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Ohio State tops Penn State, locks up Big Ten East title

AP

J.K. Dobbins rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns and No. 2 Ohio State locked up the Big Ten East title Saturday, surviving its first real test of the season with a 28-17 victory over No. 9 Penn State.

The Buckeyes held on after Penn State (9-2, 7-2) took advantage of two second-half turnovers to climb back into the game in the third quarter after going down 21-0. This was a far different scenario for Ohio State, which blew out its first 10 opponents.

The Buckeyes (10-0, 8-0 Big Ten) were clinging to a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter when Justin Fields threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave to create some breathing room.

The Ohio State defense, with Chase Young back from a two-game suspension, then shut down two late Penn State drives on fourth down. The last drive included back-to-back sacks of backup quarterback Will Levis by Young and linebacker Baron Browning.

Fields fumbled away the ball twice, once as he was crossing the goal line for an apparent touchdown. But he got critical yards on the ground, rushing for 68 yards on 21 carries and threw beautiful second half touchdown passes to K.J. Hill and Olave.

Dobbins was responsible for both first-half touchdowns, a 4-yard plunge in the first quarter and a 2-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal with 2 minutes left in the half. He finished the first half with 89 rushing yards.

No. 4 Georgia 19, No. 24 Texas A&M 13

In Athens, Georgia, George Pickens scored Georgia’s only touchdown, Rodrigo Blankenship booted four field goals and the defense stymied Texas A&M.

Georgia (10-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 4 CFP) wrapped up its conference schedule and stayed on course to make a run at the College Football Playoff.

While the Bulldogs struggled offensively, the defense turned in another dominating performance. Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3) was held to just minus-1 yards rushing and 274 yards overall, one week after piling up 319 yards on the ground in a rout of South Carolina.

But it was a struggle all the way for the Bulldogs, who managed only 260 total yards and didn’t seal the victory under D’Andre Swift broke off an 11-yard run on third-and-1 with 2 ½ minutes remaining.

Blankenship connected on field goals of 41, 49, 37 and 31 yards to become Georgia’s career scoring leader with 418 points.

No. 5 Alabama 66, Western Colorado 3

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mac Jones passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns in little more than a half and Alabama began life without Tua Tagovailoa with a romp over Western Carolina.

With Tagovailoa watching much of the game from a cart behind the bench, the Crimson Tide (10-1) treated its injured quarterback to a one-sided show against the Catamounts (3-9). Alabama is ranked fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings and hoping to somehow make the field despite failing to win the SEC West.

This one was about taking care of business five days after Tagovailoa underwent surgery on his right hip. It wasn’t the type of game for impressing the selection committee.

Alabama forced five turnovers, including Xavier McKinney’s 81-yard interception return for a touchdown, and got big plays from Jones and wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Jones completed 10 of 12 passes with only one attempt after halftime in his second career start. Smith had four catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder when he juked a defender before sprinting to the end zone. Waddle produced 101 yards and took a screen 54 yards for a touchdown, then returned a punt 49 yards to near the goal line.

No. 11 Minnesota 38, Northwestern 22

In Evanston, Illinois, Tanner Morgan led Minnesota to scores on its first three possessions and finished with four touchdown passes, and the Gophers bounced back from their first loss of the season.

The Gophers (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP), who lost at Iowa last week, strengthened their grip on first place in the West Division.

Morgan, the Big Ten’s leading passer, came out firing following a week in concussion protocol after absorbing back-to-back sacks by the Hawkeyes. The redshirt sophomore, listed as questionable until Saturday morning, has thrown 26 touchdown passes this season to set a school record. Morgan threw three TD passes to Rashod Bateman and one to Tyler Johnson against Northwestern (2-9, 0-8).

Morgan zipped a 19-yard TD pass to Bateman in the corner of the end zone to end a 10-play, 56-yard drive on Minnesota’s first possession. After Shannon Brooks ran in from 9 yards, Morgan hit Bateman for a 10-yard TD and 21-0 lead. Bateman’s other TD catch was a 7-yarder in the third quarter.

No. 12 Michigan 39, Indians 14

In Bloomington, Indiana, Shea Patterson threw five touchdown passes and Nico Collins scored a career-high three times for Michigan.

No. 13 Baylor 24, Texas 10

In Waco, Texas, Charlie Brewer accounted for 296 yards and two touchdowns and Baylor wrapped up a spot in the Big 12 championship game.

No. 14 Wisconsin 45, Purdue 24

In Madison, Wisconsin, Jonathan Taylor ran for 222 yards — the 12th time he has at least 200 in his career —and a touchdown for Wisconsin.

No. 15 Notre Dame 40, Boston College 7

In South Bend, Indiana, Ian Book threw three touchdown passes and Notre Dame corralled Boston College star running back AJ Dillon.

Leading 16-7 at halftime thanks to Jonathan Doerer’s field goals of 47, 20 and 45 yards, the Irish scored 17 points in the third quarter to bury the Eagles (5-6). Dillon, a junior who had 1,451 yards entering the game, was held to 56 yards on 14 carries.

No. 16 Auburn 52, Samford 0

In Auburn, Alabama, Auburn held Samford to 114 yards and forced four turnovers, JaTarvious Whitlow scored twice and the Tigers tuned up for the Iron Bowl against Alabama with a rain-drenched rout.

No. 18 Memphis 49, South Florida 10

In Tampa, Florida, Brady White threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns and Memphis shrugged off two early turnovers to beat South Florida and retain a share of first place in the American Athletic Conference West Division.

No. 19 Iowa 19, Illinois 10

In Iowa City, Nate Stanley threw for 308 yards and Keith Duncan kicked four field goals to set a Big Ten-season mark in Iowa’s victory over Illinois.

In Other Games

Navy 35, No. 21 SMU 28

No. 22 Oklahoma State 20, West Virginia 12

No. 23 Appalachian State 35, Texas State 13

No. 25 Virginia Tech 28, Pittsburgh 0