Finance

College football roundup: No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 LSU stake claims

Justin Fields threw three touchdown passes as No. 1 Ohio State rallied from a 14-point deficit for 27 unanswered points in the second half of a 34-21 victory over No. 8 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday.

The Buckeyes (13-0) trailed 21-7 at the half but took off when Fields (19-for-31, 299 yards) threw a touchdown pass of 16 yards to Jeremy Ruckert. After a field goal, he added scoring tosses of 16 yards and 13 yards to K.J. Hill to give Ohio State a 31-21 lead with 12:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State has won three straight conference titles and will find out Sunday where the College Football Playoff selection committee ranks it for the national semifinals.

Wisconsin (10-3) has lost it past four title games, three to Ohio State, since winning three straight from 2010-12.

No. 2 LSU 37, No. 4 Georgia 10

Joe Burrow continued his historic season by throwing four touchdown passes as the Tigers routed the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Ga.

Burrow’s first touchdown pass was his 45th of the season, breaking a tie with former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (2017) for the most in SEC history, as the Tigers (13-0) staked their claim to being the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

Burrow, the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy next week, completed 28 of 38 passes for 349 yards. He had already broken the SEC single-season records for passing yards. Freshman Derek Stingley Jr. had two interceptions of Jake Fromm, who completed 20 of 42 for 225 yards for Georgia. The Bulldogs (11-2) likely will play in the Allstate (NYSE:ALL) Sugar Bowl.

No. 6 Oklahoma 30, No. 7 Baylor 23 (OT)

Rhamondre Stevenson rumbled into the end zone from the 5-yard line on the first possession of overtime, and the Sooners’ defense did the rest to beat the Bears and win the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington, Texas.

Oklahoma (12-1) expanded its streak of outright league championships to five straight, the longest among Power Five programs since Alabama won five in a row from 1971 to ’75. The Sooners now have won 52 games in a row after leading after the third quarter. Jalen Hurts passed for 287 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma in the win, with 173 of those passing yards going to CeeDee Lamb.

Jacob Zeno, the Bears’ third-string quarterback, threw an 81-yard TD pass to Trestan Ebner five minutes into the fourth quarter on his first pass of the game (and just his fourth this season), and added a 78-yard catch-and-run to Chris Platt with six minutes to play. But Zeno ran out of magic in the extra period, throwing three incomplete passes and getting sacked with Baylor (11-2) needing a touchdown.

No. 17 Memphis 29, No. 20 Cincinnati 24

Quarterback Brady White struggled all day but hooked up with running back/receiver Antonio Gibson for a 6-yard touchdown with 1:14 remaining, and the Tigers earned the victory over the Bearcats in the American Athletic Conference championship game in Memphis.

The victory helped Memphis (12-1) make a case for the Group 5 spot in the Cotton Bowl. White completed only 18 of 40 passing attempts for 253 yards, including his quick out to Gibson, who caught the pass in the right flat and ran the ball in for the score. It was the second touchdown for Gibson, who scored on a 65-yard run in the first quarter and led the Tigers in rushing with a career-high 130 yards.

Quarterback Desmond Ridder, who missed Cincinnati’s 34-24 loss to Memphis in the regular-season finale, moved the Bearcats (10-3) to the Memphis 21-yard line in the closing seconds, but they failed to score.

No. 19 Boise State 31, Hawaii 10

The Broncos scored two touchdowns in less than a minute in each half en route to victory over the Rainbow Warriors in the Mountain West Conference championship game in Boise, Idaho.

Senior Jaylon Henderson passed for 212 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the Broncos (12-1). Khalil Shakir had a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown.

Miles Reed rushed for 87 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown for Hawaii (9-5), which also lost to Boise State 59-37 in the regular season. Henderson threw both his TD passes in a 53-second span late in the first half as the Broncos took a 17-3 halftime lead.

No. 21 Appalachian State 45, Louisiana 38

Running back Darrynton Evans scored three touchdowns as the Mountaineers repeated as Sun Belt Conference champion by defeating the visiting Ragin’ Cajuns in Boone, N.C.

Quarterback Zac Taylor threw for two touchdowns as Appalachian State built a big early lead and was never seriously threatened until Louisiana scored two touchdowns in the final 4:18, but an onside kick after the final score went out of bounds.

Appalachian State (12-1) is the first Sun Belt Conference team to reach the 12-win mark. The Mountaineers played the title game at home for the second year in a row, coming up with the same result against Louisiana (10-3), which was unable to add to its school-record win total but will have another chance in a bowl.

–Field Level Media