Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Saturday, highlighted by Ohio State blasting rival Michigan 56-27 to remain unbeaten and in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the College Football Playoff.
We’ll also take a look at Alabama losing the Iron Bowl 48-45 to Auburn and Rockets star James Harden dropping 60 points in three quarters against the Hawks.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday!
Buckeyes Make Statement, Blast Michigan in ‘The Game’
For the eighth consecutive time, Ohio State came out victorious over rival Michigan. And this time, it wasn’t ever particularly close.
J.K. Dobbins rushed for 211 yards and four touchdowns to help lead the Buckeyes to a dominant 56-27 victory over the Wolverines.
“Ever since I took the job it’s been on my mind,” first-year Ohio State head coach Ryan Day told reporters. “I know what this game means to the people of Ohio, the Buckeye nation. Coming off the heels of one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football who went 7-0 here, those are big shoes to fill. I stopped trying to worry about that. All you worry about is just right now. Any time I started thinking about, ‘What if? What if?’ I just got right back into my work.”
The Buckeyes did get a scare, but it wasn’t related to the score. Quarterback Justin Fields went down with a knee injury and hobbled off to the medical tent. He returned moments later with a touchdown toss.
“It was a magical moment,” Day said. “I thought it was a Heisman moment.”
Fields is in his first year starting for the Buckeyes after transferring from Georgia. He’s already doing his part to make sure the rivalry is heated.
“I just think we take it more serious than we do,” Fields said. “We prepare for it all year. We’re preparing for them next year right now. I think it just means more at Ohio State.
“I just know the things we do in terms of workouts and how serious we take it at Ohio State,” he added. “Talking to those guys and kind of getting their perspective on things, I definitely see that we take it way more serious.”
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh fell to 0-5 in the rivalry and had a short fuse following Saturday’s loss. He was asked by a reporter if the difference between the teams was talent, preparation or coaching?
“I’ll answer your questions, but not your insults,” Harbaugh told the reporter.
Alabama’s Playoff Hopes End Against Auburn
The loss of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was simply too much for Alabama to overcome as the Crimson Tide looked for a fifth consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff.
Auburn knocked off Alabama in the Iron Bowl 48-45 on Saturday, effectively ending any glimmer of hope the Tide had of making the four-team affair after losing to LSU in November.
“I think the lesson to be learned is how important it is to be accountable,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “When you play against good teams, that’s when these things bite you.”
Alabama had a chance to tie the game late, but a field goal attempt from Joseph Bulovas from 30 yards out hit the left upright.
“When we play at home and we play them, we get to the fourth quarter, we find a way to win — 2013, 2017,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “It kind of held true to the script tonight and our crowd has a lot to do with that. Our guys believed and our crowd willed us.”
Saban hung onto the fact that his team was called for too many men on the field on fourth-and-4 that gave the Tigers a late first down that ended that game.
“I really feel that it was a pretty unfair play at the end of the game,” Saban said. “They substituted the punter as a wide receiver, so we put the punt team in. And then when the quarterback was still in there we tried to put the defense back in. I thought they should have given us a little more time to substitute and get [Jaylen] Waddle out as a returner. We get called for 12 guys on the field. So that was very disappointing.
“We’re responsible for that as coaches, but it was a very unusual circumstance to say the least. And I think that sometimes when you have those, it should be viewed that way.”
Mac Jones started a second consecutive game for Tagovailoa, who was lost for the year with a hip injury two weeks ago. He passed for 335 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-39 passing.
A can’t miss highlight came after the game when a pair of Auburn fans got stuck in the bushes trying to rush the field. Act like you’ve been there before, right?
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
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- NFL Betting Lines: Week 13 odds, trends and breakdowns
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON SUNDAY
NFL: New England Patriots (10-1) vs. Houston Texans (7-4)
A pair of division leaders meet up in prime-time as the Texans host the one-loss Patriots and Tom Brady on Sunday Night Football. Texans coach Bill O’Brien is 0-4 in his career against his former boss/mentor Bill Belichick.
WHEN: Today, 8:20 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.