College Football Rankings 2016: Bleacher Report's Week 14 Top 25

Bleacher Report College Football StaffFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2016

College Football Rankings 2016: Bleacher Report's Week 14 Top 25

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    And the picture is becoming clearer…

    Ohio State's double-overtime win over Michigan served as a de facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal, one of many results from the final full week of the 2016 regular season that helped figure things out. Losses by Florida and Louisville further removed them from the playoff picture, and losses by Michigan and Nebraska helped determine the Big Ten's division champions.

    Other division titles were decided in the ACC, Pac-12 and non-power conferences, and quite a few teams secured bowl bids by notching six victories. And all of those outcomes helped shape the latest Bleacher Report Top 25.

    The Bleacher Report poll is voted on by 19 members of our college football staff: writers Greg Couch, Tyler Donohue, Ed Feng, David Kenyon, Sanjay Kirpalani, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Brian Pedersen, David Regimbal, Barrett Sallee, Damon Sayles, Brad Shepard, Greg Wallace and Christopher Walsh; video staff Michael Felder, Hunter Mandel and Sean McManus and editors Eric Bowman and Eric Yates.

    First-place votes are worth 25 points, with each subsequent point worth one fewer point all the way down to one for 25th place. The 25 teams with the most poll points make our list, with the rest falling into the "others receiving votes" category.

    Check out where everyone stands after Week 13, then give us your thoughts in the comments section.

Others Receiving Votes

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    Temple clinched a second straight American Athletic Conference East Division title after winning 37-10 over East Carolina on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to launch the Owls (9-3) into the Top 25. They were among a slew of teams that received votes but find themselves just outside the rankings.

    • Tennessee (30)
    • Boise State (24)
    • Texas A&M (20)
    • Washington State (19)
    • Houston (18)
    • Temple (12)
    • North Carolina (10)
    • Pittsburgh (10)
    • BYU (7)
    • TCU (6)
    • Miami, Florida (5)
    • Troy (4)
    • Western Kentucky (3)
    • Georgia Tech (1)
    • Miami, Ohio (1)
    • Sam Houston State (1)

No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Poll points: 47

    Last week's ranking: Not ranked

    Week 13 result: Won 40-10 vs. Nebraska

    Next game: TBD bowl 

    Iowa (8-4, 6-3 Big Ten) continued the late-season momentum it built off an upset of Michigan earlier this month, winning its third straight and scoring its most points since mid-October.

    The Hawkeyes ran for 264 yards, with LeShun Daniels Jr. gaining 158 with two touchdowns and Akrum Wadley adding 105 and a score. C.J. Beathard threw for 144 yards and three TDs on 10-of-15 passing.

    Iowa held Nebraska to 217 yards in beating the Cornhuskers for the third time in the last four years and beating them at home for the first time since 1981.

No. 24 Utah Utes

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    Poll points: 48

    Last week's ranking: 23rd

    Week 13 result: Lost 27-22 at Colorado

    Next game: TBD bowl

    Utah (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) dropped a second straight game because of four turnovers and an offense that couldn't convert in the red zone until it was too late.

    The Utes had to settle for a trio of short field goals, and Andy Phillips also missed a kick from 45 yards out. Utah didn't score on offense until there was 1:34 left in the game, with its other touchdown coming on a 55-yard punt return score from Boobie Hobbs midway through the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

    Troy Williams threw for 160 yards and a TD but was 13-of-40 with two interceptions, while Joe Williams had 97 rushing yards on 26 carries to end his five-game streak of 100-plus-yard performances.

No. 23 South Florida Bulls

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    Poll points: 62

    Last week's ranking: Not ranked

    Week 13 result: Won 48-31 vs. UCF

    Next game: TBD

    South Florida (10-2, 7-1 American) set a school record for wins in a season after its offensive stars again had monster performances.

    Quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for 152 yards and also ran for 152 with two touchdowns, and Marlon Mack ran for 155 yards and two scores. The Bulls ran for 351 yards and held UCF to 64 on the ground.

    South Florida trailed 7-0 but then scored 24 consecutive points, aided by Juwuan Brown's 22-yard fumble return TD in the first quarter.

No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Poll points: 63

    Last week's ranking: 17th

    Week 13 result: Lost 40-10 at Iowa

    Next game: TBD bowl 

    Nebraska (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten) saw its faint hopes of winning the West Division title fade away after losing its third straight road game after a 7-0 start to the season.

    Iowa jumped out to a 13-0 lead, and the Cornhuskers never got closer than within 10 points after that. They managed 217 yards of total offense, with Tommy Armstrong Jr. throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-35 passing.

    Nebraska's run game was held to 90 yards overall and 2.9 yards per carry—its worst rushing average of 2016.

No. 21 LSU Tigers

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    Poll points: 111

    Last week's ranking: 25th

    Week 13 result: Won 54-39 at Texas A&M

    Next game: TBD bowl 

    LSU (7-4, 5-3 SEC) finished the regular season with its most points in a league game in more than three years, churning out 622 yards despite not having running back Leonard Fournette or receiver Travin Dural due to injury.

    Derrius Guice filled in exceptionally for Fournette, rushing for a school-record 285 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries. Guice has run for 537 yards and six TDs in the Tigers' last two road games.

    Danny Etling had his best game since transferring from Purdue, throwing for 324 yards and two TDs on 20-of-28 passing.

No. 20 Auburn Tigers

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    Poll points: 112

    Last week's ranking: 15th

    Week 13 result: Lost 30-12 at Alabama

    Next game: TBD bowl

    Auburn (8-4, 5-3 SEC) managed only 182 yards and four field goals in falling to its rival for the third straight year, dropping to 1-4 on the season when failing to score at least 23 points.

    The Tigers led 3-0 and trailed only 10-9 late in the second quarter, but they recorded only seven first downs. Jeremy Johnson, making his second straight start, threw for 34 yards on 4-of-13 passing, while John Franklin III added 85 passing yards. Auburn ran for just 66 yards, more than 231 yards below its season average and 21 fewer than in any game in 2016.

    Daniel Carlson was 4-of-5 on field-goal tries to give him 26 in 30 attempts this season and 67 made in his career, most in school history.

No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Poll points: 123

    Last week's ranking: Not ranked

    Week 13 result: Won 52-10 vs. Virginia

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Clemson in ACC Championship Game

    Virginia Tech (9-3, 6-2 ACC) had already clinched the Coastal title by virtue of North Carolina's loss to North Carolina State on Friday, but the Hokies left no doubt who the best team in that division was while beating rival Virginia for the 13th time in a row.

    The Hokies gained 579 yards with strong balance, getting 290 passing yards and 289 on the ground. Jerod Evans threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-27 passing while rushing for 38 yards and a score, giving him 34 total TDs this season.

    Sam Rogers ran for 105 yards and two TDs, and Virginia Tech's defense held the Cavaliers to 247 yards while forcing three turnovers. That includes a 70-yard fumble return TD by Andrew Motuapuaka.

No. 18 Florida Gators

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    Poll points: 129

    Last week's ranking: 13th

    Week 13 result: Lost 31-13 at Florida State

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Alabama in SEC Championship Game

    Florida (8-3) fared much better on the scoreboard against Florida State than a year ago, when it lost 27-2, but it still failed to score an offensive touchdown in its final warm-up before playing for an SEC title.

    The Gators managed a pair of Eddy Pineiro field goals and scored on a 12-yard fumble return by Marcell Harris in the fourth quarter. They failed to convert all 12 of their third downs and managed only 207 yards. Only 58 of that came on the ground, which marked the third time they gained fewer than 100 rushing yards this season.

    Austin Appleby threw for 149 yards on 19-of-35 passing.

No. 17 Navy Midshipmen

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    Poll points: 138

    Last week's ranking: Not ranked

    Week 13 result: Won 75-31 at SMU

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Temple in AAC Championship Game

    Navy (9-2, 7-1 American) used a 47-0 run from late in the first half to midway through the fourth quarter to wrap up the West Division title.

    The Midshipmen trailed 24-21 before Jamir Tillman caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Will Worth with six seconds left in the second quarter. That was the first of seven unanswered TDs over a span of less than 22 minutes to blow open the game.

    Navy ran for 496 yards and nine TDs, with three coming from Worth, who also tallied 107 rushing yards and 104 passing yards.

No. 16 Stanford Cardinal

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    Poll points: 155

    Last week's ranking: 24th

    Week 13 result: Won 41-17 vs. Rice

    Next game: TBD bowl

    Stanford (9-3) ended the regular season with a fifth consecutive win—scoring at least 40 points in the last three—as its offense continued to find its groove down the stretch.

    Much of that was because of Christian McCaffrey, who, a week after rushing for a school-record 284 yards, added 204 yards and a touchdown. He also had a TD catch and finished with 271 all-purpose yards.

    Keller Chryst threw for 154 yards and two TDs on 11-of-16 passing and ran for a score, and the Cardinal defense held Rice to 291 yards.

No. 15 Louisville Cardinals

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    Poll points: 166

    Last week's ranking: 10th

    Week 13 result: Lost 41-38 vs. Kentucky

    Next game: TBD bowl 

    Louisville (9-3) ended the regular season with a second consecutive loss, giving up a field goal with 12 seconds left after quarterback Lamar Jackson lost a fumble in the red zone in the final minutes.

    Jackson turned it over four times in the game, throwing three interceptions but also accounting for 452 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. He was 16-of-25 for 281 yards and two TDs and ran for 171 yards and two scores, but Kentucky converted two of those giveaways into 10 points.

    Though in defeat, Jackson became just the third player in FBS history with at least 30 passing TDs and 20 rushing scores. He's thrown 30 TDs and run for 21 and tallied 4,928 yards of total offense in 2016.

No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Poll points: 223

    Last week's ranking: 20th

    Week 13 result: Won 49-19 at Iowa State

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Baylor

    West Virginia (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) rebounded from last week's home loss to Oklahoma, which knocked it out of the conference title race, by turning a five-point halftime lead into a blowout.

    The Mountaineers outscored Iowa State 28-3 in the second half, which is when Skyler Howard had three of his five passing touchdowns. Howard threw for 330 yards on 12-of-21 passing, with Shelton Gibson catching two of those scores as part of his three receptions for 161 yards.

    Martell Pettaway added 181 rushing yards and a TD, and West Virginia topped 600 yards for the fourth time this season.

No. 13 Western Michigan Broncos

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    Poll points: 239

    Last week's ranking: 16th

    Week 13 result: Won 55-35 vs. Toledo

    Next game: Dec. 2 vs. Ohio in MAC Championship Game 

    Western Michigan (12-0, 8-0 Mid-American) completed a perfect regular season that included its first West Division title since 2000 and kept it in position to secure a major bowl bid.

    The Broncos got a 21-yard pick-six from Asantay Brown only 12 seconds into the game to get things started. Jarvion Franklin's 14-yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the first quarter proved to be the game-winner, but Western Michigan didn't put the game away until scoring 28 unanswered points to lead 45-14 by the end of the third.

    Franklin had two rushing TDs, while Jamauri Bogan ran for 198 yards and a score. Zach Terrell was 19-of-25 for 196 yards and three TDs, with Corey Davis hauling in eight passes for 81 yards and a score to become the FBS career receiving yardage leader.

No. 12 Florida State Seminoles

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    Poll points: 260

    Last week's ranking: 14th

    Week 13 result: Won 31-13 vs. Florida

    Next game: TBD bowl

    Florida State (9-3) continued its dominance of in-state opponents by beating Florida for the fourth year in a row and sixth time in seven years.

    Dalvin Cook, already the school's career rushing leader, added 153 yards and a touchdown to his tally, and the Seminoles as a whole ran for 249 yards and three TDs against the No. 5 defense in the country. Deondre Francois and Freddie Stevenson also had rushing scores, and Francois added 138 passing yards with a TD.

    FSU held Florida to 207 yards and forced two turnovers. It hasn't allowed an offensive TD to the Gators since the second quarter of the 2014 meeting.

No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Poll points: 282

    Last week's ranking: 11th

    Week 13 result: Bye

    Next game: Dec. 3 at Oklahoma

    Oklahoma State (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) takes a seven-game win streak into the final weekend of the regular season and can win its first conference title since 2011.

    The Cowboys have scored at least 31 points in every win in that streak, but three of those victories have been by one score. A plus-nine turnover margin has helped them escape many tight games this season.

    Quarterback Mason Rudolph has thrown for 3,591 yards and 25 touchdowns with just four interceptions on 391 attempts. The junior has thrown for 8,214 yards in his career, third-best in school history and only 1,046 yards behind all-time leader Brandon Weeden.

No. 10 USC Trojans

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    Poll points: 291

    Last week's ranking: 12th

    Week 13 result: Won 45-27 vs. Notre Dame

    Next game: TBD

    USC (9-3) won its eighth straight and scored 40 points for the sixth time this season as all-around star Adoree' Jackson had a Heisman-worthy afternoon.

    The junior had 291 all-purpose yards on nine touches with three touchdowns. He scored on a 52-yard reception, a 55-yard punt return and a 97-yard kick return during which he hurdled a defender and then struck the Heisman pose after reaching the end zone. According to ESPN, he is only the second player to have scores in all three manners in the same game in the past 10 seasons.

    The Trojans had three non-offensive TDs, with Ajene Harris contributing a 33-yard interception return in the second quarter. That came 17 seconds after Jackson's punt score, helping give USC a 24-7 lead.

    Sam Darnold threw for 205 yards and two TDs, and Ronald Jones II added 134 rushing yards and a score.

No. 9 Colorado Buffaloes

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    Poll points: 323

    Last week's ranking: 9th

    Week 13 result: Won 27-22 vs. Utah

    Next game: Dec. 2 vs. Washington in Pac-12 Championship Game

    Colorado (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) clinched its first South Division title and reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2001 after leaning on its defense to pull out a tight victory at home.

    The Buffaloes forced four turnovers, including an interception in the end zone at the end of the first half and a 10-yard fumble return touchdown by Kenneth Olugbode to help give them a 27-16 lead with 10:56 left in the game. Utah scored a TD with 1:34 to go, but Colorado prevented the two-point conversion and then ran out the clock.

    Sefo Liufau threw for 270 yards and a TD and ran for a team-high 59 yards with a score. The Buffaloes, who were 4-9 last season and 5-40 in Pac-12 play in their first five years of competition, have won six in a row.

No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Poll points: 345

    Last week's ranking: 8th

    Week 13 result: Won 45-12 vs. Michigan State

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Wisconsin in Big Ten Championship Game

    Penn State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) erupted for 35 second-half points to wrap up the East Division title and earn the right to face Wisconsin for the conference title.

    The Nittany Lions trailed 12-10 at halftime but made a huge comeback thanks to a suddenly potent passing game. Trace McSorley tossed four second-half touchdown passes—three in the third quarter—to finish with a career-high 376 yards on 17-of-23 passing.

    Chris Godwin had five catches for 135 yards and two TDs, while Andre Robinson had a TD catch and a rushing score. He helped replace the production of leading rusher Saquon Barkley, who had only 14 yards with a TD on 12 carries before leaving with a foot injury.

No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners

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    Poll points: 346

    Last week's ranking: 7th

    Week 13 result: Bye

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Oklahoma State 

    Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0 Big 12) has won 15 consecutive conference games and can win a second straight league title by knocking off its rival next week in Bedlam. The Sooners' eight-game win streak has seen them explode on offense, averaging 49 points per game in that stretch.

    Quarterback Baker Mayfield is exceeding his great numbers from a year ago with 3,381 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and a 71.4 percent completion rate. He's added six rushing scores to complement a run attack paced by Joe Mixon (1,084 yards, seven TDs) and Samaje Perine (735 yards, 10 scores).

    Receiver Dede Westbrook has 70 catches for 1,354 yards and 15 TDs, with 1,200 yards and all 15 scores coming in Big 12 play.

No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers

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    Poll points: 370

    Last week's ranking: 6th

    Week 13 result: Won 31-17 vs. Minnesota

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Penn State in Big Ten Championship Game

    Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) already knew it had won the West Division title after Nebraska lost to Iowa on Friday, but that didn't stop the Badgers from fighting hard after falling behind 17-7 at halftime.

    The Badgers scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to hold on to Paul Bunyan's Axe for the 13th straight season, going ahead for good on Corey Clement's two-yard touchdown run with 6:42 left. Clement had tied the game with 11:58 to go on a two-yard score, and he totaled 100 yards on 26 carries.

    Wisconsin forced four turnovers—all in the second half—scoring TDs after two of them. The Badgers have forced 25 turnovers this season, most in the Big Ten.

No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

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    Poll points: 390

    Last week's ranking: 4th

    Week 13 result: Lost 30-27 (in 2OT) at Ohio State

    Next game: TBD bowl

    Michigan (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) fell short of winning the East Division title and securing its first trip to the conference championship game after it was unable to hold a 10-point third-quarter lead and then make a stop on 4th-and-1 in the second overtime.

    One play after Ohio State's J.T. Barrett converted the fourth down, which was upheld by review, the Wolverines allowed a 15-yard touchdown run to end the game. They had extended it to a second OT when Amara Darboh caught a five-yard TD pass from Wilton Speight on fourth down.

    Speight threw for 219 yards and two TDs on 23-of-36 passing after missing last week with a shoulder injury, but he also turned it over three times. One of his two interceptions was returned for a TD in the second quarter.

    Michigan ran for a season-low 91 yards, which included a one-yard scoring run from Khalid Hill. Hill also caught an eight-yard TD pass in the third quarter that helped give the Wolverines a 17-7 lead.

No. 4 Washington Huskies

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    Poll points: 413

    Last week's ranking: 5th

    Week 13 result: Won 45-17 at Washington State

    Next game: Dec. 2 vs. Colorado in Pac-12 Championship Game 

    Washington (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) locked up the North Division title and strengthened its playoff position by jumping out early on its in-state rival and maintaining a comfortable lead throughout the Apple Cup.

    The Huskies led 28-3 after the first quarter thanks to three touchdown passes from Jake Browning, two of which went to Dante Pettis. Pettis had three catches for 86 yards, and John Ross added eight receptions for 80 yards. They were the main targets for Browning as he threw for 292 yards and three scores on 21-of-29 passing.

    Lavon Coleman had two rushing TDs, and Myles Gaskin added another as the Huskies gained 510 yards while holding Washington State to 334. They forced four turnovers and stopped the Cougars on fourth down twice near the goal line.

No. 3 Clemson Tigers

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    Poll points: 437

    Last week's ranking: 3rd

    Week 13 result: Won 56-7 vs. South Carolina

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Virginia Tech in ACC Championship Game

    Clemson (11-1) scored its most lopsided win in the Palmetto Bowl since 1900 and built momentum toward a final playoff push ahead of next week's ACC title game.

    The Tigers gained 622 yards and led 35-0 at halftime, with Mike Williams catching two of his three touchdown passes in the first 10 minutes of action. Williams finished with six catches for 100 yards.

    Deshaun Watson tallied 366 yards of total offense with six passing touchdowns, completing 26 of 32 throws. He's accounted for 104 TDs in his Clemson career.

    Wayne Gallman added 112 rushing yards and a score, and Clemson's defense held South Carolina to 218 yards.

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Poll points: 455

    Last week's ranking: 2nd

    Week 13 result: Won 30-27 (in 2OT) vs. Michigan

    Next game: TBD bowl 

    Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) came within inches of losing The Game for the first time in five years, but one play later, it turned to a forgotten star for the game-winning points.

    Curtis Samuel's 15-yard touchdown run in the second overtime was only his seventh carry of the game, but it was far bigger than the 84 he'd had so far this season. The score came immediately after J.T. Barrett barely secured a first down on 4th-and-1 when the Buckeyes opted not to kick a field goal and force a third OT.

    Kicking wasn't strong for OSU, as Tyler Durbin missed a pair of field goals, including one from 21 yards, but his 23-yarder with one second left in regulation enabled the Buckeyes to tie it at 17 after they trailed by 10 midway through the third quarter.

    Barrett scored on a seven-yard run in the first overtime, part of his 125 rushing yards to go with 124 through the air on 15-of-32 passing with an interception. OSU managed 330 yards and held Michigan to 310 while forcing three turnovers, including a pick that Malik Hooker brought back 16 yards for a score in the second quarter.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Poll points: 475 (19 first-place votes)

    Last week's ranking: 1st

    Week 13 result: Won 30-12 vs. Auburn

    Next game: Dec. 3 vs. Florida in SEC Championship Game

    Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) completed a perfect regular season and claimed a third straight Iron Bowl while winning its 24th consecutive game.

    The Crimson Tide held Auburn to 182 yards, the seventh opponent they've limited to fewer than 200 yards this season, as well as four field goals. Alabama has not allowed a touchdown since the third quarter of its Oct. 22 win over Texas A&M—a span of 17 quarters.

    Alabama's offense managed 501 yards but turned it over twice and had to settle for field goals three times in the red zone. Jalen Hurts threw for 286 yards with two TDs and two interceptions on 27-of-36 passing and also ran for 37 yards and a TD. Hurts has accounted for 33 TDs this season.

     

    All slides written by Brian J. Pedersen. Follow the author on Twitter at @realBJP.