Top 25 roundup: Oklahoma hands Baylor first defeat
Waco, Texas — Sterling Shepard had 14 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns and No. 12 Oklahoma beat No. 4 Baylor 44-34 on Saturday night to end the Bears’ 20-game home winning streak — and likely their playoff chances.
Baker Mayfield was 24 of 34 for 270 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score to help Oklahoma gain control of its destiny in the Big 12. The Sooners (9-1, 6-1, No. 15 CFP) have won five straight since their loss to Texas.
Baylor (8-1, 5-1), the first team left out of the initial four-team playoff last season, was sixth in the latest College Football Playoffs as an undefeated team with the toughest part of its schedule left.
The two-time defending Big 12 champion Bears will certainly drop in the playoff rankings before playing at No. 5 Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0) next Saturday. The Sooners will be in Stillwater the following week for their regular-season finale.
Shepard’s tiebreaking 7-yard TD catch with 9:52 left in the third quarter put the Sooners ahead to stay, and they became the first opposing team to win in the 11 home games Baylor has played since moving last season into its campus stadium on the banks of the Brazos River.
Less than a minute later, after Baylor went three-and-out, Samaje Perine had a 55-yard touchdown run to make it 34-20. Perine finished with 166 yards and two touchdowns.
If the Sooners sweep their final two regular-season games, next week at home against TCU before Bedlam against the Cowboys, they would clinch their ninth Big 12 title. It would be Oklahoma’s first since sharing a title with Kansas State in 2012, and end its longest league championship drought in coach Bob Stoops’ 17 seasons.
The Bears were trying to be the first team to beat Stoops three times in a row, and the last two were by lopsided margins. Baylor needs help to join Oklahoma as the only teams to win three consecutive Big 12 titles — and even more help to get back in the playoff hunt.
Jarrett Stidham, the true freshman making his second start and first at home since Seth Russell’s season-ending neck surgery, threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns. But he also had his first two interceptions.
Shock Linwood had 103 yards on 21 carries for Baylor, while Devin Chafin ran for three touchdowns. FBS receiving leader Corey Coleman was held to three catches for 51 yards and no scores after seven consecutive games with multiple touchdowns.
Baylor’s last loss at home had been 49-21 to TCU on Oct. 13, 2012. The Bears had won their first 10 games at McLane Stadium by an average margin of 32 points, with 57 points and 666 total yards a game.
The Bears, held to 416 yards by Oklahoma, had also won their last eight home games against Top 25 games. They beat the Sooners twice in that span after losing their first 20 games against the Sooners.
Baylor trailed at halftime for the first time this season after Mayfield made a nice play fake, and rolled around the left side unscathed for a 2-yard TD to make it 20-13 with 28 seconds left in the first half.
The Bears got even on their first drive after halftime when Chafin scored his third TD on a 6-yard run, just a few plays after Coleman’s 37-yard catch converted a third-and-14.
Oklahoma quickly responded to go back ahead, Mayfield running 34 yards to inside the Baylor 10 before throwing the 7-yard TD to Shepard.
No. 1 Clemson 37, (at) Syracuse 27: DeShaun Watson had a big day for Clemson with two touchdown passes and 101 yards rushing and a score. The win gave the Tigers (10-0, 7-0 ACC; No. 1 CFP) at least 10 wins for the fifth straight season and their first 10-0 start since they won their only national championship in 1981. With 13 straight wins, the Tigers have their longest winning streak in 34 years.
Syracuse (3-7, 1-5 ACC) put up a good fight for embattled coach Scott Shafer, but lost for the seventh time in a row. The Orange are 1-10 in games against the No. 1 team.
Watson was 34 of 47 for 360 yards with one interception.
No. 3 Alabama 31, (at) No. 20 Mississippi State 6: Derrick Henry ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns and Alabama had a season-high nine sacks. Alabama (9-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 CFP) easily survived its last major test before the Iron Bowl game against Auburn in two weeks. The Tide shook off a slow start thanks to three long touchdowns in the second quarter, starting with a 69-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones.
Calvin Ridley scored on a 60-yard touchdown catch from Jake Coker, and Derrick Henry ran 74 yards for a touchdown as Alabama built a 21-3 halftime lead. Henry had a 65-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3, No. 17 CFP) lost to the Tide for the eighth straight season.
No. 5 Oklahoma State 35, (at) Iowa State 31: Backup quarterback J.W. Walsh threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Carr with 3:06 left for Oklahoma State to help keep the unbeaten Cowboys in playoff contention. Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12, No. 8 CFP) trailed 24-7 and 31-21 before rallying for a victory that was short on style points but still critical.
Walsh drew the Cowboys to 31-28 with a 16-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Oklahoma State drove 84 yards in 11 plays for the winning score after forcing a punt. Starter Mason Rudolph got Oklahoma State to the 7, and Walsh, usually the team’s running quarterback, took it from there.
Joel Lanning staked Iowa State (3-7, 2-5) to the lead, running for two touchdowns and passing for another.
Oregon 38, (at) No. 7 Stanford 36: Vernon Adams threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon used its quick-strike offense and a late stop on a 2-point conversion attempt to spoil Stanford’s playoff hopes.
In a game dominated by offenses that combined for more than 900 yards, it was a defensive stop on the 2-point attempt with 10 seconds left that sealed the win for Oregon (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12) and kept the Ducks’ hopes for a conference title alive.
After Kevin Hogan lost two fumbles on snaps in the fourth quarter, Stanford (8-2, 7-1, No. 7 CFP) tied it on Hogan’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Greg Taboada with 10 seconds left.
Needing a 2-point conversion to tie it, the Cardinal sent Christian McCaffrey out wide and Hogan tried to find tight end Austin Hooper over the middle. But the Ducks stopped the play and held on for the win.
Arkansas 31, (at) No. 9 LSU 14: Alex Collins ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns to help resurgent Arkansas win its fourth straight. Combined with Alabama’s victory hours earlier, Arkansas (6-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) eliminated LSU (7-2, 4-2) from contention in the SEC West. Only two weeks earlier, the Tigers were unbeaten and ranked second by the College Football Playoff committee. They were No. 9 in the CFP this week.
LSU running back Leonard Fournette had 127 yards from scrimmage and scored his 17th touchdown this season, but that may have done little to help his Heisman Trophy candidacy on a day when Alabama’s Derrick Henry rushed for 204 yards and two scores.
Brandon Allen passed for 141 yards, including a 52-yard TD throw to Dominique Reed. Jared Cornelius added a 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
(At) Arizona 37, No. 10 Utah 30 (2OT): Backup quarterback Jerrard Randall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nate Phillips on the first play of the second overtime — his only completion of the game — and Arizona stunned No. 10 Utah 37-30 on Saturday night.
The loss knocked the Utes (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) into a first-place tie with USC in the Pac-12 South, and the Trojans hold the tiebreaker because they beat Utah. UCLA was a half-game back and was playing Washington State later Saturday night.
Anu Solomon passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a season-high 86 yards for Arizona (6-5, 3-5) before leaving the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit with 9:25 left in regulation. No penalty was called.
Utah’s Devontae Booker carried 34 times for 143 yards.
Both of the Pac-12 one-loss teams went down to a second defeat. Oregon beat No. 7 Stanford 38-36 earlier Saturday.
No. 11 Florida 24, (at) South Carolina 14: Jordan Cronkrite had two first-half touchdowns and Kelvin Taylor’s long run in the fourth quarter helped Florida hold off South Carolina.
The Gators (9-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 11 CFP) were up 17-0 heading to the fourth quarter, with the defense having allowed only 44 yards.
But South Carolina (3-7, 1-7) rallied with a throwback 17-yard touchdown pass from receiver Pharoh Cooper to quarterback Perry Orth, followed by Orth’s 38-yard scoring throw to Cooper moments later that cut it to 17-14 with 4:49 remaining.
Florida was facing third-and-8 from midfield when Taylor broke free on a 53-yard run to the South Carolina 1. He finished the drive a play later with 2:01 left that closed the door on South Carolina. Cronkrite scored on a 3-yard run and a 41-yard reception from quarterback Treon Harris.
(At) No. 13 TCU 23, Kansas 17: Trevone Boykin left with a right ankle injury and TCU’s offense did just enough without its Heisman Trophy candidate to hold off winless Kansas. On his second play of the game, Boykin turned awkwardly on his right ankle as he slipped while trying to cut and was tackled by linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. The nation’s total offense leader didn’t return after getting sacked on TCU’s last offensive play of the first quarter.
The Horned Frogs (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 15 CFP) played mostly without Boykin and one of the country’s top receivers in Josh Doctson, who was limited by a left arm and wrist injury from last week’s loss that likely eliminated them from the national title race.
The Jayhawks (0-10, 0-7) didn’t trail at halftime for the first time this year, but couldn’t avoid their 35th straight road loss and 13th overall.
The Horned Frogs tried two backups to Boykin in Bram Kohlhausen, a senior transfer from Houston, and redshirt freshman Foster Sawyer, who played for a private Fort Worth high school.
Shaun Nixon turned Sawyer’s only completion into a 42-yard touchdown, breaking a tackle on the catch-and-run score early in the fourth quarter. The only other touchdown for the Frogs was KaVontae Turpin’s zigzagging 49-yard punt return.
(At) No. 16 Houston 35, No. 25 Memphis 34: Backup quarterback Kyle Postma ran for the go-ahead score and threw a touchdown pass to help Houston overcome a 20-point deficit, and the Cougars escaped when Memphis’ Jake Elliott missed a 48-yard field goal wide right with 19 seconds left. Postma came in just before halftime when Greg Ward Jr. left with what appeared to be a left ankle injury. Postma went 21 of 33 for 236 yards and carried six times for 49 yards. His 7-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left capped a nine-play, 77-yard drive that gave Houston the lead.
Kenneth Farrow had 10 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns for Houston (10-0, 6-0 American, No. 24 CFP). Paxton Lynch passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (8-2, 4-2, No. 21 CFP).
(At) No. 17 North Carolina 59, Miami 21: Marquise Williams accounted for four touchdowns and Ryan Switzer had a 78-yard punt return for a score for North Carolina. Williams ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns and threw for a scoring pass for the Tar Heels (9-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 23 CFP). They won their ninth straight to stay alone atop the Coastal Division and move within a victory of a berth in the league championship game.
Elijah Hood ran for 132 yards and a score. The Tar Heels took advantage of penalties, turnovers and mistakes by the Hurricanes (6-4, 3-3) to turn it into a romp — complete with Williams and Switzer commandeering Miami’s “The U” handsign in mocking celebrations of first-half scores.
(At) No. 19 Florida State 34, North Carolina State 17: Sean Maguire came off the bench to rally Florida State. The Seminoles (8-2, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 16 CFP) trailed 17-7 in the second quarter when Maguire replaced Everett Golson. The junior led them to four straight scoring drives (two field goals, two touchdowns) to take control.
Maguire, who had started the past two games, was 18 of 28 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Golson had turnovers on three of five drives and finished 5 of 9 for 52 yards and two interceptions. Dalvin Cook, who set Florida State’s single-season rushing record, had 138 yards on 22 carries, including a 30-yard touchdown run.
Jacoby Brissett accounted for 236 all-purpose yards for N.C. State (6-4, 2-4). He was 27 of 47 for 209 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score.
(At) South Florida 44, No. 21 Temple 23: Marlon Mack rushed for 230 yards and scored three touchdowns to help South Florida beat Temple and keep the Owls from clinching the American Athletic Conference East Division title. Mack had scoring runs of 57 and 48 yards and caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Quinton Flowers for USF (6-4, 4-2). The Bulls scored on four straight possessions while building a 31-10 halftime lead.
Flowers threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 90 yards and one TD as the Bulls became bowl-eligible for the first time under third-year coach Willie Taggart.
Temple (8-2, 5-1, No. 22 CFP) trimmed its deficit to 11 in the third quarter, but couldn’t get any closer. The Owls still lead the East by one game over USF with home games remaining against No. 25 Memphis and Connecticut.
(At) No. 22 Navy 55, SMU 14: Keenan Reynolds broke the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns, upping his total to 81 with four scores, and Navy beat SMU to remain undefeated in the American Athletic Conference.
Reynolds shattered the mark held by Montee Ball, who ran for 77 TDs with Wisconsin from 2009-12. Ball holds the record for total touchdowns with 83.
Reynolds scored on runs of 4, 43 and 8 yards on Navy’s first three series and added a 32-yard touchdown with 14:19 left to make it 41-14.
The senior quarterback rushed for 137 yards and threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to help Navy (8-1, 6-0) earn its fourth straight win. Playing as a ranked team for the first time since 2004, the Midshipmen — 20th in the CFP ranking — are off to their best start since 1963.
The Mustangs (1-9, 0-6) have lost eight straight.