SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes and ran for score late in the fourth quarter as No. 7 Cincinnati capitalized on its big opportunity and beat No. 9 Notre Dame 24-13 on Saturday in a game the Bearcats hope can be the centerpiece of College Football Playoff resume.
Cincinnati (4-0) wanted to use its first Top 10, regular-season matchup as a statement game, heading into its American Athletic Conference schedule. No team from outside the Power Five conferences has ever reached the playoff. Never even came close.
To break that barrier Bearcats almost certainly needs to go undefeated and this trip to Notre Dame (4-1) stood as the toughest test on the schedule. Not to mention the biggest stage they’ll appear on this season. The Bearcats were not quite dominant, but they were plenty good enough in their first trip to South Bend since 1900 to snap Notre Dame’s 26-game home winning streak.
Ridder was 19 for 32 for 297 yards. He hooked up with Alec Pierce six times for 144 yards, and was at his best after Notre Dame cut the lead to 17-13 with 8:20 left in the fourth quarter. Ridder went 3 for 3, with a bullet down the middle for 36 yards to Leonard Taylor, on the ensuing drive. He capped it off with a 6-yard TD run around left end that made it 24-13.
Cincinnati took advantage of three turnovers by Notre Dame in the first half to jump out to 17-0 lead.
STANFORD 31, NO. 3 OREGON 24, OT
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – Tanner McKee threw a TD pass on an untimed down at the end of regulation to tie the game and another on the opening possession of overtime to lead Stanford past Oregon.
McKee came back after leaving for a play on the final drive of regulation with an injury to tie it on a 2-yard pass to Elijah Higgins after a holding penalty by Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in the end zone extended the game one play.
McKee then gave the Cardinal (3-2, 2-1) the lead with a 14-yarder to John Humphreys in overtime. Stanford then forced Anthony Brown to throw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-8 to seal its fourth win against an Oregon team ranked in the top 10 since 2009.
The Ducks appeared poised for their first 5-0 start in eight years when they rallied from 10 points down at halftime to take a 24-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Brown’s second TD run of the game.
But then McKee delivered the big plays late and the Cardinal capitalized on three Oregon penalties on the game-tying 87-yard drive in the final 1:59 of regulation.
KENTUCKY 20, NO. 10 FLORIDA 13
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Trevin Wallace returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter, Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a 9-yard scoring run early in the fourth and Kentucky made a final defensive stand to hold off Florida.
The Southeastern Conference East Division showdown was more of a slog than a slugfest for much of the night, and the Gators (3-2, 1-2) were poised to add Jace Christmann’s 48-yard field goal attempt to their 10-7 lead.
Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal got a hand on the low kick that sent the ball fluttering the line to Wallace, who jetted past a tackle on the left sideline and cut back through a small seam to race for the game-changing TD.
The Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) turned it over on downs at the Florida 34 to start the fourth quarter but created another opportunity when linebacker J.J. Weaver intercepted Emory Jones’ pass for a first down at the Gators 29. Rodriguez took over from there, rushing three times for 22 yards including the 9-yard TD for a 20-10 cushion with 11:32 remaining.
Florida got within seven on Christmann’s 33-yard field goal with 6:23 left before getting the ball again a couple of minutes later and driving to the Kentucky 5 with the help of a defensive facemask penalty. A 4-yard loss on a pass play and false start penalty moved the Gators back to the 14, but they had a final chance from the 8 before Jacquez Jones swatted away a fourth-down pass with 18 seconds left to seal the win.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 42, NO. 12 MISSISSIPPI 21
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for career highs of 171 yards and four touchdowns and No. 1 Alabama beat Mississippi.
Bryce Young threw two touchdown passes for the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference).
Alabama turned to Robinson to play keep away from Matt Corral and the offense of the Rebels (3-1, 0-1), who had breezed through three nonconference games before an open date. The Tide’s fifth-year senior carried 36 times and picked up the first 100-yard game of his career.
Young completed 21 of 27 passes for 241 yards and had a pass intercepted.
NO. 2 GEORGIA 37, NO. 8 ARKANSAS 0
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Zamir White ran for two touchdowns and recovered a blocked punt for another score, and Georgia pounded Arkansas in the Bulldogs’ second consecutive shutout.
Georgia (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter despite playing without quarterback JT Daniels, who was held out with a right lat injury.
Stetson Bennett filled in for Daniels and passed for only 72 yards as the Bulldogs relied on their running game and top-rated defense to beat Arkansas (4-1, 1-1).
Georgia, leading the nation in total defense and scoring defense following last week’s 62-0 win at Vanderbilt, held Arkansas to 10 first downs and 156 yards. The last time Georgia recorded back-to-back shutouts in SEC games was in 1980, its last national championship season.
NO. 4 PENN STATE 24, INDIANA 0
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Sean Clifford threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns to help Penn State beat Indiana.
Jahan Dotson caught a pair of touchdown passes, Brenton Strange added one and Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) forced eight punts, two turnovers and blocked a field goal for their ninth straight victory.
Jordan Stout added a 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Nittany Lions.
The Hoosiers dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten.
NO. 6 OKLAHOMA 37, KANSAS STATE 31
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Spencer Rattler threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, Oklahoma had two crucial calls overturned in its favor after video reviews, and the Sooners recovered an onside kick with just over a minute left to hold off Kansas State.
Kennedy Brooks added 91 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Jeremiah Hall reached the end zone twice, as the Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) overcame a slew of penalties on their offensive line to beat the Wildcats for the first time in three tries.
Skylar Thompson returned from a knee injury to throw for 320 yards and three scores for the Wildcats (3-2, 0-2). Deuce Vaughn had 51 yards rushing to go with 10 catches for 104 yards and a score, and Malik Knowles returned a kick 93 yards for a touchdown with 1:20 remaining for the final margin.
NO. 11 OHIO STATE 52, RUTGERS 13
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – C.J. Stroud threw for 330 yards and a career-high five touchdowns after sitting out a game to rest his shoulder and Ohio State won its 20th straight Big Ten game, routing Rutgers.
Stroud connected with Chris Olave on touchdown passes of 56 and 11 yards, found Garrett Wilson on a 32-yard catch and run and hit tight ends Jeremy Ruckert and Mitch Rossi on scoring passes. The freshman finished 17 of 23 and did not throw an interception. Olave had five catches for 119 yards.
Ohio State (4-1, 2-0) has beaten Rutgers (3-2, 0-2) eight times in as many games. The Buckeyes outgained the Scarlet Knights 541-346, flowed through a defense that had give up 54 points in its first four games and intercepted three of Noah Vedral’s passes.
NO. 14 MICHIGAN 38, WISCONSIN 17
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Cornelius Johnson caught both of Cade McNamara’s touchdown passes and Michigan remained unbeaten with a victory over Wisconsin, which lost quarterback Graham Mertz to a chest injury.
Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2 Big Ten) trailed 13-10 and had the ball to start the third quarter when Mertz was sacked by Daxton Hill on a third-and-9 play. Mertz and tight end Jake Ferguson both went to the locker room with chest injuries after that play, and neither returned to the game. Once Mertz and Ferguson departed, Michigan scored 25 straight points to put the game out of reach.
The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0) won at Madison for the first time since 2001 by shutting down Wisconsin’s rushing attack, something Michigan had failed to do the last couple of seasons. Michigan had lost in each of its last five trips to Camp Randall Stadium.
McNamara went 17 of 28 for 197 yards. Highly touted freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy also played and had a 1-yard touchdown run plus a 56-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 25, NO. 15 TEXAS A&M 22
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Will Rogers threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and Nathan Pickering sacked Zach Calzada in the end zone late for a safety in Mississippi State’s victory over Texas A&M.
Rogers was sacked twice, and the Bulldogs had two false start penalties that backed them up before Nolan Mccord’s 49-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with about eight minutes to go.
The Aggies cut the lead to two on a 44-yard field goal by Seth Small about two minutes later.
Texas A&M (3-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) forced a punt to get a chance to take the lead. But Calzada, a backup in his third start, was taken down by Pickering on third down for the safety to extend the lead to 26-22 with about two minutes to go, and the Bulldogs ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Makai Polk had 13 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns to help Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) snap a two-game skid.
NO. 16 COASTAL CAROLINA 59, LOUISIANA-MONROE 6
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) – Grayson McCall threw for 212 yards on 13-of-13 passing with two touchdowns to Isaiah Likely and Coastal Carolina rolled past Louisiana-Monroe to start Sun Belt Conference play.
The Chanticleers started 5-0 for a second straight season and have won 16 of their past 17 the last two seasons.
McCall was already the FBS leader in completion percentage and had little trouble keeping that going against the Warhawks (2-2, 1-1). He led Coastal Carolina to scores on all five first-half possessions for a 38-3 lead at the break, then watched the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Likely had five receptions for 95 yards, including scoring catches of 5 and 30 yards from McCall.
NO. 17 MICHIGAN STATE 48, WESTERN MICHIGAN 31
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Kenneth Walker and Jayden Reed combined to score five touchdowns in the first half to help Michigan State build a 26-point lead against Western Kentucky.
The Spartans (5-0) have won their first five games for the first time since starting 8-0 in 2015, when they ended up earning a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Hilltoppers (1-3) moved the ball through the air effectively, but settled for three field goals in the first half and struggled to stop Michigan State until the second half when it was too late.
Reed returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown and had 46-yard reception for another score in the first quarter, helping the Spartans take a 21-10 lead.
Payton Thorne was 20 of 30 for a career-high 327 yards yards and a touchdown for the Spartans. Bailey Zappe, who was 46 of 64 for a career-high 488 yards, threw two touchdown passes early in the fourth quarter to pull Western Kentucky within two touchdowns. Jerreth Sterns set career highs with 17 catches for 186 yards and had a touchdown reception for the Hilltoppers.
HAWAII 27, NO. 18 FRESNO STATE 24
HONOLULU (AP) – Hugh Nelson II intercepted a pass at Hawaii’s 2-yard line with 9 seconds left after Matthew Shipley kicked a tiebreaking 33-yard field goal with 3:33 remaining, and the Rainbow Warriors rallied to beat Fresno State.
Hawaii (3-3, 1-1 Mountain West) forced six turnovers to record their first win over a ranked opponent since beating No. 19 Nevada 27-21 on Oct. 16, 2010.
Fresno State (4-2, 1-1) racked up 505 yards of total offense, including 388 passing from Jake Haener, who entered the game as the FBS leader in passing yards. He finished 28-of-50 passing but was intercepted four times – three times inside Hawaii’s 10-yard line.
The last stalled a 13-play drive on first-and-10 from the 11-yard line. Haener’s pass bounced off receiver Ty Jones’ hands right to Nelson, who fell to the ground with the ball to preserve the win.
NO. 19 OKLAHOMA STATE 24, NO. 21 BAYLOR 14
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – Jaylen Warren ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns and Oklahoma State beat Baylor.
Spencer Sanders passed for 182 yards and ran for 76, but he helped Baylor stay in the game by throwing three interceptions. Tay Martin caught seven passes for 108 yards for the Cowboys (5-0, 2-0 Big 12).
Abram Smith rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown for Baylor (4-1, 2-1), which finished with just 280 total yards. The Bears, who were coming off a win over Iowa State, missed a chance to beat ranked teams in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1974.
ARIZONA STATE 42, NO. 20 UCLA 23
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Jayden Daniels passed for 286 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Ricky Pearsall, and Arizona State used big plays to defeat UCLA.
The Sun Devils (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) were forced to punt on their first drive before scoring on their next five to take control of the game and likely the Pac-12’s South Division. The Bruins fall to 3-2, 1-1.
Rachaad White rushed for two TDs, including a 49-yard score early in the third quarter to extend Arizona State’s lead to 32-23.
Daniels completed 13 of 18 passes, with four going for 47 or more yards. Two of them were touchdowns to Pearsall in the second quarter – a 65-yard yard screen that tied it at 14 followed by a 54-yard reception where the junior beat Elisha Guidry in coverage to give Arizona State a 24-20 lead. Pearsall finished with 132 yards on four catches.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for 328 yards. The junior was 21 of 32 for 235 yards passing along with 93 yards rushing on 18 carries. Kyle Philips had a TD catch for the fourth straight game and tight end Greg Dulcich had nine receptions for 136 yards.
NO. 22 AUBURN 24, LSU 19
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Bo Nix passed for a touchdown and ran for a score and Jarquez Hunter scored on a 1-yard run with 3:11 to give Auburn its first lead in the victory over LSU,
Auburn (4-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference), which had not won at LSU’s Tiger Stadium since 1999, secured the victory when Bydarrius Knighten intercepted Max Johnson’s pass on fourth down at the Auburn 39 with 1:09 left.
Nix frustrated LSU (3-2, 1-1) with his feet whether he was scrambling or running by design. His 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, capped a series in which he ran on three of the final four plays for 23 yards.
Nix finished 23 of 44 for 255 yards without a turnover. He also rushed for 74 yards. Johnson was 26 of 46 for 325 yards, but LSU’s running backs combined for just 46 yards on 13 carries.
NO. 23 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 34, LOUISIANA TECH 27.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Devin Leary threw for two touchdowns and North Carolina State held off Louisiana Tech.
Louisiana Tech picked up five first downs on its last possession, reaching the N.C. State 22 before Jakeen Harris’ interception in the end zone on the game’s final play.
That allowed N.C. State to build on an upset of Clemson a week earlier and improve to 4-1 for the second year in a row.
Leary was 22 for 36 for 251 yards. Running backs Ricky Person (90 yards) and Zonovan Knight (85) each ran for a touchdown.
Louisiana Tech quarterback Austin Kendall finished 25 for 40 for 328 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bulldogs are 2-3.
NO. 24 WAKE FOREST 37, LOUISVILLE 34
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Nick Sciba kicked a 29-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to lift Wake Forest past Louisville,
Sam Hartman threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns to lead the offense for the Demon Deacons (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who got a huge boost late from Justice Ellison with several patient and chain-moving runs on the go-ahead drive.
Louisville (3-2, 1-1) got a final drive with a chance to tie and no timeouts, but the Cardinals’ desperate, lateral-filled play never got across midfield before Wake Forest’s Rondell Bothroyd recovered the loose ball to end this one after time had expired.
Malik Cunningham had a big day for the Cardinals, throwing for 332 yards and two scores while running for two additional TDs.
NO. 25 CLEMSON 19, BOSTON COLLEGE 13
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – B.T. Potter had four field goals, hitting a tiebreaking 35-yarder late in the third quarter, and Clemson held off Boston College.
The Tigers (3-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won 31 straight at home despite the suddenly stagnant offense held to a first-quarter touchdown. They have won 11 in a row over Boston College (4-1, 0-1).
Boston College drove to the Clemson 12 in the final minute. But quarterback Dennis Grosel fumbled away the snap and defensive end K.J. Henry recovered to seal it.
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