COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — C.J. Verdell ran for 161 yards and had three touchdowns as shorthanded No. 12 Oregon exploited a porous Ohio State defense, handing the No. 3 Buckeyes their first regular-season loss in nearly three years, 35-28 on Saturday.
Ohio State (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten) never led despite being more than a two touchdown favorite and gaudy numbers from freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud. Its front seven struggled to contain Verdell, control the edge and get after Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown in front.
The Ducks (2-0, 2-0 Pac-12) were without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and linebacker Justin Flowe.
The Buckeyes had a chance to tie it late after pulling within a touchdown with 7:55 left. But when they got the ball again, Stroud, who passed for 472 yards and three touchdowns, took his first sack of the day and was intercepted by Verone McKinley III on a desperation sideline pass on third-and-18 at the Oregon 35 with 2:50 to go in front of a stunned crowd of more than 100,000.
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Stroud, in his second start, passed for the second-most yards in Ohio State history, coming up 15 short of Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s 499 against Northwestern in 2018. He was 33 for 54 and connected for two touchdowns with Jaxson Smith-Njigba and another with Garrett Wilson.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 48, MERCER 14
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Young threw three touchdown passes and Jase McClellan scored three times in Alabama’s rout of FCS Mercer.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) started sluggishly on offense in what amounted to a warmup game before the Southeastern Conference opener at No. 13 Florida, but potentially more notably had star linebacker Will Anderson Jr. leave with an apparent right leg injury.
Young completed 19 of 27 passes for 227 yards after coming out slow in just his second game as ’Bama’s starter. Freshman JoJo Earle had seven catches for 85 yards and also had a 29-yard punt return.
Mercer (1-1) quarterback Fred Payton did burn Alabama for two big plays to wide-open receivers in the second half, a 60-yard touchdown to Devron Harper and a 22-yarder to Ty James in the third quarter.
NO. 2 GEORGIA 56, UAB 7
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Stetson Bennett tied a school record with five touchdown passes filling in for injured starter JT Daniels, leading the Bulldogs in the rout.
Bennett completed his first six passes — four of them going all the way to the end zone for the Bulldogs (2-0), who didn’t show any signs of a letdown despite the absence of their No. 1 quarterback.
Jermaine Burton slipped behind the secondary to haul in a 73-yard TD from Bennett on Georgia’s second offensive play. By the opening minute of the second quarter, Bennett tacked on scoring passes of 12 yards to Kenny McIntosh, 89 yards to Brock Bowers and 61 yards to Arian Smith.
Bennett went 10 of 12 passing for 288 yards and became the sixth Georgia quarterback to pass for five touchdowns in a game.
UAB was held to 174 yards overall. Tyler Johnston III completed just 6 of 14 for 39 yards with three interceptions. The Blazers (1-1) avoided a shutout when Keondre Swoopes picked off a pass from Beck and returned it 61 yards for a score.
NO. 4 OKLAHOMA 76, WESTERN CAROLINA 0
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Rattler threw five touchdown passes, and Oklahoma matched its fifth-highest point total in school history.
The Sooners led 62-0 after three quarters, and the fourth quarter was shortened to 12 minutes.
Rattler completed 20 of 26 passes for 243 yards before resting in the second half of Oklahoma’s 10th straight victory. He joined Jason White as the only Sooners to pass for five touchdowns in a half.
Jadon Haselwood caught two touchdown passes and Jaden Knowles had 102 yards from scrimmage and ran for two touchdowns for the Sooners (2-0). Gabe Brkic kicked a 56-yard field goal in the first half, his fourth of 50 or more yards in the first two games.
Rogan Wells completed 16 of 29 passes for 86 yards for Western Carolina (0-2), a Championship Subdivision program that fell to 0-60 all time against Bowl Subdivision teams. The Catamounts were held to 178 yards, including 55 rushing.
NO. 5 TEXAS A&M 10, COLORADO 7
DENVER (AP) — Sophomore backup quarterback Zach Calzada threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Spiller with 2:41 remaining and Texas A&M edged Colorado.
Spiller’s TD gave the Aggies (2-0) their first lead in a game in which they lost freshman QB Haynes King to a lower right leg injury and eight of their first nine drives were three-and-outs.
Colorado’s hopes of an upset over the 17-point favorite Aggies ended when Brendon Lewis’ pass to Dimitri Stanley on fourth-and-13 from his 22 covered just 12 yards.
The Aggies (2-0), whose 10-game winning streak is second-longest in the nation to Alabama, ran out the clock on the Buffs (1-1), who managed just one first down after taking a 7-3 halftime lead.
The Buffs lost their best rusher, Jarek Broussard, to an unspecified injury midway through the third quarter.
NO. 6 CLEMSON 49, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 3
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — D.J. Uiagalelei ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third as Clemson cranked up its offense after a sorry showing in a loss to second-ranked Georgia a week earlier.
Uiagalelei and the Tigers (1-1) had touchdowns on all four of their first-quarter possessions and pulled away for their 36th straight win over teams from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Uiagalelei went 14 of 24 for 171 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for scores of 4 and 5 yards.
Will Shipley, a freshman, had a team high 80 yards and touchdown runs of 7 and 13 yards. Kobe Pace had 68 yards rushing, including a 1-yard scoring rush.
Dyson Roberts kicked a 27-year field goal for the Tigers (0-2), who were held to 123 yards and four first downs the first two quarters.
NO. 7 CINCINNATI 42, MURRAY STATE 7
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jerome Ford rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns, Desmond Ridder passed for 243 yards and two TDs, and Cincinnati scored on four of its first five possessions in the second half.
The Bearcats (2-0) were heavy favorites coming in, but the Racers (1-1) outgained them 190-83 in the first half and led 7-0 in the second quarter. The score was tied at halftime.
Racers QB Preston Rice completed his first five passes but was intercepted in the end zone by Ja’Von Hicks on his sixth attempt. He threw two more interceptions in the first half.
Rice scored on a sneak early in the second quarter to put the Racers ahead 7-0. Josh Whyle caught a 2-yeard TD pass on fourth-and-goal to tie the score.
The Bearcats drove 75 yards on 10 plays on the opening possession of the second half. Ford’s 13-yard TD run gave them a 14-7 lead. Ford added an 8-yard scoring run later in the third quarter, and Ridder’s 23-yard TD pass to Tyler Scott put the game away in the fourth. Scott had four catches for 74 yards.
NO. 8 NOTRE DAME 32, TOLEDO 29
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jack Coan hit Michael Mayer for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 remaining for the third lead change in a wild fourth quarter and Notre Dame held off determined Toledo.
The victory preserved a 25-game home winning streak for Notre Dame (2-0, 1-0 independent) and came after Toledo (1-1, 0-1 MAC) had taken a 29-24 lead on freshman quarterback Dequan Finn’s 26-yard bootleg TD run with 1:35 remaining. Finn split playing time with sophomore Carter Bradley, who threw for 213 yards.
Coan shared playing time with true freshman Tyler Buchner. He directed the three-play, 75-yard scoring drive, which took just 26 seconds with the aid of two Toledo penalties.
Despite being sacked six times, intercepted once by Chris McDonald for a touchdown and fumbling the ball away on another drive, Coan threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns, both to Mayer. Buchner rushed for 68 yards on seven carries and was 3-for-3 passing for 68 yards, including a 55-yard TD pass to Chris Tyree.
NO. 10 IOWA 27, NO. 9 IOWA STATE 17
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Jack Campbell returned a fumble 6 yards for a touchdown and Iowa ran its winning streak against Iowa State to six games with a victory that ruined the most-anticipated home game in Cyclones history.
In the first Cy-Hawk Trophy game matching ranked teams in 65 total meetings, the Hawkeyes (2-0) were not about to play the foil for Iowa State’s feel-good story.
Iowa turned four takeaways into 20 points, ran its overall winning streak to eight games and its winning streak against ranked teams to five. Iowa has not won that many in a row against ranked opponents since 1960.
Matt Hankins had two of Iowa’s three interceptions against Brock Purdy, who was benched for Hunter Dekkers early in the fourth quarter.
Spencer Petras threw a pretty 26-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Jones and Tyler Goodson had a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes managed just 173 yards, but it was good enough.
NO. 11 PENN STATE 44, BALL STATE 13
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Sean Clifford completed 21 of 29 passes for 230 yards, ran for a touchdown and threw for another as Penn State won its sixth straight game dating to last season.
Running back Noah Cain added a rushing touchdown and wide receiver Jahan Dotson added another, linebacker Jesse Luketa returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown and Jordan Stout kicked three field goals for the Nittany Lions (2-0).
Backup quarterback Ta-Quan Roberson added a 23-yard touchdown pass to Theo Johnson.
Ball State (1-1) quarterback Drew Plitt completed 25 of 39 passes for 176 yards with two interceptions. He was replaced by John Paddock in the fourth quarter.
NO. 13 FLORIDA 42, SOUTH FLORIDA 20
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida tuned up for Southeastern Conference play with a rout of the overmatched Bulls. The win did little to answer the question of whether starter Emory Jones or backup Anthony Richardson is best suited to run the Gators offense.
The quarterbacks shared playing time for the second straight week for Florida (2-0).
Jones threw a 35-yard TD pass to Xzavier Henderson and scored on a 33-yard run on the way to a 35-3 halftime lead.
Richardson completed his first two attempts to Jacob Copeland on scoring plays of 75 and 41 yards before halftime. He finished 3 of 3 for 152 yards,
The Bulls (0-2), who have won only one of their last 15 games, allowed touchdowns on five consecutive possessions after producing a three-and-out to start the game.
STANFORD 42, NO. 14 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 28
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tanner McKee passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another score in his first collegiate start, and Stanford rebounded from a season-opening loss by knocking off USC.
Nathaniel Peat had an 87-yard touchdown run while racking up a career-high 115 yards, and Kyu Blu Kelly returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in a surprising rout for the Cardinal (1-1, 1-0 Pac-12).
McKee went 16 of 23 for 234 yards while seizing his chance to start after outplaying Jack West in the opener. McKee hit Elijah Higgins and Brycen Tremayne for TDs as Stanford rolled to a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter of its ninth victory over USC in the California rivals’ last 14 meetings.
Kedon Slovis passed for 223 yards, and Keaontay Ingram and Darwin Barlow rushed for TDs as the Trojans’ (1-1, 0-1) nine-game regular season winning streak ended with a thud.
ARKANSAS 40, NO. 15 TEXAS 21
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas piled up 333 rushing yards and got touchdowns from four players on the ground while its defense stuffed Texas.
Dominique Johnson scored from 5 yards in the second quarter, Trelon Smith from 1, and Raheim Sanders from 26 in the third and AJ Green from 30 in the fourth as the Razorbacks (2-0) racked up its most rushing yards since 2016, their last winning season.
Texas (1-1) trailed 16-0 at the half, but a touchdown after an interception in Arkansas territory on the Razorbacks’ first drive of the third quarter provided a temporary burst.
The Longhorns’ 256 yards of total offense are its lowest since 2015.
Texas quarterback Hudson Card was replaced by Casey Thompson on the final drive of the third quarter. Thompson led the Longhorns on two touchdown drives, both on his own rushes. Arkansas followed with Green’s touchdown. Thompson finished 5 of 8 for 57 yards and added 44 on the ground on seven carries.
Arkansas freshman kicker Cam Little went 4 for 4 on field goals of 24, 24, 44 and 22 yards.
NO. 18 WISCONSIN
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Chez Mellusi ran for 144 yards and a touchdown, leading Wisconsin past Eastern Michigan.
Wisconsin (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) piled up 352 rushing yards and also dominated on defense against Eastern Michigan (0-2), which had 92 total yards on offense. The Eagles had three first downs.
Mellusi, a Clemson transfer, became the first Wisconsin running back to record consecutive 100-yard rushing games in his first two contests since Corey Clement in 2013.
The Badgers had breakout performances from Isaac Guerendo and Jalen Berger. Berger, who missed the opener, had 15 carries for 62 yards and one TD.
Guerendo got to the edge and ran 82 yards for his first career touchdown that increased Wisconsin’s lead to 24-0 with 4:40 left in the first half. Guerendo, a junior, posted the eighth-longest TD run in program history.
The lone highlight for Eastern Michigan was a 98-yard interception return for a TD in the fourth quarter by freshman defensive back David Carter, who picked off Badgers reserve quarterback Chase Wolf.
NO. 19 VIRGINIA TECH 35, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 14
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Raheem Blackshear rushed for two touchdowns and the Hokies scored on their first three possessions of the second half.
Blackshear had two straight short TD runs in the spurt for the Hokies (2-0), who broke open the game when Jalen Holston scored on a 29-yard run for a 21-7 lead.
Braxton Burmeister threw for 142 yards and a score for Virginia Tech.
Bailey Hockman threw for 207 yards and a score to lead the Blue Raiders (1-1).
NO. 20 MISSISSIPPI 54, AUSTIN PEAY 17
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Matt Corral threw for five touchdowns – four in the first half – as Mississippi routed FCS member Austin Peay.
Ole Miss (2-0) added a defensive touchdown on a strip sack and 33-yard fumble return from defensive end Sam Williams and a safety from the special teams to build a 37-0 lead over the Ohio Valley Conference Governors (1-1).
Corral finished 21 of 33 for 281 yards. Dontario Drummond and Jonathan Mingo had two touchdown receptions apiece, covering 1, 49, 15 and 40 yards, respectively. Braylon Sanders added an 11-yard touchdown reception before Caden Costa closed the scoring with a 26-yard field goal. The Rebels finished with 631 yards of total offense.
Draylen Ellis was 22 of 41 for yards for Austin Peay, including a 30-yard touchdown to Baniko Harley. The Governors had 404 yards to total offense.
BYU 26, NO. 21 UTAH 17
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Jaren Hall threw three touchdown passes and totaled 241 yards of offense, helping BYU topple Utah.
Tyler Allgeier added 97 yards on 27 carries as the Cougars snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Utes. It was BYU’s first victory over their rivals since 2009.
BYU ran for 219 yards, becoming the first team to gain at least 200 rushing yards against Utah since Texas also rushed for 231 yards in the 2019 Alamo Bowl.
Micah Bernard ran for 146 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries to lead Utah. Charlie Brewer threw for 147 yards and a touchdown for the Utes, who trailed the entire game.
NO. 22 MIAMI 25, APPALACHIAN STATE 23
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — D’Eriq King threw for 200 yards and rushed for 67 more, freshman Andy Borregales kicked a go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 2:04 remaining and Miami rallied from a halftime deficit.
Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown for Miami (1-1), and Don Chaney Jr. had a rushing score before leaving in the first half with a leg injury. King led a 10-play, 55-yard drive in the fourth that set up Borregales for what became the winning points.
Jalen Virgil had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Camerun Peoples had 95 rushing yards and a score for the Mountaineers (1-1), who took a 23-22 lead with 5:48 left when Malik Williams caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Chase Brice.
But Appalachian State’s last chance stalled near midfield, and Miami got the ball back with 55 seconds left and ran out the clock.
Brice completed 21 of 34 passes for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
NO. 23 ARIZONA STATE 37, UNLV 10
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Quarterback Jayden Daniels ran for a career-high 122 yards, Rachaad White added two rushing touchdowns and Arizona State eventually pulled away from UNLV.
White had 90 yards on the ground and scored a crucial 9-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to give Arizona State a 21-10 lead. He added a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth.
Daniels was 20 of 29 passing for 175 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Jacob Brumfield threw for 60 yards and ran for a touchdown for UNLV, which hasn’t won a game since the 2019 season.
NO. 24 NORTH CAROLINA 59, GEORGIA STATE 17
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Sam Howell threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two more scores as the Tar Heels shook off the disappointment a loss in its opener with a rout of Georgia State.
Howell played a role in four of the Tar Heels’ first six touchdowns. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 352 yards without an interception.
Howell’s touchdown runs came on a 22-yard scramble for the game’s first points, and on the junior’s career-long 62-yard run in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Georgia State (0-2) was held to 90 passing yards. Quarterback Cornelious Brown IV was12 for 26 for 68 yards.
Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler, Antoine Green, Emery Simmons and Josh Downs scored for North Carolina (1-1).
Georgia State’s scoring drive in the second quarter lasted 17 plays and 7½ minutes, covering 75 yards capped by Brown’s 4-yard run.
No. 25 AUBURN 62, ALABAMA ST. 0
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Demetris Robertson scored three touchdowns and Jarquez Hunter rushed for 147 yards as the Tigers raced past their overmatched FCS foe.
Auburn (2-0) was held to just one offensive touchdown and fewer than 200 yards in the first half before erupting for 35 points in the third quarter against the Hornets (1-1).
Robertson had three catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns and added a 36-yard touchdown run on a sweep in the third. Hunter, a freshman, broke the Auburn record for longest run with a 94-yard touchdown later in the quarter.
The Tigers also blocked a punt and returned a blocked field goal for a TD.
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