NCAA Football News

Ohio State Can Still Make College Football Playoff Without J.T. Barrett

Ohio State star quarterback J.T. Barrett suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's game that will keep the Heisman contender sidelined for the rest of the season, according to Brendan F. Quinn of

Bleacher Report college football analysts Adam Kramer and Barrett Sallee explain how Ohio State can still make the College Football Playoff without J.T. Barrett.

Do you think OSU will be in the CFP?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Georgia Tech's Option Will Cause Problems for Florida State in ACC Title Game

Florida State’s quest for an ACC championship and a College Football Playoff berth hasn’t been easy.

Entering Saturday, the Seminoles had won five games by six points or less and erased three double-digit road deficits.

And the events of November 20 in Durham, North Carolina, made that road even tougher. When North Carolina upset rival Duke, it locked Georgia Tech into the ACC title game as the Coastal Division representative.

That’s bad news for Florida State’s defense.

Paul Johnson’s flexbone option can be incredibly tough to prepare for in a regular week—and even more so this season. On Saturday, the Jackets (10-2) held the ball for 36 minutes, 23 seconds and rushed for 399 yards in a 30-24 overtime upset of No. 9 Georgia.

FSU and Georgia Tech haven’t met since facing off in the 2012 ACC Championship, a 21-15 Florida State victory.

Entering Saturday’s rivalry match with Georgia, the Yellow Jackets were averaging 327.9 rushing yards per game, which ranked fourth nationally.

Sophomore quarterback Justin Thomas has done an exceptional job taking over for Vad Lee as the starting quarterback. He was Tech’s leading rusher entering this week with 827 rushing yards and five touchdowns, over 200 more than No. 2 rusher Zach Laskey.

After losing linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith from last season’s BCS National Championship team, the middle of the defense has been a major concern for Florida State this season. Junior Terrance Smith was the only returning starter from 2013’s linebacker group.

The group has also struggled with injuries. Against Louisville, the Seminoles finished the game with just two scholarship linebackers on the field after Smith missed the game with a pectoral injury and freshman Matthew Thomas left with a shoulder injury.

Both are back in the lineup and healthy, but linebackers remain a concern for the Seminole defense.

Entering Saturday’s game against Florida, the Seminoles were No. 54 nationally in total defense, allowing 379.2 yards per game. They were No. 45 nationally in rushing defense, allowing 148.8 yards per game.

And perhaps most damning, they were No. 97 in third-down defense, making it difficult to get off the field.

That plays right into Georgia Tech’s hands. Paul Johnson loves nothing more than to bleed the clock with slow, methodical drives.

The Jackets were sixth nationally entering this week in time of possession, holding the ball for 33:49 per game. And they lead the nation in third-down conversions, converting 58.3 percent of them on the season.

That’s bad news for the Seminoles, who have made a habit of playing poorly early and revving up their engines for impressive second-half comebacks. Erasing a deficit, of course, is much tougher when you don’t have the ball.

If the Jackets attack the middle of Florida State’s defense effectively, it could be a major speed bump for the Seminoles’ College Football Playoff hopes.

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Florida's Quincy Wilson Dives for Bobbling Interception of Jameis Winston

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston started the Seminoles' rivalry game against Florida by throwing two interceptions on his first two drives.

The second interception came from Florida defensive back Quincy Wilson as a result of a beautiful display of athleticism, as he dove and kept the ball off the ground for a bobbling catch. 


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Georgia Tech vs. Georgia: Game Grades, Analysis for Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets

For just the second time in 14 years, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have defeated the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Behind a dominant performance along both the offensive and defensive lines, resilience in overcoming mistakes and a little good fortune, Georgia Tech ended (at least for now) Georgia's run of dominance.  In doing so, Georgia Tech picked up its 10th win of the regular season.

Georgia Tech will play Florida State University in next week's ACC Championship Game, while Georgia awaits a bowl assignment.

In the meantime, here are game grades for both teams and analysis for each position group. 


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Grade Analysis

Passing Offense

Justin Thomas was under duress for most of the first half. As a result, he struggled to find a rhythm in the passing game.  Over the first two quarters, he completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and threw for just 64 yards.  He did, however, toss Georgia Tech's lone touchdown pass.  In the second half, the pass was even less viable, but the ground attack heated up.


Rushing Offense

As expected, Georgia Tech ran the ball well in the first half.  To be sure, the Yellow Jackets' ground attack didn't catch anyone by surprise and failed to break many long runs, but 25 carries for 119 yards was not a bad showing.  In the second half, the Yellow Jackets torched Georgia's defense on the ground, as the Bulldogs looked gassed and struggled mightily.


Pass Defense

Hutson Mason had a field day in the first half, completing 8 of 9 passes for 88 yards.  Several receivers, Malcom Mitchell in particular, shook loose in space.  In the second half, the Yellow Jackets yielded too often through the air to Georgia, but they made a big play in overtime by coming up with an interception to preserve a victory.


Run Defense

Nick Chubb ran all over the Yellow Jackets defense, and Sony Michel wasn't too shabby either in the first half.  Georgia Tech was bailed out by a few fumbles late in drives.  In the second half, Georgia struggled to run the football, and with only seven minutes of possession for the Dawgs, the ground attack was obviously limited.


Special Teams

Georgia Tech had a field-goal attempt blocked and was otherwise unimpressive in special teams in the first half.  In the second half, the Jackets recovered a squib kick but also had an extra point blocked in overtime.  All in all, Tech won despite special teams mishaps.



Georgia Tech was completely outplayed in the first half, but the opportunistic style of play kept the Yellow Jackets close.  In the second half, the script flipped and the Yellow Jackets absolutely dominated.  Credit Paul Johnson's team for executing late—and credit him for putting the team in that position.


Georgia Bulldogs Grade Analysis

Passing Offense

Hutson Mason was Hutson Mason in the first half.  He completed a high percentage of passes but rarely took shots downfield.  His receivers played well, caught balls and broke tackles.  In the second half, Mason was sharp and aided by some great catches by Mitchell and Chris Conley.  Unfortunately for Mason, his first interception since early October came at the worst possible time—in overtime.


Rushing Offense

Two fumbles left black eyes on an otherwise flawless offensive performance by the Bulldogs. But one shouldn't forget the consistency with which Georgia moved the football on the ground in the first half.  In the second half, Georgia was unable to find running lanes.  Chubb was tied up repeatedly, and Michel wasn't a factor.


Pass Defense

Georgia was able to pressure Thomas more often than not, and the defensive backs did a fantastic job of refraining from overcommitting to stop the run.  As a result, Georgia Tech struggled to get the passing game going in the first half.  The pass defense was equally strong in the second half, but it came at the expense of surrendering too many yards on the ground.


Run Defense

Georgia's defense did a fine job against Georgia Tech on the ground in the first half.  Granted, the Yellow Jackets racked up yardage.  But that's the heart and soul of Tech's offense, and Georgia limited it for the most part.  In the second half, Georgia Tech ran the ball at will, and Georgia's defense looked completely outmatched.  That was the most consistent key to Tech's victory.


Special Teams

A blocked field-goal attempt was one of the highlights of the first half.  Otherwise, Georgia did little in the area of special teams. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  In the second half, Georgia watched a kickoff bounce in front of its own sideline as the Yellow Jackets recovered.  That play is inexcusable.



It's hard to pin fumbles on coaching, so it's important to recognize that Georgia completely manhandled Georgia Tech in the first half.  That credit should go to the coaching staff.  By in large, there were some defensive miscues and some odd play calls in the second half, but most of the mistakes were a result of poor execution.


Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of

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Devin Gardner Checks in on J.T. Barrett in Fantastic Display of Sportsmanship

Sometimes there are moments in sports that transcend rivalries or competition. University of Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner showed us what that's all about when his Wolverines took on Ohio State University in The Game.

After Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett went down with an ankle injury, Gardner came to check on the quarterback, demonstrating compassion for his opponent.

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Georgia Tech vs. Georgia: Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate 2014 Score, Twitter Reaction

In what was arguably one of the wildest college football games of 2014, the No. 16 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets came from behind to beat the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs 30-24 in overtime Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets improved to 10-2 by winning the rivalry game affectionately known as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, and they managed to do so away from home at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.

As is often the case, Georgia Tech owed much of its success to its dominant, high-volume running game, according to ESPN College Football:

In the end, Tech needed every yard and every play to score its first win over Georgia since 2008, per SportsCenter:

Based on the first drive alone, it seemed quite possible that Georgia was poised to blow out the Yellow Jackets. It took just over four minutes for the Bulldogs to score a touchdown on their opening drive of the game.

Freshman running back Nick Chubb punched it in from one yard out on a fourth-down play, which was a precursor for what would be a huge first quarter for the first-year star.

According to Seth Emerson of The (Macon) Telegraph, Todd Gurley's replacement registered well over 100 total yards with three quarters still to play:

Chubb has been spectacular all season long, and Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson even suggested prior to the game that Chubb is on an equal or greater level when compared to Gurley, per Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald.

"Chubb's really good," Johnson said. "Take nothing away from Todd Gurley because he was a really good player, too. You'd be hard-pressed to play between the two if you watched them play."

With that said, Chubb was far from perfect. Georgia had a golden opportunity to go up 14-0 late in the first quarter after a 65-yard run by Chubb got the Dawgs down to the 1-yard line. The Yellow Jackets came up with a huge momentum-shifter two plays later, though, as they forced Chubb to cough the ball up.

As demoralizing as that may have been, the Bulldogs were undaunted. In fact, the Georgia defense dominated early on and became the first team to hold the Yellow Jackets scoreless in the opening frame in more than a year, per ESPN Stats & Info:

After blocking a 37-yard field-goal attempt by Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker, Georgia once again drove all the way to the red zone early in the second quarter.

Their drive ended in familiar fashion, however, as they fumbled once again near the goal line. On this occasion, freshman running back Sony Michel was the culprit.

Having recovered two fumbles deep in their own territory, there is no question that the Jackets were leading a charmed life. With luck and momentum clearly on their side, Matt Chernoff of 680 The Fan wondered if they would be able to capitalize:

Although Georgia Tech struggled to move the ball for most of the first half, that changed on its final possession. The Yellow Jackets used 14 plays to drive 80 yards in less than three minutes, and it culminated in a seven-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Justin Thomas to senior wide receiver Darren Waller with just eight second remaining in the half.

With that, Georgia Tech went to the locker room tied at 7-7 despite being thoroughly outplayed for much of the opening 30 minutes.

The Yellow Jackets did manage to rush for 119 yards as a team, which has been their forte over the past several years. Chubb had 117 on his own for Georgia, though, which marked his seventh consecutive 100-yard effort, per the Bulldogs' official Twitter account:

Momentum was firmly on Georgia Tech's side at the start of the third quarter, as it received the ball to open the half and proceeded to orchestrate an impressive drive. Starting from their own 8-yard line, the Yellow Jackets used 11 consecutive runs to get down to Georgia's 2-yard line.

Just when it seemed like Georgia Tech was destined to score a touchdown and seize the lead, Georgia flipped the script from the first half. Thomas was stripped at the goal line by senior cornerback Damian Swann, who scooped up the loose ball and it took it 99 yards for a touchdown to put the Dawgs back up by a 14-7 score.

The play held up after review, and Swann made Georgia football history in the process, according to Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

After a poor Georgia Tech punt gave Georgia the ball at the Yellow Jackets' 36, the Bulldogs attempted a 49-yard field goal. In keeping with the flipped symmetry between the first and second halves, however, Marshall Morgan's kick was blocked.

Junior defensive lineman Adam Gotsis got his hand on the ball and furthered Georgia Tech's reputation as one of the nation's top kick-blocking teams in the process, per Yellow Jackets assistant athletic director Chris Yandle:

Aside from Thomas' fumble, Georgia Tech had a great deal of success on the ground to open the second half, so it decided to go back to the well. The Jackets executed an eight-play drive comprised entirely of runs with senior Zach Laskey racking up 31 yards, including a four-yard score to knot things up at 14-14.

Georgia's ensuing drive lasted for nearly six minutes, but it was once again plagued by red-zone woes.

Aided by a successful fake field goal that saw Morgan run for 28 yards, the Dawgs eventually had 1st-and-goal at the Jackets' 1-yard line. Unfortunately, two ineffective Chubb runs and an incomplete pass from quarterback Hutson Mason forced them to settle for a 19-yard field goal, which put them up 17-14.

The Bulldogs' failure to reach paydirt proved costly, as Georgia Tech once again ran the ball down Georgia's throat on the next drive. The Jackets utilized 13 straight runs to go 80 yards with Laskey once again capping things off.

With Georgia needing a big drive in the closing minutes to come out on top, Georgia Tech reached into its bag of tricks. The Yellow Jackets successfully recovered an onside kick, but not in the traditional sense, per Yandle:

The Bulldogs were clearly caught off guard by Georgia Tech's pooch kick, and it put the Jackets in prime position to put their rivals away.

Tech started at the Georgia 27, so a field goal should have been the bare minimum result. Based on the chaotic nature of the game, though, perhaps it shouldn't have come as a big surprise when sophomore safety Quincy Mauger sacked Thomas, who fumbled while attempting to pump fake.

It was a borderline play, but Amarlo Herrera recovered for Georgia, and it was ruled a legitimate fumble.

With that, the Bulldogs had just under three minutes to drive 69 yards for a potential game-winning score.

Georgia quickly got the ball deep in Yellow Jackets territory, but started to sputter once again near the goal line. After failing to reach the end zone on three attempts from the 5-yard line, it came down to a 4th-and-goal situation.

Mason came through in the clutch when it counted, as he found junior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell for a three-yard touchdown with 18 seconds remaining to put Georgia up 24-21.

Per Towers, the Georgia coaching staff put a great deal of trust in the somewhat inexperienced senior signal-caller by having him move outside the pocket:

All signs pointed toward a Georgia victory with just seconds remaining, but Tech managed to pull off a near-miracle. After a conservative kickoff allowed the Yellow Jackets to start from their own 43, Thomas ran 21 yards to the Georgia 36, which gave Butker a chance to tie it with a 53-yard field goal.

Despite having a much shorter kick blocked earlier in the contest, Butker remarkably converted to send the game to overtime.

As pointed out by Jeff Fischel of ACC Digital Network, the sophomore made it by the skin of his teeth:

The Jackets got the ball to start OT and ran the ball with ease, as Laskey carried four times and scored from two yards out for his third touchdown of the day.

In perhaps the most bizarre twist of all, Butker's extra point attempt was blocked mere minutes after nailing a 53-yard field goal, which meant Georgia needed only a touchdown and extra point to win.

Just when it seemed as though the Bulldogs were in the driver's seat, Mason threw only his fourth interception of the season with Georgia at the Jackets' 9-yard line. He was picked off by Georgia Tech junior defensive back D.J. White, which meant that the Yellow Jackets came away with an astonishing 30-24 victory.

While this nonconference game was about pride and positioning in the rankings more than anything, there is no doubt that the Yellow Jackets will enter next week's ACC Championship Game against Florida State with a ton of confidence after such an impressive win.

The Seminoles will be undefeated if they can take care of Florida Saturday, and they haven't lost since 2012. The Yellow Jackets needed some magic to beat the Bulldogs, but they looked great for long stretches while running the ball and should be a major challenge for Florida State.

Nothing remains on Georgia's schedule aside from a bowl game, so the loss may not have a major impact, but it will almost certainly knock the Dawgs out of the Top 10.

This is an extremely young team with plenty of growing and developing left to do, and although losing in such agonizing fashion is something the players may not soon forget, it could be key in terms of teaching them how to win.


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Michigan vs. Ohio State: Score and Twitter Reaction from 2014 Rivalry Game

Ohio State (11-1) survived an upset bid by rival Michigan (5-7), 42-28, on Saturday. The score isn't indicative of how close the game was throughout. The bigger concern for the Buckeyes, however, is the status of quarterback J.T. Barrett, who left with a leg injury in the fourth quarter.

Although the clash didn't feature as much pregame hype as years past due to the Wolverines' down season, it was still important for the Buckeyes. The No. 6 team in the nation is running out of chances to convince the College Football Playoff committee it deserves a spot in the Top Four.

Here's how the latest edition of the marquee rivalry played out:

Coming into the game, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was vocal about its importance.

His team has the Big Ten Championship Game coming up next weekend against either Wisconsin or Minnesota. But comments passed along by Ari Wasserman of the Northeast Ohio Media Group showed he wasn't going to let his players look past Michigan.

"We just make a huge deal out of rivalry games," Meyer said. "I want the players to take ownership in the program, part ownership in the game. This is not another game. This is the game."

The Buckeyes seemed to receive the message loud and clear.

On the second play from scrimmage they forced an interception. The pass rush got pressure up the middle, and Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner made the poor decision to throw off his back foot. The ball sailed high and wide, landing right in the arms of Vonn Bell.

Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch noted the ease of the turnover:

Ohio State took over in Michigan territory. Six plays later, it was in the end zone. Ezekiel Elliott accounted for 23 yards on the ground, and Barrett took care of the rest. That included a six-yard connection with Nick Vannett for the touchdown.

ESPN Stats and Info pointed out the score allowed Barrett to set the new Big Ten record for total TDs in a single season:

After another quick stop, the Buckeyes started the next drive in opponent territory again. The Michigan defense rose to the occasion this time, however, and got a key stop. A poor punt from Cameron Johnston allowed the visitors to start from the 20 on a touchback for a net of just 17 yards.

That was important because it gave the Wolverines some breathing room, and they came out throwing. Gardner made two quick throws to Devin Funchess to move the chains. Then, following a couple runs, he found his favorite target again for a huge 45-yard gain.

Michigan tied it up one play later as Gardner found Jake Butt from 12 yards out to level the score at seven. ESPN College Football provided video of the drive's key play to Funchess:

The score seemed to cause a shock to the system for the Ohio State. After dominating the early portion of the game, it was suddenly tied, and Michigan started showcasing more energy.

It got another stop, then proceeded to go on a 15-play, 95-yard drive that ate up more than seven minutes of the clock and gave the underdogs the lead. Drake Johnson plunged in from two yards out for the touchdown.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports summed up the situation:

Ohio State got back level before halftime, though.

A 10-play drive, of which every play was either a run or pass by Barrett, covered 83 yards. It concluded with an outstanding individual effort by the dynamic freshman, who dodged multiple defenders in open space en route to a 25-yard dash to pay dirt.

Eleven Warriors passed along the Buckeyes fans' take on the highlight-reel score:

It was a perfectly timed score for the home squad. It came with seven seconds left, leaving Michigan no time to mount a response. And Ohio State was set to receive the second-half kickoff.

The opening possession after the break also resulted in a touchdown. Barrett linked up with Jeff Heuerman and Devin Smith on back-to-back plays for a combined 65 yards. He handled the rest himself, scampering in from two yards to get the Buckeyes back on top.

Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch laid out the quick turnaround:

Once again the Ohio State defense failed to get the stop it needed to take control. Michigan went on another long, time-consuming drive that used up more than five minutes by pounding the ball on the ground with Johnson.

The sophomore running back got rewarded as he found the end zone from four yards out to level the score at 21. The touchdown came one play after a trick play that saw him find Gardner, who had gone out in a pass route after the pitch, for 18 yards.

Lori Schmidt of 97.1 The Fan noted Johnson needed attention from the trainers after the drive, though:

The trend continued when Ohio State got the ball back. Lots of running, some key third-down conversions and eventually a touchdown.

It opened the drive with seven straight runs before going with five consecutive passes that covered 46 yards to get the Buckeyes inside the Michigan 10. They went back to their bread and butter from there, with Elliott running it in two rushes later.

John Buccigross of ESPN likened it to battles of years past:

Ohio State finally got the defensive three-and-out it was seeking, but it was followed by a scary moment. Barrett was trying to push for some extra yardage and got caught in a massive pile with his leg caught awkwardly underneath the fray.

Michael Shamburger of The Big Lead passed along a picture of the injury:

Barrett had to get carted off and was replaced by Cardale Jones.

Ohio State's defense rose to the occasion with a critical stop just as Michigan moved the ball across the 50. Then Meyer took a chance that paid off in a major way.

The Buckeyes faced a 4th-and-1 from the Michigan 44 and decided to go for it. Elliott took the handoff, received tremendous blocking up front and ran all the way to the end zone untouched to give his team a two-score lead.

Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod keyed in on the celebration:

Ohio State proceeded to put any upset thoughts to rest on the next drive. Joey Bosa sacked Gardner and forced a fumble, which was picked up and returned to the end zone by Darron Lee.

The Wolverines added a late score on a pass from Gardner to Freddy Canteen. It was too little, too late, however, as they failed to recover the onside kick.

CBS Sports College Football noted the final score:

Michigan finishes the season at 5-7. Even for a campaign that didn't begin with sky-high expectations, that represents a disappointment. Of course, the main focus will be the job status of head coach Brady Hoke with results trending in the wrong direction for the third straight season.

As for Ohio State, it completes the Big Ten regular season with a perfect record. As mentioned, the Buckeyes will face the winner of meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota next week. They likely need some help to get into the College Football Playoff, though.

The severity of J.T. Barrett's injury—it didn't look good—will be watched closely, as it will have a major impact on the team's outlook.


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Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt: Live Score and Highlights

Tennessee 10, Vanderbilt 10 Late Second Quarter

The stakes are simple for the Tennessee Volunteers today—and they're extremely high.

If the Vols can live up to their role as 17-point favorites and beat instate rival Vanderbilt in Nashville, they'll head to their first bowl game since 2010. If they don't, they'll be facing an identical 5-7 season as last year with an offseason full of questions for head coach Butch Jones.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt can salvage some face from a forgettable season by upsetting "the team out east."

Again, the stakes are high. It's do-or-die time for Tennessee.

You can catch all the action live at 4 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Keep it here for live news, scoring updates and more throughout the game.

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J.T. Barrett Injury: Updates on Ohio State Star's Leg and Return

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett left Saturday's game against Michigan with a leg injury.'s Austin Ward and Fox Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson reported the details of Barrett's injury:

After the game, Ohio State confirmed the severity of the injury and his status for the remainder of the season, via Brendan F. Quinn of

Michael Shamburger of The Big Lead posted a photo of the injury occurring:

The Detroit Free Press shared a photo of Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner checking on Barrett:

Linebacker Darron Lee talked about the injury after the game via the team's Twitter account: 

Barrett did an overall admirable job filling the big shoes of incumbent starting signal-caller Braxton Miller, who's missed all of the 2014 season with an injury to his right throwing shoulder.

ESPN College Football alluded to how Barrett's numbers through eight games stacked up well with Miller's through all of 2013:

Barrett enrolled early last year but was recovering from a torn ACL and had to redshirt. Then he suffered a sprained MCL in the Buckeyes' win at Penn State on October 25. This latest ailment is greater cause for alarm.

It will be on sophomore Cardale Jones to take over under center while Barrett recovers. While it's hard to expect Jones to play as well as Barrett has, Ohio State can still rely on its top-flight defense to keep it in games.

Regardless of how the rest of the year plays out, Barrett has laid the groundwork for a successful future in Columbus. Once Miller leaves the program, the Buckeyes can look forward to Barrett leading the charge, presuming his health permits him to.

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Clemson's Artavis Scott Walks the Tightrope Down Sidelines for TD

Clemson freshman wide receiver Artavis Scott showed off some incredible balance as he scampered in for a touchdown against South Carolina. 

The 70-yard catch and run put the Tigers up 28-10 in the third quarter.

You can check out the entire run here, thanks to SB Nation


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Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Live Score and Highlights

Minnesota 17, Wisconsin 10 — Late 2nd Quarter

Much more than Paul Bunyan's Axe is on the line for No. 22 Minnesota and No. 14 Wisconsin as the two rivals descend upon Camp Randall Stadium Saturday afternoon.

As if the heated rivalry isn't enough to get the blood boiling, the Big Ten West championship is on the line. The winner of Saturday's contest will face Ohio State next weekend for the conference title.

The Golden Gophers overcame tough odds to even get this shot, rallying back from a two-touchdown deficit to beat Nebraska without star running back David Cobb, who injured his hamstring during the game. His status remains a talking point entering the game, as the Star Tribune's Joe Christensen reported he's unlikely to play against Wisconsin.

With it being almost 50 years since Minnesota claimed a share of the conference title, and going up against Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, Minnesota will need everything it can get from Cobb and Co.

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, but check below for live updates as they happen.

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Florida vs. Florida State: Live Score and Highlights

Florida State 21, Florida 16 - Halftime

Rivals Florida and Florida State are underway in Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon.

The matchup will be televised on ESPN. We here at B/R will be watching and posting in-game updates and providing instant analysis for all the action.

Keep it locked here.

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Notre Dame vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights

Notre Dame 7, USC 35—HALFTIME

One of the most storied intersectional rivalries adds an 85th chapter today as Notre Dame travels to Los Angeles to take on Southern California in a battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh.

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Baylor vs. Texas Tech: Live Score and Highlights

Baylor 28, Texas Tech 17—Halftime

Baylor will take an 11-point lead into halftime thanks to big first half from Shock Linwood. The Red Raiders have had opportunities, but three first-quarter fumbles have really hurt their chances in this one.

Today's game will be shown on ABC, and be sure to follow the box score at

Follow this page throughout today's action to see updated highlights and analysis, and stick around after the game as we grade the positional units for both teams.

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Iron Bowl 2014: Odds and Storylines to Watch in Auburn vs. Alabama Showdown

The Iron Bowl is something that gets talked about every day in the state of Alabama. For every other college football fan, this year's showdown between Auburn and Alabama has been 364 days in the making. 

It will be impossible for the 2014 showdown to match what happened last year. You had a rare spot where both teams were fighting for a shot in the SEC Championship Game and potential national championship matchup with Florida State. 

When you combine that with the way Auburn wound up winning last year's Iron Bowl, this year will be like a sequel to an all-time classic movie. No matter how good it is, it will always be unfairly judged by its predecessor. 

However, since we are talking about one of the great rivalries in sports, don't underestimate the chances for something shocking happening in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. Whatever goes down, here are how the oddsmakers see things shaking out and the storylines to keep an eye on. 


Auburn's Spread-Option Offense vs. Alabama's Defense

Even though it often seems like nothing can crack the walls of Nick Saban's defense, there has been one thing that's given it problems in the past: fast, up-tempo, spread-option offenses. 

We saw it when Johnny Manziel was the quarterback at Texas A&M and in last year's Iron Bowl. Alabama gave up 393 total yards and 296 rushing yards to Auburn in 2013. For perspective on how much of an anomaly that was, look at Alabama's overall defensive stats from last season, via StatMilk:

It's no surprise, then, that Saban was one of the head coaches who was in favor of the proposed rule change that would have made it mandatory for teams to wait at least 10 seconds between plays before snapping the ball. The proposal was eventually shot down. 

While Alabama hasn't gone against a spread-option offense as good as Auburn's this season, the closest comparison on the Crimson Tide schedule is Mississippi State. 

Mississippi State was able to move the ball against Alabama in that game, racking up 428 yards, but it was ultimately undone by three interceptions from quarterback Dak Prescott.

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall may not have the number of Heisman moments that Prescott has had this season, but he's been every bit as efficient, with 26 total touchdowns and six interceptions. The senior had only 97 passing yards in last year's Iron Bowl, yet he still managed to throw two touchdown passes. 

Saban has praised Marshall's development as a passer this season, per Marquavius Burnett of The Anniston Star:

Because opposing teams have to sell out against Auburn's rushing attack, the play-action passing game opens up. Gus Malzahn doesn't want to be in a spot where he must rely on throwing to win, but at least he knows Marshall is capable of shouldering the load if the Tigers need to eat up a lot of yards through the air. 

Everything Alabama does on defense works through the defensive line. So if Auburn is able to exploit that like it did last year, there will be a lot of worried faces in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night. 


Will Auburn Stop The Big Plays?

Going to the other side, with Alabama's offense against Auburn's defense, Malzahn has a lot of work to do with his team. The Tigers' problems this season have come because they struggle to stop opposing teams from moving the ball. 

In fact, when you look at the defensive ratings for both teams, it's not even close. Here's how they stack up head-to-head, via StatMilk:

When it comes to points allowed, Auburn is giving up 23.5 points per game compared to 14.5 for Alabama. If you want to look deeper than that, the Tigers have allowed 179 points in their last five SEC games. Alabama has allowed 159 points all year. 

Considering Auburn will be going against the dual-threat quarterback in Blake Sims and the country's best deep threat in Amari Cooper, this defense can't afford another lackluster showing. 

Joel A. Erickson of noted that Auburn will look to change up some of its defensive plans because of how many wide receivers have given the defense problems:

Wide receivers who play with a lot of strength have given Auburn fits. Mississippi State's De'Runnya Wilson caught four passes for 72 yards, South Carolina's Pharoh Cooper piled up seven catches for 127 yards, Ole Miss receiver LaQuon Treadwell had 10 grabs for 103 and Texas A&M's Josh Reynolds came away with six catches for 88 yards.  

Amari Cooper has had only one game this year in which he was held without a reception of at least 20 yards. It's no surprise that was also Alabama's lowest-scoring game of the year, against Arkansas on October 11. 

It's no secret that Auburn has to contain Cooper if it wants to pull off the upset, Sims has 20 touchdown passes this year. Cooper has caught 11 of them. As a team, Alabama has 3,079 passing yards. Cooper enters the game with 1,349 receiving yards. No one else on the roster has more than 319 yards. 

Alabama doesn't have a quick-strike offense, but Cooper can rack up a lot of yards in a hurry. Auburn needs to play its best defensive game of the year against the nation's best receiver to have a shot in this game. 


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Georgia's Damian Swann Returns Fumble 99 Yards for TD vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia came up with a huge defensive touchdown that resulted in a 14-point swing for the Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech.

With the Yellow Jackets driving and on the 1-yard line, Damian Swann somehow came out of a pile with the ball and returned it 99 yards for a score. 

The play resulted in a huge momentum change and put the Bulldogs up 14-7. 

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Reggie Bonnafon Injury: Updates on Louisville QB's Leg and Return

Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon was taken out of Saturday's game against Kentucky in the second quarter with a leg injury. 

According to Jeff Greer of The Courier Journal, Bonnafon was taken back to the locker room with the help of trainers:

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported that the signal caller would not return:

Louisville was already down one quarterback, as Will Gardner is out for the season after injuring his knee in a win against Boston College on November 8. Bonnafon took the reins last week against Notre Dame, helping to lead the Cardinals to a 31-28 win against Notre Dame despite completing just 8-of-21 passes. 

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fact: The winner of the Iron Bowl (Alabama vs Auburn) has played for the national championship each of the last 5 years.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats and Info

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J.T. Barrett Breaks Drew Brees' Big Ten Single-Season Record with 43 Touchdowns

Ohio State freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett is the new single-season touchdown king in the Big Ten after tallying his 43rd total touchdown early in the Buckeyes' rivalry clash with Michigan.

ESPN Stats and Info confirmed the mark:

College GameDay noted former Purdue and current New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees previously held the record at 42:

Nicole Auerbach of USA Today noted that Barrett's touchdowns have come at the perfect time for the Buckeyes:

Barrett set the new standard with a six-yard strike to Nick Vannett, who was wide open in the flat and waltzed across the goal line. It gave the freshman 34 passing touchdowns to go along with nine more on the ground in his first collegiate season.

Barrett has emerged as a legitimate playmaking star this season for Ohio State, although his starting spot in 2015 is still far from assured. With senior Braxton Miller returning from a shoulder injury next year, Barrett will have to further prove to Buckeyes fans and coaches that he's the man for the job. 

Not bad for a player who was only installed as the starter approximately two weeks before the 2014 season opener.

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Lee Corso Joins Joe Namath with Massive Fur Coat on 'GameDay'

Broadway Lee?

"Broadway" Joe Namath was College GameDay's celebrity guest picker Saturday, and Lee Corso welcomed him by wearing a fur coat similar to Namath's.

The outfit was completed when Corso picked Alabama over Auburn and wore Big Al's head.

College Spun has video of the Corso selection.

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