Austin, Texas — With a new head coach and the promise the program is already on the rebound with its $10 million locker room, big wins in recruiting for the future and some good looking talent for the present, all eyes were on Texas and Tom Herman.
Then Maryland spoiled the Longhorns unveiling — in emphatic fashion.
Tyrrell Pigrome passed for two touchdowns and ran for another before leaving with an injury and Maryland stunned No. 23 Texas 51-41 Saturday. Even after Pigrome had to be helped off late in the third quarter after twisting his knee, freshman Kasim Hill came in and led two crucial fourth-quarter touchdown drives that put the game out of reach.
Maryland (1-0) led 27-7 in the second quarter, and then held off a Texas rally to snap a 17-game losing streak to ranked opponents, the third-longest streak among Power Five conference teams.
“It’s a breakthrough for the program. No one knew what to expect,” said Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore, who had 133 yards receiving and a touchdown.
The Longhorns scored three non-offensive touchdowns: an interception return and blocked field-goal return by Holton Hill and a 91-yard punt return by Reggie Hemphill-Mapps. But those highlights couldn’t deliver a win for Herman, who was brought from Houston to replace Charlie Strong after three straight losing seasons. Texas gave up a special teams touchdown and missed field goals.
Shane Buechele passed for 375 yards for Texas (0-1).
“I told our guys to never get used to this feeling, but that if we all thought that we were going to come in here and in nine months, sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we’ve arrived, then we’re wrong,” Herman said.
(At) No. 6 Penn State 52, Akron 0: Saquon Barkley racked up 226 total yards and two touchdowns to lead Penn State.
Quarterback Trace McSorley was 18 for 25 passing for 280 yards and two touchdowns to help Penn State’s high-octane offense pick up where it left off when the Big Ten champions won nine of their final 10 games last season. McSorley also ran for a touchdown.
Although it rained heavily early in the game at Beaver Stadium, a soggy field and leaky Akron defense couldn’t slow Penn State’s pair of Heisman Trophy candidates. They combined for 371 total yards and four scores in the first half to put the game out of reach.
Barkley helped set up Penn State’s first touchdown when McSorley targeted him with a third-and-10 pass early in the first. Barkley, running to his left, hauled in the short toss, stopped on a dime, stutter-stepped through two defenders and cut back across the field, where he eluded three more for a 17-yard gain. McSorley zipped his first touchdown pass to Gesicki two plays later.
(At) Illinois 24, Ball State 21: Jamal Milan blocked Morgan Hagee’s 54-yard field goal attempt as time expired, and Illinois opened its second season under coach Lovie Smith with a victory.
Mike Epstein scored on a 1-yard run with just over two minutes remaining after Mike Dudek returned a punt 52 yards. Isaiah Gay came through with a huge sack near the end, and Milan got a hand on the ball on Hagee’s attempt.
Chayce Crouch threw for 145 yards and a touchdown. Mike Epstein ran for two touchdowns.
(At) Iowa 24, Wyoming 3: Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes in his first career start for Iowa.
Noah Fant caught two of those TD tosses for the Hawkeyes (1-0), who held the Cowboys (0-1) to just 59 yards rushing on 30 tries.
Stanley’s first career touchdown throw, which went to Fant on fourth-and-2, put Iowa ahead 7-3. Stanley connected with Fant for a 27-yard score following a bizarre muffed punt by Wyoming, and he hit Nick Easley from 45 yards out to give the Hawkeyes a 21-3 edge midway through the third quarter.
Josh Allen was 23 of 40 passing for 174 yards and two picks for the Cowboys.
No. 16 Louisville 35, Purdue 28: At Indianapolis, Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes and had 485 total yards, helping Louisville escape.
The mistake-prone Cardinals’ snapped a three-game losing streak.
Jackson, of course, was the difference. He went 30 of 46 for 378 yards and ran 21 times for 107 yards. He also moved into the top five in school history in TD passes and yards rushing.
And when Louisville needed the defending Heisman Trophy winner to be at his best in the fourth quarter, he didn’t disappoint. Jackson hooked up with Dez Fitzpatrick on a 20-yard score with 9:01 remaining to give the Cardinals a 32-28 lead then drove them into field goal position on the ensuing possession to make it a seven-point game.
Purdue couldn’t rally in coach Jeff Brohm’s debut, losing its eighth straight.
(At) Nebraska 43, Arkansas State 36: Justice Hansen overthrew Kendrick Edwards in the end zone on the game’s final play, allowing Nebraska to hold off Arkansas State in a dramatic season opener.
The Cornhuskers and their new 3-4 defense had no answer for Hansen, who threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns, including a 3-yarder to Edwards in the final minute that pulled the Red Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference within seven points.
Arkansas State recovered the onside kick and moved to the Huskers 11 with 9 seconds left. Lamar Jackson broke up a pass in the end zone for Justin McInnis. Hansen then threw too high to Edwards.
Tre’ Bryant ran for a career-high 192 yards and a touchdown and Tanner Lee threw for 238 yards and two scores in his first game for Nebraska.
But new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s unit will draw lots of scrutiny after Hansen shredded it with short passes to the perimeter in the first half and then over the middle in the second. Hansen finished 46 for 68, setting the school record for completions and tying the Nebraska opponent record.
The Huskers tried to put away the game by handing the ball to Bryant in the second half, when he had 114 yards on 18 carries.