No. 5 Iowa forces 7 turnovers in 51-14 rout of Maryland

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Spencer Petras threw for three touchdowns and ran for two and No. 5 Iowa took advantage of seven Maryland turnovers in a 51-14 victory Friday night.

The Hawkeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) intercepted five of Taulia Tagovailoa‘s passes, and they outscored the Terrapins 31-0 in the second quarter as Maryland completely unraveled. The Terps (4-1, 1-1) never recovered after losing standout receiver Dontay Demus to an apparent leg injury on a kickoff return early in the second.

Iowa beat Iowa State earlier this season thanks to a plus-four turnover margin on a day the Hawkeyes were badly outgained. The matchup with Maryland was an even more extreme version of that. The Terrapins turned the ball over five times in the first half and four times in the second quarter.

“You sit on the bench for two seconds, you’re right back out,” Petras said, describing the flurry of takeaways.

Tagovailoa had thrown only one interception all season – while leading the Big Ten in yards passing – but he was picked off on the Terrapins’ second possession Friday in a sign of things to come. That turnover led to a field goal that opened the scoring, but Maryland responded sharply, driving 69 yards in eight plays and taking the lead on a 9-yard scoring pass from Tagovailoa to Chigoziem Okonkwo.

Iowa went ahead 10-7 on a 1-yard run by Petras on the first play of the second quarter, and then Maryland’s big night – the Terps had a chance to start 5-0 for the first time since 2001 – went sour for good.

Demus, the Big Ten’s leader in yards receiving, had four catches for 61 yards in the first quarter. On the kickoff after Petras’ touchdown, however, he fumbled and remained on the ground injured. He eventually left on a cart, and that turnover gave Iowa the ball at the Maryland 10.

“We took an X-ray of it,” Maryland coach Michael Locksley said. “Until we get the MRI, we’re not really sure, but it’s some type of lower-body injury.”

Petras threw an 8-yard TD pass to Arland Bruce IV. Then, on the first play of the Terps’ next possession, Tagovailoa’s deflected pass was intercepted, and the Hawkeyes took over at the Maryland 26.

Petras made it 24-7 with a 1-yard scoring run. Then Tagovailoa’s next pass was picked off at the Maryland 45. Iowa scored again on Monte Pottebaum’s 2-yard run.

The final turnover of the half came on a Hail Mary by Tagovailoa on the last play. After two more interceptions in the second half – one thrown by Tagovailoa and one by his backup – Iowa now has 12 on the season. No other Big Ten team has more than five.

In the second half, Petras threw touchdown passes of 67 yards to Tyler Goodson and 7 yards to Tyrone Tracy.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa: This was an emphatic win on a night the Hawkeyes figured to be tested by Maryland’s passing game. Iowa won’t be able to count on a deluge of turnovers every week, but the defense’s ability to force them made this a remarkably easy victory.

Maryland: There’s no way to sugar coat it: This was a big night for the Terps, the crowd was ready, and it went about as badly as it possibly could have. Maryland still seems to be making strides in Locksley’s third season, but he’ll have to hope his team learns from this experience.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa can relax this weekend and see if any of the top four teams loses. Two of them – No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia – face ranked opponents.

UP NEXT

Iowa: The Hawkeyes face a major showdown Oct. 9 against No. 4 Penn State.

Maryland: The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Terrapins, who travel to play No. 11 Ohio State next.

No. 3 TCU loses 31-28 in OT to K-State in Big 12 title game

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Ty Zentner kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime as 13th-ranked Kansas State beat No. 3 TCU 31-28 in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, leaving the Horned Frogs to wait another day to find out if they had already done enough to get into the four-team College Football Playoff.

The Wildcats set up the winning field goal after TCU (12-1) had the opening possession of overtime and Kendre Miller was stopped short on consecutive plays from inside the 1.

Deuce Vaughn ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and Will Howard threw two TDs for the Wildcats (10-3, No. 10 CFP), who six weeks earlier had jumped out to a 28-10 lead early in the second quarter before TCU scored the game’s last 28 points.

That was one of five games the Horned Frogs (12-1, No. 3 CFP) won when trailing after halftime. But they couldn’t do it again with the chance to guarantee being the first Big 12 team other than Oklahoma to make the playoff.

TCU, the first Big 12 team to complete a regular season undefeated since Texas in 2009, could still get into the playoff. While their case was helped when fourth-ranked Southern California (11-2) lost 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night, the Frogs now have to wait until the final CFP rankings come out Sunday.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said before the game that TCU, with first-year coach Sonny Dykes, already deserved to be in the playoff.

“You look at their strength of schedule. You think about how they’ve performed all year long,” Yormark said. “I think regardless, they should be in, for sure.”

No. 4 USC falls to Utah in Pac-12 Championship, damaging playoff hopes

Utah vs. USC
USA Today
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LAS VEGAS — No. 12 Utah pounded a limping, bloodied Caleb Williams and roared past No. 4 Southern California 47-24 on Friday night to win the Pac-12 Championship and put USC’s College Football Playoff hopes in doubt.

The loss by the Trojans (11-2) could open the way for Ohio State (11-1) to take their spot in the playoffs. USC is fourth in the CFP rankings, the Buckeyes are one step behind.

Ohio State had to be Utah’s biggest fan. The Buckeyes move up in playoff consideration, with 12-0 Michigan at No. 2 with the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, that would give the Big Ten conference two playoff teams for the first time. It also would extend the Pac-12′s playoff drought — Washington in 2017 is the last team from that conference to make the playoffs.

Utah (10-3) is heading to the Rose Bowl, but the Utes already were going there regardless of the outcome of the title game. They are responsible for USC’s only losses, having edged the Trojans 43-42 on Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City.

The Utes rolled up 533 yards of offense in the rematch, and Cam Rising passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Williams threw for 363 yards and three TDs. He entered the game as the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, but wasn’t the same after getting injured in the first quarter.

The Trojans looked as if they were going to run away with the game, taking a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter behind some stellar play by Williams.

He appeared to hurt his left knee or leg in the first quarter on a 59-yard run in which he took a big hit at the end, and he suffered a bad cut on the pinky finger of his throwing hand. He spent most of the game limping, and wasn’t the same after a sterling first quarter in which the Trojans outgained Utah in total yards 194-70, and Williams had both touchdown passes.

After USC failed to pick up a fourth-and-8 from Utah’s 37-yard line, the Utes scored two touchdowns in the final 3:55 of the first half, and suddenly the game was tied at 17. Instead of a rout, the game was beginning to look like the shootout the Utes won in October.

The game took on that tone at times in the second half, but USC had no answer for how to slow down Utah, which outscored the Trojans 44-7 in overcoming that two-touchdown deficit.

ATTENDANCE RECORD

A announced sellout crowd of 61,195 made this the largest for a neutral-site Pac-12 Championship. It beat the previous record of 58,476 fans. who watched Southern California-Stanford in Santa Clara, California, in 2015.