Crimson Tide wins 55-44 over old rival Auburn
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (AP) — Alabama’s Amari Cooper tied his own college record with 224 yards receiving and caught three touchdown passes in the Crimson Tide’s 55-44 comeback victory over Auburn on Saturday in the highest-scoring encounter between the two longstanding rivals.
In the other key local-rivalry games, top-ranked Florida State survived some struggles by quarterback Jameis Winston and beat Florida, Oregon cruised to a comfortable win over Oregon State, while Mississippi defeated Mississippi State.
Alabama quarterback Blake Sims passed for touchdown strikes of 39 and 75 yards in the third quarter for the Crimson Tide, who had already clinched a spot in the SEC championship game against Missouri.
Auburn surged ahead 36-27 before losing its third straight Southeast Conference game in a season that once also carried playoff hopes.
Cooper, who had 13 catches, gained 141 yards in the third quarter alone.
Florida State made it 28 straight wins by defeating Florida 24-19, completing consecutive unbeaten season for the first time in Seminoles history.
Dalvin Cook ran for a career-high 144 yards for Florida State, which will face Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship decider next weekend.
Winston threw a career-worst four interceptions, including three in the first quarter. He finished 12 of 24 for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
It was the final game for Gators head coach Will Muschamp.
Oregon’s Marcus Mariota threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 39 yards and two more scores to lead the Ducks past Oregon State 47-19.
Oregon will face Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game Friday.
It was Oregon’s seventh straight win overall and seventh in the series against the rival Beavers who lost six of their last seven games and failed to become bowl eligible.
Mississippi’s Jaylen Walton had a 91-yard touchdown run and running back Jordan Wilkins threw a 31-yard scoring pass to lead the Rebels past Mississippi State 31-17.
Quarterback Bo Wallace threw for 296 yards despite completing just 13 of 30 passes.
The loss by the Bulldogs gave Alabama the SEC Western Division title.
Bayor’s Bryce Petty threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns before getting knocked out of the game with a concussion as the playoff-chasing Bears downed Texas Tech 48-46.
The Bears are guaranteed at least a share of their second consecutive conference title if they win at home over Kansas State next Saturday.
Baylor is also hoping for a much bigger prize, but this close game won’t help in that quest. They were already two playoff ranking spots behind Big 12 co-leader Texas Christian, which thrashed Texas on Thursday.
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott scored untouched on a 44-yard run on fourth-and-1 with 4:58 left, lifting the Buckeyes to a 42-28 win over Michigan despite losing star quarterback J.T. Barrett to a broken ankle late in the game.
Ohio State will face Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
Michigan will not play in the bowl series and the future of coach Brady Hoke is in doubt.
Michigan State’s R.J. Shelton returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and Jeremy Langford ran for 118 yards and two scores as the Spartans won 34-10 against Penn State.
The Spartans reached 10 wins in a season for the fourth time in the past five seasons under coach Mark Dantonio. The college had only reached that once before his arrival.
Kansas State moved into a tie atop the Big 12 standings by thrashing rival Kansas 51-13, with Jake Waters throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns for the Wildcats.
Wisconsin overcame a two-touchdown deficit to beat Minnesota 34-24 and earn a spot in the Big Ten championship game, with Melvin Gordon running for 151 yards and two scores for the Badgers.
Georgia Tech’s Harrison Butker kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, and D.J. White picked off a pass in overtime to preserve the Yellow Jackets’ 30-24 win over state rival Georgia.
Clemson ended a run of five-straight losses to rival South Carolina, with Artavis Scott’s two long touchdown catches helping the Tigers win 35-17.
Louisville’s Brandon Radcliff ran 4 yards for a touchdown with 2:47 remaining and safety Gerod Holliman had a collegiate record-tying 14th interception of the season with 35 seconds left, helping the Cardinals beat Kentucky 44-40.
Boise State rolled past Utah State 50-19 to secure a spot in the Mountain West title game, with Jay Ajayi running for a career-best 229 yards and five touchdowns for the Broncos.