A look at notable moments around college football on Saturday:
Hello again, old friends
Few conferences can beat the SEC in terms of sheer entertainment value. And that was before Mike Leach landed at Mississippi State ... and promptly knocked off defending national champion LSU. A few highlights from Saturday:
Air raid: Mississippi State (1-0, 1-0) put up Big 12-esque passing numbers in upsetting No. 6 LSU. K.J. Costello passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and five touchdowns in the 44-34 victory. Costello’s passing yardage in his first game since transferring from Stanford to Starkville eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia’s Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993. Four of Costello’s touchdown passes covered between 24 and 75 yards. LSU (0-1, 0-1) became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan in 1998 lost at Notre Dame.
First-half hijinks: No. 8 Auburn’s 29-13 victory over No. 23 Kentucky mostly will be remembered for the end of the second quarter. The Wildcats had a sure touchdown called 1 yard short of the goal line. Then Kentucky threw a 100-yard pick-6. And that was waived off because of targeting. In the end, Bo Nix threw for 233 yards and three second-half touchdowns, and Auburn (1-0, 1-0) scored twice in the fourth quarter. This one also had a Kentucky (0-1, 0-1) failed fake punt. It’s just Week 1 of SEC play, y’all. Blessed.
Gator bait: Former Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks was 19-for-36 for 200 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Arkansas (0-1, 0-1), but also tossed two interceptions in a 37-10 loss to No. 4 Georgia (1-0, 1-0). The Razorbacks still haven’t won an SEC game in almost three years. “He has to be more conscious with the football,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said of Franks. “He’s got to take care of the football. We were right in the game and he threw a pick-six. Part of that was the receivers ran into each other. I thought we were very sloppy with formations, alignments on offense. We’ve got to get that fixed.”
Upset of the day
Pick the winner of this Big 12 matchup:
Team A, ravaged by COVID-19, was unsure enough players would be available at all position groups. And was a four-touchdown underdog. And had lost to a Sun Belt team two weeks ago. (But, hey, who in the Big 12 hasn’t done that this season?)
Team B, the defending conference champion and College Football Playoff semifinalist, had a freshman quarterback pass for 387 yards and four touchdowns.
If you picked Team A, play the lottery. Seriously. Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, and the Wildcats (1-1, 1-0) rallied from 21 points down to beat third-ranked Oklahoma 38-35, a 50-yard field goal by Blake Lynch with 4:32 remaining providing the margin of victory. OU freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions. In the fourth quarter, Kansas State outscored the Sooners (1-1, 0-1) 17-0. The Wildcats gave up 455 yards the first three quarters and 62 yards in the fourth.
Texas Tom Brady
Much like the Tampa Bay Bucs' quarterback, you can never count out Texas' Sam Ehlinger. The Longhorns, who were trailing Texas Tech 56-41 late in the fourth quarter, got touchdown passes in the final 3:13 from Ehlinger to Brennan Eagles and Joshua Moore to force overtime. Then he found Moore for another touchdown in a wild 63-56 victory. “That’s the Tom Brady of college football,” Texas defensive tackle Keondre Coburn said. “That’s the leader we have.” Texas (2-0, 1-0) is chasing its first Big 12 title since 2009. Ehlinger finished with 262 yards passing with five touchdowns and also ran for a score. Alan Bowman passed for 325 yards and five touchdowns for the Red Raiders (1-1, 0-1), but also threw three interceptions.
He said it
“I know the Steel Curtain is the Pittsburgh Steelers but today (we were) dominant up front.”
Coach Pat Narduzzi after No. 21 Pitt beat No. 24 Louisville 23-20. The Panthers (3-0, 2-0 ACC) held the visiting Cardinals (1-2, 0-2) to 223 yards — less than half of what they had been averaging coming in — and forced seven sacks. Three times Louisville had the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead. The drives ended with an interception, punt, interception.
Oh my, a streak is snapped
Iconic Florida radio play-by-play man Mick Hubert called the Gators-Ole Miss game from a makeshift studio on Florida’s campus, snapping his streak of 394 consecutive Gator games attended. Hubert and analyst Lee McGriff, both 66, did not travel with the Gators as a precaution against COVID-19. Embedded in UF lore for his trademark “Oh myyyy!!!” call that follows nearly every big play, Hubert began his 32nd season as the “Voice of the Gators” on Saturday.
A look at USF’s next opponent, No. 14 Cincinnati, (2-0) which defeated No. 22 Army (2-1), 24-10:
QB has an arm: Desmond Ridder passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and had several key long-yardage passing plays. Ridder completed a 45-yarder to Jayshon Jackson to set up the Bearcats' first touchdown, and tossed a 60-yard score to running back Gerrid Doaks with 6:55 left.
He said it
“It’s better than average, I’ll tell you that. There’s a lot of ghosts in this stadium. We played LSU because New England, Green Bay and the Chiefs had someone scheduled.”
Mike Leach, on his very good day, after Mississippi State won in Death Valley
By the numbers
1 Road win ever for Kansas State against an Associated Press top-three team. To be fair, the Wildcats also beat the Sooners at home last season, 48-41.
2 Fumbles on back-to-back second-half possessions for Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard. He was benched, then later scored on a 23-yard run with 1:17 remaining to salvage a 27-13 win over West Virginia for the No. 15 Cowboys (2-0, 1-0 Big 12).
3 Straight comeback games for No. 19 Louisiana Lafayette (3-0, 2-0 Sun Belt). Nate Snyder hit a 53-yard field goal on the final play as the Ragin' Cajuns escaped with a 20-18 victory over Georgia Southern (1-1, 0-1).
17 Syracuse points scored off Georgia Tech turnovers. The Orange (1-2, 1-2 ACC) won 37-20, and the Yellow Jackets (1-2, 1-1) gave up five turnovers a second straight week.
22 Career sacks for Iowa State’s JaQuan Bailey, who had 3 1/2 to become the all-time leader for the Cyclones (1-1, 1-0 Big 12) in a 37-34 win at TCU (0-1, 0-1).
27 Straight wins over SEC East foes for No. 2 Alabama (1-0, 1-0). Mac Jones threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters of work in the Tide’s 38-19 romp over rebuilding Missouri (0-1, 0-1).
Compiled using information from Times news services.