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Top 25 football roundup: Top-ranked Clemson holds off North Carolina

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 28, 2019

Head coach Dabo Swinney has created a dynasty with the Clemson Tigers. (Chris Seward / Associated Press)
Head coach Dabo Swinney has created a dynasty with the Clemson Tigers. (Chris Seward / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Trevor Lawrence connected with Tee Higgins on a 38-yard touchdown pass with 9:54 left and top-ranked Clemson stopped a late two-point conversion to hold off North Carolina 21-20 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Saturday.

The Tigers (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) had trouble all day in trying to extend their school-record winning streak to 20 games. They didn’t go ahead for good until Lawrence’s scoring strike in the fourth, then came up with the clinching stop after the Tar Heels pulled within a point with 1:17 left on Javonte Williams’ short run.

The Tar Heels (2-3, 1-1) went for two points and the lead, but the Tigers strung out Sam Howell’s option run to the right and dragged him down short of the end zone to effectively clinch the win – though it was far tougher than expected as a 27-point road favorite.

(2) Alabama 59, Mississippi 31: Tua Tagovailoa and DeVonta Smith hooked up for five touchdown passes and a few school records while the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) ran away from the Rebels (2-3, 1-1) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Smith had 11 catches for school records of 274 yards and five TDs, all by early in the third quarter. He had 221 yards by halftime, and added a 27-yard score to punctuate the biggest game of any Tide receiver.

Tagovailoa passed for a school-record six touchdowns and rushed for a seventh. He completed 26 of 36 passes for 418 yards.

(5) Ohio State 48, Nebraska 7: Justin Fields threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, quarterback Adrian Martinez was intercepted on three of the Cornhuskers’ first four series, and the Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) drubbed the host Huskers (3-2, 1-1) in their most impressive performance of the season in a victory in Lincoln, Nebraska.

(6) Oklahoma 55, Texas Tech 16: Jalen Hurts passed for 413 yards and three touchdowns, and the Sooners (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) rolled past the Red Raiders (2-2, 0-1) in Norman, Oklahoma.

Hurts also ran for 70 yards and another score for the Sooners. His 483 yards of total offense ranks eighth in Oklahoma history. It was the first 400-yard passing game for the senior transfer from Alabama.

CeeDee Lamb had career highs of 183 yards receiving and three touchdowns, Charleston Rambo had 122 yards receiving on just two catches and Trey Sermon ran for 76 yards and two scores for Oklahoma.

(7) Auburn 56, Mississippi State 23: Seth Williams had eight receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns, JaTarvious Whitlow ran for three scores and Bo Nix had his best game for the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 SEC) in a win over the Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1) in Auburn, Alabama.

(8) Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 15: Jonathan Taylor ran for 119 yards and his 11th touchdown of the season, the Badgers (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) got two scores from their defense, and Wisconsin remained unbeaten with a win over the Wildcats (1-3, 0-2) in Madison, Wisconsin.

(9) Florida 38, Towson 0: Kyle Trask threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, helping the Gators (5-0) beat the lower-division Tigers (3-2) in Gainesville, Florida, and extend their winning streak to nine.

(10) Notre Dame 35, Virginia 20: Julian Okwara had three of Notre Dame’s eight sacks and caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown as the Fighting Irish (3-1) overcame a halftime deficit to beat the No. 18 Cavaliers (4-1) in South Bend, Indiana.

(14) Iowa 48, Middle Tennessee 3: Nate Stanley threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Toren Young added a career-high 131 yards rushing and the Hawkeyes throttled the Blue Raiders (1-3) in Iowa City, Iowa, to move to 4-0 for the second time in 10 years.

(20) Michigan 52, Rutgers 0: Shea Patterson accounted for three touchdowns in the first half and ran for a fourth score in the third quarter, setting up the Wolverines (3-1, 1-1 Big 10) to rout the Scarlet Knights (1-3, 0-2) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

(22) UCF 56, Connecticut 21: Dillon Gabriel threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns to help the Knights (4-1, 1-0 AAC) rebound from their first regular-season loss in nearly three years with a rout of Connecticut (1-3, 0-1) in Orlando, Florida.

(23) Texas A&M 31, Arkansas 27: Quartney Davis caught two of the three touchdowns thrown by Kellen Mond, including the go-ahead score and the Aggies (3-2, 1-1 SEC) held on to beat the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) in Arlington, Texas.

Oklahoma State 26, (24) Kansas State 13: Chuba Hubbard ran for 296 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, and the Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) shut down the Wildcats’ vaunted rushing attack in a weather-delayed victory in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Hubbard hardly carried at all in the first quarter for the Cowboys, who built a 13-0 lead against the Wildcats (3-1, 0-1) when the game was halted in the second quarter due to lightning. But the breakout star finished with runs of 53, 84 and 44 yards in his dominant performance.

(25) Michigan State 40, Indiana 31: Matt Coghlin made a tie-breaking 21-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining, and the Spartans (4-1, 2-0 Big 10) beat the Hoosiers (3-2, 0-2) in East Lansing, Michigan.

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