Top 25 roundup
No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 18 Mississippi State 24
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining to lift No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi State .
Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC, CFP No. 2) won its 10th straight game against Mississippi State, but this one was much more difficult than most of the others.
Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3, CFP No. 16) pushed ahead 24-17 early in the fourth quarter on Jace Christmann’s 25-yard field goal, but Alabama responded to tie it at 24 when Damien Harris ran for a 14-yard score with 9:49 left. Alabama had a chance to take the lead with about two minutes left, but a 40-yard field goal attempt by Andy Pappanastos banged off the left upright and fell harmlessly to the turf.
Mississippi State went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and Alabama took over with 1:09 remaining. That was more than enough time for the Tide, who drove six plays and 68 yards in 44 seconds for the game-winning score.
The game was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than a touchdown.
Alabama’s defense has been dominant for most of the season, but several injuries at linebacker throughout the season finally appeared to take a toll. Mississippi State’s power running game gained 172 yards, but in the end Alabama was able to slow the Bulldogs down.
Mississippi State pushed ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by Aeris Williams. It was the first touchdown the Bulldogs had scored against Alabama since 2014 and the first time they’d taken the lead against the Tide since 2008.
The Crimson Tide found a way to survive arguably their toughest test of the season. Hurts completed 10 of 19 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Ridley caught five passes for 171 yards.
No. 10 Auburn 40, No.2 Georgia 17
AUBURN, Ala. — Kerryon Johnson ran for 167 yards and caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham and No. 10 Auburn smothered No. 2 Georgia’s running game in a 40-17 victory Saturday.
The Tigers (8-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) remained in Western Division and potentially playoff contention after snapping a three-year losing streak to one of their top rivals.
The Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1) came in with the top spot in the playoff rankings and could get a rematch if Auburn can beat No. 1 Alabama in two weeks.
The first go around wasn’t pretty for Georgia. Auburn held Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and the SEC’s top ground game to 46 yards, 233 below their season average.
Johnson ran 32 times and caught two passes for 66 yards. Stidham threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, all of 30-plus yards.
Georgia special teams blunders helped set up three Auburn touchdowns, including a roughing the penalty flag in the first half. The Bulldogs fumbled away a punt return and had a 15-yard personal foul penalty in the third quarter when Auburn pulled away with two touchdowns.
Ryan Davis returned a punt 26 yards into Georgia territory, with the flag pushing Auburn even closer to the goal line. Then Davis took a screen pass 32 yards for a touchdown to make it 30-7. Darius Slayton made a 42-yard scoring grab earlier.
No. 4 Clemson 31, Florida State 14
CLEMSON, S.C. — Travis Etienne ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard burst with 3:05 left, and Clemson won the ACC Atlantic Division with a victory over Florida State.
The Tigers (9-1, 7-1, No. 4 CFP) and their dominant defense looked to have this one wrapped up when they opened a 17-0 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter. But the Seminoles (3-6, 3-5) rallied on Jacques Patrick’s 9-yard scoring run and a double flea-flicker for a 60-yard TD catch by tight end Ryan Izzo.
No. 12 Oklahoma State 49, No. 24 Iowa State 42
AMES, Iowa — Mason Rudolph threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns — including two in the final 5:55 — and Oklahoma State rallied to beat Iowa State and keep its Big 12 title hopes alive.
Justice Hill had 134 yards and three TD runs for the Cowboys (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, No. 15 CFP). They remained tied for second place in the league with two games to go. The top two finishers in the Big 12 will meet in the championship game in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 2.
No. 14 UCF 49, UConn 24
ORLANDO, Fla. — Otis Anderson ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns, McKenzie Milton passed for 311 yards and Central Florida pulled away from UConn.
Anderson had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and helped the undefeated Knights (9-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference, CFP, No. 18) break it open with a 65-yard touchdown run, making it 35-17 with 14:11 left. The freshman bounced back nicely after he had a costly fumble in the third quarter.
No. 15 USC 38, Colorado 24
BOULDER, Colo. — Sam Darnold threw two TD passes and ran for another score, Ajene Harris intercepted two passes, including one he returned for a score, and Southern California beat Colorado to wrap up the Pac-12 South title.
Darnold threw for 329 yards as he improved to 18-3 as a starter. Tailback Ronald Jones II had 142 yards to surpass Mike Garrett for sixth place on the Trojans’ career rushing list.
Southern Cal (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12, No. 11 CFP) led 27-0 in the third quarter, but needed to weather a late Colorado comeback. The Trojans blocked two field goals to move to 12-0 against the Buffaloes (5-6, 2-6).
Georgia Tech 28, No. 17 Virginia Tech 22
ATLANTA — TaQuon Marshall got two long touchdown passes out of his only completions, including an 80-yarder to Ricky Jeune with 6 1/2 minutes remaining, and Ajani Kerr swatted away a fourth-pass in the end zone to preserve Georgia Tech’s upset.
In a game with several huge momentum swings, Virginia Tech rallied from a 21-9 deficit in the second half. The Hokies (7-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) went ahead 22-21 when Greg Stroman returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown off a terrible pass by Marshall with 7:27 left.
No. 19 Washington State 33, Utah 25
SALT LAKE CITY — Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns for Washington State.
The Cougars (9-3, 6-2 Pac-12) are now one win from winning the Pac-12 North and playing in the conference championship game for the first time since the league created divisions in 2011. They are off next weekend and then will play rival Washington Thanksgiving Day weekend after that.
No. 23 West Virginia 28, Kansas State 23
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Will Grier threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, Justin Crawford added 113 yards rushing and West Virginia overcame its early mistakes to hold off Kansas State.
Ka’Raun White had eight catches for 168 yards and two scores, and David Sills V also had a pair of TD catches, helping the Mountaineers (7-3, 5-2) stay alive in the race for the Big 12 title game.
The Wildcats (5-5, 3-4) closed to 28-23 early in the fourth quarter, but an offense down to third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson couldn’t get its team all the way back.
Thompson threw for 159 yards with two interceptions in his first career start for the Wildcats, who still need a win to become bowl-eligible for the eighth consecutive year. Dalvin Warmack added 96 yards rushing and bruising fullback Winston Dimel reached the end zone twice.
The Associated Press