Saturday's Top 25: Stanford rallies late to beat No. 3 Oregon in OT
Stanford, Calif. — Stanford’s comeback victory that stunned Oregon was enough of a roller-coaster that coach David Shaw felt the need to apologize to his parents and any other fans older than 70 for the emotional toll.
The Cardinal overcame a blown lead and had their banged-up quarterback stage an improbable rally before finally prevailing over the third-ranked Ducks.
Tanner McKee threw a TD pass on an untimed down at the end of regulation to tie the game and another on the opening possession of overtime to lead Stanford to a 31-24 victory Saturday.
“The key word is resilience,” Shaw said. “It’s the mark of a successful team, it’s the mark of a successful person. How can you withstand the storms that life gives you? … Our guys took it on the chin quite a bit but we fought back and made some big plays.”
McKee came back after leaving for a play on the final drive of regulation with injured ribs to tie it on a 2-yard pass to Elijah Higgins after a holding penalty by Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in the end zone extended the game one play.
McKee then gave the Cardinal (3-2, 2-1) the lead with a 14-yarder to John Humphreys in overtime. Stanford then forced Anthony Brown to throw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-8 to seal its fourth win against an Oregon team ranked in the top 10 since 2009 and set off a wild on-field celebration with the students and players.
“We were all on cloud nine. Just pure joy,” linebacker Gabe Reid said. “There were a lot of ups and downs. We tried to say consistent with our energy and our passion. We like to think we deal with adversity well.”
The Ducks appeared poised for their first 5-0 start in eight years when they rallied from 10 points down at halftime to take a 24-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Brown’s second TD run of the game.
But then McKee delivered the big plays late and the Cardinal capitalized on three Oregon penalties on the game-tying 87-yard drive in the final 1:59 of regulation.
“We had some bright moments, but certainly not enough to overcome some of our own mistakes,” coach Mario Cristobal said. “We didn’t play with enough discipline today and we didn’t coach with enough discipline today. It ends up costing us the game.”
McKee left the game for one play on the drive after being hit in the ribs by Kayvon Thibodeaux on a play ruled targeting. Oregon was then called for another roughing the passer penalty and the holding penalty in the end zone on what appeared to be the final play.
The Cardinal got the untimed down and McKee delivered with the pass to Higgins. Shaw opted for the extra point and the game went to OT.
“He’s a gritty dude,” Higgins said about McKee. “That’s what we expect out of him and he expects out of himself.”
More Top 25
► No. 7 Cincinnati 24, (at) No. 9 Notre Dame 13: Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes and ran for score late in the fourth quarter as Cincinnati capitalized on its big opportunity and beat Notre Dame in a game the Bearcats hope can be the centerpiece of College Football Playoff resume.
Cincinnati (4-0) wanted to use its first Top 10, regular-season matchup as a statement game, heading into its American Athletic Conference schedule. No team from outside the Power Five conferences has ever reached the playoff. Never even came close.
To break that barrier Bearcats almost certainly needs to go undefeated and this trip to Notre Dame (4-1) stood as the toughest test on the schedule. Not to mention the biggest stage they’ll appear on this season. The Bearcats were not quite dominant, but they were plenty good enough in their first trip to South Bend since 1900 to snap Notre Dame’s 26-game home winning streak.
Ridder was 19 for 32 for 297 yards. He hooked up with Alec Pierce six times for 144 yards, and was at his best after Notre Dame cut the lead to 17-13 with 8:20 left in the fourth quarter. Ridder went 3 for 3, with a bullet down the middle for 36 yards to Leonard Taylor, on the ensuing drive. He capped it off with a 6-yard TD run around left end that made it 24-13.
Cincinnati took advantage of three turnovers by Notre Dame in the first half to jump out to 17-0 lead.
► (At) Kentucky 20, No. 10 Florida 13: Trevin Wallace returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter, Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a 9-yard scoring run early in the fourth and Kentucky made a final defensive stand to hold off Florida.
The Southeastern Conference East Division showdown was more of a slog than a slugfest for much of the night, and the Gators (3-2, 1-2) were poised to add Jace Christmann’s 48-yard field goal attempt to their 10-7 lead.
Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal got a hand on the low kick that sent the ball fluttering the line to Wallace, who jetted past a tackle on the left sideline and cut back through a small seam to race for the game-changing TD.
The Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) turned it over on downs at the Florida 34 to start the fourth quarter but created another opportunity when linebacker J.J. Weaver intercepted Emory Jones’ pass for a first down at the Gators 29. Rodriguez took over from there, rushing three times for 22 yards including the 9-yard TD for a 20-10 cushion with 11:32 remaining.
Florida got within seven on Christmann’s 33-yard field goal with 6:23 left before getting the ball again a couple of minutes later and driving to the Kentucky 5 with the help of a defensive facemask penalty. A 4-yard loss on a pass play and false start penalty moved the Gators back to the 14, but they had a final chance from the 8 before Jacquez Jones swatted away a fourth-down pass with 18 seconds left to seal the win.
► (At) No. 1 Alabama 42, No. 12 Mississippi 21: Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for career highs of 171 yards and four touchdowns and Alabama beat Mississippi.
Bryce Young threw two touchdown passes for the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference).
Alabama turned to Robinson to play keep away from Matt Corral and the offense of the Rebels (3-1, 0-1), who had breezed through three nonconference games before an open date. The Tide’s fifth-year senior carried 36 times and picked up the first 100-yard game of his career.
Young completed 21 of 27 passes for 241 yards and had a pass intercepted.
► (At) No. 2 Georgia 37, No. 8 Arkansas 0: Zamir White ran for two touchdowns and recovered a blocked punt for another score, and Georgia pounded Arkansas in the Bulldogs’ second consecutive shutout.
Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter despite playing without quarterback JT Daniels, who was held out with a right lat injury.
Stetson Bennett filled in for Daniels and passed for only 72 yards as the Bulldogs relied on their running game and top-rated defense to beat Arkansas (4-1, 1-1).
Georgia, leading the nation in total defense and scoring defense following last week’s 62-0 win at Vanderbilt, held Arkansas to 10 first downs and 156 yards. The last time Georgia recorded back-to-back shutouts in SEC games was in 1980, its last national championship season.
► Mississippi State 25, (at) No. 15 Texas A&M 22: Will Rogers threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and Nathan Pickering sacked Zach Calzada in the end zone late for a safety in Mississippi State’s victory over Texas A&M.
Rogers was sacked twice, and the Bulldogs had two false start penalties that backed them up before Nolan Mccord’s 49-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with about eight minutes to go.
The Aggies cut the lead to two on a 44-yard field goal by Seth Small about two minutes later.
Texas A&M (3-2, 0-2 SEC) forced a punt to get a chance to take the lead. But Calzada, a backup in his third start, was taken down by Pickering on third down for the safety to extend the lead to 26-22 with about two minutes to go, and the Bulldogs ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Makai Polk had 13 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns to help Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) snap a two-game skid.
► (At) No. 19 Oklahoma State 24, No. 21 Baylor 14: Jaylen Warren ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns and Oklahoma State beat Baylor.
Spencer Sanders passed for 182 yards and ran for 76, but he helped Baylor stay in the game by throwing three interceptions. Tay Martin caught seven passes for 108 yards for the Cowboys (5-0, 2-0 Big 12).
Abram Smith rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown for Baylor (4-1, 2-1), which finished with just 280 total yards. The Bears, who were coming off a win over Iowa State, missed a chance to beat ranked teams in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1974.