Backup Rescues LSU; Fresno St. Stunned
Baton Rouge, La. — Backup quarterback Anthony Jennings closed out LSU’s regular season by giving Tigers fans a big dose of hope for the future.
The freshman replaced an injured Zach Mettenberger in the fourth quarter and lofted a 49-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural with 1:15 left as No. 15 LSU pulled out a tense 31-27 victory over upset-minded Arkansas on Friday.
Jennings entered the game after Mettenberger hurt his left leg in the fourth quarter, and the game came down to whether Jennings could drive the Tigers 99 yards in the final 3 minutes.
He responded with a pair of clutch first-down passes and a 21-yard scramble to set up his winning scoring strike that kept LSU (9-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) alive for a fourth-straight 10-win campaign.
Brandon Allen completed two touchdown passes to tight end Hunter Henry, the second giving Arkansas (3-9, 0-8) a 27-21 lead that stood most of the fourth quarter. But Jennings’ heroics extended the Razorbacks’ school-record losing streak to nine games and ensured Arkansas’ first winless record in the SEC since joining the conference in 1992.
LSU’s defense sealed up the victory when cornerback Dwayne Thomas sacked and stripped Allen and defensive end Jermauria Rasco recovered in the final minute, allowing Jennings to take a curtain call on the ball to run out the clock.
San Jose State 62 No. 16 Fresno State 52
San Jose, Calif. — David Fales threw for 543 yards and six touchdowns in an entertaining showdown with Derek Carr and San Jose ended No. 16 Fresno State’s run toward a possible BCS bowl.
Fales was every bit as good as the more heralded Carr, matching his six first-half touchdown passes in a near perfect performance that made the Spartans (6-6, 4-4 Mountain West) bowl eligible with their first win over a ranked opponent since 2000.
Carr threw for 519 yards and six touchdowns, but threw a fourth-quarter interception for the Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1). Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 264 yards and three scores.
The loss ended Fresno State’s chances to beat out Northern Illinois for a spot in a prestigious BCS game. The Huskies are the only undefeated team from a non-automatic qualifying conference.
No. 12 Oregon 36 Oregon State 35
Eugene, Ore. — Marcus Mariota threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff with 29 seconds left and Oregon overcame a tenacious effort by Oregon State in the 117th edition of the Civil War rivalry.
Mariota threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns — all to Huff, who had nine catches for a season-high 186 yards — and the Ducks (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) sealed their sixth straight 10-win season. It was also the team’s sixth straight victory over the Beavers in the series.
With the Ducks holding a 24-23 lead, the Beavers scored on Sean Mannion’s 4-yard pass to Tyler Anderson to pull in front 29-24 early in the fourth quarter. But Oregon answered with Mariota’s fourth-and-11 pass to Huff for a 12-yard touchdown and the Ducks took a 30-29 lead with 7:56 left in the game.
Victor Bolden ran for a 25-yard touchdown to make it 35-30 for the Beavers with 1:38 remaining, but Oregon State’s defense couldn’t stop the Ducks on their final drive.
Ohio 51, UMass 23
Athens, Ohio — Beau Blankenship rushed for 124 yards and a 50-yard touchdown as Ohio cruised over Massachusetts.
Tyler Tettleton passed for 246 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio (7-5, 4-4 MAC) outgained UMass (1-11, 1-7) 461 to 290.