South Carolina runs over No. 5 Tennessee 63-38; Hooker hurt
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Spencer Rattler had the best day of his unpredictable career, throwing for 438 yards and six touchdowns as South Carolina beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 on Saturday night, all but eliminating the Volunteers from the playoffs. Tennessee may have also lost Heisman Trophy candidate Hendon Hooker, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury, falling and fumbling without being hit. Even before the injury, the quarterback of the night was Rattler. The junior was patient in the pocket, dropping passes into the narrowest of windows. Hooker hurt his leg while running without being hit in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.
Top 25 Takeaways: Contenders live on edge, where TCU thrives
College Football Playoff contenders lived on the edge in Week 12, with the top four teams all teetering to varying degrees and at various points. That was before No. 5 Tennessee went down with a thud. For No. 4 TCU, it was just another Saturday. TCU and No. 3 Michigan both needed field goals in the final second to stay unbeaten. No. 1 Georgia slogged through a road game against Kentucky. No. 2 Ohio State trailed at the half against Maryland, before closing it out. Among the blue bloods vying for a spot in the CFP, the Horned Frogs maybe the outliers but they are without question worthy.
No. 1 Georgia tops Kentucky, goes unbeaten in SEC again
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kenny McIntosh rushed for a career-best 143 yards, including a crucial 9-yard score late in the third quarter, and top-ranked Georgia withstood Kentucky’s fourth-quarter rally Saturday for a 16-6 win and its second consecutive unbeaten season in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs clinched the Eastern Division title last week and sought another perfect finish in league play. They succeeded, but not without difficulty as they had to settle for three Jack Podlesny field goals before McIntosh’s TD provided a needed cushion. McIntosh rushed 19 times with a 26-yarder for the Bulldogs, who outgained Kentucky 365-297.
No. 4 TCU still undefeated after game-ending FG at Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP) — Griffin Kell kicked a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game, and fourth-ranked TCU remained undefeated with a 29-28 win at Baylor. The Horned Frogs scored nine points in the final 2:07 to avoid another potential playoff-busting loss on the banks of the Brazos River. Emari Demercardo scored on a 3-yard TD run to get the 11-0 Frogs within 28-26, but he was unable to pull in a pass on the 2-point conversion attempt. After kicking deep, TCU used all three of its timeouts while forcing a three-and-out, and it got the ball back with 1:34 left at its 31. Nine plays later, Kell made the game-ending kick.
Jim Boeheim gets 1,000th win as Syracuse tops Northeastern
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has reached his 1,000th career victory in a 76-48 win over Northeastern. Joe Girard had 21 points and five 3-pointers for the Orange, and Jesse Edwards added 19 points and seven rebounds. The Orange jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first two minutes led the rest of the way. Syracuse pieced together a 21-6 run in the second half to boost its lead to 68-39. Jared Turner had a team-high seven points for Northeastern. Boeheim has been at the helm of Syracuse since 1976, and had 101 wins over the course of five seasons vacated in 2015 by the NCAA.
Irving could return Sunday, Nets list him as questionable
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving could return from his suspension and play for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday after apologizing for hurting the Jewish community when he posted a link to a film with antisemitic material. The Nets listed Irving as questionable for the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on their injury report Saturday. He has missed the last eight games. The team suspended the point guard for a minimum of five games without pay on Nov. 3 after he refused to say he had no antisemitic beliefs. He apologized in an interview with SNY on Saturday.
Timberwolves hang on, top undermanned 76ers 112-109
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 25 points, D’Angelo Russell had 19 and the Minnesota Timberwolves survived a late scare and won their third straight game, 112-109 over the undermanned Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. The 76ers have already played without James Harden for two weeks because of a right foot tendon strain and they added starting guard Tyrese Maxey to the injury list with a broken left foot suffered Friday. P.J. Tucker suffered an unspecified injury against the Timberwolves and Joel Embiid injured his left ankle/foot following a late-game collision with a teammate. Embiid, the reigning NBA scoring champion, said well after the final buzzer he was still in pain and he hobbled off the dais following his press conference.
Virginia honors slain players in memorial service on campus
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Thousands of people have joined Virginia’s football team, coaches and staff in honoring three players who were shot dead as they returned from a field trip last weekend. Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were remembered during a Saturday memorial service in Charlottesville as great teammates who wore constant smiles and sought to brighten the lives of those around them, from fellow players to other students and fans. First-year head coach Tony Elliott said “only time will reveal God’s purpose in the adversity.” Athletic director Carla Williams shared stories she heard from family members of the players and vowed that “we will make sure their legacies never fade at the University of Virginia.”
Bills dig themselves out of snow to make trip to Detroit
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills employed a massive operation to get all of their players and staff dug out of the snow to depart to Detroit for their relocated home game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Bills executive vice president Ron Raccuia tells The Associated Press that the team had local snowmobile clubs on alert, and used snowplow drivers and car pools to make sure everyone was able to gather at their facility. The team then boarded buses and followed a police escort to the airport for their flight, which left at about 4:45 p.m. EST. The game was moved after a lake-effect storm dumped as much as 7 feet of snow across Western New York.
France star Karim Benzema out for World Cup with leg injury
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Karim Benzema’s hopes of winning the World Cup with France have ended before he had even played a game in Qatar. France’s title defense took a huge blow with the news that its star striker is out of the tournament after tearing a muscle in his left thigh during training. The French soccer federation says “the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up on taking part in the World Cup.” The Ballon d’Or winner was participating in his first full training session Saturday with Les Bleus when he had to come off after feeling some pain in his left thigh. France plays its first match against Australia on Tuesday in Group D.