NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Damien Harris ran for a career-high 151 yards and three touchdowns, Bo Scarbrough added two TDs and top-ranked Alabama routed Vanderbilt 59-0 Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Alabama (4-0) now has won 19 straight over the SEC East. Better yet, the Crimson Tide hasn’t lost to Vanderbilt since 1984 or in Nashville since 1969. Both streaks were assured at the end of the first quarter with Alabama up 21-0 after the second of Harris’ TDs.
Vanderbilt (3-1) came in as one of the five remaining undefeated teams in the SEC with the nation’s stingiest defense in points, total yards and against the pass. The Commodores had allowed just 13 points combined through three games, yet they proved no match against Alabama’s dominating ground game.
Harris topped his season’s best by the end of the first quarter and needed only 12 carries for his big day, thanks to a 61-yarder in the first quarter . Scarbrough ran 11 times for 79 yards more with TD runs of 6 and 2 yards. Brian Robinson added a 17-yard TD run in the fourth quarter for a 59-0 lead.
The Crimson Tide simply smothered Vanderbilt, allowing just 49 yards in the first half to Alabama’s 48 offensive plays. Alabama finished with a 677-78 edge in total offense.
No. 2 CLEMSON 34, BOSTON COLLEGE 7CLEMSON, S.C. – Adam Choice had a 6-yard tiebreaking touchdown in the fourth quarter and Travis Etienne had two scoring runs in the final six minutes as No. 2 Clemson wore down Boston College.
The Tigers, who came in off top-15 wins over Auburn and Louisville the last two weeks, were five-touchdown favorites over the Eagles (1-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). But Boston College quieted the large Death Valley crowd on AJ Dillon’s 1-yard TD late in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-all.
Clemson finally got going in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Kelly Bryant led the Tigers on a 76-yard drive, capped by Choice’s go-ahead score. The next series, they were at it once more on a 90-yard series and the speedy freshman Etienne burst through the weary Eagles to finally give the Tigers some breathing room. Bryant added a 4-yard TD before Etienne closed the scoring with a 10-yard run.
Clemson (4-0, 2-0) won its seventh straight over the Eagles and opened 4-0 for a third consecutive season.
Bryant ended with 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground.
No. 3 OKLAHOMA 49, BAYLOR 41WACO, Texas – Baker Mayfield threw three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score the next snap after his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and third-ranked Oklahoma stretched the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games.
Abdul Adams had a 99-yard touchdown for the Sooners (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), his school-record run coming after a botched kickoff return.
Baylor (0-4, 0-1) led 31-28 after Connor Martin’s 46-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Trey Sermon ran 13 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma, the freshman getting all of that in the fourth quarter.
Denzel Mims’ third TD catch, an acrobatic grab in the back of the end zone, got Baylor within 49-41 with 1:41 left. The Bears then recovered an onside kick but Zach Smith was sacked and fumbled after two incompletions.
Mayfield completed 13 of 19 passes for 283 yards, including TDs on his first two drives, as the Sooners piled up 634 total yards. Smith threw for 463 yards with four TDs, and Mims had 11 catches for 192 yards.
No. 5 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 30, CALIFORNIA 20BERKELEY, Calif. – Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California’s defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight.
USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.
Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.
It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.
Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers’ hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.
Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers’ pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold’s 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.
Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.
No. 16 TCU 44, No. 6 OKLAHOMA ST. 31STILLWATER, Okla. – Darius Anderson ran for a career-high 160 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 16 TCU upset No. 6 Oklahoma State to stamp the Horned Frogs as a Big 12 contender.
Kenny Hill passed for 228 yards for the Horned Frogs (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who put themselves in a great position to start league play. The Frogs ran 52 times for 238 yards.
TCU gave Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph plenty of time to throw, but he often couldn’t find enough open receivers. He completed 22 of 41 passes for 398 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions.
James Washington caught six passes for 153 yards and a touchdown and Marcell Ateman caught six passes for 100 yards for the Cowboys (3-1, 0-1).
The Horned Frogs led 37-17 in the fourth quarter before the Cowboys rallied and cut the deficit to six points. Anderson’s 42-yard touchdown run with 2:37 remaining closed the deal.
No. 8 MICHIGAN 28, PURDUE 10WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Chris Evans ran for two touchdowns in the second half and backup quarterback John O’Korn rallied No. 8 Michigan from a halftime deficit.
Evans finished with 14 carries for 97 yards for the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten).
O’Korn was forced into action when starting quarterback Wilson Speight left late in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury, and the former Houston starter came up every bit as big as the Wolverines’ defense in the second half.
He finished 18 of 26 for 270 yards with one touchdown and one interception after throwing only one pass in Michigan’s first three games.
There was no immediate update on Speight’s injury.
Purdue (2-2, 0-1) rewarded its first home sellout crowd in almost nine years by jumping to a 10-7 halftime lead. But the Boilermakers managed only 10 yards of offense and one first down in the second half.
No. 10 OHIO STATE 54, UNLV 21COLUMBUS, Ohio – J.T. Barrett threw touchdown passes to five different receivers in the first half, and No. 10 Ohio State cruised past UNLV.
Barrett, who has taken the brunt of the criticism for Ohio State’s inconsistent passing game this season, was barely slowed by an outgunned UNLV defense, completing 12 of 17 passes for 209 yards before handing the game over to backup Dwayne Haskins near the end of the first half.
The big half for Barrett moved him into second place behind Art Schlichter for all-time passing yards at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) rolled, but the opponent was no real test in the last tune-up game before Ohio State begins its conference schedule.
Barrett threw scoring passes to Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill. True freshman running back J.K. Dobbins added to his growing resume by rushing for 95 yards on 14 carries.
A sixth and seventh receiver – C.J. Saunders and Rashod Berry – caught TD passes from Haskins, marking the first time in history Ohio State had more than five receivers catch scoring passes.
Running back Lexington Thomas provided one of the few highlights for UNLV (1-2), racing through the Ohio State defense for a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
No. 11 GEORGIA 31, No. 17 MISSISSIPPI STATE 3ATHENS, Ga. – Freshman Jake Fromm threw a pair of touchdown passes in another poised showing on the big stage, the defense stifled Nick Fitzgerald and No. 11 Georgia broke out plenty of trickery in a rout of No. 17 Mississippi State.
Georgia established itself as the clear favorite in the Southeastern Conference East with a dominating performance from its very first snap and the most impressive victory of Kirby Smart’s two-year coaching tenure.
After the defense forced a three-and-out from Mississippi State on the opening possession – a sign of things to come – Fromm handed off to Nick Chubb for what looked to be a routine run up the middle. Instead, Chubb wheeled around and tossed the ball back to the quarterback on a flea flicker.
Terry Godwin broke into the clear downfield, the Mississippi State secondary having totally bought the ruse. Fromm delivered the pass in stride for a 59-yard touchdown less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game .
It was pretty much all Georgia (4-0, 1-0) from there. Fromm threw for 201 yards on just 9-of-12 passing.
Chubb rushed for 81 yards and a pair of TDs, leading a parade of Georgia runners who pounded Mississippi State (3-1, 1-1).
NC STATE 27, No. 12 FLORIDA STATE 21TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ryan Finley threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns as North Carolina State got its first road win over a ranked team since 2008.
Jaylen Samuels had two touchdowns as the Wolfpack broke a 10-game losing streak to ranked teams. Their last win over a Top 25 team coincidentally was against Florida State in 2012. Their last victory on the road over a ranked team was at North Carolina.
Finley, who completed 22 of 32 passes, had a 71-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter to give the Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 17-7 lead. Nyheim Hines rushed for 94 yards on 24 carries.
The Seminoles, who had a 21-day layoff due to Hurricane Irma, have dropped their first two games to open a season for the first time in 28 years. It also marks the first time since 2011 that FSU has dropped back-to-back games.
James Blackman was 22 of 38 for 278 yards in his first start for the Seminoles.
No. 13 VIRGINIA TECH 38, OLD DOMINION 0BLACKSBURG, Va. – Josh Jackson threw for three touchdowns and Steven Peoples scored three to lead No. 13 Virginia Tech.Peoples scored on receptions of 17 and 43 yards, the latter when Jackson threw for a well-covered Cam Phillips in the end zone and the ball was tipped into Peoples’ arms. Peoples also scored on a 1-yard run, and Jackson hit C.J. Carroll with a 5-yard scoring pass for the Hokies (4-0). Virginia Tech started slowly for the second consecutive game, but has scored 95 consecutive points since it last allowed any.
The Monarchs (2-2), playing an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent for the second week in a row, fell to 0-9 against Power Five schools.
The game was the first meeting between the schools and featured the first career start for 17-year-old Old Dominion quarterback Steven Williams Jr. He completed just 8 of 26 passes for 85 yards.
Jackson was 20 for 30 for 298 yards and has now thrown for 11 touchdowns.
No. 14 MIAMI 52, TOLEDO 30MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Malik Rosier threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, Mark Walton needed only 11 carries to rush for a career-best 204 yards and another score, and No. 14 Miami rallied to beat Toledo.
Travis Homer ran for two touchdowns and Braxton Berrios, Dayall Harris and Christopher Herndon each caught TD throws for the Hurricanes (2-0), who hadn’t played in 21 days because of the effects of Hurricane Irma. Miami gave up 16 unanswered points and trailed 16-10 at the half, before controlling the final 30 minutes.
Walton missed about half the game with what appeared to be a left ankle problem, but returned in the latter stages. He now has 28 touchdowns, 26 of them rushing, in 28 collegiate games.
Logan Woodside completed 28 of 48 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns for Toledo (3-1), which cut a 22-point deficit down to eight midway through the fourth quarter. Terry Swanson rushed 20 times for 79 yards for the Rockets, who outgained Miami 186-32 in the second quarter and outscored the Hurricanes 16-0 in that period.
After that, all Miami: The Hurricanes outscored Toledo 42-14 in the final 21 minutes.
No. 15 AUBURN 51, MISSOURI 14COLUMBIA, Mo. – Kerryon Johnson rushed for a career-high five touchdowns and No. 15 Auburn ended its recent offensive struggles.
Johnson, who had missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, finished with 48 yards rushing on 18 carries and fell one short of Carnell Williams’ school record of six rushing touchdowns in a game.
Jarrett Stidham added 218 yards passing and a touchdown while completing 13 of 17 passes for Auburn (3-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference). Auburn’s Carlton Davis also had an interception, one of four Missouri (1-3, 0-2) turnovers in the game.
Drew Lock finished 23-of-39 passing for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Missouri, which allowed its most points since a 63-37 loss to Tennessee last season.
No. 18 WASHINGTON STATE 45, NEVADA 7PULLMAN, Wash. – Luke Falk threw five touchdown passes, and No. 18 Washington State beat Nevada for the team’s best start in 16 years.
Washington State (4-0), which opened the 2001 season by winning its first seven games, piled up 560 yards of offense and five sacks.
Nevada was held to just 151 total yards as the Wolf Pack (0-4) fell to 0-17 on the road against opponents in the Top 25. Nevada came in as a 28-point underdog.
Falk completed 36 of 47 passes for 478 yards and was not intercepted.
No. 19 LOUISVILLE 42, KENT STATE 3LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Lamar Jackson accounted for three touchdowns to set a Louisville career record and the No. 19 Cardinals rolled past Kent State.
Despite missing Jaylen Smith, the team’s top receiver , the reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-22 passing. His 16-yard touchdown pass to Javonte Bagley in the third quarter ended the scoring and gave him 88 total touchdowns, breaking Chris Redman’s career mark. In all, Jackson, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished with 333 yards total offense.
He also helped the Cardinals (3-1) quickly move on from last week’s blowout loss to Clemson.
Louisville racked up 188 yards of offense and used a Trumaine Washington 37-yard interception return to lead 21-0 after a quarter.
Not much went right for the Golden Flashes (1-3). However, freshman quarterback Dustin Crum entered the game late in the first quarter and ran 18 times for a team-high 62 yards.
No. 25 LSU 35, SYRACUSE 26BATON ROUGE, La. – Danny Etling responded to a barrage of bruising blitzes with touchdown passes of 87 and 43 yards, and No. 25 LSU overcame bouts of inconsistency to beat Syracuse.
Darrel Williams rushed for 92 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Backup quarterback Myles Brennan entered the game in the middle of the third quarter with LSU (3-1) leading 21-10. It was unclear if Etling, who was sacked twice and leveled as he released several passes, was in pain. He remained standing on the sideline wearing a headset for three series, returning in the fourth quarter after Brennan threw an interception which helped Syracuse (2-2) pull as close as 28-26 with 5:40 left.
Taking advantage of a failed onside kick, the Tigers marched 56 yards for a game-clinching score with Etling back under center. Receiver D.J. Chark finished it off with a 20-yard run on an end-around with 1:52 left.
Etling finished 10 of 17 for 188 yards and two touchdowns.