Top 25 roundup: Defense lifts Georgia to 20-19 win over Notre Dame

Georgia running back Nick Chubb (27) runs against Notre Dame on Sautrday in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. | Georgia got to Dawg Walk out of Notre Dame Stadium with a victory, dozens of its fans forming a line from the locker room to the buses to congratulate the Bulldogs after the program’s first trip to this part of the country in more than 50 years.

 

Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy led a swarming Georgia defense and the No. 15 Bulldogs got enough plays from an offense starting a freshman quarterback to beat No. 24 Notre Dame 20-19 on Saturday night.

The first regular-season meeting between the two programs was a hard-hitting, penalty-filled tug-o-war, and when it was done the Bulldogs gathered in the corner of the stadium to salute thousands of their fans who made the pilgrimage. The Bulldogs had not ventured this far north for a game since 1965 against Michigan.

“It definitely means a little more,” linebacker Roquan Smith said. “Coming up to South Bend, an awesome environment. Then having all these Dawgs fans coming out, showing their support. Showing how much they believe in us. It’s just an awesome feeling to be able to give those fans a W.”

Rodrigo Blankenship, a walk-on who received a scholarship earlier this week, kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:39 remaining to give the Bulldogs (2-0) a one-point lead.

Carter and company did the rest. Georgia forced Brandon Wimbush and the Fighting Irish (1-1) into a three-and-out, and then, on Notre Dame’s final drive, Bellamy blind-sided the quarterback and Carter recovered the fumble with 1:27 left.

“I saw Davin coming around the edge I was trying to get around the edge as well,” Carter said. “And once I saw him coming free I saw he had a chance to knock that ball off of him. And once he did I was like get on this ball and end the game.”

Carter had a strip sack in the second-half, too.

Wimbush, starting his second game, scored Notre Dame’s only touchdown in the first half on a 1-yard run. He finished 20 for 40 for 210 yards.

“All 11 positions, all the guys were really physical and had speed,” Wimbush said of the Georgia D.

Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was filling in for the injured Jacob Eason and making his first career start. The Bulldogs tried not to put too much on the former Little League World Series hero from Warner Robins, Georgia. He went 16 for 29 for 141 yards with a touchdown pass — thanks to a reaching, one-handed grab by Terry Godwin in the first half — and two turnovers.

“Good poise,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Fromm. “He never faltered.”

The Irish were looking for a big early season win to accelerate the process of moving on from last year’s 4-8 disappointment. There were reasons to be encouraged, especially from a defense that hung tough against one of the best running-back combinations in the country in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The Bulldogs ran for 185 yards, but only 4.3 per carry.

NO. 5 OKLAHOMA 31, No. 2 OHIO STATE 16

COLUMBUS, Ohio | Baker Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns and No. 5 Oklahoma knocked off No. 2 Ohio State 31-16 on Saturday night to give first-year head coach Lincoln Riley an early signature victory.

Mayfield lived up to his billing as a Heisman Trophy contender in shifting the Sooners (2-0) into overdrive and piling up the yards in the second half as the Buckeyes’ offense sputtered. Oklahoma took its first lead near the end of the third quarter and cruised in the fourth.

Ohio State’s title hopes didn’t evaporate, but the Buckeyes (1-1) will have to solve myriad offensive problems and play much better to get back in it.

True freshman J.K. Dobbins again was a bright spot for the Buckeyes, rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown, but quarterback J.T. Barrett couldn’t hit the big passes when he needed them to extend drives. He often resorted to pulling the ball down and taking off himself.

Mayfield was 27 of 35 with TD passes to Dimitri Flowers, Lee Morris and Trey Sermon.

Oklahoma avenged a 45-24 loss to the Buckeyes’ last year in Norman.

NO. 6 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 42, NO. 14 STANFORD 24

LOS ANGELES | Steven Mitchell and Deontay Burnett caught two touchdown passes apiece from Sam Darnold, and Southern California extended its winning streak to 11 games.

Darnold went 21 of 26 with 316 yards passing for the Trojans (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12), who snapped their three-game losing streak in this California private-school rivalry. USC racked up 623 total yards and won the first Pac-12 game of the new season by beating the hard-nosed Cardinal (1-1, 0-1) at their own physical game.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 116 yards and scored a touchdown in his ninth consecutive game as USC excelled at Stanford’s traditional strengths, running the ball for 307 yards and controlling both lines of scrimmage. Turnovers and penalties by the Trojans kept it fairly close, but freshman Stephen Carr added 119 yards rushing, and Jones cartwheeled into the end zone with a clinching 23-yard TD run with 4:15 to play.

Keller Chryst passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Bryce Love had a 75-yard TD run among his 160 yards rushing for the Cardinal, who hadn’t played since their season-opening win over Rice in Australia last month.

NO. 1 ALABAMA 41, FRESNO STATE 10

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. | Jalen Hurts ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns and passed for a third score for Alabama.

The Crimson Tide (2-0) polished off the 44-point underdog Bulldogs (1-1) with a workmanlike performance on the heels of an opening victory over No. 10 Florida State in Atlanta.

Hurts completed 14 of 18 passes for 128 yards, but his biggest play came in the opening minute. He faked a handoff and sprinted 55 yards for a touchdown on the second offensive play, stepping out of a last-gasp tackle attempt at the 15.

Hurts also hit a wide-open Hale Hentges for a 23-yarder in the first quarter. It was the tight end’s first career touchdown.

The Tide led 28-3 at halftime against Fresno State, which had opened coach Jeff Tedford’s first season with a 66-0 win over FCS Incarnate Word.

Fresno State scored on Chason Virgil’s 26-yard pass to Derrion Grim with just over six minutes left. That was set up by Da’Mari Scott’s 63-yard kick return

Alabama outgained the Bulldogs 305-58 on the ground.

NO. 3 CLEMSON 14, NO. 13 AUBURN 6

CLEMSON, S.C. | Kelly Bryant had two touchdown runs after getting knocked hard to the ground and defensive end Austin Bryant had four of Clemson’s 11 sacks.

This was billed as an early showcase between elite teams with dreams of the College Football Playoffs. Instead, Clemson’s Bryants never gave Auburn (1-1) much of a chance.

Bryant, making his second career start at quarterback for defending national champion Clemson, appeared to be seriously hurt after he remained on the ground on a hit by Dontavius Russell. But after a few moments in the medical tent, Bryant returned to direct a pair of touchdown drives that gave Clemson (2-0) the lead for good. Bryant’s 3-yard run right before halftime put Clemson ahead 7-6. He finished the next possession with a spinning, 27-yard burst.

Clemson’s defense squashed any chance of an Auburn comeback. Bryant was nearly unblockable and created havoc quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Auburn, which was held to 117 yards.

Austin Byrant sacked Stidham on Auburn’s final two plays as the Baylor transfer desperately tried to get the ball downfield. Byrant threw for 181 yards on 19-of-29 passing. He also rushed for 68 yards.

NO. 4 PENN STATE 33. PITTSBURGH 14

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. | Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including Saquon Barkley’s 46-yard catch-and-run, and Penn State pulled away.

McSorley completed 15 of 28 passes for 164 yards, helping the Nittany Lions (2-0) avenge a loss to their in-state rivals a year ago. Tight end Mike Gesicki had two touchdown receptions and Barkley ran for 88 yards to help Penn State ended a two-game skid against the Panthers.

Qadree Ollison ran for 96 yards for the Panthers (1-1), but Pitt’s offense struggled to finish drives early on and the Nittany Lions pulled away late. Max Browne completed 19 of 32 passes for only 138 yards and was intercepted twice.

NO. 7 WASHINGTON 63, MONTANA 7

SEATTLE | Dante Pettis weaved his way 67 yards for his Pac-12 record-breaking seventh career punt return touchdown, and Jake Browning threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns for Washington.

Pettis returned a punt for a score for the second straight game. His 61-yard return at Rutgers last week tied him with DeSean Jackson for the conference mark and ignited Washington (2-0) after a sluggish start.

Montana (1-1) made the unwise decision to punt to Pettis on the final play of the first quarter. The senior veered to the sideline nearest where he caught the kick, cut all the way across the field, juked Montana punter Eric Williams and sprinted the final few yards to give the Huskies a 21-7 lead.

Pettis is one shy of the NCAA record for punt return touchdowns in a career, held by Wes Welker (Texas Tech) and Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma).

NO. 8 MICHIGAN 36, CINCINNATI 14

ANN ARBOR, Mich. | Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards and Wilton Speight threw two touchdown passes to help Michigan pull away.

The Wolverines (2-0) led by just three points early in the second half before scoring 19 straight points to turn a closely contested game into a lopsided one.

The Bearcats (1-1) failed to take advantage of Michigan’s many mistakes and made some miscues of their own to spoil an upset bid.

Cincinnati’s Hayden Moore was 15 of 40 for 132 yards with a TD pass to Kahlil Lewis that cut Michigan’s lead to 17-14 in the third quarter. Moore had some passes dropped and had some errant throws, two of which were intercepted and returned for scores by Tyree Kinnel in the first quarter and Lavert Hill late in the fourth.

Speight completed 17 of 29 passes for 221 yards. He had TD passes to Kekoa Crawford early in the game and to Grant Perry in the third that gave Michigan a 10-point cushion.

NO. 9 WISCONSIN 31, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 14

MADISON, Wis. | Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 223 yards and three touchdowns and Alex Hornibrook threw for 201 yards and a score for Wisconsin.

The bigger Badgers (2-0) wore down the Owls (0-2) despite some middling play in the middle of the game. Wisconsin opened up 14-0 lead in the first quarter o Taylor’s 64- and 29-yard touchdown runs, but didn’t have the game in hand until his third score with 1:12 left in the third quarter,

The threat of Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida put the stakes in perspective for the Owls and first-year coach Lane Kiffin. The Owls will stay in Madison at least through Sunday.

NO. 12 LSU 45, CHATTANOOGA 10

BATON ROUGE, La. | Derrius Guice ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns, D.J. Chark returned a punt 65 yards for a score, and LSU overcame bouts of sloppiness.

Danny Etling passed for 227 yards and a TD, connecting on eight of 14 attempts in less than three quarters of work for the Tigers (2-0). Etling’s scoring pass was a 36-yarder to Drake Davis.

Chark had three receptions for 103 yards, including a 48-yard catch from Etling in the third quarter. Chark also had a 79-yard punt return for a would-be TD negated by a holding penalty.

While LSU coach Ed Orgeron is bound to be pleased overall by a two-game start in which the Tigers have outscored opponents 72-10 combined, he also could be concerned about a rash of penalties and place-kicking problems as his team prepares for its first Southeastern Conference game next week. LSU was penalized 11 times for 74 yards, one week after committing 10 penalties for 86 yards against BYU.

Chattanooga is 0-2.

NO. 17 LOUISVILLE 47, NORTH CAROLINA 35

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. | Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson accounted for 525 total yards and six touchdowns and Louisville pulled away late.

Jackson threw for 393 yards and three scores and ran for 132 yards and three TDs. The last came on a spinning-through-tacklers 11-yard run with 3:06 left to punctuate a dominant fourth-quarter effort by the Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Junior Jaylen Smith had nine catches for a career-high 183 yards and a score, and Dez Fitzpatrick hauled in two TDs as the Cardinals rolled to 705 yards.

Chazz Surratt and Brandon Harris combined to throw for North Carolina (0-2, 0-1).

NO. 18 VIRGINIA TECH 27, DELAWARE 0

BLACKSBURG, Va. | Greg Stroman returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown and Josh Jackson threw two scoring passes for Virginia Tech.

Stroman is the first player in Virginia Tech history to return a punt for a touchdown in three consecutive seasons.

The Hokies (2-0), coming off a last-second win over West Virginia, struggled offensively for much of the game, but got scoring strikes of 4 and 28 yards from Jackson. The latter one went to Cam Phillips, who broke free on a post pattern to give the Hokies breathing room in the fourth quarter.

Jackson completed 16 of 27 passes for 222 yards.

Delaware is 1-1.

NO. 19 KANSAS STATE 55, CHARLOTTE 7

MANHATTAN, Kan. | Kendall Adams scored on interception and fumble returns in the first half for Kansas State.

Adams returned an interception 30 yards to give the Wildcats (2-0) a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and had a 46-yard fumble return late in the second to make it 31-7.

Alex Barnes, Jesse Ertz and Winston Dimel had touchdown runs.

Charlotte dropped to 0-2.

NO. 20 WASHINGTON STATE 47, BOISE STATE 44, 3 OT

PULLMAN, Wash. | Jamal Morrow caught a 22-yard pass and dove across the goal line in the third overtime to lift Washington State to a comeback victory over Boise State.

Officials reviewed the play to make sure Morrow remained inbounds as he ran toward the end zone and left his feet near the pylon. It was ruled a touchdown for Washington State (2-0), which trailed by 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Boise State quarterback Montell Cozart came off the bench to spark his team for the second game in a row, but the Broncos (1-1) could not hold their late lead.

Both starting quarterbacks left the game. Cozart replaced Brett Rypien, and WSU’s Tyler Hilinski came on for an injured Luke Falk.

NO. 23 TCU 28, ARKANSAS 7

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. | Darius Anderson ran for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown, and TCU’s defense dominated once again.

Anderson had 15 carries to help the Horned Frogs (2-0) win in Fayetteville for the first time since 1984 when both schools were in the Southwest Conference. The sophomore’s previous rushing best was 103 yards in a victory over Texas last season.

Kenny Hill was 21-of-31 passing for 166 yards for TCU, and the Horned Frogs held the Razorbacks (1-1) to 267 yards of total offense — a week after allowing only 65 yards in a 63-0 victory over Jackson State.

Arkansas’ Austin Allen was 9 of 23 for 138 yards, a year after accounting for four touchdowns in the Razorbacks’ double-overtime win at TCU. Arkansas has lost three of its last four games to fall to 26-27 under fifth-season year coach Bret Bielema.

NO. 25 TENNESSEE 42, INDIANA STATE 7

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, Carlin Fils-aime had two scoring runs and Tennessee breezed past Indiana State,

Five days after John Kelly ran for four touchdowns in Tennessee’s 42-41 double-overtime triumph over Georgia Tech, he shared the spotlight with his backups in a game that had much less suspense. Kelly ran for 80 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards to lead the Volunteers (2-0) in rushing and receiving, but two guys below him on the depth chart scored Tennessee’s first three touchdowns.

Chandler took the opening kickoff just to the right of the right hash, easily shed an attempted arm tackle as he approached his own 35 and ran untouched the rest of the way. Chandler is the first Tennessee true freshman to score on a kickoff return since Leonard Scott did it against Georgia in 1999.

Indiana State is 0-2.

 

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