Ole Miss fumble paves way for Auburn
OXFORD, Miss. — Cassanova McKinzy recovered a fumble in the end zone to preserve No. 4 Auburn’s 35-31 victory over No. 7 Mississippi on Saturday night in what amounted to the first College Football Playoff knockout game.
The Tigers (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 3 CFP) got a reprieve after Rebels receiver Laquon Treadwell lost the ball at the end of a tackle-breaking catch-and-run to the end zone with 1:30 left. It was ruled a touchdown, but the replay official determined he lost the ball before crossing the goal line.
McKinzy dove on it, deflating the Ole Miss crowd enjoying team’s best start since 1990. The Rebels (7-2, 4-2, No. 4 CFP) have lost two straight.
Auburn milked a minute off the clock before Ole Miss got the ball back at its 49 with 26 seconds left and no timeouts. Bo Wallace, who had fumbled at Auburn’s 6 on the previous drive, threw three straight incompletions before a final desperation play went nowhere.
NO. 1 MISSISSIPPI STATE 17, ARKANSAS 10: At Starkville, Miss., Dak Prescott threw for a career-high 331 yards and a touchdown to help Mississippi State beat Arkansas.
Mississippi State (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 1 CFP) trailed until the third quarter and didn’t take the lead until Prescott’s 69-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Fred Ross made it 17-10 with 13:21 remaining.
NO. 6 NOTRE DAME 49, NAVY 39: At Landover, Md., Everett Golson threw for three touchdowns and ran for three scores to help Notre Dame beat Navy after blowing a 21-point lead.
After scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions, the Fighting Irish (7-1, No. 10 CFP) appeared on their way to an easy victory. Navy then scored 24 straight points to move ahead 31-28 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
FLORIDA 38, NO. 9 GEORGIA 20: At Jacksonville, Fla., Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor combined for 389 yards rushing and four touchdowns and Florida upset Georgia, ending a three-game losing streak in the series and quite possibly saving coach Will Muschamp’s job.
Jones ran 25 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor, whose NFL father, Fred, has his name emblazoned on a wall inside EverBank Field, carried 25 times for 192 yards and two scores.
NO. 10 TCU 31, NO. 20 WEST VIRGINIA 30: At Morgantown, W.Va., Jaden Oberkrom kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to lift TCU past West Virginia.
The Horned Frogs (7-1, 4-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP) overcame a 13-point deficit to keep their national championship hopes alive. West Virginia (6-3, 4-2, No. 20 CFP) led 27-14 midway through the third quarter, but was held to one first down the rest of the game.
NO. 11 KANSAS STATE 48, OKLAHOMA STATE 14: At Manhattan, Kan., Jake Waters threw two touchdown passes, Charles Jones ran for a pair of scores and Kansas State shut down Oklahoma State’s slumping offense.
Curry Sexton had nine catches for 159 yards and a touchdown, and Tyler Lockett had six receptions for 94 yards and a score, helping the Wildcats (7-1, 5-0, No. 9 CFP) remain the lone unbeaten team in the Big 12 heading into next week’s showdown at 10th-ranked TCU.
NO. 12 BAYLOR 60, KANSAS 14: At Waco, Texas, Bryce Petty had three touchdown passes, two to Corey Coleman, and Baylor scored on 11 straight possessions to rout Kansas.
Baylor (7-1, 3-1 Big 12, No. 13 CFP) had to settle for field goals after two of three first-half fumbles by the Jayhawks deep in their territory, but still rolled up 669 yards in their 14th straight home victory. That streak ties Auburn for the longest in the nation.
NO. 13 OHIO STATE 55, ILLINOIS 14: At Columbus, Ohio, Curtis Samuel ran for two touchdowns and J.T. Barrett hit Devin Smith on two scoring passes — all in the first half — and Ohio State extended its Big Ten winning streak to a record-tying 20 games.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0, No. 16 CFP) won their sixth in a row — five by lopsided scores. Now they head into the game of the year in the conference, at defending champion Michigan State next week.