Oct 31, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Damarion Williams (6) tackles UCF Knights running back Greg McCrae (30) during the first quarter at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel, Anderson fuel high-octane UCF past Houston

UCF unleashed the nation’s top-ranked offense on host Houston, amassing 681 yards while cruising to a 44-21 victory on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference game.

The Knights (4-2, 3-2) excelled on the ground and through the air, with sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel passing for 328 yards and two touchdowns while senior running back Otis Anderson totaled 170 rushing yards on just 16 carries. Jaylon Robinson had five receptions for 107 yards while Ryan O’Keefe added 97 receiving yards and a pair of touchdown catches.

UCF entered play averaging 646.8 yards per game and the Cougars (2-2, 2-1) failed to stem the Knights’ tide. When Houston did manage to muster a defensive stand in the form of a 34-yard fumble recovery for a score with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter and three consecutive stops in the third quarter, its offense proved unable to build on that momentum.

The Cougars took a short-lived 7-3 lead when linebacker Grant Stuard scooped up a Gabriel fumble caused by defensive end Payton Turner and scampered for a touchdown. But the Knights responded with a 4-play, 78-yard drive that culminated in the first Gabriel-to-O’Keefe connection, a 34-yard touchdown that lifted the Knights to a 10-7 lead with 2:15 left in the first.

Knights linebacker Eriq Gilyard snuffed the subsequent Cougars threat with an interception of Houston quarterback Clayton Tune at the UCF 14. Seven plays and 70 yards later, UCF extended its lead to 17-7 on a 1-yard scoring run by Ben Thompson with 10:59 left in the half.

The Knights added two field goals prior to the intermission and led 23-7 at the break. Three of the five UCF scoring drives required fewer than two minutes, and the Knights totaled 114 rushing yards in the second quarter alone. Houston, meanwhile, had its four trips into UCF territory conclude with the fumble return, a punt, the Gilyard interception and a missed field goal.

The Cougars closed to within 23-13 on a Kyle Porter 1-yard run with 6:16 left in the third but posted consecutive three-and-outs when their defense stiffened. Gabriel followed with a 36-yard touchdown to O’Keefe for a 30-13 lead with 14:38 left that ended any remaining suspense.

The Knights rushed for 353 yards and finished 5-of-6 in the red zone.

Houston entered play ranked first in the American in rush defense at 104.7 yards per game. The Cougars lost standout senior receiver Marquez Stevenson to injury on their second possession.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman (31) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Giants RB Freeman ruled out vs. Buccaneers

New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman has been ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to an ankle injury.

Freeman sustained the injury during the team’s 22-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 22. Wayne Gallman is expected to be the main ball carrier against the Buccaneers.

Freeman (172 yards on 54 carries) emerged as the primary running back after star Saquon Barkley was lost with a season-ending knee injury.

Gallman has rushed for 110 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries this season.

The Giants also ruled out safety Adrian Colbert (shoulder). Receiver C.J. Board (concussion) is questionable.

Wideout Sterling Shepard is slated to play. He has been slowed by shoulder and toe injuries.

In addition, left guard Will Hernandez is sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas (2) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL suspends K Rosas for four games

The NFL issued a four-game suspension Saturday to former New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Aldrick Rosas for a personal conduct violation, multiple outlets reported.

Rosas was sentenced to three years of probation and a 30-day suspended jail sentence on Sept. 23 for his role in a hit-and-run car accident in Chico, Calif., on June 16.

Rosas, 25, pled no contest to reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. According to authorities, witnesses said Rosa drove through at red light at 90-100 mph and slammed into another vehicle in the intersection. Police said a bloodied Rosas was later found walking about a mile from the scene.

The Giants released Rosas on July 28. He signed with the Jaguars on Sept. 28 and played in one game this season before being released on Friday. He made 4 of 5 field-goal attempts in a 33-25 loss at Cincinnati in Week 4.

Rosas had a subpar 2019 campaign in which he made just 12 of 17 field-goal attempts, none from longer than 45 yards. He also missed four of his 39 extra-point attempts. Rosas made the Pro Bowl in 2018 after making 32 of 33 field goals and 31 of 32 PATs.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) leaves the field after warming up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots CB Gilmore ruled out vs. Bills

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been ruled out of Sunday’s road game against the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury, the team announced.

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year tweaked his knee in a collision in practice on Thursday and underwent an MRI exam, per reports. He didn’t practice on Friday and officially had been listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

Gilmore, 30, has recorded 20 tackles and one interception in six games this season for the Patriots (2-4).

Cornerback J.C. Jackson is expected to replace Gilmore in Sunday’s game versus the Bills (5-2) in Orchard Park, N.Y.

New England also ruled out rookie safety Kyle Dugger (ankle) and rookie offensive lineman Justin Herron (ankle) on Saturday.

Dugger has recorded 16 tackles in five games since being selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Herron has played in six games since being picked in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) passes the ball during the first quarter of the game against Boston College at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY Sports

Uiagalelei thrives as No. 1 Clemson escapes vs. Boston College

Freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei passed for 342 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third as No. 1 Clemson survived a scare from Boston College before holding on for a 34-28 victory Saturday afternoon at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium.

Uiagalelei was making the first start of his career, filling in for three-year starter and Heisman Trophy favorite Trevor Lawrence, who missed the game while in isolation with COVID-19.

Lawrence’s availability for next week’s showdown at Notre Dame remains uncertain.

Uiagalelei was up the task, even if the Tigers’ injury depleted defense wasn’t. Clemson (7-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) was missing three starters off its defense and it showed, particularly early in the game.

But Uiagalelei came up big, completing 30 of 41 passes and running for a 30-yard touchdown in a third-quarter rally that saw the Tigers outgain the Eagles 147-39 and outscore them 13-0. The Tigers took a 32-28 lead with 11:34 remaining and held on from there.

The Tigers’ victory wasn’t secure, however, until freshman defensive tackle Bryan Bresee sacked Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec for a safety with 1:18 left in the game to cap game-ending 24-0 run.

Clemson has won 28 consecutive games against ACC opponents.

Boston College slipped to 4-3, 3-3.

Senior running back Travis Etienne became the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with a 16-yard run on the final play of the third quarter, passing former N.C. State standout Ted Brown, who had 4,602 yards from 1975 to 1978. Etienne has 4,644.

Etienne was productive once again against Boston College, totaling 264 all-purpose yards. He had 84 yards rushing on 20 carries and added 140 yards receiving on seven catches as well as a 40-yard kickoff return.

It took Boston College only four plays to take a 7-0 lead, with Jurkovec tossing to Zay Flowers for an 11-yard touchdown to cap a game-opening, 75-yard drive.

After Etienne evened the score with a 35-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Uiagalelei, the Eagles dominated the rest of the half.

Boston College got a 2-yard run from running back David Bailey, a 97-yard fumble return by cornerback Brandon Sebastian and an 18-yard strike from Jurkovec to wide receiver C.J. Lewis to forge a 28-13 halftime lead.

It marked the first time Clemson had trailed at the half of a regular-season game since a loss to Florida State in 2013.

Jurkovec completed 12 of 24 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns for Boston College.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines quarterback Joe Milton (5) looks to pass in the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State upsets No. 13 Michigan for Tucker’s first win

Rocky Lombardi threw three touchdown passes, two to Connor Heyward, and Michigan State stunned No. 13 Michigan 27-24 in Big Ten action on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Lombardi completed 17 of 32 passes for 323 yards while Ricky White caught eight passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. White’s yardage total was the most by a freshman in school history. Jordon Simmons led the ground game with 55 yards on 14 carries.

The Spartans (1-1, 1-1 Big Ten), who committed seven turnovers in a season-opening loss to Rutgers a week earlier, did not have a giveaway in Mel Tucker’s first win as their head coach.

Blake Corum had two rushing touchdowns for Michigan (1-1, 1-1). Joe Milton completed 32 of 51 passes for 300 yards and also led the rushing attack with 59 yards on 12 carries. The Wolverines had won their last two games against their in-state rival.

Matt Coghlin’s 27-yard field goal gave the Spartans a 17-10 lead early in the second half.

Corum’s 1-yard plunge with eight minutes left in the third quarter tied it. That run capped off a 75-yard drive.

Coghlin blasted a career-best 51-yard field goal to put Michigan State back on top, 20-17. Coghlin missed a 40-yard try early in the fourth quarter.

Lombardi’s 13-yard scoring toss to Heyward with 5:11 left gave the Spartans a 27-17 lead. The touchdown was set up by White’s tumbling 31-yard reception.

Michigan’s Hassan Haskins scored on a 2-yard run to finish off an 18-play, 93-yard drive but only 37 seconds remained on the clock.

The Spartans recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

Michigan State emerged with a 14-10 lead at halftime.

The Spartans scored on their second possession as Lombardi connected with White on a 30-yard pass.

Michigan answered with an eight-play, 60-yard drive, capped by Corum’s 8-yard run.

Michigan State regained the advantage on Lombardi’s 2-yard scoring pass to Heyward. The touchdown was set up by Lombardi’s 53-yard hookup with Jalen Nailor.

Quinn Nordin’s 23-yard field goal cut the Spartans’ lead to four points.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels (17) is sacked by Iowa State Cyclones linebacker O'Rien Vance (34) and linebacker Mike Rose (23) during the first half at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Iowa State stomps Kansas, 52-22

Breece Hall rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, while Brock Purdy added 239 yards passing, as No. 23 Iowa State stomped Kansas 52-22 at Lawrence, Kan.

Playing in a stiff south wind that gusted up to 30 mph, the Cyclones (4-2, 4-1 Big 12) balanced their attack and wore down the Jayhawks behind Hall, the nation’s leading rusher.

Playing in his home state, the Wichita sophomore carried 21 times and matched a career-best he set last week against Oklahoma State. Hall has gained 100 yards in each game this season.

Purdy tied the Iowa State record for career touchdown passes (50) with a 36-yard strike to Xavier Hutchinson on a fourth-down call midway through the third quarter. He finished 23 of 34 with two scores. The Cyclones generated 552 yards.

Kansas (0-6, 0-5) scored on special teams with a 100-yard kickoff return by Kenny Logan, who also intercepted Purdy with 6:49 remaining and the Jayhawks trailing by 16.

But Kansas could not establish consistent rhythm offensively behind freshman quarterback Jalon Daniels, who turned 18 earlier in the week. Daniels passed for 165 yards and added 36 yards rushing with one TD. But he also threw an interception and lost a fumble before limping off in the fourth quarter.

Iowa State recorded 10 tackles for loss, including two from defensive end JaQuan Bailey.

The defeat was the 10th straight for the Jayhawks, who lost by their average margin this season, 30 points.

Purdy completed his first 10 attempts as Iowa State built a 13-0 lead with touchdowns on its first two possessions. Kene Nwangwu scored on an 18-yard carry and Purdy added a 1-yard TD rush after the Cyclones recovered a fumble by Daniels at the Kansas 35.

The early onslaught was snuffed when Kansas made a fourth-down stop and then drove 59 yards for a 5-yard touchdown rush by Daniel Hishaw with 9:01 left in the first half.

Iowa State responded to gain a 20-7 halftime margin by driving 64 yards and scoring on a 3-yard pass from Purdy to Charlie Kolar.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. (16) makes a catch and runs for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Doege leads West Virginia over No. 16 Kansas State

Jarret Doege threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns as West Virginia handed No. 16 Kansas State its first Big 12 loss in a 37-10 upset on Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Wildcats (4-2, 4-1 Big 12) had their four-game Big 12 winning streak snapped, leaving No. 6 Oklahoma State (4-0, 3-0) as the only unbeaten team in the league heading into the Cowboys’ game against visiting Texas on Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (4-2, 3-2) improved to 4-0 at home as Doege completed 22 of 34 passes with no interceptions. Leddie Brown added 102 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown and Alec Sinkfield finished with 85 yards on 15 rushes. Bryce Ford-Wheaton had three catches for 104 yards.

West Virginia’s defense, which led the Big 12 heading into Saturday allowing just 261.8 yards per game, limited the Wildcats to 225 yards and only 13 first downs. K-State mustered only 41 yards rushing.

The Wildcats entered the game leading the Big 12 in turnover margin at plus-eight with only one interception.

K-State freshman Will Howard, a dual-threat quarterback who replaced the injured Skylar Thompson after the third game of the season, threw three interceptions Saturday.

One of them was returned 18 yards for a touchdown by Dylan Tonkery with 7:51 left in the third quarter to increase West Virginia’s lead to 34-10.

Howard completed 19 of 37 pass attempts for 184 yards with one touchdown.

West Virginia took a 24-10 halftime lead by scoring touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the second quarter.

In that stretch, Doege completed touchdown passes of 5 yards to Ali Jennings and 15 yards to Winston Wright. Brown also had a 9-yard scoring run.

Kansas State closed the scoring in the first half on Howard’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Malik Knowles with 1:05 left.

West Virginia had three field goals in the game, including two by backup placekicker Casey Legg (25 and 45 yards) in the second half after Evan Staley became injured on kickoff coverage.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Memphis Tigers defensive back John Broussard Jr. (9) reacts as Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce (12) catches a pass for a touchdown in the first half at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Cincinnati stomps Memphis

Junior quarterback Desmond Ridder accounted for a career-high five touchdowns and the Bearcats’ defense smothered visiting Memphis throughout as No. 7 Cincinnati rolled to a 49-10 win on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.

The Bearcats (5-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) avenged a pair of losses last season to the Tigers (3-2, 2-2 AAC) and snapped a five-game skid against their AAC rivals. It was Cincinnati’s first home win against Memphis since 2004.

Ridder was exceptional as he completed 21 of 26 passes for season-highs of 271 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. Ridder also rushed for 41 and a pair of touchdowns. Backup running back Jerome Ford added 116 yards rushing and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Memphis entered averaging 38.8 points per game this season but couldn’t find any traction. The Tigers gave up six sacks, converted just 4-of-16 third downs and were 0-of-3 mark on fourth down.

Cincinnati outgained Memphis 513-321, including a mammoth-sized gap on the ground. The Bearcats rushed for 242 yards while the Tigers were held to five rushing yards on 29 carries.

Memphis quarterback Brady White completed 18 of 35 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Calvin Austin had seven catches for 121 yards. Freshman flanker Tahj Washington added two catches for 104 yards and a score

The Bearcats put the game away in the third quarter. Trailing 21-10, the Tigers failed to convert a fourth-and-two from the Cincinnati 10-yard line. UC responded with a nine-play, 90-yard drive that Ridder finished with a 9-yard touchdown on a scramble.

Memphis failed on another fourth-down conversion, again in Cincinnati territory, on its next drive. Five plays later Ridder found a wide-open Tre Tucker down the left side for a 21-yard touchdown and 35-10 lead with 1:29 left in the quarter.

James Wiggins’ sack, and forced fumble, of White set up Ford’s 38-yard touchdown run on the next snap midway through the fourth quarter. Ford busted loose again for a 48-yard touchdown with 1:30 left.

Cincinnati led 21-10 after setting the terms throughout the first half.

Ridder was sharp, hitting on 16 of 20 throws for 170 yards, and accounted for all three touchdowns. The Bearcats snapped a 7-7 tie when Ridder kept a zone-read and scooted 13-yards with 13:58 left in the half. Cincinnati made it 21-7 with 4:04 left after Ridder drilled a 6-yard touchdown to Michael Young Jr.

Cincinnati took a 7-0 lead on its second possession when Ridder dropped in a 43-yard touchdown to Alex Pierce.

Memphis was held to 155 yards in the first half, and most came on one play. Washington took a short screen pass, popped through a phalanx of blockers and rocketed 92-yards for the score and a 7-7 late in the first quarter.

The Tigers added Riley Patterson’s 42-yard field goal 28 seconds before halftime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2020; Provo, UT, USA; UTSA quarterback Lowell Narcisse (10) carries the ball as BYU s Zayne Anderson (23) and Troy Warner (4) close in for a tackle in the second half during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Provo, Utah.   Mandatory Credit: Rick Bowmer/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Tronti leads Florida Atlantic past UTSA

Nick Tronti passed for one touchdown and ran for another as the host Florida Atlantic Owls defeated the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 24-3 on Saturday afternoon at Boca Raton, Fla.

FAU’s defense came up with seven sacks, forced eight punts and turned UTSA over on downs once. UTSA managed just 230 total yards.

Tronti completed 11-of-19 passes for 136 yards as FAU (2-1, 2-1 Conference USA) won for the first time since Oct. 3 in a season that has been interrupted a couple of times by Covid-19.

FAU running back Malcolm Davidson rushed for 115 yards on 14 carries (8.2 average).

UTSA (4-4, 2-2) was led by quarterback Frank Harris, who completed 12-of-26 passes for 109 yards. He also ran for 66 yards on 14 carries (4.7 average) as UTSA fell to 4-2 when Harris starts this year.

Roadrunners star Sincere McCormick, the reigning Conference USA’s Player of the Week, was held to 54 rushing yards on 16 carries (3.4 average). He entered the game leading nation with 867 rushing yards.

FAU scored on the game’s first possession, getting Vladimir Rivas’ 24-yard field goal. That capped a 10-play, 58-yard drive.

The Owls capped the first-quarter scoring on Tronti’s 27-yard TD pass to Aaron Young, capping another 10-play drive. Young ran a slant pattern, catching the ball in between two defenders to end an 80-yard march.

UTSA had a would-be score taken off the board as Harris’ 18-yard TD pass to Brenden Brady was wiped out by a holding call on Spencer Burford with 3:10 left in the first.

The Roadrunners finally got on the board on Hunter Duplessis’ 49-yard field goal with 8:55 left in the half. That capped a crazy 15-play, 43-yard drive that included three third-down conversions.

FAU closed the first half with a 17-3 lead, getting Tronti’s two-yard TD run on run/pass option. Tronti’s 36-yard pass to a high-reaching T.J. Chase set up the score.

The Owls then put the game away on James Charles’ 2-yard touchdown run with 2:35 left in the fourth.

–Field Level Media