Boise State forces 4 turnovers, knocks off No. 10 BYU 26-17

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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PROVO, Utah- Hank Bachmeier threw for 172 yards and Boise State forced four turnovers in a 26-17 upset victory over No. 10 BYU on Saturday.

Cyrus Habibi-Likio ran for a season-high 75 yards and a touchdown, and Andrew Van Buren added a season-high 60 yards and a touchdown to help the Broncos (3-3) snap a two-game losing streak in the series.

The Broncos held the Cougars (5-1) to a single touchdown over the final three quarters after blowing second-half leads in losses to UCF and Nevada.

“We finally finished the second half,” Bachmeier said. “I think we’ve always been capable of doing it.”

Jaren Hall threw for a career-high 302 yards and a touchdown for BYU, and Tyler Allgeier ran for 73 yards and a touchdown. The Cougars outgained Boise State 413-312 in total yards.

“I felt like we moved the ball pretty well, except for a couple of drives,” Hall said. “We just didn’t take care of the ball and did a lot of uncharacteristic things … and put our defense in a tough spot several times. That’s pretty much the story of the game for us.”

Hall looked sharp during the first quarter despite a two-game absence with a rib injury. He completed long passes to open each of BYU’s first two drives. Hall punctuated the second drive with a 14-yard strike to Samson Nacua that made it 10-0.

Boise State rallied to take a 20-10 halftime, capitalizing on back-to-back BYU fumbles. The Broncos became the first opponent to lead the Cougars at any point this season.

“Early on there, the first couple of drives they had success,” Boise State coach Andy Avalos said. “It was about getting settled in and not getting rattled.”

The Broncos tied it when Cyrus Habibi-Likio broke free for an 11-yard sprint. Scott Matlock recovered a fumble by Allgeier at the BYU 24 to set up Boise State’s first touchdown.

Boise State went ahead 17-10 on a 1-yard plunge from Andrew Van Buren. The Broncos’ second touchdown came five plays after Lopini Katoa fumbled a kickoff return at the BYU 23.

Our defense has done a really good job of getting the ball back to the offense this year,” Boise State linebacker Riley Whimpey said. “A couple of those turnovers came at crucial points in the game and set up our offense with great field position and they capitalized.

The Cougars struggled to rally after repeatedly failing to convert in the red zone in the second half. Katoa’s second fumble stopped one drive at the Broncos 13. An incomplete fourth-down pass from Hall stopped a second drive at the Boise State 5.

BYU finally cut it to 23-17 midway through the fourth quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Allgeier. A 59-yard catch by Gunner Romney on the opening play of the drive set up the score.

Jonah Dalmas hit a 22-yard field goal with 3:27 left and Kaonohi Kaniho picked off a pass from Hall at the Broncos 11 to seal it.

“I saw a lot of mistakes,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “Against a good team it’s hard to overcome those mistakes.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Boise State: Strong defensive play helped the Broncos run off 23 straight points. An ability to stifle BYU when it mattered helped Boise State overcome a mediocre outing on offense.

BYU: Back-to-back second quarter turnovers ripped away any offensive momentum the Cougars generated during the first quarter. BYU struggled to convert in the red zone throughout the second half.

ROAD WARRIOR

Boise State’s victory over BYU broke a lengthy road drought for the Mountain West Conference against AP Top 10 teams. The Broncos became the league’s first team to beat a Top 10 opponent on the road in a nonconference game since TCU upset Oklahoma in 2005.

NO TAKEAWAYS

BYU did not force any turnovers against the Broncos. The Cougars came into the game with 10 takeaways in their first five games while giving up only two turnovers in that same stretch.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Losing to a sub .500 Boise State team will cause BYU to take a tumble in the AP Top 25.

UP NEXT

Boise State: Hosts Air Force on Saturday.

BYU: At Baylor on Saturday.

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.