Saturday's Top 25: No. 8 Texas rallies, beats Texas Tech 63-56 in overtime
Lubbock, Texas – Sam Ehlinger threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Moore in overtime, sending No. 8 Texas to a wild 63-56 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday that saw the Longhorns rally with two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of regulation.
Moore’s second touchdown catch came with 40 seconds left and Ehlinger’s 2-point conversion pass to Brennan Eagles tied it to get to overtime. Texas got the ball first and quickly scored when Ehlinger and Moore connected for their third score of the day.
Texas Tech’s possession ended when Alan Bowman was forced to scramble and threw a wild pass that was intercepted by Caden Sterns.
Texas, chasing its first Big 12 title since 2009, had looked done when the Red Raiders went ahead 56-41 late in the fourth quarter on touchdowns from T.J. Vasher and SaRodorick Thompson Jr. But Ehlginer engineered a quick drive for a touchdown pass to Eagles and the Longhorns recovered the onside kick to set up the tying score.
Texas is 2-0 for the first time under fourth-year coach Tom Herman.
Ehlinger finished with 262 yards passing with five touchdowns and also ran for a score for Texas (2-0 1-0) . Bowman passed for 325 yards and five touchdowns for the Red Raiders (1-1, 0-1) but also threw three interceptions.
Kansas State 38, (at) No. 3 Oklahoma 35: Skylar Thompson threw for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns and Kansas State rallied from 21 points down to stun Oklahoma.
Freshman Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 yards and ran for a touchdown in the Wildcats’ first road victory over a a top-three team in the AP poll. They rebounded from an opening loss to Arkansas State.
Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but threw three interceptions.
Kansas State upset Oklahoma 48-41 in Manhattan last year.
Kansas State said earlier in the week it was struggling to have enough players available at all position groups to play the game because of COVID-19.
Two short rushing touchdowns by Thompson got the Wildcats back in the game. Nick Allen blocked Reeves Mundschau’s punt, and the Wildcats took over at the Oklahoma 38. Vaughn’s 38-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats’ second offensive play and the extra point tied it at 35 with 8:17 to play.
Kansas State’s Blake Lynch hit a 50-yard field goal with 4:32 remaining. Jahron McPherson intercepted Rattler’s pass in the final minute.
Oklahoma is 1-1.
No. 2 Alabama 38, (at) Missouri 19: Mac Jones threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters of work, many of his throws landing in the capable hands of Jaylen Waddle, and Alabama began its Southeastern Conference-only schedule with a romp over rebuilding Missouri.
Waddle finished with eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Najee Harris ran for 98 yards and three more scores, helping the Crimson Tide spoil the debut of new Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz and win their 27th straight over the SEC East before a COVID-19-curtailed crowd of 11,738 fans at Faurot Field.
TCU transfer Shawn Robinson, who started for the Tigers over Connor Bazelak, threw for 185 yards and a score. Bazelak also got a few series and was equally ineffective against Dylan Moses, Patrick Surtain II and the rest of the Crimson Tide defense, which kept Drinkwitz’s creative offense out of the end zone until midway through the fourth quarter. Bazelak added a touchdown scamper on the final play of the game for the final margin.
No. 4 Georgia 37, (at) Arkansas 10: Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter and Georgia rallied to beat Arkansas in the season opener for each school.
Bennett replaced D’Wan Mathis in the second quarter and finished 20 for 29 for 211 yards. Bennett put the Bulldogs ahead to stay when he tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens and ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 13-10 with 6 minutes left in the third.
Zamir White rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries, including a 6-yard TD that gave the Bulldogs a 34-10 lead in the final period.
Feleipe Franks was 19 for 36 for 200 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Arkansas, but the Florida transfer also tossed two interceptions.
No. 5 Florida 51, Mississippi 35: Kyle Pitts caught four of Kyle Trask’s six touchdown passes and Florida spoiled coach Lane Kiffin’s Mississippi debut.
Trask completed 30 of 42 passes for 416 yards, throwing touchdown passes of 1, 16, 71 and 17 yards to Pitts. The star tight end had 170 yards receiving in the season and Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Trask directed four consecutive touchdown drives that spanned the second and third quarters to help the Gators build a 41-14 lead for the Gators (1-0 Southeastern Conference).
Kiffin, the former Tennessee and Southern California head coach who came to Ole Miss from FAU, had the Rebels’ offense humming with Matt Corral at quarterback. Corral completed 22 of 31 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns passes, two to Dontario Drummond. But they couldn’t stop the Gators.
Mississippi State 44, (at) No. 4 LSU 34: K.J. Costello passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and threw five touchdown passes in the Mississippi State debut of coach Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense, and the Bulldogs knocked off defending national champion LSU.
Costello’s passing yardage in his first game since transferring from Stanford to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia’s Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the Southeastern Conference record. And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered a pair of scoring drives in the final 10 minutes.
LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan in 1998 lost at Notre Dame.
LSU quarterback Myles Brennan intermittently showed promise in his debut as starter in place of 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 top NFL draft choice Joe Burrow. He had 345 yards and three touchdowns passing.
(At) No. 8 Auburn 29, No. 23 Kentucky 13: Bo Nix threw for 233 yards and three second-half touchdowns, including a pair to Seth Williams, and Auburn scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull away from Kentucky in the season opener.
The Tigers turned a three-quarter scare into a comfortable win by capitalizing on a late turnover and Kentucky’s failed fake punt in the lone Top 25 matchup of the Southeastern Conference’s opening weekend.
Nix delivered some big plays to start an encore to a promising freshman season, especially to Williams. He completed 16 of 27 passes and also ran for 34 yards.
Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson returned from a knee injury that cost him most of last season. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 239 yards and ran for 42 yards.
(At) No. 10 Texas A&M 17, Vanderbilt 12: Isaiah Spiller had 117 yards rushing and Ainias Smith ran for a touchdown to help No. 10 Texas A&M overcome three turnovers in a mistake-filled game to beat Vanderbilt in the season-opener for both teams.
Spiller had 5 five yards rushing in the first half before getting going after halftime. Smith added 51 yards rushing after switching from receiver to running back this season to steady the offense on a night when Kellen Mond fumbled twice, losing one.
The Aggies didn’t trail after the first quarter but were never able to pull away despite entering the game as 30-point favorites because of three fumbles and a penalty that resulted in a safety.
Vanderbilt started Ken Seals at quarterback, making him just the third true freshman QB to start a SEC season opener since freshman eligibility was restored in 1972. He threw for 150 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
(At) No. 12 Miami 52, Florida State 10: D’Eriq King threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters and Miami beat Florida State.
Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney scored twice and Brevin Jordan and Dee Wiggins each caught touchdown passes for Miami (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Miami scored touchdowns on its five possessions and built a 35-point lead at halftime. The margin of victory was the largest for Miami in the series since a 47-0 rout in 1976, the first season of Bobby Bowden’s 34-year coaching career at Florida State.
The Seminoles (0-2, 0-2) were without head coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for coronavirus and remained in Tallahassee under quarantine. Assistant Chris Thomsen served as head coach.
No. 13 Central Florida 51, (at) East Carolina 28: Dillon Gabriel threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns to help Central Florida beat East Carolina to open its American Athletic Conference schedule.
Jaylon Robinson and Marlon Williams each had huge games as Gabriel’s top targets for the Knights (2-0, 1-0). Robinson had nine catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and Williams had a career-best 13 catches for 136 yards.
Holton Ahlers threw for 215 yards and three TDs for the Pirates (0-1, 0-1). They had delayed start to the season after coronavirus-related scheduling changes.
(At) No. 14 Cincinnati 24, No. 22 Army 10: Desmond Ridder passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns and Cincinnati beat Army in the first matchup of ranked teams at Nippert Stadium since 2008.
Army’s vaunted triple-option offense came in averaging 389.5 rushing yards, but the Bearcats held the Black Knights (2-1) to 182, including 81 by junior quarterback Christian Anderson.
The Bearcats (2-0) rushed for 42 yards during a 60-yard scoring drive, which was capped by Alabama transfer Jerome Ford’s 4-yard TD run extending their lead to 17-7. Cincinnati sealed the victory with a 60-yard TD pass from Ridder to running back Gerrid Doaks with 6:55 left.
(At) No. 15 Oklahoma State 27, West Virginia 13: Chuba Hubbard scored on a 23-yard run with 1:17 remaining to salvage a difficult afternoon and help Oklahoma State beat West Virginia.
Sidelined for a number of key plays after fumbling on consecutive second-half possessions, Hubbard ended up with 101 yards on 22 rushes for his 12th 100-yard performance in his last 13 games. Hubbard’s backup, L.D. Brown, gained 103 yards on 11 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run, for Oklahoma State (2-0, 1-0 Big 12).
True freshman backup quarterback Shane Illingworth, in his first collegiate start, completed 15 of 21 passes for 139 yards, but also had an interception.
Jarret Doege threw for 285 yards and a touchdown for West Virginia (1-1, 0-1).
No. 16 Tennessee 31, (at) South Carolina 27: Jarrett Guarantano threw a tiebreaking touchdown pass to Josh Palmer with 9:35 left and Tennessee won its seventh straight game.
The Vols appeared to have things in hand when they went ahead 21-7 on Eric Gray’s 12-yard scoring run on their opening drive of the third quarter. But South Carolina rallied behind first-time starter quarterback Collin Hill with two touchdowns and a field goal the next four series to tie the opener at 24 in the fourth quarter.
Guarantano finished 19 of 31 for 259 yards. He also rushed for Tennessee’s first touchdown.
(At) No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette 20, Georgia Southern 18: Nate Snyder hit a 53-yard field goal on the final play to lift Louisiana-Lafayette past Georgia Southern.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (3-0, 2-0 Sun Belt) looked on the way to their first loss when Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts hit Khaleb Hood with a 28-yard touchdown pass and Dalton Anderson with a 2-point conversion with 54 seconds left to give the Eagles (1-1, 0-1) an 18-17 lead.
ULL quarterback Levi Lewis, who threw for 290 yards, completed three passes for 47 yards in the final drive, including an 18-yarder to running back Trey Ragas to the Eagle 36. From there, Snyder – who was 2 fo -6 on the season including three misses inside 35 yards – split the uprights to give the Cajuns their first 3-0 start since 1988.
(At) No. 20 Virginia Tech 45, North Carolina State 24: Quincy Patterson II came off the bench to throw two touchdown passes and run for another score, leading Virginia Tech past North Carolina State.
Despite playing without 23 players and four coaches because of coronavirus issues and injuries – including starting quarterback Hendon Hooker – the Hokies started quickly in the season opener and Atlantic Coast Conference delayed two weeks because of two COVID-related postponements.
Khalil Herbert ran for 104 yards and a score for Virginia Tech, which rushed for 315 yards.
Devin Leary threw for 165 yards and a score for the Wolfpack (1-1, 1-1).
(At) No. 21 Pittsburgh 23, No. 24 Louisville 20: Kenny Pickett threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and Pittsburgh sacked Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham seven times.
The Panthers moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2014 behind a relentless defense that kept the Cardinals (1-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) in check for most of the afternoon. Pitt limited Louisville to 223 total yards – less than half of its season average coming in – and picked off three of Cunningham’s passes.
Senior defensive end Patrick Jones II had three sacks for the Panthers (3-0, 2-0).