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Top-25 College Football Game Capsules (Thursday, September 1st)
Final Score: (11) Wisconsin 51, UNLV 17
Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Russell Wilson's debut at Wisconsin was a successful one, as he threw for 255 yards and a pair of scores while the 11th- ranked Badgers blasted UNLV, 51-17, in the season opener for both teams. The powerhouse backfield of James White and Montee Ball had a big hand in Wisconsin's success last year and made an immediate impact in the 2011 lid- lifter. Ball rushed 10 times for 63 yards and three touchdowns, and also caught a scoring pass. White had 11 carries for 64 yards and a TD. Wilson, a transfer from NC State, completed 10-of-13 passes. The redshirt senior, who came to Wisconsin after starting 36 games for the Wolfpack, also rumbled 46 yards for a touchdown for the Badgers (1-0), who went 11-2 in 2010 and closed the campaign with a 21-19 loss to TCU in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers won a share of the Big Ten title, the team's 12th in history and first since 1999. Redshirt sophomore Caleb Herring connected on 18-of-27 throws for 146 yards and two TDs for the Rebels (0-1), who are coming off a 2-11 mark in Bobby Hauck's first season as head coach.
Final Score: (20) Mississippi State 59, Memphis 14
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Quarterback Chris Relf and running back Vick Ballard combined for more than 400 yards of offense and five touchdowns Thursday, and No. 20 Mississippi State opened the season with a 59-14 win over Memphis. Relf passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns, also scrambling for 51 yards, and Ballard rushed for 166 yards and three scores for the Bulldogs (1-0), who racked up 645 yards of total offense. Taylor Reed passed for 149 yards and a touchdown with one interception for the overmatched Tigers (0-1). The Bulldogs went 9-4 last season -- their best record in 11 years -- and finished No. 15 in the AP poll. They hope to be an even bigger factor in the SEC this year after starting a season ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2001. Their win extended a couple of streaks: They beat Memphis for the 12th time in a row and won their sixth straight non-conference game.