College football: No. 1 Alabama edges Texas; No. 8 Notre Dame stunned by Marshall
Will Reichard kicked a 33-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, and Bryce Young and No. 1 Alabama overcame a stifling defensive effort by Texas to earn a hard-fought 20-19 victory Saturday in Austin.
Young was hit and harassed by Texas’ defense most of the game, but the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and former Santa Ana Mater Dei High standout put together a big fourth quarter.
Young had a twisting, off-balance touchdown pass, and he then had a 20-yard scramble in the final minute to set up Reichard’s winning kick. Young easily dodged a blitzing defender and then had a wide-open field ahead of him.
“We know what it takes. We embrace the challenge,” Young said of the final drive that started at Alabama’s 25-yard line and moved across midfield in two plays.
“Houdini act,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said of the player he once helped recruit when he was an assistant for the Crimson Tide.
Young’s clutch play rescued Alabama on an uncharacteristically sloppy day in which the Crimson Tide (2-0) struggled with penalties and dropped passes and were forced into six consecutive punts during one stretch. Texas (1-1) stuffed Alabama on fourth and inches late to set up a go-ahead field goal by Bert Auburn with 1:39 remaining.
On a college football Saturday filled with upsets, Lincoln Riley and USC lived up to the hype, dominating Stanford in the first half in a 41-28 victory.
Young also spoiled what could have been a program-defining victory for Texas and second-year coach Sarkisian, a former USC coach. Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers was knocked out with a sprained clavicle at the end of the first quarter.
Sarkisian said after the game that Ewers would get further tests to determine the injury’s severity.
The steady hand of backup Hudson Card and an inspired defense helped Texas build a 16-10 lead early in the fourth and then drive for the lead again on Auburn’s fourth field goal of the day.
Young was 27-for-39 passing for 213 yards with the scrambling, seven-yard touchdown throw to Jahmyr Gibbs that gave Alabama a 17-16 lead. Jase McLellan had an 81-yard touchdown run for Alabama in the first quarter.
“When his best was needed, he was really good,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Young. “And that’s what we needed.”
Alabama avoided its first nonconference loss since 2007 against Louisiana Monroe in Saban’s first season with the Crimson Tide.
Marshall 26, No. 8 Notre Dame 21
Steven Gilmore returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter and Khalan Labron ran for 163 yards as the Thundering Herd (2-0) shocked the Fighting Irish (0-2) in South Bend, Ind., making Marcus Freeman the first Notre Dame coach to lose his first three games.
Gilmore, the brother of Stephon Gilmore of the Indianapolis Colts, picked off a pass by Tyler Buchner with 4:35 left, raced to the end zone and then jumped into the stands where Marshall fans were already celebrating the victory.
The Thundering Herd, the first Sun Belt Conference team to play at Notre Dame Stadium, beat a team ranked in the top 10 for just the second time in school history. Marshall defeated No. 6 Kansas State 27-20 in 2003.
Freeman, a 36-yeard-old first-time head coach who was promoted after Brian Kelly left for Louisiana State, had lost a bowl game to Oklahoma State and at Ohio State last week. This one will go down much differently to hopeful Notre Dame fans.
The Irish’s streak of 42 consecutive wins against unranked opponents ended.
Freeman was asked whether his inexperience coaching was a factor in the poor start.
“[Is it] my experience as head coach, and I don’t know if that’s a reason why, or the lack of execution?” he said. “But it starts with me, right? It starts with me as the head coach and looking at myself and saying, ‘What do I have to do to help this football team and really look at everything we’re doing?’ Because the performance isn’t where we need it to be.”
In a 41-28 win at rival Stanford on Saturday, No. 10 USC was led by the impressive Caleb Williams and looked like it could be the nation’s top team.
The Herd took a 19-15 lead with 5:16 remaining when Henry Colombi completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Devin Miller. The score was set up by a 42-yard run by Laborn.
Any hope for a comeback by the Irish ended when Owen Porter intercepted a pass by backup Irish quarterback Drew Pyne with three minutes remaining. Pyne threw a touchdown pass with 14 seconds left to cut Notre Dame’s deficit to five points.
Colombi was 16-for-21 passing for 145 yards, and the Thundering Herd rushed for 221 yards in 49 carries.
“Obviously, a phenomenal day,” second-year Marshall coach Charlie Huff said. “I’m really proud of the way they competed.”
The Irish, who struggled offensively a week earlier in a 21-10 loss to Ohio State with a play-it-safe, ball-control game plan, opened the playbook against the Herd but still struggled to get much going.
Buchner was 18-for-32 passing for 201 yards with two interceptions. He also led the Irish in rushing with 44 yards in 13 carries. Michael Mayer had eight catches for 103 yards.
No. 2 Georgia 33, Samford 0
Stetson Bennett passed for 300 yards and threw and ran for a touchdown apiece, and Georgia’s rebuilt defense delivered another dominant performance in a victory at Athens, Ga.
One week after giving up only a field goal in a 49-3 season-opening rout of then-No. 11 Oregon, Georgia’s defense again played up to the standard it set while winning last season’s national championship. Samford (1-1) was held to 128 yards and three first downs.
Georgia (2-0) has reloaded on defense after losing eight players in this year’s NFL draft, including five in the first round.
Bennett completed 24 of 34 passes, including a three-yard scoring pass to freshman Dillon Bell.
UCLA’s protagonists included some unexpected names because of a few notable absences as the Bruins rolled to a 45-7 victory over visiting Alabama State.
No. 3 Ohio State 45, Arkansas State 12
C.J. Stroud threw three touchdown passes to Marvin Harrison Jr., TreVeyon Henderson ran for two more scores, and the Buckeyes (2-0) raced to a win over the Red Wolves (1-1) in Columbus, Ohio.
Harrison had a career-best seven catches for 184 yards. Coupled with his three-touchdown performance as a first-year player in the Rose Bowl last season, Harrison became only the second Ohio State wide receiver to have a pair of three-touchdown games in his career. Joey Galloway had multiple touchdown games in 1993 and 1994.
Stroud, a Heisman Trophy favorite and former Rancho Cucamonga High standout, had 207 passing yards and a pair of 42-yard touchdown throws to Harrison in the first half. He finished 16-for-24 passing for 351 yards and four touchdowns.
College football accounted for four of the top 20 prime-time programs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, led by ABC’s first “Saturday Night Football” game of 2022.
No. 4 Michigan 56, Hawaii 10
J.J. McCarthy was sharp in his first start, throwing for three touchdowns to help the Wolverines (2-0) overwhelm the Rainbow Warriors (0-3) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
McCarthy had his turn to take the first snap after Big Ten championship-winning quarterback Cade McNamara had a lackluster performance in a season-opening win over Colorado State as the starter.
The sophomore made the most of his opportunity against Hawaii, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson on his second snap and a 13-yard pass to Ronnie Bell early in the second quarter to give Michigan a four-touchdown lead.
McCarthy, a former five-star recruit, finished 11 for 12 for 229 yards without a turnover, a performance that likely will help him start next week against Connecticut.
McNamara started the second half and finished four for six for 26 yards with an interception.
No. 5 Clemson 35, Furman 12
DJ Uiagalelei threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns, Will Shipley ran for two scores, and the Tigers (2-0) moved to 37-0 against Football Championship Subdivision opponents with a win over the Paladins (1-1) in Clemson, S.C.
Uiagalelei, a former Bellflower St. John Bosco standout, directed Clemson to touchdowns on his first five drives, and the Tigers were up 21-3 early in the second quarter. It was Clemson’s eighth straight victory, longest among Power Five teams. It was also the Tigers’ 35th straight win at home and 32nd in a row over Furman.
Appalachian State 17, No. 6 Texas A&M 14
Chase Brice threw for 134 yards and a touchdown, and the Mountaineers (1-1) took advantage of two turnovers to stun the Aggies (1-1) in College Station, Texas.
Appalachian State won a week after scoring six touchdowns and 40 points in the fourth quarter in a 63-61 opening loss to North Carolina.
The Mountaineers settled for a 29-yard field goal by Michael Hughes to take a 17-14 lead with about eight minutes left after Christian Wells was wide open but dropped a would-be touchdown pass on third down.
Texas A&M had a chance to tie it with about 3½ minutes to go, but a 47-yard field-goal attempt by Caden Davis was short.
Camerun Peoples, who finished with 112 yards rushing, had a one-yard run on third down on the next possession to keep Appalachian State’s drive going. He then dashed 48 yards to the 12-yard line on the next play, and the Mountaineers ran out the clock.
It’s Appalachian State’s first win over a team in the Associated Press top 25 as a Football Bowl Subdivision team after losing in overtime to No. 9 Tennessee in 2016 and dropping an overtime game to No. 9 Penn State in 2018.
The Mountaineers famously knocked off No. 5 Michigan 34-32 with a last-second blocked field goal in Ann Arbor in 2007 when they were still in the FCS.
No. 7 Oklahoma 33, Kent State 3
Marvin Mims caught seven passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns to help the Sooners (2-0) overcome a slow start and beat the Golden Flashes (0-2) in Norman, Okla.
Dillon Gabriel completed 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and the Sooners finished with 430 yards of offense. Oklahoma has won 11 straight home games and 29 of its last 30.
No. 11 Oklahoma State 34, Arizona State 17
Spencer Sanders passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Cowboys (2-0) defeated the Sun Devils (1-1) on a rainy evening in Stillwater, Okla.
Sanders passed for 268 yards and rushed for 54, and Dominic Richardson ran for 131 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 44 yards for Oklahoma State.
Emory Jones passed for 223 yards and a touchdown for Arizona State, and Xazavian Valladay rushed for 118 yards and a score.
The Times’ college beat writers ranked their favorite Pac-12 cities and recommend places to sightsee, stay at, dine, and consider while visiting.
No. 20 Kentucky 26, No. 12 Florida 16
Kentucky intercepted Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson twice, including one defensive back Keidron Smith returned 65 yards for a touchdown, and the Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) toppled the Gators (1-1, 0-1) in the Swamp in Gainesville, Fla., to notch consecutive wins in the series for the first time in 45 years.
Richardson was off all night, a stark contrast from last week’s three-touchdown, turnover-free performance against then-No. 7 Utah. He had two throws in this one that were complete head-scratchers, and the Wildcats made him pay dearly.
Kentucky linebacker Jordan Wright, cleared to play Thursday after sitting out the opener, made a one-handed catch on Richardson’s pass to the flat late in the second quarter. Quarterback Will Levis scored three plays later.
Levis connected with Dane Key for a 55-yard score in the first half, a throw that showed why Levis is projected to be a first-round draft pick in 2023.
No. 13 Utah 73, Southern Utah 7
Cameron Rising threw for 254 yards in the first half and Dalton Kincaid had 107 yards receiving and two touchdowns as the Utes (1-1) routed the FCS Thunderbirds (1-1) in Salt Lake City.
After dropping a heartbreaker to Florida in the season opener, Utah scored on nine consecutive drives, including eight touchdowns, over the final three quarters and finished with 599 yards of total offense.
“A game like this is as valuable for our 2s as it is for our 1s,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Helps us know what we have down the line.”
No. 14 Michigan State 52, Akron 0
Jalen Berger ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns, and Michigan State’s defense forced four fumbles as the Spartans (2-0) routed the Zips (1-1) in East Lansing, Mich.
It was the largest margin of victory for Michigan State since it beat Eastern Michigan by 59 points in 2014.
Kendell Brooks, filling in for injured starting safety Xavier Henderson, forced the ball out twice in the first quarter. He has forced three fumbles in the Spartans’ first two games.
No. 15 Miami 30, Southern Mississippi 7
Key’Shawn Smith caught a 35-yard flea-flicker touchdown from Tyler Van Dyke, part of a third-quarter burst that lifted the Hurricanes (2-0) to a win over the Golden Eagles (0-2) at Miami Gardens, Fla.
Smith’s scoring grab — the only play of that drive — came 2:14 after Thaddius Franklin Jr.’s seven-yard touchdown run gave Miami a bit of breathing room after the Hurricanes trailed for almost the entire second quarter.
Henry Parrish had a one-yard touchdown run late in the first half for the Hurricanes. Parrish rushed for 97 yards for Miami, which has started its season with two wins for only the seventh time in the last 18 seasons.
No. 16 Arkansas 44, South Carolina 30
Rocket Sanders ran for a career-high 156 yards and scored Arkansas’ first two touchdowns, and KJ Jefferson ran for a score and threw for another to lift the Razorbacks (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) past the Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1) in Fayetteville, Ark.
Jefferson led Arkansas on three scoring drives in the fourth quarter, never allowing South Carolina to rally. He finished 18-for-21 passing for 162 yards and ran for 67 yards.
A 23-yard touchdown pass to Warren Thompson with 12:09 left provided the key score, giving Arkansas a 19-point edge. South Carolina fumbled on its previous drive after Jefferson’s two-yard touchdown run.
Spencer Rattler was 23 for 38 for 361 yards passing for South Carolina (1-1, 0-1).
No. 24 Tennessee 34, No. 17 Pittsburgh 27 (OT)
Hendon Hookier threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, the final one a 28-yard heave to Cedric Tillman in overtime, and the Volunteers (2-0) edged the Panthers (1-1) in Pittsburgh.
Tennessee picked up its first significant nonconference win under second-year coach Josh Heupel by relying on Hooker and a defense that was just good enough against a game effort by Pittsburgh, which lost starting quarterback Kedon Slovis, a transfer from USC, to an injury at the end of the first half.
Backup Nick Patti essentially played the fourth quarter and overtime on one leg, limping noticeably on every play after absorbing a sack early in the final quarter. But Patti found Jared Wayne for a diving four-yard touchdown with 2:23 to go in regulation to tie the score.
The Volunteers got the ball first in overtime. Hooker appeared to give them the lead with a touchdown run only to have it called back by a penalty. No matter. He dropped back and threw a jump ball to Tillman in the end zone. The 6-foot-3 senior boxed out a Pitt defender to haul it in to put Tennessee in front.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi declined to give specifics on Slovis’ injury, saying only that he was hurt while getting sacked late in the first half. Slovis, who passed for 195 yards and a touchdown with an interception, felt “good” after the game, according to Narduzzi.
No. 18 North Carolina State 55, Charleston Southern 3
Devin Leary tied a program record by accounting for six touchdowns, and North Carolina State’s defense surrendered 150 total yards as the Wolfpack (2-0) rolled to a victory over the Buccaneers (0-2) in Raleigh, N.C.
Leary threw four touchdown passes, including a perfect 24-yard wheel route to Jordan Houston down the left side and then a 40-yard strike over the middle to Anthony Smith. Leary’s two rushing scores included a 12-yarder in the first quarter after he bounced off three hard hits before reaching the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.
N.C. State regrouped from last week’s 21-20 win at East Carolina.
Washington State 17, No. 19 Wisconsin 14
Running back Nakia Watson scored two touchdowns against his former team as the Cougars (2-0) upset the Badgers (1-1) in Madison, Wis.
Watson scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter and put Washington State ahead for good by turning a short completion into a 31-yard score with 5:12 left in the third quarter. Watson rushed for 522 yards and five touchdowns at Wisconsin from 2019 to 2020 before transferring.
A game that featured three turnovers by each team and multiple bizarre plays produced a happy homecoming for Washington State coach Jake Dickert. Dickert was born in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wis., about 65 miles east of Camp Randall Stadium.
Wisconsin’s two touchdowns came in the second quarter on passes from quarterback Graham Mertz to tight end Clay Cundiff.
No. 22 Mississippi 59, Central Arkansas 3
Luke Altmyer threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, Michael Trigg had three touchdown catches, and the Rebels (2-0) routed the Bears (0-2) in Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead, highlighted by touchdown passes of one and seven yards from Altmyer to Trigg before Altmyer added a one-yard scoring run to cap the decisive surge.
Altmyer was six for 13 for 90 yards before he was lifted late in the second quarter with what a school spokesperson described as an upper-body injury.
Jaxson Dart, a transfer from USC, relieved Altmyer and finished 10-for-15 passing for 182 yards, highlighted by touchdown passes of six yards to Malik Heath and two yards to Trigg.
No. 23 Wake Forest 45, Vanderbilt 25
Sam Hartman passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns to help the Demon Deacons (2-0) beat the Commodores (2-1) in Nashville.
Hartman connected on 18 of 27 passes after he missed Wake Forest’s opener against VMI because of a blood clot. The fifth-year quarterback directed the Demon Deacons to 11 wins and a trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last season.
A.J. Swann passed for two touchdowns for Vanderbilt in relief of Mike Wright. Swann also ran for a two-point conversion.
Texas Tech 33, No. 25 Houston 30 (2 OTs)
Donovan Smith ran nine yards for a touchdown in the second overtime, lifting the Red Raiders (2-0) over the Cougars (1-1) in Lubbock, Texas.
A back-and-forth finish ended with Texas Tech beating a ranked nonconference opponent in the regular season for the first time since 1989, a span of 14 games.
After Houston’s Bubba Baxa opened the second overtime with a 20-yard field goal, Smith broke into the open field and ran untouched to the end zone, sending Texas Tech students and fans streaming onto the field.
The Cougars erased a 17-3 halftime deficit but still saw their 12-game regular-season winning streak end.
Air Force routs Colorado
Fullback Brad Roberts ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns to help Air Force overcome several miscues, including a snap over the punter’s head, in a 41-10 win over Colorado on a dreary day in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Falcons (2-0) built a 20-0 lead while hosting the Buffaloes (0-2) for the first time since 1974. Air Force entered the nationally televised game as a 17½-point favorite but couldn’t shake Colorado until late in the third quarter.
Air Force and Colorado combined for six turnovers in the rainy conditions. The Buffaloes are off to an 0-2 start for the first time since 2012. The Falcons rushed for 435 yards.
Running back Jaydn Ott scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air, and California’s defense stiffened late to lead the Golden Bears (2-0) to a 20-14 victory over visiting Nevada Las Vegas (1-1). ... Michael Penix Jr. threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, and host Washington (2-0) rolled to a 52-6 victory over FCS school Portland State (0-2). ... Bo Nix threw for 277 yards and five touchdowns, and Oregon (1-1) rebounded from its season-opening loss to Georgia with a 70-14 rout of visiting Eastern Washington (1-1). It was the Ducks’ 20th straight win at Autzen Stadium. ... Kyle Vantrease scored on an eight-yard run with 36 seconds left after Nebraska had taken its first lead, and visiting Georgia Southern (2-0), coached by former USC coach Clay Helton, won 45-42 over the three-touchdown-favorite Cornhuskers (1-2). The loss again turns up the pressure on embattled Nebraska coach Scott Frost, who faces a home game next week against No. 7 Oklahoma.
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