LAS VEGAS – No. 12 “Utah” drove a lame, bloody Caleb Williams and swept past No. 4 in Southern California 47-24 on Friday night to win the Pac-12 championship and cast doubt on USC college football playoff hopes.
A loss to the Trojans (11-2) could pave the way for Ohio State (11-1) to a playoff berth. USC is fourth in the CFP rankings, the Buckeyes are a step behind.
Ohio State was supposed to be Utah’s biggest fan. The Buckeyes moved up the playoff rankings, with Michigan 12-0 in second place in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game, giving the Big Ten Conference two playoff teams for the first time. It will also extend the drought in the Pac-12 playoffs – Washington in 2017 is the last team in this conference to make the playoffs.
Utah (10-3) is heading to the Rose Bowl, but the Utah have already gone there regardless of the outcome of the title game. They are only responsible for USC’s losses, beating the Trojans 43-42 on October 15 in Salt Lake City.
In the rematch, Utes had 533 offensive yards and cam growth walked for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Williams threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns. He entered the game as a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy but turned around after suffering an injury in the first quarter.
The Trojans looked like they were about to run away with the game, taking a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter after some stellar play by Williams.
He appears to have injured his left knee or leg in the first quarter of a 59-yard run, at the end of which he was hit hard, and suffered a severe cut on the little finger of his throwing hand. He limped for most of the game and was not the same after a flawless first quarter, in which the Trojans beat Utah 194-70 on aggregate and Williams scored both touchdowns.
After USC failed to pick up fourth and eighth from Utah’s 37-yard line, Utes scored two touchdowns in the last 3:55 of the first half and suddenly the game was tied at 17. Instead of a rout, the game was beginning to look like the shootout that Utes won in October .
The game took on this tone at times in the second half, but USC had no answer to slow Utah, who outscored the Trojans 44-7 in overcoming a two-touchdown deficit.
An announced sold-out crowd of 61,195 made it the biggest Pac-12 championship on a neutral ground. He broke the previous record of 58,476 fans. who watched Southern California-Stanford in Santa Clara, California in 2015.
ARLINGTON, Texas. Ty Zentner hit a 31-yard goal in overtime as the 13th-seeded Kansas State team beat No. 3 TCU 31–28 in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. has already done enough to qualify for the four-team college football playoffs.
The Wildcats scored the game-winning field goal after TCU (12-1) opened possession in overtime and Kendra Miller was stopped by consecutive games from within 1.
Deuce Vaughn ran 130 yards and a touchdown and Will Howard threw two TDs for the Wildcats (10-3, No. 10 CFP), who had taken a 28-10 lead early in the second quarter six weeks earlier before TCU scored the last 28 points of the game.
It was one of five games the Horned Frogs (12-1, #3 CFP) won while trailing after the break. But they couldn’t do it again, with a shot at being the first Big 12 team other than Oklahoma to make the playoffs.
TCU, the first Big 12 team to finish the regular season undefeated since Texas in 2009, could still make the playoffs. While it helped their cause that fourth-place Southern California (11-2) lost 47-24 to Utah in Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game, the Frogs will now have to wait until the final CFP rankings come out. on Sunday.
“Look at their schedule. You think about how they performed throughout the year,” Jormark said. “I think regardless of that, they should definitely be in the game.”
SAN ANTONIO – Frank Harris threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 49 yards and another scoring run to elevate UTSA’s No. 23 to its second straight U.S. Conference Championship with a 48-27 victory over North Texas on Friday night at the Alamodome.
UTSA flew out of North Texas for the second time in six weeks. In the October 21 game, Harris needed a 10-yard pass to De’Corian Clark 15 seconds left to give UTSA a 31–27 victory.
Not wanting a repeat of their regular season finale a week earlier, in which UTSA found themselves down 24-0 against UTEP, the team started shooting from the start, scoring on first possession.
Trailing 10-7, the Roadrunners scored 17 unanswered points, including 10 in the final 1:12 of the first half to take a 24-10 lead at half-time, and never fell behind again.
Harris and the offense, which has scored at least 30 points in 12 of 13 games this season, continued to put pressure on him with 571 offensive yards. Harris had assists for 32, 14, and 39 yards senior. Zachary Franklinand his fourth, a 16-yard shot to youth tight end Oscar Cardenas, sealed the win with 4:07 left.
junior defender Austin Aungwho engineered a scoring shot that left North Texas 34–27 early in the fourth quarter, threw for 194 yards and scored, but was knocked down twice.
The Roadrunners, who have been leading the conference this season, have improved to 11-2 and will be waiting for an invitation to the bowl. Predictions include a potential New Orleans Bowl bid. North Texas fell to 7-6 and is eligible for the bowl.
The title game was the last Conference-USA game for both programs, which are due to join the AAC next season. UTSA walks away with straight crowns and UNT walks out with two straight title defeats. The Mean Green lost to Florida Atlantic 41–17 in the 2017 C-USA Championship.
HE WILL NOT HE?
Harris, a sixth-year senior who still has one year of eligibility, has not yet decided if he will return next season as the Runners’ signal caller. He set UTSA passing records for yards in a season (3,865), career (9,158), and touchdowns in a season (31) and career (73).
QBS FOR BOOKS
While Franklin held the UTSA record for most career touchdowns, UNT’s Aune’s single scoring shot gave him a UNT season-high 32 touchdowns.