Curtis Samuel swept in for a 15-yard touchdown after Ohio State barely converted a fourth-and-1 and the second-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 3 Michigan 30-27 in double overtime Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
With Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) facing fourth-and-1 from the 16, coach Urban Meyer decided not to kick a potential tying field goal with a kicker who had already missed two short ones in regulation.
J.T. Barrett kept it on fourth down and slammed into the back of his blocker, A.J. Alexander, right at the line to gain. The first-down call stood up to video review. On the next play, Samuel, who had made a swerving, change-of-direction run to set up the fourth-and-1, raced into the end zone to win it.
The first matchup to go to overtime in the 113-game history of the rivalry may have eliminated Michigan (10-2, 7-2, No. 3 CFP) from the playoff race and could have locked up a spot for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes missed out on a spot in the Big Ten title game, with Penn State heading to Indianapolis instead to face Wisconsin.
Michigan could end up in the Rose Bowl, but the biggest prizes are still eluding the Wolverines in their second year under coach Jim Harbaugh. He’s 0-2 against Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Ohio State wiped out a 10-point third-quarter deficit and dominated the fourth quarter, but Tyler Durbin missed a 20-yard field goal that would have tied it with 7:01 remaining. Barrett and the Buckeyes gave him another chance, this time from 23 yards with a second left in regulation and Durbin nailed it.
Barrett scored on a quarterback draw and Ohio State’s first possession of OT to give the Buckeyes the lead, but Michigan tied it on a 5-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh.
(1) Alabama 30, (16) Auburn 12: Jalen Hurts rebounded from two early interceptions to pass for 286 yards and Alabama’s defense did the rest asgainst Auburn as the Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC, No. 1 CFP) defeated the Tigers (8-4, 5-3, No. 15) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Crimson Tide led 13-9 at halftime, dominating the stat sheet but only taking over the scoreboard in the second half. The defense pushed its string of quarters without allowing a touchdown to 14-plus.
Auburn failed to muster much offense for the second straight SEC game, this time playing without injured quarterback Sean White.
Hurts displayed the same poise in overcoming two first-half interceptions that have helped him lead the Tide into the SEC championship game. He completed 27 of 36 mostly short and mid-range passes and threw for two touchdowns. Alabama has won three straight Iron Bowls for the first time since 1990-92.
Hurts also ran for 37 yards and a touchdown, leading two straight touchdown drives in the third quarter to all but put the game away after a mistake-filled first half.
(4) Clemson 56, South Carolina 7: Deshaun Watson tied his career high with six touchdown passes, three to Mike Williams, and the Tigers (11-1, No. 4CFP) defeated the Gamecocks (6-6) at Clemson, South Carolina.
If the Tigers don’t stumble against Virginia Tech next week in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, they’ll be off to college football’s final four for a second straight season.
(5) Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17: Corey Clement ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, a big-play defense pitched a second-half shutout, and the Badgers (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten, No. 6 CFP) defeated the Golden Gophers (8-4, 5-4) in Madison, Wisconsin, for their 13th straight win in the annual border rivalry.
(8) Penn State 45, Michigan State 12: Trace McSorley completed 17 of 23 passes for 376 yards and four touchdowns and the Nittany Lions (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten, No. 7 CFP) defeated the Spartans (3-9, 1-8) in State College, Pennsylvania, to win the Big Ten East championship.
Penn State edged No. 2 Ohio State for the East title, setting up a conference championship game against West winner Wisconsin next week in Indianapolis. The Nittany Lions beat Ohio State 24-20 at home Oct. 22.
McSorley set single-season school record for total offense and sparked the Nittany Lions with multiple deep passes in the second half when Penn State outscored Michigan State 35-0.
(9) Colorado 27, (21) Utah 22: The Buffaloes (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12, No. 9 CFP) won the Pac-12 South title with a victory over the Utes (8-4, 5-4), thanks to a senior-laden defense that forced two huge fumbles by Utes star running back Joe Williams.
Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie also had a touchdown-saving tackle after a 93-yard kickoff return. The Buffaloes will face No. 6 Washington in the conference championship next weekend.
Kentucky 41, (11) Louisville 38: Austin MacGinnis made a 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to give the Wildcats (7-5) the upset victory over the Cardinals (9-3, No. 11 CFP) at Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville appeared headed for a late go-ahead score when Lamar Jackson’s fumble at Kentucky’s 10 was recovered by the Wildcats’ Courtney Love with 1:45 left. Stephen Johnson led Kentucky into position for MacGinnis’ winning kick.
(12) USC 45, Notre Dame 27: Adoree Jackson returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass to help lift the Trojans to their eighth consecutive victory, this one a romp over the Fighting Irish at Los Angeles.
Jackson, the Trojans’ do-everything cornerback, put on a dazzling athletic display in perhaps his final home game while USC (9-3, No. 12 CFP) persevered through rain at the Coliseum to claim the Jeweled Shillelagh for the 11th time in 15 years.
Sam Darnold passed for 205 yards and two TDs, and Ronald Jones II rushed for 134 yards and an early score to keep the surging Trojans in line for a New Year’s Day bowl berth. Josh Adams ran for 180 yards and DeShone Kizer passed for 220 yards and two scores for the Fighting Irish (4-8).
(15) Florida State 31, (13) Florida 13: Dalvin Cook rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown and the Seminoles (9-3, No. 14 CFP) defeated the Gators (8-3, No. 15 CFP) at Tallahassee, Florida.
Cook’s 17-yard score in the first quarter was his 45th career rushing touchdown, which broke Greg Allen’s 32-year-old school mark. The junior also is the first Seminoles running back since Sammie Smith (1986-88) with three straight 100-yard games against Florida.
The Seminoles rushed for 249 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry against the nation’s fifth-ranked run defense. Freddie Stevenson had a 27-yard touchdown run on his lone carry during the fourth quarter to make it 24-6 and put the game out of reach.
The victory ties the Seminoles’ longest winning streak in the Sunshine State Showdown series. They also won four straight from 1977-80 and 1987-90.
(19) West Virginia 49, Iowa State 19: Skyler Howard threw for 330 yards and tied a career high with five touchdowns and the Mountaineers (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) rolled past the Cyclones (3-9, 2-7) in Ames, Iowa.
Vanderbilt 45, (24) Tennessee 34: Kyle Shurmur threw for a career-high 416 yards, and the Commdores (6-6, 3-5 SEC) scored the final 21 points in an upset victory over the Volunteers (8-4, 4-4) in Nashville, Tennessee.
Vanderbilt scored its most points against an SEC opponent since scoring 49 against Mississippi State on Sept. 25, 1971. The Commodores outgained Tennessee 608-516 in beating the Vols for the third time in five seasons.
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