TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young passed for five first-half touchdowns and even ran for 100 yards and a score in No. 1 Alabama’s 55-0 opening victory over Utah State. The Crimson Tide began the team’s quest for national title redemption with a not unexpected start-to-finish domination of the six-touchdown underdog Aggies. Less anticipated were Young’s runs. He had a 63-yarder and also spread the ball around to Alabama’s new set of playmakers, with two touchdown passes to both Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton and Traeshon Holden and some handoffs to Jahmyr Gibbs.
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.
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.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Haynes King threw for a career-high 364 yards and three long touchdowns to lead No. 6 Texas A&M to a 31-0 win over Sam Houston Saturday in a game that included an almost three-hour weather delay. King, who was named the starter last week after beating out two others in camp for the job, threw touchdown passes of 66, 63 and 43 yards. But also threw two interceptions in an inconsistent performance in his return after breaking his leg in the second game last season.
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Southern California transfer Jaxson Dart directed three consecutive touchdown drives in the first half to help No. 21 Mississippi beat Troy 28-10 on Saturday in the opener for both teams. Ole Miss built a 21-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes on drives of 82, 68 and 83 yards and was never seriously threatened. Dart was 18 of 27 for 154 yards, with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Malik Heath to cap the opening series of the second half. Transfer Zach Evans rushed for 130 yards on 20 carries as Ole Miss finished with 433 yards of total offense. Jon Sumrall lost in coaching debut for Troy.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Barion Brown returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, Keidron Smith’s fumble return less than a minute later set up another score and No. 20 Kentucky pulled away to beat Miami (Ohio) 37-13 in the opener for both teams. Mark Stoops’ 60th victory tied him with Paul “Bear” Bryant as the Wildcats’ winningest coach in 10 seasons with the program. But Kentucky needed those game-changing plays to make it happen after leading only 13-10 at halftime behind several missed opportunities deep in Miami territory. The Wildcats quickly snatched momentum after the break as Brown dashed left, found a seam and turned the corner down the sideline for the big score just 13 seconds in.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Tank Bigsby ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and Auburn opened its season with a 42-16 home win over FCS opponent Mercer. Bigsby was one of nine players who recorded a carry for the Tigers, who generated 285 of their 497 total yards on the ground. Jarquez Hunter scored three rushing touchdowns, while backup quarterback Robby Ashford generated 168 total yards as he split time with starter T.J. Finley. Fred Payton finished 21 for 36 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns for Mercer. Fred Payton finished 21 for 36 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns,
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Wright scored a program record six touchdowns throwing for 245 yards and running for 84 more as Vanderbilt beat Elon 42-31 Saturday night. The Commodores now have matched coach Clark Lea’s win total for all of his debut season in the first two games to start this season. It’s Vanderbilt’s first 2-0 start since 2018 as the Commodores spoiled Elon’s season opener. Matthew McKay and Elon sure made it interesting late after pulling within 11. The Phoenix recovered an onside kick. Vanderbilt forced a turnover and stopped a pair of fourth-and-1 attempts in the final 3:19. The second came just outside its own goal line with 49 seconds left.
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