TOP 25 ROUNDUP: No. 1 Alabama bests Texas A&M
AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes — one less than Johnny Manziel — and No. 1 Alabama beat No. 6 Texas A&M 49-42 on Saturday, paying back the Aggies for last season’s upset win.
Vinnie Sunseri returned an interception 73 yards for a score — sidestepping Manziel on the way to the end zone — as the Crimson Tide (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) spotted the Aggies (2-1, 0-1) a 14-0 lead before scoring the next 35 points.
McCarron tossed three touchdowns in the first half to put Alabama up 28-14. Sunseri’s score made it 35-14 less than 3 minutes into the third.
Manziel threw for a career-best 464 yards but a first-half interception in the end zone swung the game the Tide’s way, and his third-quarter pick and whiff on the tackle put A&M in a deep hole.
Alabama gained 568 yards and kept Manziel on the bench with a couple of long drives.
Manziel found Mike Evans for a 95-yard pass and run that made it 42-35 with 8:04 left. Evans finished with 279 yards on seven catches.
On third-and-goal from the 5, McCarron flipped to Jalston Fowler for the TD that made it 49-35 with 2:28 left. Manziel threw one more TD with 15 seconds left, but Alabama grabbed the onside kick.
NO. 2 OREGON 59, TENNESSEE 14: Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards and four touchdowns and Oregon handed Tennessee its worst varsity loss since a 48-0 defeat to Mississippi State in 1910.
Freshman Johnny Mundt, who replaced ailing tight end Colt Lyerla, had five catches for 121 yards and two TDs for the Ducks (3-0). Josh Huff added six catches for 125 yards and a score.
Mariota, who completed 23 of 33 passes, was the first Oregon quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game since Kellen Clemens in 2005.
NO. 4 OHIO ST. 52, CALIFORNIA 34: Kenny Guiton threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first six minutes of his first career start and Ohio State rolled to its 15th straight victory with an easy victory over California.
Guiton, a fifth-year senior, got the start in place of injured Braxton Miller, and there was no drop-off in performance for the Buckeyes (3-0).
Guiton connected with Devin Smith on a 90-yard pass on Ohio State’s second offensive play for the longest play from scrimmage in school history. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 276 yards and added 92 yards rushing to lead the Buckeyes.
NO. 5 STANFORD 34, ARMY 20: Kevin Hogan threw for three touchdowns and Tyler Gaffney had two touchdowns and 132 yards rushing to lead Stanford over Army.
The Cardinal (2-0) entered the game as 30-point favorites but had their hands full from the opening kickoff, falling behind 6-0 as the smaller Black Knights (1-2) challenged at every turn.
Hogan’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Gaffney after an Army turnover gave Stanford a 27-13 lead late in the third quarter and the Cardinal averted an embarrassing loss.
Ty Montgomery had six catches for 130 yards and one score, while Hogan was 11 of 18 for 188 yards passing for Stanford.
NO. 7 LOUISVILLE 27, KENTUCKY 13: Senorise Perry ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns, Teddy Bridgewater overcame a shaky start to pass for 250 yards and Louisville scored on four consecutive drives to pull away from rival Kentucky for the win.
The Cardinals’ defense forced three turnovers, including two in their territory to preserve a win that required more work after easy wins over Ohio and Eastern Kentucky.
Bridgewater connected with DeVante Parker for a 13-yard touchdown just before halftime that opened things up for Louisville (3-0).
NO.8 LSU 45, KENT ST. 13: Zach Mettenberger passed for three touchdowns, Jeremy Hill ran for two and LSU easily defeated Kent State.
Hill rushed 11 times for 117 yards, all in the first two quarters, as LSU (3-0) looked sound in its final tuneup before opening Southeastern Conference play against Auburn next weekend.
Mettenberger connected with Jarvis Landry on touchdown passes of 21 and 31 yards. His other scoring pass went for 5 yards to Odell Beckham Jr.
Terrance Magee added a 12-yard scoring run.
Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon completed 20 of 29 passes for 190 yards, ran for a short touchdown and was not intercepted. However, the Golden Flashes (1-2) allowed at least 570 yards for a second straight week and never threatened after falling behind 21-0.
NO. 10 FLORIDA ST. 62, NEVADA 7: Jameis Winston accounted for three touchdowns, Florida State’s four tailbacks all scored and the Seminoles routed Nevada.
FSU (2-0) looked just as good in its home opener as it did to start the season 12 days ago. The Seminoles thumped Pitt 41-13 on the road, a game in which Winston grabbed headlines with a nearly flawless performance. This time he shared the spotlight with his running backs.
Devonta Freeman ran for 109 yards and a touchdown. James Wilder Jr. added 45 yards and a score.
Karlos Williams may have been the most impressive of the bunch. The former safety, who moved to offense after the opener, ran eight times for 110 yards and a score. His 65-yard scamper made it 31-7 early in the third quarter.
Nevada (1-2) turned Winston’s first career interception into a touchdown.
NO. 11 MICHIGAN 28, AKRON 24: Fitzgerald Toussaint scored a go-ahead, two-yard touchdown with 2:49 left and Michigan made a desperately needed stop on the final play to hold against Akron.
College football’s winningest program avoided getting upset at home — as it did against Appalachian State and Toledo — by a Mid-American Conference team that hasn’t won a road game in nearly five years and was expected to lose by more than five touchdowns.
The Wolverines (3-0) trailed twice in the second half — including with 4:10 left when Kyle Pohl threw a one-yard TD — and allowed the Zips (1-2) to get to the Michigan 4 on the game’s final drive.
Pohl was pressured and hit by Brennen Beyer on the final play, leading to an incomplete pass in the end zone as time expired on fourth down.
Michigan won its 17th straight at home for the longest streak among BCS conference teams.
NO. 12 OKLAHOMA ST. 59, LAMAR 3: Jeremy Smith rushed for three first-half touchdowns and Josh Stewart returned a punt 67 yards for a score as Oklahoma State rolled over Lamar.
The game capped a long week for the Cowboys, who were the subject of a Sports Illustrated series that detailed alleged misconduct in the football program dating to 2001. Oklahoma State officials have contacted the NCAA and launched their own investigation.
Caleb Berry led the offense for Lamar (1-2), throwing for 114 yards on 18 of 38 passing.
Oklahoma State (3-0) has now scored a total of 115 points in its last two games as it heads into a bye week that precedes their Big 12 opener Sept. 28 at West Virginia.
NO. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA 35, VANDERBILT 25: Connor Shaw passed for three scores, Jadeveon Clowney forced a fumble and South Carolina withstood Vanderbilt’s rally from a four-touchdown deficit.
South Carolina appeared to have this one finished early, scoring on its first four possessions to lead 28-0. It still led 35-10 when it opened the second half with Shaw’s final TD pass, a 33-yarder to Brandon Wilds.
That’s when the Commodores (1-2, 0-2) threw a scare into the Gamecocks, aided by a fumbled kickoff and punt by South Carolina.
NO. 14 OKLAHOMA 51, TULSA 20: Blake Bell passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns in his first start as quarterback for Oklahoma to lead the Sooners past Tulsa.
Sterling Shepard caught eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns — all career highs — and Jaz Reynolds had 109 yards receiving and one score for Oklahoma (3-0). The Sooners scored on their first five possessions against Tulsa (1-2) to continue their dominance in the series, having won 12 of the last 13 games between the in-state rivals.
The Sooners are 13-0 against Tulsa as a ranked team and 7-0 against the Golden Hurricane since Bob Stoops became Oklahoma’s coach in 1999.
NO. 16 UCLA 41, NO. 23 NEBRASKA 21: Brett Hundley threw three touchdown passes and UCLA wiped out an 18-point deficit to beat Nebraska, stunning a record Memorial Stadium crowd of 91,471.
The win came six days after UCLA receiver Nick Pasquale was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while walking in his hometown and a day before coaches and teammates travel to San Clemente, Calif., for his memorial service.
The Bruins (2-0) wore No. 36 patches on their jerseys in memory of Pasquale. The Huskers (2-1) wore No. 36 decals on their helmets, and there was a moment of silence held before the game.
NO. 19 WASHINGTON 34, ILLINOIS 24: Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, Bishop Sankey ran for a career-high 208 yards as Washington beat Illinois at Soldier Field.
Josh Shirley added four sacks and the Huskies came out on top after dropping seven of nine away from home. They hadn’t won on the road outside the Pac-12 since beating Syracuse in 2007.
Washington (2-0) built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and hung on, sending Illinois (2-1) to its sixth straight loss against ranked opponents.
The Illini cut it to 31-24 on Aaron Bailey’s 10-yard run with 9:10 remaining, but Washington’s Travis Coons kicked a 32-yard field goal with 4:44 left. Gregory Ducre then picked off a deep pass by Nathan Scheelhaase to seal the win.
NO. 21 NOTRE DAME 31, PURDUE 24: DaVaris Daniels made touchdown catches on two successive Notre Dame plays in the fourth quarter, and Bennett Jackson followed that flurry with a 34-yard interception return to lead the Fighting Irish past Purdue.
The Irish (2-1) were led by quarterback Tommy Rees, who was 20 of 33 for 309 yards and those two TD passes. Notre Dame has won six straight in a series that has been played every year since 1946.
The Boilermakers (1-2) led until Daniels’ second TD catch.
NO. 25 MISSISSIPPI 44, TEXAS 23: Jeff Scott ran for 164 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 73-yard punt return, helping Mississippi roll over reeling Texas.
Bo Wallace passed for two touchdowns and ran for another for the Rebels (3-0), who led 14-0 midway through the first quarter before Texas scored 23 straight points.
Texas, which gave up 550 yards rushing a week earlier in a loss to BYU, surrendered 274 on the ground to Ole Miss.
Case McCoy started at QB for Texas (1-2) and passed for 196 yards.