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. 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, and had the Terps bearing down in the fourth quarter before closing them out.
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.
No. 3 Michigan beats Illinois 19-17 after Corum hurts knee
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jake Moody made a go-ahead, 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left to give No. 3 Michigan a 19-17 win over Illinois. The undefeated Wolverines played much of the second half without star running back Blake Corum, who grabbed his left knee after being tackled just before halftime. Michigan will now turn all its attention to playing rival and second-ranked Ohio State on the road, where they have not won since 2000 with a spot in the Big Ten champinship game and likely in the College Football Playoff at stake.
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.
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.
Ga Tech erases 17-point deficit, beats No. 13 North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Zach Gibson threw for 174 yards and Georgia Tech scored 21 unanswered points for a 21-17 road win against No. 13 North Carolina. All three of Georgia Tech’s scoring drives were for 68-plus yards and culminated with rushing touchdowns. North Carolina was riding a six-game winning streak and clinched the ACC’s Coastal Division last week. The Tar Heels had a chance to regain the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Josh Downs dropped a 4th-and-11 pass from quarterback Drake Maye in the end zone with just over four minutes remaining.
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.”
Karim Benzema’s hopes of World Cup glory ended by 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.