Warren helps No. 19 Oklahoma St. beat No. 21 Baylor 24-14

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STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is trying to wrap his mind around these low-scoring games in what once was the wide-open Big 12.

The transition has been easier for him because his Cowboys are winning. No. 19 Oklahoma State held No. 21 Baylor to 280 total yards and beat the Bears 24-14 on Saturday in a matchup of Big 12 teams that entered the night unbeaten.

Such defensive performances are becoming the norm for the Cowboys – they haven’t allowed more than 23 points in a game this season.

“Obviously, the defense playing good,” Gundy said. “I just don’t want to jinx them. They just keep playing, good. I hope that they just continue on like that.”

The offense did just enough. Jaylen Warren ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns and Tay Martin caught seven passes for 108 yards for the Cowboys (5-0, 2-0).

Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders passed for 182 yards and a touchdown and ran for 76 yards, but he helped Baylor stay in the game by throwing three interceptions.

“We’ve got to play better at that position than he did tonight when it comes to turning the ball over,” Gundy said. “He’s a dangerous player. But no, we can’t miminize those mistakes.”

Abram Smith rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown for Baylor (4-1, 2-1). The Bears, who were coming off a win over Iowa State, missed a chance to beat ranked teams in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1974.

Warren closed out Oklahoma State’s opening drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. He gained 51 yards on seven carries during the possession.

Sanders shook off two early interceptions and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Owens with 36 seconds left in the first half to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.

Oklahoma State outgained Baylor 256 yards to 99 in the first half.

Baylor punted on its first eight possessions. The Bears had 23 yards rushing as a team late in the third quarter before Smith ripped off a 55-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 to cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 14-7.

“You could see it on the sideline, everybody was fired up now,” Smith said. “The momentum – I felt like it changed right there, fired a lot of guys up on defense, kind of showed that we would hold our own on our side of the ball just as much as they were holding their own.”

Oklahoma State led 17-7 before Baylor’s offense, which had been bottled up most of the night, went on a seven-play, 84-yard drive. Gerry Bohanon scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to trim Oklahoma State’s lead to 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.

Warren put the game away with a 4-yard score on a fourth-and-1 with 2:10 remaining.

Baylor coach Dave Aranda said the team played with better energy in the second half to make the game competitive.

“I’m proud of how connected the team is, and I’m proud of the collective fight that we came out with at the start of the third quarters, the points that we were able to put on the board and the stops we were able to make,” he said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Baylor: The Bears entered the game with the nation’s No. 6 rushing attack, but their ground game was bottled up for most of the night. Baylor finished with 107 yards on 29 attempts after entering the night averaging 272 yards rushing per contest.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys won, but they were fortunate to escape after making so many mistakes. They’ll need to clean it up if they hope to contend for the Big 12 title.

LOOKING BACK

At halftime, Oklahoma State honored its 2011 team that won the Big 12 and beat Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. Only an upset loss to Iowa State kept the Cowboys out of the national title game. The Cowboys finished No. 3 in the final AP poll.

Biletnikoff Award winning receiver Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden were among the approximately 50 players from that team who were on the field as highlights from the season played on the big screen.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Baylor’s Trestan Ebner was fourth in the nation with 166 all-purpose yards per game. He finished with 71 yards, all on four kickoff returns. He had eight carries for zero yards, didn’t catch a pass and had zero yards on his only punt return.

Gundy said he challenged the team to slow Ebner in the return game.

“I thought we had fantastic coverage in our kick coverage and punt coverage,” he said. “A big part of the game for us.”

QUOTABLE

Gundy, a former Oklahoma State quarterback, on Sanders: “It’s OK every now and then to go down and not force a throw. You know, easier said than done. I can say that because I’ve lived that life. But we’ve just got to stay with him.”

UP NEXT

Baylor: Hosts West Virginia on Saturday.

Oklahoma State: At Texas on Oct. 16.

No. 2 Michigan beats Purdue 43-22 for Big Ten crown

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS – Donovan Edwards ran for 185 yards and a score, J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Michigan beat Purdue 43-22 on Saturday night for its second straight Big Ten title and a likely No. 2 playoff seed.

College football’s winningest program has the first 13-win season in school history. Two more victories would give the Wolverines (13-0, No. 2 CFP) their first national championship since 1997.

And with injured star Blake Corum sidelined by a season-ending left knee injury, Edwards stole the show for the second straight week.

After shredding rival Ohio State for 216 yards and two scores last week, Edwards broke open this game with a 60-yard on the first play of the second half to set up one score. He added a 27-yard TD sprint on Michigan’s next series to make it 28-13.

Purdue (8-5) never recovered from Michigan’s quick, seven-play onslaught after it trailed 14-13 at halftime.

But quarterback Aidan O'Connell and receiver Charlie Jones helped the Boilermakers make it interesting for a while.

O’Connell was 32 of 47 with 366 yards and two interceptions after missing some practice time early this week to mourn the death of his oldest brother. Jones, who lost to Michigan in last year’s game while playing for Iowa, had 13 receptions for 162 yards.

It just wasn’t enough.

Michigan showed no signs of a hangover after last week’s rout over the Buckeyes, taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession with a 25-yard TD pass from J.J. McCarthy to Colston Loveland.

Purdue answered with Devin Mockobee’s 1-yard scoring run to tie the score then took the lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 33-yard field goal.

Michigan answered by taking advantage of an offside call on fourth-and-6 by going for the first down, picking it up and eventually converting the drive into a 7-yard TD pass from McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker. They never trailed again.

Edwards big run set up Kalel Mullings‘ 1-yard TD plunge before Edwards celebrated his own scoring run.

All Purdue could muster was three more field goals.

McCarthy was 11 of 17 with 161 yards and one interception.

Corum posted a message on Twitter on Saturday morning to say his knee surgery went well.

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ magical season ended with a solid showing in the championship game where they played better than most expected. Still, they won the Big Ten’s wild, wild West, both trophy games and should be bound for a warm-weather bowl game.

Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines may have already locked up a top-two seed thanks to losses by Southern Cal and TCU. Michigan now has back-to-back conference crowns for the first time since 2003-04 though the hard part remains – ending its national title drought.

DIALING UP TRICKERY

Brohm played one season in the now defunct XFL and has acknowledged that experience helped him understand how to inject personality and creativity into play calling. It was on full display Saturday.

A surprise end around set up Purdue’s first score, a fake punt helped keep its second scoring drive alive and then Mockobee sprinted 25 yards on a fake flea-flicker in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Will find out its bowl game, destination and opponent Sunday.

Michigan: Waiting to see where its headed and who it will face in the national semifinals.

Klubnik, No. 10 Clemson rout No. 24 UNC 39-10 for ACC title

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Backup quarterback Cade Klubnik completed 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and No. 10 Clemson reclaimed the Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a 39-10 victory over No. 24 North Carolina on Saturday night.

Cornerback Nate Wiggins broke up two passes in the end zone, blocked a field goal and returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown to help the Tigers win their seventh ACC title in eight seasons.

Clemson (11-2, No. 9 CFP) won six straight ACC championships from 2015 to 2020 before failing to reach the title game last season. But coach Dabo Swinney‘s Tigers rebounded in a big way, going 9-0 against ACC foes this season to reach the Orange Bowl.

They have Klubnik to thank for that.

With Clemson down 7-0, Swinney benched two-year starter D.J. Uiagalelei after the Tigers failed to pick up a first down on their first two possessions, Swinney turned to Klubnik, a 5-star recruit from Austin, Texas. He responded by leading the Tigers to four straight scores and a 24-10 lead at halftime.

Clemson stretched it to 39-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t the first time Swinney has turned to Klubnik.

He benched Uiagalelei in the second half against Syracuse and Klubnik responded by leading the Tigers to a come-from-behind 27-21 victory. Swinney also turned to Klubnik against Notre Dame, although the results were the opposite with the freshman throwing a Pick 6 in a 35-14 loss.

Swinney has never been shy about replacing veteran QBs with less experienced players. He did it in 2014, sitting Cole Stoudt for Deshaun Watson, and again in 2018 replacing Kelly Bryant with Trevor Lawrence.

ACC player of the year Drake Maye was limited to 268 yards passing and turned the ball over three times for North Carolina (9-4, No. 23 CFP), which was seeking its first ACC championship since 1980 when Lawrence Taylor was wreaking havoc on quarterbacks.

Maye got things started on the right foot for the Tar Heels, capping an 11-play, 78-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead on UNC’s first possession.

But the Tar Heels repeatedly sputtered on offense inside the red zone after that, the biggest blow coming when Maye misfired near the goal line and Wiggins – who had struggled in Clemson’s 51-45 win over Wake Forest – returned his pass for a touchdown to give Clemson a 32-10 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter.

Klubnik provided an immediate spark for Clemson.

He led the Tigers on a nine-play, 71-yard drive, culminating in a 1-yard TD pass to Davis Allen. After Maye’s fumble, Klubnik caught a 19-yard pass from Phil Mafah to set up Mafah’s 4-yard touchdown run – Clemson’s second TD in a span of 40 seconds.

Klubnik then showed off his arm strength with a 68-yard pass to fellow freshman Cole Turner to set up his own 1-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead.

END OF AN ERA

This is the final year the ACC will feature its two division winners playing for a championship. In future years, all ACC teams will be lumped together and the two teams with the best records will advance to the title game.

THE TAKEAWAY

North Carolina: Maye garnered plenty of Heisman Trophy talk during the season, but the Tar Heels offense has stalled resulting in a three-game losing streak. But as long as Maye doesn’t transfer – and there are no indications he will given his family history at North Carolina – the Tar Heels have a good chance to get back to the ACC title game next season.

Clemson: The Tigers have set a high bar by winning national championships, so as much as they will enjoy getting back atop the ACC mountain there will be plenty of talk over whether Swinney cost his team a chance at a spot in the College Football Playoff by not turning to Klubnik at quarterback earlier in the season. It seems Uiagalelei might be a logical transfer portal candidate.

UP NEXT

Clemson will play in the Orange Bowl, while North Carolina awaits a bowl bid.