COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, Donovan Edwards busted the game open with two long fourth-quarter TD runs and No. 3 Michigan beat No. 2 Ohio State 45-23 Saturday, taking down the Buckeyes with stunning ease for the second straight season.
Playing almost the whole game without injured star running back Blake Corum, Michigan (12-0, 9-0, No. 3 CFP) was still able to beat Ohio State (11-1, 8-1, No. 2 CFP) in Columbus for the first time since 2000.
The Wolverines advance to the Big Ten championship next Saturday, with hopes for a second straight playoff appearance firmly in their control. The Buckeyes will have to hope they can back into the CFP after again crumbling in their biggest game of the season.
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan snapped an eight-game losing streak against their fiercest rivals last year. Now they have a two-game winning streak in The Game for the first time in 22 years.
McCarthy, the second-year quarterback who won the starting job from incumbent Cade McNamara, played the game of his career when Michigan needed it most. His previous longest pass completion was 42 yards, but against the Buckeyes he threw three touchdown passes of at least 45 yards, the most scoring passes of 45 or more in the history of the rivalry game.
NO. 1 GEORGIA 37, GEORGIA TECH 14
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes and Georgia completed back-to-back undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history by overcoming a slow start to beat Georgia Tech.
Georgia (12-0, No. 1 CFP) was down 7-0 early and led Georgia Tech only 10-7 at halftime. Then the Bulldogs overpowered the Yellow Jackets (5-7) with their running game to score 37 unanswered points and notch their fifth consecutive win in the state rivalry.
Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton ran for touchdowns. Georgia outrushed Georgia Tech 251-40.
The defending national champions are in good position to retain their No. 1 College Football Playoff ranking entering next week’s Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 6 LSU.
SOUTH CAROLINA 31, NO. 7 CLEMSON 30
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Spencer Rattler threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns, Mitch Jeter hit the go-ahead field goal with 11 minutes left and South Carolina beat Clemson to crush the playoff hopes of a second straight top-10 team.
The Gamecocks (8-4, 3-2 SEC) were the talk of college football last week after their 63-38 dismantling of then fifth-ranked Tennessee, ending the Vols’ hopes of a College Football Playoff berth.
South Carolina and Rattler, who threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns against Tennessee, ended any chance Clemson (10-2, 6-1 ACC, CFP No. 8) had of reaching the CFP. The Gamecocks rallied from 14-0 down 10 minutes in to end Clemson’s seven-game series winning streak and 40-game home streak that dated to 2016.
JAMES MADISON 47, NO. 23 COASTAL CAROLINA 7
HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Todd Centeio threw for four touchdowns and ran for one score as James Madison romped against Coastal Carolina in what the Dukes viewed as their postseason game.
JMU (8-3, 6-2 Sun Belt) earned a technical share of the league’s East Division title with the same conference record as the Chanticleers, but the Dukes are not eligible for a title under terms of their transition to the Bowl Subdivision.
The Chanticleers (9-2, 6-2) were the first visitor in the AP Top 25 to ever play at Bridgeforth Stadium, but did so without starting quarterback Grayson McCall. Their only score came on their second drive on Jarrett Guest’s 34-yard pass to Tyson Mobley.
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