High 25 Abstract: No. 1 Alabama Overtakes No. 7 Florida
© Reuters. NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama in Florida
Najee Harris caught three touchdown passes and ran for two more points on Saturday night as No. 1 Alabama secured its place in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs with a 52:46 win over No. 7 Florida in the championship game of the Southeastern Conference in Atlanta.
Harris ran 178 yards with 31 runs while catching five passes for 67 yards. Mac Jones made 33 of 43 passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns with one interception, and DeVonta Smith added 15 catches for 184 yards with two points.
Despite those gaudy numbers, the Crimson Tide couldn’t relax until the end. The Gators (8-3) cut a 35-17 half-time deficit to 35-31 in the third quarter when Kyle Trask hit Trevon Grimes for a 50-yard hit and Nay’Quan Wright added a 3-yard touchdown run .
But Harris raised the Crimson Tide (11-0) by two points at 11:29 in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard fall that landed on the back of a defender and stretched the ball just over the plane’s goal line. It was decided just before the goal line but the call was lifted after verification.
No. 3 Clemson 34, No. 2 Notre Dame 10
Trevor Lawrence passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a third result as the Tigers took their sixth straight title at the Atlantic Coast Conference with a roar against the Fighting Irish.
Clemson improved to 10-1 to become only the third team in FBS history. Two win 10 or more games in 10 consecutive seasons. Notre Dame (10-1), who played in the first conference championship game in program history, suffered his first loss of the season.
The Tigers essentially made a spot in the college football playoffs, giving Clemson a chance to win his third national title in five years. Given Clemson’s profit margin, Notre Dame’s hopes for the CFP could be questionable. The Tigers win avenged a 47:40 double overtime loss at Notre Dame on November 7, a game Lawrence was unavailable in as he recovered from COVID-19.
No. 4 Ohio State 22, No. 14 Northwestern (NASDAQ 🙂 10
Trey Sermon broke team and Big Ten Championship Game records with 331 rushing yards when the Buckeyes rallied to defeat the Wildcats in Indianapolis.
Ohio State (6-0) were halfway down 10-6 but won their fourth straight title when Sermon completed 9-yard touchdown runs to take a 13-10 lead in the third quarter and 3 yards , four minutes before the final edge against the Wildcats (6-2).
While quarterback Justin Fields was struggling, Sermon took over and rushed for 271 yards in the second half. He finished with 29 trages. Fields finished the 12-of-27 race with two interceptions for 114 yards. Peyton Ramsey from the northwest was 24 of 37, passing for 224 yards and two picks.
No. 5 Texas A&M 34, Tennessee 13
Kellen Mond went through for one touchdown, ran for another, and won a total of 340 yards of attack, and Ainias Smith added two touchdowns to convert the hopeful aggies of the College Football Playoffs to a win against the Host Volunteers in Knoxville.
The Aggies (8-1, 8-1 SEC) answered an early Volunteers touchdown with 17 points in a row on the way to their seventh straight win. Moon was 26-for-32, passing 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He rushed 12 times for 59 yards and one score and, along with Isaiah Spiller (26 carry for 89 yards), helped the Aggies control the ball for 44:09 – above their season average of 36:50.
Eric Gray, the volunteer’s lead rusher, was unavailable for the game, and Tennessee was beaten from 497 to 213. Ty Chandler approached Tennessee at 31 yards in seven runs.
# 9 Cincinnati 27, # 23 Tulsa 24
Cole Smith scored a 34-yard field goal when time ran out to help the Bearcats defeat the Golden Hurricane in the American Athletic Conference championship game.
Desmond Ridder, who threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, responded to the Golden Hurricane touchdown late in the fourth quarter by marching the Bearcats across the field. The AAC Offensive Player of the Year ended 269 yards and 83 rushing yards to help the Bearcats (9-0) avenge a loss to Memphis in the 2019 conference title game.
Jaxon Player blocked a Cincinnati field goal attempt to score a game with just over six minutes of play time. Sam Crawford Jr. picked up a 54-yard catch and JuanCarlos Santana had a 13-yard score to knot the score at 24 for the Golden Hurricane (6-2).
No. 10 Oklahoma 27, No. 6 Iowa State 21
Tre Brown’s interception on the final run of the Cyclones helped secure the Sooners victory in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas.
Spencer Rattler threw for 272 yards and a touchdown while adding a quick score for Oklahoma (8-2). Rhamondre Stevenson added 97 yards on the floor.
Brock Purdy put up 322 yards and an air touchdown but injured Iowa State (8-3) with three interceptions, including the end of the game against Brown. Breece Hall’s runback was also held to a season low of 79 rushing yards.
# 24 San Jose State 34, Boise State 20
Nick Starkel threw three touchdown passes and set a conference title record of 453 yards to lead the Spartans to victory over the Broncos in the Mountain West Championship game in Las Vegas.
Tre Walker scored seven passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans (7-0), who prevailed in the first championship game of the program. Isaiah Hamilton and Derrick Deese Jr. also received touchdown passes from Starkel, who completed 32 of 52 passes, beating the 404-yard conference title game record set by former Fresno State star Derek Carr in 2013.
Matt Mercurio scored four goals when the state of San Jose opened a season of seven straight wins for the first time since the school’s undefeated roster in 1939 in 13 competitions. The win also marks San Jose State’s first win over the Broncos (5-2) in 15 meetings of all time.
– Field level media