Skylar Thompson threw for 334 yards and a touchdown and ran for three more scores as Kansas State upset No. 3 Oklahoma 38-35 in Saturday’s Big 12 clash in Norman, Okla.
It was the second consecutive season an unranked Wildcats team beat the top-five Sooners. Last year, Kansas State built a big lead and then had to hold on throughout a furious fourth-quarter Oklahoma comeback.
This time, it was the Wildcats (1-1, 1-0 Big 12) who rallied after trailing 35-14 late in the third quarter.
Kansas State started hitting on big plays in the passing game in the second half — completions of 77 and 78 yards on consecutive drives to set up third-quarter touchdowns — and came up with big plays on defense and special teams to complete the comeback against the Sooners (1-1, 0-1).
No. 2 Alabama 38, Missouri 19
Redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones threw two touchdown passes and senior running back Najee Harris ran for three scores as the Crimson Tide beat the Tigers in the season opener for both teams in Columbia, Mo.
Jones made his fifth career start and completed 18 of 24 passes for 249 yards and no interceptions. Both of his touchdown tosses went to junior receiver Jaylen Waddle. Harris carried the ball 17 times for 98 yards as Alabama unleashed its offensive arsenal early and often, totaling 414 yards.
Alabama’s defense, led by resurgent linebacker Dylan Moses, kept the Tigers out of the end zone until redshirt junior quarterback Shawn Robinson found Tyler Badie for a 54-yard touchdown pass with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter.
No. 4 Georgia 37, Arkansas 10
Stetson Bennett threw for two touchdowns, both in the second half, to spark the Bulldogs to a victory over the Razorbacks in an SEC opener in Fayetteville, Ark.
Bennett, who played in only five games in 2019, took over for struggling freshman D’Wan Mathis in the second quarter and gave a bumbling Georgia offense some much-needed life. He was 20 of 29 passing for 211 yards before turning the game back over to Mathis in the fourth quarter. Mathis finished 8 of 17 passing for 55 yards after a 6-of-14, 37-yard start.
Florida transfer Feleipe Franks completed 19-of-36 for 200 yards and a touchdown in his Arkansas debut, but was intercepted twice. Cornerback Eric Stokes returned the second 30 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 27-10 late in the third quarter.
No. 5 Florida 51, Ole Miss 35
Kyle Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdown passes as the Gators (1-0) spoiled the debut of Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin by rolling to victory in the season opener for both SEC teams in Oxford, Miss.
Tight end Kyle Pitts hauled in four touchdown passes, and finished with eight catches for 170 yards for Florida. Trask and Pitts connected on a 71-yard score less than a minute into the second half, and finished the Florida onslaught with a 17-yard touchdown for a 51-29 lead with 5:14 remaining. Trask’s six touchdown passes tied for the most in an SEC opener, and the Gators’ 642 yard set a school record for an SEC game.
Ole Miss (0-1) piled up 613 total yards, and Matt Corral completed 22 of 31 passes for 395 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver Elijah Moore caught 10 passes for 227 yards.
Mississippi State 44, No. 6 LSU 34
K.J. Costello passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and five touchdowns as the visiting Bulldogs posted a victory over the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La.
Costello, a graduate transfer from Stanford, completed 36 of 60 passes in his debut running first-year Bulldogs coach Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense. He overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble that helped keep LSU in the game.
Mississippi State had three 100-yard receivers: Osirus Mitchell (seven catches, 183 yards, two touchdowns), Kylin Hill (8-158-1) and JaVonta Payton (6-122).
No. 8 Auburn 29, No. 23 Kentucky 13
Bo Nix threw three touchdown passes and Seth Williams caught two to help the Tigers record a home victory over the Wildcats in the SEC opener for both teams.
Auburn held a halftime lead of just 8-7 following a crazy sequence in the waning seconds of the second quarter, when Auburn’s Roger McCreary intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it 100 yards for an apparent touchdown. But defensive end Derick Hall was called for a targeting hit during the return, nullifying the score and leaving Hall ejected from the game.
It remained a one-possession game until Auburn finally pulled away in the fourth quarter by capitalizing on two short-field opportunities.
No. 8 Texas 63, Texas Tech 56 (OT)
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger passed for five touchdowns, including the game-winning 12-yarder to Joshua Moore in overtime as the Longhorns rallied to beat the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, in both teams’ Big 12 Conference opener.
Ehlinger racked up 262 yards passing and also ran for a touchdown. Texas (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) scored the game’s final 22 points, including two touchdowns in the last 2:29 of the fourth quarter to send the wild game into the extra session. Moore finished with five catches for 73 yards and three touchdowns.
Alan Bowman’s fifth TD pass of the game, a 18-yard strike to T.J. Vasher with 6:12 to play, was followed by SaRodorick Thompson’s 75-yard scoring run with 3:13 remaining, giving the Red Raiders a 56-41 lead with just 3:13 left. Bowman finished with 325 passing yards and three interceptions, while Thompson picked up 104 yards on the ground.
No. 10 Texas A&M 17, Vanderbilt 12
The host Aggies were sluggish much of the night, but did just enough to knock off the Commodores at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.
The Aggies, 30.5-point favorites, committed eight penalties, lost three fumbles and allowed the Commodores — who held the ball for 33:59 — to control the tempo. Two long runs by Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller (eight carries, 117 yards) may have been the difference, both setting up second-half scores.
The Aggies got two huge fourth-quarter stops — one on defensive back Leon O’Neal’s interception and another on defensive lineman Micheal Clemons’ sack of Vanderbilt quarterback Ken Seals. Seals, a true freshman and a native Texan playing three hours from his hometown of Weatherford, was intercepted at the Aggie 7 by safety Demani Richardson in the third quarter.
No. 12 Miami 52, Florida State 10
D’Eriq King passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns in just three quarters as the Hurricanes routed the visiting Seminoles, scoring the most points by either team in the 65-year history of the rivalry.
King completed 29-of-40 passes as Miami accumulated 517 total yards. Cam’Ron Harris and Donald Chaney added two rushing touchdowns each for the Hurricanes and Miami has beaten FSU four straight years. In this one, the Hurricanes scored on all six of their first-half possessions, including five touchdowns.
FSU, which was without coach Mike Norvell after he tested positive for COVID-19, was led by quarterback James Blackman, who passed for 120 yards and one touchdown. Blackman completed 16-of-26 passes and was intercepted once as he lost to Miami for the fourth straight year.
No. 13 UCF 51, East Carolina 28
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel fired four touchdown passes to lead the Knights to victory over the Pirates in an error-filled game in Greenville, N.C.
The Knights (2-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) won for the 37th time in their last 41 games behind the sophomore Hawaiian, who clicked on 32 of 47 passes for 408 yards — including a school-record 18 straight.
He connected twice on scores with former Oklahoma transfer wide receiver Jaylon Robinson (9 catches, 150 yards), while Marlon Williams added 136 yards on a career-high 13 receptions.
No. 14 Cincinnati 24, No. 22 Army 10
Fueled by a stingy defense that continually rose to the occasion, the host Bearcats handled the Black Knights’ usually dominant rushing attack and held on to win at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati (2-0) limited Army’s vaunted rushing attack to 182 yards and also benefitted from a pair of turnovers. The Black Knights (2-1) failed to score an offensive touchdown. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, meanwhile, overcame two first-quarter turnovers to throw for two touchdowns.
Ridder hit running back Gerrid Doaks on a 60-yard touchdown play courtesy of Army’s broken coverage with 6:55 to play to give the Bearcats a much-desired cushion. It was a great comeback for Ridder (18-for-33 for 258 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) after his failed pitch resulted in the game’s first score — a 41-yard Army defensive score less than a minute into the game.
No. 15 Oklahoma St. 27, West Virginia 13
LD Brown rushed for 103 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown run that started a 20-point second quarter explosion, to lead the Cowboys to a Big 12 Conference win over the visiting Mountaineers Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla.
Chuba Hubbard added 101 yards on 22 attempts, including a game-sealing 23-yard scoring jaunt with 1:17 left. Freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth, making his first start for Oklahoma State (2-0, 1-0 Big 12), completed 15 of 21 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Jarret Doege hit on 20 of 37 throws for 285 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for West Virginia (1-1, 0-1). Leddie Brown added 103 yards on 26 carries. But the Mountaineers trailed 20-7 at the half thanks to Tyren Irby’s 56-yard fumble return touchdown.
No. 16 Tennessee 31, South Carolina 27
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano rushed for a touchdown and passed for another as the Volunteers (1-0) held on to defeat the Gamecocks (0-1) in the SEC and season opener for both teams in Columbia, S.C.
Guarantano threw a tiebreaking 32-yard touchdown pass to Josh Palmer with 9:35 to play to cap a 75-yard drive that lasted only four plays. Guarantano ended up 19-for-31 for 259 yards.
Transfer quarterback Collin Hill threw for 290 yards on 25-for-39 passing for South Carolina. Shi Smith made 10 catches for 140 yards.
No. 19 Louisiana 20, Georgia Southern 18
Nate Snyder kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired to give the Ragin’ Cajuns the win in a Sun Belt Conference battle at Lafayette, La.
Snyder made the winning kick after the Eagles (1-1, 0-1 SBC) took an 18-17 lead with 54 seconds left. Shai Werts found Khaleb Hood with a 28-yard touchdown pass, then eluded a sack on the 2-point try to eventually find Darion Anderson with the go-ahead conversion. Werts finished 11-of-18 passing for 255 yards.
Levi Lewis completed 18 of 32 passes for 290 yards for Louisiana (3-0, 2-0), and drove the Cajuns 39 yards on seven plays on the final drive to set up the winning kick. The Cajuns survived despite playing without leading rusher Elijah Mitchell, who was one of six Louisiana starters who missed the game because of COVID-19 issues.
No. 20 Virginia Tech 45, North Carolina State 24
Khalil Herbert rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown to lead the Hokies’ rout of the Wolfpack in an ACC contest in Blacksburg, Va.
The Hokies took a 17-0 lead 7:49 into the game on a 46-yard field goal by Brian Johnson, a 37-yard touchdown run by Herbert and an 8-yard touchdown run by Raheem Blackshear.
Before the game, it was announced that Virginia Tech would be without 23 players due to injury and undisclosed reasons, including first-string quarterback Hendon Hooker and starting defensive back Jermaine Waller.
No. 21 Pitt 23, No. 24 Louisville 20
Kenny Pickett passed for 220 yards and ran for 28 more, and the Panthers overcame squandering a 13-point first-half lead in the first half to hand the Cardinals their second straight loss.
Pickett threw a pair of touchdown passes — to Jordan Addison and Taysir Mack — and Alex Kessman made all three of his field goal tries for Pitt (3-0, 2-0 ACC). The Panthers’ defense came away with three turnovers, seven sacks and a trio of fourth-quarter stops.
Louisville (1-2, 0-2 ACC) erased a 13-0 deficit and led 17-13 on Malik Cunningham’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Tutu Atwell late in the first half. But Cunningham finished just 9-of-21 passing for 107 yards and three interceptions. Cunningham was injured after throwing his third interception, with 1:26 left. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and cart wearing a neck brace, but gave a thumbs up signal on his way off.