BATON ROUGE, La. – Jalen Hurts broke loose for a 21-yard touchdown run to break a scoreless tie early in the fourth quarter, and No. 1 Alabama’s defense thoroughly stifled Leonard Fournette and LSU in a 10-0 victory over the 15th-ranked Tigers on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 1 CFP) won for the sixth straight time against LSU (5-3, 3-2, No. 13 CFP), and remained alone in first place in the SEC West – a game ahead of Auburn.
Hurts, a freshman who has exceeded expectations by establishing himself as one of the most dynamic, explosive players in college football, was the game’s leading rusher with 114 yards on 20 carries. He also completed 10 of 19 passes for 107 yards.
LSU had had its share of big plays – but all on defense, forcing Hurts into an early interception and late fumble. But LSU’s offense could not capitalize against menacing defensive end Jonathan Allen and the rest of Alabama’s suffocating defense.
The Tigers had 125 total yards. Fournette, whose 2015 Heisman Trophy hopes faded when he was held to 31 yards on 19 carries in Tuscaloosa last year, had 35 yards on 17 carries. One game after touchdown runs of 78, 76 and 59 yards against Mississippi, Fournette’s longest run against the Crimson Tide was 9 yards.
LSU’s Danny Etling completed 11 of 24 passes for 92 yards and also was intercepted once in the fourth quarter, leading to a late Alabama field goal. Alabama had five sacks, one more than LSU’s offense had allowed in any other game this season.
NO. 6 OHIO STATE 62, NO. 9 NEBRASKA 3
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Curtis Samuel had 178 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard touchdown reception on Ohio State’s first play of the second half.
After three straight weeks of close games and inconsistent offense, the Buckeyes (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten, No. 6 CFP) put forth their best performance of the season, led 31-3 at the half and handed the Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-2, No. 10 CFP) their most lopsided loss since 2004.
Damon Webb got it started with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown on Nebraska’s first drive of the game. J.T. Barrett led three long touchdown drives, including a 15-play, 85-yarder that ended with 1-yard jump TD pass to Samuel with 3 seconds left in the half.
Nebraska lost quarterback Tommy Armstrong to a scary head injury in the second quarter, when the senior slammed the side of his helmet on the turf after being knocked out of bounds. Armstrong was taken from the stadium in an ambulance, but returned to the sideline in sweats in the third quarter.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 35, NO. 7 TEXAS A&M 28
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Nick Fitzgerald ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns, Aeris Williams added a career-high 140 yards and Mississippi State upset Texas A&M.
Mississippi State (4-5, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) was coming off an uninspiring 56-41 win over lower-level Samford. The Bulldogs had lost their previous three games against FBS competition.
It was an equally stunning loss for Texas A&M. The Aggies were ranked No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday, but will now almost certainly tumble out of contention.
Mississippi State finished with 365 yards rushing. The Bulldogs’ biggest drive was a grinding 14-play, 73-yard push in the fourth quarter that ended with Fitzgerald running for a 4-yard touchdown for a 35-21 lead. Mississippi State ran 10 straight running plays at one point in the drive.
Fitzgerald was 18 of 31 passing for 209 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) not only lost the game, but possibly its starting quarterback. Trevor Knight was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with an apparent right shoulder injury and didn’t return.
Knight wasn’t very effective when he was playing, completing just 5 of 14 passes for 43 yards. He also ran for 54 yards and a touchdown.
NO. 2 MICHIGAN 59, MARYLAND 3
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Wilton Speight finished with a career-high 362 yards after accounting for three touchdowns in the first half, helping Michigan rout Maryland.
The Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) scored touchdowns on all five of their drives in the first half against the overmatched Terrapins (5-4, 2-4).
Speight completed 19 of 24 passes and had a 10-yard TD run. He set a first-half school record with 292 yards passing, connecting on 13 of 16 passes before halftime. De’Veon Smith had a season-high 114 yards rushing and a career-high three TDs.
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills was knocked out of the game by Chase Winovich, who hit Hills and drove his left shoulder into the turf in the second quarter. Caleb Rowe replaced him and threw an interception on his first pass of the second half, directly toward safety Delano Hill, who had another interception later in the game.
NO. 3 CLEMSON 54, SYRACUSE 0
CLEMSON, S.C. – Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third for Clemson before leaving with a bruised shoulder.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Watson’s injury wasn’t serious and the team announced after halftime that the junior Heisman Trophy contender could return if needed. With the Tigers up 30-0 at the half, it was hardly necessary and Watson spent the final two quarters high-fiving teammates and chatting up coaches while Clemson improved to 9-0 for a second straight season.
Watson had 169 yards passing and 39 rushing to keep the Tigers (6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 2 CFP) on track for the ACC title game. They can clinch the ACC Atlantic Division next week against Pitt.
Syracuse (4-5, 2-3) had hoped to catch Clemson napping after the Tigers’ dramatic, 37-34 win at Florida State last week. However, any upset chances left once Orange quarterback Eric Dungey was knocked out in the first-quarter following a hard hit by linebacker Dorian O’Daniel. Dungey, the ACC leader in passing yards and completions per game coming in, returned from the locker room in shorts and a ball cap as backups Austin Wilson and Zack Mahoney finished up.
NO. 4 WASHINGTON 66, CALIFORNIA 27
BERKELEY, Calif. – Jake Browning threw for 378 yards and six touchdowns to set Washington’s single-season record for TD passes with 34.
John Ross had 208 yards receiving and three scores. Dante Pettis caught three touchdown passes and threw another to lead the Huskies (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12, No. 5 CFP) to their 12th straight win.
The Bears (4-5, 2-4) had won five straight home games, including victories over ranked Texas and Utah earlier this season. Davis Webb threw for 262 yards and one touchdown, and ran for a second score. But he also had three second-half interceptions as the Huskies pulled away with 38 straight points after Cal cut it to 21-20 midway through the second quarter.
NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 52, BOSTON COLLEGE 7
BOSTON – Lamar Jackson ran for three touchdowns and threw for four more in three quarters to lead Louisville past Boston College.
Jackson had a 69-yard scoring run on the game’s third play and added rushing TDs of 13 and 53 yards in the second half. The Heisman Trophy favorite had TD pass of 30, 44 and 10 yards out on drives of five, four and one play to give the Cardinals (8-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 7 CFP) a 28-0 lead two snaps into the second quarter.
Despite leaving the game briefly in the first half with cramps, Jackson ran 15 times for 185 yards to become the first quarterback in school history to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 231 yards.
Tyler Rouse scored from 39 yards out on a screen pass from Patrick Towles to give Boston College (4-5, 1-5) its only score.
NO. 8 WISCONSIN 21, NORTHWESTERN 7
EVANSTON, Ill. – Corey Clement ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, Jazz Peavy scored on a 46-yard run and Wisconsin beat Northwestern.
Conor Sheehy forced a big fumble when he sacked Clayton Thorson with the Wildcats (4-5, 3-3 Big Ten) threatening early in the fourth quarter.
That led to Clements’ 2-yard TD run that made it a 14-point game and preserved the third straight win for the Badgers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 8 CFP). It also gave them a rare victory at Northwestern after they jumped back into the Top 10 by beating Nebraska in overtime last week.
Clement had 32 carries – three shy of his career high. Peavy’s 46-yarder in the second quarter was the first rushing touchdown of his career. He also had 73 yards receiving and a 24-yard punt return.
Alex Hornibrook played most of the game and completed 11 of 19 passes for 92 yards, and the Badgers rolled up 333 yards while dominating the and time of possession (40:25-19:35).
ARKANSAS 31, NO. 10 FLORIDA 10
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rawleigh Williams ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns to help Arkansas beat Florida for the first time since 1982.
The win is the first Southeastern Conference victory over the Gators for the Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3 SEC). They had had lost nine straight to Florida since joining the league in 1992. Arkansas’ last victory over the Gators (6-2, 4-2, No. 11 CFP) came in the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl.
Williams finished with 26 carries, topping the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth time this season. Austin Allen added 243 yards through the air and was 15-of-26 passing with a touchdown.
Santos Ramirez returned an interception 24 yards for the opening touchdown for the Razorbacks.
NO. 11 AUBURN 23, VANDERBILT 16
AUBURN, Ala. – The injured Sean White came off the bench to throw a touchdown pass and Josh Holsey intercepted a last-minute throw to lift Auburn past Vanderbilt.
The Tigers (7-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 9 CFP) sputtered after starting John Franklin III in place of White, who had an unspecified injury. White returned to open the second half with Auburn down 13-10, then threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton and led two field goal drives.
The win coupled with Mississippi State’s upset of No. 7 Texas A&M means Auburn can win the SEC West with victories over Georgia and No. 1 Alabama.
Vandy (4-5, 1-4) stayed alive into the final minute against the 26-point favorites thanks to Caleb Scott’s 29-yard catch of a tipped ball on fourth-and-18. The Commodores moved to Auburn’s 30 before Holsey’s interception put it away.
TCU 62, NO. 13 BAYLOR 22
WACO, Texas – Kyle Hicks ran for a career-high 192 yards and five touchdowns for TCU.
Baylor’s worst loss home loss since 2005 came on a day when the Bears wore all-black uniforms, as selected by the seniors, and there were black T-shirts sold outside supporting former coach Art Briles.
The Bears (6-2, 3-2 Big 12, No. 17 CFP) have lost consecutive games since a 6-0 start. TCU (5-4, 3-3) entered the game after losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2013.
Hicks’ five TD were one short of LaDainian Tomlinson’s school record set in November 1999, when he ran for 406 yards against UTEP in what was then the single-game major college record.
NO. 14 WEST VIRGINIA 48, KANSAS 21
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Skyler Howard threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to help Virginia hand Kansas to its their 40th straight road loss.
Justin Crawford ran for 129 yards and a score, and freshman Kennedy McKoy had 127 yards for the Mountaineers (7-1, 4-1 Big 12, No. 20 CFP). The pair shared the rushing load in place of Rushel Shell, who missed the game with an ankle injury sustained a week ago.
West Virginia bounced back from a 37-20 loss at Oklahoma State by piling up 605 yards of offense against the Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6). Kansas has lost 18th straight conference games.
NO. 18 NORTH CAROLINA 48, GEORGIA TECH 20
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Elijah Hood ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels (7-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 21 CFP) piled up 636 total yards. They had a season-high 283 on the ground and scored the game’s final 21 points.
Mitch Trubisky passed for 329 yards and a touchdown as North Carolina beat Georgia Tech for the third consecutive year – the first time that’s happened since 1992-94.
Justin Thomas passed for 184 yards and a touchdown for the Yellow Jackets (5-4, 2-4). He also rushed for 82 yards before suffering an upper-body injury in the third quarter. Dedrick Mills rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown for Georgia Tech.
NO. 19 FLORIDA STATE 24, N.C. STATE 20
RALEIGH, N.C. – Deondre Francois threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph with 3:09 left to help Florida State rally to beat North Carolina State.
Francois threw for 330 yards while Dalvin Cook ran for a touchdown on an otherwise quiet night for the Seminoles (6-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
The Seminoles came up with a final stop, forcing Ryan Finley to overthrow Nyheim Hines on fourth down after the Wolfpack (4-5, 1-4) had driven near the red zone with about 2 minutes left.
Hines had a career-best 11 catches for 124 yards for the Wolfpack.
NO. 20 PENN STATE 41, IOWA 14
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Saquon Barkley accounted for 211 all-purpose yards, scored two touchdowns and Penn State won its fifth straight Big Ten game for the first time since 2011.
Trace McSorley completed 11 of 18 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns and added 40 rushing yards and another score for the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) scored on seven of 11 possessions and kept the pressure on after leading 24-7 at halftime. Barkley scored on a 57-yard run and caught a 44-yard touchdown pass.
C.J. Beathard completed 18 of 26 passes for 204 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Hawkeyes (5-4, 3-3). He was sacked four times.
NO. 22 OKLAHOMA STATE 43, KANSAS STATE 37
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Mason Rudolph threw for 457 yards and five touchdowns, Chris Carson provided the go-ahead score and Oklahoma State picked off Jesse Ertz’s pass to the end zone on the final play.
The Cowboys (7-2, 5-1, No. 18 CFP) kept their Big 12 title hopes alive thanks to a critical stop on third-and-inches early in the fourth quarter. They trailed 37-28 at that point, and an 82-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to James Washington, and Carson’s 17-yard scoring run wiped that away.
Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) got the ball back with 1:39 left and quickly marched downfield. But after converting on fourth-and-5 to remain alive, an offensive pass interference penalty pushed them back to the 13 with 4 seconds to go. Ertz’s wobbler was picked off by Jordan Sterns to end the game.
Jesse Ertz ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns, but he was just 12 of 18 for 87 yards through the air, as the Wildcats finished with 345 yards rushing. Duke Shelley returned an interception for a TD.
NO. 23 VIRGINIA TECH 24, DUKE 21
DURHAM, N.C. – Adonis Alexander returned a blocked field goal 75 yards for a touchdown, and Virginia Tech held off Duke to remain in control of the ACC’s Coastal Division race.
Travon McMillian ran 14 yards for a TD and Jerod Evans passed for 192 yards and scored on a 7-yard run, carrying three Duke defenders along for the ride, for the Hokies (7-2, 5-1, No. 19 CFP).
Daniel Jones pulled Duke within three points with his second touchdown run of the game, a 2-yarder with 7:10 to play. The Blue Devils got the ball back with 5:55 remaining after forcing a three-and-out, but that drive netted just 21 yards before they punted back to the Hokies. Virginia Tech then ran out the final 4:06, with Evans converting the game-sealing third-and-3 with less than 2 minutes to go.
Duke (3-6, 0-5) has lost three straight and is 1-4 since upsetting Notre Dame.
NO. 25 WASHINGTON STATE 69, ARIZONA 7
PULLMAN, Wash. – Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns and Washington State beat Arizona for its seventh consecutive victory.
Washington State (7-2, 6-0 Pac-12, No. 25 CFP) had its highest points total since 1997 and the most ever against a Pac-12 opponent. The Cougars hadn’t won seven straight games since 2002.
Arizona (2-7, 0-6), which has lost six games in a row, struggled on offense behind quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins, Anu Solomon and Khalil Tate. They combined to complete 11 of 23 passes for 128 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Washington State scored on its first six possessions for a 38-7 lead at halftime.
Falk, who was relieved late in the third quarter by Tyler Hilinski, completed 32 of 35 passes.
Washington State piled up 614 yards of offense while limiting Arizona to 286 yards.