ATLANTA (AP) -- Christion Jones became the first Alabama player since at least the 1940s to have two returns for touchdowns, Vinnie Sunseri brought back an interception for another TD, and the top-ranked Crimson Tide overcame a sluggish offensive performance to beat Virginia Tech 35-10 on Saturday.
Jones scored on a 72-yard punt return less than 2 minutes into the game, then scooted loose on a kickoff for a 94-yard touchdown that led the Crimson Tide (1-0) to a win that could've been much tougher to start its quest for an unprecedented third straight national title.
For good measure, the junior receiver also hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to blow it open against the Hokies (0-1), who largely shut down AJ McCarron and Alabama's highly touted offense.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Brandon Allen was 15-of-22 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns as Arkansas opened the Bret Bielema era with a 34-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Allen, taking over as the starting quarterback for the Razorbacks, threw a pair of touchdown passes to Javontee Herndon and helped improve Bielema to 8-0 in his career in season openers
Sophomore Jonathan Williams rushed for 151 yards and freshman Alex Collins added 131 of his own for Arkansas (1-0), which outgained the Ragin' Cajuns (0-1) 522-274 in total yardage. Williams did so on 18 carries while Collins had 21.
Terrance Broadway was 15-of-28 passing for 171 yards and a touchdown for Louisiana-Lafayette, which fell to 0-37 against Southeastern Conference opponents.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Tre Mason returned a kick 100 yards and Corey Grant scored on a 75-yard run to lead Auburn to a 31-24 victory over Washington State Saturday night in Gus Malzahn's debut as the Tigers coach.
Robenson Therezie also picked off two passes, including one in the end zone with less than five minutes remaining, for the Tigers (1-0). They had managed just two interceptions during last season's 3-9 debacle.
The Malzahn-versus-Mike Leach matchup of offensive innovators produced plenty of big plays and drama.
The Cougars (0-1) had two chances to tie it in the final five minutes, but Therezie's interception and an incompletion on fourth down ended the threats.
Grant gained 146 yards on nine carries. Junior college transfer Nick Marshall was 10-of-19 passing for 99 yards in his starting debut.
Connor Halliday was 35 of 65 for 344 yards and a touchdown but was also intercepted three times.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Mack Brown had a career day, Jeff Driskel was efficient and No. 10 Florida opened the season with a 24-6 victory over Toledo on Saturday.
Brown ran 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Driskel completed 17 of 22 passes for 153 yards and a score. And Florida's defense, which ranked fifth in the country in 2012, looked every bit as good as last year's version despite losing eight starters and its coordinator.
The Gators controlled both lines of scrimmage, opening holes for Brown and keeping steady pressure on Toledo's experienced spread offense. It was exactly the style of play Florida has become known for under third-year coach Will Muschamp. No flashiness. Few highlight-reel plays. But a win in the end.
It was Florida's 24th consecutive season-opening victory, the second-longest active streak in the country. Only Nebraska (27) has a longer current run.
CLEMSON, SC (WVLT) -- Georgia fell to Clemson, 38-35 in the season opener for both teamsr. Clemson fans erupted on to the field after the victory.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Keshawn Simpson ran for a pair of 3-yard touchdowns and Antonio Andrews added his own 3-yard score as Western Kentucky beat Kentucky 35-26 Saturday night making coach Bobby Petrino a winner in his debut.
The Hilltoppers also beat their in-state rival for a second straight year, though they didn't need overtime like they did last year in this win over the Southeastern Conference program. They outgained Kentucky 487-419 in total offense and held the ball for 35 minutes.
The loss ruined Kentucky coach Mark Stoops' debut. Coordinator Neal Brown's Air Raid offense struggled against a Western Kentucky defense returning seven starters from a bowl team that went 7-6 last season in the Sun Belt Conference.
Brandon Doughty was 27 of 34 for 271 yards and a TD, numbers that would have been better except for at least four drops including a would-be touchdown.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Walking off the podium after LSU's season-opening victory, coach Les Miles provided an appreciative nod to his new offensive coordinator.
"Way to go," Miles commented toward Cam Cameron's wife nearby.
The 12th-ranked Tigers' first game with Cameron calling the plays provided a promising start to the season in a 37-27 victory over No. 20 TCU on Saturday night.
"When you open on the road, very quality opponent, you put 448 yards on them," Miles said. "I felt like Cam Cameron started his debut at LSU, and did a very, very strong job. ... We were much better on offense."
Terrence Magee ran for two second-half touchdowns and second-year starter Zach Mettenberger threw for 251 yards with a key late score, a 20-yard TD to Jarvis Landry with 6 minutes left after Odell Beckham's 75-yard kickoff return.
"Anytime Odell gets the ball that can happen," Mettenberger said. "He definitely made it easier on our parts to go in and score. "
And that replenished defense after losing a team-record eight players to the NFL draft came up with some key plays.
"They looked like an LSU defense to me," Miles aid. "They flew around."
B.J. Catalon returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and scored on a 26-yard run for TCU, the two-time BCS buster now in its second Big 12 season. But the Frogs had only 259 total yards.
With the score 30-24 and momentum on its side, TCU started in Tigers territory after a shanked 28-yard punt and three-and-out.
But the Horned Frogs' drive was hampered when Trevone Boykin was sacked and fumbled. They recovered the ball, but had to settle for Jaden Oberkrom's 39-yard field goal to get within 30-27 with 7½ minutes left. Then came Beckham's big kickoff return.
"We were the team getting stronger in the fourth quarter," TCU coach Gary Patterson said, adding the big turnaround was failing to score a touchdown and then letting Beckham get loose.
Before that, Alfred Blue's fumble set TCU up at the 6. Waymon James' 5-yard TD run made it 30-24 with 13 minutes left.
Magee ran 52 yards for a touchdown less than 2 minutes into the second half put LSU up 23-10, three plays after an interception by Jalen Mills — one of only three full-time returning defensive starters for the Tigers. Magee added a 3-yard score later in the third quarter.
The Tigers' offensive outburst came against a TCU team known for its defense. Even after moving from the Mountain West to the Big 12 last season, the Horned Frogs led their new league in total defense.
Landry finished with eight catches for 109 yards, while Beckham had five catches for 118 yards. It was the first time since 2001 the Tigers had two 100-yard receivers in the same game.
"You throw to the guys who are open. ... And they were open a lot," said Mettenberger, who completed 16 of 32 passes.
LSU was up 13-3 when 270-pound fullback J.C. Copeland plunged in from a yard out early in the second quarter.
But Catalon returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD, with only one LSU player even getting a hand on the speedy running back. That tied for the second-longest return in TCU history, behind only a 105-yarder against Texas in 1933.
"What a great ballgame," Patterson said. "A lot of good athletes on the field, both sides of the ball for both teams."
TCU head coach Gary Patterson, left, argues with referee …
TCU head coach Gary Patterson, left, argues with referee John O'Neill in the final seconds of the fi …
While Miles had been deliberately vague to keep TCU guessing on Jeremy Hill's status following his offseason arrest for throwing a punch outside a bar, the running back didn't play.
TCU was without reigning Big 12 defensive player of the year Devonte Fields, who was also in uniform without playing. He's serving a two-game suspension for an unspecified violation of university and team policy during the offseason.
Colby Delahoussaye kicked three field goals for LSU, two in the first 6 ½ minutes even before TCU took its first offensive snap with Casey Pachall getting the start over Boykin at quarterback.
Though once TCU finally got on offense, both Pachall and Boykin were on the field.
Pachall, who came in with a 15-2 career record as the starter, was the quarterback in his return after leaving the team for treatment in a substance abuse program four games into last season after a DUI arrest. Boykin lined up as a receiver the first two plays, but played much of the second half at quarterback, taking over after Pachall was picked off by Mills.
Pachall was 9-of-16 passing for 75 yards and Boykin was 6 of 12 for 70 yards.
There was a loud crowd of 80,230 for the Cowboys Classic, with plenty of purple (a predominant color for both teams). Both teams were playing for the third time in the NFL team's stadium, where both had been 2-0. Each had played in the season-opening game once.
Delahoussaye kicked a 23-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for a 16-10 lead, after a strange ending sequence.
LSU had first-and-goal from the 2 after a pass interference penalty in the end zone, and was still there after two running plays. The Tigers called timeout with 15 seconds left, then got penalized for a delay of game penalty and then a false start without running a play. An incomplete pass brought up fourth down with 5 seconds left.
Referee John O'Neill of the Big Ten crew doing the game, then announced that because offensive tackle La'el Collins' helmet came off and LSU had no timeouts, there would be a 10-second clock runoff, ending the half. With TCU players in the tunnel to the locker room, O'Neill clarified that since the clock was stopped on the incompletion that there would be no runoff. He repeated that in a statement released at halftime.
OLE MISS AT VANDERBILT (8/29)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze may have a highly-rated crop of freshmen to coach. Senior Jeff Scott made sure his new teammates left their first college game as winners.
Jeff Scott ran 75 yards for a touchdown with 1:07 left, and Mississippi rallied twice Thursday night to beat Vanderbilt 39-35 in a wild season opener for both teams.
Vanderbilt went up 35-32 on a 34-yard TD pass from Austyn Carta-Samuels to Steven Scheu with 1:30 left. But Scott beat the Commodores for a TD and the fourth lead change.
"We stole one tonight," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "We didn't necessarily play that well, particularly defensively in the second half. But one of the staples of our program since I've been here is that you play for 60 minutes and you do not blink and you play until the whistle blows at the end of the game."
Vanderbilt had a final chance to extend the Southeastern Conference's longest winning streak, but Cody Prewitt intercepted a pass off Jordan Matthews' hands with 26 seconds left. That allowed the Rebels to snap a three-game skid to Vanderbilt, the last a painful 27-26 loss in Oxford last year.
HOUSTON (AP) -- J.W. Walsh threw for 135 yards and ran for another 125 and a touchdown to lead the No. 13 Oklahoma State Cowboys to a 21-3 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Texas Kickoff Saturday.
Walsh finished 18 of 27 after relieving starter Clint Chelf on the Cowboys' third series. Jeremy Smith rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries for Oklahoma State (1-0), which piled up 432 yards on offense after struggling for most of the first half.
Tyler Russell 10 of 16 for 133 yards before being helped off the field and taken to the locker room in the third quarter after being brought down on a scramble. Dak Prescott replaced Russell, throwing for 89 yards on seven of 17 passing.
LaDarius Perkins rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and caught three passes for 52 yards for the Bulldogs (0-1).
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- James Franklin threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns before coming out early in the third quarter, helping Missouri take command after early struggles and whip Murray State 58-14 Saturday night in an opener that began in 98-degree heat.
Henry Josey had 113 yards on 13 carries with a 68-yard score in his first game back from a left knee injury that required two surgeries and sidelined him all last season. Russell Hansbrough had 104 yards on eight attempts with a pair of scores for Missouri, coming off a disappointing 5-7 record in its first SEC season.
Maikhail Miller threw three interceptions, two by E.J. Gaines, against a defense that stiffened after allowing two early touchdowns. Murray State faded quickly against its first SEC opponent since 2005.
SOUTH CAROLINA VS. NORTH CAROLINA (8/29)
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney looked less than dominant against North Carolina, not that it mattered to him or the sixth-ranked Gamecocks.
Clowney shook off a stomach virus earlier in the week -- and some sluggish play during the game -- to help South Carolina's defense hold North Carolina to its lowest point total under coach Larry Fedora in a 27-10 victory to open the season Thursday night.
"Here I am back in front again, ready for all these questions about conditioning,'' Clowney said. "Let's go.''
Mike Davis ran 75 yards for a touchdown, while Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson each threw long scoring passes to put the Gamecocks in front. Clowney and company made it all stand up.
"Hats off to my defense,'' Clowney said. "As long as we get the win, that's all that matters to me.''
Steve Spurrier was disappointed at his team's conditioning on defense, including Clowney.
"Did you watch what I was watching?'' he said when asked about Clowney.
"No, I don't have to say it. You write what you see. We'll try and work on our conditioning for the entire team.''
Clowney did not have a sack and finished with three first-half tackles. The Tar Heels' fast-paced offense wore him down and forced him to the sideline for several pit stops, yet he and the defense mostly hemmed in North Carolina. Shaw and Thompson put South Carolina up 17-0 in the opening quarter. Shaw found Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown on the game's third play. Thompson threw a 29-yard TD to Kane Whitehurst later in the quarter.
The game was delayed with 8:20 left when lightning closed in on the stadium. Fans filed out quickly and hit their cars as heavy rain and thunder pelted the field for about an hour.
It's been a steady stream of chatter about all things Clowney the past eight months, since he knocked the helmet off a Michigan runner in the Outback Bowl.
Should he sit out the year and protect his draft status as next year's No. 1 pick? How much insurance should he take out? Can he become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman Trophy?
If he makes it to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation in December, he likely won't have this game on his highlight reel.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Rajion Neal rushed for 141 yards and Justin Worley threw three touchdown passes Saturday as Tennessee began Butch Jones' coaching tenure with a 45-0 rout of Austin Peay.
Neal and Worley sat out the entire third and fourth quarters after Tennessee scored touchdowns on each of its six first-half possessions. Worley went 11 of 13 for 104 yards and threw touchdown passes to Devrin Young, Alton "Pig" Howard and Brendan Downs. Neal opened the scoring with a career-long 47-yard touchdown.
Jones was hired in December to turn around a storied program that has produced three straight losing seasons for the first time in over a century. Jones replaced Derek Dooley, who was fired after going 15-21 in three years. Jones' debut had an announced attendance of 97,169.
Tennessee led 21-0 before Austin Peay got a first down. Austin Peay, a Football Championship Subdivision program, has lost 17 consecutive road games.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel served his suspension for No. 7 Texas A&M in the first half on Saturday against Rice.
In the second half he hit the ground running -- and apparently running his mouth, too -- as he threw three touchdown passes and scrambled for 19 yards and the Aggies wrapped up a lopsided 52-31 win over the Owls.
He was suspended until halftime for what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
His first touchdown of the season came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M's next drive. Manziel scrambled for eight yards on third-and-7 on the play before the score and appeared to mimic a signing motion while talking to a Rice defender after getting up from the tackle.
He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a touchdown throw in the fourth quarter when he was jawing with the defense again and then pointed at the scoreboard. He was replaced by Matt Joeckel on A&M's last drive.
Joeckel started at quarterback for A&M and threw for 190 yards and a touchdown to help the Aggies lead 28-21 at halftime. Manziel came in on Texas A&M's first offensive play of the second half and the Aggies capped his first drive with a 44-yard field goal.
Manziel was being investigated for allegedly accepting money for autographs from memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.