No. 24 Florida overcomes No. 23 Tennessee in 26-20 victory
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Feleipe Franks heaved a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tyrie Cleveland as the clock expired, and No. 24 Florida beat 23rd-ranked Tennessee 26-20 in a wild, wacky and sometimes unwatchable rivalry game Saturday.
Franks scrambled away from the rush on a first-and-10 play with 9 seconds remaining and found Cleveland behind safety Micah Abernathy for a Hail Mary that no one—especially the Volunteers—saw coming.
The final play capped a crazy fourth quarter in which the teams combined for 37 points and little, if any, defense.
Tennessee (2-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) can blame three missed field goals for not being ahead late. The Gators (1-1, 1-0) looked as if they had the game in hand early in the final frame, but found a way to let the Volunteers get back in it.
It looked for sure as if it was headed for overtime—and then Franks found Cleveland.
Mississippi State 37, LSU 7
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Nick Fitzgerald threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to help Mississippi State rout No. 12 LSU 37-7.
Aeris Williams led the Bulldogs with 146 yards rushing and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) beat LSU for just the second time in 18 tries dating to 2000.
LSU (2-1, 0-1) easily won its first two games of the season, but was overmatched by Mississippi State on both sides of the ball. The Tigers were also sloppy—two touchdown plays were negated because of penalties. In all, LSU was penalized nine times for 112 yards.
Fitzgerald was 15-of-23 passing for 180 yards. Keith Mixon caught six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Jace Christmann made the first three field goals of his career, connecting from 30, 45 and 27 yards.
LSU tied it at 7 in the second quarter on Darrel Williams’ 10-yard touchdown run. But Mississippi State responded with 30 straight points.
LSU’s Danny Etling completed just 13 of 29 passes for 137 yards. Derrius Guice had 76 yards rushing.
Alabama 41, Colorado St. 23
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.—Jalen Hurts passed for 248 yards and two long touchdowns and rushed for 103 yards to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 41-23 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 allaround 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.
Foster’s catch and run came after Colorado State scored 10 straight points.
“I think it was huge, because they had gotten the momentum in the game,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “We got ahead 17-0 and they scored two straight drives, a touchdown and field goal. For us to answer the bell and come back and score points on that drive was huge, especially going into the halftime.
“But you allow teams like this to think they can play with you and they do and they play better as the game goes on.”
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.
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 42-14 victory over Samford on Saturday night.
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.
Chubb was stopped on a fourth-down run on the Bulldogs’ opening drive, and he rarely was stopped again. He had back-to-back 20-yard runs to open Georgia’s next drive and added a 32-yard scoring run late in the opening quarter.
Chubb scored on a 14-yard run early in the third quarter before watching backups handle the remainder of the carries.
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 24-10 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, 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.
Much of Auburn’s woes could be attributed to an inability to hold onto the ball. The Tigers lost three fumbles in the first half and another returning a punt on what should’ve been their first possession of the second half.
Stidham otherwise had a big game, completing 32 of 37 for 364 yards.
Purdue 35, Missouri 3
COLUMBIA, Mo.—David Blough passed for one touchdown and ran for another as Purdue dominated Missouri, 35-3 in a nonconference football battle Saturday.
The Boilermakers head into
Big Ten Conference play just one win shy of last year’s total. It’s the fewest points allowed by Purdue (2-1) since a 59-0 win over Southeast Missouri State in 2011.
As usual, Purdue used a two-quarterback system, and both played well. David Blough completed 22 of 28 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown. Elijah Sindelar completed 4 of 6 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. Tario Fuller carried 19 times for 90 yards and a score.
Purdue scored touchdowns on its first three drives and led 28-3 at halftime.
Missouri’s listless performance was best illustrated by one series in the second quarter in which the Tigers committed penalties on four consecutive plays—three false starts and a holding infraction.