CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Marcus Mariota and No. 2 Oregon wasted no time showing Virginia all their speed is more than just talk Saturday.
The quarterback ran 71 yards on the Ducks' sixth play, turning a third and 5 that had the crowd jacked up for a stop into the first touchdown of a 59-10 victory.
Mariota finished with 122 yards on four carries and threw two touchdowns. De'Anthony Thomas added three touchdown runs as the Ducks piled up 557 yards of offense.
Virginia entered riding high after a comeback victory against BYU. Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta's unit seemed confident it would slow the Ducks. But the Cavaliers trailed 21-0 after the Ducks' first three series.
"We knew they are fast and athletic," coach Mike London said. "We tried to practice the pace, but it's hard to practice for that type of athleticism."
Thomas said their opponents faces' told the story.
"For the first couple plays, they're out there talking," he said. "And as the game goes by, guys are just slowing down and you can see by their body language and stuff. That's when we know we got 'em."
Defensive scores help Clemson cruise to win
CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 4 Clemson returned two interceptions for touchdowns for the first time in school history in routing I-AA South Carolina State 52-13.
Scores by cornerbacks Martin Jenkins (52 yards) and Darius Robinson (35) helped the Tigers to a 38-7 halftime lead. They came a week after Clemson allowed 545 yards in a 38-35 win over Georgia.
"We kind of set the tone," Jenkins said. "As a defense, we kind of have to."
No. 19 N'western 48, Syracuse 27: Trevor Siemian threw for three touchdowns while Kain Colter threw for a one and ran for one for the host Wildcats. Northwestern and its two-quarterback system led 34-7 at halftime as each went 11-of-12. Colter finished 15-of-18 for 116 yards and ran for 87 yards while Siemian finished 15-of-19. "We just have a whole lot of confidence in the guys on the outside," Siemian said. "Those guys can make plays, and we're just giving them chances." Orange coach Scott Shafer bristled when asked if his defense's performance was a "nightmare." "A nightmare? Hell no," he said. "It was a bad football game and a bad job of coaching by Coach Shafer. Nightmares are for children. A childish question."
N.C. State 23, Richmond 21: Niklas Sade's 48-yard field goal with 33 seconds left allowed the host Wolfpack to avoid being upset by the I-AA Spiders. N.C. State trailed 21-10 in the first half and 21-20 when it took over at its 21 with 1:59 left. Pete Thomas, in his first start for the injured Brandon Mitchell, went 4-of-5 for 31 yards on the drive. Said coach Dave Doeren: "Any time you can come back and win, it says a lot about the character of your guys."
Duke 28, Memphis 14: Brandon Connette entered after starter Anthony Boone broke his collarbone and threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the visiting Blue Devils, who are 2-0 for the first time since 1998. Connette broke a 14-14 tie with passes of 22 yards to Issac Blakeney and 12 to Brandon Braxton. "I felt comfortable my first series in there," Connette said. "We just had to grind it out and try to tire them out."
UNC 40, Middle Tenn. 20: Romar Morris' touchdown runs of 26 and 1 yard helped the host Tar Heels lead 23-0 at halftime. They allowed the Blue Raiders to drive 78 yards on their first series. But Tre Boston made a one-handed interception in the end zone, and Middle Tennessee gained 21 yards the rest of the half. "When we finally got in our rhythm, it was fun going out there," UNC end Kareem Martin said. "We knew … they couldn't move the ball on us."
Va. Tech 45, W. Carolina 3: Detrick Bonner returned one of his two interceptions 37 yards for a touchdown for the host Hokies against the I-AA Catamounts. Logan Thomas, 5-of-26 in last week's 35-10 loss to Alabama, was 17-of-31 for 200 yards but threw two interceptions in the end zone. "We're a work in progress," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. "As we get more used to each other and get to know each other and get our timing down … the passing game is going to get a lot better."
Maryland 47, Old Dominion 10: C.J. Brown threw for two touchdowns and ran for two for the host Terps against the I-AA Dukes. After last week's 43-10 win over Florida International, Maryland has surpassed 40 points in its first two games for the first time. Brown directed touchdown drives of 77, 46, 97 and 80 yards to help Maryland build a 31-3 lead at halftime. "Everybody contributed," said Stefon Diggs, who caught six passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. "We played as a team and came out with a W."