Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

Okla. State firmly states playoff case

STILLWATER, Okla. — How's this for a playoff statement?

By dominating previously unbeaten TCU on Saturday, Oklahoma State gained control of the Big 12 race … and perhaps much more.

Mason Rudolph passed for 352 yards and five touchdowns, James Washington caught five passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns and the 12th-ranked Cowboys pulled off a 49-29 upset of the No. 5 Horned Frogs.

Oklahoma State travels to Iowa State next week then the Cowboys face No. 2 Baylor and No. 14 Oklahoma at home. Win those and OSU (9-0, 6-0 Big 12, No. 14 CFP) will be the conference champion with a strong argument for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

"There's a long ways to make up ground to get up there," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "Now, I'm not going to disregard that we're playing teams that are ranked high enough that we could make up some ground. But I just continue to stress for us, we have to practice well tomorrow."

OSU, which has won 11 straight overall, has felt overlooked all season. In the College Football Playoff rankings, the Cowboys are behind five teams that entered the weekend with a loss.

"We felt a bit snubbed, but our body of work has and will put us where we need to be at the end of the day," said linebacker Chad Whitener, who intercepted two passes and ran one back for a touchdown in the game.

TCU's Trevone Boykin, who has generated Heisman buzz all season, passed for 445 yards and ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw a career-high four interceptions.

"I used the Kevin Durant example, the one where you don't let him get to 50 points, just let him get to 25," Gundy said. "That's what we did (Saturday)."

TCU gained 663 yards, but the Horned Frogs were held scoreless in the red zone twice as their 16-game win streak was snapped. "They kicked our butt. It's as simple as this," TCU coach Gary Patterson said.

TCU's Josh Doctson, the nation's leader in receiving yards, left the game in the second quarter with a left wrist injury and did not return.

"You go in with a game plan, and the game plan is to throw to No. 9, and then No. 9's not there anymore," Patterson said. "Your whole set of rules change for this offense, because they set plays up for people."

Now, TCU is likely out of the national championship picture, Boykin put a dent in his Heisman hopes and Doctson might be lost for the season.

"The key to it is, maybe the playoffs are out of line, but we can beat Oklahoma and Baylor, and you're 11-1, and somebody else can make that decision (about the playoffs)," Patterson said.

Washington picked up right where he left off last week. The sophomore had 200 yards on four catches against Texas Tech, with touchdowns of 75 and 73 yards in the fourth quarter. He had catches of 48 and 50 yards in the first nine minutes against TCU.

"We felt like we had an advantage with the way they were defending us and singling him up," Gundy said.

NO. 9 STANFORD 42, COLO. 10: Kevin Hogan passed for two touchdowns and ran for one to lead the visiting Cardinals. With his 32nd win, Hogan surpassed Andrew Luck as the school's winningest quarterback. Christian McCaffrey, who grew up in nearby Denver, where his father, Ed, starred for the Broncos in the 1990s, had 220 all-purpose yards, and threw a 28-yard touchdown to tight end Austin Hooper. McCaffrey had 147 yards rushing, 15 receiving and 58 on returns.

NO. 10 IOWA 35, INDIANA 27: LeShun Daniels ran for two scores and injured quarterback C.J. Beathard threw the clinching touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to help keep the visiting Hawkeyes unbeaten as they matched the best start (9-0) in school history. The last time it happened was 2009. It was another frustrating finish for Indiana, which got within 21-20 after a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. But Daniels answered with a 1-yard scoring run, and Beathard — battling a groin injury — sealed it with a 10-yard touchdown pass to George Kittle. Cornerback Desmond King picked off his eighth pass, tying Iowa's single-season school record, and Beathard kept the Hawkeyes' resurgence on track. "We wanted to change the culture around this program, and we're not stopping here," Beathard said. "We want it to continue."

No. 14 Okla. 52, Iowa St. 16: Baker Mayfield completed 23 of 31 for 342 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score to pace the host Sooners. Samaje Perine ran for 95 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and Joe Mixon rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on eight carries for OU, which won its fourth straight, outscoring its opponents 232-50. Oklahoma utilized a quick-strike, big-play offense that produced six touchdown drives of five or fewer plays — three in the opening quarter.

NO. 16 MICH. 49, RUTGERS 16: Jake Rudock threw for two touchdowns and a career-high 337 yards and ran for a score and a two-point conversion for the host Wolverines, who were able to coast to an easy victory after wild finishes in their past two games. They beat Minnesota last week on a goal-line stand and botched a punt to lose to Michigan State on the final play the week before. The Scarlet Knights have lost three straight, giving up at least 48 points in each game.

NO. 22 UCLA 41, OREGON ST. 0: Josh Rosen threw two touchdowns to Thomas Duarte for the visiting Bruins in cold, rainy conditions. Rosen was 22-for-33 for 333 yards, with the freshman sitting out the fourth quarter. The Bruins finished with 676 yards of offense . They limited the Beavers to 246 yards and forced four turnovers against redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Mitchell.

Elsewhere

N'western 23, Penn StATE 21: Jack Mitchell's 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left won it for the host Wildcats. Backup Zack Oliver passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and Justin Jackson rushed for 186 yards for NU. Mitchell had missed an extra point and a pair of field goals earlier in the game. Solomon Vault had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 2:04 left in the first half for Northwestern. Oliver replaced Clayton Thorson, who was hit with 3:09 left in the first quarter by Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib. Thorson suffered a lower-body injury and didn't return.

Illinois 48, Purdue 14: Wes Lunt threw three first-half touchdowns as the visiting Illini snapped a three-game losing streak. Illinois, which had scored 33 total points in consecutive losses to Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State, drove 76, 58 and 72 yards for touchdowns during the opening 30 minutes.

Harvard 24, Columbia 16: Scott Hosch passed for two touchdowns, Justice Shelton-Mosely returned a punt 86 yards for a score and the visiting Crimson held off a fourth-quarter surge to win its 22nd straight and 16th consecutive Ivy League game to remain unbeaten at 8-0.

Wisconsin 31, Maryland 24: Joel Stave threw for 188 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Badgers rebounded from a lackluster first half for their fifth straight victory. Natrell Jamerson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown during a first half in which the Badgers totaled 94 yards in offense and found themselves tied at 17 at halftime.

Air Force 20, Army 3: Karson Roberts threw two touchdowns to tight end Garrett Griffin, and the Falcons defense turned in a dominating performance to win their school-record 11th straight home game.

Dayton 20, Morehead St. 15: Jack Adams ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown to keep the visiting Flyers undefeated at 9-0. Adams' winning score came with 7:09 to play, capping an 83-yard drive.

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