No. 1 Alabama dodges upset at Ole Miss
Associated Press

Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t know how many of these roller coaster rides he can take.

He watched his top-ranked squad fall behind by three touchdowns and then come roaring back. And when his Tide looked to be in control and leading No. 19 Mississippi by 18 points in the fourth quarter, ‘Bama nearly blew it.

By the end of Alabama’s 48-43 victory over Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference showdown on Saturday in Oxford, Miss., a weary, bleary-eyed Saban looked exhausted when the clock finally hit all zeroes.

‘‘It was an unbelievable game for fans to watch,’’ the 64-year-old Saban said with a wry smile. ‘‘It was really a difficult game for an old coach to have to suffer through. But we made it. We made it and I’m really proud of our players.’’

Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 158 yards and ran for 146 more, but it was unlikely defensive touchdowns from Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne — along with a special teams score from Eddie Jackson — that proved to be the biggest plays of the game.

Late in the second quarter, Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1) looked like it might be on its way to a third straight win over the Tide.

Instead, it was the Rebels’ second collapse in three games.

‘‘We scored enough points to beat an Alabama team,’’ Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. ‘‘But we did not stop the run and we did not take care of the ball.’’

Mississippi took a 24-3 lead with 2:47 remaining in the first half after defensive end Marquis Haynes’s big hit on Hurts, forcing a fumble that fellow defensive lineman John Youngblood scooped up and ran 44 yards for a touchdown.

But Alabama (3-0, 1-0) responded.

The Tide needed just three plays and 37 seconds to pull within 24-10 after Calvin Ridley ran for a 6-yard score. Ole Miss was forced to punt on the next drive and Jackson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown, evading several tacklers before bolting down the right sideline for the touchdown.

In just 65 seconds, Alabama had turned a 21-point deficit into a manageable 24-17 game at halftime.

Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly threw for a career-high 421 yards and three touchdowns, but it was two costly turnovers in the second half that handed the game to Alabama.

Kelly fumbled deep in Ole Miss territory and Payne recovered before scoring a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 24. In the fourth quarter, the Rebels QB was under pressure and threw a ball right to Alabama’s 291-pound Allen, who ran the ball back for a 75-yard touchdown and a 48-30 Crimson Tide lead.

Allen said it was his first touchdown since middle school.

‘‘It was a great play and it couldn’t have come at a better time for this team to get this win tonight,’’ Allen said.

Ole Miss scored two late touchdowns but Alabama was able to run out the clock for the win.

‘‘We thought this was going to be a 60-minute game,’’ Saban said. ‘‘We knew we probably would have to wear them down and beat them in the second half.’’

Michigan State 36, Notre Dame 28 — Tyler O’Connor threw for two touchdowns, Gerald­ Holmes ran for two more, including a 73-yard score, and the No. 12 Spartans (2-0) took advantage of mistakes by the No. 18 Fighting Irish (1-2) to hold on in South Bend, Ind.

  Michigan State turned what had been a close game at halftime into a 29-point lead with three third-quarter touchdowns. But Notre Dame made it close as DeShone Kizer­ threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Notre Dame cut the lead to 36-28 with 6:02 left on a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Durham Smythe.

 On Notre Dame’s next possession, Kizer was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Raequan Williams on third-and-2 and Notre Dame punted with 3:37 left in the game and the Spartans ran out the clock.

Michigan 45, Colorado 28 — De’Veon Smith put the fourth-ranked Wolverines ahead with a 42-yard run early in the third quarter and host Michigan (3-0) pulled away to beat the Buffaloes (2-1).

Michigan was behind, 21-7, in the first quarter and by 4 points in the opening minute of the second half.

‘‘There was no level of panic,’’ said Jabrill Peppers, who returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown

Colorado lost QB Sefo Liufau to an ankle injury after throwing his third TD pass, a 70-yarder to Shay Fields that put Colorado up, 28-24, just after halftime.

Liufau, who was shaken up in the first half, grabbed his right ankle after Ryan Glasgow hit him on the go-ahead score. The senior quarterback limped through Colorado’s next series before being replaced by freshman Steven Montez.

Clemson 59, S.C. State 0 — Deshaun Watson threw three early TD passes to get the No. 5 Tigers (3-0) rolling in a rout of the visiting Bulldogs (0-3) in which both coaches decided to shorten the game.

An NCAA rule allows for games to be shortened by time if the coaches agree. Clemson led, 45-0, at the half and the third and fourth quarters were 12 minutes each instead of the usual 15.

Stanford 27, Southern Cal 10 — Christian McCaffrey showed off his trademark versatility, slipping out of the backfield for a 56-yard touchdown reception and diving over the pile for a 1-yard score, and the No. 7 Cardinal (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) beat the visiting Trojans (1-2, 0-1).

The AP player of the year and Heisman Trophy runner-up had a routine 260 all-purpose yards. Michael Rector went 56 yards for a touchdown on a reverse with 3:26 left in the third quarter to make it 27-10.

Washington 41, Portland State 3 — Jake Browning threw three touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes and the No. 8 Huskies (3-0) closed out their nonconference schedule with a rout of the visiting Vikings (1-2).

Wisconsin 23, Georgia State 17 — Backup quarterback Alex Hornibrook led three scoring drives in the second half, helping the sluggish No. 9 Badgers (3-0) avert an embarrassing upset to the visiting Panthers (0-3).

Hornibrook took over for Bart Houston late in the third quarter with Wisconsin stuck in an offensive malaise. The freshman finished 8 of 12 for 122 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Penniston with 7:25 left to give the Badgers the lead for good, 20-17.

North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21 — Cam Pedersen kicked a 37-yard field as time expired and the visiting Bison (3-0) of the FCS pulled off an upset of the No. 13 Hawkeyes (2-1), their sixth straight win over an FBS opponent.

The Bison went for a 2-point conversion down, 21-20, with 3:41 left, but couldn’t punch it in. North Dakota State’s defense then held, and quarterback Easton Stick’s 29-yard run put the Bison in position for the biggest win in school history. The loss was just the fourth by a ranked FBS team to an FCS school.

North Dakota State isn’t just another Football Championship Subdivision team, though. The Bison have won the last five FCS national titles. Against the Hawkeyes, they ran for 239 yards and held Iowa to 231 total yards.

Tennessee 28, Ohio 19 — Joshua Dobbs threw a pair of 20-yard touchdown passes to Josh Malone and ran for a third score as the No. 15 Vols overcame injuries and a suspension to hold off the visiting Bobcats.

Tennessee (3-0) played without four starters — three were injured and defensive back Malik Foreman was suspended for team rules violations. Tennessee scored 38 seconds into the game on the first TD pass from Dobbs to Malone. The Vols continued to lead the rest of the way, though Ohio (1-2) stayed close throughout.

Georgia 28, Missouri 27 — Isaiah McKenzie caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Eason with 1:29 to go, rallying the No. 16 Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) past the host Tigers (1-2, 0-1).

Texas A&M 29, Auburn 16 — Trevor Knight passed for 247 yards and Daniel LaCamera kicked five field goals to lead the No. 17 Aggies (3-0, 1-0 SEC) over the host Tigers (1-2, 0-1).

Knight also ran for 42 yards and several first downs in his first Southeastern Conference game for the Aggies, who are off to another fast start. Myles Garrett had two sacks and Texas A&M’s defense harassed quarterback Sean White enough to minimize big-play chances for Auburn. The Aggies are 3-0 for the third straight year, a run they haven’t had since 1939-41.

LSU 23, Mississippi State 20 — Leonard Fournette returned from a bruised left ankle in powerful form, rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 20 Tigers (2-1, 1-0 SEC) withstood a late rally to beat the visiting Bulldogs (1-2, 1-1).

Danny Etling completed 19 of 30 passes for 215 yards in his first start for LSU, including a 37-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Chark. But the Tigers nearly squandered a comfortable lead, giving up two touchdowns 4:10 and 3:30 left, the second after the Bulldogs recovered an onside kick.

Fournette, who sat out last week’s victory over Jacksonville State, exhibited his typical mix of hard-nosed and explosive gains. He ran over tacklers for his 5-yard TD and burst into open field for his 25-yard score. He also had four receptions for 27 yards, but his performance was somewhat tarnished by two fumbles, one of which was recovered by the Bulldogs and one of which resulted in a failed fourth-and-short play in MSU territory in the fourth quarter. And it was that turnover on downs that sparked the Bulldogs late rally with backup Damian Williams at quarterback.

Nebraska 35, Oregon 32 — Tommy Armstrong Jr. scored on a 34-yard quarterback draw with 2:29 left and the defense held on the game’s final series as the Cornhuskers (3-0) sprung the upset on the No. 22 Ducks (2-1) in Lincoln, Neb.

Armstrong converted a fourth-and-9 with a 14-yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp before taking off on his winning run for the Huskers. The Ducks, playing without injured star running back Royce Freeman since early in the game, made it to midfield on their last possession, failing to convert on fourth down.

Armstrong finished with 95 yards rushing, and completed 17 of 33 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Devine Ozigbo also ran for 95 yards. Kani Benoit rushed six times for 100 yards to lead the Ducks, and Dakota Prukop passed for 146 yards and ran for 87.

Nebraska coach Mike Riley, who was 0-7 against the Ducks from 2008-14, his last seven years as Oregon State’s coach, downplayed the personal satisfaction he got from beating his old nemesis.

‘‘What it means right this moment is a lot. We’re 3-0 going into the Big Ten,’’ Riley said. ‘‘What this team is doing, I love the fight, just the the fact we kept our poise so well to come back and make the plays to win.’’

Florida 32, North Texas 0 — The defense allowed a school-record 53 total yards to the visiting Mean Green (1-2) but the No. 23 Gators (3-0) likely lost quarterback Luke Del Rio for next week’s showdown against No. 15 Tennessee because of a knee injury.

 There was no immediate word on the severity of Del Rio’s injury. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 186 yards, with an interception.

 The injury overshadowed a dominant performance by Florida’s defense, which allowed a school-record 53 yards on 50 plays. The previous mark was 59 yards allowed against Western Carolina in 2006.

 Defensive lineman Joshua Wheeler hit Del Rio low at the end of incomplete pass late in the third quarter, drawing a personal-foul penalty. Trainers and coach Jim McElwain rushed to the field as Del Rio ripped off his helmet. Del Rio eventually got up and walked to the locker room without any assistance.

Arkansas 42, Texas State 3 — Austin Allen threw for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns in less than three quarters of action as the No. 24 Razorbacks (3-0) made easy work of the visiting Bobcats (1-1).

Miami 45, Appalachian State 10 — Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards and three scores, Mark Walton ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 25 Hurricanes (3-0) rolled over the Mountaineers (1-2) in front of a record crowd of 34,658 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Albany 45, Holy Cross 28 — Peter Pujals passed for 353 yards and three TDs for the Crusaders (1-2) but Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks ran for 183 yards and a career-high four touchdowns to keep the host Great Danes (3-0) unbeaten.

UConn 13, Virginia 10 — Walk-on kicker Alex Furbank missed a 20-yard field goal attempt for the Cavaliers (0-3) as time expired, allowing the host Huskies (2-1) to get the nonconference win. Bobby Puyol hit the 43-yard game-winning field goal with 1:33 left for UConn, which overcame an early 10-point deficit with two fourth-quarter scores.

 It was the second game-winner this season for Puyol, who had three extra points blocked a year ago. His 37-yard field goal with 11 seconds left beat Maine in the Huskies’ season-opener.

 ‘‘I just knew,’’ Puyol said. ‘‘I said, ‘Get it down in field goal range, ready to go and I’ll make it.’ ’’

 UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs completed 13 of 24 passes for 154 yards. He also ran for 33 yards and a touchdown.

 A 20-yard run by Shirreffs and a 23-yard screen play to Noel Thomas set up Puyol’s game winner.

Dartmouth 22, New Hampshire 21 — Jack Heneghan threw three TD passes — including a 1-yarder to Charles Mack with 1:40 to play — and the visiting Big Green (1-0) rallied to beat the Wildcats (1-2).

Colgate 55, Yale 13 — Jake Melville threw for 315 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as the visiting Raiders (1-1) overwhelmed the Bulldogs (0-1). Rafe Chapple threw for 139 yards and a score for Yale.

Brown 35, Bryant 27 — Kyle Moreno threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as the visiting Bears (1-0) erased an early 21-point deficit to get past the Bulldogs (1-2). Dalton Easton threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns for Bryant.