INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Trey Sermon ran for a school-record 331 yards and two second-half touchdowns, helping No. 3 Ohio State rally for a 22-10 victory over Northwestern on Saturday for the Buckeyes' fourth consecutive Big Ten championship.
The Buckeyes (6-0) will find out Sunday if they’ve done enough to receive one of four spots in the College Football Playoff. It’s the first time Ohio State has won four consecutive outright conference crowns.
Northwestern (6-2) heads into the bowl season with two losses in its last three games and a second runner-up finish to the Buckeyes in three years.
It was a struggle for Ohio State. After the Buckeyes settled for a field goal on the game’s first possession, Northwestern running back Cam Porter answered with a 9-yard TD run late in the first quarter. The Buckeyes trailed from that moment until Sermon’s 9-yard run with 2:41 left in the third period.
Ohio State added a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, and Sermon, who had 29 carries, sealed the win with a 3-yard scoring run with 4:03 to go.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was 12 of 27 with 114 yards and ran 12 times for 35 yards.
Porter finished with 16 carries and 61 yards. Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey was 24 of 37 with 224 yards but was picked off twice and lost a fumble — all in the second half.
NO. 12 OKLAHOMA 27, NO. 8 IOWA STATE 21
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Spencer Rattler threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Mims and ran for a score and Oklahoma won its sixth consecutive Big 12 title, holding on to beat Iowa State in the conference championship game.
That impressive title streak probably won’t be enough to get the Sooners (8-2, No. 10 CFP) into the College Football Playoff for the fourth year in a row, even when paired with their seven-game winning streak. Oklahoma lost at Iowa State on Oct. 3 and was 0-2 in Big 12 play for the first time since 1998.
Big 12 rushing leader Breece Hall ran for two touchdowns for the Cyclones (8-3, No. 6 CFP) in the second half, when Oklahoma punted on its first five drives before Gabe Brkic’s 32-yard field goal with 2:01 left. The Sooners wrapped it up when Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was under pressure and threw his third interception, a fluttering pass picked off by Tre Brown inside the 10.
Rattler was 22 of 34 for 272 yards and his 25th TD pass.
NO. 5 TEXAS A&M 34, TENNESSEE 13
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kellen Mond threw for 281 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 59 yards and a score, helping Texas A&M to close its case for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Isaiah Spiller ran for 89 yards and a touchdown, and Ainias Smith scored once rushing and once receiving.
Mond completed 26 of 32 passes. The Aggies (8-1, No. 5 CFP) finished their regular season and hoped for an upset or two within the CFP’s top four.
Tennessee (3-7) has lost seven of its last eight games, ramping up speculation about Jeremy Pruitt’s future as Vols coach.