College football: No. 13 Wisconsin trounces No. 11 Michigan; No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 LSU roll; No. 15 UCF falls
Jonathan Taylor ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Jack Coan added a career-high two rushing touchdowns, and No. 13 Wisconsin made it look easy in a 35-14 victory over No. 11 Michigan on Saturday in Madison, Wis.
Taylor had 143 yards and both scores in the first quarter, including a 72-yarder. He missed the second quarter because of cramps, but the 2018 Doak Walker Award winner returned in the third to finish with 23 carries to help the Badgers (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) avenge a 38-13 loss to the Wolverines last season in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“I think we made [a statement],” said Taylor, who rushed for 101 yards against Michigan last season. “It’s going to be tough to come into Camp Randall [Stadium] and come out with an easy win. You have to play for 60 minutes. You have to play until the clock hits zero in the fourth quarter.”
Michigan’s struggles to hold on to the ball continued as the Wolverines suffered another embarrassing loss under coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan is 1-6 on the road against ranked opponents under Harbaugh, who took over the program in 2015.
“We were outplayed, outprepared, outcoached, the whole thing both offensively and defensively,” Harbaugh said. “It was thorough.”
The game was so lopsided that the 80,248 in attendance chanted “overrated, overrated” to a Michigan team expected to contend for the Big Ten championship. The Wolverines (2-1, 0-1) also had to make a quarterback change.
Harbaugh elected to bench Shea Patterson late in the first half in favor of backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey. Patterson, who fumbled twice in each of Michigan’s first two games, left after completing four of nine passes for 88 yards with an interception.
at No. 1 Clemson 52, Charlotte 10: Trevor Lawrence threw two first-half touchdown passes, and the Tigers (4-0) won their 19th straight game with an overwhelming victory over the 49ers (2-2) in Clemson, S.C.
Lawrence and Clemson put the first matchup between the two teams away in a hurry. The quarterback threw a 58-yard touchdown toss to Tee Higgins and K’Von Wallace scored on a 66-yard interception return to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes. Lawrence came out of the game after throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to Cornell Powell on the first play of the second quarter.
Charlotte, which had been averaging 47 points a game, had no chance to rally against Clemson’s defense.
at No. 2 Alabama 49, Southern Mississippi 7: Tua Tagovailoa passed for 293 yards and five touchdowns in just three quarters, and the Crimson Tide (4-0) rolled to a victory over the Golden Eagles (2-2) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Tagovailoa had his second straight five-touchdown game, and Alabama raced to a 28-0 lead in the first 19 minutes in yet another lopsided win. Last season’s Heisman Trophy runner-up completed 17 of 21 passes.
Southern Miss couldn’t keep up with speedy Tide wide receiver Henry Ruggs III early. Ruggs had a career high in receiving yards even before the first quarter ended, with touchdowns of 45 and 74 yards in the opening nine minutes. He finished with four catches for 148 yards, all in the first half and all on four targets.
No. 4 Louisiana State 66, at Vanderbilt 38: Joe Burrow tossed four of his school-record six touchdown passes to Ja’Marr Chase and threw for 398 yards, leading the Tigers to a romp over the Commodores in Nashville in LSU’s Southeastern Conference opener.
The Tigers (4-0, 1-0) beat Vanderbilt (0-3, 0-2) for the eighth straight time and improved to 12-5 all-time in Nashville in the first game between these SEC charter members since 2010.
LSU showed off its new high-powered offense, scoring its most points this season and most ever in regulation against an SEC opponent. The Tigers needed 2:11 or less on their first seven scoring drives, and LSU scored four seconds after Micah Baskerville returned an onside kick 46 yards to open the third quarter on Burrow’s fifth touchdown pass.
at No. 6 Ohio State 76, Miami (Ohio) 5: Justin Fields threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more scores in the second quarter as the Buckeyes (4-0) cruised to a win over the RedHawks (1-3) in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State, stunned by an early Fields end-zone fumble and safety, only led 7-5 after the first quarter. But that changed quickly as Fields hit K.J. Hill with a 53-yard touchdown pass and then ran for a seven-yard score 32 seconds later. It was all Buckeyes the rest of the way, with backups mopping up throughout the second half.
After four straight blowouts to start the 2019 season, Ohio State expects to find the going a little more difficult as it gets into the meat of the Big Ten schedule beginning next week at Nebraska, followed by a home game against Michigan State.
No. 8 Auburn 28, at No. 17 Texas A&M 20: Bo Nix threw a touchdown pass and JaTarvious Whitlow ran for a score as the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 SEC) built a big lead and withstood a late charge from the Aggies (2-2, 0-1) to get a victory in College Station, Texas.
Nix didn’t put up flashy numbers against Texas A&M, but he looked poised and didn’t make any big mistakes in his first true road game in front of a rowdy crowd of 101,681. Fellow freshman Joey Gatewood replaced Nix for a few snaps throughout the game, and he threw his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter.
USC must be considered the Pac-12 South favorite after a big win over Utah, and Clay Helton probably bought himself at least eight more games as coach.
The Tigers were up 21-3 before the Aggies finally got going offensively in the fourth quarter. Mond cut the lead to 21-10 with his first touchdown pass early in the fourth before Auburn added a touchdown rushing. But Texas A&M made a field goal before Mond connected with Ainias Smith on a 15-yard touchdown pass with just more than two minutes left to get the Aggies to 28-20.
at No. 9 Florida 34, Tennessee 3: Kyle Trask threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns in his first start in nearly seven years, and the Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) beat the slumping Volunteers in Gainesville, Fla., extending Florida’s dominance in a series that used to be the most prominent in the SEC’s Eastern Division.
Trask’s first start at Florida was far from perfect, though. He lost a fumble and threw two interceptions against Tennessee.
But he overcame those miscues and led the Gators to their 14th win in their last 15 games against the Volunteers. Trask completed 20 of 28 passes, none better than the ones that went for touchdowns to Kyle Pitts and Freddie Swain.
Trask connected with Pitts for a 19-yard score on the opening drive of the game. He found Swain for a 29-yarder to cap Florida’s first possession of the second half.
at No. 12 Texas 36, Oklahoma State 30: Sam Ehlinger passed for four touchdowns, and the Longhorns (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) ended four years of frustration against the Cowboys (3-1, 0-1) with a win in Austin, Texas.
Ehlinger had his third four-touchdown passing game of the season for Texas, which had lost four in a row to Oklahoma State. The Longhorns also had lost their last five home games in this series dating back to 2010.
The Texas defense held Oklahoma State’s two big offensive weapons — running back Chuba Hubbard and wide receiver Tylan Wallace — mostly in check.
Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher coming into the night, ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns but averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. He twice got stuffed short near the goal line on key drives for the Cowboys early and late. Wallace, who came into the game tied for the national lead with six touchdown receptions, didn’t find the end zone against the Longhorns and had just two catches in the second half.
at Pittsburgh 35, No. 15 Central Florida 34: Wide receiver Aaron Matthews hit quarterback Kenny Pickett on a three-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass with 56 seconds remaining, and the Panthers (2-2) stunned the Knights (3-1) in Pittsburgh.
The Panthers ended Central Florida’s 25-game regular-season winning streak on a play Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi called the “Pitt Special” in a nod to the Philadelphia Eagles, who ran a similar play two seasons ago in their Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.
Pitt trailed by six when Pickett drove the Panthers to the UCF three-yard line. Running back A.J. Davis took a direct snap with Pickett going in motion. Davis handed the ball to Matthews, who rolled to his right and hit Pickett in the end zone. The Knights’ last-gasp drive went nowhere.
Pickett completed 25 of 47 for 224 yards with a touchdown despite leaving briefly with a right arm injury. Maurice Ffrench and Dontavius Butler-Jenkins caught touchdown passes for the Panthers, who bounced back from an emotional loss to rival Penn State last week by withstanding a 31-point outburst from UCF in the middle of the game.
California gets a game-saving tackle at the one-yard line on the final play to defeat Mississippi; No. 16 Oregon beats Stanford.
at No. 21 Virginia 28, Old Dominion 17: Zane Zandier returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown, part of a dominant defensive second half, as the Cavaliers (4-0) rallied past the Monarchs (1-2) in Charlottesville, Va., to remain undefeated.
Old Dominion’s failed fourth-down try in its own territory set up Virginia’s go-ahead score, a seven-yard touchdown run by Wayne Taulapapa with 10:16 to go for a 21-17 edge.
The Cavaliers are off to their best start since they opened 5-0 in 2004. The Monarchs have lost two in a row, both to in-state ACC opponents. They lost to Virginia Tech two weekends ago, a year after stunning the Hokies in Norfolk.
Southern Methodist 41, at No. 25 Texas Christian 38: Shane Buechele threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, and the Mustangs held on to beat the Horned Frogs (2-1) in Fort Worth, ending a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry and improving to 4-0 for the first time since 1984.
SMU went ahead to stay after jumping ahead 15-0 in less than 10 minutes. The Mustangs’ last 4-0 start came when TCU and SMU were Southwest Conference rivals, and not long before crippling sanctions led to the NCAA’s so-called death penalty when the Mustangs didn’t even field a team in 1987 and 1988.
TCU true freshman quarterback Max Duggan’s third touchdown pass of the second half came with 3:37 left. The Frogs got the ball back a minute later after a three and out by SMU, including a snap that Buechele wasn’t ready for that resulted in a 23-yard loss.
But after TCU coach Gary Patterson opted against trying a 51-yard field-goal attempt, Duggan’s fourth-down pass never had a chance and SMU ran out the clock.
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