Los Angeles, CA – Dexter Williams went 52 yards on a go-ahead touchdown run to help No. 3 Notre Dame finish the regular season unbeaten with a 24-17 win over USC Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Notre Dame erased a 10-point deficit and scored 24-unanswered points to put away the Trojans. USC was held scoreless in the second half before Tyler Vaughns’ 20-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in the game
“You can feel good about moving the ball all day long, but at the end of the day it’s about scoring points and we didn’t do that tonight,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “The best is yet to be.”
USC closes the season 5-7 and will not make a bowl game for the first time since 2000.
The Trojans got off to hot start, leading 10-7 at halftime but were plagued by turnovers, penalties and poor play in the second half.
“I would blame Jake Olson’s dog before I blame the coach for a loss,” USC quarterback JT Daniels said. “I think we’re 18-23 year-old men. It’s on us if we want to win football games to go out and win football games.”
Daniels passed for 349 yards and Tyler Vaughns caught 12 passes for 120 yards.
“I watched the men that are out there, both old and young, and see guys that are truly talented individuals that will develop into a quality football team that can win championships,” Helton said. “I know that and I believe that in them.”
Tony Jones Jr. took a short pass 51 yards for a touchdown with 3:09 remaining to finish off Notre Dame’s first perfect season since 2012.
The Trojans worst season in 18 years is over and Helton might be on his way out.
Louisville, KY – Terry Wilson, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Benny Snell stood out for the Kentucky Wildcats in their 56-10 win over their in-state rivals, the Louisville Cardinals, putting the Wildcats at 9-3 to end the regular season.
“Special group of young men led by the seniors,” said Bob Stoops.
Despite Louisville receiving on kickoff, the Cardinals were unable to gain many yards on their first drive and were forced to punt. Kentucky’s Benny Snell ultimately rushed for 7 yards for a touchdown, putting the Wildcats on the board and setting the tone for an intense game.
Later in the quarter, Snell once again proved to be a powerhouse in the running game, earning the Wildcats multiple first downs. With 2:05 remaining, Wildcat quarterback, Terry Wilson, rushed for 2 yards and dove into the end zone for another touchdown putting Kentucky up 14-0. The Cardinals were quick to answer back with an incredible 75 yard touchdown run by Malik Cunningham.
Louisville’s defense fighting hard, Snell made it clear he was a force to be reckoned with, scoring another Kentucky touchdown. Louisville responded with multiple first downs and a 16 yard rush by Cunningham, putting the Cardinals in the red zone. Pressure from the Wildcat defense forced Louisville to go for a field goal which was completed by kicker Blanton Creque.
A targeting call ejecting Cardinal P.J. Mbanasor from the game pushed the Wildcats to the Louisville 27 yard line. Wilson went on to complete a 28 yard pass to Lynn Bowden Jr. for a touchdown. Louisville again struggled to make it out of their own territory on their next drive and were forced to punt. With 31 seconds remaining in the half, Wilson found Bowden Jr.’s hands once again for another Kentucky touchdown. The Wildcats went into halftime leading the Cardinals 35-10.
“Getting a ninth win is significant, as this is the first time the Wildcat football program has won 9 games in 41 years,” said Stoops.
Both the Wildcats and the Cardinals fought hard on defense in the third quarter resulting in neither team earning any points. Going into the fourth quarter, Wilson made it clear he was ready to finish the game and lock in a victory for the Wildcats.
Wilson completed a 32 yard pass to Josh Ali for another Wildcat touchdown.
With 11:09 remaining, Asim Rose rushed for 75 yards up the middle, putting the Wildcats at 49-10 over the Cardinals.
Finally, Kentucky’s Kavosiey Smoke rushed for 37 yards, making the score 56-10.
Despite a hard fight, the Cardinals were unable to score any points in the second half. Overall, Kentucky had a total of 601 yards for the game to Louisville’s 305 yards.
In the post-game press conference, Kentucky Head Coach, Mark Stoops, stated that this was a very gratifying victory for his team.
“I believes this was one of my best game here at Kentucky, said quarterback Terry Wilson, “A game like this sets the tone for the future.”
Pasadena, CA – The season-long process for UCLA football is over, and despite the less-than-dazzling 3-9 record, the Bruins have made much progress under first-year head coach Chip Kelly.
A team that was getting blown out left and right to open the season 1-5; finished 2-4 (with the final three games being decided by one score).
Today’s season-finale was a long-winding up-and-down game for the Bruins.
In the four quarters of play they scored six, 14, 16 and six in a 49-42 loss to Stanford (7-4).
K.J. Costello threw five touchdowns and an interception on 23/37 with 344 yards, Bryce Love took 23 carries for 90 yards and a score; and JJ Arcega-Whiteside balled out for seven receptions, 106 yards and three TDs.
Arcega-Whiteside was a nightmare all game for the Bruins and Kelly credits that to more than just him being a “precise route-runner.”
“He’s obviously one of the more talented receivers in this league,” Kelly added. “I think his size is what separates him from some of the other receivers.”
UCLA tried to find answers and was able to do so in limited fashion; including a 93-yard kick return touchdown for Darnay Holmes following a Stanford safety.
But it all came down to two drives for senior quarterback Wilton Speight.
Speight threw for 466 yards, no TDs and an INT on 29/47 (he added a rushing touchdown but had 10 carries for -37 yards).
The 466 yards was a career high, although it didn’t feel too good for him following the loss and the unfortunate finale.
“It wasn’t a heads up play by me,” Speight said on taking a sack on fourth down. “I thought I crossed the line and I was like ‘now I can’t throw it.’ It wasn’t a heads up play by me.”
UCLA finally had some things to look forward to from the young skill players, but going into next season is something that comes later.
The Bruins finish 3-9 and will not be in a bowl game and are in need of talent in certain positions, although Kelly has no input for that other than “we’ll get together and look at what we need.”
Tulsa, OK – The University of Tulsa (3-9, 2-6 AAC) defense and the arm of quarterback Seth Boomer (12) prevented another comeback loss and knocked Southern Methodist University (5-7, 4-4) out of bowl eligibility with a 27-24 win over the Mustangs.
Boomer threw for 251 yards and a touchdown Saturday evening. One of his favorite targets Sr. Justin Hobbs (29) made an electrifying one handed catch for 31 yards late in the 4th quarter to keep the drive going and set up a field goal that kept the game just out of reach for SMU.
Coach Philip Montgomery beamed about Hobbs, “ Really happy for Justin… wow, what a big catch. So proud of him.”
After building a 21-0 lead with 8:12 left in the second quarter, SMU brought the deficit down to a touchdown in the beginning of the third. A spectacular block, scoop and score of a TU field goal attempt by Rodney Clemons (8) brought the score to 21-14.
The Golden Hurricane defense held the Mustangs’ prolific passing offense to two field goals in the 4th quarter before a Ben Hicks (8) TD pass to James Proche (3) brought the score to 27-24 with 1:31 remaining. A onside kick that went out of bounds let Tulsa run the clock out for the win.
Tulsa sacked Hicks 5 time for a total loss of 64 yards and held the running game to 61 yards. Sophomore defensive end Cullen Wick (91) started it off early with a sack of SMU quarterback Ben Hicks for loss of 26 yards.
The harassment of Hicks continued as Trevis Gipson (15) and Cullen Wick (91) both got two sacks of their own. Yards from sacks total more than the season’s previous 11 games, 9 sacks for 45 yards.
In the 3rd quarter SMU had a chance to tie it up, but TU’s defense continued to rally with a McKinley Whitfield (5) interception in the end zone. Coach Montgomery commented that, “it was a huge play for us right there.”
Just before the end of the 2nd quarter, in what may have been the deciding stand for the TU defense, they held a 9 play 50 yard SMU series to a field goal attempt that was block by Zaven Collins (23).
“I’m very proud of our defense. We had a lot of young guys step up… I think those guys will just continue to get better,” said Montgomery of his defensive. TU’s young defense will return 9 starters next year.
Morgantown WV – It was a thing of beauty if you wanted to see touchdown after touchdown being put up on the scoreboard tonight. If you were hoping for even the slightest bit of defense being played, you went tonight feeling like someone punched you in the gut.
Both No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 12 WVU have been accused of just handing both points and yards to opponents like they were free gifts at Santa’s workshops around their respective towns.
Ironically though, a few clutch defensive plays have Oklahoma playing for the 2018 Big 12 championship next week in Texas v Texas. This will be their 4th in a row incredibly.
The Sooners beat No. 12 West Virginia tonight in a slugfest 59-56 reserving their spot in next week’s Big 12 title game.
Oklahoma finishes the regular season at the 11-1, 8-1 mark ranked No 6. The Sooners outlasted the Mountaineers tonight in a wild yet brilliant display of offensive efforts by both them and WVU.
The offensive onslaught by both teams gagedan incredible 1,372 yards of total offense. The Sooners also kept its College Football Playoff chances alive with this win.
With the individual effort on the offensive side of the ball, the Sooners Murray went 20/27, 364 yards and three touchdown passes.
West Virginia’s Will Grier threw for 4 touchdowns, a career high 539 yards on 32/49 passing. However, Will Grier did lose two huge fumbles, both of which were returned for touchdowns. The second one could be noted as having kept the Sooners up for good.
West Virginia will fall in the AP Top 25 but, should maintain a top-20 ranking hopefully. The Sooners will play in the Big 12 Championships next week in Arlington TX v the Texas Longhorns. WVU will wait to see what bowl(s) they are invited to.
CORVALLIS OR – Oregon State Beavers attempt a home win against the Oregon Ducks but end up losing their 122nd Civil War, 55-15.
It was a tough loss for the Beavers this Friday. Coach Smith came in confident hoping for a win on their home field against their biggest rivalry, but instead, underestimated the rushing power that the Oregon Ducks presented. What started out civil, ended up being a disappointing stat for the Beavers, especially during the second-half. The Beavers took a beating, giving up 251 rushing yards during the second half alone.
Isaiah Hodgins finished with eight catches for 133 yards, while Timmy Hernandez had six grabs for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman, Jermar Jefferson had 21 carries for 64 yards. The Beavers were able to get inside Oregon 35 four times during the first half but put up only 3 points on the scoreboard, which was a 45-yard field goal by Justin Choukair.
The Beavers came midway through the second quarter, when on second-and-goal from the Oregon 3, Jack Colletto’s attempted jump pass to tight end Teagan Quitoriano was intercepted at the goal line by Ducks safety, Nick Pickett. “That’s part of coaching. That’s part of play calling,” Smith said. “You’re going to take some risks here and it could backfire. That one definitely did.”
It was after the missed field goal were things started to take a downhill turn. Hernandez was able to score both touchdowns in the second half but the Ducks were ruthless after they put up 34 points after halftime. Even though the Beavers offense picked up a bit in the second half, the team as a whole started to dwindle and look worn-down in the fourth quarter.
“I’d say throughout the season we played with full effort for four quarters. Something that maybe we lacked a little last year,” Hernandez said.
While the Ducks await for what bowl game they will attend, the Beavers will start their off-season.
“That is not the standard,” Smith said. “We’re going to continue to work and look forward to building on this thing.”
Cincinnati instantly made a statement with a touchdown pass received by Jayshon Jackson during the first drive of the game. From that point on the Bearcats never looked back.
When the dust settled the game ended with a final score of 56-6, a big victory for the Bearcats making the team bowl eligible for the first time since 2015.
Cincinnati’s defense was strong and held East Carolina University most of night in their own territory. Desmond Ridder quickly completed a pass to Kahlil Lewis for 57 yards, ending the first quarter with a lead of 21-0 over the Pirates.
During the second quarter, Cincinnati forced a fumble which led to yet another Bearcat touchdown from Charles McClelland.
On ECU’s next drive, quarterback Holton Ahlers came up big for the Pirates with a pass to Mydreon Vines for 71 yards and an ECU touchdown. The Pirates chose to go for 2 points but were ultimately stopped by the Bearcats.
It didn’t take long for Ridder to once again find the hands of Kahlil Lewis for another Cincinnati touchdown with 3:53 left in the half, Cincinnati led ECU 42-6.
At the end of the first half, Bearcats’ quarterback, Desmond Ridder, was 20-29 passing with 335 yards.
Pirate’s quarterback, Holton Ahlers was 6-15 passing with 168 yards. The Bearcats dominated the first half with 454 total yards to the Pirate’s 185 total yards.
ECU received the ball to start the second half and showed great improvement. The Pirates battled their way into Bearcat territory but were unable to earn points after Cincinnati Arquon Bush intercepted a pass at the 2 yards line.
ECU struggled against the Cincinnati defense most of the night.
Bearcats head coach, Luke Fickell, spoke after the game. Coach Fickell stated that the most gratifying part of the 2018 season is not the record but the growth of the team. Coach Fickell spoke highly of the seniors, stating he “owes them everything”. Coach Fickell made it clear that it is not the 56-6 score that he is proud of, it’s his players.
Seniors, Garrett Campbell and Cortez Broughton both spoke about the bond and closeness of the team. Campbell and Broughton both stated that the freshmen have gone above and beyond for the program and they are anxious to see what the future holds for this team.
OFFENSIVE: Joshua Kelley, Jr., RB, UCLA (Lancaster, Calif.)
• Kelley ran for a USC-UCLA rivalry best 289 yards on 40 carries (7.2 avg.) and two touchdowns to lead the Bruins to 34-27 victory.
• It was the third-most rushing yards in UCLA history. In the fourth quarter alone, Kelley ran for 104 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown which put the Bruins in the lead for good at 28-27. The 40 carries were tied for the third-most ever by a Bruin back.
• During the game, he went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season and registered a rushing touchdown in his seventh straight game (longest streak since Skip Hicks ran for a score in 14 straight games – last 8 in 1996, first 6 in 1997).
• Kelley ripped off the two longest runs of his career versus the Trojans (61 and 55 yards). He finished with 289 of UCLA’s total of 479 yards of total offense in the contest and produced 11 first downs with his runs.
Also nominated: Eno Benjamin, RB, ASU; Jaylen Dixon, WR, UTAH; Jake Browning, QB, WASH; Gardner Minshew II, QB, WSU
DEFENSIVE: Jahad Woods, So., LB, Washington State (San Diego, Calif.)
• Collected a team-best 11 tackles in WSU’s 69-28 win over Arizona.
• In addition to his tackles, which included eight solo tackles and .5 tackle-for-loss, Woods added a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
• On the first play of the game for Arizona, Woods shared a TFL while grabbing J.J. Taylor before the line of scrimmage.
• Late in the second quarter Woods ended an Arizona drive and on third and goal from the WSU 3, Woods forced a fumble, recovered by WSU in the end zone, ending the Wildcat threat.
• Early in the fourth quarter, WSU forced a fumble on the punt return, recovered by Woods, setting up a five-play, 22-yard scoring drive that pushed WSU’s lead to 62-28.
Also nominated: Aashari Crosswell, DB, ASU; Gus Cumberrlander, DL, ORE; Krys Barnes, LB, UCLA; Francis Bernard, LB, UTAH
SPECIAL TEAMS: Matt Gay, Sr., PK, Utah (Orem, Utah)
• Gay broke the Utah school record for consecutive field goals with makes of 51, 33 and 31 yards for 21 consecutive field goals before missing from 56 yards in the fourth quarter against Colorado.
• Gay’s 33-yard field goal in the third quarter gave Utah its first lead of the game at 10-7. His 51-yarder in the fourth quarter extended his school record for 50-plus yard field goals to seven.
• Gay scored 12 points in Utah’s 30-7 win against the Buffs. He is first in the Pac-12 and eighth nationally in total points scored this season (107).
• Gay is first in the Pac-12 and second nationally in field goals per game (2.09).
Los Angeles, CA – The call was an outside zone play.
UCLA junior running back Joshua Kelley took the handoff and raced down the left sideline for 55-yard touchdown, giving the Bruins a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Kelley rushed for 289 yards on 40 carries with two touchdowns to lead UCLA to a 34-27 win over crosstown rival USC Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
“This is a game I’ve watched since I was like, 8 years old, and I was finally out there, and I was like, I’m gonna make sure I embrace every single moment,” Kelley said. “Make the best out of it. So it was a crazy experience, man. I loved it.”
The UC Davis transfer walked on at UCLA and has rushed for 1,188 this season. Kelley helped the Bruins snap a three-game losing streak to USC.
“It was crazy and finally I was out there and wanted to embrace every single moment of it,” Kelley said. “It was a crazy experience. I sure enjoyed it and our team did too.”
UCLA took a 14-3 lead in the first quarter on a 33-yard touchdown reception by Theo Howard and a 4-yard run by Wilton Speight.
The Trojans responded with a 44-yard touchdown pass from JT Daniels to Amon-Ra St. Brown, cutting the lead to 14-10.
USC cornerback Isaiah Langley blocked the UCLA punt and Devon Williams scooped and scored to give USC a 17-14 lead over UCLA..
Kelley scored from a yard out to regain the lead for UCLA but Velus Jones Jr. hauled in a 45-yard touchdown to give the lead back to USC with 5:54 left in the second quarter. USC led 24-21 at halftime.
“Coming into the game, we had a lot of respect for Joshua,” USC coach Clay Helton said. He’s a very physical back and a very good runner. I thought they did a nice job tonight of being able to get the ball outside on the perimeter and bouncing the ball outside.”
UCLA kicker JJ Molson added a pair of field goals to extend the lead in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans had one last shot in the final drive and reached the UCLA 29-yard line but Daniels pass fell incomplete on fourth down with 32 seconds left.
Daniels completed 20-of-34 passers for 337 yards and two touchdowns but threw a fourth-quarter interception.
“It was a deserved victory,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “They didn’t kind of slide into it or backdoor into this win. There’s no question in this game that we played hard. We played harder, and that’s why we won the football game.”
Eugene, OR –The Oregon Ducks narrowly defeated Arizona State 31-29 Saturday night, spoiling any hopes Herm Edwards and company had of winning the Pac-12 South this season.
Oregon’s run-first offense started fast, marching down field 78 yards for a touchdown in 9 plays giving the Ducks an early 7-0 lead. The opening drive was led by Travis Dye’s 3 carries for 50 yards and capped off by a CJ Verdell 6-yard touchdown run.
In what was potentially Justin Herbert’s last game in Autzen Stadium, he completed 19/34 passes for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Although both interceptions came off of tipped balls, Herbert certainty didn’t look his best Saturday but, the connection with Dillon Mitchell was alive and well. Mitchell led the Ducks in receiving with 103 yards and 1 touchdown.
Arizona State capitalized on Herbert’s first interception, scoring on the next play. Sun Devil QB Manny Wilkins found WR Frank Derby for a 22-yard touchdown pass, making it a one score game with 50 seconds left in the first half at 21-13. Oregon immediately responded with a quick score of their own, going 71 yards in just 39 seconds, and regaining a 15-point lead at half after an 8-yard TD rush by Jaylon Redd.
The Ducks struggled to find any rhythm in the second half, failing to score another touchdown the rest of the night.Commenting on the night’s turnovers and overall lack of production in the second half, Mario Cristobal stated “We kept finding ways to give the ball back to them. We should have turned in a lot more points and a lot more yards”.
Fortunately for Cristobal, his defense continued to stay strong on crucial stands, forcing Arizona State to punt 8 times on the night, and holding them to 3 field goals. Leading the defense in total tackles at 12, Troy Dye brought his season total above 100 for the second straight year.
In what ended up being the deciding moment of the game, the Oregon defense was put on the spot again after Arizona State tried tying the game at 31 with a two-point conversion. Manny Wilkins found Frank Derby in the back of the end zone, but he was questionably ruled out of bounds on the field with no review.
After forcing Herbert’s second interception of the night, Arizona State had another chance at a game winning drive with 3:47 to play. Only needing a field goal, Wilkins moved the ball into Oregon territory when he found WR N’Keal Harry for a first down, but the catch was overturned after a booth review. Wilkins fumbled the next play, and Oregon would go on to run the clock out.
The Oregon Ducks will travel to Oregon State next Friday, November 22nd for the “Civil War”, which Mario Cristobal referred to as the “Most important game of the year”.