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Saturday's Top 25: Rattler TD pass in 4th OT sends Oklahoma past No. 22 Texas 53-45

Schuyler Dixon
Associated Press

Dallas — Benched early and celebrating late, Spencer Rattler had quite the first experience in a most unusual version of the Red River rivalry.

The Oklahoma freshman threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Drake Stoops in the fourth overtime and the Sooners survived a late rally from No. 22 Texas in regulation for a 53-45 victory Saturday.

Oklahoma wide receiver Drake Stoops (12) scores the winning touchdown in overtime as Texas defensive back Chris Brown (15) tries to tackle him Saturday. Oklahoma defeated Texas 53-45 in four overtimes.

Rattler sat most of the second quarter in favor of Tanner Mordecai after an interception and a fumble, but came back with two of his three scoring passes in overtime as the Sooners (2-2, 1-2 Big 12) bounced back from their first back-to-back losses in the regular season since 1999.

“I thought Spencer did some good things early then had a couple plays that I didn’t like,” coach Lincoln Riley said. “I felt like Tanner would go play well. I also felt like it would help Spencer step back for a second and kind of see the whole thing a little bit and settle down, and I think that happened.”

So much about one of college football’s most unique settings was different because the pandemic reduced the crowd to 24,000 at the 93,000-seat Cotton Bowl and shut down the surrounding Texas state fair for the first time since World War II.

The dramatic ending was quite familiar, even if it was the first time since 1999 that neither team was ranked in the Top 20. It was just the second four-OT game in 25 seasons of the Big 12, joining Kansas State’s 53-50 victory over Texas A&M in 2011.

Sam Ehlinger, who had a career-high four rushing touchdowns, threw two TD passes in the final 3:28 of regulation after what appeared to be a game-sealing interception by Woodi Washington in the end zone with the Sooners leading 31-17 with five minutes remaining.

But Ehlinger’s pass was intercepted in end zone by Tre Brown after Rattler’s toss to former OU coach Bob Stoops’ son, leaving the senior with a 1-4 record against his biggest rival, including a loss in the 2018 Big 12 championship game.

The Longhorns (2-2, 1-2) also left themselves little hope of playing for a Big 12 title, much less being part of the College Football Playoff conversation.

“We showed the football team we are there at the end when we stay out of our own way, without penalties, a lot of different things, mistakes that are self-inflicted,” said Ehlinger, who threw 53 passes and had 23 carries for a career-high 112 yards. “It’s unfortunate. We’ve got to get better.”

After tossing a 2-yard score to Keaontay Ingram with 14 seconds left in regulation, Ehlinger opened the second OT game in the Texas-OU series with his third rushing TD, from 3 yards.

Rattler answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Stogner, then plunged over from the half-yard line on fourth down after his initial scoring run was overturned on review to start the second OT.

Ehlinger’s fourth rushing TD forced the third overtime, when Texas’ Cameron Dicker had a 33-yard field goal try blocked by Perrion Winfrey before OU’s Gabe Brkic missed wide left from 31 on second down.

Rattler was replaced by Mordecai in the second quarter after losing a fumble on a sack at the Oklahoma 19 to set up the first Texas touchdown. His interception was thrown directly to waiting linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who returned it to the Oklahoma 11. The Sooners held Texas to a field goal.

It was hard to tell if Rattler came out because of an injury or ineffectiveness. He was holding his helmet on the sideline, rubbing and shaking his right arm.

“I was kind of surprised when I came out at first,” said Rattler, who was tied for the Big 12 lead with four interceptions coming in. “Coach Riley told me to take a breather, you are going to get back in there. My arm was bugging me too.”

Rattler was 23 of 35 for 209 yards, and T.J. Pledger rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Ehlinger threw for 287 yards, while his top three running backs – Ingram, Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson – combined for just 11 carries and 29 yards.

More Top 25

(At) No. 1 Clemson 42, No. 7 Miami 17: Trevor Lawrence threw three touchdowns passes and ran for another and Clemson proved once more who’s boss in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Travis Etienne rushed for 149 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard burst down the left sidelines as the Tigers opened 4-0 for a sixth straight season. 

This is was billed as an ACC showdown where the Hurricanes (3-1, 2-1 ACC) could prove the swagger had truly returned to “The U.” Instead, Miami’s offense was suffocated by the Tigers (3-0 ACC) and held without an offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter.

Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King came in alongside Lawrence as the ACC’s dominant, dynamic playmakers. The Houston transfer, though, was swarmed by Clemson all game and completed just 12 of 28 passes for 121 yards and his first two interceptions of the season. 

Lawrence passed for 292 yards, completing 29 of 41 and went without an interception for a 12th straight game. 

(At) No. 2 Alabama 63, Mississippi 48: Najee Harris ran for 206 yards and five touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama beat Mississippi and former Crimson Tide assistant Lane Kiffin in the highest-scoring SEC regulation game ever.

Matt Corral passed for 365 yards for Ole Miss and the Rebels put up 647 yards on the Tide. The teams combined for an SEC-record 1,370 yards.

Alabama and Ole Miss traded touchdowns for much of the night, but with the Tide (3-0, 3-0) leading 49-42 the Rebels (1-2, 1-2) misfired in Alabama territory and had to settle for a field goal. That was as good as a stop in this game. Receiver DeVonta Smith went 14 yards for a touchdown run to make it 56-45 with 3:16 left. 

After another Ole Miss field goal, Alabama recovered an onside kick and Harris busted a 39-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it.

(At) No. 3 Georgia 44, No. 14 Tennessee 21: Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score and Georgia bounced back from Tennessee’s goal-line stand on the final play of the first half, dominating the final 30 minutes.

The Bulldogs (3-0) knocked off a ranked Southeastern Conference team for the second week in a row, shaking off a 21-17 deficit to completely wipe out the Volunteers over the final two quarters.

Showing it’s still not ready to compete with the league’s top programs, Tennessee (2-1, 2-1) turned it over three times and managed just 71 yards total offense in the second half.

Fittingly, Justin Guarantano was sacked on the final play of the game.

(At) No. 21 Texas A&M 41, No. 4 Florida 38: Isaiah Spiller ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns and Texas A&M beat Florida on Seth Small’s 26-yard field goal as time expired.

Spiller helped get the Aggies (2-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) get into position for Small’s decisive kick, giving Jimbo Fisher his first win over a top-five team since taking over as Texas A&M coach.

Kellen Mond threw a 51-yard pass to Caleb Chapman for a tying TD with about 4½ minutes to go. The Gators were driving when Buddy Johnson forced a fumble by Malik Davis, and it was recovered by DeMarvin Leal to set up the field goal.

Mond passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Kyle Trask had 312 yards passing and four TDs for Gators (2-1, 2-1).

(At) No. 5 Notre Dame 42, Florida State 26: Kyren Williams ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns and safety Shaun Crawford helped thwart a potential Florida State rally with a goal-line interception in Notre Dame’s victory.

Williams fumbled at his own 32 on the second play from scrimmage, then riddled Florida State the rest of the way, picking up 130 yards and both his TDs by halftime as the Fighting Irish (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took a 35-20 lead.

Ian Book completed 16 of 25 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 58 yards and another score.

With Notre Dame leading 42-26, the Seminoles (1-3, 0-3) drove 73 yards to the 5, but Crawford picked off Jordan Travis’ pass with 8:21 left.

Travis, making his first start for the Seminoles after shining in relief last week against Jacksonville State, was 13 of 24 for 204 yards and led Florida State in rushing with 96 yards on 19 keepers, even with a pair of sacks. He threw a TD pass and ran for a score.

(At) No. 8 North Carolina 56, No. 19 Virginia 45: Michael Carter ran for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns – including a 62-yarder midway through the fourth quarter – for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels (3-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) leaned on a dominating running game. Javonte Williams also ran for a career-best 169 yards and two scores, with both backs finding gaping lanes and weaving through defenders to keep the chains moving on the way to 399 yards on the ground.

North Carolina said it was only the second time in program history that the Tar Heels had seen two players crack the 150-yard mark in the same game, the other coming 39 years earlier.

Throw in Sam Howell’s three touchdown passes, and North Carolina finished with its highest-scoring output ever against the Hokies along with 656 total yards – the No. 2 total ever posted against Virginia Tech’s defense, which was severely depleted in the secondary.

Khalil Herbert ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Virginia Tech (2-1, 2-1).

(At) No. 13 Auburn 30, Arkansas 28: Anders Carlson made the most of his second chance, hitting a 39-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to lift Auburn past Arkansas.

The Tigers (2-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) narrowly avoided a second straight loss, with drama and uncertainty continuing right up to that winning kick.

Facing third-and-1, Bo Nix couldn’t handle the snap, picked it up and spiked the ball – appearing slightly behind him – to draw an intentional grounding flag. The play was reviewed and upheld.

This time Carlson delivered after missing a 34-yard field goal wide right with 2:38 left. Auburn’s defense had forced a three and out, and the Tigers got the ball back at the 45 of the Razorbacks (1-1, 1-1).

(At) No. 15 BYU 27, USTA 20: Zach Wilson threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Allgeier ran for 116 yards and another score to lead BYU past UTSA.

The Cougars (4-0) equaled their best start since 2014 while rolling up 472 yards. Allgeier posted his second 100-yard game of his career to help rescue an inconsistent BYU offense.

Lowell Narcisse threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns – all after halftime – on 17-of-20 passing to lead the Roadrunners. UTSA (3-2) became the first opponent to give BYU a four-quarter test, but fell short of earning the upset, despite averaging 7.6 yards per play in the second half.

(At) Missouri 45, No. 17 LSU 41: Connor Bazelak threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns, and Missouri’s maligned defense stopped LSU four times at the 1-yard line in the final minute in a shootout moved from Baton Rouge because of Hurricane Delta.

Larry Rountree added 119 yards rushing and Tyler Badie scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air for Mizzou (1-2. 1-2 Southeastern Conference). The Tigers gave new coach Eli Drinkwitz his first win in thrilling fashion at Faurot Field.

LSU had taken a 41-38 lead when Cade York hit a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter. But when York tried to extend the lead midway through the fourth, his 45-yarder was blocked, and Missouri needed just four plays – the big one a 69-yard pass to Chance Luper – before Bazelak hit Nico Hea with the go-ahead touchdown with 5:18 to go.

Myles Brennan threw for 430 yards and four TDs for LSU. The defending national champion Tigers fell to 1-2 for the first time since 1994.

(At) No. 24 Iowa State 31, Texas Tech 15: Brock Purdy passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns, Breece Hall ran for 135 yards and two scores and Iowa State beat Texas Tech.

The Cyclones (3-1, 3-0 Big 12) opened conference play with three straight wins for the first time since 2002 and only the second time since 1950.

Purdy was 32 of 43 with no interceptions. He also ran seven times for 42 yards.

The Cyclones rolled up 516 yards of total offense and held Texas Tech (1-3, 0-3) under 100 yards until early in the fourth quarter.