PISCATWAY, New Jersey. James Franklin scored his 100th career coaching win by watching Pennsylvania No. 11 make big strides every step of the way.
Sean Clifford ran for a touchdown and threw another, and the Nittany Lions scored twice on a fumble and once on a kickoff to defeat Rutgers 55–10 on Saturday.
Freshman Nick Singleton scored in a return kick from 100 yards, Kobe King gave Penn State (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) a forever lead with a 14-yard fumble and G’Air Brown rumbled 70 yards with another fumble when the Nittany Lions opened it up in the second half.
“We play very good complementary football,” Franklin said. “We scored three non-aggressive touchdowns, which is special. We play very well defensively.”
Clifford (17 of 26 for 157 yards) threw a 10-yard TD pass to Tyler Warren and scored a goal on a 14-yard run as the Nittany Lions beat Rutgers (4–7, 1–7) for the 16th consecutive time.
Penn State was leading 28-10 in the half and the game was almost over after Curtis Jacobs fired freshman quarterback Gavin Wimsat in the fourth play of the second half, Brown caught a fumble and got a clean run to the end zone.
“I thought we were dominating,” said Jacobs, who felt the sensation and score made the difference. “We had a bit of a setback early on, but we were able to get back to where we needed to be.”
The last time Penn State scored in a game on offense, defense and special teams was in 2017 against Indiana.
Freshman Kytron Allen rushed for 117 yards and scored on an 8-yard run as Penn State won their third in a row. The Nittany Lions defense limited Rutgers to 167 yards and caused three passes that led to 21 points.
Freshman quarterback Gavin Wimsat (10 of 29 for 122) threw a 4-yard touchdown on Shamin Jones in the first quarter to give Rutgers a last 10-7 last. The Scarlet Knights have lost 37 games in a row to ranked opponents, a streak dating back to 2009. 55 points is the maximum they have allowed this season.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said that his team’s margin of error is very small. He felt that the biggest game could come in the second quarter, when his team trailed 14-10. Penn State punt Barney Amor mishandled the snap and was tackled near his own 20-yard line.
The offside penalty allowed Penn State to retain possession.
“We’re not good enough to get over it yet,” said Schiano, later remarking that he sincerely believes the Scarlet Knights are getting better as a program and will compete for the championship in the future.
Singleton and Allen are the first two freshmen in conference history to rush at least 700 yards for the same team.
“It just shows that we’re doing something right as a (attacking line) unit,” said linesman Sam Wormley. “That our runners can trust us and hit holes and believe in our blocks and we are going to make that block. It just shows that as a unit we are all in this together.”
NOTES: … Singleton’s return was a first for Penn State since Lamont Wade had a 100-yard throw against Michigan State in 2020… It was the second kickoff return for TD against Rutgers this season. Jaylin Lucas of Indiana opened the game with a 93-yarder earlier this month. King’s TD was Nittany Lions’ first fumble for TD since Torrance Brown returned for 9 yards in 2016. … Rutgers player Adam Korsak hit 12 times and now holds an NCAA record of 339 attempts, beating the old mark of 337 set by Alexander Kinal Wake Forest (2012-15). His 14,876 punt yards is also a record, breaking the old mark of 14,546 from Kent State Northwest’s Derek Admas (2016-2021) of 14,546.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions are still in contention for the big bowl spot. If No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan get college football playoff berths, it could be the Rose Bowl. The two undefeated teams will face off next Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have lost four games in a row and their hopes for a second straight game in the postseason have been dashed.
Penn State: Hosts Michigan.
Rutgers: in Maryland.
EUGENE, Oregon – Bo Nicks started the week as a gnarled spectator, sitting in the practice room and getting into rehab. He finished it still hobbled but celebrating on the field after helping keep Oregon’s hopes of returning to the Pac-12 championship game.
The Knicks threw for 287 yards and threw one touchdown despite a shin injury, Oregon intercepting three Utah quarterbacks. Cameron Risingassists, and the 12th-place Ducks eliminated the No. 10 Utes 20–17 on Saturday night.
A week after their college football playoff hopes evaporated, the Ducks pulled off a desperate effort that kept their chances of a fourth straight trip to a conference championship game.
And this was personified by their battered defender.
“It was really important for him to get on the field and show a bold game, and especially for this team,” said the Oregon coach. Dan Lanning said.
The Ducks (9-2, 7-1, No. 12 CFP) only need a win against rival Oregon State next Saturday to book a ticket to Las Vegas and a date with Southern California.
The Knicks were clearly limited after suffering a right ankle/foot injury late in last week’s loss to Washington, which snapped Oregon’s 23-game home win streak. He threw a 4-yard TD pass to Troy Franklin in the first half and Bucky Irving added a 10-yard TD run as the Ducks took a 17-3 lead at halftime.
Camden Lewis added 30-yard and 41-yard field goals for the Ducks, the second of which came at the start of the fourth quarter and proved to be the winner.
The Knicks completed 25 of 37 passes, and his own interception late in the fourth quarter proved inexpensive for the Ducks. Knicks’ first carry of the night came with less than 2 minutes left when he rigged a pitch, dived 2 yards and took the first ducks in the clinch.
The Knicks entered the game as the Ducks’ third-best of the season, averaging over 50 yards per game and throwing 14 rushing touchdowns. Lanning said the quarterback was asked before the run if he could handle the game.
“The guy has a heart. He cares about the game, cares about his team. I think it shows in the way he plays,” Lanning said.
Karen Reed fumbled for 11 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter from a bad reverse of the Ducks and ignited the Utes. Jaylen Dixon later added an 18-yard touchdown on a jet-boom in the third quarter, but The Utes (8-3, 6-2, No. 10 CFP) couldn’t get past his quarterback’s night shift.
Rising was 21 of 38 passes, set a career high with three interceptions, and botched an easy fourth down in the fourth quarter deep in Oregon territory. Two selections were made after deflected passes, but the most costly was Rising’s late shot through the center, which Oregon’s Bennett Williams caught in midfield with 4:15 left, his second pick of the game.
Utah returned the ball, but Rising was unable to connect with Solomon Enis on the fourth and sixth shot from midfield in the final minutes.
“Cam doesn’t seem to have found the rhythm he usually has.” – Utah’s coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid there were 11 catches for 99 yards and Rising targeted him 17 times. No other Utah receiver had more than five catches, and Rising’s worst throw of the game was arguably the fourth pass he threw low, destined for Kincaid on the Oregon 26 with 6:54 left.
That 11-game drive was one of three long possessions when the Utes came away empty. Utah went 12 and 14 games in the first half and failed to score.
“It just wasn’t good enough,” Rising said. “They didn’t do what needed to be done to succeed and kept shooting themselves in the foot. Personally, I have to play better.”
Williams didn’t have an interception for the season, but had two interceptions against Rising. Noah Sewell there was another Oregon interception.
“Today our attack failed to take us to the end. Our defense needs to be activated at some point,” Williams said. “I don’t think it’s about the coaches. I don’t think it concerns anyone other than us, especially in the back.”
Utah: Utes’ hopes of returning to Las Vegas and defending their title at the conference are dashed. While UCLA’s loss to USC benefited the Utes, the Ducks only need a win over Oregon State to secure their place in the championship game and send the Utes to a minor bowl game.
Oregon: The Ducks were bullied last season when they lost to the Utes 76–17 in two mishaps. The Oregon defense limited Utes to just 326 yards and Utah RB Tavion Thomas was held for 55 yards on 19 carries. The Ducks lost 522 yards in last week’s loss to the Washingtons.
Utah: The Utah will close the regular season in Colorado next Saturday.
Oregon: The Ducks travel to Corvallis to face rival Oregon State next Saturday.
LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops signed an amended contract extension through June 2031 that would raise his base annual salary to $8.6 million plus benefits in February.
The 10-year-old coach, who is earning $6.35 million this season, signed a new contract on November 11, the day before the Wildcats lost 24-21 to Vanderbilt. It replaces a previous extension signed last December that ran through June 2028 and removes a clause that automatically extended his contract for one year if Kentucky won seven games and two years if it won 10 games.
The deal increases Stoops’ buyout from $1.75 million to $4.5 million if he leaves the program by June 30, with a $500,000 decrease through June 30 each year thereafter.
Athletic director Mitch Bernhart said in a November 18 press release that was posted on the school’s website that the deal had been in the works for over a month and added that continuity was “more and more important in today’s environment.”