Field goal lifts LSU over Auburn
AUBURN, Ala.—Cole Tracy kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play to give No. 12 LSU a 22-21 victory over No. 7 Auburn on Saturday in their Southeastern Conference opener.
Joe Burrow led LSU (3-0) down the field in the final minutes with clutch plays and two pass interference calls against Auburn (2-1). That set up Tracy’s field goal that was almost right down the middle and sent LSU players swarming onto the field to celebrate.
It capped a wild fourth quarter in a rivalry that has produced many of them.
Burrow hit Derrick Dillon over the outstretched arms of Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis for a 71-yard touchdown strike with 8:18 left. Burrow’s two-point attempt failed, leaving Auburn up 21-19.
The LSU defense held to set up another chance with 5:38 remaining. The result was a 14-play, 52-yard drive.
A pass interference call against Jeremiah Dinson on third-and-11 kept the drive alive. Then Burrow hit Stephen Sullivan for 9 yards on fourth-and-7 to keep the offense on the field.
Burrow held his own against Auburn’s more heralded Jarrett Stidham. He completed 15 of 34 passes for 249 yards, with Justin Jefferson gaining 97 yards on five catches.
Stidham was 16 of 28 for
198 yards and a touchdown but threw two interceptions. JaTarvious Whitlow ran for 104 yards on 22 carries.
GEORGIA 49, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 7
ATHENS, Ga.—Jake Fromm threw three touchdown passes and Elijah Holyfield ran for 100 yards, each playing only the first half, as No. 3 Georgia overwhelmed Middle Tennessee 49-7 on Saturday.
Georgia led 42-7 at halftime. It was an impressive warmup for the Bulldogs’ stretch of seven straight Southeastern Conference games, beginning with next week’s visit to Missouri. There were clouds but no rain in the game that was moved up to a noon kickoff due to Tropical Storm Florence. The game originally was scheduled to be played Saturday night.
Freshman Justin Fields ran 15 yards for a touchdown last in the first half and threw a touchdowns pass in relief of Fromm. Jeremiah Holloman caught three passes for 90 yards, including an 11-yard scoring pass from Fromm in the first quarter. Holloman was one of five Georgia wide receivers to combine for six touchdowns.
Mecole Hardman had a touchdown catch and a 70-yard punt return touchdown, and Tyler Simmons had a 56-yard touchdown run.
KENTUCKY 48, MURRAY STATE 10
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops wasn’t worried about his team overlooking Murray State following a 27-16 win at Florida last week.
Despite a slow start, the Wildcats (3-0) outscored the Racers 31-7 in the second half and rolled to a 48-10 victory Saturday. Murray had trouble stopping Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson, who threw for 163 yards and rushed for 80 more to keep the Wildcats perfect on the season.
Coming off an 11-point victory over the Gators that ended a 31-game losing streak in their Southeastern Conference opener, the Wildcats (3-0) showed no signs of a letdown and overwhelmed the Racers from start to finish. Leading 17-3 at the break, Kentucky pulled way in the second half.
Traditionally the Wildcats have struggled against FCS opponents and needed overtime to fend off Ohio Valley Conference member Eastern Kentucky in a 34-27 win in 2015. The task was much easier this time for Kentucky.
Paced by Wilson, the Wildcats used a balanced offense to defeat the Racers, amassing 528 yards of offense, including 245 on the ground. Wilson targeted nine different receivers, mainly Lynn Bowden, who caught eight passes for 89 yards. Wilson and backup Gunnar Hoak threw for 240 yards and one touchdown.
TENNESSEE 24, UTEP 0
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Ty Chandler rushed for 158 yards and had an 81-yard touchdown early in the third quarter Saturday as Tennessee coasted to a 24-0 victory over UTEP.
UTEP (0-3) hasn’t led all season and has lost 15 consecutive games, the longest active skid of any Football Bowl Subdivision team. The Miners haven’t won a game since beating North Texas in their 2016 season finale.
Chandler had carried the ball just once this season before Saturday. Chandler didn’t play in a 59-3 blowout of East Tennessee State last week after Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said he got his “bell rung” early in a season-opening loss to No. 14 West Virginia.
He returned to action Saturday and sparked a Tennessee offense that had struggled for much of the day. Chandler needed just 12 carries to gain his 158 yards.
Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano was 12 of 16 for 168 yards with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings. Tennessee’s defense never allowed UTEP’s offense to get beyond the Vols’ 33-yard line.
NOTRE DAME 22, VANDERBILT 17
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Jalen Elliott knocked the ball loose from Vanderbilt receiver Kalija Lipscomb with 1:07 remaining to give Notre Dame a fourth-down stop and No. 8 Notre Dame held on for a 22-17 victory over the Commodores on Saturday.
Kyle Shurmur threw for 326 yards and one touchdown for Vanderbilt (2-1), rallying his team back from a 16-3 halftime deficit.
Wimbush, who had 297 passing yards but three interceptions in the 24-16 victory against Ball State, threw for 122 yards and added 84 yards on the ground, including a 13-yard scramble for a touchdown as Notre Dame took an early 10-0 lead late in the first quarter. But despite a 2-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Ian Book to tight end Nic Weishar early in the fourth quarter for a 22-10 lead, the Irish struggled over the last three quarters and had to hold on.
Vanderbilt finished with 420 yards to 380 for the Irish, who did not turn the ball over but got three from the Commodores.