Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD


Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD

By Joseph White
AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Munchie Legaux hit Damon Julian for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play, and Cincinnati beat Virginia Tech 27-24 Saturday.

Trailing by four after a Hokies touchdown, the Bearcats (3-0) took over at their own 15 with 1:43 to play and moved downfield in nine plays for the score, capping a seesaw fourth quarter that brought to life a sleepy game.

Cincinnati dominated in every way but the scoreboard, piling on the yards all game, and managed to finally escape with the win. Legaux completed 19 of 42 passes for a career-high 376 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kenbrell Thompkins also set career highs for Cincinnati with seven catches for 134 yards and a score.

Logan Thomas was 17 for 30 for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Hokies (3-2), who have lost two games to unranked Big East schools in one of the most trying Septembers in recent history under coach Frank Beamer. A 35-17 loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago knocked Virginia Tech out of the Top 25.

The game was played at the Washington Redskins stadium, with Cincinnati giving up a home game for a chance to play in the vicinity of the nation's capital. Still, the Bearcats fans were an overwhelming minority compared to the Hokies' faithful, who had to travel half the distance of their counterparts.

The teams combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter after putting up just 20 in the first three. Michael Holmes spun into the end zone from 3 yards out with 8:37 to play to put Virginia Tech ahead 17-13, but Ralph David Abernathy IV's 76-yard catch-and-run score put the Bearcats back in front less than a minute later.

The Hokies then responded with Corey Fuller's 56-yard touchdown catch with 1:49 remaining.

The Bearcats run a spread offense, but they had more success with conventional drop-back pass plays. They took a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter when Legaux, with plenty of time to throw, hit Thompkins wide open over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown.

Virginia Tech was outgained 165 to 72 -- yet the Hokies had a just 7-6 lead to show for it. They didn't get a first down until Fuller's 15-yard reception with 5:17 to go in the half, and the offense struggled to capitalize even when linebacker Bruce Taylor shifted momentum with a couple of big plays.

Taylor stripped the ball from Travis Kelce for a fumble near midfield, but the Hokies ended up punting. On Cincinnati's next possession, Taylor tipped a pass that was intercepted by Kris Harley, giving Virginia Tech the ball at the Bearcats 13-yard line.

That set up the Hokies' only first-half touchdown, but it took four plays to accomplish, with Thomas scampering up the middle for a 5-yard scoring run on fourth-and-2 with 2:41 left in the half.

The day's blooper highlight was provided by Thompkins, who had an amusing pratfall when he tripped over the chains when they were brought out for a measurement after a fourth-and-1 run. Cincinnati got the first down, and the drive led to one of two first-half field goals by Tony Miliano.

Cincinnati had an even more unusual play in the first half -- a touchdown negated by a holding call on the quarterback. Legaux was whistled for giving Kyshoen Jarrett an extra shove while Abernathy was running 11 yards for a score on a double reserve. The drive ended when the Bearcats faked a field goal by throwing a pass to defensive tackle Silverberry Mouhon, who made only 16 yards on the fourth-and-18.

College Football Playoff projections: Ohio State still controls its own destiny


College Football Playoff projections: Ohio State still controls its own destiny

No longer among the ranks of the unbeatens, Ohio State’s playoff chances certainly took a hit Saturday with their loss to Penn State.

But let’s not start digging their grave just yet.

Michigan now sits atop the Big Ten East standings, but they still have to finish the season with the big game against the Buckeyes. And it’s at Ohio State.


The truth is, if the Buckeyes win out, they still will win the Big Ten East and will have a chance to play (likely) either Nebraska or Wisconsin for the conference championship.

Will the committee really leave a one-loss Big Ten champion out of the playoff? Perhaps, if either Baylor or West Virginia remain undefeated, but if the winner of the Big 12 has at least one loss, it’s hard to see how either team would get in over Ohio State.

Again, assuming they win out, the Buckeyes will have beaten Oklahoma in Norman, Wisconsin in Madison, Nebraska, Michigan and the Big Ten West winner. Neither Baylor or West Virginia can match that resume.

So let’s not declare Ohio State’s playoff hopes done just yet. Their biggest challenge is likely rival Michigan, and the Wolverines have to travel to Columbus. That’s a very tough place to play, especially if you’re wearing maize and blue.

Will the Buckeyes ultimately reach the playoff despite their loss to Penn State? Who else will join them? Found out here in this week’s updated College Football Playoff projections.

Worth accounts for 5 TDs as No. 24 Navy beats Memphis

USA Today Sports

Worth accounts for 5 TDs as No. 24 Navy beats Memphis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Will Worth and No. 24 Navy played keep-away with Memphis while running the Tigers into the ground.

Worth rushed for a career-high 201 yards and three touchdowns, and the Midshipmen put on a dazzling display of ball control in a 42-28 victory Saturday.

In addition to operating the triple option in near-flawless fashion, Worth completed three of four passes for 85 yards and two scores.

"We take what we can get, and today, the quarterback run game was there," Worth said. "We could manage that and set up a couple of pass plays to be able to score through the air. It's just executing the game plan."

The last Navy player to reach the 200-yard mark on the ground was Keenan Reynolds in 2014.

Worth carried 31 times and orchestrated an attack that held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. That left high-scoring Memphis little time to counter-punch.

"It was kind of hard because we weren't doing a great job of getting off the field defensively," Tigers coach Mike Norvell said. "Offensively, it's hard to be in rhythm, it's hard to stay in rhythm."

The Midshipmen (5-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) gained a season-high 447 yards on the ground, averaging 6 yards per carry.

The victory put Navy in sole possession of first place in the AAC West and served as a suitable encore for its 46-40 upset of defending league champion Houston two weeks ago.

Navy's 14-game home winning streak is its longest at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1959.

Tony Pollard returned a kickoff 100 yards and Riley Ferguson completed 25 of 40 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (5-2, 2-1). But the Tigers simply couldn't score enough to offset the damage inflicted by Navy's sensational running attack.

"They kind of got after us up front and we had a couple of assignment issues," Norvell said. "But I just thought they did a great job executing."

Worth's second touchdown run put Navy ahead 28-14 early in the third quarter. Memphis responded with a 9-yard TD pass from Furguson to Daniel Hurd.

As the clock wound down in the third quarter, Navy faced a fourth-and-4 at the Memphis 18. Norvell called a timeout, forcing the Midshipmen to deal with the possibility of a field goal try into a stiff wind. Instead, Navy sent its offense on the field and went up 35-21 on a touchdown pass from Worth to Tyler Carmona .

After Memphis again got within a touchdown, a 52-yard completion by Worth led to a 32-yard field goal try by Bennett Moehring. The kick clanged off the left upright with 5:40 to go.

But a fumble by Tigers wide receiver Roderick Proctor was recovered by Navy with 3:39 remaining, and Worth clinched it with a 1-yard plunge.

Worth, a 6-foot-1 senior, started the season as a second-string quarterback but was elevated to starting status after Tago Smith injured his right knee in the opener.

"Here's a kid who was a backup, kept his mouth quiet," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Now he's doing great things."


Memphis forced 18 turnovers in its first six games, but the only one it got Saturday was when Worth hit the pylon trying to score a touchdown and lost control of the ball. The result was a touchback for the Tigers, whose lone turnover -- Proctor's fumble -- was far most costly.


Memphis: The Tigers came in as a slight favorite because their offense hadn't scored fewer than 24 points in any game. But the defense wasn't up for the challenge of Navy's running attack, and now Memphis needs help to get to the AAC title game.

Navy: The Midshipmen have proven they don't need Reynolds at quarterback to make the triple option sing. Navy's running game is tricky, shifty and just about unstoppable for teams not accustomed to chasing the quarterback, fullback and slotback all over the field.


Memphis: The Tigers host Tulsa next Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl.

Navy: The Midshipmen face AAC East Division co-leader South Florida (6-2, 3-1) on the road Friday night.