Top 25 Roundup: Tua Tagovailoa, No. 2 Alabama beat South Carolina 47-23
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa threw for a career-high 444 yards and tied his personal best with five touchdowns to help No. 2 Alabama open Southeastern Conference play with a 47-23 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.
Coach Nick Saban improved to 12-1 at Alabama in SEC openers and wiped away some bad memories of his last visit to Williams-Brice Stadium nine years ago.
Tagovailoa and his receivers quickly got the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0) rolling with first-quarter TD passes of 24 yards to Najee Harris and 81 yards to Henry Ruggs III. Whenever the Gamecocks (1-2, 0-1) drew within range, Tagovailoa came right back to restore Alabama’s edge.
Harris added a 42-yard catch-and-run score where he broke two tackles and leaped over defensive back R.J. Roderick on the way to the end zone. DeVonta Smith caught Tagovailoa’s last TD pass, also for 42 yards.
Saban reminded his players, about all who were in middle or elementary school in 2010, of the Tides’ previous game here when the top-ranked Tide were soundly beaten 35-21.
Smith and Ruggs both surpassed 100 yards receiving. Smith had 136 yards on eight catches, including two TDs. Ruggs had six catches for 122 yards.
NO. 3 GEORGIA 55, ARKANSAS STATE 0
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Jake Fromm threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns before taking the rest of the day off, and Georgia’s defense turned in a dominating performance.
With thousands of Georgia fans wearing pink instead of red to honor Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson’s wife, Wendy, who died last month from breast cancer, the Bulldogs (3-0) took control as soon as they got their hands on the ball. They scored on six of seven possessions in the first half, building a 34-0 lead.
The Georgia defense was equally stout, posting its first shutout since the 2018 opener. The Red Wolves (1-2) went three-and-out four times in the first half and crossed midfield only once, settling for a 50-yard field goal try that faded wide right.
The Bulldogs went to the locker room with a 382-81 edge in total yards, and many of the fans didn’t bother coming back to watch the final two quarters. Georgia finished with 656 yards total while holding the visitors to just 220.
NO. 6 OHIO STATE 51, INDIANA 10
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — J.K. Dobbins ran for 193 yards and scored twice, Justin Fields threw three touchdown passes and Ohio State routed Indiana.
The Buckeyes (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) have won each of their first three games by at least 24 points and extended their winning streak in the series to 24, dating to a tie in 1990. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1988. And with Peyton Ramsey starting at quarterback in place of the injured Michael Penix Jr., the Hoosiers (2-1, 0-1) never had a chance.
Fields was 14 of 24 for 193 yards.
NO. 7 NOTRE DAME 66, NEW MEXICO 14
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Ian Book threw a career-high five touchdown passes and Notre Dame’s defense came up with three first-half interceptions in its final tuneup before a showdown at No. 3 Georgia.
Book rebounded from a lackluster opening performance in a 35-17 victory at Louisville to complete 15 of 24 passes for 360 yards. Book finished with another 46 yards rushing yards and a 1-yard TD.
The Fighting Irish (2-0) had their way with the Lobos (1-1), who were without head coach Bob Davie. Saga Tuitele acted as head coach for Davie, the former Irish head coach from 1997-2001 who was hospitalized following New Mexico’s opening victory over Sam Houston State.
NO. 8 AUBURN 55, KENT STATE 16
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — JaTarvious Whitlow rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and Bo Nix ran and passed for scores to lead Auburn.
The Tigers (3-0) piled up 467 rushing yards — and three 100-yard rushers — in their final tune up before Southeastern Conference play. They also got some big plays running and passing from Nix, including a 49-yard flea flicker to Eli Stove for a touchdown in the third quarter. Then both offensive stars were able to head to the sideline after the Tigers avoided a pre-SEC letdown against the Golden Flashes (1-2).
Nix had runs of 17 and 18 yards on consecutive plays to set up a touchdown on the opening drive and added a 1-yard score. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards for an offense that topped its combined points from the first two games. Backup quarterback Joey Gatewood ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Shaun Shivers, Auburn’s 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back, also gained 102 yards. It was the first time Auburn had three 100-yard rushers in a game since 1983.
NO. 11 UTAH 31, IDAHO STATE 0
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Tyler Huntley threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns and Zach Moss ran for 106 yards and another score in Utah’s victory over Idaho State.
In the first quarter, Moss passed Tony Lindsay for second place on Utah’s career rushing yards list. His 1-yard scoring plunge later in the quarter moved him into the No. 2 spot by himself in career rushing touchdowns at 27. On just 10 carries, Moss also recorded his 13th 100-yard rushing performance with 10:05 still left in the second quarter.
Huntley completed 15 of 19 passes before leaving in the third quarter as Utah moved to 3-0 for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Idaho State is 1-1.
NO. 13 PENN STATE 17, PITTSBURGH 10
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Journey Brown ran for 109 yards and a touchdown and Penn State held off Pittsburgh in their 100th meeting.
Pitt opted to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal at the Penn State 1 trailing by a touchdown with less than 4 minutes to go. Alex Kessman’s 19-yard attempt clanked off the upright and the Nittany Lions (3-0) later turned away Pitt’s last-ditch possession to win their third straight in the series since it was renewed in 2016.
Noah Cain’s 13-yard third-quarter sprint to the end zone gave Penn State the lead for good. Sean Clifford completed 14 of 30 passes for 222 yards. Kenny Pickett threw for a career-high 372 yards for Pitt (1-2).
NO. 16 TEXAS A&M 62, LAMAR 3
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Freshman Isaiah Spiller ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for 317 yards with a touchdown pass and a run in three quarters to lead Texas A&M.
Spiller shined in the first game since Jashaun Corbin sustained a season-ending hamstring injury last week at Clemson, running for touchdowns of 1 and 34 yards. Mond was 20 of 28 with an interception.
The Aggies (2-1) led 27-0 at halftime but Mond tried to throw in between two defenders on his first drive of the third quarter and was intercepted by Cameron Hayes. But the Cardinals (2-1) couldn’t get anything going on offense and had to punt. Mond found Jhamon Ausbon, who had 109 yards receiving, for a 26-yard catch to get the next drive going and Spiller capped it with a 34-yard run to make it 34-0.
NO. 17 UCF 45, STANFORD 27
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Freshman Dillon Gabriel threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns in his second college start, leading UCF past Stanford.
The Knights (3-0) scored on six of seven possessions, building a 31-point halftime lead in what was expected to be a much tougher test for the two-time defending American Athletic Conference champions, who won their first two games by a combined score of 110-14 against Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic.
Gabriel completed 22 of 30 passes, including TD throws of 28 yards to Marlon Williams, 38 yards to Tre Nixon, 38 yards to Gabriel Davis and 1-yard to Jake Hescook. Greg McCrae rushed for109 yards and one touchdown for UCF, which has won 25 consecutive regular-season games.
Stanford (1-2) allowed four TDs in the opening quarter and 413 yards total offense in the first half alone.
NO. 19 IOWA 18, IOWA STATE 17
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Nate Stanley threw for 201 yards and ran for a score, and Iowa made a big fourth-down stop, allowing the Hawkeyes to beat Iowa State for the fifth straight time.
Keith Duncan kicked four field goals for the Hawkeyes (3-0), who also improved to 4-0 against Iowa State coach Matt Campbell in a game delayed nearly three hours because of lightning.
Trailing 18-17 in the closing minutes, Iowa State (1-1) drove to the Iowa 34 before a false start, a slip by quarterback Brock Purdy and an incompletion brought up fourth-and-13. The Cyclones went for it and, after offsetting penalties led to a do-over, Purdy overthrew Deshaunte Jones near the end zone.
TEMPLE 20, NO. 21 MARYLAND 17
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kenny Yeboah put Temple ahead on a one-handed touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter, and the Owls used two clutch stops at the goal line to beat Maryland.
The Owls (2-0) defeated an unbeaten Maryland team for the second straight season and got coach Rod Carey off to a nice start in his first season on Temple’s sideline. Yeboah used his outstretched right hand to snag Anthony Russo’s pass with 7:27 left in the game to put Temple ahead 20-15, but Maryland wasn’t going down easy — and Temple’s D pushed back.
Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley stuffed Anthony McFarland on fourth-and-goal with 3:27 left to seemingly seal the win. But Temple got the ball back and Adam Barry shanked a punt from the end zone to give Maryland (2-1) first-and-goal at the 10. Again, the Owls held the Terrapins, and a fourth-down pass was incomplete with 2:14 to go. Anthony Russo’s intentional safety finished off the scoring.
BYU 30, NO. 24 SOUTHERN CALIRINIA 27, OT
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Dayan Ghanwoloku intercepted a tipped pass in overtime after Jake Oldroyd kicked a 43-yard field to give BYU the lead, and the Cougars beat Southern California for second straight OT victory over a traditional power program.
Zach Wilson threw for 280 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score for BYU (2-1), which won at Tennessee last week. Ty’Son Williams added 99 yards on 19 carries.
Kedon Slovis threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns for USC (2-1), but was picked off three times, including on the final play of the game.