No. 18 Heels win opener; Duke, Wake Forest not as fortunate
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Kyren Williams ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his first start, grad quarterback Ian Book threw for 263 yards and No. 10 Notre Dame beat Duke 27-13 on Saturday at rainy Notre Dame Stadium in the season and Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
The speedy Williams, who saw limited action last season as a freshman, had 19 carries and also was Notre Dame’s leading receiver with two receptions for 93 yards, one a 75-yarder in the first half.
The victory was Notre Dame’s 19th straight at home and the first for the Fighting Irish in a conference after 132 years as an independent. Because of COVID-19, the Irish are playing this season as a member of the ACC. The school announced a crowd of 10,097, 90% of them students, attended the game in the 77,622-seat stadium where fans were wearing masks and socially distanced because of the pandemic.
The triumph also came on a day when the school announced a four-year contract extension for coach Brian Kelly, who is now 9-2 in openers at Notre Dame.
Book outdueled Duke grad quarterback Chase Brice, who threw for 259 yards on 20-of-37 passing and rushed for a touchdown in his debut for coach David Cutcliffe after transferring in from Clemson.
Book completed 19 of 31 passes, one a 17-yard TD pass to Avery Davis early in the fourth quarter that increased the Irish lead to 24-13. He rushed for just 12 yards on nine carries.
Notre Dame finished with a 439-334 edge in total offense, including a 176-75 advantage on the ground.
NO. 1 CLEMSON 37, WAKE FOREST 13
WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw for 351 yards and combined for three touchdowns and Clemson continued its domination of Wake Forest in the season opener for both teams.
Trevor Etienne ran for 102 yards and a touchdown for Clemson, which improved to 70-5 since the start of the 2015 season under coach Dabo Swinney.
Clemson has outscored Wake Forest 152-19 over the last three seasons, holding the Demon Deacons to just one touchdown.
Clemson is looking to win its sixth straight Atlantic Coast Conference title and reach the College Football Playoff national championship game for the fifth time in the six seasons. The last time the Tigers were on the field they lost 42-25 loss to LSU in which Lawrence was held without a touchdown pass.
Lawrence’s passes were on the mark for the most part, as he completed 22 of 28 passes. He spread the ball around to eight receivers in the first half alone as Clemson took a 27-0 lead.
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman was 11 of 21 for 182 yards passing and was sacked four times before being replaced in the fourth quarter.
NO. 5 OKLAHOMA 48, MISSOURI STATE 0
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Rattler threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns in his first start for Oklahoma.
Rattler, the highly touted redshirt freshman from Phoenix, only played the first two quarters and helped the Sooners take a 41-0 lead.
The Sooners led 31-0 at the end of the first quarter and outgained the Bears 236 yards to 1. It was the first time since 2008 that Oklahoma scored at least 31 points in a first quarter and the sixth time in school history.
Rattler got plenty of help. Seth McGowan, a true freshman, caught a touchdown pass and ran for a score. Charleston Rambo had four catches for 80 yards and two scores, including a 53-yard touchdown catch from Rattler. Oklahoma gained 608 total yards, including 484 passing.
The Sooners held Missouri State to 136 yards and seven first downs in their first shutout since 2015.
It was a rough debut with the Bears for coach Bobby Petrino, best known for his success at Louisville and Arkansas. He took over a Missouri State program that went 1-10 last season. Redshirt freshman Jaden
Johnson completed 9 of 19 passes for 72 yards for the Bears.
NO. 18 NORTH CAROLINA 31, SYRACUSE 6
CHAPEL HILL (AP) — Javonte Williams ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns and North Carolina overcame a mistake-filled performance to beat Syracuse in the season and Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Michael Carter added 138 yards of total offense for the Tar Heels in an empty home stadium after the school opted to open with no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Syracuse’s offense did little well, generating little from its running game unless it came on quarterback
Syracuse’s Tommy DeVito completed just 13 of 31 passes for 112 yards while taking seven sacks, and the Orange finished with 202 total yards.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 31, NO. 23 IOWA STATE 14
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Louisiana-Lafayette got kick and punt returns for touchdowns to help secure one of its biggest wins in program history.
In the opener for both teams, the Ragin’ Cajuns were ignited by Chris Smith’s 95-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and Eric Garror’s 83-yard punt return in the third.
Levi Lewis also threw a 78-yard scoring pass to Peter LeBlanc to give Louisiana-Lafayette a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Louisiana-Lafayette beat a Top 25 opponent for the first time, having gone 0-26 against ranked foes away from home. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ only other win over a Top 25 team was in 1996 at home against Texas A&M.
The Ragin’ Cajuns limited Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to 16-of-35 passing for 145 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception.