Top 25 CFB notebook: No. 1 Clemson sneaks past UNC on last minute stop, Alabama blows through Ole Miss

Alabama moved ahead of Clemson in the rankings

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Top 25 CFB notebook: No. 1 Clemson sneaks past UNC on last minute stop, Alabama blows through Ole Miss

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Joseph Aliberti, Collegian Correspondent

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Clemson survived an upset in their 21-20 win against North Carolina on Saturday.

The Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) went down early against unranked North Carolina (2-3, 1-1 ACC), as Tar Heels freshman quarterback Sam Howell had a 40-yard touchdown pass to Dyami Brown less than two minutes into the first quarter to give UNC a 7-0 lead.

Clemson tied up the game at the start of the second quarter with a 13-yard run from running back Travis Etienne.

Both teams scored before the end of the half, bringing the score to 14-14 at halftime.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence found sophomore receiver Tee Higgins for a 38-yard score with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to take a 21-14 lead. North Carolina proceeded to drive down the field and score. The Tar Heels elected to go for a two-point conversion rather than kicking the PAT to tie the game and were stopped at the line, giving Clemson the 21-20 win.

Although Clemson pulled out the win, the Tigers dropped down to No. 2 in the AP national rankings behind Alabama, a place they haven’t been since last season’s national championship game.

Now 5-0 on the season and on a 20-game win streak, Clemson will have a week six bye then host Florida State (3-2, 2-1 ACC) week 7.

Alabama runs through Ole Miss

Alabama’s offense caught fire in their 59-31 win over Ole Miss.

At the end of the first quarter, the game was very close with the Rebels having a 10-7 lead over the now No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide. Alabama went on to score 38 unanswered points, making the score 45-10 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

Ole Miss did score three more times before the game was over, but the Crimson Tide matched those with two touchdowns of their own. Ultimately, Alabama won the game 59-31.

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith totaled 11 catches for 274 yards receiving, and five receiving touchdowns. The last time a player from the SEC had five receiving touchdowns was 13 years ago in 2006.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa put up stellar numbers, completing 26 of his 36 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns. He also continued his streak of not throwing an interception.

Even though the Rebels’ defense looked shaky, their offense put up 31 points against an Alabama team that only allowed 10.75 points per game prior to this matchup. Ole Miss also put up 279 rushing yards, far and away more than Alabama’s average of  99 rushing yards allowed per game.

Alabama (5-0, 2-0) will have a week off before having four consecutive conference matchups, starting with No. 25 Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1).

Joseph Aliberti can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JosephAliberti1.