Kenny Hill broke Johnny Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards and No. 21 Texas A&M opened the season beat No. 9 South Carolina, 52-28, on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks’ 18-game home win streak.
Hill’s performance in his first career start proved there is plenty of life in the Aggies’ offense without Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner and first-round selection in the NFL draft. Hill completed 44 of 60 passes with three touchdowns.
Hill was steady and confident in the pocket, leading Texas A&M to a 31-14 halftime lead and finishing up with the most passing yards allowed in Steve Spurrier’s 10 seasons with the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks played their first game since the departure of star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney — and it showed. South Carolina gave up seven touchdowns on the Aggies’ first 11 possessions.
Tra Carson ran for three touchdowns and receiver Malcome Kennedy had 14 catches for 137 yards. The Aggies had 680 yards of offense, the most South Carolina’s given up since Arkansas went for 650 in 2007.
Manziel held five of the Aggies’ six best passing marks, topped by his 464 yards in a loss to Alabama last season. Hill moved past them all with his flawless showing on the road.
Hill’s 44 completions were also a single-game school record, moving past Jerrod Johnson’s mark against Oklahoma State in 2010.
Ole Miss wins
Bo Wallace threw four touchdowns passes in a sloppy season opener, and No. 18 Mississippi pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State, 35-13, in Atlanta.
Shaking off Wallace’s three first-half interceptions, the Rebels got the victory before a sparse crowd in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. Ole Miss led only 7-6 entering the fourth quarter before Wallace threw for touchdowns on three consecutive throws, ruining the debut of Broncos Coach Bryan Harsin.
Kaelin Clay had two returns for touchdowns and Devontae Booker rushed for two more scores to boost Utah past Idaho State, 56-14, in Salt Lake City.
The game marked the return of Utes quarterback Trevor Wilson, who was discovered to have a damaged intracranial artery while recovering from a concussion last season. Wilson missed the final three games but was cleared to play.
Wilson looked sharp against the overmatched Bengals and had 265 yards passing, while playing the first half. Dres Anderson caught four of Wilson’s tosses for 111 yards.
Notre Dame added reserve safety Eilar Hardy to the list of four Irish players being withheld from practice and games as the university completed its investigation into whether they may have turned in homework and papers completed by others.
Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer received a two-year contract extension through the 2018 season.
North Carolina said the NCAA cleared defensive tackle Ethan Farmer to play after resolving an unspecified eligibility issue. The fifth-year senior started all 13 games last year.