Clemson Georgia Football

Georgia defensive back Christopher Smith, right, celebrates with Kelee Ringo after returning an interception for the only touchdown in a 10-3 win Saturday night over Clemson in Charlotte, N.C. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christopher Smith returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown and No. 5 Georgia turned in a defensive effort for the ages, toppling third-ranked Clemson 10-3 on Saturday in the opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 2 yards rushing and sacked D.J. Uiagalelei seven times to position themselves for a run at the College Football Playoffs.

Uiagalelei, who was touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate, finished 19 of 37 for 178 yards with one interception. He bobbled snaps, was out of sync with his receivers and spent most of the day under heavy duress against a relentless Bulldogs pass rush.

Clemson didn’t score until 9:08 left when a 44-yard reception by Joseph Ngata and a defensive pass interference penalty set up a 22-yard field goal by B.T. Potter, helping the Tigers avoid their first shutout since 2003.

(1) ALABAMA 44, (14) MIAMI 13: Looking very much like a team capable of making another run at a national title, the Crimson Tide opened their season with a rout of the Hurricanes behind four touchdown passes from Bryce Young in his first college start.

The sophomore from Southern California completed 27 of 38 for 344 yards, hooking up with Cameron Latu on a pair of scoring plays and burying the Hurricanes with a 94-yard touchdown pass to Jameson Williams early in the third quarter.

Young became the first Alabama quarterback to throw four TD passes in his starting debut. Mac Jones and Joe Namath had shared the school record with three.

Williams, a transfer from Ohio State, had four receptions for 126 yards in his Alabama debut.

(2) OKLAHOMA 40, TULANE 35: Spencer Rattler passed for 304 yards, and the Sooners won a game that was relocated from New Orleans to Norman, Oklahoma, because of Hurricane Ida.

Oklahoma led by five in the fourth quarter and Tulane had possession, but quarterback Michael Pratt ran for 12 yards on fourth-and-13.

Oklahoma’s Gabe Brkic tied an FBS record with three field goals of 50 or more yards, and Marvin Mims had five catches for 117 yards for the Sooners (1-0).

Pratt passed for 296 yards and three touchdowns for the Green Wave (0-1). He also ran for a score.

Oklahoma had the Green Wave painted on the 25-yard lines, and Sooners fans cheered when Tulane’s players ran onto the field before the game.

Tulane opened the scoring with a 6-yard pass from Pratt to Cameron Carroll. The Green Wave went up 14-7 later in the first quarter on a 15-yard run by Jaetavian Toles.

Oklahoma scored the next 30 points and took a 37-14 lead into the break.

(7) IOWA STATE 16, NORTHERN IOWA 10: Datrone Young had a big interception with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter and the Cyclones staved off upset-minded Northern Iowa in Ames, Iowa, to avoid becoming the just the second top-10 team to lose to a team from Division I’s second-tier.

Iowa State was in danger of joining Michigan as the only top-10 team to lose to an FCS opponent, a memorable upset by Appalachian State in 2007.

Having survived the opening close-call, Iowa State will likely head into its rivalry game next week against No. 18 Iowa ranked for the first time in the history of the series.

Brock Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 197 yards, but the Cyclones were kept off-balance by a defense that returned all of its starters. Breece Hall, who led the nation with nine 100-yard games last year, was held to 69 yards on 23 carries.

(8) CINCINNATI 49, MIAMI (OHIO) 14: Desmond Ridder was 20 of 25 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, and the Bearcats beat the Redhawks in Cincinnati in the opener for both teams.

The Bearcats tied the series that began in 1888 at 59-59-7.

Ridder threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Scott on the second play from scrimmage. It was the longest TD toss of his career.

(11) OREGON 31, FRESNO STATE 24: Anthony Brown scored on a 30-yard quarterback keeper with 2:57 left and the Ducks overcame a wobbly season opener in Eugene, Oregon.

Oregon jumped to a 21-6 lead, but Fresno State scored two unanswered touchdowns to tie the game midway through the third quarter, then took the lead early in the fourth on Abraham Montano’s field goal.

A fumble recovery gave Oregon the ball at the Fresno State 32, but the Ducks settled for Camden Lewis’ 25-yard field goal to tie it before Brown’s go-ahead touchdown.

Brown threw for 172 yards and a touchdown while running for 62 yards. It was Oregon’s 17th straight home-opening victory.

(13) FLORIDA 35, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 14: Emory Jones’ first career start included a touchdown pass, two interceptions and a victory in Gainesville, Florida.

Jones was far from sharp in the Swamp, but the fourth-year junior had some moments to build on moving forward. He did much of his damage with his legs, finishing with 74 of the team’s 400 yards rushing.

His backup, Anthony Richardson, looked more ready for the spotlight. Richardson ran seven times for 160 yards, including a 73-yard score late in the game and an 11-yarder in which he broke three tackles and hurdled another defender.

(15) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 30, SAN JOSE STATE 7: Drake London caught a career-high 13 passes for 144 yards, Greg Johnson returned a late interception 37 yards for a touchdown and the Golden Trojans pulled away for a victory over the Spartans in Los Angeles.

Kedon Slovis passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns, with more than half of his completions finding their way to the dominant London. Slovis also hit Tahj Washington with a 29-yard touchdown pass in the first half, but the rest of USC’s passing game struggled until the Trojans’ final surge.

Erik Krommenhoek made a sliding 20-yard TD catch with 2:07 to play for USC, which outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the fourth quarter.

(18) IOWA 34, (17) INDIANA 6: Riley Moss returned two first-half interceptions for touchdowns and the Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers in Iowa City, Iowa.

Iowa intercepted quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. three times and had a fourth wiped out by a roughing-the-passer call.

Tyler Goodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown for the Hawkeyes. Quarterback Spencer Petras had a 9-yard touchdown run, but hit 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards.

Penix, coming off a knee injury late last season, had four interceptions in six games last season. He threw for 156 yards.

(19) PENN STATE 16, (12) WISCONSIN 12: Jaquan Brister and Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted Graham Mertz deep in Penn State territory in the final 2 1/2 minutes to preserve a victory over the Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin had its string of 25 consecutive victories in home openers snapped because of its red-zone failures. The Badgers dominated time of possession but had four scoreless trips inside Penn State’s 25, including three inside the 10.

The Badgers had first-and-goal at the 1 in the closing minutes on a drive that included a targeting penalty on Ellis Brooks that knocked Penn State’s top tackler out of the game.

Then things went awry.

Mertz lost the ball on an apparent handoff attempt on first down, though Wisconsin’s Isaac Guerendo recovered the fumble at the 4. Guerendo lost a yard on second down, then Joey Porter Jr. broke up a pass to Jack Dunn.

On fourth down, Mertz attempted a pass across the middle to tight end Jake Ferguson, but Brisker picked it off and returned it 41 yards with 2:16 remaining.

Wisconsin got the ball back on its own 18 with 1:11 left and got all the way to the Penn State 25 with 26 seconds remaining, thanks in part to a personal foul on Arnold Ebiketie. But after an intentional grounding call pushed Wisconsin back to the 32, Brown intercepted a Mertz pass on the final play.

MONTANA 13, (20) WASHINGTON 7: Montana became the first FCS team to upset a ranked FBS team in five years, shocking the Huskies in Seattle.

Montana quarterback Cam Humphrey scored on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter, and the Grizzlies added a short field goal with 2:54 left to take a six-point lead.

Needing a touchdown to avoid the stunning upset, Washington turned the ball over on downs with 1:33 left.

(21) TEXAS 38, (23) LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 18: Bijan Robinson scored twice and Hudson Card threw two touchdown passes in his first career start, leading the Longhorns over the visiting Ragin’ Cajuns in Steve Sarkisian’s debut, as Texas coach.

Robinson, who has garnered early attention as a potential all-American this season, scored Texas’ first touchdown on a pass from Card in the first quarter, then punched in another on a 7-yard run on the first possession of the third that put Texas ahead 21-6.

Robinson finished with 176 total yards rushing and receiving.

BOSTON COLLEGE 51, COLGATE 0: Phil Jurkovec threw for three touchdowns and 303 yards in a little over three quarters, leading host Boston College to a victory over Colgate.

Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 redshirt junior who transferred from Notre Dame before last season, completed 16 of 24 passes with no interceptions. Last season, he threw for 2,558 yards, the most ever by a BC quarterback in his first 10 games.

After a sloppy first quarter, the Eagles took charge by scoring on their final three possessions of the second, taking a 27-0 edge into halftime.

VILLANOVA 47, LEHIGH 3: Daniel Smith threw for three touchdowns and Justin Covington ran for 156 yards and a pair of scores and Villanova beat Lehigh 47-3 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the season opener for both teams.

Former Lehigh receiver Dez Boykin caught three passes – two for touchdowns – and collected 90 yards receiving.

Smith threw touchdown passes of 15 and 61 yards to Boykin in a 24-point third quarter. The Wildcats outgained Lehigh 506-139.

WOFFORD 24, ELON 22: Walker Gliarmis booted a 26-yard field goal with 10:15 remaining and Wofford held on for a season-opening win in Elon, North Carolina.

After Elon gained a final possession with a strip fumble at the goal line and just over a minute remaining, a Skyler Davis field goal try from 46 yards went wide with eight seconds left.

TOWSON 31, MORGAN STATE 0: Former UMaine quarterback Chris Ferguson threw two touchdown passes that included a 73-yarder to Darian Street to lead Towson past cross-town rival Morgan State in Baltimore.

Ferguson was 20 of 33 for 269 yards. He threw an 8-yard TD pass to Jason Epps in the first quarter before connecting with Street to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 9:19 to play in the second quarter. Street finished with two catches for 91 yards.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE 28, ALBANY 6: Dominic Gonnella carried 13 times for 135 yards and two scores, and his 75-yard touchdown highlighted the Bison’s victory over the Great Danes in Fargo, North Dakota.

Quincy Patterson was 12 of 16 passing for 115 yards and one TD for North Dakota State, which has won 23 straight home openers. The Bison are ranked fourth in the FCS poll.

Jeff Undercuffler threw for 183 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Albany.

NOTES

MISSISSIPPI: Coach Lane Kiffin will miss the opener against Louisville because of a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

Kiffin announced the positive test on Saturday, two days ahead of the Rebels’ opener in Atlanta.

Kiffin, his staff and his players are all fully vaccinated. He said no other members of the team are expected to miss the game because of COVID-19.

“I am grateful to be vaccinated and experiencing only mild symptoms,” Kiffin said in a statement released on Twitter. “So much so, I debated over being tested, but I’m relieved that I did.

“I’m proud of our program’s commitment to vaccination and as a result there are currently no other cases to report or team members expected to miss the game. We will continue to monitor our team closely and take responsible measures if any symptoms arise.”


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