College football roundup: Wisconsin wins, UMass falls
EAST LANSING, MICH. >> Leo Musso returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and No. 11 Wisconsin turned its early showdown with No. 8 Michigan State into a rout, beating the Spartans 30-6 on Saturday.
Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook threw for 195 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Wisconsin, outplaying fifth-year senior Tyler O'Connor, his Michigan State counterpart. The Badgers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) were the better team in the first half and outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the third quarter.
Michigan State (2-1, 0-1) was down 13-6 early in the third and had the ball in Wisconsin territory when LJ Scott's fumble bounced to Musso in the secondary. O'Connor was the only player with a decent shot at him on the return, and Musso spun past the quarterback and went all the way to the end zone.
O'Connor finished 18 of 38 for 224 yards with three interceptions.
Corey Clement ran for two touchdowns for Wisconsin.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 48, KENT STATE 0
TUSCALOOSA, ALA. >> Jalen Hurts ran and threw for touchdowns and tailback sub Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (4-0) dominated coach Nick Saban's alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to freshman linebacker Mack Wilson. Starting tailback Damien Harris went down on the opening drive with a sprained right ankle and didn't return.
Harris was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging freshman Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a respite for the Tide against Kent State (1-3) after a bruising 48-43 comeback victory over No. 23 Mississippi.
Hurts was 16 of 24 for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown dash on the opening drive. He found Wilson, who lines up at fullback in goal line situations, for a 1-yard third-quarter score that was supposed to go to tight end O.J. Howard.
NO. 4 MICHIGAN 49, PENN STATE 10
ANN ARBOR, MICH. >> De'Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores for Michigan in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
The Wolverines (4-0) had six touchdowns on the ground and finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.
Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State's first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1. The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon's 2-yard run.
NO. 23 MISSISSIPPI 45, NO. 12 GEORGIA 14
OXFORD, MISS. >> Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Mississippi break a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996.
The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) dominated every phase, building a lead of 31-0 by halftime and 45-0 by midway through the third quarter.
Georgia (3-1, 1-1) lost for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. To make matters worse, star running back Nick Chubb injured an ankle in the second quarter and didn't return.
It was an impressive win for the Rebels, who finally built a big lead they didn't give away. Ole Miss led Florida State by 22 points and Alabama by 21 this season before losing both games.
Kelly was 18 of 24 and had a 41-yard touchdown run through the middle of the defense.
NO. 13 FLORIDA STATE 55, SOUTH FLORIDA 35
TAMPA, FLA. >> Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns and Florida State rebounded from the most lopsided loss in school history to beat South Florida.
Cook scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles' first play from scrimmage, an immediate response to USF starting the game with Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams teaming on an 84-yard catch-and-run for a 7-0 lead. The 213-pound junior's rushing total on 28 carries topped his previous best of 266 yards against South Florida last year.
Florida State (3-1) bounced back from being trounced 63-20 by Louisville, a road shellacking that dropped the Seminoles 11 spots in the AP Top 25 from No. 2. South Florida (3-1) is off to its fastest start since 2011, however the Bulls were no match for a talented bunch that began the season with expectations of contending for its second national title in four years.
NO. 14 TENNESSEE 38, NO. 19 FLORIDA 28
KNOXVILLE, TENN. >> Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns and Tennessee overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Florida and end an 11-game losing streak in the series.
Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) beat Florida (3-1, 1-1) for the first time since a 30-28 victory in 2004. The Volunteers lost by a single point each of the last two years.
This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback by scoring 38 consecutive points.
Dobbs threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score — all in the second half. He was 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Dobbs also ran for 80 yards and a touchdown.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 47, UMASS 35
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. >> Aeris Williams ran for a 16-yard touchdown and Jamoral Graham returned an interception 38 yards for a score on the next play from scrimmage to help Mississippi State erase a third-quarter deficit and beat Massachusetts.
The two scores 17 seconds apart were followed four minutes later by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Nick Fitzgerald to Farrod Green that made it 41-21 just before the end of the third quarter.
Fitzgerald completed 25 of 38 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns, and he also ran for 110 yards for the Bulldogs (2-2). Fred Ross caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns for Mississippi State, which once again struggled to play well for two halves in a row.
Andrew Ford, making his second start for the injured Ross Comis, completed 24 of 40 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns for UMass (1-3). But he also overthrew his receiver on the first play after Mississippi State's go-ahead touchdown, and Graham was there to make it 34-21.
UMass failed to move on its next possession and punted it back to the Bulldogs, who took over on their own 39-yard line. Fitzgerald went 3 for 3 on the drive and also added a 15-yard run as Mississippi State converted its third touchdown in 4 minutes, 11 seconds.
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