Oklahoma retains Big 12 title
Led by Heisman candidate Murray, Sooners remain in hunt for a playoff berth
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.
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.