College Football: National and Top 25 Roundup
The national roundup …
SYRACUSE, N.Y. ó Greg Paulus’ debut at quarterback for Syracuse lacked only the storybook ending.
Eric Ellestad kicked a 35-yard field goal in overtime Saturday to give Minnesota a 23-20 victory over the Orange, who failed to score in the extra session when Paulus threw his lone interception on an ill-advised pass.
Paulus got off to a strong start in his first football game since 2004, but his turnover on a third-and-5 play on the first possession of OT gave the Gophers a chance to win.
“I shouldn’t make that throw,” Paulus said. “I was trying to make a play. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn’t. I should have thrown the ball in the back of the end zone and kicked the field goal.”
Paulus guided Syracuse to a 20-14 lead at the break but failed to convert any of the Orange’s eight third-down tries in the second half.
Still, in his first college football game after playing point guard for four seasons at Duke, Paulus made plenty of positive plays. He was 19-for-31 for 167 yards and one touchdown.
“I would have liked a better outcome,” said Paulus, just 7-for-14 for 39 yards in the second half after the Minnesota defense adjusted.
ARLINGTON, Texas ó With Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford helplessly watching on the sideline, his right arm in a sling, BYU upset No. 3 Oklahoma 14-13 on Saturday night.
Max Hall threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide-open McKay Jacobson in the back of the end zone with 3:03 left.
The Sooners’ last hope to recover and win without their star quarterback Bradford ended when Tress Way came up short on a 54-yard field goal with 1:23 left.
The Cougars last victory versus a ranked nonconference opponent was against No. 1 Miami in 1990.
No. 5 Alabama 34, No. 7 Virginia Tech 24ATLANTA ó Virginia Tech hung on for three quarters playing Beamer Ball. Alabama’s superiority could not be denied in the fourth. Score another big season-opening win for the Crimson Tide.
No. 5 Alabama overcame a 98-yard kickoff return, two costly turnovers and several silly penalties, finally wearing down No. 7 Virginia Tech in the final quarter for a 34-24 victory Saturday night.
It was another rousing start of a season at the Georgia Dome for the Crimson Tide, which began a national title run in Atlanta last season by thumping Clemson.
Mark Ingram rushed for 150 yards and finished off Virginia Tech with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Greg McElroy threw for 230 yards in his debut as Alabama’s starting quarterback, taking quite a beating but standing tall at the end.
No. 6 Ohio State 31, Army 27
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Brian Rolle intercepted a potential 2-point conversion in the closing minutes and returned it for two points the other way and Ohio State hold off pesky Navy.
A crowd of 105,092 ó the largest ever to see the Buckeyes open a season ó sat in stunned silence after the Midshipmen scored twice in just over 4 minutes to cut a 29-14 deficit to two points with 2:23 left in the game.
No. 9 Oklahoma State 24, No. 13 Georgia 10STILLWATER, Okla.ó Zac Robinson threw two touchdown passes to star receiver Dez Bryant and also scored on a quarterback sneak as Oklahoma State proved itself deserving of its highest preseason ranking ever.
Robinson finished with 135 yards on 11 for 22 passing, and Bryant made the most of his three catches for 77 yards.
No. 1 Florida 62, Charleston Southern 3GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó Tim Tebow accounted for two touchdowns and Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps had scoring runs as No. 1 Florida overwhelmed a helpless opponent.
No. 4 USC 56, San Jose State 3LOS ANGELES ó Matt Barkley passed for 233 yards after a slow start to his Southern California debut, and the Trojans’ fleet of tailbacks ran for six touchdowns.
Barkley, the first non-redshirt freshman to start a season opener at USC, shook off a rocky first quarter to go 15 for 19 with no interceptions.
No. 9 Penn State 31, Akron 7STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Daryll Clark threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, and Penn State celebrated coach Joe Paterno’s return to the sideline with a win.
No. 15 Georgia Tech 37, Jacksonville State 17ATLANTA ó Jonathan Dwyer ran for two touchdowns, and Georgia Tech had 335 yards rushing.
The Yellow Jackets rested many of their starters in the second half of the opener with Clemson visiting Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday.
Dwyer, the 2008 ACC player of the year, scored on the first play from scrimmage, taking an option pitch for a 74-yard touchdown.
He finished with 95 yards rushing on seven carries, including a 5-yard touchdown later in the first quarter.
Jacksonville State trailed 31-7 at halftime, scoring on Brooks Robinson’s 20-yard flea-flicker TD catch.
No. 22 Iowa 17, Northern Iowa 16IOWA CITY, Iowa ó Jeremiha Hunter made up for a mental mistake moments earlier by blocking Northern Iowa’s second field goal try in the closing seconds.
No. 23 Notre Dame 35, Nevada 0SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Jimmy Clausen threw for four touchdowns, including passes of 70 and 88 yards to Michael Floyd, to lead Notre Dame.
Clausen started the game by completing 10 of 11 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns, highlighted by the 70-yard pass to Floyd. He later bettered that with the 88-yard score. The junior quarterback finished 15 of 18 passing for 315 yards.
It was the first easy season-opening win for the Irish since coach Charlie Weis’ first game in 2005, and a good way for Notre Dame to prep for a trip to Michigan next week.
No. 24 Nebraska 49, Florida Atlantic 3LINCOLN, Neb. ó Roy Helu Jr. ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns and Zac Lee passed for 213 yards and two scores in his first start for Nebraska.
The Huskers won their 24th consecutive opener, the longest streak in the nation.
No. 25 Kansas 49, N. Colorado 3LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Todd Reesing sparked slow-starting Kansas with two rushing touchdowns, then passed for two more before the biggest home crowd in school history.