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MailTribune.com
  • Late surge lifts Florida past Florida State

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida coach Will Muschamp doesn't have any doubt where his team's next stop should be: Miami for the BCS championship game on Jan. 7.
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  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida coach Will Muschamp doesn't have any doubt where his team's next stop should be: Miami for the BCS championship game on Jan. 7.
    And the sixth-ranked Gators made a strong case for consideration Saturday by crushing archrival Florida State.
    Mike Gillislee ran for two touchdowns and Florida scored 24 straight points in a span of less than nine minutes in the fourth quarter to keep its national title hopes alive with a convincing win over the 10th-ranked Seminoles.
    "We have a really tough football team," Muschamp said he left the field for Florida's locker room. "We should be playing for the national championship."
    Florida (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) came into the game fourth in the BCS standings, and could find itself in position to earn a spot in the national championship game if No. 1 Notre Dame loses to Southern California. The Gators lone loss was in late October to third-ranked Georgia, and it will keep them out of the SEC title game.
    "Hopefully we can sneak in," said Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel, who completed 15 of 23 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. "We're a resilient team."
    He's not likely to get any argument from Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who hoped a victory over the Gators would not only persuade pollsters that the Seminoles belonged among the elite, but win some positive attention for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
    "They controlled the line of scrimmage up front," Fisher said. "They have a very good team. They did a great job."
    The game matching two of the nation's best defenses went back and forth with the Seminoles scoring 20 unanswered points to take a 20-13 lead late in the third quarter. They wouldn't score again until the final play of the game and victory out of reach.
    "Our guys understand that it's about all 60 minutes," Muschamp said. "We just really needed to be patient and wear them down."
    No. 2 Alabama 49, Auburn 0
    At Tuscaloosa, Ala., AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy ran for 131 yards and two scores in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years.
    The Crimson Tide (10-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) clinched the Western Division title outright and a spot in the conference title game against No. 3 Georgia.
    None of that will come as easily as this one. Auburn (3-9, 0-8) completed the worst season for any team within two years of winning an Associated Press national title in what might have been the last game for embattled coach Gene Chizik.
    The biggest Iron Bowl margin was Alabama's 55-0 victory in 1948.
    No. 3 Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10
    At Athens, Ga., Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs, and Georgia stayed right in the thick of the national championship race.
    The Bulldogs (11-1) extended the domination of the Yellow Jackets, beating their state rival for the 11th time in 12 meetings. This one was a laugher from the start as the home team scored just over a minute into the game, built a 28-3 halftime lead and was up 42-3 before Georgia Tech (6-6) scored its lone TD.
    No. 4 Ohio State 26, No. 20 Michigan 21
    At Columbus, Ohio, Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and Ohio State's defense shut out Michigan in the second half to complete a 12-0 season.
    It was a sweet win for the Buckeyes, just 6-7 last season with a loss to their archrivals in a transitional year in which they were facing heavy NCAA penalties. After Urban Meyer took the job as head coach a year ago, they were socked with a bowl ban after this season — and still ran the table.
    Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is ineligible for a BCS national title but still has an outside shot at finishing No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 if other contenders lose. Michigan (8-4, 6-2) will now await a minor bowl bid.
    Drew Basil matched his season output with four field goals and the defense did the rest, forcing three turnovers in the second half.
    No. 9 Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29
    At College Station, Texas, Johnny Manziel threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores in his last chance to make a Heisman statement.
    The Aggies (10-2, 6-2 SEC) scored touchdowns on their first six drives to build a 42-7 halftime lead and coast to their first 10-win season since 1998.
    About the only drama in this one came when Manziel was shaken up on a tackle at the end of a run in the first quarter.
    But Johnny Football missed just four plays before returning with a brace on his left knee.
    Manziel added 67 yards rushing and completed 32 of 44 passes on Saturday. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns and ran for 19 this season.
    The win snaps A&M's three-game losing streak to Missouri (5-7, 2-6 SEC), and kept the Tigers from becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2004.
    No. 13 South Carolina 27, No. 12 Clemson 17
    At Clemson, S.C., backup quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns, Jadeveon Clowney had 4 1/2 sacks and South Carolina won its fourth straight over Clemson.
    Thompson got the call for the Gamecocks (10-2) because starter Connor Shaw sprained his left foot last week against Wofford. And the Gamecocks sophomore made the most of it with TD passes of 13 and 6 yards to Bruce Ellington and 34 yards to Ace Sanders.
    No. 14 Oklahoma 51, No. 22 Oklahoma State 48
    At Norman, Okla., Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns, and Brennan Clay scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to lift Oklahoma.
    The Sooners (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) never led during regulation, overcoming double-digit deficits in both halves. Backup quarterback Blake Bell tied it with 4 seconds left on a 4-yard keeper on fourth-and-1.
    Pittsburgh 27, No. 21 Rutgers 6
    At Pittsburgh, Tino Sunseri passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his final home game as Pittsburgh overwhelmed No. 21 Rutgers 27-6 on Saturday.
    Ray Graham ran for 113 yards and a score for the Panthers (5-6, 2-4 Big East), who kept their hopes for bowl eligibility alive while drumming the Scarlet Knights.
    Connecticut 23, No. 19 Louisville 20, 3OT
    At Louisville, Ky., Chad Christen's 30-yard field goal in the third overtime gave Connecticut the victory.
    Blidi Wreh-Wilson set up the Huskies' winning score by intercepting Teddy Bridgewater's pass intended for DeVante Parker in the end zone. The Huskies ran three plays for 12 yards before Christen's second OT kick gave Connecticut (5-6, 2-4 Big East Conference) its second straight win.
    No. 25 Utah State 45, Idaho 9
    At Logan, Utah, Chuckie Keeton passed for two touchdowns, Kerwynn Williams rushed for 110 yards and senior Will Davis returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown as Utah State secured its first outright conference title in 76 years.
    The Western Athletic Conference champion Aggies (10-2, 6-0) also earned their first 10-win season.
    Mississippi 41, No. 25 Mississippi State 24
    At Oxford, Miss., Bo Wallace threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns, Donte Moncrief caught three TD passes and Mississippi snapped a three-game losing streak in the Egg Bowl.
    The Rebels (6-6, 3-5) also earned bowl eligibility for the first time since 2009.
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