No. 1 Alabama blanks No. 18 Mis­sis­sippi State

The Norwalk Hour - - SPORTS -

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Josh Ja­cobs ran for a touch­down and caught a scor­ing pass and No. 1 Alabama had its sec­ond straight shutout in a 24-0 vic­tory over No. 18 Mis­sis­sippi State on Satur­day.

With quar­ter­back Tua Tago­v­ailoa still bat­tling a gimpy right knee, the Crim­son Tide (10-0, 7-0 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, No. 1 CFP) turned to de­fense for an­other vin­tage per­for­mance.

The of­fense raced to a fast start but mostly stalled from there against the Bull­dogs (6-4, 2-4) and the na­tion’s No. 2 scor­ing de­fense.

Tago­v­ailoa started the fourth quar­ter on a sta­tion­ary bike af­ter get­ting his right knee checked out in the med­i­cal tent fol­low­ing a hard hit. He didn’t re­turn and wasn’t needed.

Fresh from a 29-0 vic­tory over No. 9 LSU, the Tide de­fense hasn’t al­lowed a point in nine-plus quar­ters. Alabama had five sacks and Mis­sis­sippi State had four in a rough day for both quar­ter­backs.

Tago­v­ailoa was 14 of 21 for 164 yards with a touch­down and an in­ter­cep­tion. He also lost a fum­ble on a botched ex­change with Damien Har­ris. Backup Jalen Hurts missed his sec­ond straight game with an an­kle in­jury. Ja­cobs ran for 97 yards on 20 car­ries as Alabama. He scored on a 1-yard run and a 14-yard catch.


PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Shea Pat­ter­son threw for 260 yards and three touch­downs, Karan Hig­don had two 1-yard sco­ri­ung runs and Michi­gan kept its na­tional cham­pi­onship hopes in­tact.

The Wolver­ines (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 4 CFP) have won nine straight and re­main in first place in the con­fer­ence’s East Di­vi­sion. They have a fi­nal tuneup against In­di­ana next week at the Big House be­fore clos­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son at No. 8 Ohio State.

Rut­gers (1-9, 0-7) didn’t have a yard pass­ing un­til the third quar­ter.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Will Grier threw three touch­down passes for West Vir­ginia.

Chas­ing a berth in the Big 12 cham­pi­onship game, West Vir­ginia (8-1, 6-1, No. 9 CFP) had no trou­ble against the in­jury-rid­dled Horned Frogs (4-6, 2-5).

Grier was 25 of 39 for 343 yards. TCU was held to a sea­son-low 222 yards of of­fense, the third time in four games it has had fewer than 300.


EAST LANSING, Mich. — Drue Chris­man kept Michi­gan State pinned back with a sen­sa­tional sec­ond half of punt­ing, and Ohio State even­tu­ally pulled away.

The Buck­eyes (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) en­joyed a huge ad­van­tage in field po­si­tion dur­ing the sec­ond half. Chris­man’s punts forced Michi­gan State (6-4, 4-3, No. 18) to start its first five drives af­ter half­time from its own 5, 6, 3, 1 and 2-yard line.

On the fourth of those pos­ses­sions, the Spar­tans had to punt from their own end zone. They took a safety that ap­peared in­ten­tional, giv­ing Ohio State a 9-6 lead. The en­su­ing free kick went out of bounds, giv­ing the Buck­eyes the ball at the 50, and then Chris­man pinned Michi­gan State back again.

Ohio State cap­i­tal­ized on that punt when a shot­gun snap by Michi­gan State hit the man in mo­tion. Dre’Mont Jones re­cov­ered the fum­ble in the end zone, giv­ing Ohio State a 16-6 ad­van­tage.


BOUL­DER, Colo. — Gard­ner Min­shew II over­came a slow start and three fourth-down fail­ures to lead Wash­ing­ton State past nose-div­ing Colorado.

The Cougars (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 8 CFP) won their sixth straight, but it wasn’t as easy as ex­pected against the Buf­faloes (5-5, 2-5), who lost their fifth straight de­spite the re­turn of star re­ceiver Laviska Shenault Jr.

Min­shew was 35 of 58 for 335 yards and two TDs. He had a 10-yard scor­ing run in the fourth quar­ter.

Shenault was rusty in his re­turn from a right turf toe in­jury. He caught 10 passes for 102 yards but cost his team dearly with back-to­back drops and a lost fum­ble in the sec­ond half.

NO. 11 UCF 35, NAVY 24

OR­LANDO, Fla. — McKenzie Mil­ton threw two touch­down passes and ran for a score, help­ing UCF ex­tend the na­tion’s long­est win­ning streak to 22 games.

Mil­ton com­pleted 17 of 21 passes with­out an in­ter­cep­tion, and the Knights (9-0, 6-0 Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence, No. 12 CFP) re­mained one of four un­beaten teams in the Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion, along with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame. UCF stayed atop the AAC East Di­vi­sion stand­ings and on course to be part of the dis­cus­sion about which teams are wor­thy of berths in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

Navy (2-8, 1-5) has lost seven straight.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jar­rett Guar­an­tano threw a 39-yard touch­down pass to Mar­quez Call­away on the fi­nal play of the first half and Dar­rell Tay­lor had four sacks for Ten­nessee.

Tay­lor also forced and re­cov­ered a fum­ble to help Ten­nessee (5-5, 2-4 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence) beat Ken­tucky (7-3, 5-3, No. 11 CFP) at Ney­land Sta­dium for a 17th straight time.

Guar­an­tano was 12 of 20 for 197 yards, in­clud­ing a 2-yard touch­down pass to Dominick Wood-An­der­son that ex­tended Ten­nessee’s ad­van­tage to 24-0 in the third quar­ter.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Feleipe Franks si­lenced the home crowd twice af­ter touch­down runs, seem­ingly send­ing a mes­sage af­ter get­ting benched last week and booed ear­lier in the game, and Florida ral­lied to beat South Carolina to end a two-game los­ing streak.

Franks dived across the goal line on a fourth-down play from in­side the 1 with 4:09 to play, putting the Ga­tors (7-3, 5-3 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, No. 15 CFP) ahead for the first time. Florida over­came a 17-point deficit in the sec­ond half to beat the Game­cocks (5-4, 4-4).

C.J. Hen­der­son ended South Carolina’s come­back at­tempt by pick­ing off Jake Bent­ley’s pass.


STATE COL­LEGE, Pa. — Trace McSor­ley tied the Penn State record for vic­to­ries by a quar­ter­back with 29, lead­ing the Nit­tany Lions past Wis­con­sin.

Miles San­ders ran for 159 yards and a touch­down on 23 car­ries, and McSor­ley com­pleted 19 of 25 passes for 160 yards and a TD while match­ing Todd Black­ledge’s vic­tory to­tal from 1980-82.

DeAn­dre Thomp­kins caught a touch­down pass for Penn State (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten, No. 20 CFP).

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