Wisconsin upends LSU while Houston topples Oklahoma and Georgia beats UNC

Rafael Gaglianone
Kicker Rafael Gaglianone celebrates with fans after helping Wisconsin upset LSU on Saturday.
(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 47-yard field goal with 3:47 left, and Wisconsin staved off LSU’s desperate last-ditch drive for a 16-14 win on Saturday in Green Bay, Wis., in a game that dealt an early blow to the fifth-ranked Tigers’ national title hopes. 

LSU’s frustration was on full display at the end of the game, when offensive lineman Josh Boutte was ejected for a flagrant foul after a vicious blind-side hit on Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon after the safety sealed the win with an interception with 57 seconds left. 

Wisconsin’s defense delivered in the clutch to back up the strong-legged Gaglianone. 

Heisman Trophy hopeful Leonard Fournette ran for 138 yards in 23 carries but limped off on his final carry, a 15-yard run with less than 2 minutes left. 


Les Miles’ first loss in a season opener in his 12 years as LSU coach will surely put him back on the dreaded hot seat. He was nearly run out of Baton Rouge after a 9-3 season in 2015. 

No. 15 Houston 33, No. 3 Oklahoma 23

Brandon Wilson went end line to end zone to score a touchdown with an Oklahoma missed field goal and the Cougars looked every bit ready to compete in the Big 12 Conference with the win in Houston. 

Regardless of whether Houston (1-0) ends up in the Big 12 if the conference expands, Coach Tom Herman’s Cougars made an opening statement that could have season-long ramifications on the College Football Playoff. 


Elusive quarterback Greg Ward Jr. passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns for Houston. Wilson, though, provided the key play in the biggest regular-season nonconference game the Cougars have played in 25 years. 

When Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert’s 54-yard field goal attempt came up just short, Wilson reached up to catch the ball while barely keeping his feet in bounds. Reminiscent of Auburn’s Kick Six against Alabama in 2013, Wilson came flying out of the end zone, hit the sideline and hurdled a fallen teammate to score what went into the books as a 100-yard return. That made it 26-17 Cougars with 8:28 left in the second quarter. 

Baker Mayfield threw for 323 yards and two scores for Oklahoma (0-1). 

Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. swings a pass to a Houston teammate during their upset of Oklahoma on Saturday.
Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. swings a pass to a Houston teammate during their upset of Oklahoma on Saturday.
(Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

No. 18 Georgia 33, No. 22 North Carolina 24

Nick Chubb rushed for 222 yards in his return from a gruesome knee injury, including a 55-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that clinched the win in Kirby Smart’s debut as the Bulldogs’ coach. 

Chubb scored a pair of touchdowns for Georgia (1-0), sending the largely red-clad crowd at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game into delirium when he broke loose down the right sideline with 3:34 remaining and the Bulldogs clinging to a two-point lead over the Tar Heels (0-1). 

Leaving no doubt he was fully recovered from a horrific knee injury that looked like it might be career-threatening, Chubb carried a staggering 32 times and was every bit as dominating as the Heisman-touted back he was before. 


Georgia also got some promising play from freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, who didn’t start but was on the field as the Bulldogs rallied from a 24-14 deficit in the second half. 

North Carolina ripped off 17 straight points, including a pair of touchdowns by T.J. Logan that included a 95-yard kickoff return to start the second half. 

But a pair of pass interference penalties on freshman cornerback Patrice Rene set up a touchdown that got Georgia back in the game, and two more penalties — one an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Coach Larry Fedora — backed the Tar Heels up deep in their own territory, leading to a safety when Elijah Hood caught a short pass in the end zone and was quickly knocked down for a safety. 

Fifth-year senior Greyson Lambert started at quarterback for Georgia, but Eason — a touted freshman Georgia fans were clamoring to see — hooked up with Isaiah McKenzie on a 51-yard pass that set up William Ham’s go-ahead, 29-yard field goal with 5:27 remaining. 

South Alabama 21, Mississippi State 20

The Jaguars pulled off the first major upset of the college football season by holding off the Bulldogs when Westin Graves’ 28-yard field goal try smacked off the upright in the final seconds in Starkville, Miss. 

A four-touchdown underdog, the Jaguars beat an SEC team for the first time in school history. 

Down 17-0 at halftime and still trailing 20-7 in the fourth quarter, South Alabama rallied to take the lead on Dallas Davis’ 4-yard TD pass to Gerald Everett with 57 seconds left. 


Mississippi State immediately drove down the field and got in position for a field goal. But Graves’ kick hit the left post and fell harmlessly to the turf at a stunned Davis Wade Stadium. 

No. 6 Ohio State 77, Bowling Green 10

J.T. Barrett threw six touchdown passes and the Buckeyes rolled up a school record 776 yards in the romp at Columbus, Ohio. 

Eight players scored touchdowns on offense as the Buckeyes (1-0) overpowered the Falcons in front of a crowd of 107,193 at sunny Ohio Stadium. The 776 yards topped the 718 yards Ohio State put up against Mount Union in 1930. 

Barrett also set a school record with seven touchdowns overall — six passing, one running. The junior was 21 for 31 for 349 yards and ran for another 30 in the hurry-up offense before giving way to backup Joe Burrow with 6:30 left in the third quarter. 

Tailback Mike Weber, a redshirt freshman seeing his first playing time, bullied his way for 136 yards on 19 carries. H-back Curtis Samuel ran for two touchdowns and caught a TD pass. Ohio State’s defense held Bowling Green (0-1) to 244 total yards. 

No. 7 Michigan 63, Hawaii 3

Wilton Speight threw three touchdown passes in the first half and the Wolverines went on to rout the Warriors at Ann Arbor, Mich., for their most lopsided victory since 1975. 

The Wolverines (1-0) did not reveal who would start at quarterback until the game began. It looked like the right decision was made, leading to Michigan’s most decisive win since beating Northwestern by 69 points four decades ago. 

Speight threw an interception on his first snap and bounced back with TD passes to Grant Perry, Jake Butt and Amara Darboh to put Michigan up 21-0 early in the second quarter. Speight, who beat out Houston transfer John O’Korn for the job, finished 10 of 13 for 145 yards. 

Freshman Chris Evans had two TD runs and finished with 112 yards rushing. Delano Hill and Channing Stribling each returned an interception for a score. 

The Rainbows (0-2) avoided a shutout with Rigoberto Sanchez’s 55-yard field goal early in the fourth.

No. 14 Washington 48, Rutgers 13

Jake Browning threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns, John Ross caught two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for another score in his first game since the end of the 2014 season to lead the Huskies to the win in Seattle.

Entering a season of lofty expectations, the Huskies (1-0) raced to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and were never threatened by the rebuilding Scarlet Knights, in their first game under new coach Chris Ash. 

Browning threw for 277 yards and all three scores in the first half as the Huskies built a 34-3 lead. Browning should have thrown four TDs in the half, but Darrell Daniels dropped a pass in the end zone late in the second quarter. 

Browning’s offseason goal was to be better on deep throws. He was certainly good to start the season, hitting Chico McClatcher on a 43-yard touchdown on his second pass of the season, followed by TD throws of 38 and 50 yards to Ross as the Huskies burned Rutgers’ decision to play man coverage on the outside. 

The Huskies were also dynamic on special teams. Ross took a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and Dante Pettis returned a punt 68 yards for a score in the third quarter. It was the third time in school history Washington had kickoff and punt return touchdowns in the same game, and first since 2001.

No. 13 TCU 59, South Dakota State 41 

Kenny Hill accounted for five touchdowns after a shaky start in his debut, KaVontae Turpin returned a punt 81 yards for a score and the Horned Frogs pulled away late for the win at Fort Worth, Texas. 

Playing his first game since a 59-0 loss to Alabama that cost Hill the starting job at Texas A&M two years ago, the junior transfer bounced back from interceptions on consecutive passes that led to a 10-point lead for the lower-division Jackrabbits. 

Turpin started the recovery from the surprising second-quarter deficit with his return, sparking the Frogs to their 15th straight win in a home opener since losing to Northwestern State in Gary Patterson’s first season as head coach. The 5-foot-9 speedster added a 33-yard run and had 177 all-purpose yards. 

Hill was 33 of 49 for 439 yards with two touchdown passes, ran for three scores and converted a critical third down with a 13-yard scramble in the fourth quarter. That drive ended on a 46-yard scoring pass to Taj Williams for a 52-41 lead. Williams had 11 catches for 158 yards. 

No. 17 Iowa 45, Miami (Ohio) 21

Akrum Wadley ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns while LeShun Daniels added 83 yards rushing and two scores to lead the Hawkeyes to the win in Iowa City. 

C.J. Beathard was 13 of 20 passing for 192 yards and a touchdown for the Hawkeyes (1-0), whose sloppy defensive play in the second half let Miami hang around. 

Daniels and Wadley each scored twice in the first half, and Jerminic Smith’s 12-yard TD reception put the Hawkeyes ahead 35-7 early in the third quarter. 

The RedHawks (0-1) had touchdown drives of 75 and 74 yards with the game seemingly in hand. But Derrick Mitchell Jr.’s touchdown run with 3:08 left put Iowa ahead by 24. Billy Bahl threw for 266 yards and two TDs for Miami, which outgained Iowa 424-404. 

No. 21 Oklahoma State 61, Southeastern Louisiana 7

Jhajuan Seales caught two touchdown passes to help the Cowboys roll to the win in Stillwater, Okla.

Seales finished with three catches for 61 yards in the opener for both teams. 

Barry J. Sanders had 76 all-purpose yards and scored a touchdown. Sanders, whose father, Barry, won the Heisman Trophy for Oklahoma State in 1988, is a graduate transfer who played for Stanford last season. The younger Sanders scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter and nearly scored again later in the quarter. He was stopped at the one after weaving through the Lions for a 57-yard punt return. 

Mason Rudolph completed 18 of 26 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns for the Cowboys. Kaelyn Henderson ran 13 times for 68 yards and a touchdown for Southeastern Louisiana.

No. 25 Florida 24, UMass 7 

Luke Del Rio threw two touchdown passes in his first career start, and the Gators extended the nation’s longest winning streak in season openers to 27. 

It was far from the offensive resurgence the Gators were hoping for after ending last season with three consecutive losses. Things were so ugly for much of the night that retired coach Steve Spurrier provided most of Florida’s early highlights. 

After having Florida Field named after him and then leading 90,000 rain-soaked fans in a pre-game cheer, Spurrier posed like Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. The 71-year-old Spurrier flashed Bolt’s “To The World” pose to all four sides of the newly renamed Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. It drew a raucous ovation from fans on hand for the opener. 

Del Rio completed 29 of 44 passes for 256 yards, with TD passes to Antonio Callaway in the first quarter and Brandon Powell in the fourth. 

Arkansas 21, Louisiana Tech 20

Austin Allen connected with tight end Jeremy Sprinkle for a fourth-down touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to help the Razorbacks avoid at upset in Fayetteville.

The game-winning pass was from four yards out and came after the Razorbacks (1-0) trailed for much of the second half. 

Making his first start at quarterback for Arkansas, Allen finished 20-of-29 passing for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns along with two interceptions. Rawleigh Williams led the Razorbacks with 96 yards rushing on 24 carries, including a touchdown. 

Freshman J’Mar Smith, playing in place of suspended starter Ryan Higgins, finished 19 of 31 for 212 yards passing for the Bulldogs (0-1). 

Louisiana Tech took a 20-14 lead in the third quarter after a 20-yard field goal by kicker Jonathan Barnes. 

Western Michigan 22, Northwestern 21

Zach Terrell threw for 218 yards and a touchdown and Jamauri Bogan had a one-yard touchdown run on fourth down to lead the Broncos to the upset in Evanston, Ill. 

Terrell was 26 of 36 as Western Michigan’s offense controlled the play throughout and held the ball for 39 minutes. The Broncos converted four fourth-down plays, including the winning score. 

“We didn’t come here to lay up,” Coach P.J. Fleck said. “We came here to win.” 

Justin Jackson had 124 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns for Northwestern. 

Clayton Thorson completed 15 of 22 passes for 196 yards. His fumble at the goal line in the final minutes thwarted Northwestern’s comeback attempt.

Georgia Tech 17, Boston College 14

Freshman Dedrick Mills’ four-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds remaining lifted the Yellow Jackets to the win in Dublin, Ireland.

Justin Thomas threw two key completions on the go-ahead drive. The senior passed to Qua Searcy for 22 yards on a fourth-and-19 play and found Ricky Jeune for 26 yards on third down. 

Georgia Tech (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its first game played outside of the United States in the 124-year history of the program. Mills led the Yellow Jackets with 68 yards rushing. 

It was a crushing loss for Boston College (0-1, 0-1 ACC), which was winless in conference games in 2015. The Eagles took a 14-7 lead on quarterback Patrick Towles’ six-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

Navy 52, Fordham 16

The Midshipmen pulled a quarterback out of the stand, finding an unlikely replacement for injured starter Tago Smith in a season-opening win at Annapolis, Md. 

Freshman Malcolm Perry was told to suit up and take over after Smith was lost to a knee injury early in the second quarter. Perry, who started the junior varsity game on Friday, put together a 90-yard-drive in the fourth quarter that led to a 23-yard field goal. 

The Midshipmen were playing their first game without record-setting quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who rushed for 88 touchdowns as a four-year starter. After serving for three years as Reynolds’ backup, Smith ran Navy’s triple-option offense flawlessly until he was injured on a 22-yard run with 14:17 left in the half. 

In just over one quarter of work, Smith rushed for 97 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Senior Will Worth entered and was also effective, scoring on a seven-yard run that gave the Midshipmen a 28-10 lead. He also threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Toneo Gulley. 

Junior fullback Chris High had 176 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, including a 70-yard scamper, in his first career start for Navy. It was the most rushing yards by a Navy fullback since 2010. 

Kevin Anderson completed 26 of 45 passes for 302 yards with a touchdown for the Rams.

Air Force 37, Abilene Christian 21

Ronald Cleveland rushed for a score and caught a 62-yard TD pass as the Falcons won their 13thst straight at home.

Cleveland plays a hybrid position in Air Force’s triple-option offense. His 33-yard TD run in the second quarter began a spurt of 21 straight points to help the Falcons (1-0) pull away from pesky Abilene Christian (0-1). The sophomore entered the game with one career carry. 

Quarterback Nate Romine guided the offense in his return from a knee injury that sidelined him most of last season. He finished with two TD passes as Air Force improved to 21-0 all-time against Football Championship Subdivision teams. 

Abilene Christian kept it close for most of the game thanks to a defense that recovered two early fumbles. Dallas Sealey threw three TD passes, including a 76-yard strike to Tracy James with 4:14 remaining that made it 37-21. 

Air Force hasn’t lost at Falcon Stadium since Nov. 21, 2013, against UNLV. It’s the longest home winning streak in team history.

Get our daily Sports Report newsletter