Saturday’s Top 25 College Football games
No. 1 Alabama 48, Kent State 0
Jalen Hurts ran and threw for touchdowns and tailback sub Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns for Alabama. The Crimson Tide (4-0) dominated coach Nick Saban’s alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to freshman linebacker Mack Wilson. Starting tailback Damien Harris went down on the opening drive with a sprained right ankle and didn’t return. Harris was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging freshman Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a respite for the Tide against Kent State (1-3) after a bruising 48-43 comeback victory over No. 23 Mississippi. Hurts was 16 of 24 for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown dash on the opening drive. He found Wilson, who lines up at fullback in goal line situations, for a 1-yard third-quarter score that was supposed to go to tight end O.J. Howard.
No. 6 Houston 64, Texas State 3
SAN MARCOS, TEXAS
D’Eriq King caught a touchdown pass, threw for a TD and returned a kickoff for another score and No. 6 Houston cruised to a victory over Texas State to remain undefeated. King, a freshman recruited to play quarterback, is playing at wide receiver while Cougars star Greg Ward Jr. directs the offense. Ward passed for two touchdowns and ran for one before leaving the game after playing one series in the third quarter. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 289 yards. King made a mistake by calling for a fair catch on the Houston 5 during a first-quarter Texas State punt. He soon compensated for that, however, catching a short pass from Ward on a bubble screen and taking it in for a touchdown from 48 yards out. Early in the second quarter, King took a handoff from Ward and threw a high pass to the end zone that Steven Dunbar pulled in for a 15-yard touchdown. King began the second half by returning the kickoff 99 yards for another touchdown. Houston (4-0) gained 563 yards and limited Texas State (1-2) to 142. Texas State’s Tyler Jones completed 17 of 30 passes for 100 yards.
No. 23 Mississippi 45, No. 12 Georgia 14
Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Mississippi break a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996. The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) dominated every phase, building a lead of 31-0 by halftime and 45-0 by midway through the third quarter. Georgia (3-1, 1-1) lost for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. To make matters worse, star running back Nick Chubb injured an ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return. It was an impressive win for the Rebels, who finally built a big lead they didn’t give away. Ole Miss led Florida State by 22 points and Alabama by 21 this season before losing both games. Kelly was 18 of 24 and had a 41-yard touchdown run through the middle of the defense.
No. 13 Florida State 55, South Florida 35
Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns and Florida State rebounded from the most lopsided loss in school history to beat South Florida. Cook scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage, an immediate response to USF starting the game with Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams teaming on an 84-yard catch-and-run for a 7-0 lead. The 213-pound junior’s rushing total on 28 carries topped his previous best of 266 yards against South Florida last year. Florida State (3-1) bounced back from being trounced 63-20 by Louisville, a road shellacking that dropped the Seminoles 11 spots in the AP Top 25 from No. 2. South Florida (3-1) is off to its fastest start since 2011, however the Bulls were no match for a talented bunch that began the season with expectations of contending for its second national title in four years.
No. 14 Tennessee 38, No. 19 Florida 28
Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns and Tennessee overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Florida and end an 11-game losing streak in the series. Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) beat Florida (3-1, 1-1) for the first time since a 30-28 victory in 2004. The Volunteers lost by a single point each of the last two years. This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback by scoring 38 consecutive points. Dobbs threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score — all in the second half. He was 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Dobbs also ran for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Auburn 18, No. 18 LSU
Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat No. 18 LSU 18-13 on Saturday night after officials ruled Danny Etling’s apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired. Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark on a 15-yard pass, setting off a celebration by LSU players. Officials ruled time expired before Etling took the snap. The celebration shifted to the Auburn sideline when officials announced the decisive ruling. It was an important win for Auburn (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and coach Gus Malzahn, who faced increased criticism following losses to Top 25 opponents Clemson and Texas A&M. An illegal shift penalty against LSU (2-2, 1-1 SEC) left the Tigers with a fourth-down play from the 15 with 5 seconds remaining, setting up the final-play drama. Carlson kicked a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give Auburn a 15-13 lead. He added to the lead with a 29-yarder with less than 3 minutes remaining before LSU began its desperate, final drive. Carlson is 12 for 12 on field goals this season.