Book makes sure Irish avoid upset on road
The Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ian Book kept scrambling to buy time and help No. 2 Notre Dame put together multiple long touchdown drives. The Fighting Irish’s defense allowed little room for Sam Howell and No. 25 North Carolina’s potent offense to do the same.
Book threw for a score while the Fighting Irish defense locked down the Tar Heels for the final three quarters in a 31-17 victory on Friday. The win kept Notre Dame on course to earn a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Both teams scored two first-quarter touchdowns and went into halftime tied at 17, only to see Notre Dame gradually take over in a performance coach Brian Kelly called “one of those road wins that really shows the mettle of your football team.”
“It felt like it was going to be a shootout in the beginning,” said Book, adding: “Our defense did an unbelievable job in the second half and gave us a lot of opportunities, and we were able to capitalize on it.”
Book threw for 279 yards and ran for 48 yards for the Fighting Irish (9-0, 8-0 ACC, No. 2 CFP), using his mobility and elusiveness to keep plays alive on a night when both offenses frequently faced long fields.
Receiver Ben Skowronek got Notre Dame its first lead with his 13-yard run around the right side midway through the third quarter. Kyren Williams ran for 124 yards — including a 47-yarder with about 5¢ minutes left as the Irish burned clock.
Williams closed that drive with his second rushing TD, a clinching 1-yarder with 1:20 left that kept the Fighting Irish alone atop the ACC standings ahead of No. 4 Clemson and No. 10 Miami.
UNC (6-3, 6-3, No. 19 CFP) sprinted to touchdowns on its its first two drives, but Notre Dame surrendered only one field goal from there. The Tar Heels came in averaging 43 points and 563 yards, yet they were unable to protect Howell nor open running lanes for a pair of backs averaging better than 100 yards rushing each in Javonte Williams and Michael Carter.
UNC finished with a season-low 298 yards while Howell — one of the national leaders in passing yardage and touchdowns — threw for just 211 yards and a score. He also ran for a touchdown.
ISU holds off Texas
AUSTIN, Texas — Breece Hall scored on a 3-yard run with 1:25 remaining, and No. 15 Iowa State held off last-minute drive by Sam Ehlinger and No. 20 Texas to remain in first place in the Big 12 with a 23-20 victory Friday.
After Iowa State sacked Ehlinger on third down, Texas’ Cameron Dicker barely missed left with a 58-yard field goal attempt as time expired.
The Cyclones (7-2, 7-1) have almost locked up a spot in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.
Hall gained 91 yards on 20 carries, his first game under 100 this season, but had 30 on the final 69-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Brock Purdy connected with tight ends Charlie Kolar and Dylan Soehner for the other 39 yards.
Iowa State trailed 20-16 early in the fourth quarter after bad two-play sequence for Texas (5-3, 4-3) helped the Cyclones get a field goal by Connor Assalley.
First, the Longhorns came up 3 yards short throwing the ball on a fake punt on fourth-and-8. Then Purdy found Kolar for 44 yards. A holding penalty by the Cyclones forced them to settle for the Assalley’s field goal to make it 20-16.
The Longhorns also were stopped inches short on a fourth-and-2 at the Iowa State 13 with 8:05 left in the fourth quarter when a field goal would have made it a seven-point game.
Purdy completed 25 of 36 for 312 yards and one touchdown. Kolar made six receptions for 131.
Ehlinger was 17 of 29 for 298 yards and one touchdown in what could be his final home game for the Longhorns. Ehlinger and Brennan Eagles set up touchdowns in the first and third quarters, connecting for 59 and 45 yards.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Tyler Goodson ran for 87 of his 111 yards in the second half and Zach VanValkenburg recovered Adrian Martinez’s late fumble to secure Iowa’s 26-20 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 4-2 Big Ten) extended their win streak to four games and have beaten the Cornhuskers (1-4, 1-4) six years in a row.
Iowa was looking to add to its six-point lead when Keith Duncan’s 51-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the cross bar with 2:02 left. The Cornhuskers then drove from their 32 to the Iowa 39 before Martinez fumbled under pressure. Iowa ran out the last 1:18.
Tied 13-13 at halftime, Nebraska took its first lead on its opening drive of the third quarter. Utilizing a quick tempo, the Huskers capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run by Rahmir Johnson.
Iowa answered with a 14-play, 66-yard drive. Mekhi Sargen punctuated the drive with a touchdown, and Duncan followed with field goals of 48 and 37 yards.
Spencer Petras completed 18 of 30 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, with one interception.
Martinez, back as the starter after two games, was 18 of 20 for 174 yards. He also ran for 28 yards and a score.
No. 9 Ducks upset
CORVALLIS, Ore — Taking his first college snap after starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia limped off, Chance Nolan scored on a 1-yard, fourth-down run with 33 seconds left to give Oregon State a 41-38 upset victory over No. 9 Oregon on Friday night.
Jermar Jefferson ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns to help the Beavers (2-2) win their second straight game. Jefferson has run for at least 100 yards in each of Oregon State’s four games and is on pace to hit 1,000 despite the short season.
Oregon (3-1) had won seven in a row and three straight over the rival Beavers. The loss dashed any slim hopes the Ducks had of a spot in the College Football Playoffs. The Ducks were ranked No. 15 in the first CFP rankings released Tuesday.
Tristan Gebbia threw for 263 years and a score and had a touchdown run during the foggy game at Reser Stadium. While no fans were allowed in the game, cars passing near the stadium honked for the home team in the aftermath.