Saturday's Top 25: Florida State survives another scare
Tallahassee, Fla. — Quarterback Jameis Winston trotted onto the water-logged field at Doak Campbell Stadium with aspirations of a second consecutive national championship on the line. The top-ranked Seminoles were in a dogfight, once again, and needed their Heisman winner to make a play.
He made several.
Winston led Florida State 66 yards to put Roberto Aguayo in position for a 26-yard field goal with three seconds remaining and the Seminoles remained perfect with a 20-17 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
The Seminoles, who have now won a school-record 26 consecutive games, have already locked up a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, but there are bigger goals remaining. Florida State hosts Florida in the regular-season finale with a second consecutive undefeated season on the line. The 'Noles have sat at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite being the last undefeated team from a Power 5 conference.
Florida State (11-0, 8-0 ACC) had been plagued by slow starts throughout the season and the Seminoles went into the fourth quarter tied 17-17 with the Eagles. But with less than five minutes left, Winston helped engineer another winning drive.
"The majority of the games we've played this year have been like this game," Winston said. "So this isn't anything new.
"We have confidence. So, I told them get ready to score."
Florida State took over on its 26 after Boston College missed a 43-yard field goal with 4:37 left and the Seminoles drove to the Eagles 8. Rashad Greene, who had two big drops in the first half, caught back-to-back passes for 11 and 15 yards to move the Seminoles within field goal range. The drive took 4:34 off the clock.
Greene set a school record for career receptions (254) and yards (3,613). Greene also set the school record with a reception in his 40th consecutive game.
"It's one of those things I don't really dwell on right now because I'm so focused on teammates and this season and our goals," Greene said. "I feel like it'll hit me after everything is over and done with.
"I'm more proud of the win than my own accomplishment."
Winston finished with 281 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception. He has thrown at least one touchdown in 24 consecutive games.
Aguayo, who missed a 40-yarder in the third quarter, said it was the first winner of his life.
"Honestly, I didn't feel the butterflies," Aguayo said. "It was just kick whatever of my career, kick 100 and whatever.
"Yeah, it was to win the game but you can't think of it like that because that's when things will start going through your head, like, 'Oh, this is a game winner I have to make it.'
The Seminoles scored on their opening drive for the first time since Oct. 11 against Syracuse. They took a 17-10 lead into halftime after scoring on three of four first-half drives, not including a kneel-down to end the half.
The Eagles (6-5, 3-4) stuck with their run-first philosophy throughout and finished with 240 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tyler Murphy bounced a read-option around the left end for a 21-yard score midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 17. Alex Howell missed a 43-yard field goal with 4:37 left that would have given Boston College the lead.
Jon Hilliman finished with 73 yards rushing on 14 carries and the Eagles averaged 4.7 yards per carry against an FSU defense that couldn't stop the run. Marcus Outlow added 61 yards and Murphy finished with 48 and the touchdown.
"I'm truly disappointed," Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. "I feel like we really had a good opportunity in this game. It's not a lack of effort. We just needed to make some more plays to win this game."
The game came at the end of a traumatic week in Tallahassee. Players wore ribbon decals on their helmets after an alumnus and attorney shot and wounded three people early Thursday at a school library. Police killed the gunman after he refused to put down his gun.
"A game is nothing compared to what happened the other day," Fisher said. "Our condolences go out to everyone. … Athletics has a way of starting the healing process."
"I really don't know if we really appreciate how much athletics holds a community, universities, cities together because they rally behind them so much," he said. "Hopefully, we can give a little comfort to some folks."
(At) No. 2 Alabama 48, Western Carolina 14: Derrick Henry rushed for two touchdowns and scored a third on a catch, all in the first half, to lead Alabama (10-1), which scored the final 31 points. FCS member Western Carolina (7-5) trailed just 17-14 early in the second quarter.
Blake Sims was 17 of 25 passing for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing an interception in the end zone. Henry had touchdown runs of 10 and 23 yards and a 9-yard scoring reception.
The Tide can clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game with a victory next weekend over No. 16 Auburn.
(At) No. 3 Oregon 44, Colorado 10: Marcus Mariota threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 73 yards and another score in perhaps his last game at Autzen Stadium for the Ducks (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12). Oregon has already clinched the North Division's berth in the conference championship game on Dec. 5.
It was the seventh straight loss for Colorado (2-9, 0-8).
(At) No. 4 Mississippi State 51, Vanderbilt 0: Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1 SEC), who finished undefeated at Davis Wade Stadium for the first time since 1999.
Prescott threw touchdown passes of 9, 27 and 14 yards and Christian Holmes ripped the ball out of Vanderbilt receiver Latevius Rayford's hands before returning it 51 yards for a touchdown as the Bulldogs built a 37-0 lead by halftime.
It was the largest halftime lead for Mississippi State against an SEC opponent in program history. The Bulldogs now have 10 wins in the regular season for the first time.
Vanderbilt (3-8, 0-7) had three turnovers in the first half. The Commodores finished with just 228 total yards, including 49 on the ground.
(At) No. 6 Baylor 49, Oklahoma State 28: Bryce Petty threw touchdowns on Baylor's first two drives and trhe Bears (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) won their 15th consecutive home game, staying in a three-way tie with No. 5 TCU and No. 12 Kansas State for the Big 12 lead with two games left.
Devin Chafin ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns, while Shock Linwood had 113 yards rushing with a score for Baylor. Corey Coleman extended his nation's best streak with a TD catch in his seventh consecutive game.
Oklahoma State (5-6, 3-5) has lost five games in a row. That is its longest losing streak since Mike Gundy's first season as head coach in 2005.
(At) Arkansas 30, No. 8 Mississippi 0: Rohan Gaines returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, and Arkansas' defense forced six turnovers.
The win earned the Razorbacks (6-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference), losers of 17 straight SEC games until a win over LSU last week, bowl eligibility for the first time in three seasons.
Led by Martrell Spaight's 11 tackles, Arkansas also earned back-to-back conference shutouts for the first time since joining the SEC in 1992.
Bo Wallace led the Rebels (8-3, 4-3) with 235 yards passing, but he also threw two interceptions. Ole Miss lost its third straight SEC game.
(At) No. 9 Georgia 55, Charleston Southern 9: Georgia scored two touchdowns on its first three snaps, including an 83-yard touchdown run by Nick Chubb.
Hutson Mason played only the first half and threw three touchdown passes, two to Chris Conley. Chubb recorded his sixth straight 100-yard game, with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns on only nine carries in the first half for Georgia (9-2). The Bulldogs, who have completed their Southeastern Conference schedule, would land in the SEC championship game if Missouri loses to Arkansas next week.
Charleston Southern (8-4), hoping for a spot in the FCS playoffs, was held to 211 total yards.
(At) No. 11 UCLA 38, No. 24 Southern California 20: Brett Hundley passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score, leading UCLA to its third straight victory in the annual crosstown showdown.
Devin Lucien, Thomas Duarte and Eldridge Massington caught scoring passes as the Bruins (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) confirmed their Los Angeles supremacy and closed in on the Pac-12 South title with a one-sided romp over their biggest rivals at a festive Rose Bowl.
Paul Perkins rushed for 93 yards and a score for UCLA, which hadn't won three straight over USC since 1998.
UCLA can advance to the Pac-12 title game with a victory over Stanford on Friday.
Cody Kessler passed for 214 yards for the Trojans (7-4, 6-3).
(At) No. 13 Arizona State 52, Washington State 31: Taylor Kelly passed for four touchdowns in his final home game, D.J. Foster rushed for three and Arizona State converted all five Washington State turnovers into touchdowns.
Arizona State's Cameron Smith caught six passes for a career-best 131 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12), who can still win the Pac-12 South title.
Redshirt freshman Luke Falk of Washington State (3-8, 2-6), passed for 601 yards but was intercepted four times and fumbled the ball away once. Vince Mayle caught 15 for 265 yards.
No. 15 Arizona 42, (at) No. 20 Utah 10: Nick Wilson ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns as Arizona overcame an injury to quarterback Anu Solomon.
In heavy rain at times, Wilson topped the 1,000-yard mark this season.
Arizona (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) reached nine wins for the first time since its 1998 Holiday Bowl team went 12-1 and was ranked No. 4. The Wildcats retain slim hopes for a berth in the conference championship game as a matchup with rival Arizona State looms next week.
The Wildcats ran for 298 yards, the most allowed by Utah (7-4, 4-4) this season.
(At) No. 16 Auburn 31, Samford 7: Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 129 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Nick Marshall passed for 171 yards and a score and Auburn ended a two-game losing streak.
Auburn (8-3) used the game against an FCS opponent to tune up for next week's Iron Bowl showdown at No. 2 Alabama.
Artis-Payne, the SEC's leading rusher, has rushed for 100-plus yards eight times this season.
No. 18 Marshall 23, (at) Alabama-Birmingham 18: Rakeem Cato threw for two touchdowns and Ra'shawde Myers recovered a fumble in the end zone for a late score for Marshall (11-0, 7-0 Conference USA)\.
Marshall led 17-6 at halftime and seemed to have the game in hand after Cato's 28-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Shuler and a 43-yard scoring pass to Angelo Jean-Louis.
But UAB (5-6, 3-4) came back on TD runs of 1 and 10 yards by Jordan Howard to lead 18-17 in the fourth quarter.
With UAB's Cody Clements trying to pass in his own end zone, Marshall's Arnold Blackmon caused a fumble that Myers recovered for the final score.
No. 19 Missouri 29, (at) Tennessee 21: Maty Mauk threw a pair of touchdown passes and Marcus Murphy ran for two scores for Missouri (9-2, 6-1 SEC), which set a school record with their 10th straight road win.
Missouri can clinch the East Division and earn a second straight trip to the SEC championship game by winning at home Friday over Arkansas. A loss would send No. 9 Georgia (9-2, 6-2) to Atlanta instead. Georgia is 10th and Missouri 20th in the College Football Playoff standings.
Tennessee (5-6, 2-5) must win next week at Vanderbilt to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2010.
(At) No. 22 Colorado State 58, New Mexico 20: Dee Hart matched a school record with six touchdowns and Colorado State amassed a program-best 698 yards of offense to extend their winning streak to nine straight.
The Rams (10-1, 6-1 Mountain West) are off to their best start since 1994. Hart led the way against New Mexico (3-8, 1-6) by rushing for 230 yards and five TDs. He also hauled in a TD pass to tie Kapri Bibbs' school mark of six scores set last season against the Lobos.
Garrett Grayson threw for 389 yards to become the school's all-time offensive leader.
Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine set a major college record by running for 427 yards in a driving rainstorm, scoring five touchdowns.
A week after Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon set the mark by rushing for 408 yards against Nebraska, Perine broke it.
Perine set the record on his 34th and final carry, a 42-yard run with 12:16 left in the fourth quarter.
Perine got off a fast start, running for a 49-yard TD on his first carry. He added TD runs of 33 and 34 yards in the second quarter and scored on runs of 66 and 27 yards in the third.
In a game that started 90 minutes late because of lightning, Perine shattered the school rushing record of 294 yards set by Greg Pruitt in 1971.
The Sooners (8-3, 5-3 Big 12) led the Jayhawks (3-8, 1-7) by 41-7 after three quarters.