Keselowski takes Chase opener, points lead
JOLIET, Ill. — Brad Keselowski began the season with a bit of goofiness, posting on Twitter during a red-flag stoppage at the Daytona 500.
He’s ending the year with a far more serious pursuit — for his first Sprint Cup championship.
Keselowski is off to a fine start after an impressive victory over Jimmie Johnson on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. In the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the 28-year-old Keselowski outlasted Johnson for the first Chase win of his career. Keselowski also took over the lead in the points standings for the first time.
“There’s no better place to start than in the lead, right?” Keselowski said. “It feels like Round One of a heavyweight title bout. It’s a 10-round bout, and Week One’s done. We might have won the round, but didn’t by any means knock ‘em out.”
Keselowski and his No. 2 Dodge got ahead of Johnson after a crucial pit cycle with about 35 laps remaining and led the final 26 laps in the 400-mile race. Johnson finished 3.171 seconds behind, and he said he thought Keselowski crossed a restraining line too early when exiting after that pit stop near the end.
The incident was reviewed and there was no infraction called, and Johnson never made much of a run at catching Keselowski during the final laps.
Late TD, pick lift No. 12 Ohio State, 35-28
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s been 40 years since California and Ohio State met on a field. They had enough excitement in one game to make up for that long wait.
Braxton Miller lofted a 72-yard touchdown pass to an all-alone Devin Smith with 3:26 left and Christian Bryant snuffed out the Golden Bears’ last chance with an interception to power the 12th-ranked Buckeyes to a 35-28 win on Saturday.
The Golden Bears (1-2) missed three field goals and had a touchdown called back by a penalty, while the Buckeyes (3-0) gave up 512 yards and were manhandled for much of the second half.
No. 21 Stanford upsets No. 2 USC, 21-14
STANFORD, Calif. — Even without Andrew Luck, Stanford still had every answer for Matt Barkley and Southern California.
Josh Nunes threw a go-ahead 37-yard touchdown to Zach Ertz, Stepfan Taylor ran for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns, and No. 21 Stanford upset second-ranked USC 21-14 on Saturday night for its fourth straight win in this series.
Heisman Trophy hopeful Matt Barkley threw for 254 yards and two interceptions while completing only 20 of 41 passes. He was sacked twice on the final drive for the Trojans (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) and threw out of bounds on a final, desperate heave on fourth-and-39 from USC’s 25-yard line.
Coming out of a two-year bowl ban, USC had national title hopes. Now the Trojans will have to climb out of a hole to get there.
— Associated Press
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