College football roundup: TCU stuns No. 9 Texas; Iowa State topples No. 18 Oklahoma
Texas Christian quarterback Max Duggan ran for the go-ahead score with four minutes left and the Horned Frogs’ defense made it stand with a goal-line fumble recovery to stun No. 9 Texas 33-31 on Saturday in Austin, Texas, in a game that had 26 penalties and ended when TCU took a safety as time ran out.
Texas looked primed for its second consecutive fourth-quarter comeback when Sam Ehlinger connected on a 52-yard pass to Keontay Ingram to put the Longohorns in scoring position. But Ingram fumbled on the TCU one-yard-line with 2:32 to play.
Darwin Barlow ran nine yards to pick up a big first down for the Horned Frogs. Duggan then took a deep snap all the way to the back of the end zone to run out the final six seconds.
TCU (1-1, 1-1 Big 12 Conference) improved to 7-2 against Texas since joining the Big 12 in 2012. The Texas loss delivers another blow to the Big 12’s College Football Playoff hopes. The Longhorns (2-1, 1-1) and Oklahoma, which were the league’s highest-ranked teams, have dropped early games to unranked opponents.
“Find a way. You’ve got to take ballgames,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Anybody we play in the state — we know their players, so our kids play hard, and our kids, their families get a chance to come to the ballgames. So, you know, it’s one of those games.“
UCLA will kick off its coronavirus-shortened 2020 Pac-12 football season on the road against former coach Karl Dorrell and Colorado on Nov. 7.
Duggan made his first start of the season after missing much of training camp while treating a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He passed for 231 yards and ran for 79 more and scored twice. His late 26-yard touchdown run caught the Texas defense by surprise as he had a clear path to the end zone.
Ehlinger threw four touchdown passes on an otherwise difficult day for him. He finished 17 of 36 for 236 yards. His 14 touchdown passes in three games lead the nation.
Ehlinger’s last touchdown throw to Malcolm Epps gave Texas its first lead early in the fourth quarter. On the final drive, Ehlinger said he had an option to keep the ball instead of handing off to Ingram on the fumble.
“I talked to him,” Ehlinger said. “I reminded him that as much as we love this, it’s just a game. It’s not life or death.”
Iowa State 37, No. 18 Oklahoma 30
AMES, Iowa — Breece Hall scored the go-ahead touchdown for Iowa State on an eight-yard run with 4:06 left, and Isheem Young intercepted Spencer Rattler’s pass in the end zone on Oklahoma’s final drive.
The Sooners (1-2, 0-2 Big 12), beaten at home by Kansas State last week, lost back-to-back regular-season games for the first time since 1999. They lost in Ames for the first time since 1960.
“It’s our senior class,” fifth-year Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “We’ve got 16 seniors who came here on a dream that we someday could turn Iowa State football around. They came here at 3-9 and believed in us and believed in our vision.”
The Cyclones (2-1, 2-0) wore down the Sooners with the running of Hall, who rushed for 139 yards. Iowa State’s Brock Purdy passed for 254 yards and ran for a two-yard touchdown to tie it at 30.
Isaiah Thomas seemed to turn momentum in the Sooners’ favor when he sacked Purdy, causing him to fumble at the Cyclones’ 39-yard line. Four plays later, Rattler found Jeremiah Hall for a four-yard touchdown pass that put Oklahoma up 30-23 with 8:17 left.
Kene Nwangwu returned the ensuing kick off 85 yards, setting up Purdy’s short touchdown run to tie the score.
No. 4 Georgia 27, No. 7 Auburn 6
ATHENS, Ga. — Stetson Bennett threw for 240 yards and a touchdown in his first college start, Zamir White ran for a pair of scores, and Georgia romped to a victory over Auburn in the first top-10 matchup of the college football season.
The Bulldogs (2-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) buried the Tigers (1-1, 1-1) with a 24-0 blitz in the first half, extending their domination of the Deep South’s oldest rivalry.
The teams had traditionally played in November, but a revamped SEC schedule in this pandemic-affected season moved the game up to Week 2. It was their earliest meeting since the very first game in the series was played in February 1892.
No matter the time of year, Georgia kept the upper hand with a fourth straight victory over Auburn. The Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 16 meetings.
Auburn sophomore quarterback Bo Nix completed just 21 of 40 passes for 177 yards. His run of 251 consecutive passes without an interception was snapped with a third-quarter pick by Mark Webb. The Tigers’ running game was held to 39 yards.
No. 1 Clemson 41, Virginia 23
CLEMSON, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, two to Amari Rodgers, and Clemson started 3-0 for the sixth straight season with a win over Virginia.
The Tigers (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) looked a bit sluggish after a week off but heated up against the Cavaliers (1-1, 1-1) when their offensive stars in Lawrence, Rodgers and tailback Travis Etienne got rolling.
It was the 38th game with at least one touchdown for Etienne, matching the all-time mark shared by Florida’s Tim Tebow and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon. Etienne finished with 115 yards on the ground and five catches for 75 yards.
Lawrence extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 314, spanning his last nine games.
Brennan Armstrong threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions for Virginia, which was pounded by Clemson 62-17 last December in the ACC championship game.
No. 2 Alabama 52, No. 13 Texas A&M 24
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mac Jones passed for a career-high 435 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair of deep throws to John Metchie III and an even longer one to Jaylen Waddle, and Alabama romped past Texas A&M.
Briefly threatened early, Jones and the Crimson Tide (2-0, 2-0 SEC) flexed their considerable big-play muscle in the passing game to put away the Aggies (1-1, 1-1). A sign of things to come: His first attempt went 78 yards to Metchie, Alabama’s latest major receiving threat.
Jones topped that with an 87-yard touchdown strike to Waddle. Metchie and Jones hooked up for a 63-yarder in the fourth, giving the sophomore five catches for 181 yards.
Jones finished 19-of-26 passing for a second straight surgically precise performance marred by one interception off a deflection. Waddle had 142 yards receiving.
Najee Harris rushed for two short touchdowns, and safety Daniel Wright scored on a 47-yard interception return against Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond. Mond completed 25 of 44 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns — with the pick six.
Alabama has won the last eight meetings and 19 straight home openers, including 14-0 under coach Nick Saban.
No. 3 Florida 38, South Carolina 24
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts hooked up for two more touchdowns, leading Florida past South Carolina.
Trask completed 21 of 29 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. His second-quarter fumble kept the Gamecocks (0-2, 0-2 SEC) in the game early.
Pitts finished with four receptions for 57 yards, commanding extra attention and beating South Carolina’s top defenders. He nearly made a one-handed catch in the third quarter, but the ball slipped off his left fingertips.
Some believed former Florida coach Will Muschamp and his Gamecocks would find a way. But the Gators (2-0, 2-0) had their way with South Carolina for three quarters. They finished with 347 yards and punted twice.
In an attempt to help the conference’s chances to get a team into the playoffs, the Pac-12 missed marquee matchups like USC-Oregon or Utah-Washington.
Tulsa 34, No. 11 Central Florida 26
ORLANDO, Fla. — Zach Smith threw three touchdown passes, and Tulsa erased an 18-point first-half deficit to beat Central Florida, snapping the Knights’ 21-game home winning streak.
The Golden Hurricane (1-1, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) made it two straight wins over UCF (2-1, 1-1), which was hampered by penalties (18 for 124 yards) and turned the ball over three times.
Smith threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Keylon Stokes to give Tulsa a 31-26 lead with 12:56 remaining. Zack Long added a 34-yard field goal with 1:30 left to make it 34-26.
UCF drove into Tulsa territory, but after a holding penalty pushed the Knights out of the red zone, Dillon Gabriel’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete. Gabriel was 28 of 51 for 330 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
Tulsa was the last team to beat UCF at home with a 35-20 win Nov. 19, 2016, when Scott Frost was the Knights’ head coach. The Golden Hurricane also upset UCF last season 34-31 in Tulsa.
Smith threw for 273 yards and T.K. Wilkerson rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown for Tulsa.
No. 12 North Carolina 26, Boston College 22
BOSTON — Sam Howell threw two touchdown passes and Trey Morrison scored after intercepting the potential tying two-point conversion with 45 seconds left to lead North Carolina past Boston College.
With the cancellation of one game because of the virus and a scheduled off week leaving North Carolina idle since Sept. 12, the Tar Heels (2-0, 2-0 ACC) sent Boston College (2-1, 1-1) to its first loss under new coach Jeff Hafley.
Howell completed 14 of 26 passes for 225 yards, including a 41-yard score to Javonte Williams.
UNC led 24-16 with just under six minutes left before Phil Jurkovec drove BC into Tar Heels territory and completed three passes in the end zone. The first two were negated by penalties, but a six-yard pass to C.J. Lewis made it a two-point game with 45 seconds left, with the two-point conversion to come. Jurkovec scrambled and threw to the end zone, but Morrison picked him off and ran down the left sideline for the defensive two-point conversion.
Jurkovec completed 37 of 56 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns, hitting tight end Hunter Long nine times for 96 yards.
No. 15 Cincinnati 28, South Florida 7
CINCINNATI — Gerrid Doaks ran for 102 yards and a touchdown, Tre Tucker returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score, and Cincinnati (3-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) had five interceptions in a victory over South Florida (1-2, 0-1).
Doaks had his first 100-yard rushing game since November 2019, when he ran for 123 against Connecticut. Tucker returned the kickoff late in the third quarter to put the Bearcats ahead 28-7.
South Florida used four quarterbacks, with sophmore Jordan McCloud going 12 of 21 for 137 yards with two interceptions. Freshman Katravis Marsh got the start, but he threw three interceptions.
Arkansas 21, No. 16 Mississippi State 14
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Feleipe Franks threw two touchdown passes, and Arkansas intercepted three of K.J. Costello’s passes to break a 20-game Southeastern Conference losing streak.
A week after a record-breaking and stunning upset against Louisiana State, the Bulldogs (1-1, 1-1) and new coach Mike Leach hardly looked like the same team. Costello was 43 of 59 for 313 yards and one touchdown. Costello and the Air Raid shredded LSU for an SEC-record 623 yards passing, but Mississippi State turned the ball over on downs in the red zone twice in the fourth quarter and also lost a fumble against Arkansas.
Greg Brooks Jr. returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown to put Arkansas (1-1, 1-1) on top early, and the Razorbacks led 14-7 at the half. Arkansas managed only 275 yards of total offense and 24 minutes of possession.
No. 17 Oklahoma State 47, Kansas 7
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Shane Illingworth threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns, Chuba Hubbard ran for 145 yards and two more scores, and Oklahoma State was able to rest its starters the final 20 minutes in its victory over Kansas.
Tylan Wallace had nine catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Braylon Johnson had four receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (3-0, 2-0 Big 12), who built a 31-0 lead by halftime.
Oklahoma State finished with 298 yards through the air and 295 on the ground for 593 yards of total offense.
The Jayhawks’ Jalon Daniels and Miles Kendrick were a combined 14 of 24 for 92 yards and an interception. Kansas’ running game generated just 101 yards. The Jayhawks fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
The Pac-12 released its 2020 season for a third time, and USC is set to open the season on the morning of Nov. 7 against Arizona State.
No. 20 Louisiana State 41, Vanderbilt 7
NASHVILLE — Myles Brennan threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns, and Louisiana State (1-1, 1-1 SEC) bounced back to beat Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-2).
The defending national champions never trailed after losing their season opener last week to Mississippi State. LSU also extended its winning streak over the Commodores to nine in a series it leads 24-7-1.
The Tigers outgained Vanderbilt 498-266, and the defense came up with two interceptions and a pair of sacks.
Terrace Marshall Jr. finished with two touchdowns on two catches, and Jontre Kirklin had 65 yards receiving and two touchdown grabs, the second a toe-tapper at the back of the end zone off a flea flicker. John Emery ran for 103 yards and a score.
No. 21 Tennessee 35, Missouri 12
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Eric Gray and Ty Chandler combined to rush for 195 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Tennessee to a win.
The Vols (2-0, 2-0 SEC) have won eight in a row, tying them with Notre Dame for the most among Power Five teams.
Connor Bazelak relieved Shawn Robinson at quarterback in the second quarter for Missouri (0-2, 0-2), but the Tigers could still only muster one touchdown.
Jarrett Guarantano played a mistake-free game for Tennessee, completing 14 of 23 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
N.C. State 30, No. 24 Pittsburgh 29
PITTSBURGH — Devin Leary hit Emeka Emezie for the go-ahead touchdown with 23 seconds remaining to lift North Carolina State to victory.
Leary, making his first start of the season, drove the Wolfpack 79 yards in 12 plays, the final 13 coming on a perfect back-shoulder throw to Emezie, who made a perfect spinning grab to give N.C. State its first victory over a ranked team since 2017. Leary finished 28 for 44 for 336 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to put N.C. State (2-1, 2-1 ACC) in front.
Kenny Pickett threw for a career-high 411 yards and a touchdown and added two more on the ground, including a go-ahead score with 1:44 to play. Still, Pitt’s bid to start 4-0 for the first time since 2000 ended when Leary picked apart the nation’s top-ranked defense with the game on the line. The Panthers (3-1, 2-1) allowed 398 yards, nearly 180 more than they had allowed coming in.
Southern Methodist 30, No. 25 Memphis 27
DALLAS — Chris Naggar kicked a 43-yard field goal with nine seconds left, and Southern Methodist beat Memphis after the Mustangs blew an early three-touchdown lead against a team playing its first game in four weeks.
Memphis (1-1, 0-1 AAC), which because of COVID-19 issues hadn’t played since winning its opener Sept. 5, was driving for a potential go-ahead score when Brady White was sacked and fumbled with 1:25 left. That set up the final drive for SMU (4-0, 1-0), which never trailed.
The Mustangs’ Shane Buechele was 32-of-45 passing for 474 yards and three touchdowns. That included catch-and-run scores of 70 and 85 yards to Reggie Roberson before the star wide receiver exited the game with an apparent left knee injury late in the third quarter. Roberson finished with five catches for 243 yards.
White was 29 of 42 for 380 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
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