Jalen Hurts came off the bench early in the fourth quarter to replace injured starter Tua Tagovailoa, and No. 1 Alabama rallied for a 35-28 win over No. 4 Georgia on Saturday evening in a thrilling SEC championship game in Atlanta.
Hurts evened the score at 28 with 5:19 to go in the fourth quarter when he rolled right and fired a dart to Jerry Jeudy for a 10-yard touchdown. Next, Hurts put Alabama on top with a 15-yard quarterback draw into the end zone with 1:04 remaining.
Alabama (13-0) all but assured itself the top spot in the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide locked up their 27th SEC title and fifth since 2012. The comeback stunned Georgia (11-2), which led 28-14 late in the third quarter before giving up 21 unanswered points to its longtime rival.
Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm finished 25 of 39 for 301 yards and three touchdowns but again suffered a heartbreaking loss to Alabama, which overcame a 13-0 deficit behind then-backup Tagovailoa in January to top Georgia in last season’s national title game.
No. 2 Clemson 42, Pitt 10
Travis Etienne rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers rolled past the Panthers in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game in Charlotte, N.C., all but assuring a berth in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year.
Etienne, a sophomore running back who last week was named ACC Player of the Year, rushed for 100 yards or more for a seventh time this season. The victory gave Clemson its fourth consecutive ACC title and 18th overall.
Clemson extended the Atlantic Division’s reign in the ACC title game to eight in a row. Pitt, which was representing the Coastal Division for the first time since joining the ACC in 2013, fell to 7-6, but is bowl eligible for the 10th time in 11 years.
No. 5 Oklahoma 39, No. 14 Texas 27
Kyler Murray threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns, but the Sooners’ defense helped keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive with a 39-27 win over the Longhorns in the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.
Oklahoma (12-1) has won four consecutive Big 12 championships, a first for the conference. The teams now await their bowl fates Sunday, with Oklahoma hoping for a third playoff appearance in four seasons. The Sooners will need to move up one spot after avenging their only loss of the year.
Sam Ehlinger threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns (9-4), who finished with 437 yards of total offense — more than 60 yards less than they had in Texas’ 48-45 win over Oklahoma on Oct. 6.
No. 6 Ohio State 45, No. 21 Northwestern 24
Dwayne Haskins threw for a school-record 499 yards and five touchdowns as the Buckeyes held off the Wildcats in the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.
Johnnie Dixon had seven catches for 129 yards and a score, and Indianapolis native Terry McLaurin had two touchdown receptions. Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson was 26-for-43 for 265 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Ohio State went into the game knowing No. 5 Oklahoma (12-1) had beaten Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 championship, reducing the Buckeyes’ chances to earn a bid to the College Football Playoff.
No. 8 UCF 56, Memphis 41
The Knights overcame a 17-point halftime deficit and extended their win streak to 25 games, beating the visiting Tigers in the American Athletic Conference title game in Orlando, Fla.
UCF (12-0), playing its first game without star quarterback McKenzie Milton (knee surgery), has the longest active win streak in the nation. Milton was replaced by redshirt freshman Darriel Mack Jr., who lost two fumbles in the first half but finished with four scoring runs and two touchdown passes. Mack completed 19 of 27 passes for 348 yards and no interceptions.
UCF running back Greg McCrae rushed for 206 yards on 24 carries (8.6 average) and one touchdown. Memphis (8-5) was led by running back Darrell Henderson, rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns, and threw a touchdown pass in the first half.
No. 25 Fresno State 19, No. 22 Boise State 16 (OT)
Sophomore running back Ronnie Rivers dashed for the winning 1-yard score in overtime as the Bulldogs edged the Broncos in the Mountain West championship game in heavy snow in Boise, Idaho.
Rivers received an option pitch from senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion and outraced defenders into the right corner to give the Bulldogs (11-2) their third-ever Mountain West title.
Junior running back Alexander Mattison matched his season high of 200 yards on 40 carries for the Broncos (10-3). It is his second straight 200-yard outing and third of his career.
No. 23 Iowa State 27, Drake 24
David Montgomery rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns as the Cyclones edged the Bulldogs in the regular-season finale for both schools at Ames, Iowa. These teams added this game after both of their Sept. 1 season openers canceled due to severe weather.
Montgomery rushed 33 times, recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season and scored two TDs for the third time this season as Iowa State (8-4) won the first meeting between the schools since Drake’s 20-17 victory in 1985.
Quarterback Brock Purdy finished 15 of 22 for 153 yards for Iowa State. Grant Kraemer completed 20 of 29 passes for 221 yards for Drake (7-4).
—Field Level Media