TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 18 Mississippi State 24
Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining to lift No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi State. Alabama won its 10th straight game against Mississippi State, but this one was much more difficult than most of the others. Mississippi State pushed ahead 24-17 early in the fourth quarter on Jace Christmann’s 25-yard field goal, but Alabama responded to tie it at 24 when Damien Harris ran for a 14-yard score with 9:49 left. Alabama had a chance to take the lead with about two minutes left, but a 40-yard field goal attempt by Andy Pappanastos banged off the left upright and fell harmlessly to the turf. Mississippi State went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and Alabama took over with 1:09 remaining. That was more than enough time for the Tide, who drove six plays and 68 yards in 44 seconds for the game-winning score. Mississippi State’s power running game gained 172 yards, but in the end Alabama was able to slow the Bulldogs down.
No. 10 Auburn 40, No. 2 Georgia 17
Kerryon Johnson ran for 167 yards and caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham and No. 10 Auburn smothered No. 2 Georgia’s running game in a victory. The Tigers remained in Western Division and potentially playoff contention after snapping a three-year losing streak to one of their top rivals. The Bulldogs came in with the top spot in the playoff rankings and could get a rematch if Auburn can beat No. 1 Alabama in two weeks. Auburn held Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and the SEC’s top ground game to 46 yards, 233 below their season average. Johnson ran 32 times and caught two passes for 66 yards. Stidham threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, all of 30-plus yards.
No. 4 Clemson 31, Florida State 14
Travis Etienne rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard burst with 3:05 left, and No. 4 Clemson won the ACC Atlantic Division with a victory over Florida State. The Tigers and their dominant defense looked to have this one wrapped up when they opened a 17-0 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter. But the Seminoles rallied on Jacques Patrick’s 9-yard scoring run and a double flea-flicker for a 60-yard TD catch by tight end Ryan Izzo. Florida State then recovered Kelly Bryant’s fumble on the Clemson 40 with 6:46 to go, putting the Seminoles in position to spoil the Tigers’ College Football Playoff hopes. But safety Van Smith intercepted James Blackman’s pass over the middle on the next play, setting up the TD drive that secured the win for the defending national champions. It’s the fifth time in coach Dabo Swinney’s nine full seasons that he has taken the Tigers to the conference title game. Bryant finished with 151 yards passing. He also rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown. Adam Choice had a 10-yard TD run with 35 seconds left for Clemson’s final score.
No. 12 Oklahoma State 49, No. 24 Iowa State 42
Mason Rudolph threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns — including two in the final 5:55 — and 12th-ranked Oklahoma State rallied to beat No. 24 Iowa State and keep its Big 12 title game hopes alive. Justice Hill had 134 yards and three TD runs for the Cowboys, who remain in a tie for second place in the league with two games to go. The top two finishers in the Big 12 will meet in the championship game in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 2. Rudolph found Marcell Ateman for a 30-yard TD pass, and Hill’s two-point conversion run tied the game at 42 with 5:55 left. The Cowboys jumped ahead 49-42 just two minutes later as Rudolph found Dillon Stoner for a 19-yard touchdown reception. The Cyclones got inside Oklahoma State’s 3-yard line with 32 seconds left, but Zeb Noland threw an interception to A.J. Green to end the game. Quarterback-linebacker Joel Lanning had a rushing and passing TD for Iowa State.
No. 14 UCF 49, UConn 24
Otis Anderson rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns, McKenzie Milton passed for 311 yards and No. 14 Central Florida pulled away from UConn for a victory. Anderson had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and helped the undefeated Knights break it open with a 65-yard touchdown run, making it 35-17 with 14:11 left. UCF also got a solid performance from Milton, who was 24-for-36 passing. After Anderson’s second TD, Milton added a 4-yard touchdown run that made it 42-17 with 8:54 left. David Pindell passed for 201 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score for UConn, but the Huskies were unable to keep up with the high-scoring Knights. Pindell’s 9-yard touchdown run made it 28-17 early in the second half. UCF failed to score in the third, just the second time this season the Knights went scoreless in a quarter. Noah Vedral’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Cam Stewart made it 49-17 with 7:03 left. Pindell led the Huskies with 21 carries for 96 yards. He was 18 for 31 through the air, also throwing an interception. Smith also finished with seven catches for 120 yards for UCF.
No. 15 USC 38, Colorado 24
Sam Darnold tossed two TD passes and ran for another, Ajene Harris intercepted two passes, including one he returned for a score, and No. 15 Southern California beat Colorado to wrap up the Pac-12 South title. Darnold threw for 329 yards as he improved to 18-3 as a starter. Tailback Ronald Jones II had 142 yards to surpass Mike Garrett for sixth place on the Trojans’ all-time rushing list. Southern Cal led 27-0 in the third quarter, but needed to weather a late Colorado comeback. Juwann Winfree had a big day for Colorado by hauling in TD passes of 79 and 57 yards. Steven Montez threw for 376 yards.
Georgia Tech 28, No. 17 Virginia Tech 22
TaQuon Marshall got two long touchdown passes out of his only completions, including an 80-yarder to Ricky Jeune with 6 1/2 minutes remaining, and Ajani Kerr swatted away a fourth-pass in the end zone to preserve Georgia Tech’s upset of No. 17 Virginia Tech. In a game with several huge momentum swings, Virginia Tech rallied from a 21-9 deficit in the second half. The Hokies went ahead 22-21 when Greg Stroman returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown off a terrible pass by Marshall with 7:27 left. The Georgia Tech quarterback made up for his mistake just two snaps later, after the Yellow Jackets recovered a fumbled kickoff. Jeune got loose behind the secondary, hauled in the long throw and just managed to stick the ball inside the pylon before tumbling out of bounds. It was the longest touchdown pass of the season for the Yellow Jackets, surpassing Marshall’s 60-yard scoring play to Brad Stewart early in the second half. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 261 yards, led by KirVonte Benson with 86 yards on 22 carries.
No. 19 Washington State 33,
SALT LAKE CITY
Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns as No. 19 Washington State defeated Utah. The Cougars are now one win from winning the Pac-12 North and playing in the conference championship game for the first time since the league created divisions in 2011. Washington State led from start to finish and could have won by more, but settled for five field goals despite moving inside the Utah 30-yard line on those possessions. Utah had seven turnovers on the day and has lost five of its last six games. Chima Onyeukwu picked off Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley with 58 seconds remaining to seal the win. Falk set the Pac-12 career touchdown passes record in the second quarter. He surpassed former USC quarterback Matt Barkley with his 117th touchdown pass and finished with 118. Tavares Martin Jr. had 10 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown for Washington State. Huntley finished with 305 passing yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and 51 rushing yards on 20 attempts. He was sacked seven times. Running back Zack Moss had 32 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts.
No. 23 West Virginia 28, Kansas State 23
Will Grier scrambled to his right and then retreated to his left, time ticking off the clock in the first half and No. 23 West Virginia seemingly content to take a one-point lead over Kansas State into halftime.Then Grier unloaded a pass toward the end zone. Ka’Raun White never had to move to haul in his second touchdown reception. The half-ending score, after a crippling interception thrown by Skylar Thompson, gave the Mountaineers a lift going into the break. And their defense did the rest in the second half, holding on to escape with a victory and their Big 12 title hopes intact. Grier finished with 372 yards and four touchdowns passing for the Mountaineers, while White had eight catches for 168 yards. David Sills V had the other two TD receptions, one a tip-toe job in the corner of the end zone, and Justin Crawford added 113 yards on the ground. Thompson threw for 159 yards with two interceptions in his first career start for the Wildcats, who still need a win to become bowl-eligible for the eighth consecutive year. Dalvin Warmack added 96 yards rushing and bruising fullback Winston Dimel reached the end zone twice.