TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jameis Winston showed no effects from a tumultuous week during No. 2 Florida State’s 59-3 win against Syracuse on Saturday. The redshirt quarterback completed 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles rolled during the Atlantic Coast Conference game.
News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. The attention of college football enthusiasts moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.
On the field, it was business as usual for the Seminoles (10-0, 8-0) on Saturday. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.
"I thought he played exceptionally well," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said about Winston. "His mind was really in the game."
The Seminoles scored 28 first-quarter points before the Orange recorded 28 yards of total offense — and Winston was the star. The quarterback completed his first 11 attempts and looked completely comfortable.
Florida State was up 21-0 when Winston threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He lobbed a 6-yard touchdown pass to 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin to go up 35-0 with 11:52 left in the second quarter. Winston’s night ended at halftime and Florida State holding a 38-0 lead
No. 3 Ohio State 60, Illinois 35
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Breaking into the open field for a late, long touchdown run Saturday at Illinois, Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde wondered why it hadn’t all come this easy for the Buckeyes.
Hyde finished the day with the kind of numbers that usually come with an easy win: 248 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. Quarterback Braxton Miller wasn’t far behind with 184 yards rushing and two more touchdowns.
But after opening up a 28-0 lead, the No. 3 Buckeyes needed a momentum-changing safety and Hyde’s late 55- and 51-yard touchdowns to finally put Illinois away 60-35 and stay unbeaten (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten).
"That last run, In my head I was like, we could (have done) this the whole time," Hyde said. "That last run, I had energy and I just feel like we could have had that momentum the whole game."
Illinois, though, fought back. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase led the Illini with 288 yards passing and two touchdowns. But the Buckeyes defense kept him under pressure all day, sacking him five times and hitting him more than that.
No. 12 Oklahoma St. 38, No. 23 Texas 13
AUSTIN, Texas — Quarterback Clint Chelf ran for two touchdowns and No. 12 Oklahoma State stayed in the Big 12 championship chase by beating No. 23 Texas 38-13 on Saturday.
Chelf also threw two scoring passes as Oklahoma State (8-1, 6-1 Big 12) won in Austin for the third straight meeting. This one may re-ignite pressure on Texas coach Mack Brown, who was dealt his worst home loss in 16 seasons — and at a time when speculation about his job security had just begun quieting down.
A resurgent Texas had won six in a row and this week returned to the Top 25 after a two-month absence. Now the Longhorns (7-3, 6-1) are almost certain to fall unranked again, but more costly in this blowout was relinquishing control of their destiny in the Big 12.
Texas and Oklahoma State still have yet to face undefeated No. 4 Baylor, which was playing Texas Tech later Saturday. The Cowboys host the Bears next week.
Chelf threw for 197 yards and an interception. He was also Oklahoma State’s leading rusher, running for 95 yards that were largely piled up with long sprints from the shotgun that cut through the middle of the Texas defense.
No. 14 Michigan St. 41, Nebraska 28.
LINCOLN, Neb. — No. 14 Michigan State converted five Nebraska turnovers into 24 points and took a big step toward winning the Big Ten Legends Division with a 41-28 victory on Saturday.
Jeremy Langford ran 32 times for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns, and Keith Mumphrey caught a 27-yard touchdown from Connor Cook in the fourth quarter after the Cornhuskers pulled within six points.
The Spartans (9-1, 6-0) beat the Huskers (7-3, 4-2) for the first time in eight all-time meetings.
They would clinch the division with a win at Northwestern next week or a loss by Minnesota in either of its last two games. Michigan State plays Minnesota to end the regular season.
Big Ten leading rusher Ameer Abdullah ran 22 times for 123 yards for Nebraska. He went over 100 yards for the seventh straight game and eighth time this season and is the first player to do it against the Spartans.
Last year, Nebraska made up 10 points in the last eight minutes and won in East Lansing, Mich., on a touchdown with 6 seconds left. Even though they kept turning over the ball Saturday, the Huskers were still in the game well into the fourth quarter.
But when Mumphrey scored on a third-and-13 pass with 7:56 left, the Spartans could exhale while moving closer to their second appearance in the Big Ten championship game in three years.
Langford made it a 20-point game with a 37-yard burst on the Spartans’ final possession. Nebraska scored a touchdown in the final seconds.
Cook was 15 for 31 for 193 yards, and Tony Lippett caught four balls for 67 yards.
No. 15 UCF 39, Temple 36
PHILADELPHIA — A sensational one-handed catch to tie. An unlikely long-gainer to set up the last-second winning kick.
UCF’s latest comeback victory was the wildest yet.
Shawn Moffitt kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired after Rannell Hall got behind the Temple defense for a 64-yard reception, and the 15th-ranked Knights survived a scare with a 39-36 victory Saturday.
For the fourth time this season, UCF (8-1, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) trailed in the second half and won.
UCF’s last possession started at its own 19, with no timeouts. Overtime seemed likely until Blake Bortles found Hall deep to get to the Temple 6.
"Rannell Hall has previously said that Temple was sitting on everything and jumping things outside," Bortles said. "He told me he wanted to go and he went and made a big play."
Bortles managed to get the ball spiked with 2 seconds left and Moffitt booted through the game winner to keep UCF in control of the American Athletic Conference race and its BCS bid. The Knights are the only unbeaten team in AAC play, and with three games to go can even afford to lose a game.
Bortles completed 27 of 38 attempts and finished with a career-high 404 yards passing and four touchdowns.
Freshman P.J. Walker was spectacular for Temple (1-9, 0-6), with a season-high 382 yards passing, four TD passes and a touchdown run. He finished 26 of 44 and his yardage was the third-best passing game in school history.
Duke 48, No. 24 Miami 30. Updates.
DURHAM, N.C. — Brandon Connette rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and threw for a fifth, and Duke upset No. 24 Miami 48-30 on Saturday to take sole possession of first place in the ACC’s messy Coastal Division.
The Blue Devils’ change-of-pace quarterback had touchdown runs of 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards, and threw a 22-yard TD to Shaq Powell while leading Duke (8-2, 4-2) to one of the program’s most significant wins.
Josh Snead rushed for a career-high 138 yards and Powell added a backbreaking 33-yard touchdown run that put the Blue Devils in complete control.
Dallas Crawford rushed for 115 yards and Stephen Morris threw for 379 and two touchdowns but the Hurricanes (7-3, 3-3) lost their third straight.
In a wild game that featured 1,108 total yards and three lead changes, Duke claimed the inside track to a berth opposite No. 2 Florida State in the ACC championship game.
Ross Martin gave Duke the lead for good late in the third quarter when he banked in a 48-yard field goal off the upright late to make it 31-30.
Two possessions later — and two plays after Snead burst 56 yards into the Miami red zone — Connette powered in from 4 yards out to put the Blue Devils up 38-30 with 11:37 left.
Powell then iced the win on Duke’s next possession when his 33-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 gave the Blue Devils a 45-30 lead with 6:50 left.
After Miami turned the ball over on downs, Martin added a 32-yard field goal with 1:04 left.
Morris finished 30 of 49 with touchdowns of 50 and 5 yards to Herb Waters.
Stacy Coley returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Matt Goudis added three field goals.
But the Hurricanes couldn’t stop Duke’s ground game: The Blue Devils rolled up 358 yards rushing — by far, the most by a David Cutcliffe-coached team — against a Miami run defense that gives up an average of 152.
Connette, who often spells starter Anthony Boone in short-yardage situations, became the first Duke player to rush for four touchdowns since Justin Boyle did it against Vanderbilt in 2006.