Saturday's SEC Football Capsules
Non-conference games played Aug. 31, 2013
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Click on the score to read a more detailed report for each game.
ATLANTA (AP) — Christion Jones became the first Alabama player since at least the 1940s to have two returns for touchdowns, Vinnie Sunseri brought back an interception for another TD, and the Crimson Tide overcame a sluggish offensive performance to beat Virginia Tech.
Jones scored on a 72-yard punt return less than 2 minutes into the game, then scooted loose on a kickoff for a 94-yard touchdown that led the Crimson Tide (1-0) to a win that could've been much tougher to start its quest for an unprecedented third straight national title.
For good measure, the junior receiver also hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to blow it open against the Hokies (0-1), who largely shut down AJ McCarron and Alabama's highly touted offense.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Tajh Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two others, Clemson's defense sacked Aaron Murray four times and the Tigers stung the Bulldogs.
Boyd had scoring passes of 77 yards to Sammy Watkins, 24 yards to Zac Brooks and 9 yards to Stanton Seckinger. Boyd also added TD runs of 4 and 2 yards to win the lone matchup of top 10 teams in college football's opening weekend.
The Tigers took the lead for good, 31-28, on Chandler Catanzaro's 24-yard field goal in the third quarter. Georgia had a chip-shot try for a tying kick on its next possession, but couldn't get if off after Nathan Theus' bad snap .
Two series later, Boyd led a 12-play, 87-yard TD drive that ended with tight end Seckinger tip-toeing the sidelines to get in.
Georgia's Todd Gurley ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — After serving his first-half suspension, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel threw three TD passes and scrambled for 19 yards — ran his mouth a bit, too — as Texas A&M posted a lopsided win over Rice.
Manziel was sitting out because of what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
His first touchdown came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M's second drive of the half.
Shortly before that, he got into it with a Rice defender, appearing to mimic signing an autograph while getting up from a tackle. He ended his day by getting yanked following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pointing at the scoreboard after a TD pass in the fourth quarter.
He was replaced by Matt Joeckel on A&M's last drive.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Mack Brown had a career day, Jeff Driskel was efficient and Florida opened the season with a victory over Toledo.
Brown ran 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Driskel completed 17 of 22 passes for 153 yards and a score. And Florida's defense, which ranked fifth in the country in 2012, looked every bit as good as last year's version despite losing eight starters and its coordinator.
The Gators controlled both lines of scrimmage, opening holes for Brown and keeping steady pressure on Toledo's experienced spread offense. It was exactly the style of play Florida has become known for under third-year coach Will Muschamp. No flashiness. Few highlight-reel plays. But a win in the end.
It was Florida's 24th consecutive season-opening victory, the second-longest active streak in the country. Only Nebraska (27) has a longer current run.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Terrence Magee ran for two touchdowns in the second half, Zach Mettenberger threw for 251 yards with a key late score and LSU held on for a victory.
Odell Beckham's 75-yard kickoff return set up a 20-yard TD pass from Mettenberger to Jarvis Landry with 6 minutes left.
All in all, despite a crucial fumble and a three-and-out in the fourth quarter that kept the game uncomfortably close, the Tigers' first game with new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron calling the plays provided a promising start to the season.
And that replenished defense after losing a team-record eight players to the NFL draft came up with some key plays.
B.J. Catalon returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and scored on a 26-yard run for TCU.
HOUSTON (AP) — J.W. Walsh threw for 135 yards and ran for another 125 and a touchdown to lead the Oklahoma State Cowboys to a win over the Mississippi State in the Texas Kickoff.
Walsh finished 18 of 27 after relieving starter Clint Chelf on the Cowboys' third series. Jeremy Smith rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries for Oklahoma State (1-0), which piled up 432 yards on offense after struggling for most of the first half.
Tyler Russell 10 of 16 for 133 yards before being helped off the field and taken to the locker room in the third quarter after being brought down on a scramble. Dak Prescott replaced Russell, throwing for 89 yards on seven of 17 passing.
LaDarius Perkins rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and caught three passes for 52 yards for the Bulldogs (0-1).
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Tre Mason returned a kick-off 100 yards and Corey Grant scored on a 75-yard run to lead Auburn to a 31-24 victory over Washington State Saturday night in Gus Malzahn's debut as the Tigers coach.
Robenson Therezie also picked off two passes, including one in the end zone with less than five minutes remaining, for the Tigers (1-0). They had managed just two interceptions during last season's 3-9 debacle.
The Malzahn-versus-Mike Leach matchup of offensive innovators produced plenty of big plays and drama.
The Cougars (0-1) had two chances to tie it in the final five minutes, but Therezie's interception and an incompletion on fourth down ended the threats.
Junior college transfer Nick Marshall was 10-of-19 passing for 99 yards in his starting debut for Auburn.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Keshawn Simpson ran for a pair of 3-yard touchdowns and Antonio Andrews added his own 3-yard score as Western Kentucky beat Kentucky 35-26 Saturday night making coach Bobby Petrino a winner in his debut.
The Hilltoppers also beat their in-state rival for a second straight year, though they didn't need overtime like they did last year in this win over the Southeastern Conference program. They outgained Kentucky 487-419 in total offense and held the ball for 35 minutes.
The loss ruined Kentucky coach Mark Stoops' debut. Coordinator Neal Brown's Air Raid offense struggled against a Western Kentucky defense returning seven starters from a bowl team that went 7-6 last season in the Sun Belt Conference.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — James Franklin threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns before coming out early in the third quarter, helping Missouri take command after early struggles and whip Murray State 58-14 Saturday night in an opener that began in 98-degree heat.
Henry Josey had 113 yards on 13 carries with a 68-yard score in his first game back from a left knee injury that required two surgeries and sidelined him all last season. Russell Hansbrough had 104 yards on eight attempts with a pair of scores for Missouri, coming off a disappointing 5-7 record in its first SEC season.
Maikhail Miller threw three interceptions, two by E.J. Gaines, against a defense that stiffened after allowing two early touchdowns. Murray State faded quickly against its first SEC opponent since 2005.
Miller, who transferred from Mississippi last month, threw a touchdown pass and caught one on a flea-flicker for a 14-13 lead with 3:58 to go in the first.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rajion Neal rushed for 141 yards and Justin Worley threw three touchdown passes Saturday as Tennessee began Butch Jones' coaching tenure with a 45-0 rout of Austin Peay.
Neal and Worley sat out the entire third and fourth quarters after the Volunteers scored touchdowns on each of their six first-half possessions. Worley went 11 of 13 for 104 yards and threw touchdown passes to Devrin Young, Alton "Pig" Howard and Brendan Downs. Neal opened the scoring with a career-long 47-yard touchdown.
Jones was hired away from Cincinnati in December to turn around a storied program that has produced three straight losing seasons for the first time in over a century. Jones replaced Derek Dooley, who was fired after going 15-21 in three years.
He already is making an impact in the stands. Jones' debut had an announced attendance of 97,169.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Brandon Allen made sure his new head coach made a solid first impression at Arkansas.
Allen was 15-of-22 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns as Arkansas opened the Bret Bielema era with a 34-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Allen, taking over as the starting quarterback for the Razorbacks, threw a pair of touchdown passes to Javontee Herndon and helped improve Bielema to 8-0 in his career in season openers
Sophomore Jonathan Williams rushed for 151 yards and freshman Alex Collins added 131 of his own for Arkansas (1-0), which outgained the Ragin' Cajuns (0-1) 522-274 in total yardage. Williams did so on 18 carries while Collins had 21.
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