Kelly Bryant ran for two touchdowns after getting knocked hard to the ground and defensive end Austin Bryant had four of Clemson's 11 sacks in the No. 3 Tigers' 14-6 victory over visiting Auburn on Saturday night.
This was billed as an early showcase between elite teams with dreams of the College Football Playoffs. Instead, Clemson's Bryants never gave Auburn (1-1) much of a chance.
Bryant, making his second career start at quarterback for defending national champion Clemson, appeared to be seriously hurt after he remained on the ground on a hit by Dontavius Russell.
But after a few moments in the medical tent, Bryant returned to direct a pair of touchdown drives that gave Clemson (2-0) the lead for good. Bryant's 3-yard run right before halftime put Clemson ahead 7-6. He finished the next possession with a spinning, 27-yard burst.
Clemson's defense squashed any chance of an Auburn comeback. Bryant was nearly unblockable and created havoc quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Auburn, which was held to 117 yards.
Austin Byrant sacked Stidham on Auburn's final two plays as the Baylor transfer desperately tried to get the ball downfield. Byrant threw for 181 yards on 19-of-29 passing. He also rushed for 68 yards.
No. 5 Oklahoma 31, at No. 2 Ohio State 16: Baker Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns and the Sooners knocked off Buckeyes to give first-year head coach Lincoln Riley an early signature victory. Oklahoma avenged a 45-24 loss to the Buckeyes' last year in Norman.
Mayfield lived up to his billing as a Heisman Trophy contender in shifting the Sooners (2-0) into overdrive and piling up the yards in the second half as the Buckeyes' offense sputtered. Oklahoma took its first lead near the end of the third quarter and cruised in the fourth.
Ohio State's title hopes didn't evaporate, but the Buckeyes (1-1) will have to solve myriad offensive problems and play much better to get back in it.
True freshman J.K. Dobbins again was a bright spot for the Buckeyes, rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown, but quarterback J.T. Barrett couldn't hit the big passes when he needed them to extend drives. He often resorted to pulling the ball down and taking off himself.
Mayfield completed 27 of 35 passes with TD passes to Dimitri Flowers, Lee Morris and Trey Sermon.
at No. 1 Alabama 41, Fresno State 10: Jalen Hurts ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns as well as passed for a third score as the Crimson Tide (2-0) polished off the 44-point underdog Bulldogs with a workmanlike performance.
Hurts completed 14 of 18 passes for 128 yards, but his biggest play came in the opening minute. He faked a handoff and sprinted 55 yards for a touchdown on the second offensive play, stepping out of a last-gasp tackle attempt at the 15.
The Tide led 28-3 at halftime against Fresno State, which had opened coach Jeff Tedford's first season with a 66-0 win over FCS Incarnate Word. Fresno State scored on Chason Virgil's 26-yard pass to Derrion Grim with just over six minutes left. That was set up by Da'Mari Scott's 63-yard kick return
Alabama outgained the Bulldogs 305-58 on the ground.
at No. 4 Penn State 33. Pittsburgh 14: Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including Saquon Barkley's 46-yard catch-and-run, and Penn State pulled away.
McSorley completed 15 of 28 passes for 164 yards, helping the Nittany Lions (2-0) avenge a loss to their in-state rivals a year ago. Tight end Mike Gesicki had two touchdown receptions and Barkley ran for 88 yards to help Penn State ended a two-game skid against the Panthers.
Qadree Ollison ran for 96 yards for the Panthers (1-1), but Pitt's offense struggled to finish drives early on and the Nittany Lions pulled away late. Max Browne completed 19 of 32 passes for only 138 yards and had two passes intercepted.
at No. 8 Michigan 36, Cincinnati 14: Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards and Wilton Speight threw two touchdown passes to help the Wolverines pull away to the win.
The Wolverines (2-0) led by just three points early in the second half before scoring 19 straight points to turn a closely contested game into a lopsided one.
The Bearcats (1-1) failed to take advantage of Michigan's many mistakes and made some miscues of their own to spoil an upset bid.
Cincinnati's Hayden Moore was 15 of 40 for 132 yards with a TD pass to Kahlil Lewis that cut Michigan's lead to 17-14 in the third quarter. Moore had some passes dropped and had some errant throws, two of which were intercepted and returned for scores by Tyree Kinnel in the first quarter and Lavert Hill late in the fourth.
Speight completed 17 of 29 passes for 221 yards. He had TD passes to Kekoa Crawford early in the game and to Grant Perry in the third that gave Michigan a 10-point cushion.
at No. 9 Wisconsin 31, Florida Atlantic 14: Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and Alex Hornibrook threw for 201 yards and a score for Wisconsin.
The bigger Badgers (2-0) wore down the Owls (0-2) despite some middling play in the middle of the game. Wisconsin opened up 14-0 lead in the first quarter o Taylor's 64- and 29-yard touchdown runs, but didn't have the game in hand until his third score with 1:12 left in the third quarter,
The threat of Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida put the stakes in perspective for the Owls and first-year coach Lane Kiffin. The Owls will stay in Madison at least through Sunday.
at No. 12 LSU 45, Chattanooga 10: Derrius Guice ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns, D.J. Chark returned a punt 65 yards for a score, and LSU overcame bouts of sloppiness.
Danny Etling passed for 227 yards and a TD, connecting on eight of 14 attempts in less than three quarters of work for the Tigers (2-0). Etling's scoring pass was a 36-yarder to Drake Davis.
Chark had three receptions for 103 yards, including a 48-yard catch from Etling in the third quarter. Chark also had a 79-yard punt return for a would-be TD negated by a holding penalty.
While LSU coach Ed Orgeron is bound to be pleased overall by a two-game start in which the Tigers have outscored opponents 72-10 combined, he also could be concerned about a rash of penalties and place-kicking problems as his team prepares for its first Southeastern Conference game next week. LSU was penalized 11 times for 74 yards, one week after committing 10 penalties for 86 yards against BYU.
No. 17 Louisville 47, at North Carolina 35: Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson accounted for 525 total yards and six touchdowns as the Cardinals pulled away late.
Jackson threw for 393 yards and three scores and ran for 132 yards and three TDs. The last came on a spinning-through-tacklers 11-yard run with 3:06 left to punctuate a dominant fourth-quarter effort by the Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Junior Jaylen Smith had nine catches for a career-high 183 yards and a score, and Dez Fitzpatrick hauled in two TDs as the Cardinals rolled to 705 yards.
Chazz Surratt and Brandon Harris combined to throw for North Carolina (0-2, 0-1).
at No. 18 Virginia Tech 27, Delaware 0: Greg Stroman returned a punt for a touchdown and Josh Jackson threw two scoring passes to carry the Hokies to the win.
Stroman broke a scoreless game late in the first quarter when he fielded a punt, made a nice cut to dodge a would-be tackler and went untouched for a 61-yard touchdown. He became the first player in Virginia Tech history to return a punt for a touchdown in three consecutive seasons.
The Hokies (2-0), coming off a last-second win over West Virginia, struggled offensively for much of the game, but got scoring strikes of 4 and 28 yards from Jackson. The latter one went to Cam Phillips, who broke free on a post pattern to give the Hokies breathing room in the fourth quarter.
Delaware (1-1) squandered two scoring opportunities — one on a drive that ended in an interception and the other when Frank Raggo's 28-yard field-goal attempt hit the right upright.
at No. 19 Kansas State 55, Charlotte 7: Kendall Adams scored on interception and fumble returns in the first half for the Wildcats.
Adams returned an interception 30 yards to give the Kansas State (2-0) a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and had a 46-yard fumble return late in the second to make it 31-7.
Alex Barnes, Jesse Ertz and Winston Dimel had touchdown runs. Charlotte dropped to 0-2.
at No. 23 Texas Christia 28, Arkansas 7: Darius Anderson ran for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown and the Horned Frogs' defense dominated once again.
Anderson had 15 carries to help the Horned Frogs (2-0) win in Fayetteville for the first time since 1984 when both schools were in the Southwest Conference. The sophomore's previous rushing best was 103 yards in a victory over Texas last season.
Kenny Hill was 21-of-31 passing for 166 yards for TCU, and the Horned Frogs held the Razorbacks (1-1) to 267 yards of total offense — a week after allowing only 65 yards in a 63-0 victory over Jackson State.
Arkansas' Austin Allen complete 9 of 23 passes for 138 yards, a year after accounting for four touchdowns in the Razorbacks' double-overtime win at TCU. Arkansas has lost three of its last four games to fall to 26-27 under fifth-season year coach Bret Bielema.
at No. 25 Tennessee 42, Indiana State 7: Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, Carlin Fils-aime had two scoring runs and the Volunteers breezed past their Football Championship Subdivision opponents.
Five days after John Kelly ran for four touchdowns in Tennessee's 42-41 double-overtime triumph over Georgia Tech, he shared the spotlight with his backups in a game that had much less suspense.
Kelly ran for 80 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards to lead the Volunteers (2-0) in rushing and receiving, but two guys below him on the depth chart scored Tennessee's first three touchdowns.
Iowa 44, at Iowa State 41 (OT): Quarterback Nate Stanley threw a 5-yard TD pass to Ihmir Smith-Marsette in overtime as the Hawkeyes rallied for their its third straight win over the rival Cyclones.
Stanley threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns in his first road start for the Hawkeyes (2-0), who blew an early 11-point lead before rallying to force overtime on a brilliant catch and run by Wadley.