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Top 25 notebook: Mason Rudolph and No. 6 Oklahoma State roll past Pittsburgh

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(Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Saturday afternoon was the Mason Rudolph show, as Oklahoma State’s senior quarterback led the Cowboys past Pittsburgh 59-21. The win ascended Oklahoma State to no. 6 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings.

Rudolph threw it into high gear early, tossing five first-half touchdown passes, four of which were from over 40 yards. He nearly topped 500 yards through the air, and was complemented with two touchdowns from sophomore running back Justice Hill. Pitt had little to show against this high-powered offense, which put up 676 all-purpose yards.

Jalen McCleskey was the Cowboys leading receiver with 162 yards and three touchdowns, while James Washington (124), Marcell Ateman (109) and Dillon Stoner (100) all topped 100 yards on the game.

The Cowboys look poised to take it to the no. 16 Horned Frogs of TCU next Saturday.

Florida Hail Mary Sinks Tennessee

For Tennessee football fans, Saturday’s game will be one that won’t stop hurting for a long time.

With the game knotted at 20 with nine seconds remaining, Florida lined up for one final play from their own 37-yard line. Quarterback Feleipe Franks dropped back, scrambled to his right as the pocket collapsed before firing the ball into the end zone as the clock hit zero. He found his wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland streaking up the field, who caught the ball while falling into the end zone to give Florida a 26-20 win.

The Gators never trailed, sitting on a 10-point lead with 4:51 remaining, but a quick touchdown and field goal from Tennessee tied the game, forcing a final drive from Florida to win or send the game to overtime. The highlight finish capped was at times a haphazardly played game, which featured four interceptions and a pair of fumbles.

Franks finished the game with 212 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Cleveland was the Gators leading receiver with 93 yards on five catches.

Volunteer quarterback Quinten Dormady struggled under center, throwing three interceptions and posting a quarterback rating of just 34.2.

Tennessee also left nine points on the board, missing three field goals.

Florida will now turn their attention to a primetime game against the Kentucky Wildcats next week, while Tennessee will look to rebound against the winless Minutemen.

USC Rises over Texas in 2OT

It took 60 minutes of play and an additional two overtime periods before USC could slip past the Texas Longhorns with a 27-24 victory. The win improves the Trojans to 3-0 on the season

Sophomore Sam Darnold was active under center for the Trojans, racking up 397 yards and three touchdowns to balance out his two interceptions.

USC held off the Longhorn offense through three quarters, but were never able to pull away. Late in the fourth quarter, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger connected with senior wide receiver Armanti Foreman for a 17-yard touchdown, giving the Longhorns the lead and forcing a last-minute drive by USC.

The Trojans rushed down the field, and freshman walk-on kicker Chase McGrath hit a 31-yard field goal to send the game into OT. After trading touchdowns in the first overtime period, it was McGrath who sealed the deal for the USC, hitting his third field goal of the game from 43 yards out.

Wide receiver Collin Johnson cannot be blamed for the Texas loss. The 6”-6 sophomore finished with seven catches for 191 yards. Anthony Wheeler was a force for the Longhorn defense, racking up 12 tackles, three and a half behind the line of scrimmage. He also added a sack and a half.

The Trojans have now won 12 straight in a streak extending back to last season, and remain a top five team heading into their week four matchup with California. The Longhorns fall to 1-2, and will look to bounce back next week against Big 12 foe Iowa State.

Will Katcher can be reached at [email protected]

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