TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mac Jones passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama’s aerial assault picked apart No. 3 Georgia’s heralded defense in the second half of a 41-24 victory Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide (4-0), with Coach Nick Saban stalking the sideline after a COVID-19 scare, rallied with three touchdowns in a 10-minute span starting late in the third quarter of a battle of the Southeastern Conference’s last remaining unbeatens.

The nation’s top scoring offense ultimately got the decisive upper hand in a battle with the Bulldogs (3-1) and one of the nation’s best defenses.

Georgia had no answer for Jones and star receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, especially with Alabama’s own beleaguered defense grabbing two second-half interceptions and three overall.

Smith caught 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter that effectively put it out of reach.

Waddle caught a 90-yard touchdown pass and gained 161 yards on six catches.


Then there was some old-school ground and pound, too. Najee Harris gained 152 yards on 31 carries carries, with a touchdown during that game-clinching span. He did it against the nation’s top run defense, which came in allowing 38 rushing yards and 12.3 points per game.

Georgia’s Stetson Bennett completed 18 of 40 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, including an 82-yarder to James Cook. But he threw three interceptions.

Alabama got a boost about seven hours before the game when the SEC cleared Saban to return, determining a Wednesday COVID test was a false positive. He tested negative Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

(1) CLEMSON 73, GEORGIA TECH 7: Trevor Lawrence brushed off his first interception of the season and passed for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers (5-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) overwhelmed the Yellow Jackets (2-3, 2-2) in Atlanta.

All of Lawrence’s scoring passes came in the first half, as Clemson built a 52-7 lead.

(4) NOTRE DAME 12, LOUISVILLE 7: Kyren Williams ran for 127 yards and Ian Book had a 13-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter as the Irish (4-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) beat the Cardinals (1-4, 0-4) in South Bend, Indiana.


FLORIDA STATE 31, (5) NORTH CAROLINA 28: Jordan Travis ran for two touchdowns and threw a scoring pass to help Florida State build a big first-half lead, and the Seminoles (2-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) held off the Tar Heels (3-1, 3-1) in Tallahassee, Florida.

(11) TEXAS A&M 28, MISSISSIPPI STATE 14: Isaiah Spiller ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for two scores as the Aggies (3-1) defeated the Bulldogs (1-3) in Starkville, Mississippi.

(13) MIAMI 31, PITTSBURGH 19: D’Eriq King threw four touchdown passes as the Hurricanes (4-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated the visiting Panthers (3-3, 2-3).

SOUTH CAROLINA 30, (15) AUBURN 22: Kevin Harris ran for two touchdowns and the Gamecocks (2-2) turned three interceptions into points to snap an eight-game losing streak against the visiting Tigers (2-2), beating Auburn for the first time in 87 years.

KENTUCKY 34, (18) TENNESSEE 7: Kelvin Joseph and Jami Davis returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first half, and the Wildcats (2-2) shut out the Volunteers (2-2) in the second half on the way to their first win in Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium since 1984.

(23) VIRGINIA TECH 40, BOSTON COLLEGE 14: Hendon Hooker ran for a career-high 164 yards and three touchdowns and threw for a score as the Hokies (3-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated the Eagles (3-2, 2-2) in Blacksburg, Virginia.


LIBERTY 38, SYRACUSE 21: Seldom-used running back Shedro Louis scored on touchdown runs of 75 and 52 yards, quarterback Malik Willis passed for one touchdown and ran for another score, and visiting Liberty (5-0) got its first win against an Atlantic Coast Conference team, rolling past the Orange (1-4).

NAVY 27, EAST CAROLINA 23: Nelson Smith ran for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns, and the Midshipmen (3-2, 3-0 American) edged the Pirates (1-3, 1-2) in Greenville, North Carolina.

ARMY 28, UTSA 16: Anthony Adkins had a career-best 66-yard touchdown run and finished with 101 yards to lead Army (5-1) to a victory at Texas-San Antonio (3-3).


FLORIDA: Coach Dan Mullen, who last week wanted 90,000 fans packed inside the stadium amid a pandemic, says he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Mullen made the announcement on Twitter, saying his initial positive result was confirmed by a second test. The 10th-ranked Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive earlier this week, an outbreak that prompted the Southeastern Conference to postpone Florida’s next two games.


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