Elliott’s big day leads Ohio St. past Indiana 34-27
Ezekiel Elliott had an electrifying second half with touchdown runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards and finished with a career-best 274 yards to help top-ranked Ohio State hold off Indiana 34-27 for its 18th win in a row in college football on Saturday.
It was hard day for several of the top-10 ranked teams in action.
Florida upset No.3-ranked Mississippi, Alabama reasserted its national title credentials with victory over No.8 Georgia, No.2-ranked Michigan State survived a scare from Purdue, and Clemson downed No.6-ranked Notre Dame.
Ohio State was made to work for its victory at Indiana. Especially at the end, when Buckeyes cornerback Eli Apple batted away a desperation pass in the back of the end zone as time expired.
From the start, the game was full of surprises. Indiana gambled twice on fourth down in the first half — including a fake punt from its 16 that failed. Ohio State fumbled four times and wound up with three turnovers and eight major penalties.
The teams combined for four scoring runs — three from Elliott — that went for more than 50 yards during a 13-minute stretch in the second half.
The Buckeyes also extended their Big Ten regular-season record streak to 25 in a row — and could tie Oklahoma for the most weeks ranked No. 1 (101), if they can hold onto it.
Will Grier threw four touchdown passes to four receivers — all in the first half — and No.25 Florida upset third-ranked Mississippi 38-10.
He completed 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards for the Gators. He was poised in the pocket, precise with every throw and even closer to perfect than he was down the stretch against Tennessee last week.
Jake Coker ran the offense to perfection, the defense turned in a dominating performance, and No. 13 Alabama even got a touchdown from its special teams in a 38-10 rout of Georgia that re-established the Crimson Tide as a force in the national race.
Coming of a home loss to Mississippi two weeks ago, Alabama jumped ahead 24-3 at halftime and iced the victory on Georgia’s first offensive play of the second half. Eddie Jackson intercepted Brice Ramsey’s pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Coker, with an assist from Lane Kiffin’s play-calling, completed 11 of 16 for 190 yards, passed for one touchdown, and ran for another.
LJ Scott ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and Michigan State held on through a lackluster second half to beat Purdue 24-21.
The Spartans led 21-0 at halftime, but Purdue had the ball near midfield with a chance to tie or take the lead before David Blough threw incomplete on fourth down with about a minute to play in the game.
Michigan State’s Connor Cook went 13 of 19 for 139 yards and a touchdown, and became the school’s career leader with his 28th victory as the starting quarterback.
Trevone Boykin threw five touchdown passes, including four to freshman KaVontae Turpin, and No.4-ranked TCU rode a 30-point first quarter to a second straight rout of Texas, 50-7.
Josh Doctson broke the TCU record for receiving TDs with a pair of scores and the Horned Frogs won their 13th straight game, second nationally to Ohio State’s 18-game run.
Seth Russell passed for 286 yards and four touchdowns and ran for two more scores, Shock Linwood ran for a career-high 221 yards and two touchdowns and fifth-ranked Baylor began its pursuit of a third consecutive Big 12 championship with a 63-35 victory over Texas Tech.
Corey Coleman caught touchdown passes of 24, 16 and 16 yards.
Deshaun Watson threw two touchdowns pass and ran for a score, and Clemson stopped DeShone Kizer on a tying 2-point conversion to help the Tigers hold off No.6 ranked Notre Dame, 24-22.
The No.12-ranked Tigers linebacker B.J. Goodson had an interception and a fumble recovery to halt two fourth-quarter drives by the Fighting Irish. But the biggest stop was by defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, who brought down Kizer short of the goal line with 7 seconds left.
Mike Bercovici passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, and Arizona State got its season back on track with a victory over seventh-ranked UCLA, 38-23.
Tim White and D. J. Foster caught scoring passes for the Sun Devils, as Arizona State built a 29-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter and then hung on.
Leonard Fournette highlighted his third straight 200-yard game with a 75-yard touchdown run, and No.9-ranked LSU beat Eastern Michigan, 44-22.
Fournette had 233 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.