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No. 1 Alabama Holds Off No. 11 Florida

Florida quarterback Emory Jones (5) pushes his way past the Alabama defense including defensive back DeMarcco Hellams (2) for a 5-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Bryce Young’s first collegiate road start was a rousing success, a three-touchdown performance that helped top-ranked Alabama hold off No. 11 Florida 31-29 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Saturday.

The defending national champion Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0) stopped a 2-point conversion with 3:10 left and extended its winning streak to 17, making it 32 in a row against teams from the SEC’s Eastern Division.

The Gators (2-1, 0-1) have dropped eight straight in the series and fell to 0-5 against No. 1-ranked teams at Florida Field.

This one was closer than oddsmakers and just about everyone else expected, with 14 1/2-point underdog Florida having a chance to tie the game in the closing minutes despite playing without dynamic backup quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Coach Dan Mullen held Richardson out as a precaution because of a strained right hamstring and said he would only be available in case of an emergency.

That never became the case even though the Gators trailed 21-3 at the end of the first quarter. Young built the lead with TD passes to Jase McClellan, Jahleel Billingsley and Brian Johnson.

The Gators rallied and were in position to tie late. Dameon Pierce capped a 75-yard drive with a 17-yard run that made it 31-29. But fellow running back Malik Davis failed to get the 3 yards needed on the 2-point conversion.

NO. 3 OKLAHOMA 23, NEBRASKA 16

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Rattler passed for a touchdown and ran for another and Oklahoma held on to beat Nebraska.

Celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the “Game of the Century” — No. 1 Nebraska’s 35-31 win over No. 2 Oklahoma in 1971 — the teams rewarded their nostalgic fans with a competitive contest.

NO. 6 CLEMSON 14, GEORGIA TECH 9

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Will Shipley ran for two touchdowns and Clemson had a goal-line stand in the final seconds to hold off Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a chance to force overtime after recovering an onside kick with 1:19 to play. But they were held out of the end zone on four plays from the Clemson 2 in the closing seconds — the last when linebacker James Skalski tackled Dylan Deveney a yard short.

NO. 2 GEORGIA 40, SOUTH CAROLINA 13

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — JT Daniels returned to the lineup with three touchdown passes, Georgia’s fearsome defense nearly made it three straight games without allowing a TD and the Bulldogs romped past South Carolina.

NO. 4 OREGON 48, STONY BROOK 7

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Freshman Ty Thompson threw two second-half touchdown passes and No. 4 Oregon overcame a sluggish start to beat Stony Brook in a game delayed because of lightning.

NO. 5 IOWA 30, KENT STATE 7

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Tyler Goodson ran for a career-high 153 yards and three touchdowns and Iowa beat Kent State.

The Hawkeyes (3-0) have won nine straight games. They have won 14th consecutive nonconference games, the second-longest current streak in the nation.

NO. 7 TEXAS A&M 34, NEW MEXICO 0

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Zach Calzada threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. The victory extends A&M’s winning streak to 11 games and gives the Aggies a 3-0 start for the first time since opening the 2016 season with six consecutive wins.

NO. 8 CINCINNATI 38, INDIANA 24

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Desmond Ridder threw the go-ahead touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, then scored on a 7-yard TD run. Jerome Ford ran for two scores and Tre Tucker scored on a 99-yard kickoff return as the Bearcats (3-0) won their first road game of the season. They’ve won 12 of 13 since the start of 2020.

NO. 9 OHIO STATE 41, TULSA 20

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — TreVeyon Henderson broke Archie Griffin’s 49-year-old freshman rushing record, romping for 277 yards and three touchdowns to help Ohio State beat Tulsa.

NO. 10 PENN STATE 28, AUBURN 20

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Jaquan Brisker broke up a desperation pass toward the end zone by Auburn’s Bo Nix as time expired and Penn State held on to beat Auburn.

Sean Clifford completed 28 of 32 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns as Penn State (3-0) welcomed back its white out crowd to Beaver Stadium for a rare visit from a Southeastern Conference team.

NO. 12 NOTRE DAME 27, PURDUE 13

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Kyren Williams had two long touchdown plays, the second a 51-yard run with 6:05 remaining, and Notre Dame held off Purdue for its 26th straight victory at home.

The victory was the 105th in Brian Kelly’s 12-year career at Notre Dame, tying him with Knute Rockne as the winningest coach in school history. The Fighting Irish won their eighth straight over Purdue and first since 2014.

FRESNO STATE 40, NO. 13 UCLA 37

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Jake Haener threw for 455 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown pass to Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds remaining, and Fresno State topped UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

Haener overcame a crushing hit to his right hip in the fourth quarter to rally the Bulldogs. After UCLA regained the lead with 54 seconds left on Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 15-yard pass to Kyle Phillips, a limping Haener directed a six-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Bulldogs (3-1) their fourth straight win over the Bruins.

NO. 14 IOWA STATE 48, UNLV 3

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brock Purdy completed 21 of 24 pass attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns to lead Iowa State to a rout of UNLV.

NO. 16 COASTAL CAROLINA 28, BUFFALO 25

AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Grayson McCall threw for three touchdowns, Shermari Jones ran for 149 yards and another score.

NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI 61, TULANE 21

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Matt Corral passed for 335 yards and three touchdowns, ran for four scores, and Mississippi score all of its points in the first three quarters in a win over Tulane.

NO. 23 BYU 27, NO. 19 ARIZONA STATE 17

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Jaren Hall threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns and added 38 yards on seven carries, leading BYU to its third straight win over a Pac-12 team.

Tyler Allgeier added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Cougars (3-0), who forced four turnovers and posted its third straight victory over Arizona State.

NO. 20 ARKANSAS 45, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 10

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — KJ Jefferson threw for a career-high 366 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns to lead Arkansas past Georgia Southern.

NO. 21 NORTH CAROLINA 59, VIRGINIA 39

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Sam Howell threw five touchdown passes and ran for a career-best 112 yards as North Carolina took over after halftime to beat Virginia.

MICHIGAN STATE 38, NO. 24 MIAMI 17

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Payton Thorne passed for 261 yards and four touchdowns, two of those scoring throws going to Jalen Nailor.

Kenneth Walker III rushed for 172 yards and caught a touchdown pass for the Spartans (3-0), who are off to their best start since 2015. Jayden Reed also had a scoring catch and a touchdown run for Michigan State, which forced Miami quarterback D’Eriq King into four turnovers.

NO. 25 MICHIGAN 63, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 10

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Blake Corum rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns. The Wolverines (3-0) scored touchdowns on their first nine drives, eight of them on the ground. The 10th drive also included a touchdown run, but it was called back for a holding penalty and Michigan turned the ball over on downs. The Wolverines never punted.

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