Saturday’s best

Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert, center, scores past Baylor cornerback Verkedric Vaughns, left, and defensive back Jalen Pitre, right, in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Waco, Texas.  (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP)


-Stephen Calvert, Liberty, threw for 447 yards and three TDs to help Flames stun Baylor 48-45 .

-Drew Lock, Missouri, set school records by throwing for 521 yards and seven TDs as the Tigers beat Missouri State 72-43.

-Saquon Barkley, Penn State, racked up 226 total yards and two TDs to lead the No. 6 Nittany Lions to a 52-0 win over Akron.

-Jesse Ertz, Kansas State, threw for 333 yards and four TDs in three quarters, sending the No. 20 Wildcats to a 55-19 rout of overmatched Central Arkansas.

-Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech, threw for 384 yards and three TDs in his first career start and the Red Raiders opened what could be a crucial season for coach Kliff Kingsbury with a 56-10 win over Eastern Washington.

-Shea Patterson, Mississippi, threw for 429 yards and four TDs as the Rebels defeated South Alabama 47-27.

-Royce Freeman, Oregon, ran for 150 yards and four TDs and the Ducks routed the Thunderbirds 77-21.

-Lamar Jackson, Louisville, threw two TD passes and had 485 total yards, helping the No. 16 Cardinals escape with a 35-28 victory over Purdue.

-Chris Streveler, South Dakota, threw five TD passes and ran for another score in a 77-7 rout of Drake.

-Peyton Bender, Kansas, threw for 364 yards and four scores in his first career start for the Jayhawks, leading the way to a 38-16 victory over Southeast Missouri State.

-Josh Adams, Notre Dame, had 161 yards and a TD rushing to lift the Fighting Irish to a 49-16 victory over Temple.

-Ronald Jones II, Southern California, rushed for 159 yards and three scores in the fourth-ranked Trojans’ 49-31 comeback victory over Western Michigan.

-Ross Bowers, California, threw for 363 yards and four TDs to help the Bears beat North Carolina 35-30.

-Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, missed just one pass and threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns in one half of work to help the No. 7 Sooners roll past UTEP 56-7.


Stephen Calvert threw for 447 yards and three touchdowns and Liberty spoiled Matt Rhule’s coaching debut at Baylor, stunning the Bears with just their second-ever loss to a lower-division team in a 48-45 victory .

The Bears lost their seventh straight regular-season game since starting 6-0 last season, while a 19-game regular-season winning streak against nonconference opponents ended.

Rhule was hired after a year with interim coach Jim Grobe following a sexual assault scandal that led to the firing of two-time Big 12-winning coach Art Briles. The Bears lost an opener for the first time since Briles’ first game in 2008.

Baylor’s only other loss to a lower-division team was 18-17 to Division I-AA Lamar in the 1981 opener, when the Bears were coming off one of two Southwest Conference championships under Grant Teaff, the school’s winningest coach.


The Alabama defense turned in a dominating performance, the Florida State special teams endured a terrible night, and one of the most anticipated opening games in college football history went to the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

Damien Harris ran for a touchdown and blocked a punt, and Jalen Hurts chipped in with a scoring pass on a night that basically required the sophomore quarterback to make no major mistakes, leading Alabama to a 24-7 beatdown of No. 3 Florida State on Saturday at Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Alabama picked off two passes by Deondre Francois in the second half, snuffing out any hopes of a Florida State comeback. Throw in a blocked punt, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery on a kickoff return, and there was really no path to victory for the Seminoles in the first matchup ever between two teams in the top three of The Associated Press preseason rankings.



With a new head coach and the promise that the program is already on the rebound with its $10 million locker room, big wins in recruiting for the future and some good looking talent for the present, all eyes were on Texas and Tom Herman.

Then Maryland spoiled the Longhorns unveiling – in emphatic fashion.

Tyrrell Pigrome passed for two touchdowns and ran for another before leaving with an injury and Maryland stunned No. 23 Texas 51-41 Saturday. Even after Pigrome had to be helped off late in the third quarter after twisting his knee, freshman Kasim Hill came in and led two crucial fourth-quarter touchdown drives that put the game out of reach.

Maryland led 27-7 in the second quarter and then held off a Texas rally to snap a 17-game losing streak to ranked opponents, the third-longest streak among Power Five conference teams.


No. 11 Michigan had to replace 18 starters and has numerous young players on its roster.

That didn’t slow the Wolverines from pulling away from No. 17 Florida for a 33-17 victory .

Quinn Nordin, in his first college game, became the first Michigan kicker to make two 50-yard field goals in the same game, freshman Tarik Black had a 46-yard touchdown catch and the overhauled Michigan defense didn’t allow a touchdown while handing Florida its first season-opening loss in nearly three decades.

Michigan trailed 17-13 at halftime before scoring three times in the first 6 minutes of the second half. The Gators had won 27 consecutive season openers, the nation’s longest such streak, since a home loss to Mississippi in 1989.


Justin Wilcox is one of the few coaches who can say he has had a successful debut.

The Cal head coach had to go cross country for the Golden Bears to post a 35-30 win over North Carolina. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley is also 1-0 after the Sooners rolled past UTEP.

Going into Saturday night’s games, this season’s new coaches are 6-9 in debuts. USF’s Charlie Strong got things going last week as the Bulls defeated San Jose State. Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, P.J. Fleck (Minnesota) and Randy Edsall (UConn) won on Thursday.

Texas’ Tom Herman had the most anticipated debut of Saturday and became only the third Longhorns’ coach to drop his debut after Maryland’s 51-41 win.



3-100-yard rushers by Notre Dame in its 49-16 victory over Temple. Josh Adams had 161 yards, Dexter Williams 124 and Brandon Wimbush 106.

45-Points UNLV was favored by before losing to Howard 43-40.

56-Length of the field goal by Northern Colorado’s Collin Root against College of Idaho, breaking the school record of 54 yards by Ryan Anderson in 1993.

76-Points by Weber State in a shutout victory over NAIA-member Montana Western, setting a school record .

150-Career wins by TCU coach Gary Patterson after the Horned Frogs beat Jackson State 63-0.


Jake Olson, No. 4 Southern California’s blind long-snapper, has delivered a flawless extra-point snap for the Trojans.

Olson took the field with 3:13 to play for the Trojans, and he delivered his snap without a hitch for a kick that put USC ahead of Western Michigan 49-31 on Saturday.

Olson lost his sight to a rare form of retinal cancer eight years ago, but never lost his dream of playing for USC. The lifelong Trojans fan joined the team under a scholarship for disabled athletes and began to practice with the Trojans two years ago.

Olson uses a teammate to line him up for snaps in practice. He hadn’t played in a game until this season opener for the Trojans.


Wyoming freshman Tim Zaleski produced one of the strangest muffed punts in recent memory against Iowa.

With the Cowboys down 7-3 late in the first half, Zaleski was charged with getting the Cowboys out of danger. Instead, Zaleski lost control of the ball as he went to toss it in the air to kick. Iowa recovered the loose ball at Wyoming’s 27-yard line – and scored on the next play to go up 14-3.

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