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Miami goes from 'brink' to victory

by The Associated Press | November 15, 2020 at 2:10 a.m.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- After coming precariously close to not being able to play Virginia Tech because of covid-19 issues, No. 9 Miami came away with one of its gutsiest victories of the season.

D’Eriq King threw for 255 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score, rallying the Hurricanes to a 25-24 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Miami announced it had 13 players unavailable before the game, including three starters and several offensive linemen. There were 15 games called off this week across major college football because of covid-19, the most of any week both by number and percentage of the schedule.

Miami-Virginia Tech was nearly No. 16.

“We were on the brink,” Miami Coach Manny Diaz said. “The players’ attitude was the most telling. They wanted to play. We were right on the brink at some position groups as to whether we could function as a team.

“We brought the team, and the players came here to win the game. I told them I thought they won the game on Friday with their mentality and their attitude, with all the things we had to go through this week.”

The Hurricanes (7-1, 6-1 ACC) rallied from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to win their fourth consecutive game and stay very much alive for a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

“I just think part of the way you do it is to not panic,” Diaz said. “You don’t believe you have to play perfectly. You just got to find a way to get the job done.”

Miami scored the game’s final 12 points and held the Hokies (4-4, 4-3 ACC) scoreless on their final five possessions.

“It’s definitely a lot of positive energy and a lot of belief in the locker room right now,” Miami defensive end Jaelan Phillips said. “Obviously, you don’t want to have tight games like that every week, but a win is a win, and I think every week we’re becoming stronger as a team.”

King, who rushed for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter, completed 24 of 38.

Hendon Hooker paced Virginia Tech, throwing for 201 yards and rushing for 53 yards and a touchdown.

NO. 2 NOTRE DAME 45,

BOSTON COLLEGE 31

BOSTON — Ian Book passed for three touchdowns and ran for another as No. 2 Notre Dame overcame an early deficit to roll to a victory over Boston College. The Fighting Irish’s eighth consecutive win in the series between the FBS’ only Catholic institutions gave Coach Brian Kelly his 100th career victory at the school, tying him with Lou Holtz for second all-time. He is now just five behind Knute Rockne.

Coming off a thrilling victory against Clemson, Notre Dame (8-0, 7-0 ACC) racked up a season-high 561 total yards led by Book, who finished 20 of 27 for 283 yards. He also ran for a 85 yards and a touchdown.

Ben Skowronek caught all three of Book’s touchdown passes, but also had one of three Notre Dame fumbles on the day.

Phil Jurkovec, a transfer from Notre Dame playing against his former team for the first time, finished 18 of 40 for 272 yards, a touchdown and interception for Boston College (5-4, 4-4).

NO. 10 INDIANA 24,

MICHIGAN STATE 0

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michael Penix Jr. threw for 320 yards, hitting Ty Fryfogle with two scoring passes, and Indiana beat Michigan State to remain unbeaten.

The Hoosiers (4-0) set up a showdown next weekend at Ohio State, the only other unbeaten team in the Big Ten East.

Penix threw two interceptions in the first half, but that didn’t matter much. The Spartans (1-3, 1-3) were just as sloppy — to the point where quarterback Rocky Lombardi was pulled in the second quarter.

Fryfogle had 11 catches for 200 yards, both career highs. He did most of that in the first two quarters, when all the game’s scoring occurred.

NO. 11 OREGON 43,

WASHINGTON STATE 29

PULLMAN, Wash. — Tyler Shough threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns and No. 11 Oregon came back to beat Washington State.

Travis Dye caught two second-half touchdown passes to help Oregon improve to 2-0. The Ducks piled up 582 yards of total offense.

Freshman Jayden de Laura threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns for Washington State (1-1), which led at halftime but could not stop the Ducks in the second half.

NO. 13 WISCONSIN 49,

MICHIGAN 11

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Nakia Watson and Mason Stokke each scored two touchdowns in the first half, helping No. 13 Wisconsin build a big lead in a rout of Michigan.

The Badgers (2-0) returned to competition after canceling two games of their all-Big Ten schedule due to a covid-19 breakout within the program and didn’t look rusty at all against a hapless team. The Wolverines (1-3) fell behind 28-0 at halftime, their largest deficit at home since the Big House opened in 1927, and are off to their worst start since 1967.

NO. 16 MARSHALL 42,

MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST. 14

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Redshirt freshman Grant Wells threw a season-high five touchdown passes and Marshall commemorated the 50th anniversary of the worst disaster in U.S. sports history during a victory over Middle Tennessee State.

Marshall (7-0, 4-0 Conference USA) got another standout performance from its defense and turned three turnovers into scores on a day when the university and surrounding community remembered 75 people killed in a Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash.

Marshall wore special black uniforms and the No. 75 on its helmets to honor those who were lost, which included most of the Thundering Herd football team. The crash occurred as the team’s plane was returning from a game at East Carolina. There were no survivors.

TULSA 28, NO. 19 SMU 24

TULSA — Zach Smith threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns to help Tulsa recover from a 21-point second quarter deficit and upset No. 19 SMU. After throwing an interception and losing a fumble that led to another touchdown on his first two possessions, Smith bounced back. He completed 26 of 38 passes, including a 4-yard touchdown toss to James Palmer for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:11 remaining. It was the third time this season the Golden Hurricane (4-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) won after trailing by double digits in the first half, and the second time they did it against a ranked team. They trailed 23-5 against No. 11 UCF on Oct. 3 before rallying to win 34-26.

NO. 20 SOUTHERN CAL 34,

ARIZONA 30

TUCSON, Ariz. — Vavae Malepeai bulled his way through multiple tacklers for an 8-yard touchdown run with 25 seconds left, and No. 20 Southern California beat Arizona with another late rally.

USC (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was outplayed by Arizona State last week before scoring two touchdowns in the final three minutes to win 28-27. The Trojans again had two late scoring drives to win a game they were outplayed in for most of the afternoon.

Kevon Slovis hit Erik Krommenhoek on a 6-yard touchdown, but Arizona (0-1, 0-1) marched quickly down the field for a 6-yard touchdown pass from Grant Gunnell from Stanley Berryhill III with 1:20 left.

Slovis threw for 325 yards and a touchdown on 30-of-43 passing.

NO. 22 LIBERTY 58,

WESTERN CAROLINA 14

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Malik Willis threw for 306 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for 2 more scores, leading Liberty over Western Carolina.

Liberty (8-0) won its 10th consecutive game.

Willis completed 14 of 19 passes with touchdown strikes of 44, 40 and 83 yards. He scored on runs of 11 and 43 yards and rushed for 97 yards on 8 carries. Kevin Shaa caught two passes for a career-high 137 yards and a touchdown. CJ Daniels added 96 yards and 2 touchdowns on 2 catches.

NO. 23 NORTHWESTERN 27, PURDUE 20

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Peyton Ramsey threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns, all to Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, and Northwestern beat Purdue.

The Wildcats defense also made two late stops to preserve a fifth consecutive Big Ten win and the school’s first 4-0 start in league play since Coach Pat Fitzgerald was still playing in 1996.

Purdue (2-1) has lost five consecutive home games in the series.

Ramsey completed 23 of 36 passes and had one interception but looked as poised and efficient as he did last November when he led Indiana to an overtime victory at Purdue. Northwestern held Purdue to 2 yards rushing.

NO. 25 LA.-LAFAYETTE 38,

SOUTH ALABAMA 10

LAFAYETTE, La. — Levi Lewis passed for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns, Louisiana-Lafayette gained 254 yards on the ground and the Ragin’ Cajuns wrapped up a third consecutive Sun Belt Conference West Division title.

Lewis tossed touchdown passes of 5 yards to Jalen Williams and 3 yards to Errol Rogers. He also hit running back Trey Ragas for a 25-yard score on a fourth-down conversion, with Ragas narrowly staying inside the left sideline to put the game away in the fourth quarter.

Chris Smith and Elijah Mitchell each had touchdowns rushing for Louisiana-Lafayette (7-1, 5-1). Desmond Trotter threw for 133 yards and a touchdown for South Alabama (3-5, 2-3).

SEC

KENTUCKY 38, VANDERBILT 35

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson accounted for three touchdowns, Chris Rodriguez rushed for two scores and the Wildcats withstood Vanderbilt’s late rally to end a two-game losing streak.

Rested from a bye and with Wilson back from a one-game absence because of a wrist injury, the Wildcats (3-4) moved the ball at will against the Commodores (0-6) on an emotional day after the death Thursday of offensive line coach John Schlarman from cancer. They registered five touchdowns and a field goal on the first seven possessions and appeared in control with a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Wilson was critical to the start as he sandwiched a 32-yard score in the first half between touchdown passes to tight ends Justin Rigg (15 yards) and Keaton Upshaw (21). The senior completed 13 of 15 passes for 110 yards and rushed 7 times for 83.

Rodriguez rushed 13 times for a career-high 149 yards with scores of 3 and 74 yards, the last providing a 17-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Kentucky ended up needing that cushion as Vanderbilt answered with Mitchell Pryor’s 2-yard touchdown run before Ken Seals’ 7-yard scoring pass to Cam Johnson with 30 seconds remaining to get within three. The Wildcats recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

MISSISSIPPI 59,

SOUTH CAROLINA 42

OXFORD, Miss. — Matt Corral accounted for five touchdowns, including a go-ahead 91-yard touchdown strike to Elijah Moore in the fourth quarter, as Mississippi rallied to defeat South Carolina.

Trailing 42-38, Corral found a wide-open Moore waiting in the middle of the field at the South Carolina 45-yard line. Moore then turned and raced into the end zone to put Ole Miss ahead to stay, 45-42 with 12:02 remaining.

Ole Miss (3-4) finished with 708 yards of offense, the most in school history in an SEC game. Corral finished 28 of 32 for 513 yards passing, a school record, including 4 touchdowns. Corral added a 3-yard touchdown run, while Jerrion Ealy rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries with touchdown runs of 12 and 5 yards. Moore had 13 receptions for 225 yards, including touchdown catches of 91 and 25 yards, both during the fourth-quarter surge.

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