Top 25 college football roundup
No. 3 Georgia 41, No. 24 South Carolina 17
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm knew the third-ranked Bulldogs were built to last after their run to last season's national title game. He believes the rest of the country found that out Saturday.
Fromm threw for 194 yards and a touchdown, all three of Georgia's latest running combo scored touchdowns and the Bulldogs turned an expected Southeastern Conference showdown into a rout over South Carolina on Saturday.
"We weren't going anywhere," Fromm said. "We've worked too hard to stay where we are."
That was evident at Williams-Brice Stadium, where Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC) used dominating offense and suffocating defense to win its fourth straight over the Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1).
"We thought if we were able to run the ball and pound it early, it would take its toll," coach Kirby Smart said.
Fromm was 15-of-18 passing, including a 34-yard TD pass to Mecole Hardman. D'Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien looked every bit as effective as NFL runners Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did a year ago in leading Georgia to the College Football Playoff.
Holyfield led the way with 76 yards and a 5-yard score. Swift had a 17-yard TD run, and Herrien piled on with a 15-yard scoring burst in the third quarter as Georgia went up by 31 points. That's when many in the crowd of 83,140 began to file out in disappointment — a familiar ritual against the Bulldogs.
Cornerback Deandre Baker set the tone on defense early with an interception off a tipped ball in the opening minute that led to a quick, if unconventional, touchdown. Baker let the ball loose before crossing the goal line, but teammate Juwan Taylor picked it up and took it the final yard to complete the 56-yard play.
Baker did not initially realize he came up short. "I just hoped someone on my team picked it up," he said, smiling.
From there, Georgia's defense and run game took over — as they have so often against South Carolina. The Bulldogs outrushed South Carolina 271 yards to 54.
When South Carolina had a chance to tie it after Rashad Fenton's interception deep in Georgia territory, the Bulldogs allowed just a yard on the next four plays. They took over on downs after Bentley's fourth-down incompletion.
"That was big," Smart said. "We always talk about putting out the fire on defense after a turnover."
Georgia rarely let up. South Carolina drove 70 yards to the Bulldogs' 5 in the fourth quarter before safety J.R. Reed's end-zone interception.
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley threw for 269 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp was disappointed, especially at his team's third quarter when Georgia outscored South Carolina 21-0.
"We've got a lot of football ahead of us. The big thing you do, we've got to be technical. Starting with me," Muschamp said.
No. 2 Clemson 28, Texas A&M 26
Time after time, No. 2 Clemson missed opportunities to close out Texas A&M.
In the end, the Tigers stepped up and made the one play they had to make to secure the thrilling win.
Kelly Bryant threw for 205 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score to help Clemson escape with the victory.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond was spectacular in the second half, throwing for three touchdowns, with a 14-yard pass to Kendrick Rogers cutting the lead to 28-26 with 46 seconds left. But his big performance came up just short when the 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted in the end zone.
"At the end of the day, it came down to the two-point play, and we got the interception," coach Dabo Swinney said.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was impressed with his sophomore quarterback's performance.
"The moment was not too big for him ... his composure in the game and his decision-making was excellent," he said.
Mond finished with a career-high 430 yards passing and Rogers had 120 yards receiving and two TDs. Swinney knew Mond was going to be difficult to handle but didn't realize just how dangerous he could be.
"I was really impressed by their quarterback ... we didn't do a great job of containing him," Swinney said. "Even when we had the perfect call, we would be on the wrong shoulder, he would spin out, and next thing you know, he's throwing some dang touchdown pass in the end zone. He's a heck of a player."
Swinney said it was a shame anyone had to lose this one.
"I thought we had opportunities to really get control of the game in the first half and we didn't take advantage of it," Swinney said.
Many in the crowd of more than 104,000 chanted Fisher's name as he walked off the field after the loss. Fisher, who came to A&M from Florida State on a 10-year, $75 million contract, said he appreciated the passion of the fans, but wished it could have come after a win.
"It disappoints me that I couldn't make the call to help them win the game," he said.
Freshman Trevor Lawrence started the second half but failed to move the ball effectively and Bryant took over and led the Tigers on two touchdown drives in the last five minutes of the third quarter to extend the lead to 15 points. Swinney said he'd continue to play both quarterbacks next week, but that he was happy with Bryant's work late.
"There's no doubt that I thought Kelly there in the fourth quarter settled in," Swinney said. "He gave us the experience we needed in that moment to come out of here with a win."
Mond got the Aggies to 28-20 when he threw a 14-yard pass to Quartney Davis with about 14 minutes left.
The Aggies were driving with about two minutes left when Davis ran after making a catch and K'Von Wallace caused him to fumble the ball out of the back of the end zone for a touchback to give Clemson the ball.
"My main goal was to get it out of his hand because I knew it was a guarantee he would score if I (didn't)," Wallace said.
The call was reviewed but upheld and Fisher got in the face of one of the referees and yelled for a bit as Davis doubled over in disbelief and covered his face as he was consoled by teammates.
Clemson's vaunted defensive line, led by first-team All-America end, Clelin Ferrell and tackle Christian Wilkins and second-team All-America tackle Dexter Lawrence, helped the Tigers pile up 10 tackles for losses and four sacks.
Trevor Lawrence was 5 of 9 for 93 yards with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Diondre Overton that made it 14-3 early in the second quarter.
No. 1 Alabama 57, Arkansas State 7
Tua Tagovailoa passed for three first-quarter touchdowns and Jalen Hurts added two more before halftime for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) racked up big plays on the way to a 40-0 halftime lead while rotating the quarterbacks who battled for the job throughout the offseason. Coach Nick Saban officially announced Tagovailoa would remain the starter Monday, but both were big parts of the plan again.
Tagovailoa finished 13 of 19 for 228 yards and four TDs. He led seven drives and tossed in runs of 15 and 12 yards in the second half. Tagovailoa had TD passes of 58 yards to Jerry Jeudy, 31 to Henry Ruggs III and 41 to DeVonta Smith — all in the first quarter — and tacked on a 14-yarder to Derek Kief.
Hurts was 7 of 9 for 93 yards but did fumble at the goal line after taking a hit while airborne. Najee Harris ran for a career-high 135 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Arkansas State is 1-1.
No. 4 Ohio State 52, Rutgers 3
Dwayne Haskins Jr. threw four touchdown passes and Ohio State rolled to the 900th victory in program history.
Johnnie Dixon grabbed two of Haskins' scoring strikes, and backup quarterback Tate Martell added another touchdown pass and a 47-yard scoring run on a gray, misty afternoon. The Buckeyes, playing in their second game without suspended coach Urban Meyer, piled up 579 offensive yards.
Meyer was back conducting practices this week but will miss one more game — next week's prime-time clash with No. 16 TCU — to finish out his three-game suspension for mismanaging fired assistant coach Zach Smith, who was accused to domestic abuse and other misbehavior. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day ran the show again and had few reasons to fret, save for the 11 penalties that cost Ohio State 131 yards.
Rutgers is 1-1.
No. 5 Wisconsin 45, New Mexico 14
Jonathan Taylor ran for a career-high 253 yards and three touchdowns, and Wisconsin asserted its dominance after allowing a score on the game-opening drive.
A.J. Taylor had 134 yards receiving and a score to help the Badgers (2-0) win their 41st straight home nonconference game. That's the longest active streak in the FBS.
With the Lobos (1-1) down to third-string quarterback Sheriron Jones because of injuries, the Badgers converted two turnovers into touchdowns in a 5-minute span in the third quarter.
No. 6 Oklahoma 49, UCLA 21
Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, and Oklahoma lost star running back Rodney Anderson to a leg injury.
Anderson ran for 10 yards on the final play of the first quarter, and then got up slowly. He limped off on his own, and trainers tended to the preseason All-Big 12 pick before he headed to the locker room. He was back on the bench later, out of uniform.
Murray passed for 306 yards and ran for 69 yards for the Sooners (2-0). Thompson-Robinson completed 16 of 26 passes for 254 yards for UCLA, 0-2 under first-year coach Chip Kelly.
No. 7 Auburn 63, Alabama State 9
JaTarvious Whitlow ran for 122 yards and receiver Anthony Schwartz accounted for 117 total yards and two touchdowns to help Auburn rout Alabama State.
Starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham played only into the second quarter, with the Tigers (2-0) leading 42-0. The redshirt junior finished 6 of 11 for 113 yards with a passing and rushing score.
Stidham's backup, sophomore Malik Willis, gifted the Hornets (1-1) their first points of the night when he was sacked in the end zone on his first snap for a 4-yard safety in the second quarter. Willis directed the offense until 23-year-old freshman left-hander Cord Sandberg took the on the last play of the third quarter. Sandberg, a former minor league baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies, completed one pass for 22 yards and ran for 35 yards on three carries.
No. 8 Notre Dame 24, Ball State 16
Jalen Elliott had two interceptions that Notre Dame turned into touchdowns and the Fighting Irish held off stubborn Ball State.
The Irish, coming off an emotional 24-17 season-opening victory over Michigan, looked lackluster against the Mid-American Conference foe. The Cardinals (1-1) also played nothing like the 34½-point underdogs they were labeled in the schools' first meeting in football.
After going the entire 2017 season and last week without an interception by a safety, Elliott picked off a pair of Riley Neal's passes that the offense converted into rushing touchdowns of 31 and 1 yards by junior Tony Jones Jr. for a 21-6 lead in the third quarter.
No. 9 Washington 45, North Dakota 3
Jake Browning threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, Ty Jones had two touchdown receptions, and Washington pulled away in the second half.
The Huskies home opener was a chance to regroup after the letdown of last week's season opener loss to No. 7 Auburn. Browning was 23 of 37 passing with short TD passes to Jones and Cade Otton. Backup QB Jake Haener added a 12-yard TD pass to Jones in the fourth quarter.
John Santiago had 18 carries for 139 yards for North Dakota (1-1).
No. 10 Stanford 17, No. 17 Southern California 3
Bryce Love ran for 136 yards and a touchdown and Stanford made talented Southern California quarterback JT Daniels look like a freshman.
The Cardinal (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) got an early touchdown run by Love and then tormented Daniels much of the night, holding USC to its fewest points in this series since a shutout in 1941. Stanford took control of the game late in the second quarter with a strip sack on fourth down against Daniels that set up K.J. Costello's 9-yard touchdown pass to Colby Parkinson that gave Stanford a 14-0 lead.
Daniels made an impressive debut last week for the Trojans (1-1, 0-1) when he threw for 282 yards and a touchdown against UNLV. But duplicating that against Stanford proved far more difficult with the Cardinal using blitzes to pressure and confuse Daniels at times.
Daniels went 16 for 34 for 215 yards with interceptions on his final two passes of the night. He was forced to leave the game for one possession in the first half after a hard hit by Joey Alfieri.
No. 11 LSU 31, SE Louisiana 0
Joe Burrow passed for two touchdowns and ran for a short score, and LSU rode an opportunistic defensive performance.
Running back Nick Brossette was LSU's most productive player on offense, rushing for a career-high 137 yards on 19 carries, including a 42-yard scamper.
While the result was never in doubt, LSU's offense lacked consistency and often struggled to sustain drives. The Tigers managed only one first down during their first three possessions of the second half. That could bode ill as LSU (2-0) heads into Southeastern Conference play against Auburn next week.
Southeastern (0-2), which plays in the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision, had most of the possession of the second half, but turned the ball over twice deep in LSU territory.
No. 12 Virginia Tech 62, William & Mary 17
Steven Peoples had two first-half touchdown runs, and Josh Jackson threw for a touchdown and ran for another for Virginia Tech.
Jackson went to the bench before halftime with the Hokies (2-0) up 31-7, and backup Ryan Willis led a touchdown drive on his first college series.
The FCS-level Tribe (1-1) were outgained 401-100 in the opening 30 minutes, and 71 of their yards came on a pass from Shon Mitchell to Nick Muse, setting up their lone points in the half.
No. 13 Penn State 51, Pittsburgh 6
Trace McSorley threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Penn State pulled away against sloppy Pittsburgh.
KJ Hamler ran 32 yards for a score and hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from McSorley to help Nittany Lions (2-0) bounced back from an opening-week scare against Appalachian State to beat the Panthers (1-1). McSorley finished 14 of 30 for 145 yards in the rain at soggy Heinz Field.
Penn State running back Miles Sanders ran for 118 yards, and DeAndre Thompson returned a punt 39 yards for a touchdown.
No. 14 West Virginia 52, Youngstown State 17
Will Grier threw three of his four touchdown passes to Gary Jennings to lead West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (2-0) piled up 625 total yards in winning their 15th straight home opener.
Jennings had a 33-yard TD catch in the third quarter after scores of 11 and 24 yards in the second. Grier also had a 40-yard scoring toss to Dominique Maiden in the fourth quarter. Grier completed 21 of 26 passes for 332 yards.
FCS Youngstown State (0-2) was limited to 293 total yards.
Arizona State 16, No. 15 Michigan State 13
Brandon Ruiz hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired, Manny Wilkins threw for 380 yards and a touchdown, and Arizona State rallied to beat No. 15 Michigan State.
Arizona State (2-0) got the Herm Edwards era off to a rousing start with a 49-7 rout of UTSA in its opener. The Sun Devils scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Spartans (1-1).
Wilkins hit N'Keal Harry on a tying 27-yard pass early in the fourth quarter and then orchestrated the last drive to set up Ruiz's winning kick.
Brian Lewerke, who played at nearby Pinnacle High School, threw for 314 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans, who are 1-13 in regular-season games out West.
The Sun Devils are 10-0 against Big Ten teams in Tempe.
No. 18 Mississippi State 31, Kansas State 10
Nick Fitzgerald returned from a suspension to throw two touchdown passes, Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and accounted for three scores for Mississippi State.
It was the first road win over a Power Five opponent for the Bulldogs (2-0) since 1995 against Baylor.
Fitzgerald missed the Bulldogs' bowl game last year with an injury, and then was suspended for last week's blowout of Stephen F. Austin. But after getting off to a rusty start Saturday, the dual-threat QB threw for 154 yards and ran for 159 yards rushing as the Bulldogs piled up 372 on the ground.
Kansas State dropped to 1-1.
No. 19 UCF 38, South Carolina State 0
Adrian Killins Jr. ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns to help UCF rout South Carolina State for its 15th straight victory.
Killins Jr. scored on runs of 3 and 24 yards in the first quarter. Greg McCrae rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown, and Otis Anderson added 42 yards and a touchdown as UCF (2-0) racked up 315 rushing yards.
McKenzie Milton struggled and threw three interceptions in the first half. He was 21 of 39 for 243 yards with a touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis in the third quarter.
UCF held South Carolina State (0-2) to 80 yards passing and 257 total yards.
No. 21 Michigan 49, Western Michigan 3
Shea Patterson threw three touchdown passes, one in each of the first three quarters, to help Michigan beat Western Michigan.
Patterson, the heralded transfer from Mississippi, was 12 of 17 for 125 yards. He connected for two scores to wide receivers after the position group accounted for a total of just three touchdowns last season for the Wolverines (1-1). Karan Higdon ran 140 of his 156 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter against the overmatched Broncos (0-2).
No. 22 Miami 77, Savannah State 0
Malik Rosier threw for two scores and rushed for another, N'Kosi Perry came off the bench to throw the first three touchdown passes of his collegiate career, and Miami set a school record for margin of victory.
Brevin Jordan had two touchdown catches and Lorenzo Lingard ran for two scores for Miami (1-1), which set a school record by winning its 12th consecutive home opener. The previous record for victory margin was 70 — set against Savannah State in 2013. The 77 points scored also tied a school record.
It was Miami's first shutout since blanking Bethune-Cookman in 2015 and the first shutout for defensive coordinator Manny Diaz in exactly six years. Diaz was at Texas when the Longhorns blanked New Mexico on Sept. 8, 2012. Savannah State (0-2) has played Miami twice, losing those matchups by a combined 154-7 score. The Tigers are dropping from the FCS level to Division II next season.
No. 23 Oregon 62, Portland State 14
Justin Herbert threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns for Oregon before heading to the bench in the third quarter.
Herbert was 20 of 26 passes and had 10 total touchdowns — nine passing and one on the ground — in the Ducks' two opening victories. The have won 22nd straight nonconference games.
Portland State (0-2) has lost 15 in a row dating to 2016.
Stories that may interest you
Dan Mullen made a big leap in his second season at Mississippi State, but his Florida team doesn't have quite so much room to grow
Oklahoma's streak of four consecutive Big 12 titles coincides with Kansas finishing last each of those years