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College football: No. 2 Notre Dame tops No. 19 North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ian Book kept No. 2 Notre Dame’s offense moving while the Fighting Irish defense locked down Sam Howell and No. 19 North Carolina’s potent offense for the final three quarters in a 31-17 victory Friday.

Book threw for 279 yards and a score and rushed for 48 yards for the Fighting Irish (9-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 2 College Football Playoff), using his mobility and elusiveness to keep plays alive on a night when both offenses frequently faced long fields.

Wide receiver Ben Skowronek got Notre Dame its first lead with his 13-yard run around the right side midway through the third quarter. Kyren Williams ran for 124 yards — including a 47-yarder with about 5½ minutes left as the Irish burned clock and sealed the game.

Williams closed that drive with his second rushing touchdown, a clinching one-yarder with 1:20 left that kept the Fighting Irish alone atop the ACC standings ahead of No. 3 Clemson and No. 10 Miami.

More impressively, though, was a defensive effort that forced Howell and the high-scoring Tar Heels to work for every gain after the opening quarter.

North Carolina (6-3, 6-3) sprinted to touchdowns on its first two drives, but Notre Dame surrendered only one field goal from there. The Tar Heels came in averaging 43 points and 563 yards, yet they were unable to buy time for Howell to push downfield for big gains or open running lanes for a pair of backs averaging better than 100 yards rushing each in Javonte Williams and Michael Carter.

By the end, North Carolina had finished with a season-low 298 yards while Howell — one of the national leaders in passing yardage and touchdowns — threw for just 211 yards and a score. He also ran for a touchdown.

No. 13 Iowa State 23, No. 17 Texas 20

Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates the team's win over Texas on Nov. 27, 2020, in Austin, Texas.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates the Cyclones’ win at Texas.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

AUSTIN, Texas — Breece Hall scored on a three-yard run with 1:25 remaining, and Iowa State held off last-minute drive by Sam Ehlinger and Texas to remain in first place in the Big 12.

After the Cyclones sacked Ehlinger on third down, the Longhorns’ Cameron Dicker barely missed left with a 58-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

Iowa State (7-2, 7-1) has almost locked up a spot in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.

Hall gained 91 yards in 20 carries, his first game under 100 this season, but had 30 on the final 69-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Brock Purdy connected with tight ends Charlie Kolar and Dylan Soehner for the other 39 yards.

Iowa State trailed 20-16 early in the fourth quarter after a bad two-play sequence for Texas (5-3, 4-3) helped the Cyclones get a field goal by Connor Assalley.

First, the Longhorns came up three yards short throwing the ball on a fake punt on fourth and eight. Then Purdy found Kolar for 44 yards. A holding penalty by the Cyclones forced them to settle for the Assalley’s field goal to make it 20-16.

Texas also was stopped inches short on a fourth and two at the Iowa State 13 with 8:05 left in the fourth quarter when a field goal would have made it a seven-point game.

Purdy completed 25 of 36 for 312 yards and one touchdown. Kolar made six receptions for 131.

Ehlinger was 17 for 29 for 298 yards and one touchdown in what could be his final home game for the Longhorns. Ehlinger and Brennan Eagles set up touchdowns in the first and third quarters, connecting for 59 and 45 yards.

No. 24 Iowa 26, Nebraska 20

Iowa running back Tyler Goodson tries to elude Nebraska safety Marquel Dismuke on Nov. 27, 2020.

Iowa running back Tyler Goodson tries to elude Nebraska safety Marquel Dismuke.

(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Tyler Goodson ran for 87 of his 111 yards in the second half and Zach VanValkenburg recovered Adrian Martinez’s late fumble to secure Iowa’s win over Nebraska.

The Hawkeyes (4-2, 4-2 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to four games and have beaten the Cornhuskers (1-4, 1-4) six years in a row.

Iowa was looking to add to its six-point lead when Keith Duncan’s 51-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the cross bar with 2:02 left. The Cornhuskers then drove from their 32-yard line to the Hawkeyes’ 39 before Martinez fumbled under pressure. Iowa ran out the last 1:18.

Spencer Petras completed 18 of 30 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

Martinez, back as the starter after two games, was 18 for 20 for 174 yards. He also ran for 28 yards and a score.

Ohio State’s Ryan Day positive for COVID-19

Ohio State coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be with the Buckeyes if they play at Illinois on Saturday.

Ohio State said Friday it had an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests in the program this week. The game against the Illini was still on, but the Buckeyes were not traveling Friday as originally scheduled.

Ohio State said it planned to do a second round of testing Friday before flying to Champaign, Ill., on Saturday ahead of the game scheduled for noon EST.

Buckeyes assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson will act as interim coach with Day unavailable.

“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

Ohio State did not specify how how many cases of COVID-19 it has in its football program, but the school did say the team had not reached the threshold to have to cancel its game.

The Buckeyes (4-0) already have had one Big Ten game canceled because of an outbreak at Maryland and have three left on the schedule, including at Illinois.

The Big Ten started its season the weekend of Oct. 24 and scheduled no open dates for makeups in its eight-week, regular-season schedule.

Day’s positive tests means the Nos. 1 and 3 teams in the country would be playing without their coaches Saturday.

Earlier this week, Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive and displayed mild symptoms. Saban will miss the Crimson Tide’s Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Day is the 19th major-college football coach this year to publicly acknowledge testing positive for the virus. Among the others to miss games were Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Florida State’s Mike Norvell and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman.

After having to reschedule two games this week because of COVID-19 issues, the Southeastern Conference announced a series of scheduling moves to make up games Dec. 5 that had been previously postponed, including Alabama at Louisiana State.

The Tide and Tigers were scheduled to play Nov. 14, but LSU could not because of a lack of players available due to COVID-19.

Arkansas at Missouri will also be made up Dec. 5. The Razorbacks were forced to postponed their game with the Tigers this week, and Missouri instead was scheduled to play a makeup game with Vanderbilt.

Alabama at Arkansas, Mississippi at LSU and Missouri at Mississippi State still need to be rescheduled.

Alabama at Arkansas could be played Dec. 12, the week before the SEC championship game.

LSU already has a game with Florida scheduled for Dec. 12, but it could play Ole Miss on the day of the SEC championship game, which the conference is using to make up regular-season games not involving the division winners.

Across college football, 14 games were postponed or canceled this week.

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