TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – AJ McCarron passed for 219 yards and matched his career high with four touchdown passes to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 35-0 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday.
McCarron had two scoring tosses apiece to Christion Jones and Kevin Norwood in a performance that was more about big plays than consistent, muscle-flexing dominance for the top-ranked Crimson Tide (2-0). The Hilltoppers (1-1) were 40-point underdogs and the sandwich opponent between top 10 opponents Michigan and No. 8 Arkansas.
A running game that produced 232 yards against the Wolverines took a back seat to McCarron and the capitalistic offense. McCarron completed 14 of 19 passes and played all but the final series.
Norwood caught three passes for 92 yards.
Kawaun Jakes competed 20 of 31 passes for 178 yards for the Hilltoppers, who also played LSU last season.
NO. 2 Southern California 42, Syracuse 29
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Matt Barkley matched a school record with six touchdown passes, and Robert Woods was spectacular with 200 all-purpose yards and two scores.
The rare trip to the Northeast for the Trojans was choppy at times, and Syracuse's hurry-up offense kept USC working hard for four quarters at MetLife Stadium, the home of the Giants and Jets.
Led by Ryan Nassib, Syracuse kept things close with consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 21-16 heading into the fourth. Nassib finished with 322 yards passing, two touchdown passes and a touchdown run.
But the Orange simply had no answer for Woods.
The All-American reached over a defender for a 29-yard score in the second quarter and boxed out a defensive back on a 4-yard touchdown in the third. He finished with 10 catches for 93 yards.
No. 3 LSU 41, Washington 3
BATON ROUGE, La. – Alfred Blue’s explosive runs were tough for Washington to handle.
The rest of LSU’s running backs made it a really long night for the overmatched Huskies.
Blue rushed for 101 yards, including a 21-yard score, and the Tigers racked up 242 yards on the ground.
Kenny Hilliard added a pair of short touchdowns, and fullback J.C. Copeland pounded through the pile for another score for LSU (2-0), which basically ran at will while averaging nearly 5 yards per carry.
Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger was 12 of 18 for 195 yards, including a 32-yard scoring pass to Kadron Boone. James Wright caught five passes for 75 yards.
Keith Price was 17 of 36 for 157 yards for the Huskies (1-1). Normally a good scrambler, Price had trouble with LSU’s speedy defenders, who sacked him four times and intercepted him once.
LSU has won 39 in a row against non-conference opponents in the regular season, tying a Football Bowl Subdivision record first set by Kansas State.
No. 4 Oregon 42, Fresno State 25
EUGENE, Ore. – Kenjon Barner ran for 201 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Ducks to victory over Fresno State.
De’Anthony Thomas ran for 102 yards and two additional scores for the Ducks (2-0), who sprinted to a 35-6 lead in the first half before the Bulldogs were able to slow them a bit in the second. Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 19 of 27 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Derek Carr, the younger brother of former Bulldogs QB David Carr, completed 29 of 47 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown for Fresno State (1-1), a new member of the Mountain West Conference this season. Quentin Breshears kicked four field goals, including one from 43 yards.
No. 5 Florida State 55, Savannah State 0
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – EJ Manuel passed for three touchdowns in the opening seven minutes and sixth-ranked Florida State’s defense held lower-division Savannah State to 28 yards in a game called in the third quarter because of lightning.
The Seminoles bolted to a 35-0 lead in the first quarter as Manuel completed 11 of 13 passes for 161 yards and five different Seminoles scored touchdowns. Manuel didn’t play after the opening quarter.
Florida State (2-0) led 48-0 at halftime and finished with 413 yards. James Wilder Jr. and Kelvin Benjamin each scored two touchdowns.
Savannah State (0-2), a Football Championship Subdivision school, has been outscored by a combined 139-0 in its first two games this season. It was beaten 84-0 at Oklahoma State last week and came into the Florida State game as 70½ point underdogs.
No. 6 Oklahoma 69, Florida A&M 13
NORMAN, Okla. – Damien Williams ran for 156 yards and four touchdowns in a record-setting Owen Field debut, Kenny Stills added 120 yards receiving and a score, and No. 5 Oklahoma beat Florida A&M.
Williams’ rushing total was the most for a player in his first game at the Sooners’ home field, and he became only the fourth player at the school to eclipse 100 yards rushing in each of his first two games. Adrian Peterson was the last to do it in 2004.
Landry Jones threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for the Sooners (2-0), who had dropped a spot in the rankings after an unimpressive 24-7 victory in their opener at UTEP.
Travis Harvey caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Damien Fleming and finished with 118 yards receiving for Florida A&M (0-2) of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Chase Varnadore hit field goals from 41 and 46 yards for the Rattlers, who fell to 0-14 against FBS foes since beating Miami in 1979.
No. 7 Georgia 41, Missouri 20
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Aaron Murray hit Marlon Brown for two of his three touchdown passes, the second for the go-ahead score as No. 7 Georgia recovered from a shaky start with 32 second-half points that spoiled Missouri’s SEC debut.
The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0) trailed 17-9 early in the third quarter before turning Missouri’s SEC debut into an unsatisfying initiation for the Tigers (1-1, 0-1) and a sellout crowd of 71,004 clad mostly in yellow and waving yellow pom-poms.
Up by 21 points with the clock winding down, Georgia’s fan contingent, mostly concentrated in one corner of the end zone, chanted “Old Man Football! Old Man Football!” That was in reference to comments by excitable Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who said he turned off the TV last week during Georgia’s opening victory over Buffalo because he was unimpressed with the Bulldogs’ no-frills style of play.
Brown had eight catches for 106 yards with an 11-yard score that put Georgia ahead for good at 24-20 late in the third quarter. A pair of big plays by linebacker Jarvis Jones helped put it away.
Jones returned an interception to the 1 midway through the fourth quarter to set up a score by Todd Gurley, then just three plays later, he forced a fumble on a sack that gave Georgia possession at the 5 and set up a 6-yard scoring run by Ken Malcome.
Louisiana-Monroe 34, No. 8 Arkansas 31
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Kolton Browning made the most of his return to Arkansas.
Browning’s 16-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one lifted Louisiana-Monroe to a overtime win over the No. 8 Razorbacks.
Browning accounted for 481 yards of total offense and four touchdowns to lead the Warhawks (1-0) to their first win over a Southeastern Conference team since defeating Alabama in 2007.
The junior made his first career start in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium two years ago as a freshman, a 31-7 loss by the Warhawks. He showed his maturity and then some in his return, helping Louisiana-Monroe outgain Arkansas 550-377 in total yards.
The Razorbacks (1-1) played the second half without quarterback Tyler Wilson, who suffered a head injury after taking several big hits in the first half.
Wilson, who also missed the second half against New Mexico last season with concussion-like symptoms, was 11-for-20 passing for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving the game at halftime.
NO. 9 South Carolina 48, East Carolina 10
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Dylan Thompson completed 21 of 37 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns.
Thompson started the game in place of the injured Connor Shaw, and left little doubt coach Steve Spurrier made the right choice to let Shaw rest.
Thompson's first completion was a 53-yard pass to Damiere Byrd. He finished the game averaging almost 16 yards a completion and did not throw an interception.
The rejuvenated passing game allowed Spurrier to use star running back Marcus Lattimore sparingly. He gained 40 yards on 13 carries.
East Carolina (1-1) gained 403 yards. But the Pirates turned the ball over five times, including four interceptions and a fumble in just 16 plays.
NO. 11 Michigan State 41, Central Michigan 7
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Andrew Maxwell threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and the Spartans (2-0) scored 10 points in the final minute of the first half to take a 24-0 lead.
Michigan State was playing at Central Michigan (1-1) for the first time, part of a decade-long series of games against the Chippewas, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.
Le'Veon Bell had 70 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, shouldering a lighter load after carrying 44 times for 210 yards in Michigan State's opener against Boise State.
The Spartans haven't allowed an offensive touchdown this season.
NO. 12 Clemson 52, Ball State 27.
CLEMSON, S.C. – DeAndre Hopkins caught three touchdown passes, Andre Ellington rushed for two scores, and Spencer Benton kicked a 61-yard field goal to set an Atlantic Coast Conference record.
Ellington's two short touchdown runs helped the Tigers (2-0) get off to a fast start, and Tajh Boyd found Hopkins for touchdown passes of 13, 34 and 15 yards in the second period to help increase the lead to 35-10. Benton finished the Tigers' 45-point half with his record-setting kick as time ran out.
Ball State (1-1) had hoped to use its fast-paced attack to keep up. But Keith Wenning threw two interceptions, both which led to Clemson scores.
The Tigers had 526 yards of offense, surpassing 500 for a second consecutive week. And they racked up all those yards without record-setting receiver Sammy Watkins, who is set to return after missing the first two games because of a drug arrest.
Oregon State 10, NO. 13 Wisconsin 7
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Sean Mannion threw for 276 yards and a touchdown, Oregon State's defense smothered Wisconsin's Montee Ball, and the Beavers upset the No. 13 Badgers.
Mannion connected with Brandin Cooks on a 20-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to give the Beavers a 10-0 lead, then turned it over to the Oregon State (1-0) defense that forced two turnovers and held Ball to 61 yards rushing.
The win snapped Wisconsin's 33-game non-conference winning streak, the second-longest in the country behind LSU.
Wisconsin finished with 207 yards and only 35 on the ground. It was the fewest total yards for Wisconsin in five years. The previous non-conference loss for Wisconsin (1-1) came early in the 2003 season when the Badgers lost to UNLV.
It took 41 years for a Big Ten team to visit Corvallis after Iowa was handed a 33-19 loss in 1971. With this kind of reception from the Beavers, it might be 41 more.
NO. 14 Ohio State 31, Central Florida 16.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Braxton Miller became the first Ohio State quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in 34 years and passed for another score.
A week after setting a school record for quarterbacks with 161 rushing yards in a 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio), Miller finished with 141 yards on 27 carries. His number kept coming up after starting running back Carlos Hyde left with a first-half knee injury.
Miller's scoring runs covered 37, 6 and 8 yards. He also found Jake Stoneburner on a 12-yard touchdown pass for the Buckeyes (2-0).
Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes for UCF (1-1) but also was intercepted three times.
Bortles completed 25 of 41 passes, including touchdowns of 1 yard to Justin Tukes and 2 to Billy Giovanetti. Storm Johnson, starting in place of Latavius Murray, out with a shoulder injury, rushed for 75 yards on 12 carries.
NO. 15 Virginia Tech 42, Austin Peay 7
BLACKSBURG, Va. – With the offense struggling, Virginia Tech turned to special teams for a pair of big plays.
Kyshoen Jarrett reeled off a 46-yard punt return to set up the No. 15 Hokies' first touchdown, and Tony Gregory's punt block led to their second score before Virginia Tech – playing its second game in six days after a season-opening overtime win over Georgia Tech – finally got untracked.
The Hokies (2-0), long noted for their special teams play, finally put together a 71-yard drive in the closing 1:32 of the first half. That was followed by an 80-yard scoring march on their second possession of the second half for a 28-0 lead, and the rout of an overmatched FCS opponent was on.
The Governors (0-2) responded with a six-play, 78-yard drive of their own to extend their string of consecutive games without being shut out to 75. Wes Kitts had a 32-yard run on the drive to go over 100 yards for the second consecutive week, and Terrence Oliver scored on an 8-yard run.
UCLA 36, No. 16 Nebraska 30
PASADENA, Calif. – Brett Hundley passed for 305 yards and four touchdowns in an outstanding Rose Bowl debut, Datone Jones sacked Taylor Martinez for a tiebreaking safety with 8:44 to play, and UCLA surprised No. 16 Nebraska.
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 217 yards and caught an 8-yard touchdown pass with 2:13 to play for the Bruins, who improved to 2-0 under new coach Jim Mora with an impressive offensive performance against the Cornhuskers (1-1).
Joseph Fauria caught two touchdown passes and Steven Manfro grabbed another from Hundley, the redshirt freshman who went 21 of 31 and coolly led the Bruins to 653 total yards.
After Jones’ ferocious sack put the Bruins ahead in a defense-dominated second half, Andrew Abbott intercepted a long pass by Martinez and returned it to the Nebraska 16, setting up Franklin’s touchdown catch.
Martinez passed for 179 yards and made a 92-yard touchdown run in his return to his native Southern California.
Ameer Abdullah rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskers, who struggled on both sides of the ball in the second half.
No. 17 Texas 45, New Mexico 0
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas quarterback David Ash scored on a 49-yard touchdown run and had receivers turn short throws into two more scores, and the No. 17 Longhorns routed New Mexico.
Ash’s touchdown run came on Texas’ sixth play from scrimmage. Mike Davis caught a 22-yard touchdown pass just before halftime. In the third quarter, Ash flipped the ball to Daje Johnson in the backfield, and the freshman scooted around the end for a 45-yard touchdown.
Ash was 16 of 22 for a career-high 221 yards for Texas (2-0).
New Mexico (1-1) held the ball for nearly 20 minutes in the first half, but starting quarterback B.R. Holbrook was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after taking a blow to the helmet on a tackle.
Texas coach Mack Brown had said he wanted to see Ash get more comfortable in the passing game, especially throwing deep. What the Longhorns got was another solid performance by a quarterback still feeling his way through the offense.
NO. 19 Michigan 31, Air Force 25
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Denard Robinson ran for 218 yards, threw for 208 and scored four touchdowns.
Robinson became the first player in major college football history to have at least 200 yards rushing and 200 passing in three games, according to the NCAA record book.
The Wolverines (1-1) bounced back after a 41-14 loss to Alabama, though they had a tough time beating the Falcons (1-1) in a game they were favored to win by three touchdowns.
Cody Getz ran for 130 yards, with his third rushing touchdown and a 2-point conversion pulling Air Force within three early in the fourth.
Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz was 10 of 19 for 127 yards and ran for 61 of his team's 290 yards rushing.
No. 20 TCU 56, Grambling State 0
FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU got off to a fast start in its first game as a Big 12 Conference member and debut of its $164 million, completely redone stadium.
The 20th-ranked Horned Frogs also made Gary Patterson the winningest coach in school history.
Casey Pachall threw three touchdown passes, two to Josh Boyce, after the Frogs already had scored on special teams and defense in a season-opening victory over Grambling State.
After being one of only four FBS teams that didn’t play on college football’s opening weekend, TCU had 531 total yards against FCS team Grambling (0-2). That included 276 passing by two quarterbacks who combined to complete all 17 passes attempted – the most in FBS history without an incompletion.
NO. 21 Kansas State 52, Miami 13
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Collin Klein threw for 210 yards and ran for 71 more.
John Hubert added 106 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Daniel Sams added two scores on the ground as the Wildcats (2-0) rolled up 498 yards of total offense while holding Miami to 262.
The blowout stood in stark contrast to last season's meeting in Coral Gables, Fla., when Kansas State needed a dramatic goal-line stand in the closing minutes to secure a 28-24 victory.
Stephen Morris threw for 215 yards for Miami (1-1) but was sacked five times. The Canes lost three fumbles and managed just 40 yards rushing – an average of 1.4 per attempt.
The Wildcats improved to 6-0 at home against BCS non-conference opponents under Bill Snyder, who has the program he elevated to elite status humming again.
Miami (1-1) scored its only touchdown in the closing minutes, when backup quarterback Ryan Williams completed a short scoring pass following a long kickoff return.
NO. 22 Notre Dame 20, Purdue 17
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Tommy Rees relieved starter Everett Golson late in the fourth quarter and led Notre Dame on a winning drive in the final minutes.
Kyle Brindza kicked a 27-yard field goal with seven seconds to go.
Rees, who was suspended for the opener after he was involved in a skirmish with police at a party in May, started 12 games last season.
Purdue (1-1) tied the game at 17-17 when Caleb TerBush threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Antavian Edison with 2:12 left, the score set up by Josh Johnson's recovery of a fumble by Golson. He was shaken up on the play, and the Irish turned to Rees.
Rees connected on key third down passes of 10 yards to John Goodman and 21 yards to Robby Toma to get Brindza in position for the game-winning kick. Notre Dame is 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
NO. 23 Louisville 35, Missouri State 7
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Teddy Bridgewater kept No. 23 Louisville's offense clicking by passing for a career-high 344 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite a statistical falloff from last week's 19-for-21 effort against Kentucky, Bridgewater still completed 30 of 39 passing attempts. He once again involved others and often, with seven of his 10 targets catching at least three passes.
Eli Rogers led the way with six receptions, while Charles Gaines had a game-high 73 yards. Tight ends Nate Nord and Ryan Hubbell caught touchdowns as the Cardinals totaled 475 yards, eight more than last week.
Missouri State (0-2) did little against Louisville's defense, gaining just 222 yards with its lone touchdown of the season coming late in the first half. Ashton Glaser was just 14-of-23 passing for 125 yards with a sack and an interception.
NO. 24 Florida 20, Texas A&M 17
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Mike Gillislee ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 24 Florida shut down Texas A&M's offense in the second half in the Aggies' first Southeastern Conference game after moving from the Big 12.
Florida trailed 17-10 at halftime after a first half where Texas A&M's offense under new coach Kevin Sumlin pretty much did what it wanted. Things changed in the second half as the Gators clamped down and forced punts each of A&M's six possessions after the break.
Caleb Sturgis helped Florida cut A&M's lead to 17-13 with a 25-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel looked indecisive most of the day and was sacked eight times. But he made a play when he had to, finding Omarius Hines on a 39-yard completion to propel a drive early in the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 173 yards and ran for 60 more, but he couldn't move A&M's offense after halftime.