UNDATED (AP) — Expanding the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams will fundamentally change the sport on the field and off — for better or worse. More regular-season games will have playoff implications, but the biggest games will no longer have winner-take-all tension. The new format will break up a conference caste system fortified by the four-team model, but it won’t stop the growing gap between haves and have nots. More teams will play in the championship tournament. But a larger field probably won’t increase the number of teams that have a realistic chance of winning the whole thing. The CFP is getting bigger. Whether it’s getting better is a matter of personal preference.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Richardson ran for three scores in his second career start, including a 2-yard scamper with 1:25 remaining, and Florida upset seventh-ranked Utah 29-26 to get the Billy Napier era off to a rousing start. Richardson was the best player on the field most of the night. He really showed up down the stretch, although linebacker Amari Burney sealed the victory for the Gators. Burney intercepted Cam Rising’s second-down pass into the end zone with 17 seconds remaining. Richardson took a knee from there, and the Gators stormed the field to revel in their 33rd consecutive victory in home season openers. That’s the longest current streak in the nation.
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Chance Nolan passed for two touchdowns and Oregon State’s defense forced five turnovers in a season-opening 34-17 victory over Boise State. The Beavers, who are hoping to build on last season’s first bowl-game appearance since 2013, took control early behind their opportunistic defense and a few big plays offensively. Oregon State snapped its six-game losing streak in season openers. Boise State received a lift off the bench from backup quarterback Taylen Green, who replaced an ineffective Hank Bachmeier and sparked a second-half comeback.
SEATTLE (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns, and Washington opened the Kalen DeBoer era with a 45-20 win over Kent State. DeBoer’s debut as Washington’s head coach was highlighted by an entertaining, innovative offense that Penix — also making his Huskies’ debut — ran flawlessly against the overmatched Golden Flashes. Penix led Washington on scoring drives on all five first-half possessions and touchdowns on the first four as the Huskies built a 31-13 halftime lead and cruised in the opener. Penix completed 26 of 39 passes and his yards passing were the third-most in his career.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Transfer quarterback Cameron Ward threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns as Washington State beat scrappy Idaho 24-17 on Saturday to win its 10th consecutive game in a long-running series between two schools whose campuses are located just eight miles apart. Ward completed 25 of 40 passes for Washington State (1-0), a Pac-12 team which leads the Battle of the Palouse series 72-17-3. But the Cougars had trouble putting away Idaho (0-1), an FCS team from the Big Sky Conference. It was not until Ward threw a touchdown pass to Jaylen Jenkins with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter, putting Washington State up 24-10, that the Cougars appeared to take control.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — New coach Lincoln Riley’s tenure at No. 14 Southern California got off to a roaring start with a 66-14 victory over Rice. Caleb Williams passed for 249 yards, rushed for 68 more and hit Jordan Addison for two touchdowns in the stars’ debut with the Trojans. Calen Bullock, Shane Lee and Ralen Goforth all returned interceptions for touchdowns as the Trojans scored more points in their new head coach’s debut than they did in any game under Clay Helton. Wiley Green passed for 69 yards for Rice before leaving with an apparent right arm injury after throwing the pick-6 to Bullock.
ATLANTA (AP) — Stetson Bennett threw for 368 yards and accounted for three touchdowns and Georgia’s revamped defense didn’t miss a beat. The third-ranked Bulldogs looked very much like a team intent of defending their national championship with a 49-3 rout of No. 11 Oregon. Bennett completed 25-of-31 with two touchdowns and ran for another score before calling it a day in the third quarter of the season opener. The Dawgs thoroughly ruined the head coaching debut of Oregon’s Dan Lanning, their former defensive coordinator. Lanning saw up close just how far his new team has to go.
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Tanner McKee threw two touchdown passes to Michael Wilson and Stanford routed FCS Colgate 41-10 in a season opener for both teams. E.J. Smith, the son of former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith, had career bests with 118 yards rushing and five catches while running for two touchdowns to help the Cardinal snap a seven-game losing streak that dated to last season. Max Hurleman ran for 65 yards on 12 carries for Colgate.
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