SEC recap (9/8)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Tyler Russell threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns, Marcus Green caught two touchdown passes and Mississippi State easily beat Auburn 28-10 on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.

Auburn briefly took a 10-7 lead when Onterio McCalebb returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to open the second half, but Mississippi State (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) responded with 21 unanswered points.

Auburn (0-2, 0-1) struggled through an awful offensive performance. Kiehl Frazier completed 13 of 22 passes for 125 yards and three interceptions.

The victory broke a string of unsavory trends for the Bulldogs. They had lost 10 out of the last 11 against Auburn -- including four straight -- and hadn't won an SEC opener since 1999.

It was also coach Dan Mullen's first victory against the SEC Western Division's best four teams. He was 0-12 combined against Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn until Saturday's breakthrough.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill knew No. 9 South Carolina wouldn't need any assistance to beat his Pirates. Then his team went out and turned the ball over five times in a 48-10 loss to the Gamecocks on Saturday.

"We didn't help ourselves with turnovers. Against a great team like South Carolina, they don't need our help," McNeill said.

East Carolina (1-1) gained 403 yards, but the five turnovers doomed them against the Gamecocks (2-0). The four interceptions and a fumble came over 16 plays in the second and third quarters.

The Pirates also may not appear to be any closer to finding a starting quarterback. Rio Johnson got the start again, but McNeill turned the game over to Shane Carden at the start of the second half after Johnson threw two interceptions in the first 30 minutes.

Carden, who broke his finger in spring practice, threw an interception on his first pass. Johnson came back, and threw another pick four plays later that South Carolina's Jimmy Legree returned for a touchdown to put the Gamecocks ahead 35-0.

Carden returned to the game and led the Pirates on their only two scoring drives, including waiting out the rush to throw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hardy that cut South Carolina's lead to 41-10 with nine minutes left in the game.

Carden was 12-of-18 for 140 yards and an interception, while Johnson completed 18 of 29 passes for 193 yards and three interceptions.

"We'll watch film, get together and make the best decision for the team. We have the option of playing either one of those guys," McNeill said.

Hardy caught eight passes for 111 yards for East Carolina as 11 players caught passes for the Pirates. Vintavious Cooper led the team with 31 yards on six carries.

The Pirates used to have South Carolina's number. From 1991 to 1999, the teams played seven times, and East Carolina won five of them. The Pirates led 24-14 during last year's game, but have been outscored 90-23 in the past six quarters against the Gamecocks.

East Carolina also still has only one win over a top 10 team -- a 27-23 win over No. 9 Miami in 1999.

"It was definitely a game where we faced a top 10 team and got outplayed," McNeill said.

The Gamecocks had a first time starter at quarterback as sophomore Dylan Thompson took over for Connor Shaw, whose throwing shoulder was bruised in South Carolina's win last week over Vanderbilt.

Thompson completed 21 of 37 passes for 330 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

It was an impressive debut, East Carolina cornerback Leonard Palk said.

"You have to give him a lot of credit for the job he did. He put the ball where it needed to be," Palk said.

South Carolina led 35-3 at the end of the third quarter, and coach Steve Spurrier didn't let up.

The Gamecocks threw the ball or planned to throw it on 14 of 19 plays in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Ace Sanders took a lateral and threw a 16-yard touchdown to D.L. Moore, then third string quarterback Seth Strickland threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rory Anderson with 44 seconds left.

McNeill shook off the last TD pass, saying he respects Spurrier, and Spurrier respects him.

"It's our job to stop them. It's not their job to stop themselves. I've always felt that way," McNeill said.

The Pirates will now get ready for Southern Mississippi next week in their Conference USA opener. Carden said that is reason enough to be the 38-point loss Saturday behind them as quickly as possible.

"It is very hard to lose a game like this, but it doesn't change our goal of winning our conference," Carden said. "We just have to be ready for next week."
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Mike Gillislee ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns and No. 24 Florida shut down Texas A&M's offense in the second half in a 20-17 win on Saturday in the Aggies' first Southeastern Conference game after moving from the Big 12.

Florida trailed 17-10 at halftime after a first half where Texas A&M's offense under new coach Kevin Sumlin pretty much did what it wanted. Things changed in the second half as the Gators clamped down and forced punts each of A&M's six possessions after the break.

Gillislee's second touchdown of the day on a 12 yard run put Florida up 20-17 early in the fourth quarter.

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 173 yards and ran for 60 more, but he couldn't move A&M's offense after halftime.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- AJ McCarron passed for 219 yards and matched his career high with four touchdown passes to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 35-0 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday.

McCarron had two scoring tosses apiece to Christion Jones and Kevin Norwood in a performance that was more about big plays than consistent, muscle-flexing dominance for the top-ranked Crimson Tide (2-0). The Hilltoppers (1-1) were 40-point underdogs and the sandwich opponent between top 10 opponents Michigan and No. 8 Arkansas.

A running game that produced 232 yards against the Wolverines took a back seat to McCarron and the capitalistic defense. McCarron completed 14 of 19 passes and played all but the final series.

Norwood caught three passes for 92 yards.

Alabama forced four turnovers, three fumbles and a C.J. Mosley interception.

Kawaun Jakes competed 20 of 31 passes for 178 yards for the Hilltoppers, who also played LSU last season.

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Bo Wallace threw for three touchdown passes and ran for another Saturday night as Mississippi defeated Texas-El Paso 28-10, improving to 2-0 for only the second time in 10 seasons.

Wallace ran for a 4-yard touchdown and had scoring passes of 55, 51 and 3 yards to Donte Moncrief, Jaylen Walton and H.R. Greer, respectively. Wallace finished 15 of 22 for 174 yards as the Rebels built an insurmountable 21-0 halftime lead.

UTEP (0-2) broke a touchdown drought of six quarters on the opening series of the third quarter as Nick Lamaison threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Jordan Leslie. The Miners pulled within 21-10 with 2:58 left in the third period on a 37-yard field goal by Steven Valadez.

Ole Miss sealed it on Wallace's final touchdown pass to Greer with 11:18 remaining. The Rebels finished with 538 yards in total offense.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Alfred Blue rushed for 101 yards, including a 21-yard score, and No. 3 LSU racked up 242 yards on the ground in a 41-3 victory over Washington on Saturday night.

Power runner Kenny Hilliard added a pair of short touchdowns and fullback J.C. Copeland powered through for another score for LSU (2-0), which basically ran at will while averaging nearly 5 yards per carry.

Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger was an efficient 12-of-18 for 195 yards, including a 32-yard scoring strike to Kadron Boone. James Wright caught five passes for 75 yards.

Keith Price was 17 of 36 for 157 yards for the Huskies (1-1). Normally a good scrambler, Price had trouble with LSU's speedy defenders, who sacked him four times and intercepted him once.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Kolton Browning's 16-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one lifted Louisiana-Monroe to a 34-31 overtime win over No. 8 Arkansas.

Browning accounted for 481 yards of total offense and four touchdowns to lead the Warhawks (1-0) to their first win over a Southeastern Conference team since defeating Alabama in 2007.

The Razorbacks (1-1) played the second half without quarterback Tyler Wilson, who suffered a head injury after taking several big hits in the first half.

Wilson, who also missed the second half against New Mexico last season with concussion-like symptoms, was 11-of-20 passing for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving the game at halftime.

Louisiana-Monroe outgained Arkansas 550-377 in total yards.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Maxwell Smith had a career-best 354 yards passing and four touchdowns and Raymond Sanders added a career-high 115 yards rushing as Kentucky beat Kent State 47-14 Saturday night to win its seventh straight home opener.

The Wildcats, who trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, racked up 539 yards to wear down the Golden Flashes. Aaron Boyd caught 11 passes for 100 yards for Kentucky (1-1).

Trayion Durham and Dri Archer each rushed for a touchdown for Kent State (1-1).

Boyd caught his first career touchdown in the back of the end zone with 14:04 remaining in the first half. Six minutes later, Sanders rushed 67 yards for a score, then Craig McIntosh booted a 47-yard field goal to give Kentucky a 17-7 halftime lead.

After Durham's 26-yard touchdown run pulled the Golden Flashes within 17-14, the Wildcats scored 30 unanswered points in the last 22:06.

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Venric Mark ran for 123 yards and a late touchdown, Tyler Scott forced a key fumble and Northwestern beat Vanderbilt 23-13 Saturday night.

Northwestern (2-0) didn't score a touchdown in the first three quarters but managed 17 points in the fourth to come away with another dramatic win after beating Syracuse 42-41 in the opener.

The Wildcats finally found the end zone when Mark ran it in from the 7 to give Northwestern a short-lived 13-10 lead with 9:28 left in the game. Vanderbilt's Zac Stacy then turned a short swing pass into a 55-yard gain that put the ball on the 14, but instead of a touchdown, the Commodores had to settle for a tying 26-yard field goal by Carey Spear.

Scott's forced fumble led to a recovery by Dean Lowry. That led to a 29-yard TD run by Kain Colter, sending Vanderbilt (0-2) to another difficult loss.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Aaron Murray hit Marlon Brown for two of his three touchdown passes, the second for the go-ahead score as No. 7 Georgia recover from a shaky start with 32 second-half points that spoiled Missouri's SEC debut in a 41-20 victory on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0) trailed 17-9 early in the third quarter before turning Missouri's SEC debut into an unsatisfying initiation for the Tigers (1-1, 0-1) and a sellout crowd of 71,004 clad in yellow and waving yellow pom-pons.

Up by 21 points with the clock winding down, Georgia's fan contingent, mostly concentrated in one corner of the end zone, chanted "Old Man Football! Old Man Football!" That was in reference to comments by excitable Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who said he turned off the TV last week during Georgia's opening victory over Buffalo because he was unimpressed with the Bulldogs' no-frills style of play.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus