Christopher Jackson/Associated Press
Christopher Jackson/Associated Press
Geno Smith looked like a Heisman Trophy hopeful, and Connor Shaw showed no signs of an injured shoulder.
Smith threw for 338 yards to help No. 8 West Virginia survive a tough test at home, 31-21, against Maryland on Saturday in Morgantown.
Smith and the Mountaineers had to work hard to fend off the Terrapins. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills passed for 305 yards for Maryland.
But Smith and Tavon Austin were too much. They hooked up for three touchdowns. West Virginia plays its first Big 12 game at home next Saturday against Baylor in a game that figures to light up the scoreboard.
Shaw was almost perfect, completing 20 consecutive passes as No. 7 South Carolina had little trouble against Missouri, 31-10. He finished 20 for 21 for 252 yards for the Gamecocks, who are 4-0 for just the ninth time in school history.
No. 1 Alabama 40, Florida Atlantic 7
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes, including an early 85-yarder to Kenny Bell, and No. 1 Alabama routed Florida Atlantic.
Eddie Lacy rushed for 106 yards in the first half for the Crimson Tide (4-0), which rolled to 134 consecutive points and two shutouts before allowing a late touchdown.
The Owls (1-3) managed only one first down through three quarters and were outgained 503-110 in total yards. McCarron was 15-of-25 passing for 212 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter. The 85-yarder came 1:42 into the game and is tied for the fifth-longest touchdown pass in Tide history.
The only suspense late was whether Alabama could complete a third consecutive shutout for the first time since Bear Bryant's unbeaten 1966 team.
No. 2 LSU 12, Auburn 10
AUBURN, Ala. – Sam Montgomery and the LSU defense delivered a first-quarter safety and shut out Auburn in the second half.
Auburn led 10-9 at halftime but managed only 183 yards.
A fumbled punt return by Auburn’s Quan Bray set up Drew Alleman’s 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter that gave LSU (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) a 12-10 lead. Alleman missed a 34-yarder with 39 seconds remaining.
Auburn (1-3, 0-2 SEC) managed only one first down on its final possession. Kiehl Frazier’s final pass was intercepted by Tharold Simon as the game ended.
The win gave LSU its sixth consecutive 4-0 start and extended its streak of regular-season wins to 17, the longest in the nation.
No. 4 Florida St. 49, No. 10 Clemson 37
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – EJ Manuel threw for a career-high 380 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 102 yards as Florida State rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat Clemson on Saturday night.
Chris Thompson ran for 104 yards and two scores, and James Wilder Jr. added two touchdowns runs for the Seminoles, who broke open a close game with 35 second-half points.
Florida State (4-0. 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed until late in the third quarter, taking its first lead at 35-31 on Manuel’s 29-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Smith. The Seminoles, who finished with 667 yards, built a 49-31 lead before Clemson scored late.
Clemson (3-1, 0-1) built a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter on a 52-yard pass from Sammy Watkins to Andre Ellington.
No. 5 Georgia 48, Vanderbilt 3
ATHENS, Ga. – Aaron Murray completed his first 12 passes, and No. 5 Georgia finally got off to a good start, blowing out Vanderbilt before halftime on the way to a 48-3 victory Saturday night.
Murray hooked up with Tavarres King and Marlon Brown on touchdown throws, breaking a tie with Eric Zeier for second place in school history.
The junior quarterback has 69 TDs, just three behind David Greene.
Murray also scored on a 1-yard sneak as the Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) raced to a 27-0 lead. He finished 18 of 24 for 250 yards. Todd Gurley rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Keith Marshall also had a pair of scoring runs.
Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2) took its worst defeat since a 48-0 loss to Tennessee in 2003.
No. 15 Kansas St. 24, No. 6 Oklahoma 19
NORMAN, Okla. – John Hubert ran for 130 yards and a touchdown, Jarell Childs scooped up a fumble and returned it for a score, and the Wildcats beat the Sooners.
Collin Klein picked up 228 yards of total offense and ran for the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter in a solid performance that outshined an error-filled night by Sooners quarterback Landry Jones.
Jones threw for 298 yards and a late touchdown to get Oklahoma (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) within five but also fumbled and threw an interception that put Kansas State (4-0, 1-0) in position to go ahead.
No. 7 South Carolina 31, Missouri 10
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Connor Shaw completed 20 consecutive passes and threw for two touchdowns, and Marcus Lattimore ran for two scores as South Carolina manhandled Missouri in the Tigers' first Southeastern Conference road game.
Shaw missed his first pass to Lattimore on the game's first series, then hit his final 20 for the Gamecocks (2-0 SEC).
Missouri (2-2, 0-2) struggled against a Gamecocks defense that has given up three touchdowns all year. The Tigers had a season-low 254 yards.
Lattimore rushed for 85 yards. His touchdowns gave him South Carolina's career mark with 33 rushing scores, a record Lattimore shared with Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers and Harold Green.
No. 8 West Virginia 31, Maryland 21
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Doug Rigg returned a fumble 51 yards for West Virginia, and Tavon Austin had another remarkable game against his home-state Terrapins.
The Baltimore native caught 13 passes for 179 yards and set a school record for career receptions.
Still, West Virginia looked flat at times on offense, after averaging 56 points and 612 yards in its first two games. Geno Smith had as many incompletions in the first half (nine) as he did in the first two games combined before getting on track. He finished with 338 passing yards.
For Maryland (2-2), Hills threw three touchdowns, two to freshman Stefon Diggs.
No. 11 Notre Dame 13, No. 18 Michigan 6
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Manti Te’o had two interceptions as No. 11 Notre Dame picked off five Michigan passes and backup quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Fighting Irish offense in a 13-6 win over the 18th-ranked Wolverines on Saturday night.
Denard Robinson, who amassed 948 yards of total offense in victories over the Irish past two years, wasn’t as effective this time as the Irish repeatedly forced him into mistakes. He threw four interceptions in the first half, then lost a fumble at the Notre Dame 8-yard line on the first drive of the second half.
The victory by Notre Dame (4-0) ended a streak of three consecutive games in which Michigan (2-2) beat the Irish in the final 27 seconds.
Notre Dame didn’t give the Wolverines a chance to pull it out this time, running out the clock after a Brendan Gibbons field goal with 3:27 left in the game made it 13-6.
Rees scored the game’s only touchdown on a quarterback draw late in the first half and engineered a late drive that ended in Kyle Brindza’s 39-yard field goal to give Notre Dame a 13-3 cushion.
No. 13 USC 27, California 9
LOS ANGELES – Matt Barkley passed for 192 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Marqise Lee, and No. 13 Southern California bounced back from its first defeat with a 27-9 victory over California on Saturday.
Lee had 11 catches for 94 yards, and Silas Redd rushed for 158 yards and a score as the Trojans (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) grinded out their ninth consecutive win over the Golden Bears (1-3, 0-1) in the schools’ 100th meeting.
A week after the preseason No. 1 team got shut out in the second half of a 21-14 loss at Stanford, USC drained the suspense from this matchup with a methodical 75-yard drive that consumed more than half of the fourth quarter, capped by Lee’s 3-yard TD catch with 5:56 to play.
Keenan Allen had nine catches for 94 yards for the Bears, who couldn’t get into the Coliseum end zone and managed just 250 total yards.
Barkley didn’t particularly look sharp, throwing two interceptions for the second consecutive week. He also struggled to find All-American receiver Robert Woods, who had only five catches for 30 yards. Yet Barkley still went 22 for 34 and kept the Trojans moving on several long drives.
No. 14 Florida 38, Kentucky 0
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jeff Driskel accounted for two touchdowns to help Florida beat Kentucky for the 26th time in a row.
The Gators (4-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) also recorded their first shutout in conference play since a 52-0 victory against Mississippi State in 2001.
Florida struggled early in the game, not a great sign with No. 2 LSU up next in two weeks. The slow start also was a rarity against the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1). The Gators had outscored Kentucky 94-3 in the first quarter in the last four meetings, sealing games before some fans settled into their seats.
The Gators scored three times in the second quarter, enough to put Kentucky away and extend the nation's longest winning streak in a current series between two teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Wildcats played without quarterback Maxwell Smith. He sat out with a shoulder injury. Backup Morgan Newton threw three interceptions.
No. 16 Ohio State 29, UAB 15
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Braxton Miller ran for two touchdowns, and Ohio State overcame a lethargic, mistake-filled effort to hold off UAB.
UAB (0-3) more than held its own against the Buckeyes (4-0), who committed drive-killing penalties, had a punt blocked for a touchdown and had trouble scoring against a defense giving up 44 points and 477 yards a game.
The Blazers picked up points on special teams and started the second half by recovering an onside kick but were undone by four chop-block penalties and a giveaway that led to a score.
Miller completed passes for 12, 14 and 18 yards and ran for 26 yards to set up his own clinching 1-yard TD run with 5:03 left
No. 17 TCU 27, Virginia 7
FORT WORTH, Texas – Brandon Carter had a 68-yard touchdown on one of his two one-handed catches, linebacker Kenny Cain recovered a fumble along with two interceptions, and TCU won its 11th consecutive game.
Casey Pachall threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns for the Horned Frogs (3-0), whose winning streak is the longest among FBS schools.
Josh Boyce had his TCU-record 18th touchdown catch. Freshman Jaden Oberkrom had field goals of 46 and 47 yards, the second field goal set up by Cain's 40-yard interception return.
The Frogs hadn't allowed a touchdown this season until Virginia (2-2) finally scored with 4½ minutes left, when backup quarterback Phillip Sims threw a 5-yard TD to E.J. Scott.
Carter had five catches for 128 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
Oregon State 27, No. 19 UCLA 20
PASADENA, Calif. – Sean Mannion passed for a career-high 379 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon State beat UCLA to start the teams' Pac-12 seasons.
The victory was the 74th at Oregon State for coach Mike Riley, matching the school record set by Lon Stiner, the Beavers' coach from 1933-48. Riley is in his 12th year with Oregon State (2-0).
Mannion completed 24 of 35 passes with one interception. Markus Wheaton had nine receptions for 150 yards, Brandin Cooks had six catches for 175 yards, and Storm Woods rushed for 96 yards on 21 carries and scored once for the Beavers.
Johnathan Franklin, the country's leading rusher with a 180.3-yard average, was held to 45 yards on 12 carries for UCLA (3-1, 0-1). Brett Hundley completed 27 of 42 passes for 372 yards and a touchdown.
No. 20 Louisville 28, FIU 21
MIAMI – Teddy Bridgewater passed for two touchdowns and ran for another score in the return to his home city, and the Cardinals remained unbeaten by holding off Florida International.
Senorise Perry rushed for 74 yards for the Cardinals (4-0), who trailed for the first time this season before controlling the second half and avenging last season’s 24-17 loss to FIU.
Darian Mallary and Jake Medlock both rushed for touchdowns for the Panthers (1-3).
No. 21 Michigan State 23, Eastern Michigan 7
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Le'Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown to help stagnant Michigan State avoid a major upset.
Dan Conroy kicked three field goals for the No. 21 Spartans (3-1), who failed to score a TD for more than seven quarters, until Andrew Maxwell hit tight end Dion Sims on a 10-yard pass with 7:19 left.
Michigan State mightily struggled through most of its final tune-up for next week's Big Ten opener against unbeaten Ohio State. But Maxwell finally found Sims three times for 73 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Spartans finished with a 428-183 edge in total offense over the Eagles (0-4), who came as close they ever have to beating a ranked opponent.
No. 23 Mississippi St. 30, South Alabama 10
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State started its season with four consecutive wins for the first time since 1999.
Tyler Russell completed 13 of 27 passes for 171 yards for the Bulldogs (4-0), while LaDarius Perkins rushed for a team-high 69 yards – including a 44-yard touchdown run.
Nickoe Whitley and Johnthan Banks both had long interception returns that stopped South Alabama drives.
It was the 15th career interception for Banks and third this season. The Bulldogs led 20-0 at halftime, giving up just 104 yards at that point.
South Alabama (1-3) lost its first game against a Southeastern Conference opponent. C.J. Bennett completed 14 of 26 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Demetre Baker added 49 yards rushing.
No. 25 Nebraska 73, Idaho State 7
LINCOLN, Neb. – Rex Burkhead ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and Nebraska made quick work of Idaho State.
The Cornhuskers (3-1) led 35-0 after the first quarter and 45-0 at half.
The Bengals (1-2), of the Football Championship Subdivision, have lost 34 consecutive road games.
Burkhead, playing for the first time since he sprained his left knee in the opener, broke a 61-yard touchdown run on his third carry. His 2-yard TD in the second quarter made it 42-0.
Nebraska also got touchdowns on Ciante Evans' 29-yard interception return and Ameer Abdullah's 81-yard punt return, making it the first time since the 2009 game against Colorado that the Huskers scored on offense, defense and special teams.
Idaho State's score came on CJ Reyes' 28-yard pass to Luke Austin in the fourth quarter.