Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Stanford's McCaffrey does it all for Pac-12 title

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Run, pass and catch. Christian McCaffrey did it all in a record-setting performance that should send him to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony and Stanford to another major bowl.

McCaffrey ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record to lead No. 7 Stanford to the Pac-12 championship with a 41-22 win over No. 24 USC on Saturday.

Kevin Hogan caught the TD pass from McCaffrey, threw one and ran for a third, and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas scored on a 34-yard fumble return for the Cardinal (11-2). Stanford likely will play in the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champion, though it has a slim chance of making the College Football Playoff.

Cody Kessler threw for 187 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score for the Trojans (8-5), who lost in their first game since removing the interim tag from coach Clay Helton.

McCaffrey added 105 yards receiving and 149 return yards to give him a Stanford record 461 all-purpose yards for the game and 3,496 for the season. That broke Sanders' single-season record at Oklahoma State of 3,250 yards set in 1988, although McCaffrey took two extra games to do it.

Texas 23, No. 12 Baylor 17: Tyrone Swoopes passed for 151 yards and a touchdown and ran for one in his first start since the opener as the Longhorns knocked the host Bears out of Sugar Bowl contention. Baylor was in line to be the Big 12's representative in the Sugar Bowl, with the expectation that league champ Oklahoma will get into the College Football Playoff. Texas held on after building a 20-0 halftime lead but still has consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1988-89 in the old Southwest Conference.

C-USA: Brandon Doughty passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns as host Western Kentucky came from behind to beat Southern Miss 45-28 in the league's title game. Doughty was 34-of-52 and shook off a first-half interception that helped put the Hilltoppers (11-2) in a 14-point hole against the Golden Eagles (9-4). WKU trailed 21-7 at the 9:46 mark of the first half and 28-21 early in the third quarter before scoring 24 consecutive points en route to its first league championship.

SWAC: Alcorn State topped Grambling State 49-21 in Houston to hoist the conference trophy for the second straight season. The Braves (9-3) are the first repeat winner since 2002, joining Grambling (9-3) as the only programs to accomplish the feat. Alcorn leaned on its running game as Darryan Ragsdale had a title-game record 191 yards on 16 carries.

Coaching moves

A hectic week of coaching hires was capped by a flurry of activity on championship Saturday away from the field as Syracuse, Rutgers and North Texas hired coaches, joining Miami, Maryland and Virginia this week — among others.

SYRACUSE: Dino Babers was lured away from Bowling Green the day after he led the Falcons to a victory in the MAC championship game. Babers, 54, won two division titles in two seasons with Bowling Green and reached the Division I-AA playoffs twice as coach at Eastern Illinois. The Orange went 4-8 this season under Scott Shafer.

RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights are the second Big Ten East team to steal a defensive coordinator away from a division rival, coming to an agreement with Ohio State assistant Chris Ash, 41, according to multiple reports. Maryland made a similar move earlier this week, hiring Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as its head coach. The Scarlet Knights finished 4-8 in a tumultuous final season under Kyle Flood.

NORTH TEXAS: Seth Littrell, 37, the offensive coordinator at North Carolina, has been hired, the Denton, Texas, school announced during halftime of the ACC title game involving UNC and Clemson. The Mean Green went 1-11 this season, firing former USF and Florida assistant Dan McCarney after an 0-5 start.

JACKSONVILLE: Ian Shields has been hired, the Associated Press reported, after resigning Thursday from his coaching position at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C., where he spent two years and went 16-6. He replaces former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell, whose contract was not renewed after nine seasons.

NO Gamecocks FOR RICH-ROD: Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has turned down an offer to fill the vacancy at South Carolina, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted. Rodriguez, 52, tweeted: "Happy and honored to be an Arizona Wildcat!! Bear Down!!"

Comments
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