No. 13 Gophers stay unbeaten, top fifth-ranked Penn State
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's Jordan Howden picked off Sean Clifford's pass in the end zone with 1:01 left, the third interception thrown by Penn State's quarterback, and the 13th-ranked Gophers held on for a 31-26 victory Saturday over the fifth-ranked Nittany Lions for their first win over a top-five team in 20 years. Tanner Morgan passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns to direct a dismantling of Penn State's staunch defense. Minnesota (9-0, 6-0, No. 17 CFP) not only remained undefeated, but stayed on track for its first trip to the Big Ten championship game.
The first sellout crowd for the Gophers at home in four years swarmed the field after the clock ran out, reveling in the biggest step forward yet under coach P.J. Fleck in his third season. The Gophers scrambled the College Football Playoff picture, too, after Penn State (8-1, 5-1, No. 4 CFP) emerged with a top-four spot in the first edition of the rankings.
• NO. 1 LSU 46, NO. 2 ALABAMA 41 -- At Tuscaloosa, Ala., Joe Burrow passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns and LSU snapped an eight-game losing streak to Alabama (Story, Page 2B).
• NO. 3 OHIO STATE 73, MARYLAND 14 -- At Columbus, Ohio, Justin Fields threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the first half and Ohio State hardly missed suspended defensive star Chase Young. A team that gave the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 1) headaches last season was no trouble this time, even without the fierce pass rushing of Young. The preseason All-American was suspended Friday while Ohio State investigates a possible NCAA violation involving a loan. J.K. Dobbins rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes built a 42-0 halftime lead.
• NO. 10 FLORIDA 56, VANDERBILT 0 -- At Gainesville, Fla., Kyle Trask threw for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns -- the best passing performance by a Florida quarterback since Tim Tebow's college finale -- and the Gators overcame a lackluster start to thump Vanderbilt. Florida (8-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) was sluggish early, failing to convert a fourth down on the opening possession against the league's worst defense, missing a field goal and throwing two interceptions. But the Gators responded with their most dominant quarter of the season, turning a 14-0 lead into a laugher in the Swamp. It ended with a sixth consecutive victory against the Commodores (2-7, 1-5) and 28th in the last 29 years.
• NO. 11 BAYLOR 29, TCU 23, 3OT -- At Fort Worth, Texas, Denzel Mims made a leaping 4-yard touchdown catch in the third overtime for Baylor, capping another comeback victory that kept the Bears undefeated. Charlie Brewer also threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mims on fourth down in the second overtime to extend the game. Brewer had a 3-yard scoring run in the first overtime. The Bears (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) finally won on Grayland Arnold's interception of Max Duggan's fourth-down pass in the end zone.
• NO. 16 WISCONSIN 24, NO. 18 IOWA -- At Madison, Wis., Jonathan Taylor rushed for a season-high 250 yards and Danny Davis ran for a touchdown and caught another as Wisconsin outlasted Iowa. Taylor became the first running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards against Iowa as Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 13 College Football Playoff) held on to the Heartland Trophy, given each year to the winner of this game. Wisconsin has beaten Iowa four straight times.
• NO. 17 CINCINNATI 48, CONNECTICUT 3 -- At Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder threw for a pair of touchdowns and Michael Warren II ran for two more scores during a dominant opening half, and Cincinnati remained the only unbeaten team in American Athletic play. The Bearcats (8-1, 5-0) retained the inside track for the conference title by ending their recent trend of slow starts. They led 38-0 at halftime against the conference's lowliest team.
• TEXAS 27, NO. 20 KANSAS STATE 24 -- At Austin, Texas, Cameron Dicker kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired to lift Texas past Kansas State as the Longhorns maintained their hopes of returning to the Big 12 championship game. Keaontay Ingram rushed for 139 yards and two second-half touchdowns for the Longhorns (6-3, 4-2. Kansas State (6-3, 3-3) rallied to tie it on Joshua Youngblood's 98-yard kickoff return and Blake Lynch's 45-yard field goal.
• VIRGINIA TECH 36, NO. 22 WAKE FOREST 17 -- At Blacksburg, Va., Hendon Hooker accounted for 311 yards of total offense and ran for a touchdown to help Virginia Tech beat Wake Forest. The Hokies (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame a 0-6 halftime deficit, scoring 30 second-half points to beat a ranked team for the first time since last year at then-No. 22 Duke.
• NO. 23 SMU 59, EAST CAROLINA 51 -- At Dallas, Shane Buechele threw five touchdown passes, Xavier Jones broke one of Eric Dickerson's school records and SMU bounced back from its first loss. The Mustangs (9-1, 5-1 American Athletic) played from ahead and kept it that way in a second straight game with more than 1,000 combined yards. SMU had fallen behind and failed to close the gap last week in a 54-48 loss to No. 19 Memphis.
• SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 37, MISSOURI STATE 14 -- At Carbondale, Ill., Kare Lyles threw for four touchdowns -- two each to Landon Lenoir and Avante Cox -- and Southern Illinois (6-4, 4-2 Missouri Valley) put away Missouri State. Lenoir had 124 yards receiving on nine receptions and Javon Williams Jr. had 113 yards rushing on 10 carries.
• AUSTIN PEAY 38, UT MARTIN 24 -- At Clarksville, Tenn., Kentel Williams rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns and Austin Peay (7-3, 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference) breezed past UT Martin (6-4, 5-2).
• SOUTHEAST MISSOURI 38, EASTERN KENTUCKY 31 -- At Cape Girardeau, Mo., Zion Custis ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 37 seconds left and Southeast Missouri State (7-3, 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference) turned back an upset bid by Eastern Kentucky.