Chris Wilson

Rattler TD pass in 4th OT sends OU past No. 22 Texas 53-45

Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Benched early and celebrating late, Spencer Rattler had quite the first experience in a most unusual version of the Red River rivalry.

The Oklahoma freshman threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Drake Stoops in the fourth overtime and the Sooners survived a late rally from No. 22 Texas in regulation for a 53-45 victory Saturday.

Rattler sat most of the second quarter in favor of Tanner Mordecai after an interception and a fumble, but came back with two of his three scoring passes in overtime as the Sooners (2-2, 1-2 Big 12) bounced back from their first back-to-back losses in the regular season since 1999.

“I thought Spencer did some good things early then had a couple plays that I didn’t like,” coach Lincoln Riley said. “I felt like Tanner would go play well. I also felt like it would help Spencer step back for a second and kind of see the whole thing a little bit and settle down, and I think that happened.”

So much about one of college football’s most unique settings was different because the pandemic reduced the crowd to 24,000 at the 93,000-seat Cotton Bowl and shut down the surrounding Texas state fair for the first time since World War II.

The dramatic ending was quite familiar, even if it was the first time since 1999 that neither team was ranked in the Top 20. It was just the second four-OT game in 25 seasons of the Big 12, joining Kansas State’s 53-50 victory over Texas A&M in 2011.

Sam Ehlinger, who had a career-high four rushing touchdowns, threw two TD passes in the final 3:28 of regulation after what appeared to be a game-sealing interception by Woodi Washington in the end zone with the Sooners leading 31-17 with five minutes remaining.

But Ehlinger’s pass was intercepted in end zone by Tre Brown after Rattler’s toss to former OU coach Bob Stoops’ son, leaving the senior with a 1-4 record against his biggest rival, including a loss in the 2018 Big 12 championship game.

The Longhorns (2-2, 1-2) also left themselves little hope of playing for a Big 12 title, much less being part of the College Football Playoff conversation.

“We showed the football team we are there at the end when we stay out of our own way, without penalties, a lot of different things, mistakes that are self-inflicted,” said Ehlinger, who threw 53 passes and had 23 carries for a career-high 112 yards. “It’s unfortunate. We’ve got to get better.”

After tossing a 2-yard score to Keaontay Ingram with 14 seconds left in regulation, Ehlinger opened the second OT game in the Texas-OU series with his third rushing TD, from 3 yards.

Rattler answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Stogner, then plunged over from the half-yard line on fourth down after his initial scoring run was overturned on review to start the second OT.

Ehlinger’s fourth rushing TD forced the third overtime, when Texas’ Cameron Dicker had a 33-yard field goal try blocked by Perrion Winfrey before OU’s Gabe Brkic missed wide left from 31 on second down.

Rattler was replaced by Mordecai in the second quarter after losing a fumble on a sack at the Oklahoma 19 to set up the first Texas touchdown. His interception was thrown directly to waiting linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who returned it to the Oklahoma 11. The Sooners held Texas to a field goal.

It was hard to tell if Rattler came out because of an injury or ineffectiveness. He was holding his helmet on the sideline, rubbing and shaking his right arm.

“I was kind of surprised when I came out at first,” said Rattler, who was tied for the Big 12 lead with four interceptions coming in. “Coach Riley told me to take a breather, you are going to get back in there. My arm was bugging me too.”

Rattler was 23 of 35 for 209 yards, and T.J. Pledger rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Ehlinger threw for 287 yards, while his top three running backs — Ingram, Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson — combined for just 11 carries and 29 yards.


Consecutive Big 12 losses, the first for Oklahoma since 1998, sent the Sooners tumbling from No. 3 to out of the poll for the first time since 2016. They could get back in now. The Longhorns are likely on their way back out after a second straight loss.


Texas: The Longhorns squandered a great chance to take control early before scrambling to force the tie late. Ingram fumbled on his first carry at the Oklahoma 40, his second straight carry with a fumble. Ingram fumbled on the goal line a week earlier to help preserve TCU’s 33-31 win in Austin.

Despite the three early OU turnovers, the best Texas could do was a 10-10 tie, and they were behind again after getting a punt blocked.

Oklahoma: Riley never had to think much about replacing his quarterback the past three seasons, with Heisman Trophy winners and No. 1 overall NFL draft picks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, followed by Jalen Hurts. But he didn’t hesitate with Rattler, saying Mordecai had been playing well in practice and deserved a look.

Mordecai’s only scoring drive wasn’t far, a 20-yarder after David Ugwoegbu blocked a punt and recovered it at the Texas 5. An unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the Sooners back.


Texas: Baylor at home Oct. 24.

Oklahoma: At TCU on Oct. 24.

Spiller helps No. 21 A&M top No. 4 Florida 41-38

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Jimbo Fisher got his first win against a top-five opponent since taking over at Texas A&M.

And just like that, he started looking ahead to next weekend.

“This game shows you what you’re capable of,” the coach said. “Now I want to see what do you follow up with?”

Isaiah Spiller rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 21 Texas A&M beat fourth-ranked Florida 41-38 on Seth Small’s 26-yard field goal as time expired Saturday.

Spiller helped get the Aggies get into position for Small’s decisive kick, sending A&M to its first win over a top-five team since a 41-38 victory over No. 3 Auburn in 2014. It was the school’s first such victory at home since it toppled No. 1 Oklahoma 30-26 in 2002.

“I think this is a real big confidence-booster,” Spiller said. “I feel like we really gained our identity.”

Fisher brushed off the notion that it was a signature win or it meant more than anything he’s done in three seasons in College Station.

“It’s a good win,” he said. “It’s a big win … but they’re all big wins.”

Kellen Mond threw a 51-yard pass to Caleb Chapman for a tying TD with about 4½ minutes to go.

The Gators were driving when Buddy Johnson forced a fumble by Malik Davis, and it was recovered by DeMarvin Leal to set up the game-ending field goal.

“We had plenty of opportunities to put the game away,” quarterback Kyle Trask said. “So you can’t blame it all on one play because it shouldn’t even been close if we would have executed on the drives that we didn’t score on.”

Mond passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns to help the Aggies (2-1, 2-1 SEC) down the previously undefeated Gators (2-1, 2-1).

Unlike Fisher, Mond, who became Texas A&M’s career leader in yards passing Saturday, raved about the importance of such a high-profile win.

“We’ve had some big wins (but) this is definitely huge,” he said. “This definitely I feel like can be a culture-changing win and only can give this team more confidence.”

Trask, who was named after Kyle Field by his A&M-graduate parents, had 312 yards passing and four TDs. But the Gators were done in by the late mistake and another poor performance by their defense.

“We’re playing 10 SEC games in a row,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “We have to get over this one quick. It’s more like an NFL schedule.”

Mullen was disappointed that the Gators allowed A&M to convert 12 of 15 third-down opportunities.

“We’re going to evaluate a lot of things defensively, and our ability to make plays and get off the field,” he said.

Chapman finished with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Aggies bounced back from last week’s lopsided loss to No. 2 Alabama.

Leon O’Neal intercepted Trask on Florida’s first drive of the second half, but the play was wiped out by a hands-to-the-face penalty on Michael Clemons. There was a scuffle after a play later in the drive that resulted in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for both teams.

Kadarius Toney grabbed his second TD reception on the next play, a 37-yarder that made it 28-17 Gators with about 10 minutes left in the third.

Another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Aggies, this one on Andre White, occurred on the ensuing kickoff and it looked as if Florida was in control of the game.

But then Spiller got going. Texas A&M grinded it out on its next drive, passing just once on a 10-play possession capped by a 3-yard TD from Spiller.

Florida led 28-24 early in the fourth when Spiller struck again, running 19 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play. Spiller bounced off several defenders before waltzing into the end zone and then hitting the Florida fan section with a Gator chomp.

Florida’s Evan McPherson kicked a tying 53-yard field goal with about 9½ minutes remaining, setting the stage for a wild finish.

The game was tied when Ainias Smith fumbled after a reception and the ball was recovered by Marco Wilson. The Gators cashed in on the mistake when Trask threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dameon Pierce to make it 38-31 with about six minutes left.

Kyle Pitts gave the Gators an early lead when he leaped above two defenders for a 5-yard touchdown reception on the first drive. The Aggies tied it up when Mond connected with Chase Lane on an 11-yard TD on their first possession.

Trask’s second TD pass came on the next drive when he found Toney for an 11-yard grab.

Mond then orchestrated a 14-play, 94-yard drive capped by a touchdown pass to Chapman after that.

Florida regained the lead on Nay’Quan Wright’s 1-yard scoring run with about four minutes left in the second.

A field goal by the Aggies at the end of the second cut the lead to 21-17 at halftime.


Both teams showed off their offensive firepower, but will need to improve on defense after a game where the teams combined for more than 900 yards.


Mullen thought A&M’s crowd played a factor in win, even though only 24,709 fans were allowed because of the coronavirus. Now that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has lifted capacity restrictions at sporting events in the state, Mullen wants to see a much bigger crowd than he saw Saturday when the Gators are at home next week.

“I certainly hope our university administration follows the governor,” Mullen said. “The governor has passed a rule that we’re allowed to pack the Swamp and have 90,000 in the Swamp to give us the home-field advantage Texas A&M had.”

The Gators allowed 17,000 fans for their home opener on Oct. 3.


The Aggies should move up a few spots after knocking off the Gators, and Florida will certainly drop after losing to a team that didn’t really put up a fight against Alabama last week.


Florida: Hosts No. 17 LSU next Saturday in the first of two straight home games.

Texas A&M: Travels to visit Mississippi State next Saturday.

Tulsa snaps No. 11 UCF’s 21-game home winning streak, 34-26

Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. — There is something about UCF that brings the best out of Tulsa.

Zach Smith threw three touchdown passes and Tulsa erased an 18-point first-half deficit to beat No. 11 UCF 34-26, snapping the Knights’ 21-game home winning streak Saturday night.

The Golden Hurricane (1-1) made it two straight wins over UCF (2-1), which was plagued by penalties (18 for 124 yards) and turned the ball over three times.

“New year, new season,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. “We’ve got a lot of talent on this football team. On the road in a tough environment . I’m proud of these guys for sticking together. We’ve always been a gritty, tough, hard-nosed football team and we proved that again tonight.”

Smith threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Keylon Stokes to give Tulsa a 31-26 lead with 12:56 remaining. Zack Long added a 34-yard field goal with 1:30 remaining to make it 34-26.

UCF (2-1) drove into Tulsa territory, but after a holding penalty pushed the Knights out of the red zone Dillon Gabriel‘s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete.

Gabriel was 28-of-51 for 330 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

“There were opportunities in the game that we didn’t take advantage of,” Gabriel said. “I put this on me. There has to be better QB play. I have to execute at a higher level.”

Tulsa was the last team to beat UCF at home with a 35-20 win on November 19, 2016, when Scott Frost was the Knights’ head coach. The Golden Hurricane also upset UCF last season 34-31 in Tulsa.

Smith threw for 273 yards and T.K. Wilkerson rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown to lift the Golden Hurricane to their first win against a Top 15 opponent since 1991. Stokes had six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought we found ways to run the football, we got some explosive runs,” Montgomery said. “And we found ways to protect Zach and give him time. Our offensive line and tight ends did a fantastic job to help us push the ball down the field.”

UCF led 23-5 with 1:39 left in the second quarter after Cole Schneider, the Knights’ starting left guard, lined up at fullback and scored on a 1-yard run. Tulsa answered quickly to make the score 23-12 at halftime when Josh Johnson hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Smith.

Tulsa recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half and on the next play Smith threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Sam Crawford Jr. to make it 23-19. After UCF got a 26-yard field goal from Daniel Obarski, Wilkerson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 26-25, and Tulsa missed the PAT.

“Turnovers were huge in the football game,” UCF coach Josh Heupel said. “We gave up the one play at the end of the half. We had a turnover on the kickoff. At the end of the day all three facets of the game have to work together. We have to play better complementary football.”


Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane have two wins over UCF in their past five games.

UCF: The Knights’ long-shot College Football Playoff hopes take a major blow.


Many of UCF’s 18 penalties were pre-snap infractions. The Knights had 19 false start penalties in the past two games.

“Offensively you start moving and then you get yourself behind the chains,” Heupel said. “Eventually you’re not going to be able to overcome those things and it costs us a ball game tonight.”


The first quarter featured safeties from both teams. UCF linebacker Eriq Gilyard tackled Smith in the end zone on QB keeper to give the Knights a 9-0 lead with 7:35 remaining in the quarter.

Tulsa returned the favor when linebacker Zaven Collins stopped Otis Anderson in the end zone to make it 16-2 with 2:16 remaining.


Tulsa’s last win over a Top 15 team was a 35-34 win over No. 15 Texas A&M on September 21, 1991. .. UCF is 1-5 in their last six one-score games dating back to the 2019 Fiesta Bowl.


UCF wide receiver Marlon Williams stayed on the ground for several minutes after the final play before leaving the field with assistance.


Tulsa will host Cincinnati on October 17.

UCF will travel to Memphis on October 17.