C.J. Stroud tied a school record with six touchdown passes — all in the first half — as No. 5 Ohio State bolted to a 49-point halftime lead on the way to a startling 56-7 rout Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, that eliminated No. 7 Michigan State from the Big Ten East race.
Next up, the rivalry game and hatefest against No. 8 Michigan, which routed Maryland, 59-18, that may end up determining the winner of the division.
“We’ve got everything riding on this thing coming up right around the corner,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “And I got to tell you, the game wasn’t even over yet and I was thinking about it. There’s just so much going on here.”
Stroud was 32 for 35 for 432 yards against the Spartans’ sketchy pass defense, which had allowed more yards through the air than any in major college football.
The redshirt freshman completed 17 straight passes, setting an Ohio State record, and positioned himself as maybe the Heisman Trophy favorite.
“My O-line did a great job the whole game,” Stroud said.
This is Stroud’s third 400-yard game in 10 career starts and his fourth game with at least five touchdown passes.
Senior Chris Olave had seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns to break the Buckeyes’ record for career touchdowns with 35, one more than David Boston (1996-98).
Michigan State Heisman hopeful Kenneth Walker III, the nation’s leading rusher, was a nonfactor. Walker, who rolled his ankle in last week’s win over Maryland, had just six carries for 25 yards.
Pace, Shipley lead Clemson ground game
Kobe Pace ran for a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns as Clemson (8-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 13th straight over No. 13 Wake Forest (9-2, 6-1), delaying the Demon Deacons’ run to the ACC Atlantic title with a 48-27 victory.
Will Shipley, with 112 yards, joined Pace in surpassing the 100-yard mark on the ground and also had two TD runs. Shipley also threw a 2-yard jump pass TD to Davis Allen.
Clemson, which won its 34th straight at home, also kept its hopes of a seventh straight ACC title game alive with the stunning rout.
The Demon Deacons entered the game averaging 44.7 points and 498 yards a game. They left with a season low in points and had only 36 yards rushing.
Still, Wake Forest remains in the divisional driver’s seat and can make its first championship game appearance in 15 years by beating Boston College next Saturday.
For the Tigers to reach the title game, they would need Wake Forest to lose to BC and have No. 25 North Carolina lose one of its final two games.
No. 1 Georgia wins in rout
Standout defensive tackle Jordan Davis scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard plunge to open the scoring and No. 1 Georgia (11-0) was dominant in a 56-7 rout of visiting Charleston Southern (4-6). The Bulldogs allowed only 126 yards — 68 rushing on 31 carries and 58 passing. Brock Bowers had two touchdown catches and four Bulldogs, including Davis, had scoring runs. Zamir White ran for 83 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown, on four carries … Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns, ran for another, and even caught a TD pass to help No. 3 Cincinnati (11-0, 7-0 American Athletic) roll to a 48-14 win over SMU (8-3, 4-3), extending the nation’s second-longest home win streak to 26 games and keeping alive hopes of becoming the first non-Power 5 team to reach the College Football Playoff … Tavion Thomas ran for 94 yards and three touchdowns, Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown, and No. 24 Utah (8-3, 7-1 Pac-12) ended any hope No. 4 Oregon (9-2, 6-2, No. 3 CFP) had at the College Football Playoff with a 38-7 win in Salt Lake City … Jack Coan threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns in a little more than a half of No. 6 Notre Dame’s 55-0 shutout of visiting Georgia Tech (3-8). The Fighting Irish (10-1, CFP No. 8) had two defensive touchdowns in winning their sixth straight. Coan completed 15 of 20 passes, including touchdown strikes of 52 yards to Michael Mayer and 20 yards to Logan Diggs … No. 9 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1, CFP No. 9) wrapped up its first Big 12 championship game berth with a 23-0 victory at Texas Tech (6-5, 3-5), completely throttling an offense that hadn’t been shut out since 1997. Spencer Sanders threw a touchdown and ran for another, and Tanner Brown kicked three field goals … Matt Corral threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns in his home finale as No. 10 Mississippi (9-2, 5-2 SEC) beat Vanderbilt (2-9, 0-7), 31-17 … Blake Shapen completed 16 of 21 passes for 137 yards to steady No. 11 Baylor (9-2, 6-2) on offense, and the Bears defense smothered Kansas State (7-4, 4-4) in a 20-10 victory that kept their Big 12 title hopes alive … Charlie Jones had a 100-yard kickoff return for No. 18 Iowa’s first touchdown and the host Hawkeyes beat Illinois, 33-23. Iowa (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) was trailing, 10-0, in the first quarter when Jones took the kick near the right corner of the end zone and ran through a hole on the left side.
No. 12 Oklahoma holds on
Caleb Williams passed for a touchdown and ran for another, Jalen Redmond returned a fumble for a score, and No. 12 Oklahoma beat visiting Iowa State, 28-21. Kennedy Brooks ran for 115 yards for the Sooners (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, No. 13 CFP), who solidified their chances of reaching the Big 12 title game. Brock Purdy passed for 281 yards and a touchdown for Iowa State (6-5, 4-4), which was eliminated from contention. Iowa State got the ball at its 14-yard line, trailing 28-21 with two minutes left in the game. The Cyclones drove to the Oklahoma 21, but Pat Fields intercepted a pass with 15 seconds remaining … Frank Harris threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Oscar Cardenas with three seconds left, rallying No. 15 UTSA (11-0, 7-0) to a 34-31 victory over UAB (7-4, 5-2) in San Antonio and its first Conference USA West title … Braelon Allen rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns — including a tiebreaking 53-yarder with 3:50 remaining — to help No. 19 Wisconsin (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 15 CFP) outlast Nebraska (3-8, 1-7), 35-28, for its seventh consecutive victory … Kenny Pickett threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns — all of them to Jordan Addison — and No. 20 Pittsburgh (9-2, 6-1 ACC) claimed the ACC Coastal Division title with a 48-38 home win over Virginia (6-5, 4-3). Addison’s four scores tied a school record and boosted his season total to 15, tops in FBS. A semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award given to the best wide receiver in the country, Addison finished with 14 receptions for 202 yards.
Army storms past UMass
Tyrell Robinson ran for an 87-yard touchdown and finished with 137 of Army’s 377 rushing yards as the Black Knights ran over UMass, 33-17, at West Point, N.Y. UMass (1-10) took a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a Cameron Carson 45-yard field goal but Army (7-3) answered when Robinson took a pitch in the backfield and raced untouched to the end zone. Wilson Catoe scored from 3 yards out for a 16-3 Army lead with 13:30 left in the second. Garrett Dzuro tossed a 5-yard pass to Jacob Orlando to pull UMass within a touchdown at 16-10, but Cole Talley’s 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half made it 19-10 … Derek Kyler threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns, Nick Howard rushed for two more, and Dartmouth (9-1, 5-1) scorched host Brown (2-8, 1-6) for a 52-31 win and a share of its 20th Ivy League championship. Howard tied the program record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 15 — a record that’s stood since 1929.
Bentley falls in Division 2 playoffs
Quarterback Connor Degenhardt completed 8 of 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown and ran 11 times for 38 yards and three scores to lift host New Haven (10-1) to a 38-13 win over Bentley (9-2) in the opening round of the NCAA Division 2 playoffs … In the first round of the NCAA Division 3 playoffs, George Marinopoulos threw two of his three touchdown passes to Vinnie McDonald as RPI (10-1) held on for a 20-14 win at Endicott (8-3); host Delaware Valley (11-0) raced to a 62-10 win over Anna Maria (7-3) behind four touchdowns from Daquan Bohannan (two passing, two rushing); Framingham State (8-3) dropped a 45-0 decision at Muhlenberg (10-1), which got four touchdown passes from Michael Hnatkowsky; and host Cortland State (11-0) earned a 26-21 over Springfield (7-4), with Jaden Alfanostjohn running for 85 yards and two scores.