NCAA Football News

Embarrassing Loss to Ohio State Spoils Jim Harbaugh's Debut Season at Michigan

There’s no question that Jim Harbaugh has had a very successful first season at Michigan’s helm. The fiery leader took over a program stuck in neutral under Brady Hoke’s watch and turned it into a consistent, tough, nine-game winner.

But after the way Saturday’s crucial rivalry tilt with Ohio State unfolded, will Wolverine fans remember any of it? A 42-13 beatdown at Urban Meyer’s hands spoiled goodwill that Harbaugh’s surprising first-season success provided and showed that Michigan still has a way to go to close the talent gap between itself and the Buckeyes.

Even with a 10-win season possible with a victory in a bowl game, Saturday’s result will linger in Michigan supporters’ minds. In a game that both sides point to all season, Harbaugh’s Wolverines simply weren’t competitive.

Ohio State set an immediate tone with Ezekiel Elliott, who criticized the Buckeyes’ play-calling after receiving just 12 carries for 33 yards in a surprising 17-14 home loss to Michigan State last Saturday. A 66-yard Elliott burst set up the Buckeyes at the Michigan 10-yard line, and J.T. Barrett’s seven-yard touchdown run gave Ohio State a lead it would never relinquish.

It was just the beginning for Elliott, who finished with 214 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Meanwhile, Barrett had 139 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, as Ohio State finished with 369 rushing yards on 54 attempts.

That continued a troubling trend for a Michigan run defense that had been solid against the run for the first 10 weeks of the season. Two weeks ago, the Wolverines survived Indiana 48-41 in double overtime, but the Hoosiers rushed for 307 yards on 55 carries, led by Jordan Howard’s 238 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. Last week, Michigan held Penn State to 70 yards rushing, but 56 of those came on one Saquon Barkley attempt.

Michigan was equally bad rushing the ball Saturday. The Wolverines managed just 57 yards on 25 attempts. Most troubling? The Wolverines’ leading rusher was freshman defensive back Jabrill Peppers, who had 29 yards on seven carries. Leading rusher De’Veon Smith, who managed just 39 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries last week, had just 23 yards on 10 carries against the Buckeyes.

Graduate transfer Jake Rudock has been a serviceable leader for Michigan’s offense, but he can’t carry the load all by himself. And with Rudock and leading receivers Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh all set to graduate, Harbaugh has concerns in the passing game going forward as well.

Harbaugh has downplayed the Ohio State rivalry, at least publicly, since taking over, but there’s no questioning that the game is meaningful to all surrounding the program. Harbaugh vs. Meyer could be a worthy successor to the famed 10 Year War, which pitted Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, but Michigan will have to show it can be a serious threat to Ohio State first.

Saturday, that didn’t happen, and that’ll leave a bitter taste in Wolverine fans’ mouths for the next 365 days.

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Ohio State vs. Michigan: Game Grades, Analysis for Buckeyes and Wolverines

The first meeting between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh was a laughable blowout as the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) routed the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines (9-3), 42-13, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday afternoon.

The Buckeyes won the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball, leading to a 312-yard rushing differential. That set the tone for a dominant performance from Ohio State, which has beaten Michigan in each of the last four seasons.

Here's how both teams graded out from the latest edition of "The Game."


Pass Offense

Quarterback J.T. Barrett started slow, completing just three of six passes for 18 yards in the first half as the Buckeyes leaned heavily on the run early. Meyer opened things up to start the second though, when Barrett threw a beautiful 25-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall. He finished with 113 yards on 9-of-15 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions.


Run Offense

Running back Ezekiel Elliott made it clear after Ohio State's loss to the Michigan State Spartans that he wanted more carries against the Wolverines, and Meyer heard him loud and clear and got him involved early. Elliott had 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in the first half, and the Buckeyes had 171 rushing yards before the break overall. They finished with an incredible 369 rushing yards on 54 carries and Elliott tallied 214 in his regular-season finale. 


Pass Defense

Michigan's ground game has sputtered in Harbaugh's first year, but the passing attack has thrived with quarterback Jake Rudock under center. He was hot in the first half, throwing for 174 yards and a touchdown while converting on eight of 11 third downs. Rudock was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter and Michigan finished with 307 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.


Run Defense

Michigan's rushing attack was absolutely shut down by Ohio State's front seven. The Wolverines gained just 57 yards on 25 carries, averaging a meager 2.3 yards per attempt. Running back De'Veon Smith only managed 23 yards on 10 carries, and Michigan's longest run went for just eight yards. 


Special Teams

It was a quiet and unspectacular day for Ohio State's special teams unit, as it didn't attempt a field goal and only punted twice. One of those punts was blocked in the fourth quarter, but it was too late and the Buckeyes' lead was too big for it to make any difference. 



Meyer thoroughly outcoached Harbaugh in this one, and it started with the offensive staff and the decision to move co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner up to the booth to call plays alongside fellow co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck. With that move, the Buckeyes bounced back from their horrendous effort against Michigan State and torched a defense that was even better than the one they faced last week. 


Pass Offense

Michigan needed a big performance from Rudock if it was to beat Ohio State, and it looked like he was delivering that in the first half when he threw for 174 yards and a touchdown. The game was 14-10 at the break, but the Wolverines couldn't keep pace with the runaway Buckeyes in the second half. Michigan finished with 307 passing yards, but it only led to the one first-half score to wide receiver Jehu Chesson, who hauled in eight passes for 111 yards.


Run Offense

The Wolverines' rushing attack has been pedestrian all season, but it was completely stifled by Ohio State's front seven on Saturday. Michigan mustered 57 yards on 25 carries, averaging a miserable 2.3 yards per carry. Safety Jabrill Peppers mixed things up early, but Smith never gained any traction, gaining 23 yards on 10 carries.


Pass Defense

Michigan's pass defense didn't have to work that hard in the first half as Barrett attempted just six passes, completing three of them for 18 yards. But with the success of the running game, play action opened up and Barrett had big passes of 25 and 38 yards in the second half to keep the Wolverines off balance. The Buckeyes only gained 113 yards through the air, but that's all they needed in the 29-point rout.


Run Defense

Michigan came into the game with the fourth-best run defense in the country, allowing 100.2 yards per game, but it was gashed by Elliott and the Ohio State rushing attack. The Buckeyes ran for 171 yards in the first half and 369 total, and Elliott accounted for 214 of that Saturday afternoon. Michigan had given up just five red-zone rushing touchdowns all season, but Ohio State equalled that total Saturday. 


Special Teams

Jourdan Lewis was fantastic on kickoff returns and nearly broke a couple free, and kicker Kenny Allen drilled both of his field-goal attempts from 25 and 27 yards. Punter Blake O'Neill had a decent day, averaging a hair under 40 yards on four punts. The Wolverines broke free and blocked a punt in the second half, but they were flagged for a roughing-the-punter penalty in the first quarter that allowed Ohio State to score a touchdown and take a lead it would never surrender.



Much was made of Harbaugh's first meeting with Meyer, but he was thoroughly outcoached by the Ohio State staff Saturday. The Wolverines did some good things early to keep it close in the first half, specifically with the usage of Peppers on offense. But nothing Michigan did could keep it in the game as the Buckeyes ran away with another victory in this storied rivalry.


David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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Should Mark Richt Be on Hot Seat After Close Win over Rival Georgia Tech?

"Clean, old-fashioned hate" followed the script Georgia Bulldogs football has stuck to this November—a victory, but an ugly one.

The Bulldogs scraped by the rival Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets by a score of 13-7 on Saturday in Atlanta, giving them their fourth win in a row after dropping three of four contests in October. The last three wins, including Saturday's against the Yellow Jackets, have each been by a single possession.

A win by any means necessary is the ultimate goal of every rivalry game, especially one Georgia lost in stunning fashion last season. 

But this year's win over Georgia Tech won't do much to ease the frustrations of the Georgia fanbase. These aren't the same Yellow Jackets that won the Orange Bowl last season. This year's Tech team is now done for the season at 3-9.

Does that mean Georgia head coach Mark Richt should stay on the so-called "hot seat" after another less-than-stellar victory over a lackluster team?

Not at all.

As Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee noted after the game, Georgia is now one win away from a 10-win campaign—matching the victory total from last season and reaching the mark the Bulldogs have accomplished in four of the last five years.

Firing a head coach after back-to-back 10-win seasons would somehow be more confusing than the ongoing saga with Les Miles down in LSU.

Consistency like that is hard to come by, especially in the SEC. Just ask Auburn or Florida.

The main issue with Georgia this year hasn't necessarily been the wins and losses, though. Take a look at the three losses.

Bulldogs were steamrolled by two teams that will most likely be playing in the SEC Championship Game next weekend. Tennessee's only loss since its comeback win over Georgia was a five-point loss against Alabama.

The Georgia faithful has been up in arms—and for good reason—about how the team looked in those losses and the narrow wins since then.

Saturday's game against Georgia Tech was no different, and a lot of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of one man.

No, it's not Richt. It's offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Georgia's offense has been an unholy mess for most of Schottenheimer's first season between the hedges.

While the Bulldogs broke the 400-yard mark in total offense for the first time since the loss to Tennessee, they could only put up 13 points on a subpar Georgia Tech defense. After a touchdown drive to open the game, Georgia only grabbed two more field goals.

It was enough to get the victory, but the Bulldogs had to pick off a pass on the last play of the game to preserve it.

Georgia's main problem against Georgia Tech on Saturday came on third downs. The Bulldogs only converted 4 of their 14 opportunities on those crucial downs.

Under Schottenheimer, Georgia hasn't converted more than half of its third downs in a single game since the beginning of the season.

Georgia Tech presented Georgia with several opportunities in the game, with two other turnovers and a turnover on downs. But the Bulldogs could only cash one of those in for points—a field goal early in the third quarter.

It was another toothless offensive performance for the Bulldogs, which has become the norm under Schottenheimer.

The offensive woes have played a huge role in Georgia's fall from preseason SEC East favorite this season, and Richt is ultimately responsible for them as the head coach who hired Schottenheimer.

But take a look at what the rest of Richt's staff has done this season. 

Second-year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's defense held an opponent to fewer than 300 yards and 20 points for the fourth straight game Saturday. The Bulldogs forced multiple turnovers inside their own territory and held the Yellow Jackets to 2-of-13 on third downs.

If it wasn't for the former Florida State assistant's defense, Georgia would be looking at a few more losses this season.

The road hasn't always been smooth, but Richt seemingly hit a home run with Pruitt. His unit settled down the stretch and led the way for several victories.

Richt, Pruitt and the rest of the staff have also assembled the nation's No. 4 recruiting class for 2016, according to 247Sports. That current crop of commitments includes 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason, who could be the answer to Georgia's issues under center sooner rather than later.

Making a quick-fire move to fire Richt would jeopardize the strength of that already excellent crop of talent on its way to Athens.

But ending the Schottenheimer experiment—and holding onto the recruits he's helped Georgia get this year—would be the best move forward for Richt. In a better offensive system, the Bulldogs would be in great shape for 2016 and beyond.

Richt has received a lot of criticism this season in Athens, but most of his team's issues can be boiled down to one side of the ball.

Even still, Richt has his Georgia team approaching 10 wins yet again. Fans will want him to improve the quality of play and compete for a championship again, but wins and losses are ultimately how head coaches are judged. 

Georgia doesn't need to tear the entire house down when a renovation is all that it truly needs.


Game statistics courtesy of StatBroadcast. Unless otherwise noted, other statistics courtesy of

Justin Ferguson is a college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.

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

The Georgia Bulldogs beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 13-7 on Saturday to finish the regular season with a 9-3 record. The final box score can be found at

The Bulldogs moved the ball on offense, got stops on defense and played solid special teams. The score may not show it, but it was probably the best game they played since the beginning of the season. The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, looked like a team that was ready for the season to be over. They could not get anything going on offense, the defense gave up too many big plays and there were some questionable coaching decisions.

Here are the game grades for the Bulldogs and the Yellow Jackets.


Passing Offense  

Greyson Lambert did not light the world on fire, but he made good decisions and was efficient. He completed 18 of his 25 passes for 224 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Lambert has played better games this season; however, his ability to make good decisions was the reason the Bulldogs were able to move the ball and play field position all game long.


Rushing Offense

Sony Michel had another big game, as he rushed for 149 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. Keith Marshall also got into the mix, rushing for 33 yards on five carries.

The running game has suffered without Nick Chubb, but Michel has done a good job filling in, reaching the 1,000–yard mark on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished with 178 rushing yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry as a team.


Passing Defense

Georgia Tech is not a passing football team, but it has the ability to make big plays in the passing game.

That was not the case on Saturday because the Georgia defense shut the passing attack down. Tech quarterback Justin Thomas did throw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but he only completed six of his 18 attempts for 82 yards, and he also threw two interceptions. Dominick Sanders and Malkom Parrish were the two Bulldogs that picked off Thomas.


Rushing Defense

Coming into this week, the Yellow Jackets averaged 260 yards per game. They fell short on Saturday, though, only rushing for 194 yards.

Part of the reason the Yellow Jackets struggled was linebacker Jake Ganus, who was all over the field for the Bulldogs and recorded 12 tackles in the win. Jordan Jenkins added four tackles, and Natrez Patrick had two tackles for loss. The Georgia defense read and reacted well to the triple-option, and when that happens, it normally leads to a win.


Special Teams

Marshall Morgan was key to the Bulldogs’ victory, as he kicked two field goals to help the Bulldogs jump to a 13-0 lead. Collin Barber did a good job on punts, and the coverage teams pinned the Yellow Jackets deep in their own territory.

It’s unfortunate that Isaiah McKenzie could not play in the game on Saturday. Had he been healthy, he would have made a huge difference in the game.



The coaching staff did a good job of getting the players ready for a team that had nothing to lose. The offense made big plays in key situations, and the defense was more than prepared for the triple-option of Georgia Tech.

Many have criticized head coach Mark Richt this season because of the team's three losses in October. But he was able to bounce back and lead the Bulldogs to four consecutive wins in November. Not his best coaching this season, but had he not been able to get everyone to play together, things could have gone much worse after an embarrassing 27-3 loss to Florida.


Passing Offense

Justin Thomas did not have a good day throwing the ball. He could not hit his receivers consistently, and he was constantly under pressure.

The only reason he had one touchdown pass was because the drive was kept alive thanks to a personal foul penalty on Ganus. What Thomas went through in the Georgia game was a summary of what he went through the entire season.


Rushing Offense

And what makes matters worse for Thomas is he could not run the ball, either. In fact, he finished with negative-three yards on nine carries.

Overall, the Yellow Jackets finished the day with 194 rushing yards on 41 carries, which is well below their season average. Clinton Lynch was the only one that stood out, as he rushed for 78 yards on nine carries. Other than that, there was not a single Georgia Tech player that ran wild on the Georgia defense.


Passing Defense

The Bulldogs recorded 224 passing yards, which is good for them because they have had their issues throwing the ball this year. Georgia Tech was not able to pressure Lambert consistently, and it gave up some big passing plays in key moments in the game.

The Yellow Jackets only had one sack and one pass deflection the entire game. That has been a problem for them this season, which is one reason why they only won three games.


Rushing Defense

Michel had a big day on the ground because the Bulldogs kept pounding the Yellow Jackets with the run. They had some key stops on third and fourth down, but Michel was still able to rush for over 140 yards.

Losing P.J. Davis hurt the Yellow Jackets in the second half. His presence at linebacker would have made a difference in the fourth quarter.


Special Teams

Harrison Butker missed a key field goal in the second half, and the Yellow Jackets did not make a play on kick coverage and returns.

When your offense and defense are struggling, the special teams has to step up, which they did not do on Saturday. However, Ryan Rodwell punted two footballs inside the 20, and he had one punt for over 50 yards.



Head coach Paul Johnson did the best he could with what he had. Georgia Tech has had numerous injuries all season, and they have caused the team to take a step back in terms of progression.

The one thing the Yellow Jackets didn’t do is make the right adjustments in the second half. Tech could not move the ball on offense, and it still did not shut down the Georgia offense. Let’s hope for the fan’s sake that this season was a blip on the radar and the coaching staff can get things right next season.

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Paxton Lynch vs. SMU: Stats, Highlights and Reaction

Quarterback Paxton Lynch has led the Memphis Tigers from obscurity to spotlight this season, but he set an individual benchmark in Saturday’s 63-0 win over Southern Methodist.

Lynch tied an NCAA record with seven touchdown passes, but the manner in which he reached the mark is even more incredible—they all came in one half and went to seven different receivers. 

The fluid distribution was easily the most impressive facet of his feat, as noted by College Football Talk:

ESPN shared a video of Lynch's longest pass, a 44-yard strike to receiver Anthony Miller:

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports noted that Lynch’s individual marks stood higher than some overall team efforts this season: 

Prior to 2015, not many aside from Memphis fans would’ve known much of Lynch. Yet even before Saturday’s heroics, he was drawing acclaim as one of the best quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL draft class.

Still, he kept his perspective narrow on the future when speaking postgame with Matt Stark of Fox 13: 

Lynch compiled 3,670 pass yards and 28 touchdowns to just three interceptions this season while leading Memphis to a 9-3 regular-season record. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in the junior's quest is that he resurrected a program long known for its basketball roots. Some NFL teams will be licking their chops in hopes that he can do something similar at the next level.

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Clemson Has All the Pieces to Win a National Title

In upstate South Carolina, Clemson’s 1981 football team is revered, and with good reason. Former head coach Danny Ford’s team won the most games in a single season in program history and its only national championship.

Thirty-four years have passed since those Tigers brought a title home, but for Clemson fans, the wait for another might be about to end. Head coach Dabo Swinney’s 2015 Clemson team finished the regular season 12-0 with Saturday’s closer-than-expected 37-32 win at South Carolina, but the Tigers have shown they’re capable of much more before this season ends.

“At the end of the day, it’s 34 years since we’ve been 12-0, and we’re tied for the winningest record in Clemson history,” Swinney told ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards on the network telecast. “We’ve got bigger things to do. We’ve got an ACC championship, and we’ve got to play better—got a great North Carolina team waiting on us. We’re state champs; we want to be ACC champs, and that’ll give us the opportunity for bigger things.”

Clemson has all the pieces to win a national title this January in Glendale, Arizona. The team that was supposed to be a year away entering 2015? It’s here now, and their opponents should be worried.

It starts with sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has shed an injury-marred freshman season to emerge as a legitimate star. Watson is hazardous to opposing defenses on the ground and through the air.

With the Tigers’ offense struggling to find its groove Saturday, Watson was the spark.

He scored Clemson’s first touchdown on a five-yard run and broke the game open with a beautiful 55-yard touchdown strike to Deon Cain down the right sideline, helping to give his team a 14-0 second-quarter lead. The Tigers’ first drive of the second half provided breathing room, with Watson finishing it with a 30-yard gallop down the right flank and into the end zone for a 21-3 lead after the ensuing extra point.

He finished with 279 yards passing and a touchdown, as well as 114 yards rushing with three touchdowns on the ground. Watson is the only quarterback in America with three games of at least 200 yards passing and 100 yards rushing this season. Houston's Greg Ward Jr. has at least three of each, but only two games with both 200 yards through the air and 100 on the ground.

Watson has a varied, talented group of wide receivers to throw to, even after returning 1,000-yard receiver Mike Williams was lost for the season in the opener with a broken bone in his neck. Sophomore Artavis Scott is dangerous on the fly sweep and can turn any bubble screen into a touchdown. And Cain, a converted high-school quarterback, has caught touchdowns in five consecutive games.

In fact, Clemson has seven receivers with at least 17 catches this season, and junior tight end Jordan Leggett has continued the program’s strong tight end legacy; he is a finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end.

While Watson has 3,223 yards passing and 756 yards rushing this season, Wayne Gallman has emerged as a hard-charging, every-down back with over 1,000 yards rushing for the season as well.

On the other side of the ball, Clemson’s defense was expected to take a big step back after losing the core of the nation’s top overall defense, led by NFL first-round pick and all-time sacks leader Vic Beasley.

But it just hasn’t happened. Entering Saturday, the Tigers were No. 5 nationally in total defense, allowing 278.2 yards per game, and No. 11 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 17.6 points per game.

Despite returning only two members of the 2014 two-deep on the defensive line—and having one of those players, senior defensive tackle D.J. Reader, miss multiple games for personal reasons—the Tigers’ line has been just as nasty. Junior defensive end Shaq Lawson has been one of the best pass-rushers in America, and freshman defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has been a force.

Linebackers B.J. Goodson and Ben Boulware have been stalwarts in the middle, filling the void left by NFL first-round pick Stephone Anthony. And in the secondary, cornerback Mackensie Alexander has emerged as one of the nation’s top cover men with safety Jayron Kearse a playmaker from sideline to sideline.

Kicker Greg Huegel has been one of the nation’s most reliable kickers. He missed a point-after attempt Saturday but has made 21 of 23 field goals on the season, including all 17 attempted in ACC play.

Turnovers are a major concern. The Tigers committed three Saturday—though South Carolina managed to turn just one into a score—but they’ve piled up 10 in the last three games against the Gamecocks, Syracuse Orange and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

That sort of generosity won’t fly against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners or a similarly talented College Football Playoff opponent. But if the Tigers can beat the North Carolina Tar Heels in next week’s ACC title game, no one can keep them out of the College Football Playoff.

And once they get there, they have the talent to give 1981’s national-title trophy a worthy companion.

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Ohio State vs. Michigan: Score, Highlights and Reaction from 2015 Rivalry Game

No. 8 Ohio State (11-1, 7-1) kept its Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff hopes alive Saturday with a 42-13 rivalry triumph over No. 10 Michigan (9-3, 6-2) at Michigan Stadium.

Ezekiel Elliott, who made pointed comments about the play-calling following last week's loss to Michigan State, helped lead the charge with 214 rushing yards and two touchdowns. J.T. Barrett also shined, with 252 yards of total offense and four scores.

Now the Buckeyes need Penn State to play the role of spoiler against the Spartans to make the conference title game.

Here's a look at the quarter-by-quarter scoring recap from "The Game":

One of the main storylines during the week centered around the first rivalry meeting between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. Ohio State's head coach was asked whether he was surprised by Michigan's success under Harbaugh and quickly dismissed the notion, per Matthew Florjancic of WKYC.

"I'm not surprised at all," Meyer said. "I think they have excellent players. They are well coached. I have always checked the recruiting. I remember hearing 'Well, they just don't have the personnel.' I am thinking, 'Wait a minute, they have great personnel. They always have great personnel.'"

The defenses and punters took center stage in the early going until a mistake by Michigan on special teams caused the game to open up.

After forcing a quick three-and-out by the Buckeyes offense, the Wolverines were set up to receive terrific field position. But Tyree Kinnel received a penalty for roughing the kicker on the punt to give Ohio State new life, and it capitalized.

A 66-yard run by Elliott jump-started a seven-play, 94-yard drive that finished with Barrett steamrolling his way into the end zone.

WCBN Sports discussed the freshman mistake by Kinnel:

ESPN highlighted the scoring play:

The Buckeyes' touchdown started a stretch of four straight drives that ended in scores between the two teams combined.

Kenny Allen kicked a field goal to get Michigan on the scoreboard. Then Ohio State started marching down the field, with the dynamic trio of Elliott, Barrett and Braxton Miller making it look easy against the Wolverines' reeling run defense.

Ryan Cooper of the Lantern noted the Buckeyes' efforts to pick up the pace offensively paid dividends en route to the touchdown:

Michigan responded with a much-needed TD drive of its own before halftime. It nearly matched Ohio State's first score by covering 92 yards in four minutes as quarterback Jake Rudock started to find some holes in the Buckeyes pass defense.

He finished the drive by finding Jehu Chesson from five yards out for the score. ESPN Stats & Info spotlighted the senior wideout's major uptick in production as of late:

Whatever Michigan talked about at halftime in terms of trying to slow down the Ohio State rushing attack didn't work. The Buckeyes came out with the same ground-and-pound mentality and continued to find consistent success.

After the running game did most of the heavy lifting, Barrett linked up with Jalin Marshall from 25 yards out for the score. The budding sophomore receiver did an outstanding job of going up to snag the ball between two defenders.

Bleacher Report's Ian Wharton discussed the execution of the touchdown:

ESPN showcased the play:

The Buckeyes took firm control of the game after their defense got the first stop by either team since the first quarter on Michigan's first drive of the second half. That was followed by a 16-play, 84-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and put the visitors up by 18.

Barrett scored his second rushing touchdown of the day to cap off the drive. Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News noted the Michigan defense just couldn't keep up:

An injury to Rudock on a hard tackle from Joey Bosa made matters worse for the Wolverines as Ohio State pulled away. Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch relayed further details:

In the end, the game was won up front. The Ohio State offensive line completely dominated the Michigan front seven at the point of attack, wearing them down quickly and opening massive holes for Elliott and Barrett to run through.

The performance led Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd to raise a point that will become even more crucial should the Buckeyes miss the conference title game:

That's a debate for the future. Ohio State gets a chance to celebrate this win first:

All Ohio State can do now is sit back and hope for the best. If Penn State can pull off the upset of Michigan State, the Buckeyes will advance to face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game and once again have an opportunity to sneak into the College Football Playoff.

As for the Wolverines, any remaining chance of earning one of those coveted berths in the final four slipped away Saturday. They still put together a strong campaign and should land in a high-profile bowl with a chance to end the season on a positive note despite falling short of the ultimate goal.

For now, the focus shifts to the Spartans against the Nittany Lions.


Postgame Reaction

To follow...


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Florida Fan Remixes 'Jumpman' in Honor of Gators Punter Johnny Townsend

Hey, punters are cool, too.

One Florida fan thought Gators punter Johnny Townsend was worthy of some praise, so he created a remix to Drake and Future’s hit song “Jumpman.”

He appropriately called it “Puntman.”

Townsend is averaging nearly 44 yards per boot on the year, so the rap song is warranted.

[YouTube, h/t CBS Sports]

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Jake Rudock Injury: Updates on Michigan QB's Shoulder and Return

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Jake Rudock left the field during Saturday's showdown against Ohio State with an apparent left arm injury. 

Continue for updates.

Wilton Speight Replaces RudockSaturday, Nov. 28

According to Yahoo Sports' Dr. Saturday, Rudock left the game after landing on his left shoulder following a hit from Ohio State star Joey Bosa. 

Per Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch, Wilton Speight took over for Rudock under center after the injury. 

Speight, who is a sophomore, has thrown just 11 passes this season. He came into the game with Michigan trailing 42-13 in the fourth quarter, so Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh likely won't ask him to do a lot. 

Rudock transferred to Michigan from Iowa and has had an up-and-down senior year under Harbaugh's tutelage. He was playing well against the Buckeyes, going 19-of-32 for 263 yards and one touchdown, before exiting.

The signal-caller had his head, neck and back examined after suffering a huge hit against Minnesota on October 31 but managed to play the next week versus Rutgers.

That was a testament to Rudock's toughness, and he is clearly the best equipped to run Michigan's offense, with two prior years of starting experience with the Hawkeyes. Unfortunately, his regular season may end on the sidelines. 

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Cam Newton to Pay-for-Play Alabama Heckler: 'I'll Slap the S--t out of You'

Before he was dominating the NFL with the Carolina Panthers—and setting the world ablaze with his touchdown celebrations—Cam Newton was at the center of a pay-for-play controversy.

(You can read about that here.)

That’s in the past now, and Newton was cleared. But the issue clearly still bothers him.

During an appearance at Auburn, his alma mater, for the Tigers’ game against Alabama on Saturday, a Crimson Tide heckler jabbed him over the scandal.

Newton swung around immediately after hearing the fan and told him, “I’ll slap the s--t out of you.”


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Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee: Live Score and Highlights

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Last year, Tennessee had to scratch, claw, score on special teams and get three interceptions to squeak by rival Vanderbilt by a touchdown to become bowl-eligible.

With seven wins already on the ledger, the Volunteers won't have to do that this season. But in order for the season to be a success in coach Butch Jones' third year on Rocky Top, they need to get this win.

VU likely isn't headed to a bowl game this year regardless of the outcome, although it's still possible the Commodores could make the postseason at 5-7 if they beat Tennessee. Regardless, it's been a steppingstone season for coach Derek Mason after a forgettable inaugural year.

Nobody thought Vanderbilt would sniff four wins after a season-opening loss to Western Kentucky, but it has gotten by on strong defense, 1,000-yard rusher Ralph Webb and a couple of good games from true freshman quarterback Kyle Shurmur.

The Commodores will need career games from several key players if they're going to go into Neyland Stadium and come out with a win. The Vols want to improve their bowl game with a victory.

We'll have all your live blogging and scoring action as the game kicks off at 4 p.m. Eastern. Keep it right here.

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Justin Fuente Reportedly Will Be Hired as Virginia Tech Head Coach

After much speculation, Justin Fuente is reportedly leaving the University of Memphis to be the next head football coach at Virginia Tech. 

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported the Hokies' hiring, adding that Bud Foster and Shane Beamer will remain on the staff. 

Virginia Tech is losing a coaching legend in Frank Beamer, who announced in early November his intention to retire when this season ends after 29 years with the school.

Fuente has been a rising star in the coaching ranks since leading Memphis to 10 wins and a bowl victory last year. He is still coaching the Tigers, who were blowing out SMU at the time McMurphy's report broke, though it's uncertain if the 39-year-old will stick with the team through its bowl game. 

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports wrote on Nov. 24 that Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock "has his man" in Fuente. 

Memphis reportedly did everything it could to keep Fuente, with Jon Solomon of CBS Sports noting the Tigers were offering him a contract extension worth more than $3 million per season. 

However, the allure of a prominent head coaching job in a Power Five conference had to be appealing to Fuente. He has the kind of confidence and attitude that will make it hard for him not to succeed wherever he is based on these comments to Zac Ellis of Sports Illustrated in January:

We’re going to do whatever we can to make sure we build a football program, even if we are in the middle of SEC country, just the way Forth Worth, Texas, is in the middle of Big 12 country. We want to have that work ethic and blue-collar attitude that, hopefully, people will take notice of.

The college football world took notice of Fuente long ago, and he gave it more reasons to keep watching with back-to-back seasons with at least nine wins at Memphis. 

Now, the pressure will only increase for Fuente in the ACC. 

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UCLA vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights


7:00, 1st Quarter


In one of college football's classic rivalries, UCLA will take on USC on Saturday. 

This game holds plenty of weight for the Bruins and Trojans, as a win guarantees either team a spot in the Pac-12 title game opposite Stanford.

Stay plugged in below! 

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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan State Spartans: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan St. 7, Penn St. 0—1st Quarter

Connor Cook gets the Spartans with a 29-yard rainbow to R.J. Shelton.

Saturday afternoon's Big 10 action begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Follow this page throughout for live updates and analysis.

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Justin Fuente: Latest News, Rumors Surrounding Memphis Coach's Future

Memphis head coach Justin Fuente will likely be one of the most sought-after candidates for a Power Five gig after the Tigers' season ends. 

Continue for updates. 

Virginia Tech Reportedly Favorite for Fuente Saturday, Nov. 28

According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, the expectation is that Fuente will take over for Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech very soon:

All signs point to Memphis coach Justin Fuente accepting the position sometime in the next few days. At this point, it would be shocking if he doesn't get it. Credit Tech AD Whit Babcock for targeting a coach who should be a great fit, as Fuente's low-key and football-centric demeanor will be a good addition in Blacksburg.

The 69-year-old Beamer announced at the beginning of November he would be retiring after 29 years at the program when the Hokies' season ends. 

Fuente is one of the hottest coaching properties in college football, leading Memphis to a 10-win season in 2014. The 8-3 Tigers are blowing out SMU 56-0 at halftime at the time of this writing, so another 10-win season is attainable.

Virginia Tech is a logical step for Fuente to take, as it is a major-conference program that has been stuck in the seven- to eight-win territory for the previous three years. The Hokies are 5-6 this year. 

According to Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a Hokies spokesman declined comment on the rumors. If a deal gets done, though, Fuente will inherit a strong foundation from Beamer with the coaching skill to make an immediate impact in 2016.

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Andy Hill Named Missouri Interim Head Coach: Latest Details, Reaction

With Gary Pinkel set to resign from his position as head coach of the University of Missouri football team, quarterbacks coach and associate head coach Andy Hill will reportedly be named interim head coach.

According to Pete Scantlebury of, multiple sources reported that the 53-year-old Hill be elevated to head coach, at least temporarily.

Pinkel and Mizzou announced the resignation plans a couple weeks ago as the longtime Tigers coach decided to focus on his battle with lymphoma, per a press release issued by the school:

I made the decision in May, after visiting with my family, that I wanted to keep coaching, as long as I felt good and had the energy I needed. I felt great going into the season, but also knew that I would need to re-assess things at some point, and I set our bye week as the time when I would take stock of the future. After we played Vanderbilt (Oct. 24), I had a scheduled PET scan on Oct. 26 for reassessment, and then visited with my family and came to the decision on Oct. 27 that this would be my last year coaching. I still feel good physically, but I decided that I want to focus on enjoying my remaining years with my family and friends, and also have proper time to battle the disease and give full attention to that.

Missouri's season is likely over as it fell to 5-7 with a loss to Arkansas Friday, but that isn't guaranteed since a bowl invite is still possible if enough teams don't reach the 6-6 threshold.

Assuming the Tigers don't play another game, though, Pinkel's resignation is very much on the horizon.

Hill played wide receiver at Missouri from 1980 through 1984, and he has been part of the coaching staff since 1996. He previously served as head coach at Hutchinson Community College from 1994 through 1995.

The fact that Hill was named interim head coach means it is possible he won't coach a game for the Tigers. He will, however, take over the day-to-day operations that Pinkel was in charge of until a permanent option is found.

One can only assume that Hill is in the running for the head coaching job, and the manner in which he handles his duties, including recruiting, moving forward could go a long way toward determining if the interim tag is removed.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Alabama vs. Auburn: Live Score and Highlights from 2015 Iron Bowl

Alabama 3, Auburn 0—Mid 1st Quarter

The Auburn Tigers are attempting to spring a massive upset on the visiting second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2015 Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

CBS is broadcasting the SEC showdown. Bleacher Report will provide scoring updates, highlights and analysis. Please add your thoughts in the comments section.

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Auburn Building Reminds Alabama of 'Kick 6' by Displaying '00:01' in Windows

Anything goes in rivalry week.

So, with Auburn set to battle No. 2-ranked Alabama on Saturday, the Tigers decided to remind the Crimson Tide of the infamous “kick six” that took place in the 2013 Iron Bowl.

There was just one second on the clock when Bama missed a field goal that Chris Davis returned from the back of the end zone for a walk-off touchdown.

Auburn is just making sure that the play, though two years ago, is still fresh in Alabama’s mind.

[Twitter, YouTube]

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Bill Cubit, Illinois Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The University of Illinois removed the interim tag from Bill Cubit Saturday by signing him to a two-year deal that officially made him the head football coach of the Fighting Illini.

The school announced the decision in a press release and revealed that the 62-year-old former head coach at Western Michigan will earn $1.2 million per season.

According to the release, interim athletics director Paul Kowalczyk praised what Cubit has done since stepping in for Tim Beckman, who was fired prior to the season due to alleged mistreatment of players:

Bill has stepped in during an extremely difficult period and done an outstanding job in leading our football program since August. Our student-athletes have responded in a positive manner and we feel he is the best person at this time to be the head coach. We wanted to allow Bill to make decisions regarding the program as the head coach without the interim title, and lead the Fighting Illini into Saturday's game without speculation.'s Tom VanHaaren believes it is a positive move for Illinois in terms of establishing some level of familiarity moving forward:

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports isn't so sure, though:

The Fighting Illini are 5-6 this season, and they have a chance to become bowl-eligible if they can upset No. 17 Northwestern at home Saturday.

Cubit went 51-47 during his previous stint as a head coach at Western Michigan, and he led the Broncos to three bowl appearances.

He served as an offensive coordinator at Illinois in 2013 and 2014 before becoming interim head coach just prior to the 2015 season, and the Fighting Illini brass were impressed enough with his performance to keep him on board.

Cubit has done well under very difficult circumstances, but a two-year deal doesn't give him a great deal of security.

It appears as though he is working under a trial run, which means there will be a great deal of pressure on his shoulders to show marked improvement in 2016.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Florida State Congratulates Retiring VT Coach Frank Beamer in Virginia Paper

This is pure class.

With longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer set to retire at the end of the season, Florida State bought an ad in the Roanoke Times to honor him.

“Thank you for your outstanding contributions to college football and the ACC,” the page reads, along with a picture of Beamer and FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.

Sometimes sportsmanship can get lost in such a competitive sport, but not in this case.

Well done, FSU.

[Twitter, h/t CBS Sports]

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