Wade Payne/Associated Press
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Even without Andrew Luck, Stanford still had every answer for Matt Barkley and Southern California.
Without Tyler Wilson, Arkansas never had a chance against Alabama.
Florida State dispatched Wake Forest just as easily.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide demolished the beleaguered Razorbacks 52-0 on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., and the No. 5 Seminoles won by the same lopsided score.
But Southern Cal lost a 21-14 decision to rival Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., knocking the Trojans from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Arkansas' much-anticipated season has crumbled three weeks into the season.
The Razorbacks lost 34-31 in overtime last week to Louisiana-Monroe, and Wilson suffered a head injury in that game.
Wilson was in uniform, but did not play against the Tide, and his backups, Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell, were tormented by the Alabama defense.
Arkansas managed only 137 yards.
Florida State's Chris Thompson had more than that on nine carries against Wake Forest. The speedy running back broke touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards in the first half.
The Seminoles looked ready to go for their Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at home against Clemson next week.
No. 1 Alabama 52, Arkansas 0
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eddie Lacy ran for three touchdowns, and the Crimson Tide forced five turnovers to win its 21st consecutive to SEC opener.
Vinnie Sunseri and Haha Clinton-Dix had interceptions against the Razorbacks, who played without quarterback Tyler Wilson because he had a head injury in last week's loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
The shutout was the second in a row for the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference).
The last time Alabama, which has forced 12 turnovers this season, had back-to-back shutouts was against Vanderbilt and Kentucky in 1980.
AJ McCarron was 11 of 16 passing for 189 yards and a touchdown.
Arkansas (1-2, 0-1) had just 44 yards of total offense at halftime and 137 for the game. The Razorbacks were held scoreless in Razorback Stadium for the first time since a 7-0 loss to Baylor in 1966.
Stanford 21, No. 2 USC 14
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford’s 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 – Stanfor’ds consecutive win in the series.
Heisman Trophy hopeful 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.
The Cardinal (3-0, 1-0) are 3-0 for the third consecutive season.
No. 3 LSU 63, Idaho 14
BATON ROUGE, La. – Ronald Martin and Lavar Edwards each intercepted deflected passes and returned them for scores, and No. 3 LSU rolled over winless Idaho.
LSU intercepted Idaho’s Dominique Balckman four times, with Martin snagging two, en route to an NCAA FBS record 40th-consecutive non-conference regular season victory.
LSU (3-0) also set a Tiger stadium mark with 20 consecutive home wins, while extending its nation-long regular-season winning streak to 16 games.
No. 4 Oregon 63, Tennessee Tech 14
EUGENE, Ore. – Marcus Mariota threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns before Oregon pulled its starters.
Multitalented De'Anthony Thomas had 222 all-purpose yards on 10 touches. He ran for a 59-yard touchdown and caught a 16-yard scoring pass from Mariota.
The Ducks (3-0) were playing their final nonconference game before hosting Arizona next Saturday. They had 652 yards in total offense, compared to 177 yards for Tennessee Tech. Oregon did have its issues, however, with 12 penalties for 105 yards.
The Golden Eagles (2-1) have never defeated an FBS-level team in 28 tries. The game against the Ducks was the Ohio Valley Conference team's first against a Pac-12 opponent.
No. 5 Florida State 52, Wake Forest 0
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chris Thompson scored on runs of 74 and 80 yards on consecutive carries in the first half to lead the Seminoles.
Thompson, who suffered a broken back at Wake Forest a year ago that nearly ended his career, already had a career-high 197 yards following his 80-yard touchdown run that put the Seminoles into a 28-0 lead with 9:42 remaining in the first half.
His 74-yard touchdown followed a 60-yard punt return TD by Rashad Greene as the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 38-0 at the half.
Florida State's defense, which has allowed just three points this season and plays Clemson at home next week, held Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1 ACC) to 126 yards. Tanner Price managed only 82 passing yards.
No. 7 Georgia 56, Florida Atlantic 20
ATHENS, Ga. – Aaron Murray passed for a career-best 342 yards and two touchdowns, also scored twice on short runs, and No. 7 Georgia bounced back from another slow start to rout Florida Atlantic.
Playing without Jarvis Jones and two other defensive stalwarts, Georgia (3-0) struggled in the first half to slow a Florida Atlantic team that scored a single touchdown against lower-division Wagner. The 44-point underdog Owls (1-2) kept converting third downs and found themselves tied at 14 early in the second quarter.
But the Bulldogs simply had too many weapons, piling up a school-record 713 yards.
No. 8 South Carolina 49, UAB 6
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Connor Shaw went 8 of 14 for 107 yards before reinjuring his throwing shoulder, and No. 8 South Carolina beat UAB.
Shaw left the game after taking a brutal hit just after he released a 20-yard pass to Bruce Ellington late in the first half. Officials said the junior aggravated the bruised right shoulder that kept him out of last week’s game.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier picked up his 200th college coaching win, joining Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, Texas’ Mack Brown and Nevada’s Chris Ault as the only active Division I coaches to reach that mark.
No. 9 West Virginia 42, James Madison 12
LANDOVER, Md. – Geno Smith completed 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns for West Virginia.
Smith set the school's career passing yardage record, topping Marc Bulger.
Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin both had 100 yards receiving before halftime for the Mountaineers, who improved to 2-0 and are 13-0 against FCS schools.
Bailey finished with 173 yards on 13 catches and three touchdowns. Austin had 113 yards on 11 receptions and one score.
The Dukes upset then-No. 13 Virginia Tech two years ago, but they never challenged the Mountaineers. They fell to 2-1.
The Mountaineers hosted the game at the Washington Redskins stadium to help maintain an East Coast profile now that they've moved to the Big 12.
No. 20 Notre Dame 20, No. 10 Michigan State 10
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Everett Golson threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score to help No. 20 Notre Dame beat No. 10 Michigan State.
The Fighting Irish (3-0) snapped a six-game losing streak against ranked teams and beat a top-10 opponent for the first time in seven years to give Brian Kelly a signature win in his third season.
The Spartans (2-1) had won 15 in a row at home.
Notre Dame is off to its best start since 2002 when Tyrone Willingham won his first eight games as its coach.
The Irish opened 0-2 last year and 1-3 the season before in Kelly’s debut before bouncing back to finish with eight wins.
No. 11 Clemson 41, Furman 7
CLEMSON, S.C. – Tajh Boyd threw for 310 yards and three touchdown passes, Sammy Watkins had a 58-yard touchdown run in his season debut, and Clemson won its 30th in a row over Furman.
Watkins scored in the first quarter after taking an inside handoff from Boyd and rushing past the right side of Furman's defense.
The All-American sophomore receiver spent the past two games on the sideline, suspended for a May drug arrest. He finished with four catches for 52 yards.
Boyd's three scoring throws gave him 43 for his career, second at Clemson (3-0) and just six behind the record held by Charlie Whitehurst.
Furman of the Football Championship Subdivision opened 0-3 for the first time since 1979.
No. 12 Ohio State 35, California 28
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Braxton Miller lofted a 72-yard touchdown pass to an all-alone Devin Smith with 3:26 left, and Christian Bryant snuffed out California's last chance with an interception for the Buckeyes.
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 outplayed for much of the second half.
Taking over at his own 25 with the score knotted, it took just three plays until on third-and-7 when a defensive back thought Miller would run, and he instead threw deep to a wide-open Smith.
Bryant then picked off Zach Maynard's pass and returned it 38 yards to end the Bears' last threat.
Maynard completed 26 of 37 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown, and with the late interception. Brendan Bigelow has touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards for Cal.
Pittsburgh 35, No. 13 Virginia Tech 17
PITTSBURGH – Ray Graham ran for 94 yards and two scores and added an 18-yard touchdown reception to lead Pitt to its first victory of the season.
Tino Sunseri passed for 283 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman running back Rushel Shell added 157 yards as Pitt (1-2) gave coach Paul Chryst his first career victory in emphatic fashion.
Virginia Tech (2-1) had won 13 consecutive true road games, the longest active streak in the country, but let Pitt race to a quick three-touchdown lead and never really threatened.
Logan Thomas completed just 14 of 31 passes for 265 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions.
No. 14 Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
OXFORD, Miss. – David Ash threw for a career-high 326 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 14 Texas easily beat Mississippi.
Ash connected on touchdown passes of 46 and 55 yards as the Longhorns gained 676 total yards.
Mike Davis caught five passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, while Marquise Goodwin rushed for 80 yards, caught two passes for 102 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Texas (3-0) led 31-10 by halftime and 52-24 by the end of the third quarter. It was the most points given up by Ole Miss in a game since 1917.
No. 16 TCU 20, Kansas 6
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Casey Pachall threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns, both to Brandon Carter, and TCU won its Big 12 debut.
Carter finished with eight catches for 141 yards, and Waymon James added 99 yards rushing for the Horned Frogs (2-0, 1-0), who pushed the nation's longest winning streak to 10 games by beating up on the team picked to finish last in the conference in preseason polls.
Dayne Crist led the Jayhawks (1-2, 0-1) with 303 yards passing, but he was intercepted once, fumbled as he was heading into the end zone in the fourth quarter and missed several third-down throws that prevented Kansas from capitalizing on TCU turnovers.
NO. 14 Kansas State 35, North Texas 21
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Collin Klein threw for 230 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, Tyler Lockett returned a kickoff 96 yards for another score, and No. 15 Kansas State eased past pesky North Texas.
Tramaine Thompson caught five passes for 102 yards and two scores, and John Hubert added a touchdown on the ground for Kansas State (3-0), which struggled to put away the tougher-than-expected Mean Green in its tuneup for next Saturday’s showdown with fifth-ranked Oklahoma.
No. 17 Michigan 63, UMass 13
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Denard Robinson put up 397 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns for Michigan.
Robinson, who came out of the game with Michigan (2-1) leading 56-13 late in the third quarter, rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown and completed 16 of 24 passes for 291 yards and three scores.
Fitzgerald Toussaint, who missed Michigan's opener due to suspension and then carried for just 7 yards against Air Force, had 85 yards and a touchdown against the Minutemen.
Former Wolverine Michael Cox, now a grad student at UMass, led the Minutemen (0-3) with 76 yards rushing.
No. 18 Florida 37, No. 23 Tennessee 20
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jeff Driskel threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Trey Burton rushed for two more scores as No. 18 Florida scored the final 24 points to beat No. 23 Tennessee and run its winning streak in the series to eight in a row.
Mike Gillislee ran for 115 yards to lead a 336-yard rushing effort for the Gators (3-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), who have outrushed Tennessee in each game of the streak.
Burton added 91 rushing yards on only three carries, and Driskel ran for 81 yards on eight attempts.
Tennessee (2-1, 0-1) seemed intent on ending the streak for much of the night in front of a sellout crowd at Neyland Stadium. The Vols led 20-13 and had a chance to take a double-digit advantage midway through the third quarter after an unsuccessful Florida fake punt attempt gave the Vols possession at the Gators’ 47-yard line. Tennessee failed to capitalize and ended up punting into the end zone.
No. 19 Louisville 39, North Carolina 34
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Teddy Bridgewater threw three first-half touchdowns, and No. 19 Louisville scored on its first six possessions, and then had to thwart North Carolina's comeback with a late defensive stand.
Bryn Renner settled down from a rough first half to rally the Tar Heels (1-2) from a 36-7 deficit with four second-half touchdowns, including a screen pass to Romar Morris for a 50-yard touchdown with 1:45 remaining.
North Carolina's Norkeithus Otis then forced Adrian Bushell to fumble the ensuing kickoff, and the Tar Heels recovered at the Cardinals 10. But after moving to the 3, North Carolina was penalized for a false start, and Renner's final pass two plays later was broken up by Andrew Johnson in the end zone.
Bridgewater finished 23 of 28 passing for 279 for the Cardinals (3-0).
Renner had with five TD passes.
No. 24 Arizona 56, S. Carolina St. 0
TUCSON, Ariz. – Matt Scott accounted for 349 total yards and four touchdowns in three quarters, and No. 24 Arizona breezed through its final nonconference game, rolling over South Carolina State.
Arizona (3-0) did what it was supposed to against a team from the Football Championship Subdivision, racing out to a 28-0 lead by halftime and a school-record 43 first downs overall.
Scott threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns on 30-of-36 passing, and added a 10-yard scoring run in another stellar performance to start his senior season.