Top 25 roundup: No. 1 Alabama wins 18th straight
Fayetteville, Ark. — Jalen Hurts accounted for four touchdowns and Minkah Fitzpatrick had three interceptions as No. 1 Alabama extended its nation-best winning streak to 18 games with a 49-30 victory over No. 16 Arkansas on Saturday night.
The win is the 10th straight for the Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) over the Razorbacks, and Fitzpatrick’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown was Alabama’s 10th non-offensive score of the season.
“When we score a non-offensive touchdown, it kind of helps the offense and it helps boost the morale of the team,” Fitzpatrick said. “We get really excited and have fun out there.”
Hurts finished 13-of-17 passing for 253 yards with two touchdowns. He ran for two more TDs.
Damien Harris added 122 yards rushing on 13 carries for the Crimson Tide, which finished with 517 yards of total offense and averaged 10.1 yards per play.
Austin Allen completed 25 of 48 passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns for Arkansas (4-2, 0-2), also throwing three interceptions as the Razorbacks finished with five turnovers overall. Arkansas finished with 473 yards of total offense, but it gained only 73 yards on the ground on 36 carries.
“I’m disappointed for the fans to not get them a win today,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “I thought there was enough things out there the No. 1 team in the country, but we spotted them two to three touchdowns. … It’s just too much to give up to the No. 1 team in the country.”
Alabama’s winning streak is now one off coach Nick Saban’s best at the school. The Crimson Tide won 19 straight games over the 2009-10 seasons.
No. 5 Washington 70, (at) Oregon 21: Jake Browning threw for 304 yards and a school-record six touchdowns and ran for two more scores as Washington snapped a 12-game losing streak against Oregon.
Myles Gaskin ran for 197 yards and a touchdown for the undefeated Huskies, who have won nine straight games going back to last season. Dante Pettis caught eight passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, while John Ross had nine catches for 94 yards and three scores.
Freshman Justin Herbert made his first college start and threw for 179 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks, who continued their dramatic slide with a fourth straight loss. Oregon (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) hadn’t lost four straight since the 2006 season.
Herbert was intercepted on his first pass of the game, and Washington went on to score on the ensuing series on Browning’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Washington (6-0, 3-0) upped the lead on Browning’s 3-yard TD pass to Ross. Rose also scored on a 15-yard pass from Browning as the Huskies built a 28-0 lead. Browning scored on a 7-yard keeper to put Washington ahead 35-7 at the end of the first half.
Pettis caught touchdown passes of 10 and 28 yards as the Huskies built a 63-21 lead in the opening minutes of the final quarter.
A local prospect out of Eugene’s Sheldon High School, Herbert is the first true freshman to start for the Ducks since Chris Miller in 1983. Graduate transfer Dakota Prukop started at quarterback in the Ducks’ first five games.
(At) No. 8 Texas A&M 45, No. 9 Tennessee 38 (2OT): Trevor Knight had a 1-yard touchdown run in the second overtime and Texas A&M withstood another late Tennessee rally.
After Knight bulled in for the touchdown, Armani Watts intercepted Joshua Dobbs’ pass on the next play for the Volunteers’ seventh turnover to end the game.
“The big takeaway from this was we were able to withstand some things, not play great but make enough plays to win the game without some of our better players being 100 percent,” coach Kevin Sumlin said.
The teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime.
Knight threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 110 yards and three more scores.
Tennessee (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had rallied from double-digit deficits to win four of its last five games, including last week’s last-play victory over Georgia. The Volunteers trailed by 21 points in the third quarter Saturday thanks to six turnovers before tying it on Alvin Kamara’s 18-yard touchdown reception with 41 seconds left.
“Proud of the resolve, but the turnovers didn’t give us an opportunity,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said.
Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0) had a chance to win it in regulation, but Daniel LaCamera’s 38-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Aggies could have put this one away with less than 2 minutes remaining, but freshman Trayveon Williams had the ball knocked from his hands and out of the back of the end zone just before he crossed the goal line on a 71-yard run.
Texas A&M was facing third-and-2 when Knight dashed 62 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 35-21 with about three minutes left. Kamara’s 4-yard run about a minute later made it a one-score game.
The Aggies built a 21-7 lead in the first quarter after three fumbles by Tennessee. Knight threw touchdown passes of 13 and 2 yards and ran for a 7-yard TD in the opening frame.
No. 23 Florida State 20, (at) No. 10 Miami 19: DeMarcus Walker blocked Miami kicker Michael Badgley’s point-after attempt with 1:38 remaining, and Florida State escaped with a victory.
The Hurricanes were in position to tie it after Brad Kaaya connected with Stacy Coley on an 11-yard touchdown pass. Badgley had made 72 consecutive extra points, but the 6-foot-3 Walker got his arm outstretched just enough to knock away what would have been the tying point.
And just like that, in a series decided so many times over the years by Florida State field goals in critical moments sailing wide right and wide left, there’s now a block to add to the lore.
Dalvin Cook and Kermit Whitfield had touchdown catches in the third quarter to help the Seminoles beat the Hurricanes for the seventh straight time. Deondre Francois, who left in the first half after being shaken up, came back and ended up with 234 yards passing for Florida State (4-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Cook finished with 150 yards rushing and had a 59-yard scoring catch to spark the Seminoles’ second-half surge, and Whitfield’s 20-yard catch on his 23rd birthday put Florida State ahead for good.
Coley caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Kaaya to help Miami (4-1, 1-1) take an early 13-0 lead. But for the third straight year, the Hurricanes saw a second-half lead slip away.
Kaaya lost a molar in the third quarter when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Florida State’s Matthew Thomas, who was ejected for targeting — the second straight year a Seminoles player was tossed for targeting the Miami quarterback. And in the fourth quarter, Miami’s Jamal Carter was thrown out for a targeting hit against Whitfield.
Some Miami fans showered the field with debris at that point.
But in the end, it was a kick that decided everything — and this time, the break went Florida State’s way.
Washington State 42, (at) No. 15 Stanford 16: Luke Falk threw for 357 yards and four touchdowns to lead Washington State to a second straight win over one of the Pac-12’s recent powers.
Falk connected with Tavares Martin Jr. twice in the first half and added second-half TD passes to Gabe Marks and River Cracraft to help the Cougars (3-2, 1-1) follow up last week’s 51-33 win over Oregon by ending an eight-game losing streak to Stanford (3-2, 2-2). The Ducks and Cardinal have combined to win the past seven conference titles.
That streak is in serious jeopardy this year as the Cardinal got blown out for the second straight game, losing in back-to-back weeks for the first time in six seasons under coach David Shaw. Stanford lost 44-6 at Washington last week.
Making matters worse for the Cardinal was the fact that last year’s Heisman runner-up Christian McCaffrey went to the locker room in the second half with an apparent injury and didn’t return to the game. McCaffrey came back to the sideline and had his helmet on, but didn’t re-enter the game. There was no immediate word on his health.
No. 20 Oklahoma 45, Texas 40: Dede Westbrook had three touchdown catches longer than 40 yards while setting an Oklahoma single-game record with 232 yards receiving, and the Sooners held on for a Red River rivalry victory in Dallas.
Samaje Perine added 214 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 35 carries for Oklahoma (3-2, 2-0 Big 12), which rolled up 672 total yards against Texas coach Charlie Strong’s beleaguered defense.
The Longhorns (2-3, 0-2) led after two long TD passes by freshman quarterback Shane Buechele in the first 41/2 minutes after halftime. But Oklahoma went ahead for good when Baker Mayfield’s 4-yard TD run, right after his 51-yard completion to Dahu Green, made it 28-27.
Mayfield was 22-of-31 passing for 390 yards and easily made up for two early interceptions with the three TDs to Westbrook (71, 42 and 47 yards).
After D’onta Foreman’s 22-yard TD run with 1:45 left, Texas almost got a huge break when Mayfield fumbled the ball while being sacked on third down with a minute to go. But big right tackle Bobby Evans recovered, and the Sooners then punted.
The game ended after a wild play, with the Longhorns completing several laterals and going forward at least 20 yards before eventually losing 9 — after a final declined penalty for an illegal forward pass.
Foreman finished with 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
(At) USC 21, No. 21 Colorado 17: Tyler Petite caught his second touchdown pass from Sam Darnold with 8:28 to play, and Southern California overcame four turnovers.
Daniel Imatorbhebhe also caught a TD pass from Darnold, who passed for 358 yards and three scores along with two fumbles and an interception. USC (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12) shredded one of the nation’s top defenses for 539 yards, but Colorado’s takeaways kept an otherwise one-sided game close.
In the Buffaloes’ first game as a ranked team since Nov. 7, 2005, receiver Bryce Bobo threw a 67-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and caught a tying TD pass with 10:20 to play.
Colorado (4-2, 2-1) kicked a field goal with 4:49 left after Petite’s tiebreaking score , but the Trojans coolly ran out the clock.
Justin Davis rushed for 83 yards before leaving with an ankle injury early in the second half for USC, which improved to 11-0 against Colorado in the schools’ history.
The Trojans’ offense picked up right where it left off last week in a 41-point performance against Arizona State, while the defense held Colorado’s potent offense to 371 yards — just 127 in the first half.
Steven Montez passed for 197 yards in the freshman’s third straight start. Colorado career passing leader Sefo Liufau also played briefly, but neither quarterback had sustained success against USC’s improving defense.
Bobo threw the 67-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Lindsay on a trick play for Colorado’s first points in the third quarter, and he caught a 10-yard throw from Montez to cap an 84-yard tying drive.
Darnold fumbled twice in Colorado territory, including a goal-line fumble on the opening drive. Davis also fumbled deep in Buffs territory in the second half.
Bobo shushed the USC crowd after his tying TD catch, but the Trojans got rolling on their tiebreaking drive when Darreus Rogers reached over Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and wrestled an interception away from him for a 46-yard gain.
(At) No. 24 Utah 36, Arizona 23: Quarterback Troy Williams ran for two touchdowns and threw another, helping Utah rally to beat Arizona.
Utah (5-1, 2-1) trailed 14-12 at halftime after committing 11 first-half penalties, including eight false starts. Arizona (2-4, 0-3) scored on the first snap of the game when Brandon Dawkins connected with Shun Brown for a 75-yard TD pass, taking advantage of blown coverage that left Brown completely uncovered.
The Utes scored 26 straight points after falling behind 14-3. Williams got both of his running TDs in the second half and had 245 yards passing for the game. Armand Shyne also ran for a TD in the third quarter, while the defense tightened up and forced two second-half turnovers and allowed just nine points. Shyne finished with 101 yards on 19 carries.
The Utes moved into a tie atop the Pac-12 South with Colorado. They ended a four-game losing streak to Arizona.
No. 25 Virginia Tech 34, (at) No. 17 North Carolina 3: Jerod Evans threw for two scores and ran for another to help Virginia Tech in heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew.
Sam Rogers and Chris Cunningham had scoring catches and the Hokies (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) dominated the reigning Coastal Division champion Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1) in a surprising romp.
The Hokies had their share of weather-related troubles, including seven fumbles, multiple bobbled snaps and a season-low 264 yards.
But Bud Foster’s defense locked down on the Tar Heels and Mitch Trubisky, who entered as one of the nation’s top passers. North Carolina finished with 131 yards, with Trubisky throwing his first two interceptions of the year, while Virginia Tech scored 20 points off four turnovers.
UNC, playing without injured top tailback Elijah Hood, failed to score a touchdown for the first time under fifth-year coach Larry Fedora.