Appalachian State cruises to share of Sun Belt title
BOONE (AP) — Taylor Lamb passed for four touchdowns and ran for another to help Appalachian State wrap up a share of the Sun Belt Conference title with a 63-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
Lamb finished with 242 yards passing and 87 yards rushing. Thomas Hennigan caught all four TD passes for the Mountaineers (8-4, 7-1) and had five catches for 99 yards altogether.
Appalachian State will finish the season tied atop the conference standings with Saturday’s Arkansas State-Troy winner.
Louisiana-Lafayette (5-7, 4-4) opened the scoring with a three-play, 75-yard drive less than a minute into the contest. Lamb’s 29-yard keeper in the middle of the first quarter tied it at 7 and sparked a run of 56 straight points for Appalachian State.
Daetrich Harrington ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, and Jalin Moore ran for 110 yards and two scores for the Mountaineers.
Jordan Davis had 105 yards passing and 78 yards rushing for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
NO. 2 OKLAHOMA 41, NO. 10 TCU 17
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw four touchdown passes and No. 2 Oklahoma staked claim to a playoff spot with a 41-17 victory over No. 10 TCU on Saturday in the return of the Big 12 championship game.
With their record 11th Big 12 title, the Sooners (12-1, No. 3 CFP) are a lock to get in the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons. They are the only Big 12 team to make the four-team playoff format that started in 2014.
Oklahoma jumped out to a 17-0 lead, including Caleb Kelly’s 18-yard fumble return for a touchdown after running back Kyle Hicks’ turnover on the first offensive play by TCU (10-3, No. 11).
Kenny Hill threw two TD passes to get the Horned Frogs to 24-17 at halftime, but Oklahoma scored twice on its first three offensive plays after the break.
Mayfield, the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy to be named next week, was 15 of 23 for 243 yards to take game MVP honors. The first two touchdown passes were to tight end Mark Andrews.
Hill opened the second half with three consecutive incompletions. On the first play after the punt, Mayfield hit Mykel Jones for a 55-yard catch-and-run score.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
NO. 12 UCF 62, NO. 16 MEMPHIS 55, 2 OT
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Otis Anderson scored on a 1-yard run on the first possession of the second overtime and Central Florida — in what turned out to be its last game under coach Scott Frost — beat Memphis for its third AAC crown in five years.
Frost, the second-year coach and former Nebraska quarterback, took the Cornhuskers’ job after the game.
Memphis (10-2, CFP No. 20) got as far as the UCF 9 in the second OT, but Riley Ferguson’s pass on second-and-goal was intercepted by Tre Neal, giving the Knights (12-0, CFP No. 15) a likely spot in a New Year’s Six bowl.
The top two scoring teams in the country combined for 117 points and 1,479 yards. It was tied at 48 at the end of regulation.
The Knights led 48-34 early in the fourth quarter but the Tigers rallied to tie with 4:13 remaining on Ferguson’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller. Memphis had a chance to win it in regulation but Riley Patterson’s 51-yard field-goal attempt with 28 seconds remaining was wide left.
UCF’s McKenzie Milton was 28 of 40 for 494 yards and five touchdowns. He was selected the game’s most outstanding player.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC 41, NORTH TEXAS 17
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Devin Singletary ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns and Florida Atlantic beat North Texas to win its first Conference USA championship in coach Lane Kiffin’s first season.
The Owls (10-3) extended their unbeaten streak to nine games and were undefeated against C-USA opponents this season. Jason Driskel completed 15 of 27 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown, and Kalib Woods had a school-record 208 yards receiving yards. FAU had 633 yards of offense.
The Owls, who beat North Texas (9-4) 69-31 in the regular season, took a 34-0 lead in the first 33 minutes. FAU had gains of 47, 49, 22, 44, 21 and 34 yards in the first quarter alone.
TOLEDO 45, AKRON 28
DETROIT (AP) — Logan Woodside threw four touchdown passes, Terry Swanson ran for 180 yards and two scores and Toledo beat Akron in the Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field.
Receivers Diontae Johnson (118 yards) and Jon’Vea Johnson (103) combined for 221 yards and three touchdowns for Toledo (11-2). The Rockets won their third conference title game and first since 2004.
Akron (7-6) forced five turnovers but couldn’t overcome a lopsided first half in it second loss to Toledo (11-2) this season. Woodside threw three touchdown passes in the first half, two to Diontae Johnson, as help the Rockets take a 28-0 lead.
WOFFORD 28, FURMAN 10
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Blake Morgan had one touchdown rushing and another receiving and seventh-seeded Wofford defeated Southern Conference rival Furman 28-10 on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Chase Nelson and Miller Mosley also ran for touchdowns for the Terriers (10-2), who beat the Paladins (8-5) 24-23 in the season opener by intercepting a two-point conversion attempt in the final minute.
Wofford plays at second-seeded North Dakota State in the quarterfinals next weekend.
Morgan scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and a 33-yard catch-and-run connection from Brandon Goodson in the second quarter after Furman had taken the lead. Goodson finished 8 of 11 for 88 yards.
Nelson scored in the third quarter and Mosley in the fourth, both on 2-yard runs. Wofford finished with 291 yards on the ground.
Furman finished with 309 yards, 257 through the air as P.J. Blazejowski completed 18 of 30 passes, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Logan McCarter for a 10-7 lead.
FLORIDA STATE 42, UL-MONROE 10
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — What distractions?
Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick each ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns as FSU won its third straight game to secure a bowl bid with a 42-10 win over ULM on Saturday.
It’s the first time this season FSU had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game and helped overcome the distractions of the week after coach Jimbo Fisher bolted for Texas A&M and Odell Haggins was named interim coach.
Patrick ran for 155 yards and Akers added 117 yards, both with 19 carries, as the Seminoles (6-6) accumulated 305 rushing yards.
“All of the credit goes to our football players,” said Haggins, who is in his 24th season at FSU. “It’s not about me being named the interim football coach. It’s about those kids. They didn’t quit.”
Haggins played at FSU from 1986-89 and was an All-American defensive tackle as a senior. The 50-year-old Haggins was promoted to interim head coach on Friday.
Haggins is FSU’s first black head football coach, and he picks up his first career win as a college head coach. He was initially surprised when athletics director Stan Wilcox called to ask him to take over in the interim.
“I’m very honored,” Haggins said. “Being here for 24 years, I never thought I would be in this situation.”
FSU is now bowl-eligible after picking up a win over ULM in a game that was postponed from Sept. 9 due to Hurricane Irma. The Seminoles have extended their streak of consecutive bowl appearances to 36 seasons.
COASTAL 28, GA. SOUTHERN 17
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Kilton Anderson threw for two touchdowns to Malcolm Williams, Osharmar Abercrombie ran for two touchdowns and Coastal Carolina defeated Georgia Southern 28-17 on Saturday in the season finale for both teams.
Abercrombie had 133 yards on 19 carries, scoring on a pair of 1-yard runs. Williams had four receptions for 120 yards with touchdowns covering 67 yards on the second snap of the game and 37 yards in the third quarter to put the Chanticleers (3-9, 2-6 Sun Belt Conference) back on top 21-17.
NO. 8 OHIO STATE 27, NO. 3 WISCONSIN 21
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — J.T. Barrett looked just fine Saturday. Now it’s up to college football’s selection committee to decide whether No. 8 Ohio State has done enough to earn a playoff bid.
Six days after having surgery on his right knee, Barrett threw two touchdown passes, ran for another and had a crucial fourth-down conversion late in the game to give the Buckeyes a 27-21 victory over previously unbeaten No. 3 Wisconsin in Saturday’s Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State (11-2) claimed its first conference crown since its 2014 national championship season. The loss ended the nation’s longest active winning streak at 13 and probably doomed the playoff hopes of the Badgers (12-1).
The reason: Barrett’s incredibly speedy recovery.
“I didn’t have any pain in my knee,” he said before answering whether the Buckeyes deserve a playoff spot. “I feel like we’re one of the best teams in the country.”
While most athletes need at least two or three weeks to recover from minor knee surgery, Barrett told doctors and coaches he would be OK. And after watching Barrett in pregame warmups with a protective brace around the injured knee, Barrett got the starting nod and played like the three-time conference quarterback of the year.
After running nine yards to convert a third down on the Buckeyes’ second possession of the game, he found a wide open Terry McLaurin for an 84-yard TD pass to make it 7-0.
Two possessions later, Barrett’s threw a short pass to Parris Campbell, who turned a missed tackle into a 57-yard mistake for another score. Then after a 77-yard run by J.K. Dobbins, Barrett powered in from the 1-yard line to give the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Sure, Barrett made some mistakes and missed some receivers.
But the only time he really paid for it came on an ill-advised pass from near his goal line in the first quarter. Barrett was picked off by Andrew Van Ginkel, who returned it nine yards for a Wisconsin score.
Otherwise, the Buckeyes were pretty much in control.
“We expected to see the best and he was,” Badgers coach Paul Chryst said of Barrett. “He’s a heck of a quarterback.”
Wisconsin closed the deficit to 21-10 at the half and 21-13 early in the third quarter.
The Badgers offense finally broke through early in the fourth by capping a 52-yard drive with a Chris James’ 1-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion pass from Alex Hornibrook to Troy Fumagalli after a delay to repair the field. That cut the deficit to 24-21 with 12:39 to go.
Barrett’s fourth-and-1 conversion on the next series set up a short field goal, and the Badgers couldn’t rally on their final two possessions to save the perfect season.
Barrett finished 12 of 26 with 211 yards, two TDs, two interceptions and rushed 19 times for 60 yards.
Ohio State: Since getting blown out at Iowa last month, the Buckeyes have been trying to play their way back into the playoff picture. The win over Wisconsin just might do it. Three of the four playoff spots were likely sewn up Saturday, going to Big 12 champ Oklahoma, SEC champ Georgia and ACC champ Clemson. Will the committee take another conference champion over Auburn or Alabama? “We have two wins over two top-four team and another one over a team ranked 12th or 13th,” coach Urban Meyer said. “We’re a conference champion and we deserve a shot.”
Wisconsin: Critics contended the Badgers were never as good as their undefeated record because of a weak schedule. On Saturday, they fought to the end but still came up short. The usually stout defense missed too many tackles and gave up too many big plays.
The last time Dobbins played a game in Indiana, he rushed for freshman single-game record of 181 yards in a rout over the Hoosiers. This time, Dobbins broke Maurice Clarett’s single-season freshman record at Ohio State. And all he needed was one run. Dobbins finished with 17 carries for 174 yards and surpassed Clarett’s total of 1,237 yards on the 77-yard run. He finished the day with 1,364 yards. Dobbins was named the game’s MVP.
Wisconsin started the game as the only team in the nation that hadn’t trailed in the fourth quarter. That streak ended when the Badgers opened the fourth down 24-13. Jonathan Taylor’s streak of four straight 100-yard games also ended Saturday. The Big Ten rushing champ was held to 41 yards on 15 carries and failed to score for the fourth time this season.
The game was delayed after the seams of two pieces of turf came apart during James’ TD run. The refs immediately stopped play and summoned maintenance, which spread a black substance underneath the turf and rubber pellets on top of the turf. After about 10 minutes, the game resumed to the roar of the crowd.
Ohio State: Will find out where it’s heading this postseason on Sunday.
Wisconsin: Also awaits its postseason fate Sunday.
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