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College Football Today

College Football Today

STARS

-Matt Scott, Arizona, had 469 total yards and accounted for four TDs in the Wildcats' 39-36 win over No. 10 Southern California.

-Marqise Lee, USC, caught 16 passes for a Pac-12-record 345 yards and two TDs in the Trojans' 39-36 loss to Arizona.

-AJ McCarron, Alabama, passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns to help the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a 38-7 victory over No. 13 Mississippi State.

-Braxton Miller, Ohio State, rushed for 134 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead the ninth-ranked Buckeyes to a 35-23 win at Penn State.

-Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska, ran for 101 yards and a touchdown to power the Cornhuskers to a 23-9 victory over No. 20 Michigan.

-Ray Holley, Louisiana Tech, had 130 yards rushing in the Bulldogs' 28-14 victory against New Mexico State.

-Collin Klein, Kansas State, threw for 233 yards and accounted for four TDs as the No. 4 Wildcats roughed up No. 15 Texas Tech 55-24.

-Brett Hundley, UCLA, threw for 274 yards and four TDs and set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 33-yard field goal as the game ended in the Bruins' 45-43 shootout victory over Arizona State.

-Connor Shaw, South Carolina, threw for a career-high 356 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another score to help the No. 17 Gamecocks overcome the loss of tailback Marcus Lattimore for a 38-35 victory over Tennessee.

-Tyler Bray, Tennessee, passed for 368 yards and threw three of his four TDs to Zach Rogers in the Vols' 38-35 loss to No. 17 South Carolina.

-Gio Bernard, North Carolina, returned a punt 74 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and ran for 135 yards and two more scores, helping the Tar Heels stun rival North Carolina State 43-35 to end a five-year losing streak in the series.

-Ryan Griffin, Tulane, threw for 466 yards and five TDs to help the Green Wave defeat Alabama-Birmingham 55-45.

-Mike Glennon, North Carolina State, threw for a career-high 467 yards and five TDs in a 43-35 loss to rival North Carolina.

-Jeff Mathews, Cornell, threw for 525 yards and four TDs a 37-35 victory over Princeton.

-Jamaal Williams, BYU, scored four TDs in 41-17 victory over Georgia Tech.

-Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook, ran for 212 yards and two TDs as the Seawolves blew out Presbyterian 56-17.

-Trae Heeter, Butler, rushed for 231 yards and two TDs to lead the Bulldogs over Davidson 31-20.

-Rob Hollomon, Central Connecticut State, rushed for 207 yards and three TDs in a 32-30 win over St. Francis (Pa.).

-Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois, threw four TD passes, ran for two more and had 410 total yards in a 48-34 victory over Western Michigan.

-Kain Colter, Northwestern, ran for 166 yards and three TDs and threw for another score in a 28-17 win over Iowa.

-David Fluellen, Toledo, ran for a career-high 228 yards and two TDs in a 25-20 win over Buffalo.

-Richard Cue, South Carolina State, threw for 366 yards and four TDs to different receivers in a 41-23 victory over Howard.

-Grant Enders, Towson, passed for four TDs and rushed for another in a 49-35 win over Villanova.

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MAKING A STATEMENT

Manti Te'o and No. 5 Notre Dame don't care whether people believe in them or not. They're just out to keep winning.

Everett Golson threw for 177 yards and plunged in for the decisive 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Te'o bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy with a late interception and No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 8 Oklahoma 30-13 on Saturday night to remain undefeated.

Despite winning their first seven games for the first time in a decade, the Fighting Irish came in as the underdogs but certainly didn't play like it.

Te'o, the standout linebacker who has a penchant for causing turnovers, dove when Landry Jones' pass ricocheted off Jalen Saunders and got his gloved hands under it. Kyle Brindza tacked on his third field goal soon after, and Theo Riddick added a late touchdown run as the Fighting Irish (8-0) put it away with 20 fourth-quarter points on the road.

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LATTIMORE INJURED

South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore was taken to a hospital after injuring his right knee against Tennessee.

Lattimore was running through the left side when he was struck around the knees by defensive back Eric Gordon, whipping his right leg around and slamming it against the turf. South Carolina trainers immediately rushed to his side, keeping Lattimore flat on his back as the junior running back attempted to sit up and see the injury.

He was taken off the field on a cart and went to the hospital for further evaluation, the school announced.

Lattimore missed the final six games last season after tearing ligaments in his right knee against Mississippi State.

This injury looked like it might be just as bad.

After several minutes lying on the field, Tennessee's players came out to wish Lattimore well. South Carolina's entire team followed as the crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium chanted Lattimore's name.

Lattimore's mother, Yolanda Smith, joined her son in the locker room.

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DUCKS RUNAWAY

The Oregon Ducks spent all last week saying they weren't looking past Colorado to next weekend's Pac-12 showdown at USC.

So after the second-ranked Ducks easily dispatched the Buffaloes 70-14 at Autzen Stadium, it was OK to finally talk about the Trojans.

Well, sort of. USC was still just another ``faceless opponent'' to undefeated Oregon, especially after the Trojans lost to Arizona 39-36.

Kenjon Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, while De'Anthony Thomas rushed for another score and added a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown against the overmatched Buffs. Most of Oregon's offensive starters were pulled by the midway point of the second quarter.

The Ducks (8-0, 5-0) built a 56-0 lead by halftime and their 70 points were the most they'd ever scored against a conference opponent. It was Oregon's 11th straight overall victory dating to a 38-35 loss at home to USC last season.

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NUMBERS

7-Turnovers forced by Kent State in its 35-23 win over No. 18 Rutgers.

16-Straight Big 12 losses by Kansas after Texas rallied for a 21-17 win in the closing seconds.

21-Games for the home winning streak by Wisconsin that ended with a 16-13 loss to Michigan State.

512-Yards rushing by Navy in its 56-28 rout of East Carolina.

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GEORGIA'S BIG WIN

Georgia's defense was far from soft against rival Florida.

And now the Gators are no longer undefeated and no longer in charge in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.

The 12th-ranked Bulldogs stuffed No. 3 Florida from every angle, forcing six turnovers in a 17-9 victory that left them on the cusp of the SEC championship game.

Call it the World's Largest Outdoor Turnover Party, and it gave Georgia consecutive wins in the series for the first time since 1989.

The Bulldogs can clinch the East and a spot in the conference title game with wins against Mississippi and Auburn the next two weeks.

If they play defense like they did against Florida, getting to Atlanta should be a mere formality.

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5 keys for the Caps to win Game 6 and force a decisive Game 7 against the Lightning

5 keys for the Caps to win Game 6 and force a decisive Game 7 against the Lightning

The more you look at Monday's Game 6 between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the more you realize this game is the most important game of Alex Ovechkin's career.

This is the first time Ovechkin and Co. have made it to the conference finals and it is the first time this postseason in which the Caps face elimination.

Here are the keys for the Caps to staving off elimination and forcing a Game 7:

Get off to a better start

It took Tampa Bay just 19 seconds to score in Game 5 and the score was 3-0 nothing before the Capitals really began to show any signs of life. They cannot allow the Lightning to jump all over them in the same way and take the crowd out of the game early.

With the game being in Washington, the Caps will have the crowd on their side. Use it.

The Caps have been at their best this series playing the trap, holding their own blue line and countering against Tampa Bay's aggressive defensemen leading to odd-man breaks. That's a hard gameplan to run if you're playing from behind. Scoring first would go a long way for Washington.

Stay out of the penalty box

Washington has given up six power play goals to Tampa Bay on just 15 opportunities in this series. That means the Lightning's power play is producing at a blistering rate of 40-percent. That's an insanely good power play rate and that may be putting it mildly.

So far, the penalty kill has had no answer for how to shut down a Tampa Bay unit that features Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov setting up for one-timers and being quarterbacked by Victor Hedman. That's a formidable cast.

If you can't beat it, then there's only one solution: Stay out of the box.

Despite everything that went wrong in Game 5, the one thing the Caps did right was not give up many penalties. They took only one on the night and even that one was avoidable as Brett Connolly got caught holding Brayden Point trying to get around him to get the puck.

Win the top line matchup

The Lightning have found success matching their fourth line against Ovechkin. Of his six points this series, only two of them (one goal, one assist) have come at 5-on-5. That's not good enough.

It's gut check time. The Caps need their best players to be at their best and that means Ovechkin has to win the matchup against Chris Kunitz, Cedric Paquette and Ryan Callahan. In Game 5, Tampa Bay's fourth line actually outscored Ovechkin's line in 5-on-5 play 2-0.

Washington will not win this game if the fourth line outscores Ovechkin's line. It's just that simple.

Take advantage of the power play opportunities

The Caps scored at least one power play goal in Game 1 and Game 2, both wins. They have not scored any since and have lost all three games since. They scored on three of seven opportunities in the first two games and zero of seven opportunities in the last three.

Not a coincidence.

Granted, they did not draw any penalties in Game 5, but it seems unlikely the Lightning will stay out of the box for another sixty minutes. At some point, they will take a penalty and when they do, Washington must take advantage.

Win the goalie matchup

Not much attention has been paid to Braden Holtby in this series. The Caps are not facing elimination because they have been getting bad goaltending, but when the Lightning needed Andrei Vasilevskiy to steal them a win and up his game to get them back into the series, he responded.

Vasilevskiy has been brilliant the last three games as he has turned aside 100 of the 106 shots he has faced for a .943 save percentage. For the series, Holtby has a save percentage of only .883.

Again, Washington is not down 3-2 in the series because of goaltending. Holtby has faced far fewer shots than Vasilevskiy and has been just about the only thing that has worked against Tampa Bay's lethal power play.

But as one of the team's top players, the Caps need Holtby to step up the way Vasilevskiy has. Game 6 will be about winning by any means necessary. If that means they need a hat trick from Ovechkin so be it. If that means they need Holtby to steal it for them, so be it.

Holtby has to be just as good as Vasilevskiy in Game 6, if not better, for Washington to come out on top.

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Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins dead cap situation

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USA TODAY Sports

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins dead cap situation

Cut bait. Sunk cost. Under water. 

Whatever the term might be, all industries deploy a certain phrase for wasted money. In the NFL, that term is dead cap, or the salary cap space a team must allocate for a particular player that has been cut or traded. 

In the specific case of the Redskins, the team carries more than $5.2 millon in dead cap space. Where did it come from? Who's to blame? Let's take a look.

Terrell McClain ($3.75M) - The Redskins signed McClain away from the Cowboys early in the 2017 free agency period. The move wasn't quite a disaster, but it wasn't very good. Washington gave McClain a four-year deal worth $21 million, and paid out nearly $7.5 million for the 2017 season. McClain never played well for the Redskins, started just two games and this offseason he agreed to give up a significant chunk of guaranteed money. Without that move from McClain, this cap hit would have been much worse. 

Su'a Cravens ($711k) - The money isn't as big of a loss as the talent. The Redskins selected Cravens in the second round of the 2016 Draft and he showed promise as a rookie while also dealing with injuries. In 2017, however, things fell apart as Cravens dealt with a training camp injury, discussed retiring from football and eventually found himself on the reserved/left squad list for the season. Prior to the 2018 Draft, the Redskins worked a deal to send Cravens to Denver for an additional fifth round pick as well as swapping picks. 

Kendall Fuller ($360k) - A promising young cornerback, the Redskins traded Fuller to Kansas City this offseason as part of a package to acquire QB Alex Smith. Losing Fullers stings — even head coach Jay Gruden admitted that — but Washington had to find a quarterback after the long-discussed Kirk Cousins saga veered toward, and eventually ended in, separation. 

Matt Jones ($150k) - One of the worst Redskins draft picks in the last five years, Washington reached for Jones in the third-round in 2015. As a rookie, Jones looked like a solid contributor, but in the 2016 season he developed a bad fumbling habit and found his way to the bench. From there, things got worse, as Jones ended the season on the inactive list after a squabble about playing special teams. In 2017, Jones was cut. He signed with the Colts, where he played in just five games and was cut earlier this year. This offseason, Jones signed with the Eagles.

Arie Kouandjio ($130K) - This is a weird one. Kouandjio was selected by the Redskins in 2015, and cut by the team in 2017. The dead money comes from that rookie deal. When Washington brought Kouandjio back late in the 2017 season off the Ravens' practice squad, the dead money from the rookie deal remained. Now, Kouandjio is injured and a candidate to start the 2018 season on the PUP list or maybe even the IR. 

Robert Davis ($103k) - Drafted as a sixth-rounder in 2017, Davis did not make the team leaving training camp. Even though he got signed to the practice squad, the dead money tolls from the rookie deal. 

Nate Sudfeld ($69k) - A late-round developmental prospect from the 2016 draft, Sudfeld made the team as a rookie but couldn't survive cuts in 2017. Quickly signed by the Eagles, Sudfeld ended up as the backup quarterback in Philadelphia's improbable Super Bowl run earlier this year. Dead money on the Redskins cap, but a Super Bowl ring in Philly. Strange. 

Tyler Catalina and Kevin Bowen account for about $12,000 in dead cap space as well. 

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