It’s Championship Week in college football, and Saturday’s games featured a few matchups with possible CFP implications. To open the day, No. 3 TCU lost its first game of the season, falling 31-28 to No. 10 Kansas State in overtime of the Big 12 Championship.
No. 1 Georgia defeated No. 14 LSU 50-30 in the SEC Championship, while No. 18 Tulane took down No. 22 UCF 45-28 in the AAC Championship.
Rounding out the day on FOX was the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis, which saw No. 2 Michigan roll past Purdue, 43-22, while No. 9 Clemson dominated No. 23 North Carolina in the ACC Championship, 39-10.
Here are the top plays from Saturday’s slate!
No. 2 Michigan 43, Purdue 22
It starts with defense
Michigan’s defense made its presence known on the opening possession of the game. After forcing Purdue into a third-and-13, defensive end Jaylen Harrell sacked Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell.
Put it on the board
On the seventh play of Michigan’s opening drive, quarterback J.J. McCarthy hit tight end Colston Loveland for a remarkable 25-yard touchdown catch.
Michigan’s Colston Loveland makes an AMAZING 25-yard TD grab to put the Wolverines up 7-0 over Purdue
What a drive!
Purdue evened up the score on its second drive of the game.
The drive featured a trio of receptions from wide receiver Charlie Jones and ended with running back Devin Mockobee punching in the score.
Purdue’s Devin Mockobee runs in a 1-yard TD to tie the game 7-7 against Michigan
Fake punt leads to FG
Purdue converted a fake-punt-run on fourth-and-4 from its own 44-yard line, as tight end Payne Durham squeaked out a first down. The drive ended in a 33-yard field goal, which gave Purdue a 10-7 lead.
Michigan retakes lead
Purdue was called for offside on a Michigan field goal attempt, leading to Michigan putting its offense back on the field and converting a fourth-and-1. Five plays later, McCarthy hit tight end Luke Schoonmaker for a 7-yard touchdown.
Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy hits Luke Schoonmaker for a 7-yard TD
Purdue gets FG
The Boilermakers put another field goal on the board shortly before halftime, as Michigan led 14-13.
Big run sets up TD
The Wolverines came out of the break breathing fire.
On the first play of the second half, running back Donovan Edwards took off for a 60-yard run, putting Michigan in the red zone. Four plays later, Kalel Mullings punched it in.
Michigan’s Kalel Mullings runs in a 1-yard TD to make it 21-13
The Edwards show
Edwards went off in the second half. One play after McCarthy hooked up with Schoonmaker on a 40-yard pass play, Edwards shed a series of tackles en route to a 27-yard score.
Donovan Edwards’ 27-yard TD run extends the lead to 28-13
O’Connell was intercepted in the red zone by defensive back Will Johnson, but Purdue then forced a Michigan three-and-out. A Jamari Brown interception was sandwiched between two field goals to cut Purdue’s deficit to 28-19.
After forcing Michigan to punt, Purdue gave Michigan the ball back when O’Connell was intercepted by Johnson, his second pick of the game. Three plays later, McCarthy hit wide receiver Ronnie Bell for a 17-yard touchdown.
Michigan then converted a two-point conversion, extending the lead to 36-19.
One more time
Purdue made its fifth field goal but then failed to recover an onside kick. Michigan took advantage of the short field, with Mullings scoring again to make it 43-22.
No. 9 Clemson 39, No. 23 North Carolina 10
UNC strikes first
After Clemson went three-and-out to begin the game, North Carolina put together an 11-play touchdown drive. Quarterback Drake Maye finished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Clemson strikes back
Cade Klubnik replaced a struggling DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback and helped orchestrate a Clemson touchdown drive that ended with him hitting tight end Davis Allen for a goal-line score.
Turnover begets touchdown
Clemson recovered a fumble from Maye, and it took two plays to turn it into points. After a 19-yard trick-pass to Klubnik, running back Phil Mafah punched in a 4-yard score, giving the Tigers a 14-7 lead.
Klubnik going off
Shortly after blocking a North Carolina field goal attempt, Clemson got its third touchdown of the game. Klubnik hit wide receiver Cole Turner on a 68-yard shot downfield, which set up a 1-yard touchdown run from the Clemson QB.
North Carolina and Clemson each put field goals on the board before halftime including a 52-yarder from B.T. Potter (Clemson). The Tigers led 24-10 at the break.
Maye wants this one back. With North Carolina at the Clemson 5-yard line, the Tar Heels QB missed tight end John Copenhaver and was intercepted by cornerback Nate Wiggins, who ran the pick back 95 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers then converted a two-point conversion, taking a 32-10 lead.
Klubnik connected with wide receiver Brannon Spector on a 43-yard pass. Two plays later, running back Will Shipley punched in a 2-yard score, giving Clemson a 39-10 lead. And that was the final score.
No. 18 Tulane 45, No. 22 UCF 28
Tulane strikes early
UCF picked up just one first down on the game’s opening possession. Tulane’s first possession went much differently.
A nine-play drive was capped off by quarterback Michael Pratt hitting wide receiver Shae Wyatt for a 10-yard touchdown, giving Tulane a 7-0 lead.
Tulane failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from its own 32-yard line, and UCF made them pay.
While it took eight plays, Xavier Townsend got the Knights on the board with a 5-yard rushing touchdown. The score cut Tulane’s lead to 10-7.
Tulane finds the end zone
On the fourth play of Tulane’s next drive, Pratt found wide receiver Lawrence Keys, who proceeded to run around UCF’s defense for a 43-yard touchdown. The Green Wave took a 17-7 lead, which was the score at halftime.
Another long score
Tulane came out of halftime in style. After picking up a first down on second-and-5, running back Tyjae Spears found a way to evade a series of UCF defenders and make his way into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown. The score gave Tulane a 24-7 lead.
Won’t go away
On the sixth play of a fourth-quarter drive, running back RJ Harvey hit Hudson for a 49-yard trick-play touchdown, his second score of the game.
Down to one score
UCF forced and recovered another Tulane fumble and took advantage. On the fourth play of the possession, UCF running back Isaiah Bowser ran in a 10-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to three.
Tulane does it again
On the fourth play of Tulane’s next drive, Pratt threw his fourth touchdown of the game. This one was a 60-yard pass to Wyatt, who ran through the UCF defense for his second touchdown of the game.
Back in control
UCF turned it over on downs, and it took four plays for Tulane to make them pay. Pratt ran it in from 18 yards out, giving Tulane a 45-28 lead — that would be the final score.
No. 1 Georgia 50, No. 14 LSU 30
LSU went scoreless on the opening possession of the game, but its defense forced a three-and-out from Georgia. On LSU’s next possession, its offense set up a 31-yard field goal attempt. Then chaos ensued.
Georgia blocked the field goal attempt, with Chris Smith running it back to the house for the game’s first score.
Got that back!
LSU quickly got that touchdown back.
On the third play of the ensuing drive, quarterback Jayden Daniels hit wide receiver Kayshon Boutte for a 53-yard touchdown, evening the score at seven.
The Bulldogs scored their first offensive touchdown in the closing moments of the first quarter.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett hit tight end Brock Bowers on 15- and 32-yard passes in the early stages of the drive and hooked up again with the sophomore to close out the drive on a 3-yard touchdown, which gave Georgia a 14-7 lead.
Fluke play leads to TD
Daniels threw a pass that bounced off a player’s helmet and was ultimately intercepted by Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon. One play later, Bennett hit wide receiver Ladd McConkey for a 22-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs are pulling away. Georgia got its fourth touchdown of the game when Bennett hit tight end Darnell Washington for a 14-yard score.
It was all Bulldogs in the first half. Shortly before halftime, Georgia found the end zone for the fifth time when Bennett hit wide receiver Dillon Bell for a 3-yard score. An LSU field goal before halftime made it 35-10 at the break.
LSU recovered a Georgia fumble and made the most of the takeaway.
On the third play of the ensuing drive, quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, who entered the game after Daniels suffered an injury, hit wide receiver Malik Nabers for a 34-yard touchdown.
Not giving up
The LSU offense has come to life. A drive sprung by a kickoff out of bounds and a 47-yard run from Williams ended in the end zone, as running back Noah Cain powered in a 1-yard score. LSU failed to convert the two-point conversion and trailed 42-23.
Can’t stop ’em
Georgia had its way with LSU’s defense in this one. McIntosh scored his second TD on the night, which Georgia punctuated with a two-point conversion to make it 50-23.
No. 10 Kansas State 31, No. 3 TCU 28
Is TCU in regardless of what happens today?
No. 4 USC went down in the Pac-12 title game on Friday night, losing 47-24 to Utah. Following USC’s loss, several think TCU is a lock to make the College Football Playoff with its 12-0 record.
TCU’s dynamic duo already linking up
Quentin Johnston’s ankle looked just fine early as he caught a 53-yard pass from Max Duggan on TCU’s second play of the game.
TCU on top first
The Horned Frogs completed their 13-play opening drive with a touchdown pass from Duggan to Taye Barber.
Bold call leads to big score
In the final seconds of the first quarter, Kansas State opted to go for it on fourth down. The decision paid off as Will Howard found Ben Sinnott in the flat on the play action. Sinnott didn’t only get the first down, he ran into the end zone for the 6-yard score to make it 7-7.
Walk in, Will
Kansas State’s quarterback was able to get into the end zone with ease as option worked to throw off TCU’s defense and the Wildcats took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
Tough TCU stop
Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn wasn’t able to get the yard needed on fourth down as he ran into a wall of Horned Frogs, giving TCU the ball and good field position late in the first half.
TCU turns it back over
Johnston looked like he was going to get the Horned Frogs right into scoring territory with a big 31-yard catch on their first play after the fourth-down stop. However, the star receiver made an uncharacteristic mistake and fumbled the ball, giving Kansas State the ball back.
TCU saved from a safety
A weird play on the Horned Frogs’ opening drive of the second half took place when Duggan pump-faked a pass as a Wildcats defender hit the ball out of his hand. The ball rolled into the end zone and was recovered by a TCU offensive lineman, giving Kansas State two points and a 16-10 lead.
However, the review determined that Duggan’s fake met the criteria of a throwing motion for a pass, thus ruling it an incomplete pass and negating two points for Kansas State.
Kansas State goes up double digits!
The Wildcats still got their points anyway after the safety was nullified. Howard found RJ Garcia II on a 25-yard seam pass to give the Wildcats a 21-10 lead early in the second half.
TCU gets a break
After another offensive drive stalled, TCU was set to give the ball back to Kansas State down by 11. However, the Wildcats muffed the punt and seemed to hand some momentum back to the Horned Frogs.
Can’t tackle Kendre
TCU took advantage of the muffed punt and Kendre Miller got the Horned Frogs into the end zone on a 6-yard run to cut Kansas State’s lead to 21-17.
Big blow but a big gain
Duggan took a big hit from a Kansas State defender right after he threw the ball, but it didn’t have an effect on the play as Johnston was open downfield to complete the 51-yard reception to get TCU going as it searches to take the lead.
Duggan says “d’oh!”
TCU was in position to cut the lead to at least one, but Duggan’s pass on a fade route in the end zone fell short and was intercepted by Julius Brents.
Kansas State’s star running back hit the jets to score a 44-yard touchdown to help his team take a 28-17 lead and put TCU back in another two-score hole.
Along the way, Vaughn might have snatched a TCU defender’s ankles.
Taking one for the team
Barber came up with a huge grab for TCU on fourth down. It came with a price, though, as he was on the wrong end of a hard hit, staying on the ground for a few moments before leaving the game.
TCU ended up kicking a field goal later in the drive to cut Kansas State’s lead to 28-20.
Duggan putting the team on his back
TCU’s quarterback ran for 95 yards in one drive, including a 19-yard run on fourth-and-2, a 40-yard carry to get into the red zone, and an 8-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to two.
Duggan was gassed after the touchdown run, but collected himself just enough to complete a pass to Jared Wiley on the two-point conversion to tie the game with 1:51 remaining.
Kendre can’t get in
TCU ends the opening drive of overtime empty-handed after Miller’s fourth-and-goal run at the 1-yard-line resulted in a stuff, allowing Kansas State to potentially win the Big 12 title with any score.
Kansas State wins!
The Wildcats play it safe after stopping the Horned Frogs in overtime, with Ty Zentner kicking a 31-yard field goal for the win.
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