Top 25 Recaps: No. 1 Alabama routs Mercer

The Sports Xchange

November 19, 2017 at 12:57 am.

Nov 18, 2017; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Cam Sims (17) catches a touchdown against Mercer Bears defensive back Brandon Gurley (29) during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Photo Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 18, 2017; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Cam Sims (17) catches a touchdown against Mercer Bears defensive back Brandon Gurley (29) during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Photo Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Top-ranked Alabama easily took care of business in its Iron Bowl tune-up Saturday morning, dominating Mercer 56-0 on Senior Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Jalen Hurts completed all seven of his pass attempts for 180 yards and three touchdowns, leaving the game in the second quarter because of the big early lead. The Crimson Tide (11-0) led 35-0 at halftime against the FCS member Bears.

Calvin Ridley caught three passes for a 103 yards and a touchdown for Alabama. Bo Scarbrough led a deep, balanced running game with five rushes for 54 yards.

The Crimson Tide plays at No. 6 Auburn next Saturday with the SEC West title on the line. Mercer (5-6) completed its season.

No. 2 Clemson 61, The Citadel 3

CLEMSON, S.C. — Kelly Bryant passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns as Clemson bolted to a 38-point halftime lead and coasted to victory over The Citadel.

Bryant completed 17 of 22 passes in less than two quarters of play and became the third quarterback in Clemson history to win 10 games in his first year as a starter. The Tigers (10-1), who will play Miami in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 2, improved to 32-0 all-time against FCS opponents and clinched a 10-win season for a school-record seventh consecutive year.

Clemson amassed 662 yards — the fifth-highest total in school history — against The Citadel (5-6), a small military school from Charleston, S.C.

No. 3 Miami 44, Virginia 28

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Malik Rosier passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another as Miami survived a dazzling passing display by Virginia’s Kurt Benkert to remain undefeated.

Benkert passed for 384 yards, a season high against the Hurricanes (10-0, 7-0 ACC), but also threw an interception that Miami’s Jaquan Johnson returned for a touchdown. Benkert completed his first 12 pass attempts and was 28 of 37 with four touchdowns.

Rosier was 15 of 28 for 210 yards and was intercepted twice. The Cavaliers (6-5, 3-4) lost for the fourth time in five games.

No. 4 Oklahoma 41, Kansas 3

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Heisman Trophy hopeful Baker Mayfield passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns while battling breezy conditions as Oklahoma toppled Kansas.

Mayfield had difficulty getting his team moving as the Sooners (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), who came in with a nation-best 388.8 passing yards per game, led by only four points midway through the second quarter. The passing output was a season low for Mayfield, who had been limited to fewer than 300 yards just two other times this season. He complete 20 of 30 passes.

The inspired Jayhawks’ defense, however, received no support from its offense, which was limited to 155 yards. Kansas is 1-10, 0-8.

The road victory was the 16th in a row for the Sooners, the nation’s longest active streak.

No. 5 Wisconsin 24, No. 24 Michigan 10

MADISON, Wis. — Jonathan Taylor rushed for 132 yards to boost Wisconsin past Michigan.

Alex Hornibrook completed 9 of 19 passes for 143 yards, with one touchdown and one interception for the Badgers (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten), who finish their regular season at Minnesota next Saturday. Taylor carried 19 times and lifted his rushing total for the season to 1,657 yards.

The Badgers held Michigan (8-3, 5-3) to 234 yards. The Wolverins’ Brandon Peters was taken to the locker room on a cart for further examination after a hard tackle and was replaced by redshirt senior John O’Korn. Peters completed 9 of 18 passes for 157 yards.

No. 6 Auburn 42, Louisiana-Monroe 14

AUBURN, Ala. — Jarrett Stidham passed for 235 yards and two touchdowns as Auburn routed Louisiana-Monroe.

Kerryon Johnson rushed for 137 yards and one touchdown for the Tigers (9-2), who scored 35 second-half points. Kam Martin rushed for one score and caught another for Auburn.

Brian Williams scored two touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing) for the Warhawks (4-6), who pushed the Tigers in the first half before fading. ULM was outgained 552-333.

No. 7 Georgia 42, Kentucky 13

ATHENS, Ga. — Nick Chubb rushed for 151 yards and two touchowns as Georgia kept its playoff hopes alive by routing Kentucky.

Sony Michel rushed for 87 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC), who must defeat Georgia Tech next week and either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC title game a week later to be considered for the final four. Jake Fromm threw a TD pass to Javon Wims for Georgia.

Benny Snell rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats (7-4, 4-4), who were outgained 504-261. Kentucky’s Stephen Johnson was sacked three times and intercepted once.

No. 8 Notre Dame 24, Navy 17

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brandon Wimbush and Kevin Stepherson connected for two second-half touchdown passes to boost Notre Dame past Navy.

The Midshipmen (6-4) took a 17-10 lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Zach Abey to Craig Scott with 7:01 left in the third quarter but enjoyed the lead for only 1:28. Abey rushed 29 times for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Wimbush capped a five-play, 78-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown to Stepherson. The Fighting Irish (9-2) took a 24-17 lead on a 29-yard scoring pass from Wimbush to Stepherson with 11:49 remaining. Wimbush was 9 of 18 for 164 yards and also rushed for a score.

No. 9 Ohio State 52, Illinois 14

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State scored four touchdowns in the first 13 minutes and secured a berth in the Big 10 title game with an easy victory over Illinois.

Binjamin Victor caught two touchdown passes, Mike Weber rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and J.K. Dobbins ran for a score in limited minutes for the Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1 Big Ten).

J.T. Barrett, playing his final home game, completed 11 of 19 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Fighting Illini (2-9, 0-8) didn’t pick up a first down until there were less than three minutes left in the first half en route to losing their ninth straight.

No. 10 Penn State 56, Nebraska 44

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Saquon Barkley collected 224 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns as Penn State outscored Nebraska.

Barkley, slowed in recent weeks after a strong start to the season, rushed 17 times for 158 yards and three scores, and caught six passes for 66 yards. The Lions (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) generated their most points since putting up 63 against Illinois in 2005.

Trace McSorley clicked on 24 of 36 passes for 325 yards and three scores, two to tight end Mike Gesicki, and ran for a score for Penn State. Tanner Lee threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns for the Cornhuskers (4-7, 3-5).

No. 11 USC 28, UCLA 23

LOS ANGELES — Ronald Jones II rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns, redshirt quarterback Sam Darnold ran in a third and USC capped its regular season with a victory over archrival UCLA.

The Trojans (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) already clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship game Dec. 2, but it got all it could handle from the Bruins (5-6, 3-5). Sam Darnold completed 17-of-28 passes for 264 yards for USC.

Josh Rosen completed 10 of his passes for 204 of his 421 yards on a 32-of-52 night to Jordan Lasley, who set a career yardage high for UCLA. Lasley hauled in three touchdown receptions, including a 27-yarder in the corner of the end zone with 2:43 remaining to force an onside kick attempt, recovered by USC’s Matt Lopes.

No. 12 TCU 27, Texas Tech 3

LUBBOCK Texas — TCU turned to its defense and virtually silenced Texas Tech.

The Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) held the Red Raiders (5-6, 2-6) to 327 yards of offense and zero points for the final 51 minutes.

TCU, which was without injured starting quarterback Kenny Hill and leading rusher Darius Anderson, did enough on offense behind freshman Shawn Robinson, who made his first collegiate start.

Robinson found Jalen Reagor wide open for a 12-yard touchdown that gave the Horned Frogs a 17-3 late in the third quarter. Robinson passed for 85 yards and rushed for 84.

Kansas State 45, No. 13 Oklahoma State 40
STILLWATER, Okla. — Byron Pringle caught three long touchdown passes and returning a kickoff 89 yards for another score as Kansas State stunned Oklahoma State.

Skylar Thompson, in his second start at quarterback, threw for 204 yards and Pringle posted career best for receiving yards (166) and touchdowns as the Wildcats (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) became bowl-eligible for the eighth straight season.

The Cowboys (8-3, 5-3) lost for the third time at home, and had their faint hope of advancing to the Big 12 title game ended. James Washington turned eight catches into 159 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma State.

No. 15 Central Florida 45, Temple 19

PHILADELPHIA — Central Florida turned five Temple turnovers into 24 points en route to its school-record 10th straight victory.

McKenzie Milton was pulled from the game with a little over two minutes left in the third quarter. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for one score for the Knights (10-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference).

The Owls (5-6, 3-4 AAC) had their modest two-game winning streak snapped and must win at Tulsa next Saturday to ensure bowl eligibility.

No. 16 Mississippi State 28, Arkansas 21

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Nick Fitzgerald threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Deddrick Thomas with 17 seconds left to cap a fourth-quarter rally and lift Mississippi State past Arkansas.

Fitzgerald completed 12 of 23 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries as the Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3 SEC) beat the Razorbacks for the fifth time in the past six meetings. Aeris Williams finished with 71 yards on 19 carries for Mississippi State.

Austin Allen completed 12 of 18 passes for 124 yards for Arkansas (4-7, 1-6), which finished with 221 yards of offense. David Williams had 75 yards on eight carries for the Razorbacks.

No. 17 Michigan State 17, Maryland 7

EAST LANSING, Mich. — LJ Scott rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown and Michigan State grinded out a victory over Maryland.

A combination of rain and snow made conditions treacherous most of the way and forced both teams to rely on their running games. The Spartans (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten) outgained the Terrapins 271-83 on the ground, led by Scott’s 29-carry performance.

Max Bortenschlager started at quarterback for Maryland (4-7, 2-6) after missing a game with a shoulder injury. He completed 13 of 25 passes for 121 yards. The Terrapins have lost three straight.

Wake Forest 30, No. 19 North Carolina State 24

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — John Wolford threw three touchdown passes to Tabari Hines as Wake Forest defeated North Carolina State.

The go-ahead points came on Wolford’s 18-yard pass to Hines with 8:03 to play. Hines finished with 139 yards on eight receptions while Wolford was 19 of 28 for 247 yards for the Demon Deacons (7-4, 4-3 ACC).

The Wolfpack (7-4, 5-2) used a 14-play drive, including a fourth-and-1 conversion, to move into scoring position. Emeka Emezie, though, fumbled as he reached out for the end zone to complete a pass play, with Wake Forest recovering in the end zone for a touchback with 1:51 remaining.

No. 20 LSU 30, Tennessee 10

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Darrel Williams and Derrius Guice combined for 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and LSU withstood a mid-game monsoon to defeat reeling Tennessee.

Williams had a pair of touchdown runs while Guice and Danny Etling each had one touchdown run for the Tigers (8-3, 5-2 SEC). Etling was 11 of 15 for 81 yards passing. LSU has won five of six games since being stunned at home by Troy in early October.

The Volunteers (4-7, 0-7) hurt themselves with multiple miscues on special teams and struggled to put together drives in Brady Hoke’s first game as interim coach. They were held to 38 yards on the ground, and Jarrett Guarantano completed 13 of 23 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown.

No. 21 Memphis 66, SMU 45

MEMPHIS — Riley Ferguson threw for 320 yards and accounted for five touchdowns as Memphis wrapped up the AAC West title with a lightning-delayed rout of SMU.

Ferguson rushed for three touchdowns, scoring on second-half runs of 8, 12 and 2 yards. He also completed 21 of 27 passes, finding Anthony Miller for scoring strikes of 34 and 24 yards in an efficient performance as the Tigers (9-1, 6-1) gear up for a meeting against No. 15 Central Florida or South Florida in the AAC title game Dec. 2.

Memphis went up and down the field at will against the Mustangs (6-5, 3-4), finishing with 664 total yards and 33 first downs. It rushed for 333 yards and passing for 331.

No. 22 Stanford 17, California 14

STANFORD, Calif. — Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love gained 101 yards on 14 carries before getting injured in the fourth quarter as Stanford held on to defeat archrival California.

The Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) have defeated Cal (5-6, 2-6) eight straight years. Love set an FBS record with his 11th rush of 50 or more yards this season when he broke free for a 57-yard score with 8:57 left in the third quarter.

He was forced to exit with 11:22 remaining when his left ankle was twisted on a 1-yard run. He appeared ready to reenter the game, but backup Cameron Scarlett took over and rushed for 43 yards on 11 carries in a pivotal possession for Stanford late in the fourth quarter.

No. 23 Northwestern 39, Minnesota 0

EVANSTON, Ill. — Justin Jackson rushed 31 times for 166 yards and Clayton Thorson threw three touchdowns as Northwestern rolled past Minnesota.

The Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten) rushed 55 times for a total of 277 yards and three touchdowns. After a scoreless first quarter, Northwestern exploded for 25 points in the second quarter, amassing 124 yards of offense while the Golden Gophers managed only 30.

Minnesota (5-6, 2-6) was shut out one week after producing its season-high scoring output in a 54-21 win over Nebraska. The last time the Golden Gophers were shut out was also at Ryan Field in a 27-0 loss to Northwestern on Oct. 3, 2015.