College Football

College Football Today

Southern California team captains linebacker Hayes Pullard (10) and quarterback Cody Kessler (6) check on injured Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday (12) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Marti Photo:

Southern California team captains linebacker Hayes Pullard (10) and quarterback Cody Kessler (6) check on injured Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday (12) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Marti

STARS

-Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record to lead the No. 7 Cardinal to the Pac-12 championship with a 41-22 win over No. 24 Southern California.

-Derrick Henry, Alabama, ran for 189 yards and may have clinched the Heisman Trophy in the second-ranked Crimson Tide's 29-15 win over No. 18 Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

-Deshaun Watson, Clemson, threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores to help the No. 1 Tigers beat No. 8 North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. Watson set ACC championship game records with the five TDs and 420 total yards.

-Darryan Ragsdale, Alcorn State, rushed for a SWAC championship game record 191 yards in a 49-21 victory over Grambling State.

-Troymaine Pope, Jacksonville State, ran for 234 yards, the second-highest total in school history, and three scores in a 41-35 overtime victory over Chattanooga in the FCS playoffs.

-Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, threw for 410 yards with three TDs to help the Hilltoppers defeat Southern Mississippi 45-28 in the Conference USA Championship Game.

-Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State, threw for 346 yards and three TDs to help the Panthers beat rival Georgia Southern 34-7 to become bowl eligible for the first time in school history.

-Jake Melville, Colgate, threw two TD passes and ran for two more in a 44-38 upset win over James Madison on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

-Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia ran for 141 yards and a touchdown in a 24-23 loss to Kansas State.

-Michael Gordon, Arkansas State, ran for 148 yards in a 55-17 win over Texas State.

-Jacobi Green, Richmond, ran for 141 yards and three TDs in a 48-13 victory over William & Mary in an FCS second-round playoff game.

---

PLAYOFF TIDE

Alabama locked up another trip to the College Football Playoff.

In all likelihood, Derrick Henry clinched the Heisman Trophy, too.

Henry rushed for 189 bruising yards and the second-ranked Crimson Tide wore down No. 18 Florida with a dominating defensive performance, beating the Gators 29-15 in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.

The Crimson Tide (12-1, No. 2 CFP) held the Gators to just 3 yards of offense in the second and third quarters, assuring itself of a spot in the semifinals at either the Cotton or Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve.

---

CARDINAL, AGAIN

Run, pass and catch. Christian McCaffrey did it all in a record-setting performance that should send him to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony and Stanford to another big-time bowl.

McCaffrey ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record to lead No. 7 Stanford to the Pac-12 championship with a 41-22 win over No. 24 Southern California on Saturday.

Kevin Hogan caught the TD pass from McCaffrey, threw one and ran for a third and Solomon Thomas scored on a 34-yard fumble return for the Cardinal (11-2, No. 7 CFP). Stanford will either play in the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champion or possibly make the four-team playoff if No. 1 Clemson loses the ACC championship.

McCaffrey added 105 yards receiving and 149 return yards to give him a Stanford record 461 all-purpose yards for the game and 3,496 for the season. That broke Sanders' single-season record of 3,250 yards set in 1988, although McCaffrey took two extra games to do it.

---

LOSING BOWLERS

Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State will be playing in bowl games with 5-7 records.

Championship Saturday began with 75 bowl-eligible teams and two more teams got there, three short of what was needed to fill a record 80 bowl games.

Kansas State took care of business by beating West Virginia 24-23 to finish 6-6. Georgia State, in its sixth season playing Division I football, beat Sun Belt Conference rival Georgia Southern 34-7 for its sixth victory.

South Alabama fell short of six, though, losing 34-27 to Appalachian State.

That makes 77 teams with at least six victories and a .500 record, the minimum to be eligible for a bowl bid.

---

NUMBERS

2-Interceptions returned for touchdowns by four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State in a 37-6 playoff victory over Montana,

13-Years since a team repeated as SWAC champion before Alcorn State did it this season.

29-Years since San Diego State last won the Mountain West championship.

1,986-Rushing yards by Alabama's Derrick Henry this season, breaking Herschel Walker's single-season SEC record. Henry also matched the SEC record with 23 touchdowns.

3,496-All-purpose yards by Stanford's Christian McCaffey, breaking Barry Sanders' single-season record of 3,250 yards set in 1988. Sanders did it in two fewer games.

---

COUGARS RISE

Tom Herman came to Houston after helping Ohio State to a national championship last season with designs on returning the Cougars to national prominence.

Less than a year later the coach has done exactly that, leading No. 17 Houston to a high-profile bowl for the first time in more than 20 years with a 24-13 win over 20th-ranked Temple in the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship game.

Greg Ward Jr. ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns to secure Houston's spot as the Group of Five representative and earn the Cougars a trip to either the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

More College Football