Michigan receiver Cornelius Johnson, front, outruns Ohio State defenders Cameron Brown, right, and Brenten Jones to score a touchdown in the first half Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Johson had TD receptions of 69 and 75 yards and Michigan rolled to a 45-23 victory. Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — 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. As for the Buckeyes, they’ll 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 early in the season, 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.


He connected on scoring passes of 69 and 75 yards to Cornelius Johnson in the first half, then hooked up with Colston Loveland in the second half for 45 yards and the freshman tight end’s first career touchdown reception.

Then on third-and-10 on the Ohio State 13 early in the fourth quarter, McCarthy was on the run from Zach Harrison when he lofted a pass to the end zone toward Ronnie Bell, who drew a pass interference call on safety Ronnie Hickman.

That put the ball on the Ohio State 2, and three plays later the 19-year-old quarterback from suburban Chicago bowled over a tackler for another touchdown and a 31-20 Michigan lead.

The Buckeyes were forced to settle for a Noah Ruggles field goal to get the score to 31-23.

Edwards put the game away for Michigan.

Corum’s backup, who was playing with a heavily wrapped and an injured hand, raced through a hole in the right side and went 75 yards for a touchdown with 7:11 left.


After Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was intercepted, Edwards was off again, pulling away for an 85-yard scoring run.

(1) GEORGIA 37, GEORGIA TECH 14: Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes and the Bulldogs (12-0) completed back-to-back undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history by overcoming a slow start to beat the Yellow Jackets (5-7) in Athens, Georgia.

Georgia was down 7-0 early and led Georgia Tech only 10-7 at halftime. Then the Bulldogs overpowered the Yellow Jackets 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 champion Bulldogs 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.

(4) TCU 62, IOWA STATE 14: Kendre Miller ran for two touchdowns as fourth-ranked TCU completed the first undefeated regular season by a Big 12 team since 2009 with a victory over the Cyclones (4-8, 1-8 Big 12) in Fort Worth, Texas, getting the Horned Frogs (12-0, 9-0) closer to making the four-team College Football Playoff.


Max Duggan threw TDs to three receivers for the Frogs, who still have the Big 12 championship game to play next Saturday in Coach Sonny Dykes’ first season. But they will go into that as one of only three undefeated teams remaining.

A week after having to score nine points in the final 2 minutes, 7 seconds at Baylor, and getting the game-ending field goal when out of timeouts and the clock running, TCU led 17-0 with scores on each of its three drives against the Big 12’s top defense.

SOUTH CAROLINA 31, (7) CLEMSON 30: Spencer Rattler threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns, Mitch Jeter hit the go-ahead field goal with 11 minutes left and the Gamecocks (8-4, 3-2 SEC) crushed the playoff hopes of a second straight top-10 team with a victory over the Tigers (10-2, 6-1) in Clemson, South Carolina.

The Gamecocks 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 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.

(8) ALABAMA 49, AUBURN 27: Bryce Young passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in perhaps his final home game for No. 8 Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide (10-2, 6-2 SEC) past the Tigers (5-7, 2-6) in Saturday’s Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Alabama reached double digits in wins for a 15th consecutive season despite being unable to fulfill those ever-present national title aspirations.

The Tigers were trying to ensure bowl eligibility and salvage a disappointing campaign that included the Oct. 31 firing of coach Bryan Harsin.

Young, a junior, completed 20 of 30 passes with an interception and ran for 48 yards. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner is projected as a high NFL draft pick if he leaves early, as is Tide All-America linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who had a fourth-quarter sack to help stall a late Auburn drive.

(22) OREGON STATE 38, (10) OREGON 34: Isaiah Newell ran for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:11 remaining, and the Beavers (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) took advantage of critical mistakes in the fourth quarter by the Ducks (9-3, 7-2) to rally for a victory in Corvallis, Oregon.

The Beavers trailed 31-10 late in the third quarter and 34-17 early in the fourth, but the Ducks gave their rivals a short field on three consecutive possessions, leading to touchdowns.

First, Oregon gave up a 48-yard kickoff return by Silas Bolden, and a facemask penalty set up Oregon State at the Ducks 36. Newell ran for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 34-24.


(11) PENN STATE 35, MICHIGAN STATE 16: Sean Clifford threw four touchdown passes and No. 11 Penn State’s defense tightened up late as the Nittany Lions (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) beat the Spartans (5-7, 3-6) in State College, Pennsylvania.

Tight end Theo Johnson caught two touchdown passes, Tyler Warren and running back Nick Singleton each caught one, and KeAndre Lambert-Smith threw a touchdown pass and caught another for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State evened the all-time series with the Spartans at 18-18-1, but needed a fourth-quarter push to do so.

The Spartans were down a handful of players due to injuries and suspensions; seven of those suspended in the melee after the Michigan game on Oct. 29 were charged Wednesday.

(14) UTAH 63, COLORADO 21: Cameron Rising threw three touchdown passes before taking a seat for the second half, Ja’Quinden Jackson ran for three scores and the Utes (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) routed the Buffaloes (1-11, 1-8) to remain in the chase for the last spot into the Pac-12 title game in Boulder, Colorado.

The Utes entered the weekend with an outside shot at defending their league title, and things are starting to fall into place. UCLA did its part for Utah by knocking off Cal on Friday. Then, the big assist — No. 22 Oregon State surprising 10th-ranked Oregon, with the Utah fans at Folsom Field cheering when the score was flashed on the scoreboard. All that remains is No. 12 Washington beating Washington State late Saturday, and the Utes would earn a spot based on a tiebreaker. USC already has a spot for next Friday’s game in Las Vegas.


The Utes built a 42-0 halftime lead and steadily started sprinkling in their backups. It didn’t slow the Utes, who had 662 total yards of offense. Jackson scored on runs of 10, 2 and 66 yards.

JAMES MADISON 47, (23) COASTAL CAROLINA 7: Todd Centeio threw for four touchdowns and ran for one score as the Dukes (8-3, 6-2 Sun Belt) romped past the Chanticleers (9-2, 6-2) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in what it viewed as James Madison’s postseason game.

JMU 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.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 52, FORDHAM 42: Dylan Laube ran for three touchdowns and pulled in an 87-yard touchdown pass to lead the Wildcats (9-3) to a win over the Rams (9-3) in a first-round game in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in Durham, New Hampshire.

The win sends the Wildcats into a second-round matchup December 3 with undefeated Patriot League champion Holy Cross, ranked No. 6.

Max Brosmer dumped a short pass to Laube on the Wildcats’ second play from scrimmage and the running back won a foot race to the corner, then raced down the sideline for an 87-yard touchdown – high-fiving his blocking back at the 20 on his way to the end zone. Brosmer hit Sean Coyne for a short touchdown and connected with Heron Maurisseau on a 65-yard score to put New Hampshire up 21-7 after one quarter.


Maurisseau added a 71-yard run for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half and Laube’s third rushing touchdown, an 18-yard burst with 4:10 left pushed the lead to 52-34.


NEBRASKA: After six straight losing seasons and more than 20 years removed from its 1990s heyday, Nebraska is turning to Matt Rhule to rebuild its football program and make it competitive in the Big Ten Conference.

Rhule signed an eight-year contract to be the Cornhuskers’ next coach and will be introduced Monday at a news conference, the school announced Saturday.

The 47-year-old Rhule quickly turned around downtrodden programs at Temple and Baylor before leaving for the NFL to coach the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers fired him in October after he started his third season with four losses in five games.

MISSISSIPPI: Coach Lane Kiffin says he has informed school officials he will be staying at Ole Miss, putting an end to speculation that he was the leading candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Auburn.

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