Top-ranked Clemson needed a late defensive stop on North Carolina’s two-point conversion attempt to hold on for a 21-20 victory Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.
UNC’s Javonte Williams ran in from the 1-yard line with 1:17 left, but the Tigers swarmed and thwarted the two-point attempt on quarterback Sam Howell’s rushing attempt around right end.
Clemson (5-0, 3-0 ACC) boosted its school-record winning streak to 20 games, but this shaped up as the biggest scare in quite some time — and certainly the closest call this season.
Trevor Lawrence completed 18 of 30 passes for 206 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score that tied the game 14-14 just before halftime. Howell finished 15 of 27 for 144 yards and two touchdowns for North Carolina (2-3, 1-1 ACC).
No. 2 Alabama 59, Ole Miss 31
The Crimson Tide trailed for the first time this season but quickly retook command and rolled to an easy victory behind record-setting performances by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver DaVonta Smith in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Tagovailoa ran for one touchdown and passed for a school-record six, also setting a school mark in touchdown responsibility with seven. He has 86 total touchdowns for his career, topping AJ McCarron’s former record (80). Smith ended up with single-game school records with 274 receiving yards and five touchdown catches for Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC).
Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee passed for 141 yards and led all players with 109 rushing yards in his first career start for the Rebels (2-3, 1-1 SEC). He had touchdown passes for Jerrion Ealy (9 yards) and Jonathan Mingo (26).
No. 5 Ohio State 48, Nebraska 7
The Buckeyes scored on six of their seven first-half possessions while their defense shut down the Cornhuskers’ offense — intercepting three passes — in an overwhelming win at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
In upping their record to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference, the Buckeyes finished with 580 total yards of offense while limiting the Cornhuskers (3-2, 1-1) to 231. Quarterback Justin Fields turned in another efficient effort, hitting 15 of 21 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 72 yards and another score on 12 carries.
Running back J.K. Dobbins amassed 177 yards on 24 carries, becoming the 11th player in school history to rush for 3,000 yards in his career. Ohio State added clean play to its prodigious stats, committing just two penalties and no turnovers.
No. 6 Oklahoma 55, Texas Tech 16
Jalen Hurts completed 17 of 24 passes for a career-high 415 yards and three touchdowns while running for 70 yards and a score as the Sooners cruised in Norman, Okla.
Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb had a career-high 185 yards and three touchdowns — of 71, 14 and 65 yards — on seven receptions. Trey Sermon added a pair of rushing touchdowns. The Sooners (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) outgained Texas Tech 644-314.
Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1) was playing its first game without quarterback Alan Bowman, who suffered a shoulder injury in a loss to Arizona on Sept. 14. Two quarterbacks combined to complete 12 of 26 passes for 122 yards.
No. 7 Auburn 56, Mississippi State 23
Freshman quarterback Bo Nix passed for a season-high 335 yards and two touchdowns, sophomore running back JaTarvious Whitlow rushed for a career-high three touchdowns, and Auburn’s defense did the rest as the No. 7 Tigers dominated visiting Mississippi State.
Nix also rushed for a touchdown as the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 SEC) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions.
Freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader had his moments for Mississippi State in relief of injured starter Tommy Stevens, rushing for a team-high 89 yards and a touchdown and passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 8 Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 15
Jonathan Taylor scored one touchdown and rushed for 100-plus yards for a fourth consecutive game as the Badgers won a matchup of Big Ten Conference West rivals in Madison, Wis.
Taylor rushed for a 13-yard touchdown on Wisconsin’s first series to give the Badgers (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) a 7-0 lead. He finished with 26 carries for 119 yards and one touchdown.
Northwestern (1-3, 0-2) made a statement early, becoming the first opponent to score in the first quarter against Wisconsin in 2019. But two quarterbacks combined to complete just 18 of 41 passes, with an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
No. 9 Florida 38, Towson 0
Kyle Trask completed 18 of 20 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns while running for a third to lead the Gators to a convincing victory in Gainesville, Fla.
Kyle Pitts caught two scoring passes as the Gators improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 2015 squad won its first six games. Dameon Pierce rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Florida (5-0, 3-0 SEC) outgained Towson 422-248 while forcing three turnovers and notching their second shutout of the season.
Tom Flacco completed 16 of 27 passes for 157 yards and two interceptions for Towson (3-2), which is ranked 10th in the FCS coaches poll. Flacco is the younger brother of Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco.
No. 10 Notre Dame 35, No. 18 Virginia 20
Running back Tony Jones Jr. had 18 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns as the Fighting Irish showcased an opportune defense in a win over the visiting Cavaliers in South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame (3-1) outscored Virginia 21-3 in the second half after trailing by three points at the break, forcing five turnovers, recording eight sacks and allowing just 4 rushing yards. The Irish scored a defensive touchdown when Ade Ogundeji returned a fumble 25 yards.
Bryce Perkins completed 30 of 43 passes for 334 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Virginia (4-1). His top receiving targets were Hasise Dubois (143 yards, TD) and Joe Reed (107 yards, TD). Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book completed 17 of 25 passes for 165 yards.
No. 14 Iowa 48, Middle Tennessee 3
Nate Stanley completed 17 of 25 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns to help the Hawkeyes roll over the Blue Raiders in Iowa City.
Toren Young rushed for 131 yards on 11 carries for his first career 100-yard outing as Iowa rolled up 351 yards on the ground. The Hawkeyes are 4-0 for the fifth time in Kirk Ferentz’s 21-year career as head coach.
Iowa racked up 644 yards of total offense, the most during Ferentz’s tenure. The previous high of 613 came against Minnesota in 2005. Middle Tennessee has been outscored 129-42 in its three losses, with the first two occurring against Michigan and Duke.
No. 17 Washington 28, No. 21 USC 14
Salvon Ahmed rushed for 153 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown run, as the Huskies beat the Trojans with the help of three interceptions in Seattle.
Jacob Eason completed 16 of 26 passes for 180 yards for the Huskies (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12), who scored 15 points off USC turnovers.
Matt Fink was 19-for-32 passing for 163 yards, with one touchdown for the Trojans (3-2, 2-1). Two of Fink’s three interceptions were thrown inside the Washington 1-yard line, including one with 2:20 remaining to end USC’s last drive.
No. 19 Utah 38, Washington State 13
Tyler Huntley threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 19 Utah to a victory over Washington State in Salt Lake City.
Huntley also ran for two touchdowns to help the Utes beat the Cougars for the first time since 2012. Utah totaled 526 yards of offense and averaged 7.4 yards per play en route to the team’s first Pac-12 win of the season.
Anthony Gordon totaled 252 yards passing, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Cougars. Gordon threw for at least 400 yards in each of his first four starts before Utah’s defense clamped down on him for much of the game.
No. 20 Michigan 52, Rutgers 0
Shea Patterson ran for three touchdowns and passed for another, and the Wolverines bounced back from a loss and thrashed the Scarlet Knights in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Patterson completed 17 of 23 passes for 276 yards, Christian Turner rushed for 48 yards and a score and Ronnie Bell led the receiving corps with six catches for 83 yards as Michigan (3-1, 1-1) gained its first Big Ten win of the season. The Wolverines jumped to a 24-0 halftime lead.
Rutgers (1-3, 0-2) was held to 152 total yards while being shut out for the second time in conference play. Artur Sitkowski completed 17 of 24 passes for 106 yards.
No. 22 UCF 56, Connecticut 21
The Knights scored four first-quarter touchdowns, and the defense forced four turnovers and scored once in a blowout of the Huskies in Orlando, Fla.
In the American Athletic Conference opener for both schools, UCF (4-1, 1-0) blitzed the Huskies (1-3, 0-1) for 369 yards on just 20 plays from scrimmage on the way to a 42-0 halftime lead.
Freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel played just the first half and went 11 of 16 for 281 yards and three touchdowns, all of them to wide receiver Gabriel Davis (five catches, 119 yards, three touchdowns).
No. 23 Texas A&M 31, Arkansas 27
Kellen Mond threw two of his three touchdown passes to Quartney Davis as the Aggies won their eighth straight game against the Razorbacks in Arlington, Texas.
Mond completed 23 of 35 passes for 251 yards for Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1 SEC), and tossed 22- and 3-yard scoring strikes to Davis as well as a 9-yard touchdown to Ainias Smith.
Ben Hicks replaced former Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel and tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mike Woods for the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2), who have lost their last 13 SEC games and 17 of 18 overall.
Oklahoma State 26, No. 24 Kansas State 13
Chuba Hubbard ran for career-high 296 yards on 25 carries, and Matt Ammendola kicked four field goals as the host Cowboys withstood Mother Nature and ran over the Wildcats.
Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher, now has 938 yards on the ground in five games; Saturday’s effort was his third 200-plus yard performance this year for the Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), who snapped a two-game losing streak to Kansas State (3-1, 0-1).
The game was halted with 8:31 to go in the second quarter for 75 minutes because of lightning in the area.
No. 25 Michigan State 40, Indiana 31
Brian Lewerke threw for three touchdowns and had a 30-yard run in the final minutes to set up the Spartans’ winning score in East Lansing, Mich.
Junior kicker Matt Coghlin converted from 21 yards with five seconds left for a 34-31 lead, and Michigan State recovered a fumble for a touchdown on the final play by Indiana (3-2, 0-2) for the final margin.
Lewerke passed for 300 yards, connecting for a pair of scores with fifth-year senior Darrell Stewart, who had five catches for 117 yards. Redshirt freshman running back Elijah Collins rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten).
—Field Level Media