ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama beat No. 20 Wisconsin 35-17 on Saturday night in the opener for both teams.
Jake Coker got the starting nod at quarterback for the Crimson Tide, and was 15-of-21 passing for 213 yards and a touchdown while playing until late in the third quarter.
In former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst’s first game as Wisconsin’s coach, the Badgers were held to 40 yards rushing. Wisconsin averaged 264 yards per game on the ground over the previous five seasons.
The game was played in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium where the Crimson Tide had wanted to finish last season in the BCS national championship game.
Alabama’s last national title was in 2012, a season that began in the same kickoff game with a 41-14 victory over Michigan.
No. 7 OREGON 61, EASTERN WASHINGTON 42
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Vernon Adams threw for two touchdowns but left his much-anticipated debut after a scary fourth-quarter hit, and Oregon beat his former team to open the season.
Royce Freeman ran for a career-high 180 yards and three scores for the Ducks, who didn’t appear to have slipped much offensively without Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
Adams, who transferred to the Ducks for his final year of eligibility, was ushered to the locker room after he staggered getting up from a late hit by Eastern Washington’s John Kreifels, who was ejected.
Adams, a repeat Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year, was replaced by Mariota’s backup last season, Jeff Lockie. Adams’ condition was not immediately known.
Jordan West, who took over as Eastern Washington’s quarterback after Adams’ departure, threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns.
NO. 6 AUBURN 31, LOUISVILLE 24
ATLANTA (AP) – Will Muschamp’s defense made a couple of huge plays early for Auburn to offset three interceptions by Jeremy Johnson, and the Tigers held off Louisville and surprise quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Tigers’ first touchdown in the opener was set up by an interception. Justin Garrett returned a fumble 82 yards to make it 14-0.
That’s just what Auburn wanted out of Muschamp, who took over as defensive coordinator after being fired as coach at Southeastern Conference rival Florida.
Not that it was smooth sailing for the Tigers, who led 17-0 at halftime and seemed to be up comfortably 31-10 after a touchdown with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Jackson, a freshman who got the bulk of the playing time over three more experienced quarterbacks, led the Cardinals to a couple of late touchdowns that made Auburn sweat it out.
No. 8 USC 55, ARKANSAS ST. 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Cody Kessler passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns, Tre Madden rushed for 106 yards and a score and Southern California beat Arkansas State.
Madden, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steven Mitchell Jr. and Oklahoma transfer Taylor McNamara caught TD passes from Kessler in the Trojans’ first game since the official end of NCAA scholarship restrictions on the perennial power.
Kessler went 19 for 26 with no turnovers to begin his third season as USC’s starter. Although he was sacked five times, the senior steadily led the Trojans to a 36-point lead before taking the fourth quarter off.
Chris Hawkins made an interception and recovered a fumble for the Trojans. Su’a Cravens also picked off a throw from Fredi Knighten, who went 8 for 23 for Arkansas State.
NO. 11 NOTRE DAME 38, TEXAS 3
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Malik Zaire passed for 313 yards in his first home start, and Notre Dame held Texas to 163 yards of total offense.
Zaire was 19-of-22 passing with three touchdowns, including a 66-yard scoring strike to Will Fuller.
Fuller had two touchdown catches, Chris Brown had one scoring catch, and freshman Josh Adams ran for a pair of TDs, including 14-yard score on his first career carry.
Notre Dame took advantage of an inexperienced Longhorns squad starting three players who were in high school a year ago, amassing 527 yards of total offense.
The Irish improved to 9-2 against Texas.
TEXAS A&M 38, NO. 15 ARIZONA ST. 17
HOUSTON (AP) – Kyle Allen threw for a score early and sealed the game for Texas A&M by running for a touchdown and throwing for another in the fourth quarter after being benched in favor of freshman Kyler Murray.
Allen won the starting job in camp, but coach Kevin Sumlin replaced him with Murray in the second quarter and alternated quarterbacks for much of the second half. Allen spent most of the third quarter on the bench before returning early in the fourth and capping a long drive with a 12-yard touchdown run that made it 24-14.
Arizona State kicked a field goal before Allen connected with freshman Christian Kirk – like Allen, from Scottsdale, Arizona – on a short pass and he dashed 66 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-17. Kirk also returned a punt 79 yards for a TD in the second quarter.
Mike Bercovici threw for 199 yards and a touchdown for the Sun Devils.
NO. 9 GEORGIA 51, LOUISIANA MONROE 14
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Georgia beat Louisiana-Monroe in game that was called off with just under 10 minutes left because of lightning in the area.
A few minutes after the Bulldogs scored their final touchdown, coach Mark Richt walked over to the officials to discuss game conditions, and the decision was made to end it.
There was a 76-minute lightning delay in the third quarter.
Nick Chubb and Keith Marshall each ran for two touchdowns for the Bulldogs in the opener, and Greyson Lambert started at quarterback.
Georgia led 14-0 about five minutes into the game and 35-0 before ULM scored on Garrett Smith’s touchdown pass to Rashon Ceaser with 20 seconds left in the half.
Chubb had scoring runs of 14 and 23 yards. Marshall had a 3-yard scoring run, his first since the opening game in 2013. Sony Michel caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Brice Ramsey.
NO. 10 FLORIDA STATE 59, TEXAS STATE 16
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Everett Golson threw four touchdown passes in his Florida State debut.
The graduate transfer from Notre Dame was 19 for 25 for 302 yards. He matched his career high for touchdown passes set last year in Notre Dame’s victory over Syracuse.
Dalvin Cook ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Mario Pender added 92 yards on 14 carries.
Texas State cut it to 14-10 in the second quarter on Chris Nutall’s 4-yard run, but Florida State scored on seven of its next eight drives. The Bobcats didn’t cross into Seminoles’ territory again until the fourth quarter.
The start of the game was delayed 63 minutes because of lightning.
NO. 12 CLEMSON 49, WOFFORD 10
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Deshaun Watson threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns, and Clemson overcame star receiver Mike Williams scary injury.
Williams was carted off the field after hitting the goalpost support and spraining his neck on a 4-yard touchdown reception in the first half.
Clemson opened with a win for the seventh straight season and improved to 30-0 against FCS opponents.
Wayne Gallman had touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yard, and Tyshon Dye added a pair of 1-yard scoring runs. Zac Brooks, who missed last season with a foot injury, had a 25-yard touchdown run for Clemson.
NO. 13 UCLA 34, VIRGINIA 16
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Heralded freshman Josh Rosen passed for 351 yards and three touchdowns in a stellar debut for UCLA, leading the Bruins last Virginia.
Thomas Duarte, Devin Fuller and defensive tackle Kenny Clark caught scoring passes from the 18-year-old Rosen, who went 28 for 35 with several stunning throws and no turnovers.
The nation’s top quarterback recruit stepped in for three-year starter Brett Hundley with remarkable poise, and the Bruins racked up 503 total yards to beat Virginia easily.
Matt Johns passed for 238 yards for the Cavaliers, They didn’t reach the end zone until Taquan Mizzell’s TD catch with 3:29 left in an ugly opener for embattled coach Mike London.
MCNEESE STATE AT NO. 14 LSU, CANCELED
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Persistent lightning strikes forced officials to cancel LSU’s season opener with McNeese State following a delay of nearly four hours.
Players were first ordered off the field with 10:08 left in the first quarter after lightning was observed in the area around 6:50 p.m. Soon after, wind-driven heavy rain arrived, sending fans scattering of the exits, except for some students who seemed to be relishing the downpour while chanting, ”L-S-U!”
More than two hours after the delay started, some coaches and officials returned to the field, but players remained in locker rooms. It briefly appeared officials were planning to resume the game before more lightning strikes were seen.
NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI 76, UT MARTIN 3
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Chad Kelly threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 20-yard run for Mississippi.
Kelly, a junior transfer who is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, completed 9 of 15 passes in his first start. Jaylen Walton ran for two touchdowns, including a 60-yarder up the middle on his first carry of the game. Robert Nkemdiche – who is usually a defensive lineman – made a cameo on offense and caught a 31-yard touchdown pass as the Rebels built a 41-0 lead by halftime.
It was the most points in a game for Ole Miss since 1935.
NO. 18 ARKANSAS 48, UTEP 13
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Brandon Allen threw for a career-high 308 yards and matched his best with four touchdown passes for Arkansas.
Allen threw for 256 yards and all four touchdowns in the first half – including a pair of scores to Keon Hatcher, who finished with six catches for 106 yards.
Allen’s previous best was 296 yards against Georgia last season, and he also had four touchdowns against Nicholls State a year ago. Alex Collins added 127 yards rushing on 12 carries for Arkansas, including a 70-yard burst to end the first half.
Aaron Jones led the Miners with 70 yards on carries.
NO. 19 OKLAHOMA 41, AKRON 3
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Baker Mayfield passed for 388 yards and three touchdowns, and Joe Mixon had 142 yards from scrimmage for Oklahoma.
Mayfield set a school record for yards passing in a season opener, surpassing the previous mark of 363 yards by Sam Bradford in 2007. The walk-on transfer from Texas Tech won the starting job in a preseason battle with last year’s starter, Trevor Knight.
Mixon, a redshirt freshman who was suspended last season after punching a woman in the face at a restaurant, caught a 76-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield early in the third quarter.
It was Oklahoma’s first game featuring its Air Raid offense under new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. The Sooners got off to a rough start, scoring just three points in the first quarter, but finished with 539 total yards.
NORTHWESTERN 16, NO. 21 STANFORD 6
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Freshman Clayton Thorson ran 42 yards for a touchdown while playing turnover-free ball at quarterback, and Justin Jackson added 134 yards rushing for Northwestern.
Anthony Walker broke up two passes and had a fumble recovery, and Kyle Queiro intercepted Kevin Hogan’s pass in the end zone with about a minute left to seal the win.
Thorson scored the game’s only TD in the second quarter. He also threw for 105 yards, completing 12 of 24 passes. Jackson carried 28 times. Jack Mitchell kicked three field goals, including a career-long 49-yarder that made it 16-6 with 3:38 left.
NO. 24 MISSOURI 34, SE MISSOURI 3
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Kentrell Brothers had a career-best 16 tackles and blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown for Missouri.
Aarion Penton caught the blocked punt in the air for a 41-yard return late in the third quarter that made it 27-3.
Maty Mauk threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and freshman backup Drew Lock threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Hunt in the fourth for Missouri. Mauk was 12 of 22 for 181 yards with an interception, and Lock was 6 of 8 for 138 yards.
Southeast Missouri quarterback Tay Bender was more effective running than passing. He gained 69 yards on 14 carries and was 12 of 22 for 56 yards.
NO. 25 TENNESSEE 59, BOWLING GREEN 30
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Jalen Hurd had three first-half touchdown runs, Alvin Kamara ran for two more scores, and Tennessee beat Bowling Green in a game delayed 80 minutes by lightning in the third quarter.
The Volunteers came in ranked for the first time since September 2012, and they won their first game while ranked since 2007. Joshua Dobbs threw for 205 yards and two TD passes to Ethan Wolf, and the defense coming up with three sacks.
Hurd finished with 123 yards, Kamara 144 in his Vols’ debut, and Dobbs added a TD and 89 yards. Tennessee outgained the Falcons 604-557 even with two touchdowns wiped out by penalties.
Bowling Green had Matt Johnson back after hurting his hip in the opener last year, and he threw for 424 yards and two touchdowns.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org