NCAA

Georgia Southern rally ousts Old Dominion 49-35

Georgia Southern rally ousts Old Dominion 49-35

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Dominique Swope ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 remaining, and Georgia Southern's defense helped erase a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter and beat Old Dominion 49-35 in the FCS quarterfinals.

Jerick McKinnon ran for four touchdowns for the Eagles (10-3), who completed just two passes all day but ran for 602 yards in pursuit of their seventh national championship. They trailed 35-21 entering the final quarter, then scored the final 28 points to reach the semifinals.

Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who broke Steve McNair's single-season passing yardage record during the game and became the first quarterback with over 5,000 yards in a season, fumbled to set up the Eagles' tying drive in the fourth quarter, then threw incomplete on fourth-and-6 from his own 39.

Three plays later, Swope's second touchdown run put Georgia Southern in front to stay. It was the second consecutive season the Eagles have dispatched the Monarchs (11-2) from the playoffs in a thriller.

Last season, the Eagles won 55-48 at home.

Swope finished with 186 rushing yards, and McKinnon had 171.

This time, the Monarchs seemed in control when they stopped the Eagles on four consecutive drives spanning the halves and opened a 35-21 lead on Heinicke's third touchdown pass, 8 yards to Nick Mayers, with 2:53 remaining in the third quarter. But then the Eagles defense rose to the occasion.

The Eagles capped an 86-yard drive with McKinnon's 4-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter, then got the ball back when Dion DuBose stripped Heinicke on third-and-7 from the Eagles' 13.

McKinnon drove his team 79 yards in 12 plays, capping it himself with a 2-yard run with 5:32 remaining, and putting the pressure back on the Monarchs. After getting a 15-yard roughing the passer call to move the ball to their 41, Heinicke faced a fourth-and-6 from his 39 and ODU opted to go for it. Heinicke's pass to Tyree Lee was behind him, fell incomplete and the Eagles drove for the winner.

It took them just three plays, Swope providing the finisher with a run up the middle.

Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

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Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

PITTSBURGH -- No. 1 Virginia allowed just seven points in the first half and secured the regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title outright with a 66-37 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Freshman guard De'Andre Hunter came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers (26-2, 14-1 ACC) with 14 points in a game that didn't take big offensive efforts from Virginia's regulars. Of the five starters, only guard Ty Jerome exceeded his season average with 13 points.

The game was never competitive, as Virginia started on an 8-0 run and Pitt didn't make a field goal until Jared Wilson-Frame hit a 3-pointer at the midway point of the first half.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett rested most of his regulars in the second half. Reserve Nigel Johnson added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Parker Stewart led Pitt (8-22, 0-17) with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Pitt had next to no presence inside. The Panthers were outscored 28-8 in the paint and out-rebounded 36-24. Seven of Pitt's 11 made field goals were from beyond the arc.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.

A quick start

Strong starts go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a group in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the opening 20 minutes.

RELATED: SEE THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-SABRES HERE

Andre Burakovsky snapping a second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked for much of the season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play from the office. He would later add a deflection goal to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.