Manhattan, Kan. — TCU and Kansas State had gone through pregame stretching and warm-ups, even tossed the coin, and were minutes away from kickoff Saturday when the first flash of lightning lit up the sky.
After a 3-hour weather delay, the Horned Frogs returned to the field to start the game.
The Wildcats never really showed up.
Sixth-ranked TCU’s stingy defense shut down the ailing Kansas State offense, and Kenny Hill threw for 297 yards while running for a touchdown in a 26-6 victory that kept the Horned Frogs undefeated.
“Honestly no,” Hill said, when asked whether he thought TCU would be the Big 12’s lone remaining unbeaten team. “To get to this point, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I mean, it’s a good feeling, but you’ve got to keep pushing, keep plugging away and keep trying to get another win.”
Sewo Olonilua added two short touchdown runs for the Horned Frogs (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), who held the Wildcats (3-3, 1-2) without points both times they ventured into the red zone.
Kansas State was forced to play without quarterback Jesse Ertz, who was hurt in last week’s double-overtime loss at Texas. Sophomore backup Alex Delton got his first start and was 11 of 29 for 146 yards, struggling to run coach Bill Snyder’s complex offense against the Big 12’s best defense.
The Wildcats’ ground-based attack managed just 70 yards on 29 carries.
“There are some things that I need to get straightened out,” Snyder said. “They gave good effort. There are just some things that are not taking place. That falls into my lap.”
After kickoff was delayed because of the lightning, the Horned Frogs wasted little time in taking the lead. Their defense got the ball back deep in Kansas State territory, and Aaron Hicks pounded away five straight times before Hill scampered in from seven yards out for the touchdown.
Jonathan Song added a pair of field goals later in the first half.
“We had the same thing happen to us at Texas where we had a delay a couple of years ago,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said, “and so I let them play some music and they were singing, doing all the things they wanted to do to stay loose.”
The Wildcats’ most promising drive reached the TCU 5, but they followed with a pair of penalties on Byron Pringle — including pass interference to wipe out his TD catch — before fumbling the ball away.
They had a similar meltdown late in the third quarter, when they marched inside the TCU 10. The Horned Frogs’ defense proceeded to stuff Delton on third-and-2, and then shot through the line to bring down running back Justin Silmon on fourth-and-inches to get the ball back.
“That’s very surprising. I expect us to convert all the time,” Wildcats offensive lineman Abdul Beecham said. “It’s very disappointing no matter who we’re playing not to find the end zone.”
Early in the fourth quarter, another lightning spell sent the teams back to the locker room.
Only a few thousand water-logged fans were left when the teams returned to play the final 12:49, and the Horned Frogs made sure they stayed quiet. They forced a quick punt by Kansas State and breezed 65 yards downfield before Olonilua scored from one yard out for a 26-3 lead.
The Horned Frogs cruised the rest of the way in avenging a defeat from last year for the fourth time in their first six games. They’ve also beaten Arkansas, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
“All I know is, we’re bowl-eligible and that’s my first goal, is to get to six, and now it’s going to be to get to seven,” Patterson said. “But you got to have six first.”
(At) No. 1 Alabama 41, Arkansas 9: Damien Harris opened with a 75-yard touchdown run for Alabama (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference), which had raced to a 17-0 start by midway through the first quarter before the Razorbacks (2-4, 0-3) managed to slow down the onslaught for a while.
Harris ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. His run on the game’s first offensive play matched his career long set last week at Texas A&M, giving the Tide a lead just 15 seconds into the game.
Playing without quarterback Austin Allen because of a right shoulder injury, Arkansas couldn’t muster much sustained offense.
Redshirt freshman Cole Kelley made his first start and spent much of the night under heavy pressure. He completed 23 of 42 passes 200 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the fourth quarter.
Alabama’s Jalen Hurts was 12-of-19 passing for 155 yards with a touchdown and his first interception of the season.
(At) No. 4 Georgia 53, Missouri 28: Sony Michel ran for two touchdowns as Georgia found its running game after a slow start and took control with 26 unanswered points.
Georgia (7-0, 4-0 SEC) recovered from an early scare by gaining 696 total yards, including 370 on the ground. Missouri (1-5, 0-4) suffered its fifth straight loss as it faded following a 21-all tie in the second quarter.
Georgia's Mecole Hardman scored on a 35-yard run in the first quarter and a 59-yard catch from Jake Fromm in the fourth quarter.
(At) LSU 27, No. 10 Auburn 23: D.J. Chark returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, Connor Culp kicked clutch field goals of 42 and 36 yards inside the final three minutes, and LSU rallied from a 20-point, first-half deficit.
LSU’s defense improved dramatically in the second half, not allowing a point. That enabled LSU (5-2, 2-1 SEC) to win with special teams play.
Russell Gage made a diving 14-yard touchdown reception and had a 70-yard run that set up another TD for LSU.
Kerryon Johnson rushed for 156 yards and a short TD for Auburn (5-2, 3-1), which had won four in a row.
(At) No. 11 Miami 25, Georgia Tech 24: Darrell Langham made a 28-yard catch on a tipped fourth-down ball, setting up Michael Badgley’s 24-yard field goal with 4 seconds left.
Langham — who had the winning catch to beat Florida State in the final seconds last week — pulled off a similar grab to get Miami to the Georgia Tech 15, and Badgley’s chip-shot came four snaps later as the Hurricanes (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) stretched their longest winning streak in more than a decade to 10 games.
Travis Homer rushed for 170 yards and had two scores — one rushing, one receiving for Miami, which escaped when Georgia Tech’s five-lateral attempt at a kickoff return was stopped as time expired.
“It was lucky that we got the tip and it landed in his arms,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “He’s been Mr. Clutch.”
Lamont Simmons ran a botched onside kick back 42 yards for a touchdown and J.J. Green scored twice for Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1).
No. 12 Oklahoma 29, Texas 24: At Dallas, Baker Mayfield threw 59 yards to Mark Andrews for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter after Oklahoma had blown a 20-point lead.
Mayfield’s second TD throw of more than 50 yards came 68 seconds after freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger ran 8 yards to give the Longhorns their first lead after trailing 20-0 in the second quarter.
The win kept the College Football Playoff hopes alive for the Sooners (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) a week after a stunning home loss to Iowa State.
Lincoln Riley, the youngest FBS head coach at 34, topped Tom Herman in the first Texas-OU matchup since 1947 with both coaches leading their teams for the first time. Bud Wilkinson, who led the Sooners to three national titles, was the losing coach in that game.
Ehlinger, the second straight freshman to start against Oklahoma for Texas (3-3, 2-1), had to be replaced by last year’s starter, Shane Buechele, on the drive after the Sooners went back in front.
(At) No. 13 Southern California 28, Utah 27: Sam Darnold threw for 356 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12), who hung on after Utah (4-2, 1-2) missed a two-point conversion after Troy Williams’ 1-yard run for a score with 42 seconds left.
(At) No. 14 Oklahoma State 59, Baylor 16: Mason Rudolph passed for 459 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to help Oklahoma State.
Rudolph guided an offense that gained a school-record 747 yards. The senior got his first career win in four tries against the Bears.
Oklahoma State’s James Washington caught six passes for 235 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for a 2-yard score. It was the second-best yardage total of his career. Marcell Ateman caught four passes for 119 yards and a touchdown, and Justice Hill ran for 117 yards and a score for the Cowboys (5-1, 2-1 Big 12).
Terence Williams ran for 95 yards for Baylor (0-6, 0-3).
(At) No. 18 South Florida 33, Cincinnati 3: Quinton Flowers eclipsed 3,000 yards career rushing and scored a touchdown to help South Florida extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 11 games.
The dual-threat quarterback also set up a TD with a long completion to Temi Alaka and linebacker Auggie Sanchez scored on a 65-yard interception on the final play of the first half for the Bulls (6-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference), who’ve matched the best start in school history.
USF also began 6-0 in 2007, climbing to a No. 2 ranking in The Associated Press Poll before plummeting out of the national spotlight with three consecutive losses.
Cincinnati (2-5, 0-3) has lost seven straight AAC games dating to last season.
Boise State 31, (at) No. 19 San Diego State 14: Alexander Mattison ran for 128 yards and a touchdown and Boise State's defense kept star running back Rashaad Penny in check.
Penny was limited to 53 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. It was his first game under 100 yards rushing this season for the Aztecs (6-1, 2-1 Mountain West).
Avery Williams returned a punt 53 yards for Boise State's first touchdown, and less than two minutes later, Kekaula Kaniho returned a fumble by SDSU quarterback Christian Chapman 34 yards for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
It was the start of an overwhelming performance for Boise State (4-2, 2-0) on defense. The Broncos had 12 tackles for a loss, including four sacks, and San Diego State didn't cross the 50-yard line until the middle of the second quarter.
No. 20 North Carolina State 35, Pittsburgh 17: Nyheim Hines ran for an 83-yard touchdown and returned a punt 92 yards for another score on his way to 249 total yards to help North Carolina State win its sixth straight.
Jaylen Samuels added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs for the Wolfpack (6-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who matched their best ACC start since 2002 by relying on Hines early and Samuels late.
Ryan Finley completed 14 of 25 passes for 198 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jakobi Meyers late in the third quarter to put N.C. State ahead to stay. Finley extended his streak of consecutive passes without an interception to 313, the second-longest in ACC history.
Ben DiNucci threw for 170 yards and a touchdown for Pitt (2-5, 0-3) before being replaced in the third quarter by freshman Kenny Pickett. Pickett completed 5 of 13 for 61 yards and ran for 18 yards in the first extended action of his career before DiNucci returned in the final minutes.
(At) No. 22 Central Florida 63, East Carolina 21: McKenzie Milton threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and UCF also got touchdowns on defense and special teams.
UCF moved to 5-0 for the first time in the program’s Division I era and remained tied with 18th-ranked South Florida for the American Athletic Conference East lead at 3-0. The Pirates (1-6, 1-3) have lost three straight.
(At) No. 23 Stanford 49, Oregon 7: Bryce Love needed less than five minutes to reach the 100-yard rushing mark for the ninth consecutive game as he used another big run to fuel Stanford's victory.
Love's 67-yard touchdown run just 4:23 in was his second touchdown of the game, and the nation's leading rusher finished with 147 yards on 17 carries to help the Cardinal (5-2, 4-1 Pac-12) win their fourth straight game. Love has 1,387 yards through seven games despite carrying just once in the second half this week as he spent time in the injury tent with an undisclosed ailment.
Keller Chryst threw two of his three touchdown passes to JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Brandon Simmons returned a blocked punt by Curtis Robinson for another touchdown as Stanford overpowered the Ducks (4-3, 1-3).
(At) West Virginia 46, No. 24 Texas Tech 35: Will Grier threw four of his five touchdown passes in the second half and West Virginia overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) beat a ranked opponent for the first time in 10 tries.
Nic Shimonek threw four first-half TD passes for Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2).
Ka’Raun White had fourth-quarter TD catches of 32 and 17 yards to give the Mountaineers their first lead, and Grier capped the scoring with an 11-yard pass to Sills with 3:23 left.
Sills also had scoring catches of 13 and 8 yards to boost his national-leading total to 12 this season.
(At) Memphis 30, No. 25 Navy 27: Riley Ferguson threw three touchdown passes and Memphis took advantage for five turnovers by Navy.
Quarterback Zach Abey ran for 146 yards for Navy (5-1, 3-1 American), but the Tigers held the nation’s leading running game 100 yards under its 416-yard average. He surpassed 1,000 yards rushing this season with a 28-yard run late in the fourth quarter, but was responsible for all five turnovers.
Memphis (5-1, 2-1) beat a Top-25 opponent for the third straight time, including two this season.
Ferguson passed for 279 yards and Anthony Miller had 10 receptions for 90 yards and two TDs.