Alabama 41, Colorado State 23

Starkville Daily News - - SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL -

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Benny Snell Jr. rushed for two touch­downs and Ken­tucky's de­fense held off South Carolina to win its fourth straight over the Game­cocks 23-13 on Satur­day night.

Snell, who's sta­tus was in doubt ear­lier in the week due to bruised ribs, rushed for scores of 5 and 1 yard in lead­ing the Wild­cats (1-0 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence) to their first 3-0 start since 2010. Two years ago, Ken­tucky snapped a 22-game SEC road los­ing streak at South Carolina.

This time, the Wild­cats left no doubt about who was the bet­ter team in this one.

It did not start that way, though. South Carolina (2-1, 1-1) elec­tri­fied a sold-out sta­dium with a 68-yard TD catch by re­ceiver Deebo Sa­muel on the open­ing play, then got an in­ter­cep­tion and a fum­ble from the Wild­cats' first two drives. But Ken­tucky's de­fense did not al­low the Game­cocks any more points af­ter that.

Snell and of­fense took over with two long, first-half scor­ing drives for a 14-6 lead. Snell ended a 13-play se­ries with his 5-yard touch­down. He capped an 11-play se­quence with his se­cond touch­down.

Ken­tucky made the crit­i­cal plays when it needed. Fac­ing fourth-and-goal from the Wild­cats 1 in the fourth quar­ter, Game­cock tail­back Rico Dow­dle was stopped cold by line­backer Ja­mar Wat­son and cor­ner­back Der­rick Baity.

Then when the Game­cocks closed it to 2013 on OrTre Smith's 9-yard touch­down grab with 6:26 left, Ken­tucky quar­ter­back Stephen John­son scram­bled on third down for a 54-yard run that led to Austin MacGin­nis' third field goal with two min­utes left that sealed the win. Snell fin­ished with 102 yards on 32 car­ries. Sa­muel had five catches for 122 yards and his sixth touch­down of the sea­son. But he left the game in the fourth quar­ter with an in­jury.

Auburn 24, Mercer 10

AUBURN, Ala. — Kam­ryn Pettway ran for 128 yards and three touch­downs as No. 15 Auburn over­came five turnovers to hold off FCS school Mercer in an­other trou­bling per­for­mance by the Tigers' of­fense.

Af­ter be­ing held with­out a touch­down in a 14-6 loss at third-ranked Clem­son the pre­vi­ous week, Auburn (2-1) could at least point to a stout de­fen­sive op­po­nent as the rea­son for its trou­bles.

Not this time.

Mercer (1-2), which only re­sumed its foot­ball pro­gram five years ago and plays a divi­sion down in the South­ern Con­fer­ence, gave the Tigers all they could han­dle, much to a cha­grin of a dis­grun­tled crowd at Jor­danHare Sta­dium — many of whom didn't bother re­turn­ing to their seats af­ter a lack­lus­ter first half in which the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence pow­er­house led only 10-3.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Jalen Hurts passed for 248 yards and two long touch­downs and rushed for 103 yards to lead No. 1 Alabama to a vic­tory over Colorado State.

The Crim­son Tide (3-0) dom­i­nated early and em­phat­i­cally an­swered a come­back at­tempt be­fore out­last­ing the Rams (2-2).

Hurts de­liv­ered his best all-around game of the sea­son. He ran for a 27-yard touch­down and hit on a ca­reer-long 78-yard scor­ing pass to Calvin Ri­d­ley and a 52-yarder to Robert Foster.

Hurts com­pleted 12 of 17 passes and mixed in 11 car­ries be­fore leav­ing late in the third quar­ter. It was his se­cond straight 100plus yard rush­ing per­for­mance.

The Tide needed just 10 min­utes and a few big plays from Hurts to race to a 17-0 lead. The first-quar­ter stats were ut­terly one-sided, with Alabama out­gain­ing Colorado State 216-11.

Texas A&M 45, Louisiana 21

COL­LEGE STA­TION, Texas — Texas A&M se­nior safety Ar­mani Watts at least rec­og­nizes the Ag­gies have a prob­lem with putting to­gether two halves. Do­ing some­thing about it might be an­other is­sue, with South­east­ern Con­fer­ence play set to start next week­end.

"We still have a lot of work to do this week, we can't be con­tent with what hap­pened to­day," Watts said af­ter the Ag­gies over­came a half­time deficit to de­feat Louisiana-Lafayette at Kyle Field. "We just played with more emo­tion in the se­cond half. You can't play this game with­out emo­tion. We stuck with it and knew our of­fense would come through."

The Ra­gin' Ca­juns (1-2) led 21-14 at half­time be­fore the Ag­gies scored 31 con­sec­u­tive points en route to the vic­tory, one pre­serv­ing em­bat­tled coach Kevin Sum­lin's job for at least an­other week.

"We just talked about that in the locker room, that we were like two dif­fer­ent teams," Sum­lin said of the Ag­gies' Jekyll and Hyde show­ing. "We're a work in progress."

Af­ter much of the first half went wrong for A&M, the third quar­ter went en­tirely right, as the Ag­gies (2-1) scored 17 points in that span to grab the lead for good.

Georgia 42, Sam­ford 14

ATHENS, Ga. — Nick Chubb ran for 131 yards and two touch­downs, fresh­man Jake Fromm threw three scor­ing passes in his first home start, and No. 13 Georgia's de­fense was dom­i­nant in a vic­tory over Sam­ford.

With fel­low se­nior Sony Michel held out with an an­kle in­jury sus­tained last week in a vic­tory at Notre Dame, Chubb had his busiest game of the sea­son. Chubb's sea­son-high 16 car­ries, all in the first three quar­ters, helped him become the first Bull­dogs back to run for 100 yards this sea­son.

Van­der­bilt 14, Kansas State 7

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kyle Shur­mur scored on a 2-yard run with 8:23 left, and Van­der­bilt up­set No. 18 Kansas State for the Com­modores' first win over a ranked, non­con­fer­ence op­po­nent since 1946.

With the win, Van­der­bilt im­proved to 3-0 for the first time since 2011 with the Com­modores' first win over a ranked, non­con­fer­ence op­po­nent since beat­ing North Carolina State. The Com­modores also have won five straight at home dat­ing back to last sea­son.

Kansas State (2-1) last beat a South­east­ern Con­fer­ence team on the road in the reg­u­lar sea­son in 1982 at Ken­tucky.

Pur­due 35, Mis­souri 3

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Un­der first-year coach Jeff Brohm, Pur­due is show­ing signs of life. The same can't be said of Mis­souri in Barry Odom's se­cond sea­son.

The Boil­er­mak­ers dom­i­nated the Tigers and will head into Big Ten play just one vic­tory short of last sea­son's to­tal. It was the fewest points sur­ren­dered by Pur­due (2-1) since a 59-0 vic­tory over South­east Mis­souri State in 2011.

Mis­souri (1-2) has scored a com­bined 16 points since its 72-43 sea­son-open­ing win over Mis­souri State. The Tigers man­aged just 203 to­tal yards.

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