Ok­la­homa re­tains Big 12 ti­tle

Led by Heis­man can­di­date Mur­ray, Soon­ers re­main in hunt for a play­off berth

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - SPORTS -

Ar­ling­ton, Texas Kyler Mur­ray threw for 379 yards and three touch­downs as No. 5 Ok­la­homa beat No. 9 Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 cham­pi­onship game Satur­day, with the Soon­ers aveng­ing their only loss and mak­ing their case for a re­turn to the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

Mur­ray, the Heis­man Tro­phy-con­tend­ing dual-threat quar­ter­back who was 25-for-34 pass­ing, threw two of his TDS to Grant Cal­caterra. That in­cluded an im­pres­sive one-handed grab for an 18-yard score on a third-and-10 play with two min­utes left as the Soon­ers (12-1, No. 5 CFP) won their sev­enth con­sec­u­tive game.

“That catch will live on in Ok­la­homa his­tory for­ever,” coach Lin­coln Ri­ley said. “What a play.”

Ok­la­homa is the first Power Five team to win four con­sec­u­tive out­right con­fer­ence ti­tles since Florida in the SEC in the mid-1990s.

“We’re thrilled by the vic­tory. It’s been a chal­leng­ing year, which they all are,” Ri­ley said. “But to sit here now as four-time de­fend­ing Big 12 cham­pion, man, that sounds good.”

Sam Eh­linger was 23-for-36 pass­ing for 349 yards with two touch­downs, and he also ran for two scores for Texas (9-4), but his fi­nal pass was picked off by Tre Nor­wood at the 1 in the fi­nal minute.

The Soon­ers went ahead to stay on Austin Seib­ert’s third field goal, a 31-yarder with 12:37 left that was good af­ter ric­o­chet­ing off the top of the left up­right to make it 30-27.

Clem­son 42, Pitts­burgh 10: Clem­son crushed Pitt at Bank of Amer­ica Sta­dium to clinch a fourth con­sec­u­tive ACC cham­pi­onship. The Tigers also likely clinched a spot in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year. Clem­son run­ning back Travis Eti­enne scored on a 75-yard touch­down run on the first play of the game and went on to rush for 156 yards and two touch­downs on 12 car­ries.

ohio State 45, North­west­ern 24: Dwayne Hask­ins added five more touch­down passes to his sin­gle-season record and No. 6 Ohio State re­lied on its staunch de­fense to hold off a sec­ond-half charge from No. 21 North­west­ern to claim its sec­ond straight Big Ten cham­pi­onship. The Buck­eyes (12-1, 9-1 Big Ten, No. 6 CFP) won their third ti­tle in five years and their fifth con­sec­u­tive game — but it’s un­likely to get the Buck­eyes into the fourteam Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

UCF 56, Mem­phis 41: Darriel Mack shrugged off two early turnovers to rush for three sec­ond-half touch­downs and rally No. 7 UCF to a vic­tory over Mem­phis in the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game. With the red-shirt fresh­man fill­ing in for in­jured quar­ter­back Mcken­zie Mil­ton, the Knights (120, No. 8 CFP) won their sec­ond straight league ti­tle and ex­tended the na­tion’s long­est win­ning streak to 25 games. Mack also threw for 348 yards and two TDS with­out an in­ter­cep­tion to keep UCF, the only FBS team to fin­ish un­de­feated a year ago, in the con­ver­sa­tion about who’s de­serv­ing of con­sid­er­a­tion for berths in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

Fresno St. 19, Boise St. 16 (ot): Ron­nie Rivers scored from one yard out to give Fresno State the up­set vic­tory in the Moun­tain West cham­pi­onship. Haden Hog­garth kicked a 23-yard field goal on Boise State’s over­time pos­ses­sion but the Bron­cos de­fense couldn’t hold on.

Iowa State 27, Drake 24: David Mont­gomery ran for 145 yards and two touch­downs and No. 24 Iowa State barely sur­vived a near-up­set by non-schol­ar­ship FCS school Drake. Brock Purdy had 153 yards pass­ing and a TD for the Cy­clones (8-4), who fought through per­sis­tent rain and a sloppy field to win their sixth straight home game, ty­ing a school record.

Jef­frey Mcwhorter / As­so­ci­ated Press

Ok­la­homa quar­ter­back Kyler Mur­ray looks to pass as Texas line­backer An­thony Wheeler ap­plies pres­sure dur­ing the first half of the Big 12 Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game on Satur­day in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

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