Sunday, June 24, 2018
Colleges

FSU-Clemson has added urgency

TALLAHASSEE — After a bye week, Florida State moved up a spot to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll Sunday, adding top-five excitement to this week's already-anticipated ACC matchup at Clemson.

It will be the conference's highest-ranked game since 2005 when fifth-ranked Miami topped No. 3 Virginia Tech 27-7.

The top four in the poll are unchanged: Alabama, Oregon, Clemson and Ohio State. Stanford, which lost at Utah, dropped eight spots to No. 13. No. 10 Miami (its best ranking since October 2005) gives the ACC three top-10 teams for the first time since Oct. 30, 2005.

The FSU-Clemson rivalry is gaining stature, with former Seminoles quarterback Adrian McPherson saying it has taken on FSU-Miami allure.

As a freshman, McPherson led FSU to its last victory in Death Valley, a 41-27 "dog fight.''

"I thought Death Valley was the toughest place to play, because you're sitting down in that hole and they get on top of you, so you can literally hear nothing," said McPherson, now with the Tampa Bay Storm.

ESPN's College GameDay will host its show at Clemson.

"The rivalry has grown because Clemson has been playing very well over the last couple of years," McPherson said. "I don't think it's been bigger than this year.''

The Seminoles lead the series 18-8, but Clemson has won six of 10 since snapping FSU's 11-game win streak in 2003. FSU rallied to win 49-27 last season.

"Last year they got us, but I feel like we should have won. We're looking for payback," said Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley, who has nine sacks. "It may be the biggest game in ACC history.''

Clemson leads the nation with 24 sacks.

"I'm trying to get the ACC to give me 13 guys and give me two more linemen so we can block them," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said.

FSU linebacker Christian Jones is well versed in the rivalry after his older brother and father played for the 'Noles: "I always felt like it was a rivalry. … It's always been a big game at Florida State."

"We want all people to be tuned in," FSU safety Terrence Brooks said. "I had this one marked down. I'm ready to go."

SEC poll record: Auburn moved into the AP rankings for the first time this season at No. 24, making the SEC the first conference to have eight ranked teams during the regular season. The SEC held the record, along with the ACC and Big Ten, of seven ranked teams — though the SEC had done it more than any other league. The SEC also had eight in the 2011 preseason poll. Michigan dropped out of the Top 25 for the first time this season, and No. 25 Wisconsin is back in to keep Ohio State from being the only Big Ten team.

Georgia: Coach Mark Richt says tailback Todd Gurley is "real close" to returning from a left ankle sprain that caused him to miss two games.

Late Saturday

ex-rowdies keeper kicks winner: Johnny Manziel threw for 346 yards, ran for two touchdowns and visiting Texas A&M beat Mississippi 41-38 on Josh Lambo's 33-yard field goal as time expired. Lambo is a former pro soccer player who briefly played goalkeeper for the Rowdies in 2010. Manziel engineered a 75-yard drive, scoring on a 6-yard run to tie it with 3:07 left. "Johnny's a beast," Lambo said. "It's so awesome to be part of a team that he gets to lead."

ALABAMA 48, KENTUCKY 7: T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake each ran for two touchdowns for the visiting Tide. After a sloppy scoreless first quarter, Alabama scored on its last eight possessions and outgained the Wildcats 668-170. AJ McCarron passed for a career-high 359 yards.

No. 11 UCLA 37, CAL 10: Brett Hundley passed for a career-high 410 yards and three touchdowns as the host Bruins got ready for back-to-back road games at Stanford and Oregon by grinding out a win. UCLA struggled with nine penalties and an unimpressive running game in the absence of injured tailback Jordon James, but Hundley went 31-for-41.

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