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CeeDee Lamb, No. 6 OU defense too much for No. 11 Texas

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CeeDee Lamb caught three touchdowns and Alex Grinch‘s defense sacked Sam Ehlinger nine times, overcoming two first half Jalen Hurts turnovers to lead No. 6 Oklahoma to a 34-27 win over No. 11 Texas in Dallas.

Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) accepted the ball to open the game and rolled down the field, moving 66 yards in 10 plays and scoring on a fourth-and-goal toss from Hurts to Lamb from the 1.

The Sooners then forced a three-and-out on Texas’ first possession and appeared primed to push their early lead to 14-0 when Hurts turned a 3rd-and-5 keeper into a 27-yard run to the Texas 7, but review ruled Anthony Cook jarred the ball loose and D'Shawn Jamison hopped on the fumble for the Longhorns.

Texas (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) moved the ball out of the shadow of its own goal post and pushed into OU territory, but Kenneth Murray forced UT off the field with the Sooners’ second third-down sack of Ehlinger in as many possessions.

Starting at their own 5, Oklahoma rolled down the field, gashing the Texas defense with Hurts scrambles up the middle, but on 3rd-and-8 from the OU 11, Hurts committed his second red zone turnover of the first half — an ill-advised intercepted to Texas safety Brandon Jones. Once again, though, the Oklahoma defense held, surrendering one third-and-long completion but not a second, as Kenneth Murray swallowed an Ehlinger scramble on 3rd-and-11.

Texas finally forced an OU punt — giving OU three straight scoreless possessions for the first time all season — but Texas punted it right back as the Sooners sacked Ehlinger again on third and long.

Oklahoma reached the Texas red zone for the fourth time of the half, but was again turned away from the end zone as Hurts rushed for just two yards on 3rd-and-goal from the 4, forcing a 19-yard Gabe Brkic field goal with 1:49 left in the first half, and Texas finally got on the board when Cameron Dicker answered with his own 49-yarder to close the half.

On its second possession of the second half, Texas finally put a drive together, moving 93 yards in seven plays to level the game at 10-10 at the 8:48 mark of the third quarter. Ehlinger converted a 3rd-and-8 with a fling to Roschon Johnson for nine yards then, one play later, Johnson broke free for a 58-yard run to the OU 4. The true freshman converted quarterback finished the drive with a scoring rush one play after that.

On its heels for the first time all afternoon and having scored three points in its last five possessions, Oklahoma’s offense came alive for the first time since the opening drive. A 9-yard completion to Lamb turned into a 24-yard gain when Malcolm Roach was flagged and ejected for targeting and, after a run for no gain, Lamb hauled in a 51-yard flea-flicker for a touchdown, putting OU back up 17-10 just 63 seconds after Texas tied the game.

Looking to tie the game for a second time, Texas’ drive was an utter disaster. Devin Duvernay dropped a fair catch attempt, putting the ‘Horns at their own 5. Collin Johnson dropped a big gain on first down, and Brennan Eagles did the same on second down, leading to a Ryan Bujcevski punt that Lamb returned to Texas’ 38. Looking for a knockout blow, Oklahoma instead settled for a 34-yard Brkic field goal then, after another Texas punt, came up empty on a 4th-and-1 pass, giving Texas the ball in its best starting point of the game — its own 40. Thanks to a 23-yard Roschon Johnson run and two flags drawn by Collin Johnson, Texas pulled within 20-17 on a 2-yard Ehlinger keeper to close the third quarter.

With Texas back in striking distance, Oklahoma struck: six plays, 75 yards and a third Lamb touchdown, this one from 27 yards out as he broke several tackles after making the catch inside the 10. UT needed a score to stay in the game and the Longhorns got one in the form of a 32-yard Dicker field goal.

But Oklahoma, who scored from 75 yards out in three and six plays the two previous times Texas pulled close, needed only five snaps to score the capper — a 3-yard Hurts keeper with 4:19 to play.

Ehlinger pulled Texas back within a score with his second keeper of the day, a 4-yarder with 1:49 to play, but Texas could not recover the ensuing onside kick. The junior quarterback finished the day 26-of-38 for 210 yards with two rushing scores while enduring nine sacks.

In his first and only appearance inside the Cotton Bowl, Hurts hit 16-of-28 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns (all to Lamb) while carrying a game-high 16 times for 121 yards and a score. The Sooners out-rushed Texas 268-100.

Report: Tua Tagovailoa’s injury serious, similar to one that ended Bo Jackson’s career

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This isn’t good.  At all.

The biggest story of Week 12 by far is the health of Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a hip injury toward the end of the first half of the Mississippi State as Alabama was up 35-7.  The junior quarterback was carted off the field and, after being examined inside Davis Wade Stadium, was taken away via ambulance for further evaluation.

According to al.com, Tagovailoa is being taken back to Birmingham via helicopter to undergo a series of CAT scans and MRIs to determine the exact extent and nature of the injury.  One report from Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, though, is ominous, to say the least.

For those unfamiliar, Jackson, a College Football Hall of Famer at Auburn, suffered a severe hip injury in an AFC playoff game in January of 1991 and never played another down of football.

It should be noted that there has been no official word on Tagovailoa’s status from the football program.  Thus far, UA has declined to go into any detail as they still await an update on the injury, which could come as early as later on today

No. 16 Notre Dame all over No. 21 Navy through one half

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When the Navy offense works, the clock bleeds, the ball ticks forward and life becomes living hell for the opponent. When it doesn’t, it can get ugly for the Midshipmen.

It’s been ugly through one half in South Bend.

No. 16 Notre Dame holds a 38-3 lead over No. 21 Navy at the half. The Fighting Irish scored all six times they touched the ball in the half, as Ian Book went a practice-like 11-of-14 for 209 yards with four touchdowns, three of them coming to Chase Claypool. Claypool caught six passes for 97 yards and scores of 47, seven and three yards.

Navy hasn’t been able to get the running game going — they run for just 131 yards on 33 carries — but three fumbles by quarterback Malcolm Perry have proven catastrophic, ending Navy scoring threats and leading directly to three Irish touchdowns. The Middies finally sustained a drive with a minute to play in the half, moving 72 yards in nine snaps to set up a 27-yard Bijan Nichols field goal as time expired.

Navy will receive to open the second half.

Upsets a mere rumor in early window as all six ranked teams hold serve

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If there is to be a Week 12 shakeup in the next edition of the College Football Playoff rankings, it won’t be as a result of the early television window.

In the noon block of kickoffs, six teams currently ranked in the CFP Top 25 squared off with unranked opponents.  And, in each of those matchups, the ranked teams held serve — in the majority of the cases by a comfortable margin for good measure.

There was, though, one potentially significant development to unfold during the early window.

  • No. 5 Alabama (-21) 38, Mississippi State 7 — The outcome was never in doubt and the final score doesn’t matter; the health of star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa moving forward absolutely does as the hip injury suffered by the junior late in the first half, and a couple of other injuries to Crimson Tide players for that matter, could play a significant role in helping to shape the playoff field next month.
  • No. 9 Penn State (-15) 34, Indiana 27 — The Hoosiers got as close as three points early in the fourth quarter as the Nittany Lions narrowly avoided a second straight loss, setting the stage for a huge Big Ten East matchup with No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus next Saturday.
  • No. 11 Florida (-6½) 23, Missouri 6 — *snore* *yawn* *ssstttrrreeetches* *scratches self* *snores again*
  • No. 14 Wisconsin (-15) 37, Nebraska 21 — Nice timing on that contract extension, Nebraska, as Jonathan Taylor rushes for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in the easy road win. This game marked the Badgers’ seventh-straight win over the Cornhuskers.
  • No. 15 Michigan (-13½) 44, Michigan State 10 — With pleas for civility ringing in their ears, Michigan beat its “little brother” in Ann Arbor for the first time since 2012 and earned a win in the rivalry for just the fourth time in the last dozen meetings.  It was also U-M’s most lopsided win in the series since a 49-3 blowout in 2002.
  • No. 22 Oklahoma State (-17½) 31, Kansas 13 — In Les Miles‘ return to Stillwater, the Cowboys had no problem whatsoever in extending its winning streak over the Jayhawks to 10 straight, with KU’s last win coming in 2007.  OSU’s Chuba Hubbard, who entered Week 12 as the nation’s leading rusher, ran for 122 yards in the romp.

In the 3:30 ET window, there are five more ranked vs. unranked matchups — No. 2 Ohio State at Rutgers, Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson, No. 18 Memphis at Houston, No. 19 Texas at Iowa State and West Virginia at No. 24 Kansas State.  Later on, there are six additional such games — No. 1 LSU at Ole Miss, No. 17 Cincinnati at South Florida, No. 25 Appalachian State at Georgia State, UCLA at No. 7 Utah, New Mexico at No. 21 Boise State and Arizona at No. 6 Oregon.

Additionally, there are four games in which both teams are ranked — No. 23 Navy at No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 4 Georgia at No. 12 Auburn, No. 8 Minnesota at No. 20 Iowa and No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 13 Baylor.

No. 15 Michigan pounds Michigan State into submission, 44-10

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Shea Patterson threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns as No. 15 Michigan (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) blew out in-state rival Michigan State (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten), 44-10. The Wolverines outscored the Spartans 44-3 after the first quarter to easily keep their momentum going at the end of the season. It is the first home win for Jim Harbaugh against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Will Harbaugh be able to complete the rial sweep at home in two weeks?

The way Michigan has been playing lately, it is a wonder how Michigan lost two games this season. While Michigan did complete well in a loss to Penn State a month ago, the game against Wisconsin is one Michigan would probably most like to get a do-over in. Instead, a blowout win over Michigan State keeps the program moving toward a possible spot in a New Years Six bowl game. On the other end of the spectrum, Michigan State’s season is continuing to spiral in the wrong direction, and a 34-point loss to its top rival won’t help matters in East Lansing for head coach Mark Dantonio.

Michigan out-gained the Spartans 467-220 despite nearly splitting the time of possession right down the middle (Michigan State had the football for 3:05). Neither team gave up much on the ground, so it was the play of the quarterbacks that would be a major difference. Advantage, Michigan. Patterson had one of his best performances in a Michigan uniform, while Brian Lewerke was intercepted twice and completed 17 of 30 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Patterson was without an interception. The player of the game for the Wolverines may have been receiver Ronnie Bell, who caught nine passes for 150 yards (although with none for a touchdown).

Bell has more than made up for his one glaring drop this season against Penn State. Coincidentally, Michigan has turned things on since that Penn State game. Since trailing Penn State 21-0 four games ago, Michigan has outscored its opponents 148-38.

Michigan will play on the road next week against Indiana. The Hoosiers lost in a tight battle at Penn State on Saturday as Michigan was playing Michigan State. Michigan’s regular-season finale at home against Ohio State is coming up on the horizon, but the Hoosiers always find ways to keep things interesting against the Wolverines too.

The Spartans will need to win their final two games in order to become bowl eligible. Michigan State will travel to Rutgers next week looking to keep the bowl hopes alive. Michigan State ends the regular season at home against Maryland. If nothing else, the schedule is about as favorable as it can get for Michigan State with bowl hopes on the line.