourth and 18 with 25 seconds left to lift No. 7 Auburn to a stunning 43-38 victory against No. 25 Georgia on Saturday night.
The Tigers (10-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) had blown a 27-7 lead but pulled out one more huge play to continue the biggest turnaround in major college football. From 3-9 last year, they can win the SEC West with a victory in two weeks against No. 1 Alabama.
Auburn's Nick Marshall heaved the ball downfield with two defenders around Louis. It bounced off safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and right into Louis's hands.
Aaron Murray, who had engineered the comeback with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, could only stare helplessly from the bench.
He led Georgia (6-4, 4-3) all the way to Auburn's 20 but his final two passes fell incomplete as time ran out.
Boyd breaks ACC record as No. 8 Clemson clobbers Georgia Tech
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tajh Boyd threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns to break Philip Rivers' Atlantic Coast Conference career record in No. 8 Clemson's 55-31 victory against Georgia Tech on Thursday night. Boyd threw a major scare into Tigers coaches, teammates and the 75,324 fans at Death Valley when he remained on the turf in pain at the end of the third quarter with what the school said was a left collarbone injury.
But Boyd had X-rays done and no breaks were discovered. He bounded out of the locker room, grabbed a ball and even pestered offensive coordinator Chad Morris to go back in. Boyd didn't have to, though, with Clemson (9-1, 7-1 ACC) ahead 41-24 and cruising to a third consecutive victory since losing to No. 2 Florida State last month.
Boyd has 97 touchdown passes, two more than Rivers - now with the San Diego Chargers - had at North Carolina State from 2000-03.
Georgia Tech (6-4, 5-3) had feint hopes of winning the ACC Coastal Division, but fell behind 20-0 early in the second quarter and could not catch up.
Sammy Watkins had touchdowns catches of 41 and 44 yards for the Tigers.
Fry's four field goals help No. 11 South Carolina beat Florida
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Elliott Fry kicked four field goals and No. 11 South Carolina won its school-record 16th consecutive game at home, sending banged-up Florida to its fifth consecutive loss with a 19-14 victory Saturday night.
The Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) struggled to score points against the Gators' SEC-leading defense until Fry gave them a 16-14 lead with a 22-yard field goal with 6:43 remaining.
Trailing 19-14, Gators freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg led the Gators into South Carolina territory but was intercepted by Jimmy Legree to end the threat. This is the longest losing streak for Florida (4-6, 3-5) since dropping nine in a row during its 0-10-1 season in 1979.
The Gamecocks' win kept them in the SEC's Eastern Division race. They got a large boost in the bid for the title game with Auburn's last-second, tipped-ball comeback to defeat Georgia. The Gamecocks still need Missouri to lose once more.
No. 12 Oklahoma State clobbers No. 23 Texas in Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Clint Chelf ran for two touchdowns and No. 12 Oklahoma State stayed in the Big 12 championship chase by beating No. 23 Texas 38-13 on Saturday.
Chelf also threw two scoring passes as Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) won in Austin for the third consecutive time. This one may renew pressure on Texas coach Mack Brown, who was dealt his worst home loss in 16 seasons at a time when speculation about his job security had just begun quieting down.
The Longhorns (7-3, 6-1) ended a six-game winning streak and lost control of their destiny in the Big 12. Chase McCoy threw for 221 yards and was picked off three times.
Oklahoma State next faces undefeated No. 4 Baylor.
Jack's four TDs help No. 13 UCLA hold off Washington
PASADENA, Calif. -- Linebacker Myles Jack ran for four touchdowns, defensive end Cassius Marsh caught a scoring pass, and No. 13 UCLA stayed in control of its destiny in the Pac-12 South race with a 41-31 victory against Washington on Friday night.
Devin Lucien turned a short pass into a 40-yard TD with 9:57 to play, and the Bruins (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) got creative to hold off a lively challenge from the Huskies (6-4, 3-4), who lost starting quarterback Keith Price to a shoulder injury right before halftime.
Jack followed up his 120-yard debut at running back last week by becoming the 13th player in UCLA history to score four touchdowns.
Cyler Miles passed for 149 yards after replacing Price, but the Huskies have lost nine of their last 12 Pac-12 road games.
Damore'ea Stringfellow, Jaydon Mickens and Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught TD passes for Washington, which hasn't beaten UCLA at the Rose Bowl since 1995.
For the second consecutive week, Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone dipped into the defense's roster to win an exhilarating meeting of two bowl-bound teams with prolific offenses.
Jack, the Bruins' remarkable freshman from a Seattle suburb, finished with the most rushing TDs since Maurice Jones-Drew set the school record with five scores in 2004.
UCLA coach Jim Mora had been coy about whether Jack would even play offense again, but the freshman jumped in during the Bruins' opening series, rushing for an 8-yard score on his first carry. Used mostly as a short-yardage back, he added two more scores in the first half and finished with 60 yards on 12 carries.
Oh, and he also made five tackles in his primary role at linebacker.
No. 14 Michigan State beats up turnover-prone Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. -- No. 14 Michigan State converted five Nebraska turnovers into 24 points and took a big step toward winning the Big Ten Legends Division with a 41-28 victory on Saturday.
Jeremy Langford ran 32 times for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns, and Keith Mumphrey caught a 27-yard touchdown from Connor Cook in the fourth quarter after the Cornhuskers pulled within six points.
The Spartans (9-1, 6-0) beat the Huskers (7-3, 4-2) for the first time in eight all-time meetings.
They would clinch the division with a win at Northwestern next week or a loss by Minnesota in either of its last two games. Michigan State plays Minnesota to end the regular season.
Big Ten leading rusher Ameer Abdullah ran 22 times for 123 yards for Nebraska. He went over 100 yards for the seventh consecutive game and eighth time this season and is the first player to do it against the Spartans.
No. 15 UCF survives major scare at Temple
PHILADELPHIA -- Shawn Moffitt kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired after Rannell Hall got behind the Temple defense for a 64-yard reception, and No. 15 UCF survived a scare with a 39-36 victory Saturday.
UCF's last possession started at its own 19, with no timeouts. Overtime seemed likely until Blake Bortles found Hall deep to get to the Temple 6.
Bortles managed to get the ball spiked with 2 seconds left and Moffitt booted through the game winner to keep UCF (8-1, 5-0) in control of the American Athletic Conference race.
Freshman P.J. Walker was spectacular for Temple (1-0, 0-6), with a season-high 382 yards passing, four TD passes and a touchdown run.
Temple drops to 2-78 all-time against top 25 opponents.
No. 17 Wisconsin makes easy work of Indiana in 51-3 rout
MADISON, Wis. -- James White rushed for a career-high 205 yards and Melvin Gordon added 146 as No. 17 Wisconsin beat Indiana 51-3 on Saturday.
The Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) came in expecting a big game on the ground against the conference's 10th-ranked rushing defense with the Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) giving up an average of more than 217 yards a game.
Wisconsin topped that just minutes into the second quarter, had 323 yards rushing at the half and finished with 554.
Indiana's high-flying offense, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found. Second in the conference at 527 yards a game, the Hoosiers were held to just 224 yards. Indiana had been held scoreless in just three quarters the entire season, but matched that Saturday. Indiana also snapped a school record of 10 straight games with at least 28 points.
No. 19 Louisville holds off Houston 20-13
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Dominique Brown ran for a career-high 137 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the third quarter, and No. 19 Louisville held on to beat Houston 20-13 on Saturday night.
Listless on both sides of the ball and trailing 13-10 at halftime, Louisville turned to Brown, who carried 11 times in the third quarter for 50 yards and a touchdown run. Brown finished with 27 carries.
The defense awakened to hold the Cougars (7-3, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) to just 41 second-half yards and help the Cardinals (9-1, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) win their third consecutive game and stay within reach of first-place UCF.
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater completed 19-of-29 passes for 209 yards but had his streak of 21 games with a touchdown pass end at 21. DeVante Parker had four receptions for 72 yards, including a 39-yarder that set up Brown's second TD run.
Lynch leads No. 20 Northern Illinois past Ball State in MAC showdown
DEKALB, Ill. -- Jordan Lynch threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help No. 20 Northern Illinois beat Ball State 48-27 on Wednesday night.
Lynch threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Da'Ron Brown to break a tie with 5:49 left, and the Huskies (10-0, 6-0 Mid-American Conference) ran the nation's longest active home winning streak to 25. They also have won 23 consecutive conference games.
Lynch added a 16-yard touchdown run with 1:26 to go, and defensive end Joe Windsor scored on a 49-yard interception return with 46 seconds left.
Lynch was 26 of 32 for 345 yards and ran for 123 yards on 20 carries. Brown had 12 receptions for 209 yards, also catching a 58-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The victory preserved Northern Illinois' hopes for a second consecutive Bowl Championship Series appearance. NIU played in the Orange Bowl last season and are 15th in the BCS rankings.
Keith Wenning completed 35 of 49 pass for 324 yards for Ball State (9-2, 6-1). Willie Snead had 12 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Jahwan Edwards ran for 156 yards and a score.
The loss ended the Cardinals' seven-game winning streak and 11-game MAC run.
No. 21 Arizona State holds off Oregon State
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State's offense stagnated, its defense was on its heels.
A blocked field goal turned the momentum back on the Sun Devils' side and Robert Nelson sealed it with another big play in the fourth quarter.
Next up: A showdown with No. 13 UCLA with the Pac-12 South title on the line.
Nelson returned his second interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and No. 21 Arizona State maintained control of the Pac-12 South with a 30-17 win against Oregon State on Saturday night.
Arizona State (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) dominated the first half, going up 20-0 on two touchdown runs by Marion Grice, who became the third Sun Devil to score 20 touchdowns in a season after running for 118 yards.
The Sun Devils stumbled through the third quarter, though, struggling on offense while allowing the Beavers to march down the field.
Arizona State halted Oregon State's momentum when Davon Colemen blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter and Nelson, who has a knack for rising up in big moments, put it out of reach by racing into the end zone on Sean Mannion's fourth interception of the game.
The Sun Devils beat Oregon State for the 19th time in 20 games at Sun Devil Stadium and have won five consecutive games overall, setting up next week's showdown with the Bruins in Southern California.
No. 22 Oklahoma routs Iowa State 48-10
NORMAN, Okla. -- Bob Stoops matched Barry Switzer's record for most coaching victories at Oklahoma when the 22nd-ranked Sooners cruised to a 48-10 victory against Iowa State on Saturday.
Trevor Knight led the way as Stoops recorded win No. 157 with Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2 Big 12), which closed the game with 45 unanswered points over the final three quarters. The backup quarterback was 8-of-14 passing for 61 yards and rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown.
Iowa State (1-9, 0-7) held Oklahoma scoreless in the first quarter and led 10-3 before Jalen Saunders returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown right before halftime.
Damien Williams added 10 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns for the Sooners.
Knight provided an instant spark after replacing injured starter Blake Bell in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Bell was 2 of 5 for 10 yards.
Connette totals five TDs as Duke upsets No. 24 Miami (Fla.)
DURHAM, N.C. -- Brandon Connette rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and threw for a fifth, and Duke upset No. 24 Miami 48-30 on Saturday to take sole possession of first place in the ACC's messy Coastal Division.
The Blue Devils' change-of-pace quarterback had touchdown runs of 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards, and threw a 22-yard TD to Shaq Powell while leading Duke (8-2, 4-2) to one of the program's most significant wins.
Josh Snead rushed for a career-high 138 yards and Powell added a backbreaking 33-yard touchdown run that put the Blue Devils in complete control.
Dallas Crawford rushed for 115 yards and Stephen Morris threw for 379 and two touchdowns but the Hurricanes (7-3, 3-3) lost their third consecutive game.
In a wild game that featured 1,108 total yards and three lead changes, Duke claimed the inside track to a berth opposite No. 2 Florida State in the ACC championship game.