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Top-25 College Football Game Capsules (Saturday, September 3rd
Final Score: (1) Oklahoma 47, Tulsa 14
Norman, OK (Sports Network) - Dominique Whaley ran for 131 yards and four touchdowns, helping top-ranked Oklahoma open its season with a 47-14 rout of Tulsa. Landry Jones completed 35-of-47 passes for 375 yards and a touchdown for the Sooners (1-0), who enter the year with title aspirations. They went 12-2 last season, winning their seventh Big 12 title since 2000 and beating Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. After being voted the top team in the preseason, Oklahoma got its 2011 season off to a smooth start. The Sooners held the ball for more than 36 minutes and gained 663 yards against a Tulsa (0-1) program that went 10-3 last year under Todd Graham, who then left to take the job at Pittsburgh. Bill Blankenship debuted as the Golden Hurricane's new head coach Saturday. G.J. Kinne threw for 271 yards and two scores for Tulsa, while being intercepted once and completing 18-of-33 passes.
Final Score: (2) Alabama 48, Kent State 7
Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - Trent Richardson ran for three touchdowns and A.J. McCarron threw for 226 yards with a score, as second-ranked Alabama opened the 2011 season with a 48-7 victory over Kent State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Marquis Maze had eight catches for 118 yards with a touchdown and added 135 return yards for the Crimson Tide (1-0), who have won 10 straight season openers and will take a step up in competition next week with a visit to Penn State. Alabama followed up its national championship season of 2009 with a mark of 10-3 last year, including a Capital One Bowl victory. The Tide lost their three top offensive players from last year, as running back Mark Ingram, wide receiver Julio Jones and quarterback Greg McElroy all moved to the NFL. McCarron, a sophomore, and redshirt freshman Phillip Sims battled all spring and summer for the quarterback job. McCarron got the starting nod and completed 14-of-23 passes with a pair of interceptions, while Sims saw plenty of action in the rout and was also picked off twice while connecting on half of his 14 throws. Richardson ran for just 37 yards on 13 carries, while Eddie Lacy chipped in 58 yards on eight attempts. Lacy also had three catches for 76 yards as the Tide rolled up 482 yards of total offense. Keith Spencer threw for 99 yards while completing 20-of-47 passes with a touchdown and an interception for Kent State (0-1), the alma mater of Alabama head coach Nick Saban. The Golden Flashes, who were 5-7 last year, fell to 0-10 all-time against SEC opponents.
Final Score: (4) LSU 40, (3) Oregon 27
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Almost everything, particularly the turnovers, broke in LSU's favor Saturday night as the fourth-ranked Tigers rolled to a 40-27 victory over No. 3 Oregon in a game that wasn't as close as the final score. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford combined to rush for 195 yards and three touchdowns, and Jarrett Lee passed for 98 yards and a touchdown while starting in place of suspended quarterback Jordan Jefferson. The Tigers (1-0) scored 20 points off turnovers in the first three quarters to overcome a couple of early deficits and pushed its non-conference regular season winning streak to a national best 34 games. Oregon Heisman hopeful LaMichael James seemed to suffer from cramps and rushed for just 54 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, while Darron Thomas passed for 240 yards and a touchdown with an interception. The Ducks (0-1) have dropped back-to-back games after losing the national title to Auburn in January.
Final Score: (5) Boise State 35 (19) Georgia 21
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kellen Moore and No. 5 Boise State made a statement with a 35-21 season-opening win over the No. 19 Georgia Bulldogs at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Moore completed 28-of-34 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns against one interception for the Broncos (1-0), who had never previously defeated a school from the SEC. Boise State, which finished 12-1 as the toast of the WAC a season ago, was buoyed by rushing touchdowns from D.J. Harper and Doug Martin. Kyle Efaw reeled in six passes for 53 yards and a touchdown and Matt Miller had five receptions for 57 yards and a score for the new Mountain West Conference denizens, who next play September 16, at Toledo. Georgia, coming off a disappointing 6-7 campaign, received a respectable effort from Aaron Murray, who completed 16-of-29 passes for 235 yards and two scores against an interception. Brandon Boykin had an 80-yard touchdown run and Orson Charles caught six passes for 108 yards and a score for the Bulldogs (0-1), who host South Carolina next Saturday.
Final Score: (6) Florida State 34, Louisiana-Monroe 0
Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - E.J. Manuel threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns as No. 6 Florida State opened the season with a 34-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe at Doak Campbell Stadium. Manuel finished 22-of-34 with one interception for the Seminoles (1-0), who are looking to build off a 10-4 record in 2010 which included an ACC Atlantic Division title and Chick-fil-A Bowl triumph over South Carolina. Greg Dent, Bert Reed and Rashad Greene each recorded a TD reception, while Devonta Freeman added a rushing score in the whitewash. Kolton Browning ended 11-of-19 for 85 yards and one pick for the Warhawks (0-1), who were limited to 191 yards of total offense.
Final Score: (7) Stanford 57, San Jose State 3
Palo Alto, CA (Sports Network) - Andrew Luck's decision to remain at Stanford appeared wise on Saturday, as last year's Heisman runner-up threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 7 Cardinal's 57-3 season-opening pasting of San Jose State. Luck completed 17-of-26 passes and rushed for a one-yard score. Stepfan Taylor carried the ball 18 times for 61 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinal (1-0), who finished 12-1 last season and defeated Virginia Tech, 40-12, in the Orange Bowl. They have won nine straight games dating back to last season. Chris Owusu caught seven passes for 76 yards and Coby Fleener reeled in three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown, ensuring a victory in new head coach David Shaw's debut. San Jose State (0-1), which has the longest losing streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision at 11 in a row, saw Matt Faulkner complete 14-of-26 passed for 184 yards.
Final Score: (9) Oklahoma State 61, Louisiana 34
Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - Brandon Weeden had a few missteps, but picked up where he left off last season, passing for 388 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 9 Oklahoma State in a 61-34 rout of Louisiana. Weeden threw for a school-record 4,277 yards and 34 touchdowns last year, leading the Cowboys to the first 11-win season in school history. They averaged 44.2 points per game and finished 11-2 with a win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl. Saturday, the senior completed 24-of-39 passes. He also had three interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- but Oklahoma State (1-0) still had little trouble out-gunning the Cajuns (0-1).
Final Score: (10) Nebraska 40, Chattanooga 7
Lincoln, NE (Sports Network) - Taylor Martinez threw for 116 yards, but it was his 135 yards and three touchdowns on the ground that led No. 10 Nebraska to a 40-7 victory over Chattanooga in its first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Martinez connected on 11-of-22 of his pass attempts and was removed from the game in the middle of the fourth quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt. Rex Burkhead carried the ball 11 times for 75 yards and a score, and Brett Maher connected on all four of his field goal attempts for the Cornhuskers (1-0), who extended their nation's longest season-opening win streak to 26 games. B.J. Coleman went 19-of-33 through the air for the Mocs (0-1), compiling 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Marlon Anthony's 13-yard TD reception accounted for Chattanooga's lone score. The Mocs are coming off consecutive 6-5 seasons.
Final Score: (12) South Carolina 56, East Carolina 37
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Stephen Garcia rescued South Carolina's struggling offense and Marcus Lattimore ran for 112 yards and three scores, as the 12th-ranked Gamecocks rallied for a 56-37 win over East Carolina. Sophomore Connor Shaw started in place of Garcia, but was replaced in the second quarter with the Gamecocks (1-0) trailing 17-0. Garcia completed 7- of-15 passes for 110 yards and score and also ran for a pair of touchdowns. South Carolina was behind 24-14 at the half, but had three touchdowns in a span of less than two minutes. Dominique Davis connected on 37-of-56 throws for 260 yards with four TDs and an interception for the Pirates (0-1), who finished 6-7 last season under first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill.
Final Score: (13) Virginia Tech 66, Appalachian State 13
Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) - David Wilson racked up 162 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries as 13th-ranked Virginia Tech clobbered Appalachian State, 66-13, at Lane Stadium. Logan Thomas was just 9-of-19 for 149 yards, but threw for two scores for the Hokies (1-0), who managed to erase the memory of a shocking home loss to James Madison almost a year ago with the convincing defeat of another FCS program. Marcus Davis posted 140 yards and two TDs on three receptions and Kyle Fuller recovered a blocked punt for another touchdown for Virginia Tech, which saw Mark Leal throw for 113 yards and two more late scores on 6-of-9 passing. The victory came shortly after head coach Frank Beamer, who saw a successful beginning to his 25th year at the helm, signed a contract extension that aims to keep him in charge in Blacksburg through the 2016 season. DeAndre Presley threw for 89 yards on 7-of-18 passes and was picked off twice, while backup Jamal Jackson threw for a touchdown and rushed for another for the Mountaineers (0-1). Brian Quick contributed 110 yards and a touchdown on three catches in the setback.
Final Score: (15) Arkansas 51, Missouri State 7
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Tyler Wilson threw two touchdowns, Kody Walker rushed for two scores and Joe Adams returned two punts to the end zone in 15th-ranked Arkansas' 51-7 rout of Missouri State. Wilson went 18-for-24 for 260 yards while Brandon Mitchell went 10-for-11 with 104 yards and a score for the Razorbacks (1-0), who finished last season 10-3 and ended the campaign with a defeat of Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. Adams returned six punts for 174 yards, including touchdown returns of 61 and 69 yards. Jarius Wright caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores in the win.
Final Score: South Florida 23, (16) Notre Dame 20
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Skip Holtz's South Florida Bulls went into Notre Dame Stadium, took advantage of the Fighting Irish's mistakes and came away with a 23-20 victory over the 16th-ranked team in the nation. South Florida (1-0) forced three red-zone turnovers and got a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Kayvon Webster on the game's opening possession to set the tone in a season opener delayed twice by the weather. B.J. Daniels played mistake-free football and completed 18-of-30 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown for the Bulls, whose head coach is a Notre Dame alum, former assistant and son of the last person to lead the Irish to a national title -- Lou Holtz. Brian Kelly, the most recent masochist trying to bring Notre Dame (0-1) back to the prominence it had in the late 1980's and early 90's under Skip's father, switched quarterbacks at halftime after trailing 16-0.
Final Score: (18) Ohio State 42, Akron 0
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Ohio State began a new era Saturday with a familiar result, as the 18th-ranked Buckeyes pounded out a 42-0 victory over Akron at the Horseshoe. Quarterback Joe Bauserman threw three touchdown passes -- all to Jake Stoneburner -- and added a score on the ground for the Buckeyes (1-0), who haven't lost a home opener since 1978 but are coming off a summer of major upheaval within the program. It was the first game for new Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell, who was given the job for the 2011 season after Jim Tressel's ouster in May. Tressel guided the Buckeyes for 10 highly-successful years before resigning in the wake of a scandal involving his knowledge of players selling items and memorabilia. Clayton Moore, a sophomore transfer who originally signed with Ole Miss before playing at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, got the start at quarterback for Akron and completed a mere 6-of-16 passes for 54 yards with an interception. He also rushed for 32 yards to lead the Zips (0-1), who were 1-11 last season.
Final Score: (21) Missouri 17, Miami-Ohio 6
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - James Franklin rushed for a touchdown and threw for another score as No. 21 Missouri defeated Miami-Ohio, 17-6, in the season opener for each school. Franklin completed 17-of-26 passes for 129 yards with an interception and added 72 yards on 14 rush attempts. T.J. Moe caught six passes for 56 yards for Missouri (1-0), which is coming off a 10-3 campaign. Zac Dysert went 26-for-39 for 194 yards and an interception in the RedHawks' (0-1) losing effort. Erik Finklea added 71 yards and a score on the ground and Chris Givins caught seven passes for 71 yards for the defending Mid-American Conference champions.
Final Score: (22) Florida 41, Florida Atlantic 3
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Will Muschamp's debut at Florida was a success, as the 22nd-ranked Gators easily handled Florida Atlantic, 41-3. Muschamp filled the void created by Urban Meyer's departure and picked up where the two-time title-winning coach left off. Chris Rainey totaled 146 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns, Jeff Demps ran for 105 yards and two scores, and John Brantley threw for 229 yards and a TD for Florida (1-0), which finished 8-5 last year in Meyer's swan song. The Owls (0-1) gained only 137 yards in the final season opener for Howard Schnellenberger, the architect of the FAU program. Following a disappointing 4-8 mark last year, Schnellenberger announced his 27th season at the helm will be his last.
Final Score: (23) Auburn 42, Utah State 38
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Michael Dyer's one-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left in regulation was the difference, as defending national champion and No. 23 Auburn survived a scare from Utah State and recorded an 42-38 victory in the first-ever meeting between the schools from Jordan-Hare Stadium. Barrett Trotter threw for 261 yards and three scores on 17-of-23 efficiency for the Tigers (1-0), who trailed 21-7 in the first half and stared down a 10-point deficit inside the final four minutes but rallied to post their 16th straight win. Dyer finished with two TDs and 57 yards rushing, while Emory Blake, Travante Stallworth and Philip Lutzenkirchen all notched a touchdown reception. Chuckie Keeton finished with 213 yards passing and added two rushing scores for the Aggies (0-1), who fought valiantly in an attempt to beat a ranked school for the first time in 20 years, but nonetheless fell to 1-54 all-time against Top 25 teams. Robert Turbin posted 70 yards and a pair of rushing touchdown on 22 carries, while Kerwynn Williams added 69 yards and another score on the ground in defeat.
Final Score: (25) Southern California 19, Minnesota 17
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Southern California will not compete in the postseason this year, but that didn't stop the 25th-ranked Trojans from downing Minnesota, 19-17, in their 2011 opener on Saturday. This will be the final season that USC is on probation as NCAA sanctions will keep the club from playing for the inaugural Pac-12 championship or participating in a bowl game. Matt Barkley threw three touchdowns to Robert Woods as the Trojans (1-0) won their 14th straight season opener. Barkley went 34-of-45 with 304 yards while Woods caught 17 passes, a USC single-game record, for 177 yards in the win. D.J. Morgan added 18 carries for 70 yards in the win for USC, which has won 12 straight against Big Ten opponents. Duane Bennett ran for a touchdown while Max Shortell threw for a touchdown but was intercepted on the final drive for the Golden Gophers (0-1), who failed to win in the debut of new head coach Jerry Kill. Bennett finished with 53 yards on 15 carries while Marqueis Gray went 7-of-12 with 94 yards and added 48 yards on 16 carries for Minnesota, which went just 3-9 last season.