Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sooners win an ugly one

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn't about to bite on questions about the future of the quarterback position after Saturday's 16-7 win over West Virginia.

The No. 16 Sooners' shaky passing game said plenty on its own, but senior running back Brennan Clay bailed out Oklahoma with a career-high 170 yards rushing.

Trevor Knight, who won the starting QB job in the preseason, was 10-of-20 for 119 yards. However, he threw two third-quarter interceptions and was 1-of-5 in the second half before being pulled in favor of Blake Bell to start the fourth quarter.

Bell, a 6-foot-6, 263-pounder mostly known for running Oklahoma's goal-line "Belldozer" offense last season, had a 10-yard run on his first play. That led to a field goal that extended Oklahoma's lead to 16-7. The Sooners held on fourth down on the ensuing series. Then they ran out most of the clock thanks to Clay, who ran it on seven consecutive plays, gaining 27 yards.

Bell attempted one pass, an incompletion. Stoops had no interest in talking about Knight's or Bell's status.

"At the end of the day, this was a tight competition," Stoops said. "And I just feel things weren't quite as good as they need to be in some of the throwing game. So we wanted to give (Bell) his chance."

Buckeyes get scare in rout

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State star quarterback Braxton Miller sustained a sprained left knee during the first quarter of a 42-7 victory over San Diego State. But coach Urban Meyer said, "I think there's a chance he'll be ready next week."

Miller was sandwiched between two tacklers on the No. 3 Buckeyes' seventh offensive play. Kenny Guiton entered and ran for one touchdown and passed for two.

"I actually wasn't that nervous. I prepared all week like a starter," Guiton said. "Once I got in, I took my first hit, got my first throw. After that it was just, 'Let's go.' "

Just like they did a week ago in rolling to a 23-0 lead, the Buckeyes got off to a big early lead. This time, however, they didn't allow the opponent to get back in the game, as Buffalo did in Ohio State's 40-20 opening victory. Guiton's 44-yard run helped make it 35-0 at halftime.

"He's too slow, not strong-enough armed," Meyer said. "All he does is lead, manage, distribute and has an incredible knowledge of the game and incredible leadership skills. And our players respond."

No. 13 Okla. St. 56, Texas-San Antonio 35: J.W. Walsh completed his first 10 passes and finished 24-of-27 for 326 yards and four touchdowns for the visiting Cowboys. The sophomore, who came off the bench last week, led Oklahoma State to touchdowns on five of its six series in leading 35-7 at halftime. "We had a lot of stuff going for us," Walsh said. "When you run that uptempo stuff and the defense is having trouble keeping up, a lot of things are going to work for you."

No. 21 Wisconsin 48, Tenn. Tech 0: Joel Stave was 24-of-28 for 219 yards and three touchdowns as the host Badgers cruised. Wisconsin recorded shutouts in its first two games for the first time since 1958. The first came 45-0 against UMass, which went 1-11 last season and lost to I-AA Maine on Saturday. Saturday's came against the I-AA Golden Eagles. "A lot of people say, 'Your competition this, your competition that,' " senior safety Dezmen Southward said. "Well, if you look across the nation, there are a ton of teams, big-time teams playing (I-AA) teams and they're not pitching shutouts. You need to come in and not lose your intensity."

No. 22 Nebraska 56, S. Miss 13: Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Ciante Evans returned first-quarter interceptions for touchdowns for the host Cornhuskers. Jean-Baptiste jumped in front of Rickey Bradley just as Allan Bridgford's pass arrived on the third play of the game and ran it back 43 yards. Evans made it 21-3 with the first of his two interceptions, catching a ball tipped by Tyre'oune Holmes and going 22 yards. The scores came a week after Nebraska allowed 602 yards in a 37-34 win over Wyoming.

No. 23 Baylor 70, Buffalo 13: A week after scoring 69 points for their most since 1929, the host Bears bested that while piling up a school-record 781 total yards. The starters scored touchdowns on 8 of 9 drives (the exception coming at the end of the first half) and had 576 yards on 46 plays in 11 minutes with the ball. "It just goes back to the work we put in; hour after hour," quarterback Bryce Petty said. "We like to make it look easy, but there's a lot of hard work put in."

No. 24 TCU 38, SE Louisiana 17: Trevone Boykin led three consecutive scoring drives after starting quarterback Casey Pachall got injured for the host Horned Frogs. Pachall hurt his left forearm at the end of a run late in the first half. The school did not disclose details but said he would sit out Thursday's Big 12 conference opener at Texas Tech. Boykin ran 16 yards on his first play, and Jaden Oberkrom ended the half with a 46-yard field goal that put the Horned Frogs up 17-14 over the I-AA Lions. Brandon Carter (5-yard run) and Josh Doctson (27-yard catch) made it 31-14 on TCU's first two second-half series. "I pretty much knew the game plan," said Boykin, 3-6 as a freshman starter a year ago. "I tried to execute it and play within our system."

Around the nation

Boise St. 63, Tenn.-Martin 14: Joe Southwick threw five touchdowns for the host Broncos, who rebounded from their worst loss in eight years (38-6 at Washington) against the I-AA Skyhawks.

Navy 41, Indiana 35: Keenan Reynolds rushed for 127 yards and three scores for the visiting Midshipmen. Navy has 20 wins over BCS schools since 2003, most among non-BCS schools during that span.

Penn St. 45, E. Mich. 7: Zach Zwinak (2 and 7 yards) and Bill Belton (5 and 51) ran for two touchdowns for the host Nittany Lions. Penn State trailed 7-0 in the first quarter after the Eagles returned a fumble 11 yards for a score.

Minnesota 44, New Mexico St. 21: Roddrick Williams ran for 148 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Gophers avenged a 28-21 loss to the Aggies in 2011.

Purdue 20, Indiana St. 14: Ricardo Allen's interception at the host Boilermakers 30 with 19 seconds left preserved the win over the I-AA Sycamores.

Iowa 28, Missouri St. 14: Jake Rudock (6 and 2 yards) and Mark Weisman (10 and 3) ran for two touchdowns for the host Hawkeyes, who ended a seven-game skid dating to 2012 by beating the I-AA Bears.

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