Top 25 roundup: Watson leads Clemson over Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. — Deshaun Watson had 430 yards of total offense and third-ranked Clemson held off No. 12 Florida State 37-34 on Saturday night.
The junior completed 27 of 43 passes for 378 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. His 34-yard pass to Jordan Leggett with 2:02 remaining gave Clemson the lead. Watson also had 52 yards rushing on 17 carries, and Leggett had 122 yards on five receptions.
It is the second straight game that Watson has had over 400 yards of offense against Florida State. He had 404 yards last year in a 23-13 victory. He is the first quarterback to beat Florida State in consecutive seasons since Oklahoma’s Landry Jones in 2010-11.
Wayne Gallman had 82 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns to help the Tigers (8-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extend their regular-season winning streak to 22 games.
The Seminoles (5-3, 2-3) fell short despite Dalvin Cook’s career-high four touchdowns. The junior had 136 of his 169 yards in the second half and had two touchdown runs of 40-plus yards.
This is only second time in series history that Clemson has beaten Florida State in two straight seasons. It is also only the second time it has won at Doak since Florida State joined the conference in 1992.
No. 4 Washington 31, (at) No. 17 Utah 24: Dante Pettis returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown with 3:25 left and Washington held off Utah to remain undefeated.
After Utah tied it at 24 with 9:07 left, Washington (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) pinned the Utes on their own 1 on quarterback Jake Browning’s pooch punt. The Utes (7-2, 4-2) went three-and-out and punted to Pettis, who ran parallel toward the far sideline, broke a tackle and outran everyone else.
Browning threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns, and Myles Gaskin ran for 151 and a touchdown.
Utah quarterback Troy Williams threw for 163 yards and two touchdowns, and Joe Williams continued his remarkable post-retirement career with 172 rushing yards and a touchdown.
No. 5 Louisville 32, (at) Virginia 25: Lamar Jackson floated a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith with 13 seconds left and Louisville survived a frenetic finish.
Jackson’s fourth touchdown pass kept the Cardinals (7-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the College Football Playoff picture, and couldn’t have hurt the Heisman Trophy frontrunner’s candidacy. Virginia (2-6, 1-3) scored with 1:57 remaining and used a 2-point conversion to take a 25-24 lead.
Jackson did not have one of his best days, getting sacked five times and turning the ball over twice, but on the final drive, he ran for 18 yards, hit Cole Hikutini in traffic for 5 yards on fourth-and-3 and ran twice more for 16 yards before hitting Smith in the end zone.
(At) Texas 35, No. 8 Baylor 34: Trent Domingue kicked a 39-yard field goal with 46 seconds left and Texas upset Baylor to hand the Bears their first loss.
For the second straight season, coach Charlie Strong and the Longhorns (4-4, 2-4 Big 12) beat Baylor (6-1, 3-1). This time Texas also dealt a blow to the Big 12’s hopes of putting a team in the College Football Playoff. Both of the conference’s remaining unbeaten teams lost Saturday, with No. 10 West Virginia going down at Oklahoma State.
D’Onta Foreman rushed for a career-best 250 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns, They scored with 7:03 left on 7-yard pass from Shane Buechele to Andrew Beck to make it 34-32. The Bears stuffed Tyrone Swoopes trying to run for a 2-point conversion.
Seth Russell had 364 yards passing and running and accounted for three touchdowns for Baylor.
(At) No. 9. Texas A&M 52, New Mexico State 10: Christian Kirk returned two punts for touchdowns and had a scoring catch for Texas A&M.
Kirk returned punts for 70 and 73 yards to become the first player in school history with two punt return scores in a game. He has a school-record four in his career.
Trevor Knight found Kirk on a 3-yard reception in the corner of the end zone in the second quarter to put Texas A&M (7-1) up 24-0.
Tyler Rogers threw for 138 yards and a touchdown and ran for 40 yards for New Mexico State (2-6).
(At) Oklahoma State 37, No. 10 West Virginia 20: Mason Rudolph threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score for Oklahoma State.
Rudolph completed 26 of 36 passes for 273 yards. James Washington had six catches for 117 yards, Chris Lacy caught two touchdown passes, and Jalen McCleskey matched a career high with 11 receptions for the Cowboys (6-2, 4-1 Big 12). It the 100th career victory for Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.
West Virginia’s Skyler Howard passed for 212 yards, but he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble for the Mountaineers (6-1, 3-1).
(At) Wyoming 30, No. 13 Boise State 28: Defensive tackle Chase Appleby sacked Brett Rypien and forced a fumble for a safety with 1:25 left to lift Wyoming past Boise State.
It was Wyoming’s first win over the Broncos in 11 games between the two teams. Thousands of fans swarmed the field and the Cowboys’ players as the final seconds ticked off.
Josh Allen completed 18 of 31 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, and Brian Hill ran for 146 yards for the Cowboys (6-2, 4-0 Mountain West).
Rypien completed 22 of 35 passes for 295 yards, and he also caught a 33-yard TD pass on a trick play for Boise State (7-1, 3-1). Jeremey McNichols ran for 143 yards and two TDs, and Jake Hollister caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
(At) No. 14 Florida 24, Georgia 10: Jordan Scarlett scored for the sixth consecutive game, Antonio Callaway had the first rushing touchdown of his career and Florida used a dominant defensive effort to beat Georgia.
Playing just their second game in four weeks, the Gators won their third straight in the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” It was Florida’s 21st victory against the Bulldogs in the last 27 years.
The Gators (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) pressured freshman quarterback Jacob Eason and stuffed Nick Chubb on just about every carry. Georgia (4-4, 2-4) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Florida’s Luke Del Rio, coming off a three-interception performance against Missouri, completed 15 of 25 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.
No. 15 Auburn 40, (at) Mississippi 29: Kamryn Pettway ran for a career-high 236 yards and a touchdown, and Sean White passed for 247 yards for Auburn.
Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly threw for a school-record 465 yards, beating Archie Manning’s previous mark of 436 yards set in 1969. Kelly also threw three touchdown passes and one interception.
But the Rebels couldn’t keep up with Auburn, which finished with 554 total yards. The Tigers once again gave a heavy workload to Pettway, a sophomore who responded by smashing through the Ole Miss defense with his 240-pound body time after time.
Auburn (6-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) won its fifth straight, while Ole Miss (3-5, 1-4) lost its third in a row.
(At) No. 16 Oklahoma 56, Kansas 3: Baker Mayfield passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns and Oklahoma overcame a sluggish to take sole possession of first place in the Big 12.
Receiver Dede Westbrook extended his hot streak for the Sooners, scoring on a 71-yard punt return and a 41-yard catch as Oklahoma won its 13th straight Big 12 game.
Losses by West Virginia and Baylor earlier Saturday put Oklahoma (6-2, 5-0) into the lead in the conference. Oklahoma is 5-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2004 and for the fourth time ever. On all three previous occasions, Oklahoma went 8-0 in league play, winning titles in 2000 and 2004.
Oklahoma limited Kansas (1-7, 0-5) to 170 yards, the fewest by an opponent this season. Jordan Evans’ 33-yard third-quarter interception return for a touchdown meant the Sooners’ defense outscored Kansas.
Kansas has lost 17 straight Big 12 games and 39 straight road games overall.
(At) South Carolina 24, No. 18 Tennessee 21: Jake Bentley two touchdown passes, Rico Dowdle ran for 127 yards and another score, and South Carolina handed Tennessee its third straight loss.
The Gamecocks (4-4, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) had struggled on offense much of the season and were expected to be a comfortable bounce-back win for the powerhouse Vols (5-3, 2-3) after consecutive losses to No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama.
Instead, South Carolina’s defense bottled up the Vols most of the game, holding them to 251 yards of offense. Joshua Dobbs threw for only 120 yards and was picked off twice by cornerback Jamarcus King, the final time with 3:50 left in the game and Tennessee needing a dramatic rally.
Tennessee got a final chance with 35 seconds left and drove to the South Carolina 41. But Aaron Medley’s desperation, 58 yard field goal attempt was well short on the final play.