No. 1 LSU 41,
No. 3 ARKANSAS 17
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tyrann Mathieu returned a punt 92 yards for a score, LSU punished third-ranked Arkansas with 286 yards rushing, and the top-ranked Tigers secured a spot in the SEC championship game on Friday.
Kenny Hilliard, Spencer Ware and Jordan Jefferson all scored on the ground for LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC), which is 12-0 for the first time and will play No. 13 Georgia next weekend in Atlanta.
A win over the Bulldogs would assure the Tigers their third trip to the BCS title game in nine seasons. Though at this point, LSU might be able to get there even if it loses.
Arkansas took a surprising 14-0 lead on Tyler Wilson’s TD pass to Jarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith’s 47-yard fumble return, but LSU stormed back by scoring 41 of the next 44 points in the game.
No. 2 ALABAMA 42, AUBURN 14
AUBURN, Ala. — Trent Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards and AJ McCarron threw three first-half touchdown passes to lift Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) now must wait and see if its resume is good enough to secure a shot at a second national title in three years. No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 1 LSU have big games remaining.
Richardson ran 27 times and caught a 5-yard touchdown pass in his final chance to impress Heisman Trophy voters. He had runs of 35 and 57 yards to set up second-half scores.
The Tide didn’t put Auburn (7-5, 4-4) away until Dee Milliner’s 35-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter. Alabama entered the quarter with a 309-44 advantage in total yards but also gave up touchdowns on a fumble recovery and a kick return.
No. 7 BOISE STATE 36,
BOISE, Idaho — Kellen Moore tossed three touchdown passes, including a 46-yarder on the final play of the first half, to lead Boise State.
After getting off to a sluggish start, Moore and the Broncos (10-1, 5-1) rattled off 36 straight points to put the game away and secure a second-place finish in their first year as a member of the Mountain West Conference.
Moore was 24 of 36 for 279 yards and he threw touchdown passes of 17 and 10 yards in the second half.
Wyoming (7-4, 4-2) scored first when linebacker Luke Anderson picked off Moore’s pass early in the first quarter and ran 29 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys were held to 191 total yards and 78 yards passing.
No. 9 OREGON 49,
OREGON STATE 21
EUGENE, Ore. — LaMichael James ran for 142 yards before leaving with what appeared to be a left elbow injury, and Oregon clinched the Pac-12 North and a spot in the conference’s first championship game.
The Ducks (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) will host UCLA on Friday night with a chance to win their third straight conference title and a spot in the Rose Bowl.
The Beavers (3-9, 3-6) aren’t going to a bowl game for the second straight season.
James, who went into the 115th Civil War as the nation’s top rusher with an average of 142.78 yards per game, was hurt midway through the third when he was hit by Oregon State linebacker Tony Wilson.
No. 11 MICHIGAN STATE 31, NORTHWESTERN 17
EVANSTON, Ill. — Keshawn Martin returned a punt 57 yards for a touchdown just before halftime and Kirk Cousins threw two TD passes to B.J. Cunningham as No. 11 Michigan State warmed up for next week’s Big Ten championship game.
The Spartans had already wrapped up the Legends Division title and a berth in the league championship game next week. Now they have the best record in the division, as well, and 10 victories overall (10-2, 7-1).
Cousins threw a 33-yarder to Cunningham in the third quarter and hit him again on a juggling 29-yard TD pass with 5:17 left to complete a 93-yard drive. It was the 62nd career touchdown pass for Cousins, breaking the school record held by Jeff Smoker (61).
Northwestern (6-6, 3-5) had its four-game winning streak snapped in the regular-season finale and now hopes for a bowl bid. The Wildcats closed to 24-17 early in the final quarter on Dan Persa’s 12-yard TD pass to Demetrius Fields, set up by a clutch fourth-down pass from Persa to Jeremy Ebert.
No. 12 OKLAHOMA 26,
IOWA STATE 6
NORMAN, Okla. — Landry Jones threw for 256 yards, Blake Bell punched in two short touchdown runs and Oklahoma set up a Bedlam showdown for the Big 12 championship.
Trey Franks finished with 88 yards rushing on two long reverses to set up scores for the Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12), and Michael Hunnicutt matched his career-high with four field goals.
Rebounding after allowing a school-record 616 yards allowed last week in a 45-38 loss at Baylor, Oklahoma held Iowa State (6-5, 3-5) to a season-low 245 yards and only let the Cyclones score after James Winchester’s snap sailed over the head of punter Tress Way in the first quarter.
Oklahoma will visit No. 4 Oklahoma State next week with the winner earning the Big 12 title.
No. 13 GEORGIA 31,
No. 25 GEORGIA TECH 17
ATLANTA — Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes and Georgia extended its domination over Georgia Tech.
The Bulldogs (10-2) did not get caught looking past their state rival to next week’s return trip to Atlanta, when they will take a 10-game winning streak into the Southeastern Conference championship game against top-ranked LSU.
Murray extended his school record for touchdown passes in a season to 32, hooking up with Michael Bennett and Chris Conley in the first half, and Tavarres King and Aron White in the third quarter as Georgia cruised to its 10th win over the Yellow Jackets in 11 years.
Georgia Tech (8-4) rushed for 243 yards, but just 79 after halftime. Tevin Washington threw a pair of interceptions.
No. 14 SOUTH CAROLINA 34,
No. 18 CLEMSON 13
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Connor Shaw threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to lead South Carolina to a 10-win season for the first time in 27 years and its third straight victory against Clemson.
The Gamecocks (10-2) choked off Clemson’s once-high scoring offense, holding the Tigers (9-3) to 153 yards and Atlantic Coast Conference passing leader Tajh Boyd to 83 yards through the air.
Clemson was part of the BCS title talk a month ago when it opened 8-0 and rose to No. 6 in the country. But it heads to the ACC championship game against Virginia Tech next week a shaky team after losing three of its past four.
South Carolina’s only other 10-victory season in 118 years of football came in 1984.
No. 15 WISCONSIN 45,
No. 20 PENN STATE 7
MADISON, Wis. — Montee Ball scored four more touchdowns in his pursuit of an NCAA record, powering Wisconsin to a spot in next week’s Big Ten championship game.
Ball has scored 34 touchdowns this season for the Badgers (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten), the second-most in a single season in NCAA history. Barry Sanders holds the record, scoring 39 for Oklahoma State in 11 games in the 1988 season.
Wisconsin will play Big Ten Legends division winner Michigan State in Indianapolis next Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-2) came into the game hoping to salvage something from a season dwarfed by the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. They took an early 7-0 lead but quickly unraveled, falling behind 28-7 by halftime.
No. 21 BAYLOR 66,
TEXAS TECH 42
ARLINGTON, Texas — Nick Florence threw two long touchdown passes after Robert Griffin was knocked out of the game and Baylor extended its winning streak to four games.
The Bears (8-3, 5-3 Big 12) went on to a record victory without Griffin, whose Heisman Trophy chances were dealt a blow.
Baylor set school mark for most points in a conference game, and was already ahead to stay when Griffin scored on a 3-yard keeper just before halftime. That score came after he was on the sideline for one play after taking an elbow to the helmet while sliding at the end of a run.
Terrance Ganaway rushed 42 times for 246 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a school-record 14.
Texas Tech (5-7, 2-7) finished with its first losing record since 1992.