ATHENS, Ga. — Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes, including a 25-yarder to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining, and No. 9 Georgia rallied to beat No. 6 LSU 44-41 in a thrilling game between Southeastern Conference powerhouses Saturday.
The Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0) completed their opening-month run through a gauntlet of top-10 teams with a victory that propelled them back into the thick of the national championship race.
LSU (4-1, 1-1) got a career-best 372 yards passing from former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger in his return to Athens, and the Tigers went ahead 41-37 on Jeremy Hill’s 8-yard touchdown run with 4:14 to go.
But that was plenty of time for Murray and the high-powered Bulldogs on a day when neither defense had much success. He completed three straight passes to quickly move the Bulldogs into LSU territory, and freshman J.J. Green broke off an 18-yard run to the Tigers 25. Then it was Scott-Wesley, breaking wide open behind the secondary to haul in a pass and tiptoe just inside the pylon for the winning score.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 25, NO. 21 MISSISSIPPI 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards, Kenyan Drake gained 99 and a dominating defense powered Alabama past Mississippi.
Yeldon scored on a 68-yard run and Drake added a 50-yard scamper to revive a struggling running game for the Crimson Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), which outgained the Rebels 434-205.
Ole Miss (3-1, 1-1) was seeking its first 4-0 start in 43 years but instead was shut out for the first time since Arkansas did it in November 1998.
AJ McCarron completed 25 of 32 passes for 180 yards with an interception for Alabama, which came in ranked last in the league in rushing. Alabama was held to 36 rushing yards in building a 9-0 halftime lead but gained another 218 on the ground in the second half.
No. 2 OREGON 55, CAL 16
EUGENE, Ore. — Marcus Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for Oregon in the rain-drenched Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Bralon Addison returned two punts for touchdowns and Byron Marshall ran for 130 yards and two more scores for the Ducks (4-0, 1-0).
The game was played as a strong storm swept across the Pacific Northwest, cutting power to more than 26,500 customers in Oregon. It was a sloppy mess on the field, with eight fumbles — four for each team — in the first half alone. The Ducks handled the soggy conditions better, building a 41-3 halftime lead.
NO. 3 CLEMSON 56, WAKE FOREST 7
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd became the second Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback to account for 100 career touchdowns, leading Clemson to the easy win.
Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another score. He stands at 102 TDs, joining former North Carolina State star Phillip Rivers in the ACC’s century club. Boyd passed for 311 yards and ran for 69 to surpass Charlie Whitehurst as Clemson’s total offense leader.
The Tigers (4-0, 2-0) have won their first four games for the second time in Boyd’s three seasons as starter.
No. 5 STANFORD 55, WASHINGTON ST. 17
SEATTLE — Kevin Hogan picked apart Washington State, throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns, and Stanford won its 12th straight.
Hogan connected with Devon Cajuste on touchdowns of 57 and 33 yards in the first half then found Michael Rector on a 45-yard TD during a third-quarter blitz where the Cardinal scored 21 points as part of a stretch where they ran just two offensive plays.
Jordan Richards and Trent Murphy both returned interceptions 30 yards for touchdowns 2:04 apart in the third quarter as the Cardinal (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) quickly turned a 17-3 halftime advantage into a 38-3 lead.
NO. 8 FLORIDA STATE 48, BOSTON COLLEGE 34
BOSTON — Jameis Winston threw for four touchdowns for Florida State, including a 55-yard Hail Mary as time expired in the first half.
Winston had first-half touchdown passes of 56 and 10 yards to tie the game after BC, coming off a 28-point loss to Southern California, opened a 17-3 lead. The desperation heave to Kenny Shaw made it 24-17, and then Winston added a fourth TD pass in the second half as the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away.
In all, the Florida State freshman completed 17 of 28 passes for 330 yards and ran 14 times for 67 more.
Chase Rettig completed 19 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a career-high four touchdowns for BC (2-2, 1-1).
NO. 10 TEXAS A&M 45, ARKANSAS 33
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Johnny Manziel accounted for 320 total yards of offense and threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans to help Texas A&M pull away.
Manziel, who totaled 557 yards of offense in a win over the Razorbacks last season, was 23-of-30 passing for 261 yards and he rushed for 59 yards for the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC).
Trey Williams had 83 yards rushing to lead Texas A&M, which finished with 262 yards rushing on 44 carries. Deshazor Everett had a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown.
WEST VIRGINIA 30, NO. 11 OKLAHOMA STATE 21
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Clint Trickett threw a touchdown pass in his first start at West Virginia, and Ishmael Banks returned an interception for a touchdown.
Josh Lambert kicked three field goals for West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), which rebounded from its first shutout loss in 11 years.
Trickett, a transfer from Florida State, became West Virginia’s third starting quarterback after Ford Childress was injured last week. Trickett finished 24 of 50 for 309 yards in his first start since subbing for EJ Manuel for the Seminoles in October 2011.
J.W. Walsh tossed three touchdown passes for Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1), but was intercepted twice.
NO. 12 SOUTH CAROLINA 28, CENTRAL FLORIDA 25
ORLANDO, Fla. — Mike Davis rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns as South Carolina overcame an injury to its starting quarterback, four turnovers and a halftime deficit to get the win.
Davis picked up the slack after starting QB Connor Shaw left with a sprained right shoulder following a hard tackle during South Carolina’s first offensive series.
Knights quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns, but had two interceptions and a fumble.
NO. 14 OKLAHOMA 35, NO. 22 NOTRE DAME 21
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Blake Bell threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma jumped to a two-touchdown lead in the opening three minutes.
It was the Sooners’ second win over the Fighting Irish in 11 meetings.
The Sooners (4-0) had three interceptions that led to TDs, including a 24-yard score by linebacker Corey Nelson. Damien Williams, suspended the previous game against Tulsa for violating team rules, added an 11-yard TD run after an interception by linebacker Frank Shannon.
The Irish (3-2) cut the lead to 27-21 in the fourth quarter, but the Sooners answered with Shepard’s TD.
NO. 15 MIAMI 49, SOUTH FLORIDA 21
TAMPA, Fla. — Stephen Morris threw for two touchdowns before limping off with an ankle injury and Duke Johnson scored a TD in his eighth consecutive game, helping Miami roll to the win.
Miami (4-0) is off to its best start in nine years heading into next weekend’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener at home against Georgia Tech. At 0-4 under first-year coach Willie Taggart, USF is off to the worst start in school history and has dropped 13 of 14 dating to last season.
Morris threw for 222 yards, moving ahead of Steve Walsh and into ninth place on Miami’s career passing list.
NO. 16 WASHINGTON 31, ARIZONA 13
SEATTLE — Bishop Sankey carried a school-record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown and Keith Price threw for two touchdowns to lead Washington.
Sankey outperformed Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, the NCAA’s leading rusher in 2012. Sankey surpassed the school record of 38 carries set by Corey Dillon in 1996 against Washington State as stormy conditions forced both teams to limit their passing games.
NO. 20 FLORIDA 24, KENTUCKY 7
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Matt Jones rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown and Tyler Murphy threw for 156 yards and a score as Florida beat Kentucky for the 27th straight time.
Murphy also rushed for a 3-yard TD in his first career start for the Gators (3-1, 2-0 SEC), who closed a difficult week on a high note after losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and defensive tackle Dominique Easley to season-ending injuries.
NO. 25 Fresno State 42, Hawaii 37
HONOLULU — Derek Carr passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns — both to Josh Harper — and Marteze Waller added two rushing scores to help No. 25 Fresno State build a big lead and hold on for 42-37 win over Hawaii on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 Mountain West) led 42-3 midway through the third quarter before the Rainbow Warriors (0-4, 0-2) scored 34 unanswered points.
Carr completed 33 of 47 passes but was intercepted twice in the second half, ending a streak of 181 consecutive passes without a pick. Harper had nine receptions for 123 yards, including touchdown catches of 30 and 9 yards. Waller scored on a two 1-yard runs.
Hawaii totaled a season-high 431 yards, including 316 after halftime. Sean Schroeder relieved starting quarter Ikaika Woolsey in the third quarter and had 321 yards passing and three touchdowns. Steven Lakalaka rushed for two second-half TDs.
By Wire Sources