Mac Jones threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns and the Alabama defense stiffened in the second half Saturday night as the No. 2 Crimson Tide knocked off No. 3 Georgia 41-24 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
In the biggest game of the college football season so far, Alabama (4-0, 4-0 SEC) trailed 24-20 at halftime but scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the second half to take control of the game. Georgia (3-1, 3-1) was scoreless after the break, when Stetson Bennett IV threw two of his three interceptions, all of which Alabama converted into touchdowns.
Jones completed 24 of 32 passes with one interception for the Tide. DeVonta Smith hauled in 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, while Jaylen Waddle caught six passes for 161 yards and a score.
Najee Harris balanced the Alabama offense with 152 yards on 31 carries, as the Crimson Tide rolled to 564 yards against the Bulldogs, who had entered with the nation’s second-ranked defense, allowing an average of 236.7 yards a game.
No. 1 Clemson 73, Georgia Tech 7
Trevor Lawrence passed for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers remained undefeated with a thumping of the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.
The Tigers (5-0, 4-0 ACC) stormed to a 52-7 halftime lead and coasted to their 26th consecutive victory against an ACC opponent. Clemson outgained Georgia Tech (2-3, 2-2) by a 671-204 margin.
After the Tigers took a 7-0 lead with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Cornell Powell, Georgia Tech tied the score with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Sims to Jalen Camp. But it was all Clemson from there as the Tigers responded with a big play of their own — an 83-yard strike from Lawrence to Amari Rodgers that jumpstarted a 45-0 run to close the half.
No. 4 Notre Dame 12, Louisville 7
The Fighting Irish’s much-maligned defense allowed them to overcome some red-zone struggles as they posted a victory against the Cardinals at South Bend, Ind.
Quarterback Ian Book scored ND’s lone touchdown on a 13-yard scramble as the Irish (4-0, 3-0 ACC) held on against the Cardinals (1-4, 0-4).
Book passed for 106 yards and rushed for 47 yards. Kyren Williams rushed for 127 yards on 25 carries, including a 24-yard run late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Irish to run out the clock and secure the win.
Florida State 31, No. 5 North Carolina 28
Quarterback Jordan Travis ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the first half as the host Seminoles held on to knock off No. 5 North Carolina at Doak Campbell Stadium.
North Carolina sophomore quarterback Sam Howell passed for 374 yards and nearly rallied the Tar Heels to the largest comeback victory in program history after his team faced two 24-point deficits in the first half.
North Carolina (3-1, 3-1 ACC) pulled to within 31-28 on Howell’s 25-yard pass to Dyami Brown with 4:58 to play, but even though they got the ball back with two minutes remaining, their drive ended at the FSU 41 on a dropped pass. It was a gigantic win for Florida State (2-3, 1-3) and coach Mike Norvell, who had to miss the team’s game against Miami after he tested positive for COVID-19.
No. 11 Texas A&M 28, Mississippi State 14
Buddy Johnson and Aaron Hansford paced a dominating defensive performance as the Aggies cruised to victory over the Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss.
Johnson and Hansford combined for 21 tackles and two sacks as Texas A&M (3-1, 3-1 SEC) limited the Bulldogs to 21 yards and 3.6 yards per play. The Aggies totaled six sacks, forced two turnovers, and blocked a punt that gave A&M the ball at the MSU 1-yard line.
Hansford sacked Bulldogs quarterback K.J. Costello just prior to the blocked punt, with Aggies linebacker Chris Russell Jr. recording the block on Bulldogs punter Tucker Day. Aggies running back Isaiah Spiller, who capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter, added his second scoring run on the snap following the block.
No. 13 Miami 31, Pittsburgh 19
D’Eriq King fired four touchdown passes and overcame two costly interceptions to lead the Hurricanes over visiting Pittsburgh.
King completed 16 of 31 passes for 222 yards for Miami (4-1, 3-1 ACC), with two of the touchdowns to backup tight end Will Mallory, playing in place of star TE tight end Brevin Jordan (out with a shoulder injury).
Pitt (3-3, 2-3), which lost its third straight game, was without standout senior quarterback Kenny Pickett (ankle), as redshirt freshman Joey Yellen started in place of Pickett. Yellen, who started one game last year for Arizona State, completed 22 of 46 passes for 277 yards and one TD. He fumbled twice and lost one.
South Carolina 30, No. 15 Auburn 22
Jaycee Horn intercepted two passes that led to touchdowns and the host Gamecocks made a fourth-down stop on the final play to cap South Carolina’s upset victory, its first in their nine Southeastern Conference meetings with the Tigers.
Auburn faced fourth-and-5 from the 12 with nine seconds to go, but quarterback Bo Nix’s scramble came up short as time expired. South Carolina (2-2, 2-2 SEC) hadn’t defeated Auburn (2-2, 2-2) since 1933.
Nix, who ran for 69 yards, was intercepted three times, all leading to Gamecocks touchdowns. He finished 24-of-47 passing for 272 yards with one touchdown. South Carolina’s Collin Hill was 15-of-24 for 144 yards, with an interception and a 10-yard score to a leaping Shi Smith that provided a 20-19 lead midway through the third quarter.
Kentucky 34, No. 18 Tennessee 7
Kentucky converted three Volunteers interceptions into 17 points in less than seven minutes of the second quarter to spark the Wildcats’ first victory in Knoxville in 36 years.
Kelvin Joseph and Jamin Davis returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Tyrell Ajian’s pick led to a field goal as Kentucky (2-2, 2-2 SEC) scored its most lopsided win in the series since 1935. Kentucky has won back-to-back games and faces Missouri next week.
Tennessee’s quarterbacking problems led to coach Jeremy Pruitt going to highly touted freshman Harrison Bailey in the fourth quarter. Pruitt said after the game he was undecided who would start at quarterback next week for the Vols (2-2, 2-2) when they host No. 2 Alabama.
No. 23 Virginia Tech 40, Boston College 14
Quarterback Hendon Hooker rushed for three touchdowns and 164 yards as the Hokies pulled away from the Eagles in the second half for an Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Making his first start of the year, Hooker also completed 11 of 15 passes for 111 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown to Khalil Herbert on a screen pass with 2:49 left in the first half that lifted the Hokies to a 17-7 lead.
Herbert, the transfer from Kansas who entered the night as the top rusher in FBS, gained 143 yards on the ground — the fifth time in as many games he has topped the century mark. Herbert carried 18 times as Tech (3-1, 3-1) pounded out 350 yards rushing.