Top-ranked Alabama decks Tigers
By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — AJ McCarron and T.J. Yeldon did in LSU again.
McCarron threw three touchdown passes, Yeldon ran for 133 yards and two scores and No. 1 Alabama overwhelmed the 10th-ranked Tigers 38-17 Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) turned to power football to take control of a game that was tied early in the third quarter. Yeldon carried 18 times in the second half, 25 overall.
He and McCarron had hooked up for the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of last season’s meeting with the Tigers (7-3, 3-3). This one had no such dramatic finish.
Alabama scored the final 21 points to brush aside its first challenge since Game 2 against Texas A&M. It was a dominant performance two days after one contender, No. 2 Oregon, fell to another, No. 6 Stanford.
McCarron was a workmanlike 14-of-20 passing for 179 yards, letting Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and their blockers assert control. He did hit speedy freshman tight end O.J. Howard for a 52-yard touchdown and overtook John Parker Wilson to become Alabama’s top career passer.
“All he does is win and does what his team needs for him to do,” Tide coach Nick Saban said of his senior quarterback. “I think the guy is the best quarterback in the country.”
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger completed 16 of 23 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown but was also sacked four times.
It was the most points Alabama has scored against LSU since a 41-12 victory in 1947.
LSU had won five of the last six meetings in Tuscaloosa, but lost fumbles on its first two possessions. The Tigers, who came in averaging 40.2 points, couldn’t regain the lost momentum and managed just 52 yards in the second half.
Alabama has been so dominant lately, some students began chanting “We Want Bama” in the fourth quarter, mimicking the fans of potential challengers to the two-time defending champions.
This one, at least, was a contest until Alabama scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Yeldon powered the Tide to a two-touchdown lead with a workhorse drive in the fourth quarter.
He ran six times for 34 yards and had a 13-yard catch before powering it in with 10:31 left to give Alabama a 31-17 lead.
LSU swiftly threatened to get back in the game when Odell Beckham Jr. raced 82 yards on the kickoff return. Alabama held firm and Mettenberger’s fourth-and-13 pass to a well-covered Jarvis Landry was off target.
And the Tide fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium could finally breathe.
Alabama’s Drake ran for 65 yards on 10 carries. The Tide outgained LSU 372-282, including a 193-43 advantage on the ground in a game both sides typically call one of the most physical of each season.
LSU’s playmaking receivers Beckham and Landry turned in some big ones but it wasn’t nearly enough. Landry had five catches for 90 yards and Beckham gained 42 yards on three catches.
Alabama limited Jeremy Hill, who came in as the SEC’s No. 2 rusher, to 13 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.
LSU tied the game at 17 with Colby Delahoussaye’s 41-yard field goal to cap the opening drive of the second half.
Then Alabama turned to a fake punt in its own territory. Alabama’s Jarrick Williams took a handoff from linebacker C.J. Mosley and ran for a first down on fourth and 2 in Tide territory after calling time out.
The buck-the-odds gamble that is more Les Miles’ calling card than Saban’s paid off. Yeldon capped a 14-play drive consuming seven minutes, 50 seconds with a 4-yard touchdown for a 24-17 lead.
No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 59
WAKE FOREST 3
— Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes, and Florida State tied a school record with six interceptions as it clinched ACC a championship game berth.
Nate Andrews took an interception 56 yards for a touchdown and Jalen Ramsey returned a fumble 23 yards for a score on consecutive plays.
The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) claimed the inside track to a BCS title game berth with No. 2 Oregon’s loss Thursday. They kept firm grasp of it by forcing seven turnovers and breaking the stadium record of 56 points they set in 1994.
Florida State outgained Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) 296-166 and turned those turnovers into five TDs and a field goal.
Winston was 17 of 28 for 159 yards in two-plus quarters with an 18-yard TD to Kelvin Benjamin and a 2-yarder to Chad Abram that made it 42-0 at halftime.
No. 11 TEXAS A&M 51
MISSISSIPPI STATE 41
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Johnny Manziel threw for 446 yards and tied a career-high with five touchdown passes to lead Texas A&M to a win in what could be the Heisman Trophy winner’s last home game.
The crowd chanted “One more year! One more year!” late in the game for Manziel, who is eligible for the draft after this season. Whether he comes back remains to be seen, but he went into the stands to celebrate with the student section when the game was over.
Mississippi State cut the lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Manziel threw his fifth touchdown pass to make it 44-27 for A&M (8-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference). The defense grabbed an interception and Ben Malena’s 2-yard TD run extended the lead to 51-27.
Dax Prescott threw for 149 yards and two scores and ran for 154 yards for Mississippi State (4-5, 1-4).
Malcome Kennedy and Travis Labhart had two touchdown receptions each. Mike Evans had 116 yards receiving to break the school single-season record with 1,263.
Manziel set a school career record for total yards with 9,040 and a single-season record with 31 touchdown passes. He became just the second A&M quarterback to run for 2,000 yards in a career and has 3,313 yards passing this year to become the first Aggie with two 3,000-yard passing seasons.
No. 7 AUBURN 55, TENNESSEE 23
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. —Nick Marshall gained 214 of Auburn’s 444 yards rushing and the Tigers scored on a punt return and kickoff return against Tennessee.
Marshall ran for two touchdowns on just 14 carries and threw for a third score. Tre Mason rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns as Auburn (9-1, 5-1 SEC) earned its sixth straight victory and averaged 8.4 yards per carry.
Chris Davis put Auburn ahead for good and broke a 13-13 tie in the second quarter with an 85-yard punt return, Auburn’s longest since 1970 and third-longest ever. Corey Grant returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for another Auburn touchdown.
Auburn won while attempting just seven passes all day. The Tigers had thrown just nine passes last week in a 35-17 victory over Arkansas.
Rajion Neal rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee (4-6, 1-5), which dropped its third straight.
No. 9 MISSOURI 48
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Maty Mauk threw five touchdown passes, four to Dorial Green-Beckham, and No. 9 Missouri cruised past Kentucky.
Making his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured James Franklin, the Tigers’ redshirt freshman completed 17 of 28 attempts for 203 yards and took full advantage of 6-foot-6 sophomore Green-Beckham, whose TD receptions set a school record.
Mauk added a 6-yard scoring pass to Henry Josey, who also rushed for two TDs, including an 86-yarder.
Missouri (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) allowed Kentucky (2-7, 0-5) two touchdowns in the third quarter but the Mauk-to-Green-Beckham connection answered both scores with TDs.
The victory helped the Tigers stay a half-game ahead of idle South Carolina (5-2) atop the East division heading into their second bye and gave coach Gary Pinkel his fourth nine-win season in 13 years with Missouri.
No. 15 OKL. STATE 42
STILLWATER, Okla. — Clint Chelf completed 19 of 37 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 15 Oklahoma State to a 42-6 victory over Kansas.
Desmond Roland added 44 yards and a touchdown on 16 rushes for the Cowboys (8-1, 5-1 Big 12), who won their fifth straight game. Roland also had a 19-yard reception for a score early in the second quarter that gave OSU a 21-0 lead.
Montell Cozart threw for 58 yards while rushing for 55 on 18 carries for Kansas (2-7, 0-6), which lost its sixth in a row. Tony Pierson returned from a three-game absence due to a concussion and gained 87 yards on six rushes.
Oklahoma State jumped on top immediately when Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
No. 21 WISCONSIN 27
MADISON, Wis. — James White ran for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another score, and Wisconsin stalled BYU’s fast-paced offense .
White finished with 147 yards rushing, while Chris Borland looked just fine coming back from a hamstring injury in flying around the field for 13 tackles and two sacks for the Badgers (7-2).
Kyle Van Noy went step-for-step with Borland in a matchup of star linebackers with eight tackles and an interception for BYU (6-3). Taysom Hill threw two touchdown passes to Cody Hoffman, but the dual-treat quarterback was held in check by Wisconsin pressure.
White locked up the win with his third score on a 14-yard run with 13:51 left in the fourth for a three-possession lead.
No. 23 ARIZONA STATE 20
SALT LAKE CITY — Taylor Kelly ran for a touchdown and threw for another in the fourth quarter and Arizona State came from behind to beat Utah.
Sun Devils All-America defensive tackle Will Sutton sealed the victory with an interception at the line of scrimmage with 1:01 left at the Utah 25.
Stifled by Utah’s aggressive defense for most of three quarters, Kelly helped keep the Sun Devils (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) in the driver’s seat for the Pac-12 South title.
Kelly finished 19-for-31 passing for 144 yards and Marion Grice rushed 20 times for 136 yards. Grice busted through the Utah line and rumbled 38 yards to set up Kelly’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Richard Smith with 2:37 to play to make it 20-19. Utah’s Trevor Reilly sacked Kelly on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Travis Wilson was 6 for 21 for 121 yards for Utah (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12) and threw interceptions that ended the Utes’ last two drives. Wilson hit Sean Fitzgerald for a 12-yard touchdown with 5:19 left in the third quarter to give Utah a 19-7 lead and the Utes looked prime for a second home upset to go along with the one they sprung on Stanford last month.
KANSAS STATE 49
No. 25 TEXAS TECH 26
LUBBOCK, Texas — Jake Waters and Daniel Sams each ran for two touchdowns to lead Kansas State past Texas Tech.
Sams’ TDs came on a 1-yard rush and a 5-yarder, and Waters scored from 1 yard and 13 yards.
Waters threw a 20-yard touchdown to Tramaine Thompson. John Hubert, who scored on a 63-yard run early in the game, finished with 157 yards on 23 carries to lead the Wildcats.
Ty Zimmerman scored a 43-yard touchdown after intercepting a pass from Texas Tech backup quarterback Baker Mayfield early in the fourth quarter.
The win was the third in a row for the Wildcats (5-4, 3-3 Big 12), while the Red Raiders (7-3, 4-3) dropped their third straight game.
Mayfield, who came in for starter Davis Webb late in the second quarter, was 34 for 44 for 276 yards and two interceptions.
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