CFB roundup: Leonard Fournette runs wild in LSU’s win at Syracuse

Leonard Fournette
LSU running back Leonard Fournette breaks into the clear during a 62-yard touchdown run against Syracuse in September 2015.
(Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

Heisman Trophy hopeful Leonard Fournette ran for a career-high 244 yards and two touchdowns, Tre’Davious White returned a punt 69 yards for another score, and No. 8 Louisiana State held on for a 34-24 victory over the Orange in Syracuse, N.Y.

Fournette had his second straight 200-yard game and fifth straight 100-yard game — and it came in a fitting place.

Syracuse’s tradition is based on its stellar running backs from the past, the great Jim Brown, Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis and Floyd Little, a three-time All-American in the mid-1960s. The Carrier Dome field is named in honor of Davis, the first black player to win the coveted trophy. Little, now an administrator at Syracuse, watched from the chancellor’s box.

LSU (3-0), which beat Southeastern Conference rivals Mississippi State and Auburn to start the season, used big plays to hand Syracuse (3-1) its first loss despite being called for 14 penalties for 120 yards.


No play was bigger than Travin Dural’s 51-yard catch on a third-and-5 play in the fourth quarter after the Orange moved within a touchdown. Brandon Harris hit Malachi Dupre with an 11-yard scoring pass with 9:14 left to seal it.

Fournette gained 48 yards to set up his first-quarter score, White found a seam up the middle and raced untouched into the end zone to give LSU a 17-3 lead in the third, and Fournette tacked on a 62-yard scoring run later in the period for a 24-10 lead.

No. 1 Ohio State 38, Western Michigan 12

Cardale Jones threw two touchdown passes early and Adolphus Washington returned an interception 20 yards for a score to lead No. 1 Ohio State to the win in Columbus.


Jones played better than he did a week ago, when he was benched in the second quarter of a seven-point win over Northern Illinois. He finished 19 of 33 for 288 yards with an interception before J.T. Barrett replaced him late in the game.

Ohio State (3-0) has won 17 straight.

Jones threw a 38-yard scoring pass to Michael Thomas on the Buckeyes’ first series, and Ohio State went up 14-0 early in the second quarter on his 37-yard TD pass to Jalin Marshall.

Western Michigan (1-3) made it 14-6 on a 55-yard pass by Zach Terrell to Daniel Braverman, but Terrell threw an interception that Washington returned to give Ohio State a 24-6 lead at the half. The defense has TDs in three straight games.

Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott topped 100 yards for the ninth straight game, finishing with 144 yards, including a 6-yard TD.

No. 2 Michigan State 30, Central Michigan 10

Gerald Holmes ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and No. 2 Michigan State overcame a sluggish performance to beat Central Michigan at East Lansing, Mich.

The Spartans (4-0) have scored at least 30 points in a school-record 12 consecutive games, but they did not look particularly good offensively for most of this one. Connor Cook threw for only 143 yards, and the Cippewas (1-3) kept their upset bid very much alive until the final period.


Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun was dominant, finishing with 2 1/2 sacks and a blocked field goal.

The Spartans, who have already lost linebacker Ed Davis and cornerback Vayante Copeland to season-ending injuries, lost standout tackle Jack Conklin to an apparent knee injury, although it’s not clear how serious that is.

No. 3 Mississippi 27, Vanderbilt 16

Chad Kelly threw for 321 yards, Jaylen Walton ran for a season-high 133 yards and Mississippi pushed past feisty Vanderbilt at Oxford, Miss.

It was a mostly mediocre performance for the Ole Miss offense, which came into the game averaging 64 points — tops in the nation.

The Rebels’ red zone offense was particularly bad. Ole Miss had to settle for three field goal attempts when inside Vanderbilt’s 20. Two were made and one was blocked, which helped keep the Commodores in the game much longer than most expected.

Ole Miss (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) broke the game open midway through the fourth quarter when Walton ran for a 3-yard touchdown after two long runs earlier in the drive.

Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2) lost its third straight against the Rebels.


No. 5 Baylor 70, Rice 17

Seth Russell matched a school record with six touchdown passes, three of his five in the first half to Corey Coleman, and Baylor routed Rice in Waco, Texas.

Russell threw for 277 yards and Shock Linwood ran for 158 and a score to help the Bears (3-0) extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 18 games, including the first eight at their campus stadium on the Brazos River.

Baylor, the national leader in yards and points per game coming in, had 444 yards at halftime and finished with 793 heading into its Big 12 opener against Texas Tech at the home of the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday.

The Owls (2-2) lost their 25th straight game against a Top 25 opponent, a streak that goes back to 1997.

No. 6 Notre Dame 62, Massachussets 27

C.J. Sanders scored on a 50-yard punt return to spark Notre Dame to four straight touchdowns at South Bend, Ind.

DeShone Kizer threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Chris Brown with 6 seconds left in the first half to give the Irish (4-0) a 35-20 lead. C.J. Prosise scored on a 16-yard run, and Dexter Williams added a 14-yard touchdown run to open the second half to give the Irish a 48-20 lead.

Marquis Young had an 83-yard touchdown run for the Minutemen (0-3), and Sekai Lindsay and Jamal Wilson added 1-yard scoring runs.

No. 7 Georgia 48, Southern 6

Nick Chubb ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a TD pass to lead No. 7 Georgia to the win in Athens, Ga.

Chubb had scoring runs of 9 and 49 yards in the third quarter. The 49-yarder gave him 12 straight games with at least 100 yards rushing. He scored on a 24-yard pass from Greyson Lambert in the first quarter.

Georgia (4-0) led 17-0 in the first quarter and then played in the second quarter as if looking ahead to next week’s visit from No. 12 Alabama.

Lenard Tillery’s 16-yard scoring run for Southern (2-2) quieted the Georgia fans on a soggy day. The Bulldogs’ only points in the second quarter came on a field goal.

Georgia quickly stretched the 20-6 halftime lead with four third-quarter touchdowns.

No. 9 UCLA 56, No. 16 Arizona 30

Freshman Josh Rosen was sharp in his first Pac-12 road game, throwing for 284 yards and accounting for three touchdowns in UCLA’s victory over Arizona.

UCLA turned this Pac-12 showdown into a laugher by halftime, turning three Arizona turnovers into touchdowns while building a 28-point lead.

Rosen had two touchdowns on 19-of-28 passing and ran for another score after struggling the previous two games. Paul Perkins ran for 85 yards and three more scores and the Bruins had 497 total yards.

The Bruins (4-0, 1-0) played well defensively without star linebacker Myles Jack, grounding Arizona’s high-flying offense most of the night.

Arizona (3-1, 0-1) struggled at home after rolling through a soft nonconference schedule.

No. 12 Alabama 34, Louisiana Monroe 0

Jake Coker threw three touchdown passes and Alabama limited Louisiana-Monroe to 92 total yards in the victory at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide (3-1) had an uneven offensive performance, but it didn’t make much difference. Alabama was coming off a 43-37 home loss to Mississippi.

The Warhawks (1-2) didn’t have a first down in the first 23 minutes and were held to 9 yards rushing. It was their first visit since stunning the Tide 21-14 eight years ago in coach Nick Saban’s first season, which still stands as the low point of his tenure.

The Tide racked up six sacks and two interceptions.

No. 18 Utah 62, No. 13 Oregon 20

Travis Wilson returned from a shoulder sprain and threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns in Utah’s victory over Oregon in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in Eugene, Ore.

Wilson completed 18 of 30 passes, hitting nine receivers, and ran for 100 yards and another score for Utah (4-0). The lanky senior sprained his left shoulder two weeks ago against Utah State and sat out the Utes’ victory last weekend over Fresno State.

It was Oregon’s worst loss at home since falling 54-0 to Washington in 1977. Utah’s 62 points were the most scored against a Pac-12 opponent since joining the league in 2011, and also the most the Ducks have ever allowed in Eugene.

Vernon Adams Jr. started at quarterback for Oregon (2-2) despite a broken index finger that kept him out of the Ducks’ victory last weekend over Georgia State, but he didn’t last long and was replaced by backup Jeff Lockie in the second quarter. But it was Oregon’s besieged defense that had no solution for Wilson and the rolling Utes, who amassed 530 yards of total offense.

No. 14 Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 21 (OT)

Kyle Allen threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk in overtime to cap Texas A&M’s comeback against Arkansas in their Southeastern Conference opener at Arlington, Texas.

The Aggies (4-0) had a chance to win the game on the final play of regulation, but Taylor Bertolet’s 38-yard field goal attempt was just wide right.

Allen, who was 21 of 28 passing for 358 yards with with both of his touchdowns to Kirk, hit the true freshman receiver in the end zone on the second play of overtime.

Arkansas (1-3) then got its chance, but DeVante Harris tipped away Brandon Allen’s pass to Drew Morgan on fourth-and-4 from the 19.

Kirk finished with eight catches for 173 yards. Josh Reynolds had three catches for 106 yards. He had a 63-yarder to set up Texas A&M’s touchdown with 2:50 left, and caught the tying 2-point conversion.

No. 17 Northwestern 24, Ball State 19

Clayton Thorson threw three touchdown passes, Justin Jackson ran for a career-high 184 yards and Northwestern overcame a sluggish first half to rally past Ball State in Evanston, Ill.

Thorson, the freshman quarterback, finished 18 of 31 for 256 yards with one interception for the Wildcats (4-0). Jackson had 33 carries for an average of 5.6 yards. Dan Vitale had five receptions for 108 yards and a pair of touchdown catches, including a 66-yarder in the first half.

Riley Neal was 14 of 35 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Jordan Williams, for Ball State (2-2).

Duke 34, No. 20 Georgia 20

Shaquille Powell rushed for three touchdowns and Duke’s defense dominated the game in Durham, N.C.

DeVon Edwards returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score while Powell scored on runs of 1, 4 and 30 yards for Duke (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Thomas Sirk was 17 of 25 for 114 yards with an 11-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Rahming.

Justin Thomas pulled Tech to 26-20 with his 12-yard TD run with 8:02 left, and the Yellow Jackets (2-2, 0-1) had two chances after that to reclaim the lead.

They were stuffed on four downs deep inside Duke territory, a series before Thomas fumbled at his own 39 after a hit from Jeremy Cash with 2:12 left.

Powell then took a fourth-and-1 handoff up the middle for the 30-yard touchdown run that iced Duke’s second straight win over a ranked Georgia Tech team. 

Michigan 31, No. 22 BYU 0

Jake Rudock ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score in Ann Arbor and Michigan scored all of its points in the first half.

The Wolverines (3-1) have won three straight under Jim Harbaugh after an opening loss at Utah. They were 1-9 in their last 10 games against ranked opponents.

The Cougars (2-2) have lost in consecutive weeks, including a one-point setback at then-No. 10 UCLA, after beating then-No. 20 Boise State by double digits and Nebraska on a Hail Mary.

De’Veon Smith ran for 125 yards on 16 carries, including a tackle-breaking, 60-yard touchdown, before leaving late in the third quarter after appearing to hurt his right ankle.

No. 22 Wisconsin 28, Hawaii 0

Taiwan Deal ran for 147 yards and two scores, and No. 22 Wisconsin held a nonconference opponent without a touchdown for the third straight game in a 28-0 victory over Hawaii at Madison, Wis.

Linebacker Joe Schobert had two sacks and the Badgers (3-1) held Hawaii (2-2) to 15 yards rushing in the first night game at Camp Randall Stadium in three years.

Deal got the Badgers’ own rushing attack going with a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs in the first half. With Big Ten play looming, Deal’s day was a promising sign for a Wisconsin team that will be without injured starting tailback Corey Clement for at least a month.

The Rainbow Warriors’ best scoring chance came in the third quarter in a drive to the 1. Penalties pushed Hawaii back 30 yards, and Rigoberto Sanchez missed a 49-yard field goal.

No. 24 Oklahoma State 30, Texas 27

Ben Grogan kicked a 40-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to lift Oklahoma State to the win, giving the Cowboys their fourth straight win on the Longhorns’ home field in Austin.

Grogan had tied the game with a 41-yarder with 1:33 left. The game appeared headed for overtime a minute later until Texas punter Michael Dickson, a rugby player from Australia, fumbled a deep snap and scrambled to get off a 10-yard punt near his own end zone.

Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) almost didn’t get a chance at Grogan’s game-winner when the Cowboys were penalized with 10 seconds left. But because they still had a time out, it did not force the 10-second runoff and Grogan calmly drilled the final kick.

Texas (1-3, 0-1) scored two defensive touchdowns but still fell to one its worst starts in more than 50 years.

Kentucky 21, No. 25 Missouri 13

Patrick Towles threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Kentucky past Missouri at Lexington, Ky., to end the Wildcats’ 18-game losing streak against ranked teams.

The Wildcats (3-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) beat a ranked team for the first since topping then-No. 18 South Carolina 31-28 in Lexington five years ago.

Towles threw TD passes of 24 yards to tight end C.J. Conrad in the third quarter and the 5-yard clincher to Dorian Baker with 6:20 remaining.

Towles was 22 of 27 for 249 yards and ran for 21 yards, including a 14-yard scoring run in the second quarter. He helped the Wildcats gain 369 yards against the nation’s fourth-ranked defense.

The Tigers (3-1, 0-1) had won a school-record straight games on the road.

South Carolina 31, Central Florida 14

Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez threw for two touchdowns and Pharoh Cooper turned a broken play into a 40-yard, go-ahead scoring run to rally South Carolina to a much-needed win in Columbia, S.C.

Nunez ran for 123 in his first start while Cooper added a 35-yard TD catch to snap the Gamecocks’ two-game losing streak.

Things looked dire for South Carolina (2-2), which trailed 14-8 and struggled to make critical yards against fired-up UCF (0-4) in the opening half. But behind Nunez, Cooper and linebacker T.J. Holloman’s two interceptions, the Gamecocks turned things around.

After Cooper’s scoring run made it 15-14, Nunez hit tight end Jacob August with a 13-yard touchdown pass. Nunez connected with Cooper on a 35-yard TD later in the period.

Elliott Fry had three field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder to start South Carolina’s scoring.

Army 58, Eastern Michigan 36

Joe Walker and Aaron Kemper had touchdown runs Saturday night and Army ended a season-opening losing streak with the win at Ypsilanti, Mich.

Walker’s 63-yard run early in the game gave the Black Knights (1-3) the lead for good and Kemper added a 56-yard scoring run in the second quarter to help Army lead 29-17 at the half.

The Eagles (1-3) trailed 36-30 late in the third quarter but Army answered with two Drue Harris’ touchdown runs. A.J. Schurr added a pair of keepers for scores.

Kemper had 147 yards on 13 carries to lead Army, which got a touchdown run from John Trainor. Ahmad Bradshaw had a 10-yard touchdown pass to Edgar Poe before leaving the game with an apparent injury.

Darius Jackson rushed for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Brogan Roback was 28 for 40 for 291 yards and two touchdowns for Eastern Michigan.

Navy 28, Connecticut 18

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran 28 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns and threw for another score at East Hartford, Conn. The win is the seventh in a row for the Midshipmen, who are 3-0 for the first time since 2006.

Reynolds had touchdown runs of 10, 4 and 10 yards to give him 73 for his career, second in NCAA history behind former Wisconsin star Monte Ball, who ran for 77. The senior threw the ball just four times, but completed three of those, including a 19-yard touchdown to Jamir Tillman.

Navy had 343 yards of offense, 303 of them on the ground. Fullback Chris Swain ran 10 times for 58 yards.

Bryant Shirreffs threw for 219 yards and two scores for UConn, which falls to 2-2 after a 2-0 start this season. Freshman receiver Tyraiq Beals caught six passes for 63 yards and a score for the Huskies.