Top 25 roundup: Dobbs rallies No. 14 Vols over No. 19 Gators
Knoxville, Tenn. — This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback.
And in the process, the Volunteers took out 11 years’ worth of frustration on Florida.
Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns Saturday and No. 14 Tennessee erased a 21-point deficit to beat No. 19 Florida 38-28 and end their 11-game losing streak in the annual series.
“I didn’t see anybody blink,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. “Nobody flinched. They just kept playing.”
This marks the first time Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has beaten Florida (3-1, 1-1) since 2004. The Volunteers had lost to Florida by one point each of the last two years despite leading in the fourth quarter of both games.
Florida was so confident it would continue the streak that Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson boldly said this week that “nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck . Florida Gators are going to win, simple as that.”
Tennessee silenced the Gators by reeling off 38 consecutive points.
“I just kept looking at their body language on the sideline, and it was bad,” said Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, who recorded two sacks. “I think they worried about talking too much (rather than) focusing on playing football, and it showed at the end.”
Tennessee safety Todd Kelly Jr. added that “it just looked like we took their soul, really.”
Dobbs went 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 21-0 early against the nation’s top-ranked defense, Tennessee stormed back and pulled ahead for good 24-21 with 12:45 left on Dobbs’ 67-yard completion to a wide-open Jauan Jennings, who bobbled the ball a few times near the right sideline before making the catch while staying inbounds.
“They came in and took it to us,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “It’s disappointing. We’ve got a bunch of guys hurting in the locker room. … These are life lessons. Not every day does everything go just like you wanted. I think the key is what you learn from it and how you’re going to respond.”
Florida took an early 21-0 advantage on a pair of Austin Appleby touchdown passes and a 1-yard run by Jordan Scarlett. Both Appleby touchdown passes were set up by long completions from Appleby to Antonio Callaway. The Gators led 21-3 at halftime.
Appleby threw three touchdown passes and one interception while starting in place of Luke Del Rio, who injured his left knee last week in a 32-0 rout of North Texas.
Twice in the first half, Tennessee got inside Florida’s 5-yard line and failed to score.
“We came into the locker room and we said, ‘Don’t panic,’” Dobbs said. “It was simple. We’ve just got to execute. We’ve just got to play our brand of football. We were moving the ball on them the whole game.”
(At) No. 1 Alabama 48, Kent State 0: Jalen Hurts ran and threw for touchdowns and tailback sub Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (4-0) dominated coach Nick Saban’s alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to freshman linebacker Mack Wilson. Starting tailback Damien Harris went down on the opening drive with a sprained right ankle and didn’t return.
Harris was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging freshman Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a respite for the Tide against Kent State (1-3) after a bruising 48-43 comeback victory over No. 23 Mississippi.
Hurts was 16 of 24 for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown dash on the opening drive. He found Wilson, who lines up at fullback in goal line situations, for a 1-yard third-quarter score that was supposed to go to tight end O.J. Howard.
No. 3 Louisville 59, (at) Marshall 28: Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes and ran for two more scores for Louisville.
The sophomore completed 24 of 44 passes for a career-high 417 yards against a Marshall secondary whose most experienced player had five starts. Jackson also ran for 62 yards.
Louisville (4-0) didn’t slow down against a nonconference opponent on the road a week after beating Florida State 63-20 at home.
The Cardinals raced to a 35-7 halftime lead and cruised in the second half to break a four-game losing streak to the Thundering Herd. Jackson’s scoring passes covered 71, 8, 30, 8 and 51 yards.
Marshall (1-2) was limited to 207 yards of offense.
No. 6 Houston 64, (at) Texas State 3: D’Eriq King caught a touchdown pass, threw one and returned a kickoff for another score in Houston’s blowout victory.
King, a freshman recruited to play quarterback, is playing at wide receiver while Greg Ward Jr. directs the offense. Ward passed for two touchdowns and ran for one before leaving the game after playing one series in the third quarter. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 289 yards.
King made a mistake by calling for a fair catch on the Houston 5 during a first-quarter Texas State punt. He soon compensated for that, however, catching a short pass from Ward on a bubble screen and taking it in for a touchdown from 48 yards out. Early in the second quarter, King took a handoff from Ward and threw a high pass to the end zone that Steven Dunbar pulled in for a 15-yard touchdown.
King began the second half by returning the kickoff 99 yards for another touchdown.
Houston (4-0) gained 563 yards and limited Texas State (1-2) to 142.
No. 7 Stanford 22, (at) UCLA 13: UCLA contained Christian McCaffrey, kept Stanford's offense out of the end zone and generated just enough points to lead the Pac-12 champions until the Cardinal's final drive. And then everything reverted to usual form in this one-sided California rivalry.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Burns with 24 seconds to play, and No. 7 Stanford rallied for its ninth consecutive victory over the Bruins.
McCaffrey rushed for 138 yards for the Cardinal (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12), but they struggled on offense for 3 1/2 quarters. Stanford got the ball back with 2:05 left and coolly put together a 70-yard drive capped by Burns' fade to Arcega-Whiteside, who got one foot inbounds on an acrobatic play.
No. 9 Washington 35, (at) Arizona 28 (OT): Jake Browning hit Dante Pettis on a 4-yard touchdown in overtime, Lavon Coleman ran for 181 yards and Washington held off Arizona in both teams’ Pac-12 opener.
Pettis made a tough grab in traffic on the first possession of overtime and Washington’s defense forced a turnover on downs to eke out the victory.
The Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) had a hard time shaking Arizona (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12), which was down to its fourth-string running back after J.J. Taylor left in the third quarter with a left ankle injury.
Brandon Dawkins kept the Wildcats in it, dazzling with 176 yards and two touchdowns rushing, 167 yards and another score passing. He escaped what appeared to be a sack to hit Shun Brown on a 54-yard pass , then hit Josh Kern on a 3-yard TD pass with 17 seconds left to tie the game at 28.
Coleman kept the Huskies moving with Browning limited to passes underneath and scored on a 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Browning finished 14 of 21 for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
(At) No. 10 Texas A&M 45, No. 17 Arkansas 24: Trevor Knight had two long touchdowns runs for Texas A&M before halftime and threw a 92-yard pass to Josh Reynolds right after Arkansas was stopped three times from the 1.
Reynolds caught the ball in stride just short of midfield, and quickly shed defensive back DJ Dean on his way to the end zone to break a 17-all tie and put the Aggies (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) ahead to stay. Texas A&M has won five straight against the Razorbacks (3-1, 0-1), all since joining the SEC.
The long catch-and-run by Reynolds came two plays after Keon Hatcher was tackled for a 5-yard loss on fourth down, ending a 19-play drive for the Razorbacks that took 10 minutes after Texas A&M had fumbled from the Arkansas 2.
(At) No. 23 Mississippi 45, No. 12 Georgia 14: Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Mississippi break a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996.
The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) dominated every phase, building a lead of 31-0 by halftime and 45-0 by midway through the third quarter.
Georgia (3-1, 1-1) lost for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. To make matters worse, star running back Nick Chubb injured an ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return.
It was an impressive win for the Rebels, who finally built a big lead they didn’t give away. Ole Miss led Florida State by 22 points and Alabama by 21 this season before losing both games.
Kelly was 18 of 24 and had a 41-yard touchdown run through the middle of the defense.
No. 13 Florida State 55, (at) South Florida 35: Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns and Florida State rebounded from the most lopsided loss in school history to beat South Florida.
Cook scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage, an immediate response to USF starting the game with Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams teaming on an 84-yard catch-and-run for a 7-0 lead. The 213-pound junior’s rushing total on 28 carries topped his previous best of 266 yards against South Florida last year.
Florida State (3-1) bounced back from being trounced 63-20 by Louisville, a road shellacking that dropped the Seminoles 11 spots in the AP Top 25 from No. 2. South Florida (3-1) is off to its fastest start since 2011, however the Bulls were no match for a talented bunch that began the season with expectations of contending for its second national title in four years.
(At) No. 16 Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 24: Seth Russell threw four touchdown passes, including an 89-yarder to Chris Platt for the go-ahead score in the third quarter, and Baylor beat Oklahoma State in the weather-delayed Big 12 opener for both teams.
The game was stopped by lightning for about 1 1/2 hours after the Bears scored on the opening series.
Ishmael Zamora had career highs of 175 yards receiving and two touchdowns on eight catches in his season debut for the Bears after a three-game suspension over a video of him whipping his dog that surfaced during the summer. Platt also had two TDs. Baylor earned its fourth consecutive 4-0 start in its first big test after a light nonconference schedule.
The Cowboys (2-2) lost three fumbles, including the second by Justice Hill after he picked up a first down at the Baylor 2 with Oklahoma State trailing 28-24 with 9 minutes remaining. Hill, who had 122 yards rushing, was originally ruled down, but the call was overturned on review.
(At) Auburn 18, No. 18 LSU 13: Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat LSU after officials ruled Danny Etling’s apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired.
Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark on a 15-yard pass, setting off a celebration by LSU players. Officials ruled time expired before Etling took the snap.
The celebration shifted to the Auburn sideline when officials announced the decisive ruling.
It was an important win for Auburn (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and coach Gus Malzahn, who faced increased criticism following losses to Top 25 opponents Clemson and Texas A&M.
An illegal shift penalty against LSU (2-2, 1-1) left the Tigers with a fourth-down play from the 15 with 5 seconds remaining, setting up the final-play drama.
LSU star running back Leonard Fournette had 16 carries for 101 yards.