College Football

Yale beats Harvard 24-3 in 'The Game'


Yale beats Harvard 24-3 in 'The Game'

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale ended a lot of droughts by beating archrival Harvard on Saturday.

The Bulldogs used a stifling defense to win 24-3, securing the program's first outright Ivy League championship since 1980.

It was the first time Yale (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) had beaten Harvard (5-5, 3-4) at the Yale Bowl since 1999. It also was the first time the Bulldogs won two straight in the series since winning three in a row from 1998-2000.

"Our goal at the beginning of the year was I.T.O., Ivy takeover, and we did it," coach Tony Reno said. "I'm very proud of this group for what they've done and how they accomplished it and the precedent they set."

Kurt Rawlings threw for 177 yards and a touchdown and Melvin Rouse and Zane Dudek combined for 106 yards rushing and a score.

But it was the Yale defense that dominated.

The Bulldogs held Harvard scoreless after a 29-yard field goal on the Crimson's opening possession and kept their offense to just 164 total yards. Yale sacked freshman Jake Smith six times and forced four turnovers.

"This one was won in the trenches," Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. "They've got a big strong front seven and they've got big strong secondary guys and they just play right in your grill."

Rawlings and receiver J.P. Shohfi got Yale on the board in the second quarter, connecting on a 46-yard pass, followed three plays later by a 9-yarder into the left corner of the end zone.

Yale quickly built on that lead when Harvard's Smith made a bad decision on an option, fumbling a late pitch. Linebacker Malcolm Dixon picked up the ball and ran 19 yards for a touchdown.

"I saw him pitch it so I ran toward the running back," Dixon said. "I saw him slip. I saw the end zone. I saw the ball, put two and two together and that was it."

Another errant pitch by Smith on the next Harvard possession set up a 25-yard field goal on the last play of the first half, giving the Bulldogs a 17-3 lead.

Dudek's 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter capped an eight-play 81-yard drive that put the game out of reach.

Yale players rushed the field after the final whistle, when they were surrounded by thousands of fans who streamed from the stands.

"It was a surreal moment," Yale captain Spencer Rymiszewski said. "To just go out like this. It's a pitch-perfect ending."


Yale: The Bulldogs already had clinched a share of their 15th Ivy League title with a win over Princeton last week. This is the team's seventh outright title.

Harvard: Harvard had won 14 of the previous 16 meetings. This was the second straight game the Crimson has failed to score a touchdown, the first time that has happened since 1986.


Yale came into the game fourth in the FCS in sacks and has averaged 3.6 per game this year. Their six on the Saturday give the Bulldogs 36 for the season after making just 16 a year ago.


Dudek's 64 yards rushing were well below his season average of 119 per game. The freshman finishes the year with 1,133 yards on just 159 carries, an average of more than 7 yards per run.


Harvard receiver Justice Shelton-Mosley caught seven passes for 77 yards. But three of those catches and four of his 10 touches came on the Crimson's opening drive.

"He's our best player, he's our best athlete," Murphy said. "It's just been really tough getting the ball to him.


The Ivy League does not participate in the FCS playoffs, so the season is over for both teams.


Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield wins Heisman in landslide


Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield wins Heisman in landslide

NEW YORK - Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield has won the Heisman Trophy, completing a climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players in the history of college football.

The brash, flag-planting Sooners star became the sixth Oklahoma player to the win Heisman in one of the most lopsided votes ever.

Stanford running back Bryce Love was the runner-up, making it five second-place finishes for the Cardinal since 2009. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, last year's Heisman winner, was third, the best finish by a returning winner since Tim Tebow of Florida in 2008.

Mayfield received 732 first-place votes and 2,398 points. Love had 75 first-place votes and 1,300 points and Jackson received 47 and 793. Mayfield received 86 percent of the total points available, the third-highest percentage in Heisman history.

Mayfield is the third player to win the Heisman heading to the College Football Playoff. The second-ranked Sooners meet No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. He is the first senior to win the award since Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006 and the first Heisman winner to begin his career as a walk-on since athletic scholarships started in the 1950s.

"It's been a tough journey," Mayfield said during his acceptance speech. He choked back tears thanking his parents and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.

Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman voting two years ago and third last year. He entered this season as one of the favorites and jumped toward the front of the pack when he led the Sooners to an early victory at Ohio State that he celebrated by planting the OU flag in the Horseshoe turf.

He later apologized for that, but that has been Mayfield's career. Spectacular play fueled by grudges, slights and trying to prove doubters wrong. Moxie is the word that gets attached to Mayfield often, but at times poor judgment has gotten him in trouble on and off the field.

Those were really the only marks on Mayfield's Heisman resume because his play has been consistently stellar. He has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns this season for the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1). For his career, Mayfield is eighth in FBS history in yards passing (14,320) and sixth in touchdown passes (129). He is likely to leave college with the two best single-season passer ratings in major college football.

Pretty good for a scrawny kid who grew up in Austin, Texas, rooting for Oklahoma, but did not receive a scholarship offer out of high school from either the hometown Longhorns or his beloved Sooners.

At Lake Travis High School, Mayfield won a state championship at a school that regularly pumps out Division I quarterbacks. Mayfield was undersized at 6-1 and received just one offer from a Power Five program - Washington State.

Instead, he walked-on at Texas Tech and started eight games as a freshman. With a glut of quarterbacks in Lubbock, Mayfield left and had only one school in mind.

Oklahoma had Trevor Knight, coming off a Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama and with three more seasons left of eligibility, but that did not dissuade Mayfield.

Mayfield thanked former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who also was at the Best Buy Theater in midtown Manhattan, for welcoming a "chubby, unathletic kid into the program with open arms."

His departure from Texas Tech was contentious. At first, he lost a year of eligibility, despite not being on scholarship. Texas Tech could have given permission to waive the lost year, but did not.

Mayfield eventually got that year of eligibility back when the Big 12 tweaked its rules, but he never did let it go. For his last game against Texas Tech this season, he wore the "Traitor" T-shirt that some Red Raiders fans wore when he first returned to Lubbock with Oklahoma.

Later in the year, it was Kansas - or all teams - that tried to get the volatile Mayfield off his game. Jayhawks captains refused to shake his hand during the pregame coin flip. They trash-talked Mayfield and even took a late hit at him. He responded by screaming profanities and making a lewd gesture that television cameras caught. That led to a public apology from Mayfield, his third this year.

The first came after he was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in February for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing. He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors and paid a $300 fine. The second came after that flag planting in Columbus, Ohio, after the Sooners beat the Buckeyes. Mayfield said before that early season showdown that the Buckeyes had irked him by celebrating on the Sooners' field in 2016.

Mayfield joins Jason White and Sam Bradford as Oklahoma quarterbacks who won the award since 2003. Only Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC have won more Heisman trophies with seven each.

Mayfield is an old-school winner. For decades, seniors dominated the Heisman, but over the last 10 years four juniors, four sophomores and two redshirt freshmen have won the Heisman. By comparison Mayfield has been around forever, that first season at Texas Tech coming in 2013. He has played 47 college games. Only USC's Carson Palmer with 50 had played more when he won his Heisman in 2002.

There is at least one more game to play for Mayfield, and maybe two. He and the Sooners will go into the playoff as a slight underdog against Georgia, which seems only appropriate for a player who has built his career on exceeding expectations.


BC earns berth in Pinstripe Bowl vs. Iowa


BC earns berth in Pinstripe Bowl vs. Iowa

Boston College (7-5, ACC) vs. Iowa (7-5, Big Ten), Dec. 27, 5:15 p.m. EST (ESPN).



Boston College: RB AJ Dillon rushed for 1,432 yards, the second-highest total by any freshman in ACC history, and was named the conference rookie of the year. He twice topped the 200-yard rushing mark in a game this season, only the second freshman in ACC history to do so.

Iowa: RB Akrum Wadley rushed for 1,021 yards and nine TDs and caught 26 passes for 329 yards and three TDs.


Boston College: The Eagles closed the season with five wins in their final six games.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ signature victory this season was 55-24 over Ohio State, which beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. Iowa also lost to Penn State on a last-second touchdown.


This is the first meeting between the schools.


Boston College: It’s the 26th bowl appearance in school history for BC and the 16th bowl in the last 19 years for the Eagles. It will be BC’s second appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl. They lost 31-30 in overtime to Penn State in 2014.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes have played in a bowl game in all but two seasons since 2001.