College football Week 13 highlights: Alabama, Washington, FSU pick up key wins

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By Samantha Rose

Week 13 of the 2023 college football season was one for the ages, providing several exciting finishes in historic rivalry games. 

No. 5 Florida State had some initial offensive struggles without quarterback Jordan Travis, but eventually pulled through against Florida, 24-15. No. 19 Kansas State wasn’t able to prevail in a battle in the snow at home, losing to Iowa State in a high-scoring affair. 

A handful of ranked teams were in action during the afternoon slate. No. 8 Alabama survived a scare from Auburn in another classic Iron Bowl, scoring the game-winning touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 31-yard line with 32 seconds left. No. 4 Washington also outlasted a scare from its in-state rival, kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired to defeat Washington State in the final Apple Cup as conference mates. No. 15 Arizona cruised to a 59-23 win over Arizona State, and No. 20 Oklahoma State came back from an 18-point deficit to defeat BYU in double overtime and clinch the final spot in the Big 12 title game. 

Earlier, FOX Sports’ RJ Young hosted a special Live Tailgate edition of “The Number One College Football Show,” as No. 3 Michigan handed No. 2 Ohio State its first loss of the season in a thrilling battle between these Big Ten powerhouses. Recap all the action here.

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Here are the top moments!

No. 5 Florida State 24, Florida 15

Just give it to Johnson

Montrell Johnson Jr. opened up the scoring for the battle in The Swamp, rushing in for a short score to give Florida a 7-0 lead.

Getting two the hard way

Florida decided to bring an all-out blitz when Florida State had a third-and-7 from its 9-yard line in the middle stages of the second half. It paid dividends as Tate Rodemaker dropped all the way back into his own end zone and was sacked for a safety, which gave Florida a 12-0 lead. 

Ejected for spitting

The rivalry got a little too heated for a moment late in the first half. Florida defensive tackle Jamari Lyons spit in the face of a Florida State offensive lineman, getting assessed a 15-yard penalty and being ejected in the process.

FSU gets some points back

The penalty by Lyons proved to be key for Florida State as Trey Benson capped the 10-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, making it 12-7 before halftime. 

Benson bursts away

Florida State started the second half where they left off in the first half by ending up in the end zone. But this time, Benson ran for a 36-yard score as he ran past Florida’s defense to give FSU a 14-12 lead.

Trey for Trey

The Florida State running back sealed the win for the Seminoles late in the fourth quarter when he ran through several Florida tackles for a 26-yard touchdown run on third-and-3, putting the Seminoles up 24-15. The win kept Florida State’s undefeated season alive.

Iowa State 42, No. 19 Kansas State 35 

That’s snow problem for Iowa State

Iowa State found its way into the end zone on its first offensive play. Abu Sama III ran right up the middle and threw a stiff arm before breaking away for a 71-yard touchdown.

Iowa State’s Abu Sama III breaks off a 71-yard touchdown run to give the Cyclones an early lead versus Kansas State

Iowa State's Abu Sama III breaks off a 71-yard touchdown run to give the Cyclones an early lead versus Kansas State

Fans having fun with the snow

Kansas State fans enjoyed themselves in the winter conditions on Saturday, building snowmen and decorating them.

Sama through the snow again

The Iowa State running back couldn’t be stopped in the first half, moving through the snow and past Kansas State defenders for a 77-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Cyclones a 14-6 lead.

Iowa State’s Abu Sama III rushes 77 yards for his second touchdown of the game to extend the Cyclones’ lead over Kansas State

Iowa State's Abu Sama III rushes 77 yards for his second touchdown of the game to extend the Cyclones' lead over Kansas State

Plowing through the snow and defenders

DJ Giddens powered his way through to the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help Kansas State cut Iowa State’s lead to 14-13. 

Kansas State climbs to take the lead

After trailing for almost the entire first half, Kansas State ended up taking the lead into the break because Ben Sinnott turned a dumpoff pass from Will Howard into a 15-yard touchdown to give the Wildcats a 20-14 lead.

Will Howard connects with Ben Sinnott on a 15-yard TD to help Kansas State grab the lead against Iowa State

Will Howard connects with Ben Sinnott on a 15-yard TD to help Kansas State grab the lead against Iowa State

No stopping Noel

Jaylin Noel found his way right past the Kansas State secondary in the opening moments of the second half, going  79 yards to give Iowa State a 21-20 lead.

Iowa State’s Rocco Becht hits Jaylin Noel for a 79-yard touchdown pass against Kansas State

Iowa State's Rocco Becht hits Jaylin Noel for a 79-yard touchdown pass against Kansas State

Houdini Howard

The Kansas State quarterback got Iowa State’s defense to bite on his fake handoff, drawing attention on the wrong side of the field as he ran for a score that helped give the Wildcats a 28-21 lead.

Sama still scoring

The Iowa State running back completed the hat trick of touchdowns in the third quarter when he ran past Kansas State’s defense once again, going for a 60-yard score that evened the game up, 28-28.

Iowa State’s Abu Sama III rushes 60 yards for his third touchdown of the game against Kansas State

Iowa State's Abu Sama III rushes 60 yards for his third touchdown of the game against Kansas State

Here you go, Higgins!

After Kansas State scored to take a 35-28 lead, Iowa State responded to tie the game up again. Rocco Becht hit Jayden Higgins in the front corner of the end zone on a deep pass, showing that the Cyclones’ offense wasn’t having any problems in the snow. 

Dashing through the snow, on two speedy legs for the lead

Noel found the end zone for a second time in the second half when he turned a routine grab into a touchdown, speeding along the sideline for an 82-yard score to give Iowa State a 42-35 lead.

Rocco Becht hits Jaylin Noel for an 82-yard touchdown pass as Iowa State grabs the lead against Kansas State

Rocco Becht hits Jaylin Noel for an 82-yard touchdown pass as Iowa State grabs the lead against Kansas State

No. 4 Washington 24, Washington State 21 

At the 1-yard line? Just give it to Johnson

Dillon Johnson added a touchdown early on in Saturday’s rivalry game, rushing for a score and his 12th touchdown of the season to give Washington a 7-0 lead.

Dillon Johnson punches in a 1-yard TD to give Washington the lead

Dillon Johnson punches in a 1-yard TD to give Washington the lead

Ward works one in for six

Washington State didn’t take long to respond to Washington’s touchdown as Cam Ward threw a 21-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Josh Kelly to even the game up. 

WSU’s Cameron Ward finds Josh Kelly for a 21-yard TD to tie the game

WSU's Cameron Ward finds Josh Kelly for a 21-yard TD to tie the game

Odunze is open

Michael Penix finally found the end zone, finding a wide-open Rome Odunze down the field for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give Washington a 14-7 lead.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. throws a DEEP 40-yard TD to Rome Odunze

Washington's Michael Penix Jr. throws a DEEP 40-yard TD to Rome Odunze

Williams wills in a TD grab

Kyle Williams tracked Ward’s fade pass to the front corner of the end zone perfectly, hauling in a 25-yard TD with just seconds remaining in the half to tie the game. 

WSU’s Kyle Williams makes a GORGEOUS catch on a 25-yard receiving TD

WSU's Kyle Williams makes a GORGEOUS catch on a 25-yard receiving TD

I’ll take that!

Washington State continued to keep Washington’s high-powered offense in check at the beginning of the second half as Jaden Hicks won a jump ball on a pass thrown by Penix, putting the Cougars in a good spot. 

Back to Rome

Penix found his trustworthy receiver for their second score of the game as the third quarter expired, giving the Huskies a 21-14 lead.

Rome Odunze hauls in his second TD of the game to give Washington the lead against Washington State

Rome Odunze hauls in his second TD of the game to give Washington the lead against Washington State

A costly mistake

Washington State was all set with settling for three points on a drive in the middle of the fourth quarter, which would’ve cut Washington’s lead to 21-17. But Washington committed a penalty on the play, giving Washington State another shot at scoring. 

Just a few plays later, Washington State capitalized as Ward threw a strike to Lincoln Victor for a touchdown that tied the game up, 21-21.

Washington State’s Cameron Ward finds Lincoln Victor for an eight-yard TD to tie the game vs. Washington

Washington State's Cameron Ward finds Lincoln Victor for an eight-yard TD to tie the game vs. Washington

Major fourth down conversion

Washington opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 29-yard line with 1:15 left and the game tied. Penix faked a handoff up the middle before tossing the ball to Odunze on a sweep as the receiver picked up 23 yards to keep the drive alive.

For the win!

For the second time this season, Washington had a game against a heated rival come down to a field goal at the buzzer. This time, the Huskies were on the kicking end of it. They converted, sinking the field goal as time expired to keep their perfect season alive.

No. 8 Alabama 27, Auburn 24

Tide on top early

Alabama took care of business on its opening drive, marching the ball 69 yards down the field in eight plays with Roydell Williams running into the end zone from a few yards out to give the Crimson Tide the early lead.

Getting one back

Auburn evened up the game later in the first quarter as it made quick work of Alabama’s defense on its third drive of the game. Damari Alston ran into the end zone from a few yards out to make it 7-7. 

An end around that ends up in the end zone

Auburn got on the board again late in the first half as Ja’Varrius Johnson took an end-around for a 12-yard TD to give the Tigers a 14-10 lead.

Milroe on the money

Jalen Milroe let it rip right after Auburn took the lead, hitting Jermaine Burton in stride on a deep pass for a 68-yard touchdown to give the Crimson Tide a 17-14 lead.

Wide open to take the lead!

Johnson found the end zone for the second time of the day for Auburn, hauling in a 27-yard grab from Payton Thorne to give the Tigers a 21-20 lead in the third quarter.

Oh no, Auburn!

Auburn was able to pick up a key third-down stop with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, forcing Alabama to give the ball back as the Tigers could’ve had a chance to run some of the clock off. 

But Auburn muffed the punt at its own 32-yard line, giving Alabama the ball at that spot down 24-20. 

An answered prayer for Alabama

Alabama got its own version of the “Kick Six” as the 10-year anniversary of the iconic play occurs later this month. On fourth-and-goal from Auburn’s 31-yard line with under 40 seconds left, Milroe bought time in the pocket before finding Isaiah Bond in the back corner of the end zone to put the Crimson Tide up, 27-24.

Jalen Milroe throws a go-ahead TD, Terrion Arnold follows up with an interception to seal Alabama’s victory over Auburn

Jalen Milroe throws a go-ahead TD, Terrion Arnold follows up with an interception to seal Alabama’s victory over Auburn

No. 20 Oklahoma State 40, BYU 34 (2 OT)

QB drawing up six!

Jake Retzlaff did his part on the quarterback keeper, rushing from just a couple yards out and into the end zone to give BYU a 7-6 lead in the first quarter.

Pickin’ six

BYU welcomed Oklahoma State’s offense back onto the field for its first drive of the second quarter by scoring a touchdown. Eddie Heckard read Alan Bowman well, intercepting his throw on a misread and easily walking into the end zone to give the Cougars a 14-6 lead.

It’s a fake!

BYU kept piling it on Oklahoma State in the first half, doing it in all three phases. In the final minutes of the second quarter, the Cougars opted to go for a fake punt, finding success on the fourth-and-6 play as their punter threw a completion over the middle from their own 39-yard line. 

The play set the Cougars up at the Cowboys’ 25-yard line, setting them up to kick a field and take a 24-6 lead as they put the Cowboys’ chances of reaching the Big 12 title game on the ropes. 

The outstanding Ollie

Ollie Gordon finally made his way into the end zone on Saturday on Oklahoma State’s first drive of the second half, rushing in for a 2-yard score to cut BYU’s lead to 24-13. 

Gordon goes for more

The star Oklahoma State running back picked up his second touchdown of the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, stretching out for a 2-yard touchdown to cut BYU’s lead to 24-21.

Oh my, Ollie

Gordon completed the hat trick by rushing for a 15-yard touchdown with under a minute left, giving Oklahoma State a 27-24 lead as it missed the extra-point attempt. 

BYU ties it up and takes lead in OT

The Cougars were able to kick a field goal as time expired in regulation to send the game to overtime. Once there, Retzlaff scrambled for a touchdown to give BYU a 34-27 lead.

No. 15 Arizona 59, Arizona State 23

Trying to catch up to Conyers

Arizona State’s offense was able to get the ball moving early with some trickery. Tight end Jalin Conyers ran out of the wildcat formation, picking up 39 yards on his run from around midfield to set the Sun Devils up for a touchdown two plays later to take a 7-3 lead. 

Cowing speeding by

Jacob Cowing turned a routine reception over the middle into a big gain for Arizona, running for a 40-plus yard gain to get the Wildcats within the 5-yard line and set them up for a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead.

McMillan making them miss

Tetairoa McMillan took his turn to turn an ordinary catch over the middle into a big gain for Arizona in the second quarter. He caught a pass from Noah Fifita in the midst of traffic before running out of it, moving down the field for a 56-yard gain as he was pushed out of bounds at the 4-yard line. Arizona scored shortly after to take a 17-7 lead.

Wiley with a wicked stiff arm

Michael Wiley added to the list of impressive plays by Arizona’s skill position players in the first half. 

But unlike his teammates at wide receiver, the running back was able to score as he threw a stiff arm at an Arizona State defender to break away for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 24-7.

All AZ

Arizona continued its domination in the first half into the second half. First, Tanner McLachlan helped the Wildcats capitalize off the interception they got to open the second half, turning a dump-off on a play-action pass into an eight-yard score to give them a 45-7 lead.

Later, McMillan got wide open to haul in his first touchdown grab of the day and give him 212 receiving yards just halfway through the third quarter, opening up a 52-7 lead for Arizona. 

No. 14 LSU 42, Texas A&M 30

Coming in clutch

LSU RB Logan Diggs got his seventh rushing touchdown of the season and helped LSU grab a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter, capping off a nine-play, 60-yard drive with a short scamper into the end zone.

Texas A&M quickly evened things up, however. The Aggies found themselves in a third-and-long situation to start the second quarter and used their dependable wideout Ainias Smith to get them to the red zone. To finish the drive, QB Jaylen Henderson gave a quick handoff to Le’Veon Moss for a 2-yard run into the end zone.

Touchdown!

Texas A&M took a 17-14 lead ahead of halftime when Henderson found TE Jake Johnson for his fourth TD of the season.

Big-man TD!

After a 33-yard dart from Henderson to wideout Jahdae Walker got the Aggies set up in scoring position to start things off in the second half, they took a 10-point lead in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown from left guard Mark Nabou Jr.

Picked!

After a 1-yard score from LSU RB Josh Williams made it a 24-21 game, the Tigers defense got its first takeaway of the day with an interception by Greg Penn III at their own 39-yard line, which set them up nicely to start the fourth quarter. 

What a catch!

With momentum on their side, the Tigers cashed in for back-to-back scores to extend their lead, 35-24. 

First, LSU wideout Brian Thomas Jr. came up with a high-flying 23-yard touchdown grab …

… followed by Malik Nabers nabbing a 21-yard TD of his own with an equally acrobatic catch on the Tigers’ next drive.

Unstoppable!

Texas A&M closed the gap slightly, 35-30, when TE Max Wright broke every tackle on his way to the end zone for a dazzling 51-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

That’s a wrap

In the end, it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback, and LSU added one more score for good measure when wideout Kyren Lacy reeled in another beautiful pass from Daniels in the end zone for a 15-yard TD that secured the home victory.

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