STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Amani Oruwariye intercepted Zac Thomas’ pass in the end zone and No. 10 Penn State held on to beat Appalachian State 45-38 in overtime Saturday, exactly 11 years after the Mountaineers stunned Michigan in one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
Miles Sanders ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in overtime for the Nittany Lions in the opener for both teams. But Penn State let a 31-17 lead evaporate when Appalachian State scored on three straight possessions over 5:53 in the fourth quarter.
Penn State’s Trace McSorley, who completed 21 of 36 passes for 230 yards and ran for two scores, led a tying drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to KJ Hamler with 42 seconds left.
Thomas, who returned from injury to lead his team’s comeback, completed 25 of 38 passes for 270 yards, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for Appalachian State. Jalin Moore ran 18 times for 88 yards and a touchdown and Malik Williams caught two touchdowns for the Mountaineers.
In 2007, it was No. 5. Michigan fighting for its life at home against a Division I-AA team and when Corey Lynch blocked Michigan’s field-goal attempt it sealed a 34-32 win.
NO. 12 NOTRE DAME 24, NO. 14 MICHIGAN 17SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brandon Wimbush connected on a long touchdown pass to help Notre Dame jump out to a big first-half lead, Te’von Coney and the defense made it stand with a late takeaway, and the Fighting Irish beat Michigan as the rivalry returned after a three-year hiatus.
A Green-out crowd welcomed the Wolverines back to Notre Dame Stadium and the Fighting Irish scored fast on their first two drives against a defense loaded with future NFL draft picks. Chris Finke hauled in a deep throw from Wimbush that went through a defender’s hands in traffic for a 43-yard score to put Notre Dame up 14-0 midway through the first half.
Jafar Armstrong’s second touchdown, a 4-yard run with 3:55 left in the second quarter made it 21-3. Ambry Thomas gave the Wolverines a much-needed jolted with a 99-yard touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, but otherwise the Michigan debut of quarterback Shea Patterson was mostly disappointing.
Michigan’s only offensive touchdown came with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter, when Karan Higdon rushed in from 3 yards to cut the lead to seven.
Patterson, the touted transfer from Mississippi, went 20 for 30 for 227 yards and faced steady pressure. Michigan got a final opportunity with 1:48 and got as far as its 45. Patterson was flushed out of the pocket, grabbed by Jerry Tillery and stripped by Khalid Kareem. Coney recovered the loose ball with 46 seconds and sealed Notre Dame’s second straight win against the Wolverines.
NO. 5 OHIO STATE 77, OREGON STATE 31COLUMBUS, Ohio – With coach Urban Meyer serving a suspension, new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. had a record-setting day, throwing five touchdown passes to help Ohio State rout Oregon State in the opener for both teams.
The Buckeyes shook off Meyer’s first absence from the Ohio State sideline in six years, scoring on five on the first six possessions and overcoming some defensive sloppiness.
Meyer will be allowed to return to practice Monday, although his suspension by the university will last for two more games. He was sanctioned after an investigation showed he mismanaged former assistant Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence and other bad behavior.
Haskins was 22 for 30 for 313 yards. The five touchdowns and yards gained are records for a first-time Ohio State starter. Mike Weber rushed 20 times for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
Oregon State’s Conor Blount threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
MARYLAND 34, NO. 23 TEXAS 29LANDOVER, Md. – Maryland emerged from a trying offseason with an emotionally charged upset of Texas, shaking off a lengthy weather delay to provide Matt Canada a satisfying victory in his debut at the Terrapins’ interim coach.
After blowing a 24-7 lead, Maryland forced three turnovers in the final 6:09 and scored the game’s final 10 points to stun the Longhorns in the opener for the second year in a row. This one was even more impressive because of what the Terrapins endured this summer.
Maryland has dedicated its season to Jordan McNair, the offensive lineman who collapsed on the practice field on May 29 and died two weeks later of heatstroke. The Terrapins paid tribute to McNair by lining up with 10 players on their first offensive play of the game. Maryland waited for a delay of game to be called, and Texas declined the penalty in a show of sportsmanship. Maryland players wore a sticker No. 79 on their helmets and emerged from the tunnel with one of his former teammates carrying a red flag, also emblazoned with McNair’s number. In addition, there was a moment of silence before the game.
The circumstances surrounding the medical treatment administered to McNair on the scene, as well as charges of bullying by the coaching staff, led to the university placing head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave and the resignation of strength coach Rick Court.
Canada, the offensive coordinator, was named the interim coach.
Freshman Jeshaun Jones ran for a score, threw for one and caught a 65-yard TD pass. Quarterback Kasim Hill went 17 for 29 for 222 yards.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 51, LOUISVILLE 14ORLANDO, Fla. – College Football Playoff hero Tua Tagovailoa threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third in his first college start, helping top-ranked and defending national champion Alabama open the season with the rout of Louisville.
Essentially ending the debate — at least for now — about whether he or Jalen Hurts should be the Crimson Tide’s No. 1 quarterback, Tagovailoa scored on a 9-yard run while also completing 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards without an interception.
Tagovailoa was sacked on the game’s second play, but pretty much had his way against the Louisville defense from there. Jerry Jeudy had TD receptions of 11 and 25 yards, and Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run and 77-yard kickoff return for the Crimson Tide.
Jawon Pass, who’s replacing 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson for Louisville, completed 20 of 39 passes for 252 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, including TDs of 12 yards to Kemari Averett and 8 yards to Tutu Atwell.
NO. 2 CLEMSON 48, FURMAN 7CLEMSON, S.C. – Freshman Trevor Lawrence threw three touchdown passes and Clemson scored on all five of his drives in the season-opening rout.
Lawrence was going 9 for 15 for 137 yards and no interceptions, and senior starter Kelly Bryant was 10 for 16 for 127 yards and a touchdown and ran five times for 44 yards and another score.
The Tigers’ front four on defense — who may all end up as NFL first-rounders — dominated Furman’s option attack. The Paladins gained just 163 yards and the one touchdown came with 1:18 left after Clemson emptied its bench on a steamy afternoon.
NO. 3 GEORGIA 45, AUSTIN PEAY 0ATHENS, Ga. – Jake Fromm threw two scoring passes while sharing time with freshman Justin Fields and Georgia showed off some new firepower.
Georgia flashed big-play potential, including a 59-yard touchdown pass from Fromm to Mecole Hardman and a 72-yard scoring run by Demetris Robertson, who was making his debut.
Fromm completed 12 of 16 passes for 157 yards, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Riley Ridley. Fields, one of the headliners in coach Kirby Smart’s top-ranked class of signees, made his debut on the Bulldogs’ first second-quarter possession and started the second half.
Fields completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards, including a 12-yard scoring pass to Isaac Nauta. Fields also had three carries for 33 yards in his first opportunity to flash his dual-threat talents. Walk-on quarterback Matthew Downing played most of the second half.
NO. 7 OKLAHOMA 63, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 14NORMAN, Okla. – Kyler Murray, taking over for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, passed for 209 yards and two touchdowns to lead Oklahoma.
Murray connected on 9 of 11 passes in just under one half. The first-round Major League Baseball draft pick also ran for 23 yards on four carries. It was Murray’s second college start since transferring from Texas A&M after the 2015 season.
Marquise Brown caught six passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, and Rodney Anderson rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries. Lee Morris caught a 65-yard touchdown pass and blocked a punt for the Sooners. Oklahoma led 42-0 at halftime — the most points the Sooners have scored in a first half since 2008. Oklahoma outgained Florida Atlantic 650 yards to 324.
NO. 9 AUBURN 21, NO. 6 WASHINGTON 16ATLANTA – Jatarvious Whitlow ran 10 yards for a touchdown with 6:15 remaining and the Auburn defense came through at the end, leading the Tigers in the opener.
Trailing 16-15 after missing a two-point conversion on their opening drive of the game, Auburn drove 76 yards in 10 plays for the winning score. Jarrett Stidham kept the drive going early with a 12-yard pass to Chandler Cox on third-and-9. Then, facing third-and-7 deep in Washington territory, Auburn handed off inside to Whitlow, who knocked over a Washington defender as he smashed into the end zone.
Washington drove to the Auburn 37 with plenty of time to pull off the comeback, but Myles Gaskin was thrown for a 3-yard loss and Jake Browning was stymied by a fierce pass rush on back-to-back plays to preserve the Tigers’ victory.
Stidham was 26 of 36 for 273 yards for Auburn, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Sal Cannella, who made a leaping grab in the end zone before landing flat on his back. Browning was 18 of 32 for 296 yards.
No. 15 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 43, UNLV 21LOS ANGELES – JT Daniels, the second freshman to start at quarterback in a season opener for Southern California, threw for 282 yards, and had a 43-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Daniels was 22 of 35, and fellow freshman St. Brown making seven receptions for 98 yards. The former Mater Dei High School teammates connected for their first college touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, with St. Brown getting a step behind cornerback Jericho Flowers on a post route to give USC a two-possession lead over the Rebels.
Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown, and Vavae Malepeai scored the first of two touchdowns on a 2-yard run late in the second quarter that gave USC a lead it would not relinquish.
NO. 16 TCU 55, SOUTHERN U. 7FORT WORTH, Texas – Shawn Robinson threw three touchdown passss and ran for two more scores while playing only the first half in TCU’s opening blowout.
The Horned Frogs scored on their first six drives to take a 38-7 lead before fellow sophomore Michael Collins, a former transfer from Penn, took over after halftime.
Derius Davis caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Robinson and the true freshman later returned a punt 73 yards for a score as the Frogs won their 17th consecutive home opener under coach Gary Patterson.
Robinson completed 17 of 24 passes for 182 yards.
NO. 17 WEST VIRGINIA 40, TENNESSEE 14CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Will Grier got his Heisman Trophy campaign off to an impressive start, throwing for 429 yards and five touchdowns to help West Virginia rout Tennessee in a game delayed for more than an hour at halftime due to lightning.
Grier connected on touchdown passes of 33 yards to David Sills, 28 yards to Gary Jennings, and 14 yards to Kennedy McCoy in the third quarter as the Mountaineers opened a 33-14 lead.
Grier, who grew up in the Charlotte area and once threw for 10 TD passes in a high school playoff game, was 14 of 19 for 275 yards and four TDs in the second half. Sills had seven grabs for 140 yards and two touchdowns after 18 TD receptions last season.
Tim Jordan ran for 118 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown for Tennessee, which lost in Jeremy Pruitt’s head coaching debut.
NO. 18 MISSISSIPPI STATE 63, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 6STARKVILLE, Miss. – Keytaon Thompson threw for 364 yards and five touchdowns, Mississippi State had 17 tackles for a loss and the 18th-ranked Bulldogs cruised in their opener.
Joe Moorhead won his first game as Mississippi State’s head coach, and the playbook showed some of the downfield passing prowess he’s promised over the past months. The Bulldogs had completions of 53, 84, 27 and 30 yards for touchdowns.
Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound sophomore, made his second career start. He was pressed into action after senior Nick Fitzgerald was suspended for the season opener for a “violation of team policy” that Moorhead said happened in March.
Thompson also ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Mississippi State’s offense had success from the moment it stepped on the field. The first play was Thompson’s short swing pass to Kylin Hill, who went nearly untouched for a 53-yard touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Thompson found a completely uncovered Osirus Mitchell for an 84-yard touchdown, which was the longest pass completion for the Bulldogs in 14 years.
NO. 22 BOISE STATE 56, TROY 20TROY, Ala. – Brett Rypien passed for 305 yards and four touchdowns, and Sean Modster had 167 yards receiving, to lead Boise State in the opening victory.
The Broncos raced to a 35-7 halftime lead over a Trojans team coming off an 11-win season, largely with the Rypien-to-Modster connection. Then, Tyler Horton and Boise State’s defense mostly took over the scoring for the second half against Troy.
The cornerback scooped-and-scored on a pair of fumbles, with returns of 55 and 11 yards. Horton, who has four defensive touchdowns, tied the FBS record for fumble returns for TDs in a game shared by four others.
Rypien passed for 276 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, with Modster easily topping his career high by the break. He had 161 receiving yards in the half against Troy. Rypien completed 20 of 28 passes and Modster did his damage on seven catches.
NO. 24 OREGON 58, BOWLING GREEN 24EUGENE, Ore. – Justin Herbert threw for five touchdowns and ran for another score for Oregon.
Herbert completed 10 of 21 passes for 281 yards and the five passing TDs were the most for a Duck in a season-opening game. He also rushed for 41 yards.
The victory extended Oregon’s winning streak in home openers to 14.
Bowling Green, which went 2-10 last season, jumped in front 10-0 in the first quarter, but the Ducks scored 37 straight point and led 37-17 at the half
Bowling Green’s Jarret Doege threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns.