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Top 25 roundup: Shedeur Sanders, Colorado shock No. 17 TCU

Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) rolls out to pass in the second quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Shedeur Sanders passed for a school-record 510 yards and threw four touchdowns, Dylan Edwards accounted for four scores and Colorado started the Deion Sanders coaching era with a 45-42 shootout victory over No. 17 TCU on Saturday afternoon at Fort Worth, Texas.

Edwards caught three scoring passes, including turning a short pass from Sanders into the game-winning 46-yard touchdown with 4:25 remaining in the season opener for both teams.

The victory was stunning as Deion Sanders took over a 1-11 team and orchestrated an offseason roster shakeup. Only 10 of last season’s 84 scholarship players remain with the program. Furthermore, TCU reached the College Football Playoff title game last season before being crushed 65-7 by Georgia.

Shedeur Sanders completed 38 of 47 passes and Edwards had 135 yards on five receptions as one of four Colorado players to top 100 receiving yards. Two-way standout Travis Hunter caught 11 passes for 119 yards and also recorded an interception for the Buffaloes.

TCU’s Chandler Morris passed for 279 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for a score. Trey Sanders rushed for three touchdowns and Jared Wiley and Dylan Wright each caught a touchdown pass for the Horned Frogs. Emani Bailey rushed for 164 yards on 14 carries.

No. 1 Georgia 48, Tennessee-Martin 7

Carson Beck threw for a touchdown and ran for another in his debut as starting quarterback as the Bulldogs overcame a sluggish start to roll past the FCS Skyhawks in Athens, Ga., in the season opener for both teams.

Beck completed 21 of 31 passes for 294 yards, without an interception. Mekhi Mews sprinted to the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown off a Beck swing pass in the third quarter.

Georgia limited UT-Martin to 260 yards of total offense and 15 first downs. Kinkead Dent completed 18 of 32 passes for 128 yards. He threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Trevonte Rucker in the fourth quarter.

No. 2 Michigan 30, East Carolina 3

J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes to Roman Wilson and the Wolverines opened a season of high expectations by taking down the Pirates at Ann Arbor, Mich.

McCarthy completed 26 of 30 passes for 280 yards in the first-ever meeting between the teams. Wilson had six catches for 78 yards.

The Wolverines were without suspended coach Jim Harbaugh, with defensive coordinator Jesse Minter in charge. Harbaugh is serving a school-imposed, three-game suspension for recruiting violations. The defensive unit was strong for Michigan, limiting East Carolina (0-1) to 235 yards of total offense.

No. 3 Ohio State 23, Indiana 3

Miyan Williams rushed for two touchdowns to help the Buckeyes pull away from the pesky Hoosiers in their season openers in Bloomington, Ind.

Kyle McCord, who won the starting quarterback job for Ohio State over Devin Brown, was 20-for-33 for 239 yards and an interception in the Big Ten contest. Williams’ second score, from 3 yards out, gave the Buckeyes a 20-3 lead with 1:51 left in the third quarter.

Ohio State has won 28 straight against the Hoosiers since a 27-27 tie in 1990. Indiana’s last victory was in 1988. Brendan Sorsby was 8-for-16 for 58 yards and Tayven Jackson went 1-for-5 for 24 yards for the Hoosiers.

No. 4 Alabama 56, Middle Tennessee 7

Jalen Milroe became the first Crimson Tide player to throw three touchdown passes and rush for two scores in the same game, and Alabama rolled past the Blue Raiders in the season opener for both teams in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama coach Nick Saban was silent all week about the identity of his starting quarterback and Milroe loudly stated his case by completing 13 of 18 passes for 194 yards while adding 48 on the ground. Milroe has thrown three touchdown passes in each of his two career starts.

Isaiah Bond, Jermaine Burton and Amari Niblack caught touchdown passes as the Crimson Tide won their 17th straight home opener under Saban. Nicholas Vattiato completed 21 of 32 passes for 127 yards with a TD and an interception for Middle Tennessee.

No. 6 USC 66, Nevada 14

Caleb Williams spread touchdowns among four receivers in the first half and finished with 319 yards and five scores overall as the Trojans cruised to a rout of the Wolf Pack in Los Angeles.

USC (2-0) needed just 2:15 to score its first touchdown, as Williams found Zachariah Branch for a 22-yard score on the opening drive. Nevada, playing its season opener, gave a quick response, however, tying it up at 7-7 less than two minutes later when Brendon Lewis’ 73-yard pass to Spencer Curtis set up a 3-yard TD run by Sean Dollars.

From that point forward, it was all Trojans. On USC’s next drive, MarShawn Lloyd carried 24 yards for the Trojans’ lone rushing touchdown of the first half, which ended with the Trojans up 35-7.

No. 7 Penn State 38, West Virginia 15

Drew Allar threw for a career-best 325 yards and three touchdowns as the Nittany Lions topped the Mountaineers in State College, Pa., in the season opener for both teams.

In his first collegiate start, Allar completed 21 of 29 passes and didn’t turn the ball over. His favorite target was Harrison Wallace Jr., who caught seven passes for 72 yards.

Garrett Greene completed 16 of 27 passes for 162 yards for West Virginia. CJ Donaldson Jr. powered West Virginia’s running game with 81 yards and a score on 18 carries. Greene also had a rushing TD.

No. 10 Washington 56, Boise State 19

Michael Penix Jr. launched his Heisman campaign by throwing for 450 yards and five touchdowns as the Huskies routed the Broncos in Seattle in the season opener for both teams.

Jalen McMillan caught two TD passes and scored on a 19-yard run out of the wildcat formation on the first play of the fourth quarter as the Huskies amassed 568 yards of total offense. Penix completed 29 of 40 passes.

Boise State’s Taylen Green was 19-of-39 passing for 244 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Broncos’ George Holani, who has twice rushed for 1,000 yards in a season, totaled 51 yards on 10 carries.

No. 11 Texas 37, Rice 10

Quinn Ewers passed for 260 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as the Longhorns dominated the third quarter on the way to a win over the Owls in the season opener for both teams in Austin, Texas.

Ewers hit on 19 of 30 passes. Seven of his completions were to Xavier Worthy, who amassed 90 yards receiving for the Longhorns. Texas has now defeated the Owls 16 straight times and in 44 of the teams’ past 45 contests.

The Longhorns’ defense intercepted Rice quarterback JT Daniels twice (on back-to-back throws in the second quarter). The Owls finally found the end zone on a 15-yard TD pass from Daniels to Luke McCaffrey with 3:04 to play.

No. 12 Tennessee 49, Virginia 13

Dylan Sampson rushed for three touchdowns and caught another as the Volunteers ran away from the Cavaliers for a victory in Nashville, Tenn., in the season opener for both teams.

Sampson had 52 yards on 13 carries. Tennessee piled up 287 yards on 52 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per rush. Jaylen Wright had 115 yards on 12 carries. Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III completed 21 of 30 passes for 201 yards and two scores.

Virginia’s Tony Muskett completed 9 of 17 passes for 94 yards. The Cavaliers welcomed back running back Mike Hollins, who was one of two Virginia students wounded in a shooting last November that killed three other football players.

No. 13 Notre Dame 56, Tennessee State 3

Sam Hartman passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Irish thrashed the Tigers in South Bend, Ind.

Hartman completed his first seven passes before finishing 14-for-17. He did not play in the second half after the Fighting Irish built a 35-3 lead. Notre Dame (2-0) amassed 557 total yards, including 221 on the ground. Audric Estime had 116 rushing yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.

Notre Dame’s defense limited the Tigers (0-1) to 156 total yards. Tennessee State quarterback Deveon Bryant completed 5 of 12 passes for 43 yards with two interceptions.

No. 15 Oregon 81, Portland State 7

Bo Nix threw for three touchdowns and Jordan James rushed for three more as the Ducks started their 2023 campaign off strong, sprinting past the Vikings in Eugene, Ore.

Nix completed 23 of 27 passes for 287 yards, doing his part to lead Oregon to the win. James covered 86 yards with 10 carries, while Bucky Irving Jr. rushed just four times for 119 yards and two scores.

Oregon scored its most points in a game in the modern era. Dante Chachere completed 5 of 14 passes for 35 yards and a score for Portland State (0-1).

No. 16 Kansas State 45, Southeast Missouri State 0

Will Howard accounted for four touchdowns in the first half as the Wildcats defeated the Redhawks in Manhattan, Kan., in the season opener for both teams.

Howard had two passing touchdowns to go along with a rushing and receiving score by halftime. He became the sixth player in Big 12 history to have a passing, rushing and receiving TD in a game. Howard played just two series in the second half and finished 18-of-26 passing for 297 yards with the two touchdowns and an interception.

Kansas State scored four second-quarter touchdowns to open up a 35-0 halftime lead before cruising in the second half. SEMO hadn’t been shut out in 41 games.

No. 19 Wisconsin 38, Buffalo 17

Chez Mellusi rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns and Braelon Allen ran for 141 yards and two scores as the Badgers rolled past the Bulls in Madison, Wis., in the season opener for both teams.

The Badgers outscored the Bulls 24-7 after halftime, with Mellusi providing a much-needed spark. Ahead 14-10 and starting a drive at its own 11, Wisconsin found breathing room at last, as Mellusi weaved through the Bulls’ defense for an 89-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.

Mellusi (13 carries) and Allen (17) paced a ground game that accounted for 312 of Wisconsin’s 501 yards of total offense. Buffalo’s Cole Snyder was 26-for-41 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns to Cole Harrity, who had five receptions for 47 yards.

No. 20 Oklahoma 73, Arkansas State 0

Dillon Gabriel threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, all in the first half, to lift the Sooners over the Red Wolves in the season opener for each team in Norman, Okla.

The Sooners’ offense was dominant from the start, needing just five plays to drive 70 yards for a touchdown to start the game. By halftime, Oklahoma led 45-0. For the game, Oklahoma outgained Arkansas State 642-208, including 220-48 in rushing.

Courtney Jackson led the Red Wolves with three catches for 66 yards. No player had more than 11 yards rushing for Arkansas State.

No. 21 North Carolina 31, South Carolina 17

Drake Maye threw two touchdown passes and the Tar Heels’ defense stiffened in the second half against the Gamecocks in both teams’ season opener in Charlotte, N.C.

Maye, a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, completed 24 of 32 passes for 269 yards. He was intercepted twice in this neutral-site matchup. Running back British Brooks gained 103 yards on 15 carries for the Tar Heels.

Spencer Rattler was 30-for-39 for 353 yards for the Gamecocks. He was sacked nine times. South Carolina had three fourth-quarter possessions in North Carolina territory and managed only three points from those.

No. 22 Ole Miss 73, Mercer 7

Jaxson Dart threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns, and the Rebels routed the FCS Bears in Ole Miss’ season opener in Oxford, Miss.

Tre Harris, in his first game at Ole Miss, set a single-game program record with four receiving touchdowns. The Rebels racked up 667 yards of total offense and scored on all but two possessions. Running back Quinshon Judkins chipped in 13 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

Mercer quarterback Carter Peevy completed 16 of 29 passes for 138 yards and an interception. On Mercer’s first play on offense, Peevy kept a quarterback option and dashed up the middle untouched for a 75-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7, but the Bears (1-1) would not score again.

No. 23 Texas A&M 52, New Mexico 10

Conner Weigman threw for 236 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Aggies to a season-opening rout over the Lobos in College Station, Texas.

Evan Stewart caught eight passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns to flank Weigman for Texas A&M. Weigman completed 12 of 16 passes for four touchdowns and 175 yards in the first half to help stake the Aggies to a 35-7 lead at halftime. He would finish 18-for-23.

Dylan Hopkins went 15-of-23 passing for 115 yards in defeat for New Mexico (0-1).

No. 24 Tulane 37, South Alabama 17

Michael Pratt passed for 294 yards and four touchdowns, and the Green Wave defeated the Jaguars in the nonconference season opener for both teams in New Orleans.

Pratt completed 14 of 15 passes and increased his career touchdown pass total to 72, tying Patrick Ramsey’s Green Wave record. Jha’Quan Jackson caught two of the touchdown passes, from 47 and 48 yards, and finished with 106 receiving yards.

Carter Bradley completed 23 of 30 passes but had just 190 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions for the Jaguars.

No. 25 Iowa 24, Utah State 14

Cade McNamara threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his team debut as the Hawkeyes defeated the Aggies in the season opener for both teams in Iowa City, Iowa.

McNamara, a transfer from Michigan who was cleared this week to return from a right quad injury, completed 17 of 30 passes with no interceptions. Kaleb Johnson rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown and set up another score with a game-opening 54-yard kickoff return.

Cooper Legas went 32-of-48 passing for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception on a frustrating day for Utah State, which hurt itself with 75 penalty yards. Terrell Vaughn finished with 12 catches for 93 yards and a score for the Aggies, who finished with 329 yards of total offense but had just 30 in the first quarter.

–Field Level Media

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