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NCAA attorneys met with ex-Louisville basketball player Luke Hancock and others in a mediation session Monday to discuss a lawsuit over the Cards’ 2013 title, but the meeting does not guarantee a resolution.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon on 93.9 The Ville, Hancock said he was in the mediation session all day Monday. He did not say whether NCAA administrators were present at the meeting in addition to legal counsel.

Hancock declined to answer when co-host Mark Ennis asked if mediation was over.

“My attorneys have told me not to answer that,” Hancock said. “I’ve been instructed not to say anything. They were pretty hesitant for me to come out and say anything about it.”

Earlier: Luke Hancock, ex-Louisville players to sue NCAA for vacated 2013 title

Also: NCAA be damned, Louisville players will still celebrate the 2013 title

If Hancock were to divulge too much, he’d be at risk of violating a court order. Mediation is a confidential process in which a neutral third party outside the court system helps disputing parties attempt to negotiate a compromise.

Hancock is one of five former Louisville men’s basketball players suing the NCAA for the reinstatement of the Cardinals’ 2013 national championship title, along with individual accolades and financial damages.

A state court judge in September ordered both sides to enter mediation in an attempt to resolve the case out of court. It is unclear if other mediation sessions took place prior to Monday.

There is no set time limit for mediation, which can drag on until a settlement is reached or the parties agree to drop the case. If the mediation is unsuccessful and the two sides can’t come to an agreement, the case will resume in Jefferson Circuit Court and deadlines for motions will be reset accordingly.

“It’s fluid,” Hancock said. “It’s not going to be a short process.”

Hancock said he is waiting on notice from his attorneys for what’s next. An attorney representing Hancock and the former players did not immediately respond to a Courier Journal email Tuesday morning.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no new court documents had been filed.

Peter Palmer, a mediator based in New Albany, Indiana, was assigned to the case. The original court order said mediation is to continue day-to-day at his discretion (Palmer is prohibited from commenting on cases he mediates).

Opinion: Ex-Card Luke Hancock sympathetic, but law seems to be on NCAA’s side

In the suit, Hancock and four other former members of the 2013 Louisville team ¡ª Gorgui Dieng, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra ¡ª accuse the NCAA of portraying members of the 2013 Louisville men’s basketball team in a false light and seeks to restore the team’s 2013 national championship and associated accolades, which were vacated by the NCAA along with 123 wins as a result of the program’s escort scandal.

The University of Louisville is not a party to the lawsuit, but men’s basketball coach Chris Mack acknowledged the impact a decision could have on the program.

“I really like Luke,” Mack said. “Wish him all the success in the world with what he¡¯s trying to do. Wasn¡¯t even aware of yesterday¡¯s proceedings. Have enough stuff to worry about. I can¡¯t say it¡¯s insanely important to me but I appreciate and understand the significance for our fans, past team members. I¡¯m working to worry about Louisville now and what we can do to continue to help move it forward. Anything in life is possible, never say never.”

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Duke maintained its spot despite losing to North Carolina last week because the Blue Devils had the best resume in the country. After a second loss in three games without Zion Williamson, though, we can’t keep Duke in the top spot anymore. Virginia moves up to No. 1, as the Cavaliers have nine Quadrant 1 wins and only two losses on the season, both coming to Duke. They get the edge over Gonzaga due to their sheer number of quality wins, as they own victories over North Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech twice, Florida State, Maryland, Louisville, etc. Gonzaga has the victory over Duke, a decent win over Washington, and that’s about it. Editor’s Picks What’s real, what’s fake, and the UNC vs. Duke debate There should be no asterisk on North Carolina’s victory in Durham. The Tar Heels are the real deal. Bubble Watch: Under .500 might not be a problem in 2019 Here’s your updated source for all the latest on the NCAA tournament bubble. As for Duke, its resume is getting a little dicey when it comes to feeling great about landing a 1-seed on Selection Sunday. The Blue Devils still have to go to North Carolina next weekend, and then will have the ACC tournament. If they lose two more times, with or without Williamson, can they get jumped by someone else? Williamson appears likely to return at some point this season, but it will be interesting to see how much the committee weighs their games without him — especially Tuesday night’s loss to Virginia Tech, which also was without its best player, Justin Robinson. The Blue Devils simply haven’t looked good without Williamson. RJ Barrett has been the sole source of consistent offense, and teams have begun to collapse on him and force him to give the ball to someone else. There will be stretches like we saw in the second half when he still gets his points, but he’s going to need more consistent help from Cam Reddish and Tre Jones. He’s just not getting it right now. Defensively, Duke had its second-worst performance of the season on Tuesday. As a result, Duke drops to No. 3 and now Virginia is atop the rankings. Monday: Circle these games over the final two weeks There are officially less than two weeks until the end of the regular season, and there’s a race shaping up to nab the final 1-seed — and the last couple of spots in the top five of the Power Rankings. Duke is in pretty good shape with its r¨¦sum¨¦ (assuming Zion Williamson returns soon); Virginia has lost only twice all season (both times to Duke) and is 9-0 in its other Quadrant 1 games; and Gonzaga has won 18 straight, hasn’t had a game within single digits since Dec. 15 and appears unlikely to lose before the NCAA tournament. Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan and Michigan State all still have shots to move up. While conference tournaments also will play a major role, what remaining regular-season games will help determine the pecking order of the top-tier teams in the Power Rankings? Kentucky at Tennessee (Saturday): Tennessee seemed to be in great shape a couple of weeks ago, but the Volunteers are now locked in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC, and their lack of high-level wins outside of Gonzaga is more noticeable. Kentucky likely has to win in Knoxville or win the SEC tournament to remain a 1-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket (and the top four in the Power Rankings). Duke at North Carolina (March 9): Will Williamson be back by then? Carolina hammered the Blue Devils last week without Williamson, and the Tar Heels are one of the hottest teams in the country. If they beat Duke again and then make a deep run in the ACC tournament, can they jump the Blue Devils? Their combination of wins over Duke and Gonzaga is unparalleled (besides Duke’s two wins over Virginia). Michigan at Michigan State (March 9): Michigan State won Round 1 on Sunday, and the Wolverines have now lost four of their past 11. Michigan would likely have to win Round 2 to have a chance at a share of the Big Ten title. The Spartans are an interesting case because of their injury issues, but they have 11 Quadrant 1 wins and could get another one over Michigan. Houston at Cincinnati (March 10): The Cougars don’t and won’t have the profile of some of the other teams in this discussion, but one can consider how high they might go. If they are able to run the table — including winning at Cincinnati on the final day of the regular season — and then win the conference tournament, they’re likely going to end the season with a 33-1 record, a top-five NET and 18 wins against Quadrant 1 and 2 teams. 1. Virginia Cavaliers (25-2) Previous ranking: 2 This week: Beat Georgia Tech 81-51 on Wednesday, vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday) The Cavaliers handled their ascension to the No. 1 spot in impressive fashion, crushing an overmatched Georgia Tech team. They also were able to work out some of their issues that had hampered them in recent weeks, turning it over just eight times and making nearly 53 percent of their 3-point attempts. Virginia is tied for first-place in the ACC standings with North Carolina, but the Cavaliers have an easier remaining schedule than the Tar Heels. 2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-2) Previous ranking: 3 This week: at Pacific (Thursday), at Saint Mary’s (Saturday) Gonzaga hasn’t had to get into top gear since December, but the Bulldogs face arguably their toughest test of the West Coast Conference season on Saturday, when they head to Moraga for a road showdown against conference rival Saint Mary’s. The Gaels aren’t as good as they’ve been in recent years, but they’ve won four in a row, and McKeon Pavilion should be rocking for the season finale. 3. Duke Blue Devils (24-4) Previous ranking: 1 This week: Lost to Virginia Tech 77-72 on Tuesday, vs. Miami (Saturday) In its three games since Zion Williamson was hurt, Duke has been outscored 230-219. RJ Barrett has scored 84 of those 219 points, and is too often looked at to provide all the offense. Tre Jones is 6-for-32 (3-for-17 from 3-point range) in those three games, and Cam Reddish is 18-for-47. Moreover, Duke has allowed at least one point per possession in two of those three games — after doing it eight times in the first 25 games of the season. 4. Kentucky Wildcats (24-4) Previous ranking: 4 This week: Beat Arkansas 70-66 on Tuesday, at Tennessee (Saturday) Kentucky outscored Arkansas by 15 points in the second half and escaped in the final minute with a win over the Razorbacks. PJ Washington finally ended his hot streak, but Tyler Herro made up for it. Herro, despite playing with an injured ankle, had 29 points on 10 shots — including five 3-pointers. He also hit two huge free throws in the final seconds. Up next is a trip to Knoxville. 5. North Carolina Tar Heels (23-5) Previous ranking: 5 This week: Beat Syracuse 93-85 on Tuesday, at Clemson (Saturday) Coby White had been in a bit of a slump over the past three games, totaling 29 points on 37 shots. He certainly snapped out of it on Tuesday, though, going for 34 points on 14 shots, making six 3-pointers. The Tar Heels needed White, as Luke Maye wasn’t hitting. Nassir Little made an impact off the bench with 11 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. 6. Tennessee Volunteers (25-3) Previous ranking: 6 This week: Beat Ole Miss 73-71 on Wednesday, vs. Kentucky (Saturday) The Volunteers needed a wild finish in Oxford to escape with a road win, as Grant Williams scored the go-ahead bucket with less than five seconds left, then Admiral Schofield drew a charge on a 30-foot 3-pointer from Devontae Shuler. Kermit Davis was given a technical foul, and that was that. The Volunteers will need to play better on Saturday with Kentucky coming to town. The Wildcats won the first meeting by 17 in Lexington. 7. Michigan State Spartans (23-5) Previous ranking: 9 This week: at Indiana (Saturday) The Spartans made a huge statement by going into Ann Arbor and beating Michigan by seven points without Nick Ward (and Joshua Langford). It’s their best win of the season, and they did it while scoring 77 points — the first time Michigan has allowed more than 75 in a loss since last season’s national championship game. Cassius Winston was unbelievable, with 27 points and eight assists in 40 minutes. 8. Michigan Wolverines (24-4) Previous ranking: 7 This week: vs. Nebraska (Thursday), at Maryland (Sunday) The Wolverines fall into third place in the Big Ten standings with their loss to Michigan State. Charles Matthews struggled offensively on Sunday, finishing with four points on eight shots. The Wolverines aren’t likely to win many games shooting 26.9 percent from 3-point range. Two of Michigan’s final three games of the season are at Maryland and at Michigan State. It’s a tough finishing stretch. 9. Houston Cougars (27-1) Previous ranking: 8 This week: Beat East Carolina 99-65 on Wednesday, vs. UCF (Saturday) Houston won its 12th game in a row on Wednesday and now has preseason AAC favorite UCF (and College GameDay) coming to town. Corey Davis Jr. is on fire heading down the stretch of the season. After shooting 12-of-20 from 3-point range in his last two games, Davis went for 26 points against East Carolina, shooting 6-of-11 from behind the arc. 10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (23-5) Previous ranking: 10 This week: Beat Oklahoma State 84-80 on Wednesday, at TCU (Saturday) Texas Tech blew a 10-point halftime lead to Lindy Waters’ shooting and Oklahoma State forced overtime — but the Red Raiders pulled out a win in the extra session. Tariq Owens hit double-figures for the fourth game in a row after doing that just eight times all season, while Davide Moretti went 12-of-12 from the free throw line to bring his season numbers to 78-of-84 (92.9 percent). He made 32-of-33 in the month of February. 11. LSU Tigers (23-5) Previous ranking: 11 This week: Beat Texas A&M 66-55 on Tuesday, at Alabama (Saturday) The Tigers are now 2-0 without Tremont Waters, who missed his second consecutive game — albeit an easier matchup than last Saturday’s showdown with Tennessee. All five starters scored in double figures for Will Wade’s team, and Ja’vonte Smart continued rolling. He went for 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists after finishing with 29 points, five rebounds and five assists against Tennessee. The freshman has helped LSU make up for Waters’ absence. 12. Purdue Boilermakers (21-7) Previous ranking: 13 This week: Beat Illinois 73-56 on Wednesday, vs. Ohio State (Saturday) Carsen Edwards broke out of his slump a little bit in Wednesday’s win, shooting 8-of-14 from the field en route to 23 points. He had shot just 7-of-40 from the field in his last two games, and Purdue needs Edwards to be at his best to be successful moving forward. The Boilermakers have their final home game of the season on Saturday when Ohio State comes to town. Purdue won the first meeting in Columbus by 12. 13. Marquette Golden Eagles (23-5) Previous ranking: 12 This week: Lost to Villanova 67-61 on Wednesday, vs. Creighton (Sunday) Marquette had a chance to secure the Big East title on Wednesday night, but the Golden Eagles went cold down the stretch and lost to Villanova. They didn’t make a shot for the final five-plus minutes and the Wildcats closed the game on a 12-1 run. Markus Howard had 25 points but seemed to be holding his wrist toward the end of the game. Marquette still has a one-game lead in the loss column and should be favored in each of its final three games. 14. Kansas Jayhawks (21-7) Previous ranking: 14 This week: beat Kansas State 64-49 on Monday, at Oklahoma State (Saturday) The Streak is not quite done just yet. Kansas received surprisingly productive performances from Quentin Grimes and Mitch Lightfoot and handled first-place Kansas State fairly easily in Lawrence. The Big 12 race looks a little bit different now than it did on Monday morning. Kansas is just one game back of Kansas State, while Texas Tech is tied with the Wildcats in the loss column. The three teams don’t face one another the rest of the way. 15. Nevada Wolf Pack (25-2) Previous ranking: 15 This week: vs. UNLV (Wednesday), at Utah State (Saturday) Nevada pulled off a win over Fresno State on Saturday to avoid a second straight loss. While the Wolf Pack’s NCAA tournament inclusion is not in question, racking up a loss one week before a trip to Utah State would have been disastrous for their seeding. Remember, this is a team without a Quadrant 1 game, let alone a Quadrant 1 win. That changes this weekend in a game that will be absolutely huge for Utah State’s at-large chances. 16. Virginia Tech Hokies (22-6) Previous ranking: Unranked This week: Beat Duke 77-72 on Tuesday Welcome back to the rankings, Hokies. They sneak into the No. 16 spot thanks to Maryland getting blown out by Penn State less than 24 hours after replacing Wisconsin in the rankings. Most of Virginia Tech’s momentum comes as a result of the Hokies’ victory over Duke on Tuesday, but they have also won four of their last five after losing four of eight in January and early February. They’re still waiting for the return of Justin Robinson, though. Dropped out: Maryland (No. 16)

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Three Alabama players, including starting offensive lineman Deonte Brown, did not travel with the team to Miami and will not compete against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Saturday.

Reserve Elliot Baker, an offensive lineman and Kedrick James, a tight end, were the other two suspended players.

The three players were suspended “due to a violation of team rules and policies,” coach Nick Saban said in a statement released to the media on Monday night.

Brown, a sophomore, has started five of Alabama’s past six games, including the SEC championship game against Georgia. He had been dealing with a turf toe injury but was making progress, Saban told reporters last week.

Baker has not appeared in a game this season. James has appeared in five games but has not made a reception.

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NEW ORLEANS — Tulane coach Willie Fritz looked at the man who’d hired him to turn the Green Wave football program around and held up two fingers.

Athletic Director Troy Dannen said third-year coach signaled his intent to attempt a high-stakes, 2-point conversion several snaps before Tulane’s decisive drive had even reached the end zone, adding, “I knew he had the play.”

Justin McMillan connected with Jaetavian Toles for a 26-yard touchdown with 1:27 left, passed back across the field to Charles Jones for the 2-point conversion, and Tulane avoided a devastating collapse with a 29-28 victory over Navy to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.

“We were doing really well offensively. Our defense was kind of tired,” Fritz said. “I went over and told the AD I was going for 2 — just wanted make sure I still had that contract.

“He said I did, so we went ahead with it.”

McMillian said he could not see where exactly Jones was when he let his pass fly with the season in the balance.

“I knew the vicinity where he would be at, and I’d seen him release, and was like, `OK, Chuck should be somewhere over there,” McMillan recalled. “I just knew he would handle the rest.”

The game-winning score completed a seven-play series that covered 71 yards in 2:11. It came in direct response to Tazh Maloy’s 9-yard TD run, which capped a string of 25 straight points that turned Navy’s 21-3 halftime deficit into a late, 28-21 lead.

Tulane (6-6, 5-3 AAC) sealed the win by stopping Navy (3-8, 2-6) in four plays. That allowed the Wave to run out the clock and storm the field in celebration, having won four of its last five games to reach the six-win plateau, normally the benchmark for bowl bids.

“Our loyal fans — which we’ve got a ton — they’ve had some tough times here, and it’s about time we got the opportunity to win and celebrate like that,” Fritz said.

McMillan threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one.

His first and longest scoring strike went 55 yards to Darnell Mooney, who broke behind the Navy secondary down the left sideline as McMillan hit him in stride. The second TD pass covered 52 yards on a deep crossing route to Jabril Clewis.

OUT OF CHARACTER

Zach Abey passed for a 73-yard touchdown and caught a 37-yard scoring pass — a sudden surge from a passing game that ranked last in the nation coming in.

“Obviously, that’s not really who we are, but in the time of need, we needed to do that and it showed that we were prepared,” Abey said.

Abey finished 7-of-13 for 167 yards, including a fourth-down completion that kept alive Navy’s go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter.

ROARING BACK

Sean Williams’ interception and 36-yard return to the Tulane 7 set up a short field goal to ignite Navy’s second-half rally. Next came Malcom Perry’s halfback pass across the field to Abey.

“We’ve had that in the playbook for a long, long time, but I think it was the perfect time to do it,” Abey said. “When I pitched to Malcolm, the whole defense was just gone.”

After Tulane stalled again, Abey found Perry uncovered over the middle for his game-long scoring play, and hit Taylor Jackson in the back of the end zone for a 2-point conversion to tie it.

Tulane responded by driving into Navy territory, but Merek Glover’s 32-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright, setting up the roller-coaster of finish.

THE TAKEAWAY

Navy: The Mids have lost 12-straight away from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, dating back to a 31-21 triumph at Tulsa on Sept. 30, 2017. But Navy had to be encouraged by newfound success in the passing game heading into its annual rivalry game with Army. Navy also went 4-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.

Tulane: An enthusiastic crowd on senior day looked and sounded incredulous as chances for a first bowl in five years seemed to slip away — all because of big passing plays by a struggling Navy team that hardly throws and hadn’t won on the road all season. But the Tulane faithful were jubilant after the Green Wave offense regrouped just in time. The Wave defense sold out to stop the run, holding Navy to 117 yards rushing, 187 yards below its average coming in.

UP NEXT

Navy meets arch rival Army in their traditional regular-season finale, played this season in Philadelphia on Dec. 8.

Tulane awaits its bowl bid, with the most likely invitations coming from Cheribundi Tart Cherry Bowl in Boca Raton, Florida, and the Frisco Bowl in Frisco, Texas, both of which have contractual ties to the AAC.

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ATHENS, Ohio — A.J. Ouellette ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns and Papi White became Ohio’s all-time leader in yards receiving as the Bobcats rolled to a 49-28 victory over Akron on Friday.

Ouellette went over the 1,000-yard mark for a second straight season for the Bobcats (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American Conference). White caught three passes for 63 yards, pushing him past LaVon Brazill (2,511 yards from 2007-11) and giving the senior 2,529 for his career.

Ouellette staked Ohio to a 7-0 first-quarter lead on a 6-yard run. Quarterback Nathan Rourke scored on a 1-yard plunge, the first of his four TD runs, to make it 14-0 and Kylan Nelson ran a punt back 36 yards to give Ohio a 21-0 lead after one quarter. Kato Nelson connected with Andre Williams for a 10-yard touchdown to pull the Zips (4-7, 2-6) within 21-7, but Ouellette scored on a 16-yard run to put the Bobcats up 28-7 at halftime.

Rourke scored on runs of 1, 5 and 3 yards in the second half to keep Ohio in front. Maleek Irons rushed for 126 yards on 18 carries for the Bobcats. Rourke ran for 86 yards on 18 totes and completed five passes for 87 yards with an interception.

Nelson completed 24 of 41 passes for 356 yards and four TDs for the Zips. Akron managed just 32 yards on the ground on 21 carries.

Ohio is bowl eligible for a 10th straight season under coach Frank Solich — his 14th at the helm.

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HOUSTON — All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver is expected to play when Houston visits Memphis on Friday, a source close to Oliver told ESPN on Monday.

It will be the first time the reigning Outland Trophy winner will play since suffering a bruised knee on Oct. 20 against Navy. Oliver participated in the Cougars’ practice on Monday, but to what degree is unclear. He was not available to speak with the media following practice.

Houston coach Major Applewhite said Monday morning that Oliver is “day-to-day.”

“It’s just the same situation that we’ve had the last few weeks in terms of getting healthier every week, but he’s still day-to-day,” Applewhite said. “There have been practices in the last two to three weeks that he’s been able to participate in. I wouldn’t think that it would be bizarre if he was able to practice this week. Just gonna monitor and look at it day-to-day.”

Applewhite also noted that the decision to play is completely up to Oliver. He has missed the past four games after taking a low hit from a Navy offensive lineman. Houston announced that Oliver would play Nov. 3 against SMU, but Oliver did not feel comfortable on the knee after going through pregame warm-ups and opted not to play.

Oliver, a junior who declared in March that he would forego his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL draft, is widely considered to be a top-10 pick. This season, Oliver has 51 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss but recently fell from No. 2 overall to No. 7 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board after missing a month of action.

His uncertain status in recent weeks coupled with his elite draft status left some to wonder if he should sit out the remainder of the season to avoid aggravating the injury and protect his draft status.

“I’m sure he’s talked about it,” Applewhite said. “I’m sure that his family has talked about it or people have talked to them about it. We’ve sat down; we’ve had several conversations. I see both sides, man.
“You’re playing for a championship and you’ve got guys you love on your team and you’re going after it and you want to win a championship. Then, also, you’ve also spent all this time with your family, years upon years, of being a [projected] NFL superstar, first-round pick, and everybody is involved in it. Not just you, but your family and everybody, and you’ve worked your butt off for it, and now you are four months from it. So, I see both sides of it … whatever you decide to do, I’m behind you 100 percent.”

Both Applewhite and Oliver have pledged to move forward following their sideline dispute over a jacket during the Cougars’ win against Tulane last Thursday.

During the second quarter of Houston’s 48-17 win, Applewhite approached Oliver on the sideline before halftime and removed the lineman’s jacket from his shoulder. Later, Oliver could be seen shouting at Applewhite as the team walked toward its locker room at halftime and was restrained by Houston director of sports performance Rod Grace.

Oliver said Friday that he was caught in an emotional moment, while Applewhite said they will learn from the incident.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. — Darrell Henderson rushed for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and Memphis broke away from a second-half tie to defeat East Carolina 59-41 in a game that saw nearly 1,200 yards of offense on Saturday.

Henderson scored touchdowns of 20 and 39 yards in the final period on consecutive possessions to finish with 132 yards on 21 carries. He also hauled in a 71-yard pass from Brady White in the first quarter. Tony Pollard also rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Patrick Taylor’s TD on third-and-goal capped a 13-play, 75 yard drive as Memphis (5-4, 2/3 American) answered East Carolina’s score that tied the game at 31-31.

White completed 21 of 30 passes for 362 yards and three TDs.

The Pirates (2-6, 0-5) scored first in a game that saw three lead changes and a tie. East Carolina rolled up 556 yards total offense to Memphis’ 639.

Freshman Holton Ahlers completed 34 of 62 passes for 449 yards and three scores, two to Trevon Brown who finished with 193 yards receiving. Darius Pinnix rushed for two TDs.

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Michigan started the day with an impressive win over Michigan State and finished it off by enjoying Ohio State’s shocking loss to Purdue. In between, Alabama and Clemson dominated in a way that could have you envisioning them playing in the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive year.

No. 1 Alabama 58, Tennessee 21

Any concerns by Alabama fans that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa might still be a little gimpy on his strained right knee were put to rest pretty quickly in the Crimson Tide’s 58-21 rout of Tennessee on Saturday. He was as sharp as ever with four touchdown passes, although he did take a big hit on his fourth scoring pass of the day early in the third quarter before giving way to Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa jogged gingerly off the field and watched from the sideline while standing the rest of the game. Tagovailoa and Alabama now get a week off before traveling to LSU on Nov. 3 for what should be the Tide’s stiffest test of the season. Nobody has come close to slowing down Alabama all season, and the Tide should be even healthier against LSU, with receiver DeVonta Smith expected to return after missing the Tennessee game due to a hamstring injury. — Chris Low

Purdue 48, No. 2 Ohio State 20

A bleak and blustery night for the Buckeyes appropriately began with a false start on their first play from scrimmage. The pre-snap foul set off a series of mental and physical miscues for Urban Meyer’s team. Ohio State can possibly still make the College Football Playoff by winning out, but this looked nothing like a top-4 team against Purdue. The offensive line couldn’t avoid the penalty flag. Defenders couldn’t corral Purdue star freshman receiver Rondale Moore or explosive running back D.J. Knox. And despite repeatedly reaching the Boilermakers’ territory, Ohio State’s offense only reached the end zone twice. Ohio State had found ways to overcome troubling trends, such as surrendering big plays on defense and failing to generate a consistent run game with Mike Weber or J.K. Dobbins. But facing an aggressive, technically sound Purdue defense, the Buckeyes never settled into a sustained rhythm. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a nice passing line (49-for-73 for 470 yards and two touchdowns) and several big-time throws, but he didn’t get nearly enough help from his teammates. This was no fluke. Purdue absolutely deserved to win on a magical night, but Ohio State must make significant improvement in all three phases — and show much greater poise — to revive its Big Ten title and CFP hopes. It’s also fair to ask whether Ohio State has gotten worse since Meyer returned from suspension. — Adam Rittenberg

No. 3 Clemson 41, No. 16 NC State 7

NC State nearly upset the Tigers in each of the past two seasons, and both teams entered this game undefeated with Atlantic Division hopes on the line. But there was never any doubt just how far the gap between the two schools remains. Clemson came out with a point to prove from the very start, marching down the field on its opening drive, while the defense set the tone as the aggressor. The Tigers never let NC State into the game, as Trevor Lawrence took center stage, getting the downfield passing game going the way many wanted to see. Travis Etienne added three more touchdown runs, and Clemson limited future NFL draft pick Ryan Finley to zero big plays. Clemson is in control of the Atlantic Division, and with a schedule that features zero ranked teams remaining, the Tigers will remain heavy favorites to make it back to the College Football Playoff. — Andrea Adelson
The Wolfpack started the season 5-0 but had not played any elite opponents until Saturday. Although they challenged Clemson the past two seasons, NC State proved to be no match for the Tigers on Saturday. The Wolfpack were completely overwhelmed on the offensive and defensive lines, and they were unable to get Ryan Finley and their passing game going against a secondary that had given up big plays this season. The best third-down conversion team in the nation, NC State had trouble converting on third down, as well. But that was basically the story of the game: Everything that seemed to come so easily in its 5-0 start was made much more difficult against a top-3 team in the nation. The Wolfpack are likely to drop out of the Top 25, but they still have a chance to finish the season strong. — Adelson

No. 5 LSU 19, No. 22 Mississippi State 3

The Tigers reach their bye week at 7-1 and right in the middle of the College Football Playoff chase. Who had them pegged there at season’s start? There are still plenty of nits to pick with this team, primarily on offense, and several of those things showed in their win over Mississippi State on Saturday, such as the red zone passing of Joe Burrow (or just the lack of overall touchdowns in that area, period) and an offensive line that isn’t quite up to usual LSU standards. Despite those flaws, the Tigers proved good enough to go toe-to-toe with just about anybody in the country (thanks, Dave Aranda). Does that include No. 1 Alabama? We’ll find out in two weeks. — Sam Khan Jr.
The Bulldogs didn’t throw it much on Saturday night, but even when they did, it was enough to hurt them. Nick Fitzgerald tossed two first-quarter interceptions that eventually doomed Mississippi State against the elite LSU defense. Mississippi State’s defense and run game make it good enough to compete with most, and Fitzgerald is a great asset as a runner; but if the Bulldogs don’t make some improvement — any improvement — in the passing game, it’s going to make the stretch run that much more difficult for Joe Moorhead’s squad, with games against Texas A&M and Alabama still on the schedule. — Khan Jr.

No. 6 Michigan 21, No. 24 Michigan State 7

Two down, one to go in a crucial stretch for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Michigan ran over Wisconsin a week ago and survived what at points looked like a perfect storm of rivalry-game anarchy in East Lansing this week. Shea Patterson made a handful of plays that this offense wasn’t equipped to make in past years to flip momentum in Michigan’s direction in the second half. Defense is still the cornerstone in Ann Arbor, but if this team gets past Penn State after a bye, they look well-rounded enough to compete for a Big Ten championship. — Dan Murphy
The Spartans’ struggles on offense aren’t going away, and the issues are probably serious enough that they aren’t likely to spend much more time in the Top 25 this year. Brian Lewerke completed less than 50 percent of his passes for the second straight week. The team’s only touchdown came on a trick play that ended a 7-yard scoring drive set up by the defense. As suffocating as the Michigan State defense may be, there are too many injuries and too many inefficiencies on offense for this team this year. — Murphy

EDITOR’S PICKS

Best of Week 8: Ol’ Crimson’s time to shine, LSU’s color-changing helmets
Washington State’s flag finally flies at home on GameDay after 15 years of road shows, LSU honors the “Silent Season” of 1918 with alternate jerseys, and throwbacks abound.

No. 9 Oklahoma 52, TCU 27

Oklahoma avoided any Texas hangover, pulling away from TCU with a monster second half on both sides of the ball. In the first game since OU fired defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, the defense rebounded from a shaky second quarter to produce a series of stops to finish off the Horned Frogs. Offensively, QB Kyler Murray delivered yet another Heisman statement with four TDs. And in his first real opportunity, freshman Kennedy Brooks also seemed to fill OU’s void at running back with Rodney Anderson out for the year, rushing for a career-high 168 yards. With the Texas loss, the Sooners have no margin for error. But they showed Saturday that with Murray, they remain a Big 12 title — and playoff — threat. — Jake Trotter

No. 10 UCF, 37, East Carolina 10

No McKenzie Milton, no problem? For one game, at least, that was the case for UCF, which got by without its all-conference-caliber quarterback on the road at East Carolina, extending its FBS-best active winning streak to 20 games. With Milton sidelined because he “wasn’t ready to go,” according to coach Josh Heupel, freshman Darriel Mack Jr. took the reins and got the job done mostly on the ground, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown. Despite a slow start that included no points in the first quarter, the Knights recovered and then steamrollered the Pirates by rushing for more than 300 yards, while also forcing five turnovers. While Mack was serviceable, getting Milton back for next Saturday’s game will be pivotal. Temple just dealt Cincinnati its first loss of the season and will be looking to upend another unbeaten at UCF. — Alex Scarborough

No. 25 Washington State 34, No. 12 Oregon 20
With College GameDay in town, it always figured to be a memorable day in Pullman, but the win against Oregon solidified its standing as one of the most significant days in Washington State history. Not only that, the Cougars solidified their status as legitimate contenders in the Pac-12 North with a key game at Stanford looming next week. Their near collapse in second half, though, is cause for concern. It’s the second time in three weeks the offense has pulled a second-half disappearing act after a big first half (see: Utah). They can’t expect to keep winning games by taking their foot off the gas. — Kyle Bonagura

A week after securing their biggest win in years — generating whispers about the College Football Playoff — the Ducks find themselves all alone in fourth place in the Pac-12 North. They came out so poorly in the first half, falling behind 27-0 at halftime, that a valiant comeback wasn’t enough. The loss doesn’t eliminate the Ducks from contention in the division, but it does represent a significant step back. There is almost no room for error the rest of the way, considering they’ve lost to two of the three teams they’re behind in the division — WSU and Stanford. — Bonagura

No. 14 Kentucky 14, Vanderbilt 7

It wasn’t the prettiest win of the Wildcats’ strong season so far, beating Vanderbilt 14-7 at home, but it still counts. Running back Benny Snell Jr. and the defense overcame a terrible start that included two turnovers — Kentucky had two turnovers in the previous four games combined — and two huge penalties that brought back a 99-yard return and an interception. Looking forward to Missouri next week and Georgia the week after that, Mark Stoops’ squad must improve, especially on offense. Terry Wilson, who completed just 3 of 9 passes against Vanderbilt, has to become a more well-rounded quarterback in order to give the Wildcats a chance against top-notch defenses like Georgia’s. — Scarborough

No. 15 Washington 27, Colorado 13

With Myles Gaskin out because of a shoulder injury that he suffered in the loss to Oregon, Washington turned to a balanced offense and a stingy second-half defense to stifle any comeback from Colorado. It was hardly a dominant performance for the two-loss Huskies, who had to overcome two turnovers and clung to a precarious 14-13 halftime lead. Jake Browning’s 26-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Aaron Fuller gave Washington its biggest cushion of the game, while the defense held Colorado scoreless in the second half. With Gaskin out, Salvon Ahmed averaged 10.1 yards per carry (71 yards on seven carries) and scored one touchdown. With Colorado’s loss, the winner of the Pac-12 South is now guaranteed to have at least two losses, and any outside chance the Buffaloes had of sneaking into the playoff race has been erased. — Heather Dinich

No. 18 Penn State 33, Indiana 28

It took Penn State until the final seconds to put this one away, after Indiana scored late and then recovered an onside kick in a game that went back and forth. The Nittany Lions gave up more than 500 yards of offense to Indiana on defense, and they also had struggles catching the ball on offense. Penn State had five drops on the day from its receivers, with one coming in the end zone. The woes for Penn State are coming at a bad time, as the next three games are against Iowa, at Michigan and versus Wisconsin at home. That will be a tough stretch to get through if some of the issues don’t get fixed. — Tom VanHaaren

No. 19 Iowa 23, Maryland 0

After two weeks of using the pass en route to 40-plus points per game, Iowa celebrated homecoming by returning to its football roots in a 23-0 win over Maryland, with 224 yards rushing against just 86 in a very windy air. The defense pitched only its second shutout since 2010 and held the Terps to 115 yards total offense, the fewest Iowa has ever allowed to a Big Ten opponent. If the Hawkeyes are going to win at Penn State next week and grind out another of their every-few-years deep runs, they will need more of the defense that showed up Saturday, plus a rediscovery of that ambitious offense from earlier in the month. “Balance will be the focus of this week. And if these guys focus this upcoming week like they did to get ready for Maryland then there’s nothing they can’t figure out,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. — Ryan McGee

No. 21 South Florida 38, UConn 30

The first half was problematic, as the unbeaten Bulls messed around and entered intermission tied 7-7 against a UConn team that had won just one game all season while giving up the most points per game in the FBS (53). But Charlie Strong’s squad recovered in a big way, scoring 31 second-half points, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback Blake Barnett, who ran for one touchdown and threw for another. South Florida took care of business to improve to 7-0, but if it hopes to remain among the dwindling list of unbeatens, it can’t afford another sluggish start on the road at American Athletic Conference powerhouse Houston next weekend. — Scarborough

Temple 24, No. 20 Cincinnati 17 (OT)
Cincinnati was unable to keep its undefeated season intact, losing to Temple 24-17 in overtime. It looked as though there would be a chance the Bearcats would have their third win after overcoming a double-digit deficit, going down 10 early in the first quarter, but a late touchdown in the fourth quarter by Temple forced overtime and an eventual touchdown by the Owls in overtime produced Cincinnati’s first loss of the season. It’s only one loss, but Cincinnati still has to play USF and UCF to close out the season. Coming into those two games undefeated would have provided some hope to keep this stellar season alive. — Tom VanHaaren

No. 23 Wisconsin 49, Illinois 20

It was a mistake-laden game for Illinois, and Wisconsin took advantage to bounce back from its loss to Michigan and stay alive in the Big Ten West division race. The Illini had five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles), and couldn’t contain Heisman hopeful running back Jonathan Taylor. The Badgers controlled the clock, as Taylor had his seventh straight 100-yard rushing performance, and he has already amassed his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. It was also the third time this season he surpassed the 150-yard mark (159 yards on 27 carries). There was a flash snowstorm that briefly covered the field in the first half, but two touchdown passes from Alex Hornibrook helped the Badgers to an early 28-10 lead. — Heather Dinich

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Darrell Henderson ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns, including a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter, to help Memphis pull away from South Alabama in a 52-35 victory on Saturday night.

Brady White was 22-of-29 passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (3-1). Patrick Taylor Jr. had two TD runs and Tony Pollard ran for another score.

Evan Orth completed 24 of 32 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns to lead South Alabama (1-3). Orth’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Kawaan Baker pulled the Jaguars within 31-27 late in the third quarter.

Pollard scored on a 16-yard reverse to open the fourth and Henderson made it a 45-27 lead with his big run on the Tigers’ next series.

But a blocked punt gave South Alabama the ball at the Tigers’ 19, and Orth threw a touchdown pass to Jamarius Way four plays later to cut the deficit to 45-35.

The Tigers recovered the ensuing onside kick try and Taylor capped an eight-play, five-minute drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.

It was the first meeting between the schools.

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Alan Bowman has a long list of prolific Texas Tech quarterbacks to chase on the career charts.

The true freshman quickly accomplished something one of his predecessors — coach Kliff Kingsbury — never did: a 600-yard game.

Bowman threw for 605 yards with five touchdowns — three to Antoine Wesley who set a school record with 261 yards receiving — and the Red Raiders beat Houston 63-49 on Saturday.

Bowman finished 43-of-59 passing for the fifth 600-yard game in Texas Tech history, and the Big 12 single-game record for a freshman. Wesley had 13 catches, his last a 33-yard TD with a defender grabbing on to him near the end zone with less than four minutes left.

Since replacing an injured McLane Carter in the first quarter of the season opener, Bowman has thrown for 1,160 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception.

“That was a nice step in the right direction,” said Kingsbury, second at Texas Tech in career yards passing. “But I’ve said it all along, there’s an expectation at Texas Tech that started a long time ago that we’re going to play really good at quarterback and play really good on offense.”

Ta’Zhawn Henry, another true freshman for the Red Raiders (2-1), had three of his four rushing touchdowns after halftime. His 19-yard TD run with 10:49 left in the third quarter broke a 35-all tie, putting Tech ahead to stay before he added a 13-yard scoring run about three minutes later. Henry carried 24 times for 111 yards.

D’Eriq King was 30-of-51 passing for 431 yards and five touchdowns for Houston (2-1). The junior quarterback has 12 passing TDs already this season. He also ran for a score, his fourth rushing TD this season. The passing yards and six total touchdowns were career highs.

The offensive showcase came with two former Big 12 quarterbacks on opposing sidelines — Kingsbury and Houston coach Major Applewhite, who played at Texas.

“You can’t expect to win any games giving up 63 points, so we’ve got to tackle better,” Applewhite said. “It’s one thing to tell them what kind of game it is. You’ve got to get them prepared to play that type of game.”

Marquez Stevenson had nine catches for 177 yards, including TDs of 57 and 79 yards for the Cougars. Keith Corbin had seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

T.J. Vasher caught two TD passes for Tech, which was coming off a 77-0 home win over Lamar the previous week. Ja’Deion High had seven catches for 120 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Houston: New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles has got the playmakers needed for the big-play offense. The Cougars had 635 total yards, and through three games are averaging 46.3 points and 581 yards per game.

Texas Tech: For all that offseason talk about how much better the Red Raiders would be with all the returning starters and other experienced players, there has to be concerns about stopping teams going into Big 12 play. Forget that shutout they had against FCS team Lamar. They have given up 96 points and 1,181 total yards in their two games against FBS teams.

600 CLUB
While Kingsbury is second to Graham Harrell in career yards passing for Texas Tech with 12,429, his best single-game total was 510 yards. That’s now 15th on the school’s list. The other 600-yard games belong to Kansas City Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes (734 yards two years ago), B.J. Symons (661 in 2003), Harrell (646 in 2007) and Cody Hodges (643 in 2005).

QUICK-STRIKE COUGARS

All six of Houston’s scoring drives took less than two minutes. The Cougars now have 15 such drives through three games. They had 18 drives under two minutes all of last season.

UP NEXT

Houston: The Cougars are home Saturday against Texas Southern before an open date and then American Athletic Conference play.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders hit the road to play Oklahoma State in their Big 12 Conference opener next Saturday.