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Week 9
    CHR
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    CC
    27 - 30
    APP
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    28 - 27
    ARKS
    FAU
    38 - 9
    CHAR
    TULN
    26 - 55
    SMU
    SJSU
    27 - 20
    UNLV
    MTSU
    44 - 13
    CONN
    COL
    19 - 0
    DBG
    MEM
    7 - 24
    UCF
    CSU
    24 - 26
    USU
    UW
    21 - 16
    ARIZ
    APB
    3 - 45
    ARK
    WAKE
    70 - 56
    ARMY
    EMU
    55 - 24
    BGU
    KEY
    0 - 41
    CAS
    LIS
    30 - 13
    CCSU
    NIU
    39 - 38
    CMU
    SET
    49 - 0
    CU
    HIL
    34 - 29
    FIN
    MASS
    3 - 59
    FSU
    EDI
    18 - 21
    GAN
    JOH
    50 - 0
    GET
    HUN
    42 - 3
    GRE
    OKLA
    35 - 23
    KU
    TIF
    34 - 28
    KEN
    MOR
    27 - 24
    MRF
    CAT
    34 - 44
    MER
    SLI
    20 - 17
    MER
    NW
    7 - 33
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    UPP
    14 - 17
    MIN
    JUN
    16 - 56
    MUH
    CIN
    27 - 20
    NAVY
    WAL
    17 - 56
    OHI
    ILL
    20 - 18
    PSU
    UNI
    35 - 9
    ROC
    DUQ
    13 - 31
    SHP
    END
    14 - 21
    SAL
    WES
    38 - 42
    SHE
    KSU
    25 - 24
    TTU
    WIN
    48 - 21
    VIR
    BRY
    31 - 10
    WAG
    MAS
    22 - 20
    WES
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    46 - 17
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    PEQ
    28 - 42
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    41 - 36
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    19 - 16
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    OLI
    17 - 38
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    38 - 14
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    HAM
    0 - 21
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    41 - 42
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    21 - 42
    ASS
    TUF
    25 - 13
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    SOU
    3 - 7
    BRE
    HAR
    14 - 41
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    GEH
    29 - 21
    BUCK
    DAW
    49 - 35
    BUB
    THI
    0 - 53
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    35 - 12
    COL
    WES
    34 - 32
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    NOR
    38 - 17
    CON
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    49 - 45
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    0 - 45
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    14 - 19
    CRO
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    17 - 13
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    14 - 35
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    10 - 24
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    49 - 14
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    28 - 35
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    SOU
    43 - 24
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    ALF
    24 - 21
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    FER
    28 - 42
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    31 - 28
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    13 - 17
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    45 - 31
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    YSU
    17 - 28
    INDS
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    28 - 21
    KET
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    20 - 23
    KIN
    ALB
    7 - 28
    LYC
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    14 - 31
    MAR
    IW
    20 - 28
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    FER
    38 - 10
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    CEN
    66 - 34
    MIL
    UNI
    31 - 35
    MIN
    DEL
    35 - 0
    MIS
    NOR
    37 - 48
    MIT
    URS
    34 - 7
    MOR
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    28 - 17
    MGN
    HUS
    41 - 14
    UNE
    GRA
    28 - 24
    NOR
    WES
    28 - 45
    NOR
    DAV
    21 - 14
    NOR
    WAB
    28 - 35
    OHI
    KNT
    34 - 27
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    14 - 42
    PLY
    USD
    69 - 28
    PRES
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    16 - 18
    PRT
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    16 - 24
    SAI
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    6 - 38
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    55 - 13
    SAMF
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    66 - 7
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    14 - 20
    SHA
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    7 - 9
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    MIL
    7 - 38
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    40 - 12
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    24 - 29
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    42 - 20
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    16 - 45
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    13 - 47
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    28 - 45
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    27 - 7
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    49 - 20
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    23 - 18
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    0 - 17
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    0 - 24
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    0 - 49
    WES
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    20 - 26
    WU
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    20 - 30
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    0 - 21
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    17 - 0
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    32 - 45
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    41 - 10
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    38 - 42
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    13 - 14
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    17 - 28
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    34 - 14
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    49 - 14
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    57 - 14
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    19 - 10
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    CAP
    35 - 28
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    16 - 21
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    30 - 38
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    29 - 26
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    37 - 30
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    20 - 5
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    34 - 41
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    10 - 63
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    27 - 28
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    19 - 53
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    45 - 31
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    7 - 63
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    13 - 7
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    19 - 56
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    17 - 13
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    16 - 28
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    37 - 7
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    9 - 30
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    7 - 69
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    42 - 21
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    7 - 19
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    24 - 10
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    20 - 27
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    7 - 51
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    38 - 34
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    12 - 42
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    0 - 79
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    21 - 43
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    3 - 45
    LEN
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    24 - 48
    LIN
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    32 - 15
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    0 - 39
    MAR
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    16 - 52
    MAR
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    37 - 31
    MCK
    AUG
    45 - 35
    MIN
    CHA
    14 - 21
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    59 - 7
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    MFM
    31 - 14
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    7 - 42
    OUA
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    70 - 21
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    14 - 41
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    50 - 19
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    20 - 14
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    72 - 14
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    21 - 28
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    17 - 41
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    34 - 28
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    38 - 44
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    7 - 27
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    28 - 19
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    21 - 17
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    13 - 56
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    31 - 54
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    41 - 38
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    7 - 41
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    24 - 10
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    29 - 17
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    14 - 38
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    21 - 26
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    22 - 10
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    28 - 52
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    28 - 0
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    21 - 24
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    42 - 35
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    41 - 14
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    14 - 47
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    IDST
    9 - 27
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    APY
    47 - 6
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    0 - 56
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    CCH
    22 - 45
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    10 - 34
    UND
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    30 - 13
    PUR
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    25 - 41
    SAG
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    7 - 42
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    26 - 17
    SDKS
    EAS
    44 - 34
    SOU
    WJC
    0 - 52
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    SEMO
    30 - 38
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    UWS
    21 - 45
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    45 - 10
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    24 - 17
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    3 - 26
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    21 - 24
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    16 - 34
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    20 - 27
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    17 - 31
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    17 - 27
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    14 - 27
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    15 - 34
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    30 - 24
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    34 - 31
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    0 - 40
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    0 - 44
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    21 - 19
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    14 - 40
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    14 - 3
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    14 - 47
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    30 - 7
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    28 - 35
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    35 - 34
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    40 - 47
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    14 - 21
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    7 - 64
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    ECU
    24 - 31
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    29 - 46
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    BC
    14 - 28
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    31 - 28
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    3 - 34
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    35 - 26
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    SELA
    51 - 14
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    27 - 47
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    52 - 7
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    25 - 7
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    45 - 6
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    7 - 66
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    10 - 42
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    34 - 14
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    The Sports Xchange
      Young, Robinson power No. 4 Alabama past Tennessee 52-24
      By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer | 
      10/23/21

      TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama players once again got to light up those celebratory cigars after another win over border rival Tennessee.

      This one just didn't come quite so easily for the first three-plus quarters.

      Bryce Young passed for 371 yards and two touchdowns, ran for two more scores and led No. 4 Alabama to a dominant fourth quarter and a 52-24 victory Saturday night over the Volunteers.

      Brian Robinson ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) score 21 of their 28 fourth-quarter points in a little over six minutes.

      “It’s a special rivalry to the Alabama fans and the players so we wanted to just have fun with it while we can,” Robinson said.

      That fourth-quarter flurry turned a mostly competitive game against the Volunteers (4-4, 2-3), fueled by Hendon Hooker's 282-yard passing performance, into another lopsided final score.

      “The offense answered and we kept putting up points,” Tide coach Nick Saban said.

      The result was Alabama's 15th consecutive win in the border rivalry, with the previous five having an average margin of 33 points. And the players got to return to the field after it was over to light up and celebrate.

      The Tide monopolized the ball for more than 40 minutes and converted 15 of 20 third-down plays. Tennessee was 2 of 13.

      Young, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, completed 31 of 43 passes and turned five of his frequent scrambles into first downs or touchdowns.

      John Metchie caught 11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Jameson Williams gained 123 yards on six catches.

      Hooker was 19-of-28 passing with three scores after . But he had a fourth-quarter pass intercepted by Jalyn Armour-Davis, who returned it 47 yards to set up another 'Bama score.

      “I thought Hendon battled all night long,” Vols coach Josh Heupel said. "I thought he was really efficient for the most part during the football game.

      “I thought he continued to fight and play in the second half and had some big-time plays.”

      Hooker's status had been uncertain after a lower body injury sustained against No. 12 Mississippi.

      “I was kind of just going day by day,” he said.

      Tennessee's Cedric Tillman had seven catches for 152 yards, including a 70-yard TD early in the fourth when Hooker hit him in stride down the right sideline.

      That came quickly after Young pump faked, then ran and dove over the goal line for a 6-yard touchdown to open the fourth for a 31-17 lead. He bobbled the ball near the goal line before falling on it.

      Thirty seconds. Two scores. But that one had to be reviewed before the on-field ruling was upheld.

      “I was initially talking to the side judge, and he said the box didn’t have a view for it to be overturned and that he had crossed the goal line based on the footage they had,” Heupel said.

      Then Alabama struck again, with Young launching a 65-yard bomb to Williams. That set up Robinson's 15-yard touchdown that effectively quashed the Vols' upset hopes.

      “I’m not going to be negative about the game, I’m not going to be negative about our team,” Saban said. “Really positive about the way they went out there and kept competing in the game and even though everything wasn’t perfect we made the plays that we needed to make to win the game.”

      THE TAKEAWAY

      Tennessee: Too many penalties (12 for 98 yards), too few rushing yards (64) is a hard combination to overcome against ‘Bama. But the Vols hadn't scored that many points against the Tide since a 51-43 overtime win in 2003.

      Alabama: Got off to a sloppy start with a roughing the kicker penalty setting up a Vols touchdown and a fumble inside the Tennessee 10 along with a blocked punt later. But the defense stood firm on some key drives and the offense delivered plenty of big plays.

      POLL IMPLICATIONS

      Alabama figures to stay put in the rankings with No. 2 Cincinnati and No. 3 Oklahoma both winning close games and top-ranked Georgia off.

      FACING FORMER TEAM

      Alabama linebacker Henry To'oTo'o, who transferred from Tennessee, downplayed facing his former team.

      “Playing Tennessee, it was fun,” he said. “A huge rivalry game. Being able to see my guys that I played with, it was fun. It was just the next guys on the schedule."

      UP NEXT

      Tennessee visits No. 15 Kentucky after an open date.

      Alabama has an open date before hosting LSU.

      ___

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      Houston overcomes weather and ECU in 31-24 win
      10/23/21

      HOUSTON (AP) — Alton McCaskill ran 25-yards for a touchdown in overtime and Houston's defense forced a turnover in the extra session and the Cougars beat East Carolina 31-24 late Saturday.

      The game, which was originally set to begin at 3 p.m. Central, was delayed 20 minutes due to lightning. At 3:20 p.m., it was delayed after a brief start and didn't resume until five hours later. It ended close to midnight in Houston.

      It finally ended when JoVanni Stewart recovered Ryan Jones' fumble which was initiated on a tackle by Donavan Mutin after Jones took a short pass from Holton Ahlers.

      Down 24-10, Ahlers ran it in from the 1 with 6:59 left in regulation before the Cougars (6-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) turned it over on their first play from scrimmage on the following drive.

      Inheriting a short field, Ahlers threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Audie Omotosho with 5:43 left to force overtime. Ahlers threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns for ECU (3-4, 1-2).

      Clayton Tune threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns for Houston.

      __

      More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

      Washington's Cook carted off with apparent neck injury
      10/22/21

      TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Washington defensive back Alex Cook has been carted off with an apparent neck injury after a big collision against Arizona on Friday night.

      Cook was in on a tackle in the final minute of the fourth quarter and stayed down. Washington's medical staff rushed onto the field, held him still and began checking his neck.

      Washington's players and coaches, along with several from Arizona's sideline walked onto the field as trainers carefully strapped him to a stretcher. Cook was placed on an ambulance gurney and lifted onto a cart.

      Several Huskies patted Cook and fans clapped encouragement as he was driven into the tunnel.

      A junior from Sacramento, California, Cook has played four seasons at Washington.

      ___

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      Washington extends Arizona's streak to 19 with 21-16 win
      By JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer | 
      10/22/21

      TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Washington's coaches teach the defensive lineman to fall back when they don't feel much resistance. A screen pass is likely coming.

      Taking those lessons to heart, Tuli Letuligasenoa felt the offensive lineman brush by, so he dropped into coverage.

      Washington's 300-pound wrecking ball didn't know if he had the ball in his hands until he was being hit, but it turned out to be the play that shifted momentum in the Huskies' favor.

      Dylan Morris threw two second-half touchdown passes after Letuligasenoa's interception, and Washington extended the nation's longest losing streak to 19 with a 21-16 win over Arizona on Friday night.

      “They were going on that drive, three, four yards at a time,” Washington coach Jimmy Lake said. “That interception by Tuli was a huge charge to the sideline, the offense, the defense, the whole team.”

      Washington (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) stumbled through the first half and was down nine headed into the fourth quarter. Letuligasenoa stopped Arizona's bid to pad its lead and Morris took it from there, hitting Terrell Bynum on two long passes to set up two scores.

      Washington's defense also shifted into a new gear, shutting down Arizona after being hit with big plays earlier.

      “We were down, but we rolled on for a little bit,” said Bynum, who had five catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.

      Arizona (0-7, 0-4) seemed to be on its way to ending its school-record losing streak, taking a 16-7 lead into the fourth quarter before imploding.

      The Wildcats were hit with key penalties, Will Plummer threw the big interception and the defense buckled after dominating the first half, leaving them winless since December 2019.

      “We continue to get in fist fights with our hands tied behind our backs,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said.

      Morris alternated the first two series with Sam Huard, but didn’t matter who was taking snaps in the first half. Washington had 65 yards and punted six times.

      The Huskies snapped out of it in the second half.

      Bynum capped an 81-yard opening drive by going over Arizona defensive back Jaydin Young’s back for a 16-yard touchdown catch. Morris connected with Bynum on a 51-yard pass after Letuligasenoa's pick, setting up Cameron Davis 9-yard TD run the next play that pulled the Huskies within 16-14.

      Morris, who had his nose bloodied early in the game, hit Bynum on another 51-yard pass and, with the help of a defensive holding penalty on third down, found Rome Odunze for an 8-yard touchdown to give the Huskies the lead.

      “He was bulls-eye on those,” Bynum said.

      Getting the start after Gunner Cruz suffered a season-ending thumb injury last week, Plummer couldn’t get much going in the first quarter — 17 yards — before orchestrating a 10-play, 64-yard drive. Receiver Jamarye Joiner scored on a 1-yard keeper and Lucas Havrisik’s 50-yard field goal put the Wildcats up 13-0 at halftime.

      Arizona struggled to move the ball in the second half, but was driving for a chance to extend its lead before Plummer threw an interception right to Letuligasenoa.

      The Wildcats had one more chance, stopping Washington on third down with 2:26 left, but were called for an illegal substitution, giving the Huskies a first down and a chance to all but run out the clock.

      “Obviously, that’s inexcusable,” Fisch said. “That’s not something that was even remotely in my mind that could have happened.”

      THE TAKEAWAY

      Washington came to life after a dismal first half to avoid perhaps the most disheartening loss of an up-and-down season.

      The Wildcats had their best chance to end the longest losing streak in history within grasp, only to let it slip their fingers.

      COOK INJURED

      Huskies defensive back Alex Cook was carted off with an apparent neck injury after a big collision in the first quarter. Washington’s medical staff rushed onto the field, held him still and began checking his neck.

      Washington’s players and coaches, along with several from Arizona’s sideline, walked onto the field as trainers strapped him to a stretcher. Cook was placed on an ambulance gurney and lifted onto a cart.

      Lake said Cook was able to move his extremities at the hospital and was going to join the team for the trip home.

      “Still some tests, but that's the best possible news with him being able to come back with us,” Lake said.

      UP NEXT

      Washington plays at Stanford on Oct. 30.

      Arizona is at Southern California on Oct. 30.

      ___

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      No. 2 Cincinnati stays unbeaten with 27-20 win over Navy
      By NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer | 
      10/22/21

      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell could tolerate his team’s slow start, and he may have expected some issues defending Navy’s triple-option offense.

      What was more grating was the fact No. 2 Cincinnati took a double-digit lead in the second half and then had to hold on late for the win.

      “We’ve got to find ways, especially on the road, when you’re up, whatever it is, 13 points or something, to kind of close things out,” Fickell said. “That’s probably the only thing that I’m somewhat disappointed we couldn’t and didn’t do today, but we needed a challenge and we got one.”

      The unbeaten Bearcats actually led by 17 at one point, but victory wasn’t secure until Arquon Bush intercepted a pass with 25 seconds left to wrap up a 27-20 victory Saturday.

      The Bearcats (7-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) weren’t at their best, but they never looked like they were in danger until the final minute, when Tai Lavatai's 1-yard run made it a one-score game and Navy recovered an onside kick with 48 seconds left.

      The Midshipmen (1-6, 1-4) didn’t do much with that final chance, though. Lavatai’s third-down pass was picked off by Bush near the Cincinnati 45.

      The Bearcats were fortunate to lead by three after a mistake-filled first half, but they eventually snapped out of their offensive funk. Desmond Ridder threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

      Navy was hosting a top-five team for the first time since 1984, and the Midshipmen didn’t trail until a wild swing at the end of the first half. With the game tied at 10, Navy was driving and looked poised to use up the remaining time in the second quarter. But after losing yards on back-to-back plays, the Midshipmen had to try a 51-yard field goal.

      The kick was blocked, and Cincinnati’s Deshawn Pace nearly ran it back for a touchdown, but he stepped out of bounds with 1 second left. That was enough time for Alex Bales to kick a 52-yard field goal and give the Bearcats a 13-10 lead.

      Jerome Ford’s 43-yard touchdown run made it 20-10, and Ridder added a 3-yard TD pass to Josh Whyle later in the third.

      “I’m very very proud of our team, proud of our defense, but that’s not good enough,” said Navy cornerback Jamal Glenn, who had an interception and recovered the late onside kick. “Coming into the game ... we stressed, moral victories is not a thing. Yeah, they’re the No. 2 team in the country, but we want to win games.”

      Cincinnati was coming off back-to-back 50-point performances, but the first half of this one was a slog. Navy drove 79 yards in 7:12 and took a 7-0 lead on Lavatai’s 2-yard run.

      The Bearcats quickly tied it on a 31-yard pass from Ridder to Whyle.

      With Cincinnati down 10-7, Ridder threw an interception deep in Navy territory, but after that the Bearcats scored on their next four possessions.

      “Everyone’s going to give us our best,” Ridder said. “Navy was a great team. We’re playing against the United States Navy, so we know that they’re going to fight all four quarters. The game’s not going to be over until the clock hits zero. That’s what we learned today, that we can’t take nothing for granted, can’t take any game for granted.”

      THE TAKEAWAY

      Cincinnati: Navy presents some unique challenges for its opponents, but it wasn’t the offense that was causing the Bearcats that much trouble. Cincinnati just didn’t look smooth offensively for much of the day.

      Navy: The Midshipmen kept the Bearcats from making too many big plays early on, and Navy’s rarely used passing game was good enough to mount a comeback at the end.

      TAKING A CHANCE

      The end of the game wasn’t Navy’s only onside kick attempt. The Midshipmen also tried a surprise onside after their early touchdown, but Cincinnati recovered.

      “We came into the week, after our first touchdown, that we were going to surprise them with the onside kick,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “We have been almost perfect this week, and it didn’t work. We had the worst one we had all week. That gave them a short field.”

      The Bearcats’ average starting field position was their own 43. Navy’s was its own 26.

      TIME OF POSSESSION

      It wasn’t much of a surprise that Navy controlled the ball for most of the game — 39:27 in all.

      POLL IMPLICATIONS

      While Cincinnati was struggling with Navy, No. 3 Oklahoma was also having problems with Kansas. This game will fuel the Bearcats’ detractors, but they remained unbeaten and have plenty of chances to win more impressively later in the season.

      UP NEXT

      Cincinnati: The Bearcats play at Tulane next Saturday.

      Navy: The Midshipmen play at Tulsa on Friday night.

      ___

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      ___

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      Packers place rookie center Josh Myers on injured reserve
      10/22/21

      GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers has been placed on injured reserve after hurting his knee in a victory over the Chicago Bears.

      The Packers (5-1) announced the move Saturday. They also elevated guard Ben Braden from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday's game against Washington (2-4).

      Because he has been placed on injured reserve, Myers must miss at least the next three games.

      Myers, a rookie second-round pick from Ohio State, started each of the Packers’ first four games before missing a 25-22 victory at Cincinnati on Oct. 10 with a finger injury.

      He returned to action Sunday at Chicago but played just four snaps before a knee injury knocked him out for the rest of the game.

      ___

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      Broncos get pass rusher Stephen Weatherly in swap with Vikes
      10/22/21

      ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos acquired pass rusher Stephen Weatherly in a trade Saturday with the Minnesota Vikings.

      Weatherly was playing sparingly at defensive end for the Vikings after re-signing with them this year, behind Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen and D.J. Wonnum. The Vikings also sent the Broncos a 2022 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round draft pick while unloading the remaining portion of his $1.5 million base salary.

      The Broncos will use Weatherly as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 system. Star outside linebacker Von Miller sprained his ankle in their game on Thursday. The Broncos also placed inside linebacker Micah Kiser on injured reserve after he injured his groin on Thursday.

      Weatherly was a seventh-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2016. He played the 2020 season for Carolina. In 64 games, with 16 starts, Weatherly has six sacks, two forced fumbles and 20 quarterback hits.

      ___

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      Minnesota freshmen run over Maryland in 34-16 romp
      By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer | 
      10/22/21

      MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Freshmen Ky Thomas and Mar'Keise Irving became the fourth and fifth different 100-yard rushers for Minnesota this season, as the Gophers gained 326 yards on the ground in a 34-16 trampling of Maryland on Saturday for their third straight victory.

      Thomas (21 carries, 139 yards) and Irving (15 carries, 105 yards) each had one of four rushing touchdowns for Minnesota (5-2, 3-1), which moved into a first-place tie with Iowa in the Big Ten West Division. Purdue and Wisconsin are one game back.

      “We have a lot of experienced guys up front that take a lot of pride to open a lot of holes and lanes for the talent of the running backs to take over,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. “I thought they did a great job blocking.”

      Taulia Tagovailoa lost a fumble on the opening drive and completed 17 of 27 passes for 189 yards and a late touchdown to Marcus Fleming for the Terrapins (4-3, 1-3), who have dropped three straight games by a combined score of 151-49.

      “Guys just have to have pride, be more desperate to win than being OK with losing,” wide receiver Rakim Jarrett said.

      Thomas, Irving and Bryce Williams, who rushed for 48 yards and a score, are the only healthy scholarship running backs left on the roster for the Gophers, who lost star Mohamed Ibrahim in the opener and backup Trey Potts three weeks ago to season-ending injuries.

      Williams took the lead last week in a win over Nebraska, becoming the third player to top the 100-yard rushing mark this year. Thomas and Irving gave the Gophers the first pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks on Oct. 5, 2019, against Illinois.

      Tanner Morgan went 8 for 12 for 125 yards passing, and backup quarterback Cole Kramer rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown. The Gophers didn't punt until 5:09 remained in the game.

      “It’s a credit to the entire unit honestly, being able to go out there and finish the game in that fashion," left guard Conner Olson said. "It was a good way to end the game from an offensive lineman standpoint, and I always prefer running it instead of passing it, no offense to Tanner.”

      MAJOR IMPROVEMENT

      In three losses to the Terrapins since Fleck arrived in 2017, the Gophers allowed an average of 39 points and 286 rushing yards. They beat the Terrapins handily in 2019 when they had six eventual NFL draft picks on their defense.

      There was no lower moment for Minnesota in the virus-altered 2020 season than the 45-44 overtime loss at Maryland, when the Terrapins stacked up 675 total yards.

      This year? The Gophers entered the game ranked sixth in the FBS and second in the conference in fewest rushing yards allowed.

      MOMENTUM SWING

      The Terrapins literally kicked away a golden opportunity to make a game of it. After a touchdown run for Maryland by Tayon Fleet-Davis cut the lead to 17-10, the Gophers used their final timeout with 32 seconds left in the first half following a first-down run from the 19-yard line.

      Morgan had to spike the ball to stop the clock, but Matthew Trickett’s 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Tarheeb Still, who booted the ball as he tried to pick it up on the run and dropped it on his second scoop attempt. Ahmad McCollough grabbed it, but he was tackled at the 32.

      Fleck said the conservative strategy was based on the Gophers receiving the second-half kickoff.

      “It’s not just hoping not to lose,” Fleck said. "That’s actually trying to win the game based on percentages, possessions, points.”

      FLAG FRUSTRATION

      Maryland coach Mike Locksley has lamented all season his team's propensity for penalties, and the sloppiness persisted with eight flags for 79 yards, and many of them were especially costly. The Terrapins even got an illegal substitution penalty during a punt, whistled for having two players wearing No. 99 on the same play.

      “It just starts with the accountability," Locksley said. “At some point, pride becomes a big part of it.”

      THE TAKEAWAY

      Maryland: Tagovailoa never found a rhythm after the early turnover. The Terrapins had six drops, including three by tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo, and Tagovailoa was sacked twice. Last year against Minnesota, he passed for a career-high 394 yards and accounted for five touchdowns. Now he's missing top wide receivers Dontay Demus Jr. and Jeshaun Jones to season-ending injuries.

      “The next man just has to step up. If they're going to roll the coverage to me, I think maybe I just have to make the play,” Jarrett said.

      Minnesota: The Gophers have recovered well from their baffling loss here four weeks ago that now stands as Bowling Green's only win over an FBS opponent in 15 tries since Nov. 2, 2019. This team has its limits, but the strength of this offensive line can go a long way toward keeping the Gophers in play for their first Big Ten championship game berth. The eventual winner of the underwhelming West Division could easily wind up with two or three conference losses.

      UP NEXT

      Maryland: Hosts Indiana next Saturday.

      Minnesota: Plays at Northwestern next Saturday.

      ___

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      Pitt is it: No. 23 Panthers top reeling Clemson 27-17
      By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer | 
      10/22/21

      PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kenny Pickett is well-versed in how it goes when you play for Pittsburgh. You flirt with great expectations. You pull off an unlikely win or two. Then when things get tight, things tend to fall apart.

      Maybe not anymore. At least not this year. Not for the Panthers. And certainly not for their fifth-year senior quarterback, the one whose Heisman Trophy campaign is picking up momentum with every passing week.

      Brilliant with his arm and gutsy with his legs, Pickett guided No. 23 Pitt to a decisive 27-17 win over flailing Clemson on Saturday, giving his burgeoning Heisman campaign a serious jolt and stamping the Panthers (6-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) as the runaway favorites in the Coastal Division and maybe the entire league.

      Heady territory for a player whose two previous meetings with the Tigers had ended ignominiously. He threw for 8 — yes, 8 — yards in a loss in the 2018 ACC title game and was picked off four times in a blowout defeat last fall in Death Valley.

      Given one more shot at Clemson — a shot he opted to take after deciding last December to return to Pitt for one more season rather than enter the NFL draft — Pickett rarely missed. He completed 25 of 39 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns against the nation's second-ranked scoring defense and converted a pair of third-downs on the game-clinching drive with two gritty runs for the marker.

      “I think it’s really, you know, a player-led team,” Pickett said. “And now that we’re at that point, you know, we’re playing to win. We’re not playing to not lose. I think that’s a huge difference.”

      One that was on full display after Clemson (4-3, 3-2) pulled within 10 points on D.J. Uiagalelei's 6-yard touchdown run with 7:56 to go.

      The Tigers never got the ball back. Pitt ran the game's final 15 plays, the last three kneel-downs by Pickett that set off a raucous celebration in front of an announced Heinz Field crowd of over 60,000.

      “They kicked our butts, it's as simple as that,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.

      The sloppy Tigers certainly helped.

      Uiagalelei threw a pair of interceptions, including a baffling shovel pass right into the stomach of Pitt linebacker SirVocea Dennis that he returned 50 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter for a 21-7 lead.

      “I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Dennis, who joked he was happy he simply made it to the end zone without falling after going splat during an interception return during training camp.

      A month after a stunning home overtime loss to Western Michigan that gave off the familiar “same old Pitt” vibes, the Panthers have responded behind Pickett. The player who led an upset of then No. 2-Miami in the 2017 finale has evolved from scrappy underdog to polished veteran.

      “He’s an unbelievable football player,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said of Pickett, who set a school record for career completions on his 23-yard touchdown to Jordan Addison in the second quarter that tied the game. “Again, we lean on Kenny. We’re going to put the ball in his hands. We ride with Kenny."

      While the Panthers are set at quarterback, the Tigers are not.

      Uiagalelei passed for just 128 yards and two picks and was briefly benched in favor of backup Taisu Phommachanh in the third quarter. Phommachanh failed to provide much of a spark, completing just 3 of 7 passes for 23 yards before Uiagalelei returned midway through the fourth with Clemson down by 17.

      Asked if there's now an open competition at the position, Swinney nodded. Then again, it's hardly the only spot up for grabs with Clemson assured of its first three-loss season since 2014.

      “I think everything is under evaluation at this point,” Swinney said. "We’re 4-3.”

      THE TAKEAWAY

      Clemson: The Tigers will likely see their long run atop the Atlantic Division end. They are now two games in the loss column behind Wake Forest and N.C. State, which beat the Tigers in overtime last month.

      Pitt: The Panthers have struggled to deal with limited bouts of prosperity for most of the last 40 years. They were 3-4 as a ranked team under Narduzzi entering Saturday. They were poised, however, after a sluggish start and will likely find themselves favored in each of their final five games.

      POLL IMPLICATIONS

      Expect the Panthers to climb inside the Top 20 for the first time in Narduzzi's seven seasons on the job. The Panthers are one of just two teams to beat Clemson twice since 2015. Alabama is the other.

      UP NEXT

      Clemson: Welcomes Florida State (3-4, 2-2) next Saturday.

      Pitt: Hosts Miami next Saturday. The Hurricanes have won each of the last three meetings in the series.

      ___

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      Vantrease throws for 3 TDs, Buffalo piles up 11 sacks in win
      10/22/21

      AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Kyle Vantrease threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns, Buffalo had a program-record 11 sacks, and the Bulls defeated Akron 45-10 on Saturday.

      Touchdown runs by Vantrease and Dylan McDuffie gave the Bulls (4-4, 2-2 Mid-American) a 17-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Buffalo went on to lead 24-10 at halftime and controlled the second half, outscoring the Zips 21-0 after halftime.

      Two of the Bulls' second-half scores were short TD passes by Vantrease, the third a 1-yard run by tight end Jake Molinich.

      Vantrease finished 15-of-20 passing for 241 yards. McDuffie gained 111 yards rushing on 23 carries.

      Kyler Laing was credited with 3 1/2 sacks for the Bulls and Daymond Williams had 2.

      Jonzell Norrils carried 11 times for 151 yards, including a 74-yard TD run for the Zips (2-6, 1-3). DJ Irons was just 5 of 13 passing for 66 yards and carried 25 times for 60 yards.

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