College roundup: Washington makes statement, beats No. 11 Michigan St.

  • Washington wide receiever Ja'Lynn Polk, left, makes a reception against Michigan State defensive back Ameer Speed during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE — Kalen DeBoer knew no matter how well the transition had gone, this was the week that would validate — one way or another — what Washington had showed so far.

Behind a spectacular performance by Michael Penix Jr., the Huskies emphatically stated their case as a contender in the Pac-12 and maybe worth some national recognition.


Penix threw for 397 yards and four touchdown, and Washington (3-0) toppled No. 11 Michigan State 39-28 on Saturday night.

“We just beat a really good football team in my mind,” Huskies coach DeBoer said. “To get this win now is just going to continue to put the belief in our guys.”

Penix was terrific for three quarters in a primetime national showcase that showed DeBoer’s rebuild is progressing faster than expected. Washington led 29-8 at halftime and 36-14 after three quarters.

Having a star quarterback certainly helps.

“Every game that we’ve seen (Penix) he comes out with the same energy, comes out with the same leadership, mentality. It’s just it’s easy to follow someone like that,” Washington running back Wayne Tualapapa said.

Penix completed 24 of 40 passes and just missed posting the eighth 400-yard passing game in Washington history. He was at his best in the first half, connecting on 18 of 24 attempts for 278 yards and leading Washington to touchdowns on four of its five possessions.

He wasn’t sacked by a Michigan State pass rush that led the country in sacks after two weeks.

“I felt real comfortable out there knowing that I got five guys up there that’s gonna protect me each and every play,” Penix said.

It was the second-best day in Penix’s career in terms of yards passing and TDs, trailing only his 491 yards and five TDs in 2020 against Ohio State while playing for Indiana.

“You got a guy who you can win football games with, not just like try to manage a game, and he’s got so much belief by his teammates in him,” DeBoer said.

Ja’Lynn Polk had six catches for a career-high 153 yards and three TDs. Polk’s 53-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter was a resounding answer after Michigan State scored on the opening drive of the second half to pull within 29-14.

Payton Thorne threw for 323 yards and three TDs, and led a pair of quick fourth-quarter scoring drives for Michigan State that caused some nerves for the Huskies. Thorne threw a 33-yard TD to Keon Coleman with 5:17 left and the 2-point conversion pulled Michigan State within 11. But the rally was too late for the Spartans (2-1), who were stymied in the run game and saw their pass defense get exposed.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Stetson Bennett went 16 for 23 for 284 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as No. 1 Georgia routed South Carolina 48-7 on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (3-0) nearly had a second shutout of the season in their Southeastern Conference opener, but the backups allowed a touchdown pass with 53 seconds to go.

Georgia has allowed just 10 points this season and the garbage-time score was the first offensive touchdown it gave up in its past five regular-season games.

South Carolina (1-2) started 0-2 in the SEC for the fourth straight year.

• • •


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Young passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth, Will Anderson Jr. scored on an interception return and Alabama easily beat Louisiana-Monroe.

The Crimson Tide (3-0) scored on offense, defense and special teams in the first six minutes and raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead. It was a whirlwind start against the 49 1/2-point underdog Warhawks (1-2) a week after a much closer-than-expected victory over Texas cost Alabama the No. 1 ranking.

Young completed 13 of 18 passes for 236 yards but also threw his first two interceptions of the season. He did run for a 7-yard score, where he spun near the goal line and dove across.

Chandler Rogers completed 11 of 21 passes 96 yards for Louisiana-Monroe and was intercepted once. The Tide outgained Louisiana-Monroe 509-169.

• • •


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — C.J. Stroud threw five touchdown passes and Ohio State rolled up 762 yards on the way to a runaway victory over Toledo.

The Buckeyes (3-0) scored on all six of their first-half possessions, with Stroud completing 18 of 20 passes for 297 yards and a pair of touchdown passes each to Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming on the way to a 42-14 lead.

Stroud completed 22 of 27 passes for 367 yards before yielding to backups late in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes’ offensive output was the most since they gained 776 yards in a 77-10 win over another Mid-American Conference team, Bowling Green, in 2016.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Blake Corum rushed for a career-high four touchdowns in the first half and added a fifth score in the third quarter to match a school record, helping Michigan rout Connecticut.

The Wolverines (3-0) led 38-0 at halftime before coasting in the second half. The Huskies (1-3) had just 64 yards of offense in the first half, had a punt blocked and gave up a punt return for a touchdown over the opening 30 minutes.

J.J. McCarthy was 15 of 18 for 214 yards, a week after coach Jim Harbaugh said he had won the quarterback competition.

Cade McNamara entered late in the first half and was roughed up. He was sacked on the first snap, was hit hard just after completing his only pass attempt and didn’t play in the second half due to a leg injury.

Without the senior available in the lopsided game, Harbaugh gave several reserve quarterbacks a chance to play.


CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Will Shipley ran for a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns as Clemson took control in the second half to beat Louisiana Tech for its ninth straight win.

The Tigers, who started 3-0 for the seventh time in eight seasons, shook off a sluggish first half to put away the Bulldogs (1-2) of Conference USA and win its 35th in a row at home.

Clemson, up just 13-6 at the break, took advantage of two Parker McNeil interceptions and fourth-down stop on Louisiana Tech’s desperate gamble to stay in contention — all leading to touchdowns.

Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. picked off McNeil on the Tech 32 and Shipley took the next snap into the end zone. Tigers cornerback Malcolm Greene intercepted McNeil on the next series after the Bulldogs reached the red zone.

DJ Uiagalelei moved Clemson 90 yards in 14 plays, ending on Phil Mafah’s 4-yard TD run.


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Dillon Gabriel threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Oklahoma hammered Nebraska in the Cornhuskers’ first game following the firing of Scott Frost.

The game was put on the schedule 10 years ago as the back end of a home-and-home series intended to celebrate what once was among college football’s greatest rivalries. Instead, it was further confirmation the Cornhuskers are just a shell of the program that decades ago battled the Sooners for conference titles year-in and year-out.

OU (3-0) posted its most lopsided victory over Nebraska (1-3) since a 45-10 win in 1990. The Sooners have won seven of eight against the Huskers.


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Sanders threw four touchdown passes in just over one quarter of action, and Oklahoma State rolled over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Sanders matched his career high for touchdown passes in a game in the game’s first 16 minutes. He completed 13 of 16 passes for 242 yards for the Cowboys (3-0) in their final nonconference game before entering Big 12 play.

Braydon Johnson caught two touchdown passes, making him one of five Oklahoma State players to catch at least one. The Cowboys gained 538 total yards.

Skyler Perry threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Raequan Prince for Pine Bluff’s only touchdown. The Golden Lions (2-1), an FCS program, managed just 13 first downs.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Will Levis accounted for three touchdowns, Kavosiey Smoke ran for a score and Kentucky shook off a slow start to shut out Youngstown State.

Boosted by their first top-10 ranking since October 2007, the Wildcats (3-0) followed up last week’s Southeastern Conference win at Florida by physically dominating the FCS Penguins (2-1) in their inaugural meeting.

Kentucky outgained YSU 480-192 on the way to its first shutout since beating Miami (Ohio) 42-0 on Sept. 5, 2009. The Wildcats gave coach Mark Stoops a victory over his hometown school.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Rocket Sanders and Bryce Stephens had long scoring plays in a 2:22 span of the fourth quarter to help Arkansas beat Missouri State and former Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino.

Sanders caught a shovel pass for a 73-yard touchdown scamper with 11:38 left and Stephens returned Missouri State’s ensuing punt 82 yards to give Arkansas (3-0) its first lead of the game at 31-27.

Petrino coached Arkansas from 2008 to 2011 before being fired in spring of 2012 after a motorcycle wreck and proceeding scandal.

Arkansas rallied after Missouri State (2-1), took a 17-0 lead, tying it at 17 in the third quarter. Back-to-back scores late in the third quarter gave the Bears a 10-point edge with 12:04 left before Sanders and Stephens scored.

Sanders ran for a career-high 167 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. KJ Jefferson threw for a career-high 385 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Jefferson’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:39 left provided the final score.

NO. 25 OREGON 41, NO. 12 BYU 20

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bo Nix threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more to lead Oregon over BYU and extend the Ducks’ home winning streak to 21 games — third-longest in the nation.

Nix, a transfer from Auburn, completed 13 of 18 passes for 222 yards and ran for 35 yards on nine carries. Terrance Ferguson caught both of Nix’s touchdown passes and finished with 24 yards receiving.

Jaren Hall threw for 305 yards and two scores for BYU (2-1), which was coming off a big win at home over then-No. 9 Baylor that moved the Cougars up nine spots in the AP Top 25. They struggled on the ground against the Ducks (2-1), mustering just 61 rushing yards.

NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 17, NO. 13 MIAMI 9

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Max Johnson threw for 140 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Texas A&M, which beat Miami.

Johnson replaced Haynes King, who coach Jimbo Fisher benched after his subpar performance in Texas A&M’s stunning loss to Appalachian State last week.

Miami (2-1) was down by 8 and had to punt after two holding calls stalled a drive with about three minutes left. The Hurricanes had a shot to get the ball back when Ainias Smith fumbled the punt on the 12. But he pounced on the ball before Miami could get to it to allow A&M to keep the ball.

The Hurricanes got the ball back again after that, but Brashard Smith dropped a pass on fourth-and-4 with about 30 seconds left to allow the Aggies (2-1) to run out the clock for the victory.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Cam Rising threw for 224 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in three quarters to help Utah rout San Diego State.

Rising is the first Utah quarterback since 2017 to pass for 200 or more yards in the first three games of the season. The Utes (2-1) forced a pair of turnovers and scored touchdowns following both takeaways.

San Diego State (1-2) lost starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister to an injury in the first quarter and never got on track offensively. The Aztecs failed to convert a third down until midway through the third quarter and did not surpass 100 total yards of offense until the final minute of the quarter.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jalin Hyatt caught five passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns to lead Tennessee over Akron.

Hyatt had scoring passes of 57 and 48 yards in the first half as the Volunteers (3-0) jumped to a 35-0 lead over the Zips (1-2).

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker threw for 251 yards and two scores in the first 30 minutes and finished with 298 yards.

Akron’s best chance for a TD in the first half came with second-and-goal on the 5 when Daniel George fumbled on an end around.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Aydan White returned one of his two interceptions 84 yards for a touchdown to lead a strong defensive effort that carried North Carolina State past Texas Tech.

Facing the Bowl Subdivision’s top passing offense, N.C. State’s veteran defense harassed quarterback Donovan Smith and shut down any ground game the Red Raiders tried to muster. The highlight was White’s fourth-down pick of Smith’s overthrown second-quarter ball.

White also had a sack on a cornerback blitz, one of four for the Wolfpack (3-0). Jakeen Harris came up with a fourth-down interception near midfield with 8:38 left as Texas Tech (2-1) tried to make a late push.


WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen faked a handoff and took off untouched for a 35-yard touchdown run just before halftime, when Texas State thought it had a fourth-down stop, and the Bears went on to win.

True freshman Richard Reese ran 19 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears (2-1). Shapen completed 15 of 26 passes for 184 yards with a 28-yard TD to Gavin Holmes.

As defenders tackled Reese in the backfield on fourth-and-1, Shapen raced past a blitzing safety to cap a nine-play, 96-yard drive for a 21-7 lead. That came immediately after Texas State (1-2) had pulled within one score with 1:59 left in the half and the Bears were backed up to their own 4 after Craig Williams muffed the ensuing kickoff.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Trevor Etienne’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes remaining helped Florida rally to beat South Florida.

Spencer Shrader missed a 48-yard field goal with 23 seconds left for South Florida (1-2) that likely would have sent the game into overtime. Shrader had little chance at making the kick after Andrew Beardall dropped the snap while trying to get the ball down.

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was off for the second straight week. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards and two interceptions. The second one came in the end zone on a head-scratching play call by coach Billy Napier. Instead of potentially taking the lead, Florida trailed 28-24.

Tre’Vez Johnson intercepted Gerry Bohanon’s third-down pass on the ensuing possession and gave Florida the ball back with a short field. and Etienne carried the ball four straight times, the last one into the end zone to put Florida (2-1) back in front.


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Liberty scored with about a minute left but Wake Forest stopped CJ Yarbrough’s two-point conversion attempt several yards short of the goal line for a tight home win.

The Demon Deacons’ ground game was ineffective — 21 rushing yards on 26 attempts — so they turned to defense and a passing game, with quarterback Sam Hartman throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Wake Forest remains unbeaten at 3-0.

Liberty (2-1) had pulled within a single point on that late 18-yard, fourth-down touchdown grab by Demario Douglas, who jumped high and took the ball away from two Wake defenders in the end zone.

The second half turned out to be a shootout, pitting Hartman against elusive Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter, a former Tennessee recruit. But Matthew Dennis made the extra point after a 1-yard touchdown run from Justice Ellison with 3:39 left.


ATLANTA (AP) — Ole Miss shrugged off its uncertainty at quarterback by running right through Georgia Tech, with Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins leading a 316-yard pummeling on the ground.

Jaxson Dart returned as the starting quarterback for Mississippi (3-0), but the plan to make it a running game was apparent from the first possession. On third-and-7 from the Georgia Tech 17, Judkins ran for the first down. The freshman then rumbled to the end zone on third-and-goal from the 7.

Ole Miss ran for all six of its touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards on 62 carries. Evans had scoring runs of 3 and 26 yards while rushing for 134 yards. Judkins gained 98 yards and also scored twice.

The Rebels held Georgia Tech (1-2) to 214 yards total offense while sacking quarterback Jeff Sims seven times.

NO. 21 TEXAS 41, UTSA 20

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bijan Robinson ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns and Jahdae Barron returned an interception 44 yards for a score in the third quarter in Texas’ win over UTSA.

Texas trailed 17-7 in the second quarter then rallied to tie it by halftime. Robinson’s 78-yard touchdown run gave Texas the lead, and Barron’s interception return put the Longhorns up by 11 to snuff the Roadrunners’ bid for an upset that would have been the biggest win in the history of a program that has only been playing football since 2011.

Hudson Card got the start at quarterback for Texas (2-1) in place of the injured Quinn Ewers and finished with 161 yards passing.

Texas found itself quickly down by 10 as UTSA (1-2) followed a surprise onside kick with a trick play touchdown pass to Zakhari Franklin.


AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 176 rushing yards and four touchdowns as Penn State cruised past Auburn.

The Nittany Lions’ freshman running backs were instrumental in the red zone. Penn State (3-0) scored touchdowns on each of its first four trips inside the 20-yard line. Quarterback Sean Clifford passed for 178 yards.

The Penn State defense forced four turnovers by Auburn (2-1) and also held Tigers star running back Tank Bigsby to 39 rushing yards.

Penn State led by one point late in the second quarter before Allen scored his first of two touchdowns. After Auburn opened the third quarter with a three-and-out, Singleton broke a 54-yard run and found the end zone two plays later.


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Pitt junior running back Israel Abanikanda carried the ball 31 times for 131 yards and a touchdown to lead the Panthers over Western Michigan.

Pitt (2-1) was without its top two quarterbacks for the nonconference contest, but third-string signal caller Nate Yarnell was efficient under center, going 9-for-12 passing for 179 yards and a touchdown.

Western Michigan (1-2) had its opportunities, with a 31-yard double pass from receiver Anthony Sambucci to receiver A.J. Abbott for a touchdown that cut Pitt’s lead to 20-13 heading into the fourth quarter.

Pitt responded on its next drive when Yarnell found sophomore receiver Konata Mumpfield for a 6-yard touchdown reception to give the Panthers a two-score cushion.

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