Week 13 CFB Roundup: Dawgs Bite Buckeyes in search of three-peat

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) runs against Ohio State during the second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) runs against Ohio State during the second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

With more than two  years of excellence being questioned and their coach banned from the Big House,  quarterback J.J. McCarthy, running back Blake Corum and No. 3 Michigan stared down No. 2 Ohio State again and earned a victory that will go down as one of the biggest in the history of college football’s winningest program.

Rod Moore’s interception in Michigan territory with 25 seconds left sealed a 30-24 win for the Wolverines on Saturday, running their win streak over the Buckeyes to three games while staying unbeaten with Jim Harbaugh serving out a suspension.

McCarthy, a third-year quarterback who could leave Michigan having never lost to Ohio State, said Harbaugh’s message to the Wolverines on Friday night echoed that of his old coach, the late Bo Schembechler.

“The whole mantra: the team, the team, the team,” McCarthy said, adding that Harbaugh told them: “We are that team.”

Moore’s pick set off a celebration on the home team’s sideline. McCarthy took a knee, Michigan fans poured over the brick walls onto the field and the Wolverines (12- 0, 9-0) were off to their third straight Big Ten title game.

In a season of high expectations that now has a championship-or-bust feel, Michigan is a victory away from a third consecutive College Football Playoff appearance. “We’re not done,” said Corum, who ran for 88 yards and two TDs.

For coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1), it’s another year of lamenting a loss in the most important game on the schedule for Ohio State and wondering what has happened to the program that spent a decade and a half dominating Michigan. Day is now 1-3 against the Wolverines, losing his last three. Before that skid, Ohio State had won eight straight and 15 of 16 against Michigan, including a 7-0 record under Day’s predecessor, Urban Meyer.

“We’re all disappointed,” Day said. “We know what this game means to so many people. To come up short is crushing.” McCarthy went 16 for 20 for 148 yards and a touchdown.

“In critical situations, I’m going to put the ball in your hands,” offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore — filling in for Harbaugh — said he told McCarthy before the game.

The 119th Ohio State-Michigan game — the 13th top-five matchup between the schools and yet another with Big Ten and national championship implications — was guaranteed to be memorable even before it kicked off.

With Michigan being investigated by the NCAA for allegations of in-person scouting and sign stealing, and Harbaugh finishing a three-game suspension imposed by the Big Ten, the circumstances around The Game were unprecedented and the animosity between the rivals never higher.

“There’s a lot of thoughts and things that I would love to say, but all I know is this team is as good as any team in the country and they prove it every week,” said Moore, who replaced Harbaugh for the fourth time this season.

IRON BOWL

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe and wide receiver Isaiah Bond rescued No. 8 Tide's playoff hopes, connecting for a last-minute TD on fourth and-goal from the 31 to beat Auburn 27-24 on Saturday.

Bond caught Milroe’s desperation heave in the end zone’s left corner with 32 seconds left to give the Crimson Tide (11-1, 8-0 SEC) a 10th straight win in the latest dramatic Iron Bowl.

“We’ve been on both sides of the good fortune and the misfortune, and I’ve gotta admit, we had good fortune,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “But it still comes down to ability to execute.” Wide receiver Ja’Varrius Johnson scored on a 27-yard catch and a 12-yard run to put the Tigers (6-6, 3-5) in position to win. 

Trailing by four with 1:43 left, the Crimson Tide had first-and-goal at the Auburn 7 before moving backward.

Alabama lost 18 yards on a bad snap and was pushed back 5 more yards with an illegal downfield pass on third down after Milroe crossed the line of scrimmage. Milroe passed for 259 yards and two TDs and ran for 107 yards.

Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton caught four passes for 107 yards, including a 68-yard TD. Bond had five catches for 75 yards. Favored by 12½ points in this one, the Tide get to face No. 1 Georgia in the SEC title game with playoff hopes intact, if still precarious. A muffed punt gave Alabama the ball at the Auburn 30 with 4:48 left.

But cornerback Nehemiah Pritchett upended a scrambling Milroe a yard shy of the first down on third-and-20. Running back Roydell Williams took a pitch and converted the fourth down, setting up the go-ahead score.

 CFB ROUNDUP

No. 1 Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 23:  At Atlanta, Kendall Milton ran for 156 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs (12-0), who capped a third straight unbeaten regular season with their sixth consecutive win over the Yellow Jackets (6-6). Georgia Tech led 10-7 after one quarter.

No. 4 Washington 24, Washington State 21: At Seattle, wide receiver Rome Odunze had a 23-yard run on fourth-and-1 from his 29 with 1:11 left for the Huskies (12-0, 9-0 Pac-12) to set up Grady Gross’ winning 42-yard field goal on the final play. Odunze also had seven catches for 120 yards and two TDs. Cam Ward threw for 317 yards and three TDs with three interceptions for the Cougars (5-7, 2-7).

No. 5 Florida State 24, Florida 15: At Gainesville, Fla., Trey Benson ran for 95 yards and three TDs, including a 26-yard score with 2:48 left, for the Seminoles (12-0) in their 18th straight win. Montrell Johnson ran for 107 yards and a TD for the Gators (5-7), who outgained FSU 232-224.

Kentucky 38, No. 9 Louisville 31: At Louisville, Ky., Ray Davis had a goahead 37-yard TD run with 1:02 left and had two 20-yard TD catches in the second half to rally the Wildcats (7-5) from a 10-point third-quarter deficit. Jawhar Jordan ran for two TDs for the Cardinals (10-2), who outgained Kentucky 403-289.

No. 14 Louisiana State 42, Texas A&M 30: At Baton Rouge, La., Jayden Daniels threw for 235 yards and four TDs and ran for 120 yards for the Tigers (9-3, 6-2 SEC), who trailed 24-14 in the third quarter. The Aggies (7-5, 4-4) outgained the nation’s leading offense 390-389.

No. 16 Arizona 59, Arizona State 23: At Tempe, Ariz., Noah Fifita threw for a program-record 527 yards and five TDs for the Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12), who notched their first six-game win streak since 1998. Arizona wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan had 11 catches for 266 yards and a TD. The Sun Devils (3-9, 2-7) yielded 619 yards.

No. 17 Notre Dame 56, Stanford 23: At Stanford, Calif., Audric Estime ran for 238 yards and four TDs for the Fighting Irish (9-3), who overcame three first-half turnovers. The Cardinal (3-9) finished winless at home in a nonCOVID year for the first time since 2006.

Iowa State 42, No. 19 Kansas State 35: At Manhattan, Kan., wide receiver Jaylin Noel had three catches for 160 yards and two TDs in the snow for the Cyclones (7-5, 6-3 Big 12), including a goahead 82-yard score with 8:04 left. Will Howard threw for 288 yards and a TD and ran for a score for the Wildcats (8-4, 6-3).

No. 21 Oklahoma State 40, Brigham Young 34, 2OT: At Stillwater, Okla., Ollie Gordon II ran for his fifth TD of the day in the second overtime and totaled 166 yards rushing for the Cowboys (9-3, 7-2 Big 12), who overcame an 18-point halftime deficit. Safety Trey Rucker forced and recovered a fumble on the last possession by the Cougars (5-7, 2-7).

No. 22 Liberty 42, Texas-El Paso 28: At El Paso, Texas, Quinto Cooley ran for three TDs for the Flames (12- 0, 8-0 C-USA), who capped the first unbeaten regular season in program history. Liberty had 287 yards rushing by halftime while holding the Miners (3-9, 2-6) to minus-2 yards on the ground.

No. 24 James Madison 56, Coastal Carolina 14: At Conway, S.C., Jordan McCloud threw for 324 yards and five TDs and ran for a score for the Dukes (11-1, 7-1 Sun Belt), who held the Chanticleers (7-5, 5-3) to 74 yards rushing. JMU wide receiver Elijah Sarratt had six catches for 107 yards and three TDs.

No. 25 Tennessee 48, Vanderbilt 24: At Knoxville, Tenn., Joe Milton III threw for 383 yards and four TDs and ran for two scores for the Volunteers (8-4, 4-4 SEC), who halted a two-game skid. The Commodores (2-10, 0-8) closed the season with 10 straight losses.

 

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