SEC football recap (9/10)

ALABAMA 27, PENN STATE 11

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- A.J. McCarron was poised and efficient in a rare trip into Big Ten country for No. 3 Alabama, throwing for 163 yards and a touchdown against No. 23 Penn State in a 27-11 victory on Saturday.

Alabama completed a sweep of the home-and-home series between the two storied programs with a methodical and smothering performance reminiscent of last year's 24-3 win in Tuscaloosa.

Both teams came into the second week of the season with unsettled quarterback issues. At Alabama (2-0), those appear to be settled.

McCarron was 19 for 31 with no turnovers and a 5-yard touchdown pass through traffic to Michael Williams in the first quarter.

AUBURN 41, MISSISSIPPI STATE 34

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Ryan Smith stopped Chris Relf at the goal line on the final play to preserve Auburn's 41-34 win over No. 16 Mississippi State on Saturday.

Relf kept the ball on an option and headed for the end zone before Smith went low and brought the 240-pound quarterback down for the Tigers (2-0), who had gone from defending national champions to unranked underdog after needing a furious rally to beat Utah State.

This time they held on against the Bulldogs (1-1), who nearly pulled off a similar comeback.

They marched 66-plus yards in the final 2:52 with only one passing play. Before the game's last play, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen raced to an official, signaled timeout, and managed to get three seconds put back on the clock.

All 10 remaining ticked off when Relf came up short.

KENTUCKY 27, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Josh Clemons scored on an 87-yard run, and Morgan Newton ran in a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal Kentucky's 27-13 comeback win over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Clemons' rush became the longest in school history for a freshman, and the longest for a UK player of any class since Bernie Scruggs ran for 88 yards on Oct. 24, 1970.

Central Michigan controlled the first half, leading 13-6 at halftime. In the third quarter, Newton led a drive that ended in a 34-yard touchdown pass to La'Rod King with 4:07 left to tie the game.

Clemons' touchdown run gave the Wildcats (2-0) their first lead of the game in the third quarter. Newton added a 1-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-goal play to give the Wildcats a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Radcliff threw for 295 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Chippewas (1-1).

SOUTH CAROLINA 45, GEORGIA 42

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- South Carolina scored twice off turnovers, including defensive end Melvin Ingram's second touchdown with 3:12 remaining, and the No. 12 Gamecocks beat mistake-prone Georgia 45-42 Saturday for the early lead in the Southeastern Conference East.

The Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) set up another touchdown with a long fumble return, and Ingram scored his first career TD on a fake punt. Georgia (0-2, 0-1) dominated the stats but simply couldn't overcome all the major blunders.

Antonio Allen returned an interception 25 yards for a TD in the third quarter, and the Gamecocks clinched it when Jadeveon Clowney burst through the line and knocked the ball away from quarterback Aaron Murray. Ingram picked it up in the end zone to make it 45-35.

Murray threw four touchdown passes.

LSU 49, NORTHWESTERN STATE 3

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Spencer Ware and Michael Ford ran for two scores apiece and second-ranked LSU overwhelmed Northwestern State 49-3 on Saturday night.

LSU (2-0) led 28-3 by halftime, allowing coach Les Miles to give a number of starters some rest in advance of the Tigers' next game at Mississippi State on Thursday night.

Coveted junior college transfer quarterback Zach Mettenberger made his debut in relief of LSU starter Jarrett Lee to open the second half.

After Lee completed 9 of 10 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, Mettenberger went 8 of 11 for 92 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass.

John Shaughnessy kicked a 44-yard field goal for Northwestern State (1-1), the only points the Demons have scored against LSU in 11 meetings.

ARKANSAS 52, NEW MEXICO 3

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Tyler Wilson threw for 259 yards and accounted for a pair of touchdowns as No. 14 Arkansas defeated New Mexico 52-3 on Saturday.

Marquel Wade also returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown for the Razorbacks (2-0), who now have three special teams' touchdowns in their first two games. Joe Adams returned a pair of punts for touchdowns in the first game.

Wilson's second touchdown was a 7-yard plunge into the end zone late in the first half, during which he barreled over a New Mexico defender. The junior didn't return in the second half and didn't appear on the sidelines until midway through the third quarter.

The Lobos (0-2), who allowed 10 quarterback sacks and lost three fumbles in a season-opening loss to Colorado State, didn't do either against the Razorbacks.

FLORIDA 30, ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM 0

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Chris Rainey ran for 119 yards and a touchdown, Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals after the offense bogged down and No. 18 Florida beat UAB 39-0 Saturday night.

The Gators (2-0) dominated both sides of the lines of scrimmage for the second consecutive week and finished their early tune-ups by outgaining their opponents 979 yards to 349.

Next up: Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee. The Volunteers should provide more of a test for a team with plenty of unanswered questions on both sides of the ball. This much is certain: Rainey is clearly the team's top playmaker.

A week after becoming the first player in school history to score touchdowns rushing, receiving and on a return, Rainey was even better against the Blazers (0-1).

VANDERBILT 24, UCONN 21

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Carey Spear kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2:56 left, and the Vanderbilt Commodores rallied from 21-14 down in the fourth quarter and beat the Connecticut Huskies 24-21 Saturday night.

The victory gives new coach James Franklin a 2-0 start and Vanderbilt's first winning streak since 2008.

Tim Fugger had two of Vanderbilt's five sacks, and the Commodores forced four turnovers, all by Johnny McEntee. Senior Casey Hayward picked off a McEntee pass at midfield, then weaved his way back across the field to finish off a 50-yard return. His first career interception return for a TD tied it at 21 apiece with 6:45 left.

UConn (1-1) lost its second straight road opener despite the defense sacking Larry Smith seven times and forcing two turnovers.

OLE MISS 42, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 24

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Jeff Scott rushed for three touchdowns and scored another on a punt return as Mississippi beat Southern Illinois 42-24 on Saturday night.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound sophomore rushed for 118 yards on 16 carries, scoring three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game, including a 67-yard punt return down the right sideline to give the Rebels a 21-0 lead. Scott was the Rebels' third-string running back coming into the season, but injuries to Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis in the season-opener against BYU forced him into a starting role.

The victory wasn't easy. Ole Miss (1-1) had a 35-10 lead early in the third quarter before Southern Illinois responded with two touchdown drives in the second half to pull within 35-24.

Steve Strother rushed for 116 yards for Southern Illinois (1-1), but the Salukis couldn't overcome four interceptions thrown by Paul McIntosh.


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