Ty Zentner kicked the winning 31-yard field goal in overtime following a massive goal-line stand by the Kansas State defense as the No. 10 Wildcats posted a dramatic 31-28 win over No. 3 TCU in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday afternoon at Arlington, Texas.
Kansas State twice stopped TCU’s Kendre Miller on runs from the 1-yard line on the Horned Frogs’ overtime possession. The Wildcats took over and Zentner’s decisive boot put a major dent in TCU’s College Football Playoff aspirations.
TCU (12-1, 9-0 Big 12) will learn its fate Sunday when the CFP committee reveals which four schools will be part of the playoff.
Will Howard passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another, and Deuce Vaughn rushed for 130 yards, including a 44-yard scoring run, for the Wildcats (10-3, 7-2).
For TCU, Max Duggan was 18-of-36 passing for 251 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he rushed for 110 yards and one score. Miller rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown, Taye Barber caught a scoring pass and Quentin Johnston had four receptions for 139 yards.
No. 1 Georgia 50, No. 14 LSU 30
Stetson Bennett passed for 274 yards and four touchdowns and the Bulldogs rolled past the Tigers in the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta.
Bennett finished 23 of 29 as the defending national champion Bulldogs (13-0, 8-0 SEC) took command. Kenny McIntosh ran for two second-half touchdowns as they kept the Tigers (9-4, 6-2) at bay and almost certainly wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff pairings that will be announced Sunday.
Jayden Daniels passed for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but he did not play in the second half because of a leg injury. Garrett Nussmeier replaced Daniels and threw a 34-yard TD pass to Malik Nabers on LSU’s first possession of the third quarter to trim Georgia’s lead to 35-17. Nussmeier finished 15 of 27 for 294 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 2 Michigan 43, Purdue 22
Donovan Edwards rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown to lead the Wolverines to a win over Purdue in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.
J.J. McCarthy threw for 161 yards and three touchdown passes for Michigan (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten), which won its second straight league title.
Mitchell Fineran kicked five field goals for Purdue (8-5, 6-3). Aidan O’Connell finished 32-of-47 passing for 366 yards and two interceptions.
No. 9 Clemson 39, No. 23 North Carolina 10
Cade Klubnik gave the Tigers’ offense a spark in a relief role as they won another Atlantic Coast Conference championship by defeating the Tar Heels at Charlotte, N.C.
Nate Wiggins returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown for the Tigers (11-0, 8-2 ACC), who claimed their 21st ACC title, including seven in an eight-year span. Klubnik, a freshman, completed 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for a team-high 30 yards on seven carries.
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, playing in his hometown, went 26-for-42 for 268 yards and two interceptions. The Tar Heels (9-4, 6-2) were in position to close the gap midway through the third quarter, but Maye’s third-and-goal pass was picked off by Wiggins, who ran it back for a touchdown. Drew Swinney, son of coach Swinney and holder on kicks, ran in the two-point conversion.
No. 18 Tulane 45, No. 22 UCF 28
Michael Pratt threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Green Wave to the American Athletic Conference title with a victory over the Knights in New Orleans.
Shae Wyatt had five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while Duece Watts had three catches for 134 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown, for the Green Wave (11-2, 7-1 AAC). Tyjae Spears powered the ground game with 199 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The Green Wave, who are projected to play in the Cotton Bowl, haven’t played in a New Year’s Day bowl since falling to Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl in 1940.
John Rhys Plumlee, slowed by a lingering hamstring injury, went 21-for-39 passing for 209 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Thomas Castellanos went 2-for-8 passing for seven yards. Isaiah Bowser ran for 85 yards and a score on 20 carries, and Kobe Hudson had four receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights (9-4. 6-2).