Wisconsin routs Michigan State; Ole Miss, Tennessee and Auburn get key SEC wins

Alex Hornibrook
Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook spots receiver as he passes against Michigan State on Saturday.
(Bobby Ellis / Getty Images)

Leo Musso returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and No. 11 Wisconsin turned its early-season showdown with No. 8 Michigan State into a rout, beating the Spartans, 30-6, on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. 

Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook threw for 195 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Wisconsin, outplaying fifth-year senior Tyler O’Connor, his Michigan State counterpart. The Badgers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) were the better team in the first half and then outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the third quarter. 

“We know what we can do and we feel pretty good, and we feel pretty good with our team,” Hornibrook said. “I was glad with the way we played today.” 

Michigan State (2-1, 0-1) was down 13-6 early in the third and had the ball in Wisconsin territory when LJ Scott’s fumble bounced to Musso in the secondary. O’Connor was the only player with a decent shot at him on the return, and Musso spun past the quarterback and went all the way to the end zone. 


O’Connor finished 18 of 38 for 224 yards with three interceptions. 

Corey Clement ran for two touchdowns for Wisconsin.

No. 23 Mississippi 45, No. 12 Georgia 14

Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the Rebels to the victory over the visiting Bulldogs. 


The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) dominated every phase of the game, building a lead of 31-0 by halftime and 45-0 by midway through the third quarter. 

Ole Miss broke a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996. 

Georgia (3-1, 1-1) lost its first game under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. To make matters worse, star running back Nick Chubb injured an ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return.

No. 14 Tennessee 38, No. 19 Florida 28

Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns to help the Volunteers erase a 21-point deficit in Knoxville, Tenn., and end their 11-game losing streak in the annual series. 

This marks the first time Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has beaten Florida (3-1, 1-1) since a 30-28 victory in 2004. The Volunteers had lost to Florida by a single point each of the last two years despite leading in the fourth quarter of both games. 

This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback by scoring 38 consecutive points. 

Dobbs threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score — all in the second half. He went 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Dobbs also rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.


Auburn 18, No. 18 LSU 13

Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals to give Auburn the win over visiting Louisiana State after officials ruled Danny Etling’s apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired. 

Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark on a 15-yard pass, setting off a celebration by LSU players. Officials ruled time expired before Etling took the snap. 

It was an important win for Auburn (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and Coach Gus Malzahn, who faced increased criticism following losses to Top 25 opponents Clemson and Texas A&M. 

An illegal shift penalty against LSU (2-2, 1-1 SEC) left the Tigers with a fourth-down play from the 15 with five seconds left, setting up the final-play drama. 

Carlson is has made all 12 field-goal attempts this season. 

LSU star running back Leonard Fournette had 16 carries for 101 yards.

No. 1 Alabama 48, Kent State 0


Jalen Hurts ran and passed for a touchdown and tailback sub Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s win. 

Alabama (4-0) dominated Coach Nick Saban’s alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to freshman linebacker Mack Wilson. The bad news for Alabama is starting tailback Damien Harris went down on the opening drive with an apparent right ankle injury and didn’t return. 

Harris was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging freshman Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a Saturday afternoon respite for the Tide after a bruising 48-43 comeback win over No. 23 Mississippi. 

Hurts was 16-of-24 passing for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to cap the opening drive. He found Wilson, who had lined up at fullback, for a one-yard third-quarter score. Barnett passed for 55 yards and a touchdown.

No. 3 Louisville 59, Marshall 28 

Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in the Cardinals’ win at Huntington, W.Va. 

The sophomore completed 24 of 44 passes for a career-high 417 yards against a Marshall secondary whose most experienced player had five starts. Jackson also ran for 62 yards. 

Louisville (4-0) didn’t slow down against a nonconference opponent on the road a week after beating Florida State 63-20 at home. 

The Cardinals raced to a 35-7 halftime lead and cruised in the second half to break a four-game losing streak to the Thundering Herd. Jackson’s scoring passes covered 71, 8, 30, 8 and 51 yards. 

Marshall (1-2) was limited to 207 yards of offense. 

No. 4 Michigan 49, Penn State 10

De’Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown while Karan Higdon ran for two scores to lead the Wolverines to the win in both teams’ Big Ten opener at Ann Arbor, Mich. 

The Wolverines scored six touchdowns on the ground as they finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass. 

Michigan (4-0) dominated both sides of the ball. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines. 

Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State’s first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on fourth and goal from the one-yard line. 

The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon’s two-yard run.

No. 6 Houston 64, Texas State 3 

D’Eriq King caught a touchdown pass, threw one and returned a kickoff for another score in Houston’s blowout victory in San Marcos, Texas. 

King, a freshman recruited to play quarterback, is playing at wide receiver while Greg Ward Jr. directs the offense. Ward passed for two touchdowns and ran for one before leaving the game after playing one series in the third quarter. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 289 yards. 

King made a mistake by calling for a fair catch on the Houston five-yard line during a first-quarter Texas State punt. He soon compensated for that, however, catching a short pass from Ward on a bubble screen and taking it in for a touchdown from 48 yards out. Early in the second quarter, King took a handoff from Ward and threw a high pass to the end zone that Steven Dunbar pulled in for a 15-yard touchdown. 

King began the second half by returning the kickoff 99 yards for another touchdown. 

Houston (4-0) gained 563 yards and limited Texas State (1-2) to 142.

No. 10 Texas A&M 45, No. 17 Arkansas 24 

Trevor Knight had two long touchdowns for Aggies before halftime and threw a 92-yard pass to Josh Reynolds right after the Razorbacks were stopped three times from the one-yard line during a big win in Arlington, Texas. 

Reynolds caught the ball in stride just short of midfield, and quickly shed defensive back DJ Dean on his way to the end zone to break a 17-all tie and put the Aggies (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) ahead to stay. Texas A&M has won five straight against the Razorbacks (3-1, 0-1), all since joining the SEC. 

The long catch-and-run by Reynolds came two plays after Keon Hatcher was tackled for a 5-yard loss on fourth down, ending a 19-play drive for the Razorbacks that took 10 minutes after Texas A&M had fumbled from the Arkansas 2. 

No. 13 Florida State 55, South Florida 35

Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns as the Gators rebounded from the most lopsided loss in school history with the win in Tampa, Fla. 

Cook scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage, an immediate response to USF starting the game with Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams teaming on an 84-yard catch-and-run for a quick 7-0 lead. The 213-pound junior’s rushing total on 28 carries topped his previous best of 266 yards against South Florida last year. 

Florida State (3-1) bounced back from being trounced 63-20 by Louisville, a road shellacking that dropped the Seminoles 11 spots in the AP Top 25 from No. 2. 

South Florida (3-1) is off to its fastest start since 2011, however the Bulls were no match for a talented bunch that began the season with expectations of contending for its second national title in four years.

No. 16 Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 24 

Seth Russell threw four touchdown passes, including an 89-yarder to Chris Platt for the go-ahead score in the third quarter, and the Bears beat the Cowboy in the weather-delayed Big 12 opener for both teams in Waco, Texas. 

The game was stopped by lightning for about 1 1/2 hours after the Bears scored on the opening series. 

Ishmael Zamora had career highs of 175 yards receiving and two touchdowns on eight catches in his season debut for the Bears after a three-game suspension over a video of him whipping his dog that surfaced during the summer. Platt also had two TDs. Baylor earned its fourth consecutive 4-0 start in its first big test after a light nonconference schedule. 

The Cowboys (2-2) lost three fumbles, including the second by Justice Hill after he picked up a first down at the Baylor 2 with Oklahoma State trailing 28-24 with 9 minutes remaining. Hill, who had 122 yards rushing, was originally ruled down, but the call was overturned on review. 

No. 20 Nebraska 24, Northwestern 13 

Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 246 yards and ran for a career-high 132 to lead the Cornhusker to a victory in Evanston, Ill., in the Big Ten opener for both teams. 

The Cornhuskers (4-0) remained unbeaten coming off a tight win over Oregon that vaulted them into the top 25 for the first time since December 2014. 

They lost two fumbles near the Northwestern goal line in the first half, but scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to stretch their lead from three to 11. 

The Wildcats (1-3) matched their loss total from last year, when they went 10-3.