The only thing Urban Meyer lost during his first season at Ohio State was his cool — at the end of the last game. Carlos Hyde ran for...
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The only thing Urban Meyer lost during his first season at Ohio State was his cool — at the end of the last game.
Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and the fourth-ranked Buckeyes’ defense shut out No. 20 Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 win on Saturday, completing an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes.
Meyer got emotional as the final seconds ticked off, embracing his players on the sideline at a raucous Ohio Stadium. Too emotional, he said later.
“I’ve got to keep a little more composure, I guess,” he said sheepishly. “In the coaching manual, I think it’s chapter 13, it says, ‘Keep cool.’ I lost it there for a couple of minutes.”
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Well, give the guy a break.
Almost no one — up to and including Meyer — expected such a rapid turnaround for the Buckeyes, who were just 6-7 last season with a loss to their archrivals in a transitional year when they were facing heavy NCAA penalties. A month after Meyer took the job last November, they were socked with a bowl ban after this season — and still ran the table.
“You get all the wins you can, especially against the Team Up North, especially at home on top of that,” said exuberant Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller.
Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is ineligible for a BCS national title but still has an outside shot at finishing No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 if other contenders lose. Michigan (8-4, 6-2) will now await a minor bowl bid.
Other Top 25 games
At No. 2 Alabama 49, Auburn 0
AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years.
The Crimson Tide (10-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) clinched the Western Division title outright and a spot in the conference title game against No. 3 Georgia with the winner likely getting a national championship shot.
None of that will come as easily as this one. Auburn (3-9, 0-8) completed the worst season for any team within two years of winning an Associated Press national title in what might have been the last game for embattled coach Gene Chizik.
The biggest Iron Bowl margin was Alabama’s 55-0 victory in 1948.
At No. 3 Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10
Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs, and Georgia stayed right in the thick of the national championship race.
The Bulldogs (11-1) extended the domination of the Yellow Jackets, beating their state rival for the 11th time in 12 meetings. This one was a laugher from the start as the home team scored just over a minute into the game, built a 28-3 halftime lead and was up 42-3 before Georgia Tech (6-6) scored its lone TD.
Georgia will face No. 2 Alabama for the Southeastern Conference championship next Saturday. The winner of that contest will likely play in the BCS title game on Jan. 7.
At No. 9 Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29
Johnny Manziel threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores as Texas A&M smashed Missouri.
The Aggies (10-2, 6-2 SEC) scored touchdowns on their first six drives to build a 42-7 halftime lead and coast to their first 10-win season since 1998.
About the only drama in this one came when Manziel, the Heisman Trophy hopeful, was shaken up on a tackle at the end of a run in the first quarter.
But Johnny Football missed just four plays before returning with a brace on his left knee. And it didn’t seem to slow him down one bit.
At No. 14 Oklahoma 51,
No. 22 Oklahoma State 48
Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns, and Brennan Clay scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to lift Oklahoma.
The Sooners (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) never led during regulation, overcoming double-digit deficits in both halves. Backup quarterback Blake Bell tied it with 4 seconds left on a 4-yard keeper on fourth-and-one.
Joseph Randle ran for 113 yards and matched his career-high with four touchdowns for Oklahoma State (7-4, 5-3), which settled for Quinn Sharp’s 26-yard field goal in overtime.
On the Sooners’ second play, Clay got through traffic at the line of scrimmage and then broke through attempted tackles by Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary to score the game winner and set off a celebration on Owen Field.
• Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement released by the university that John L. Smith will not return next season as the Razorbacks’ coach. Long met with the interim coach a day after the Razorbacks’ season-ending 20-13 loss to LSU and told him the school “would be making a change in leadership within our program.”
• Another seizure for Jerry Kill kept the Minnesota coach off the sideline for the second half of the game against Michigan State. Kill’s latest episode occurred in the locker room at halftime as the team was returning to the field, the third such game-day occurrence in his second season at the school.