Seth Campbell is a multimedia reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he oversees the WholeHogSports video on-demand app that is available in Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Play stores.
SEC Roundup: LSU Topples Texas, Tennessee Tumbles
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs against Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
South Carolina 72 Charleston Southern 10
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski completed 24 of 30 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for South Carolina, leading the Gamecocks to a 72-10 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday.
South Carolina (1-1) mostly kept it simple for Hilinski against the FCS Buccaneers with plenty of screens, short passes and handoffs.
Hilinski did hit Bryan Edwards in stride for a 60-yard touchdown pass and looked like a freshman in the third quarter when he was rushed and sailed a pass for his one interception.
But overall, it was a fine debut for the freshman, who took over for senior Jake Bentley after the senior broke his foot on the final play of last week's loss to North Carolina . Things get exponentially harder next week with No. 2 Alabama coming to town.
Hilinski is the younger brother of the late Tyler Hilinski , the Washington State quarterback who killed himself last year. The crowd chanted "Let's go Ryan!" during his first two drives.
Edwards caught five passes for 112 yards. Mon Denson ran nine times for 118 yards and a touchdown and Rico Dowdle had 10 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
The Gamecocks set a school record gaining 775 yards. The 493 yards rushing is also now a school record.
South Carolina's defense held the Buccaneers (0-2) to 267 yards — just 85 of them coming in the first half. Charleston Southern lost yards on the opening play of four of its seven first half drives.
The Gamecocks put in reserves after leading 44-3 at the break. At one point in the third quarter, they played four freshmen in the defensive backfield, including Shilo Sanders, son of NFL great Deion Sanders.
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers took away $400,000 for their athletic programs. They also got to use South Carolina's athletic facilities for a week after Hurricane Dorian passed close by and chased them from campus.
South Carolina: The lower division Buccaneers helped soothe some frazzled Gamecocks nerves after the opening loss to North Carolina. But whether it shows a team getting it together remains to be seen. The 72 points were the most in Will Muschamp's four season coaching South Carolina and the most for the Gamecocks since beating Kent State 77-14 in 1995.
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers host North Carolina A&T next Saturday
South Carolina: The Gamecocks open Southeastern Conference play hosting No. 2 Alabama next Saturday. Something that will be said a lot next week — the last time the Crimson Tide lost to a SEC East team was 35-21 against South Carolina in Columbia in 2010.
Purdue 42 Vanderbilt 24
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Elijah Sindelar passed for 509 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another TD in Purdue's 42-24 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Purdue speedy sophomore Rondale Moore caught 13 passes for 220 yards, both career highs.
The Boilermakers scored quickly after taking the second-half kickoff to take a 21-10 edge. Jared Sparks hauled in a wide-open 50-yard TD pass from Sindelar as one Vanderbilt defender fell down on the coverage. It was junior Sparks' first TD and the longest catch of his career.
Sindelar's 20-yard TD pass to Brycen Hopkins, from Nashville, pushed the lead to 28-10. The play was set up after a 15-yard penalty for helmet targeting by Vanderbilt cornerback Randall Haynie, who was disqualified.
Vanderbilt closed the deficit to 28-16 on Riley Neal's 10-yard touchdown pass to Cam Johnson early in the fourth quarter.
Moore's 34-yard TD grab gave Purdue a 35-16 lead.
Vandy's final score came on Neal's 75-yard TD pass to Chris Pierce and a two-point conversion, closing the deficit to 35-24.
Neal set up Vanderbilt's opening score in the first quarter with a 49-yard pass to Karlija Lipscomb, putting the ball on the Purdue 4. Ke'Shawn Vaughn scored on a 1-yard TD.
Sindelar connected with Hopkins for a 12-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-all.
Sindelar's 2-yard TD pass to Payne Durham put Purdue ahead 14-7 with 4:56 left in the second quarter.
The Commodores closed the deficit to 14-10 with Ryley Guay's 48-yard field goal with 53 seconds left in the first half. Vanderbilt's drive was hurt by three penalties for 30 yards on the drive.
Neal, a fifth-year graduate transfer from Ball State, threw for 378 yards for two touchdowns as the Commodores had an improved offensive effort from its opening 30-6 loss to Georgia
The Commodores hurt themselves with 13 penalties for 100 yards.
After blowing a 17-point third quarter lead in a 34-31 loss at Nevada in the season opener, the Boilermakers were able to maintain a lead. Purdue committed one turnover compared to five in its opener. One concern is the Boilermakers managed just 31 yards on 18 carries. Purdue had just seven yards on nine carries until the final play of third quarter.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores have a bye week before returning to play host to LSU on
Purdue: The Boilermakers play host to TCU on Saturday night.
Missouri 38 West Virginia 7
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Kelly Bryant threw three touchdown passes, Missouri held rebuilding West Virginia to 171 yards of total offense, and the Tigers rolled to a 38-7 victory in their home opener on Saturday.
More importantly, they bounced back from last week's stunning loss at Wyoming.
Bryant finished with 150 yards passing but played less than three quarters, heading to the locker room after becoming overheated. But with the game out of reach, it didn't really matter.
Albert Okwuegbunam had two touchdown grabs. Larry Rountree added 99 yards and a score on the ground. Nick Bolton had a pair of interceptions and returned the second for a fourth-quarter touchdown that only emphasized a dominant performance on the defensive side of the ball.
After allowing the Cowboys to run for 297 yards in a 37-31 loss, the Tigers (1-1) limited the Mountaineers (1-1) to 30 yards rushing. Transfer quarterback Austin Kendall was just 15 of 25 for 137 yards, most of that coming on a late touchdown throw, and also had a pair of interceptions.
Just like last week, the Tigers got off to a quick start on Saturday. But unlike last week, when an ominous second quarter followed, coach Barry Odom's team kept right on rolling.
Okwuegbunam capped a 72-yard drive with his first touchdown reception to make it 10-0 late in the first quarter. Rountree scored from 10 yards out after a 59-yard march early in the second, then Okwuegbunam grabbed his second TD catch later in the quarter. And when Bryant found Barrett Banister in the final seconds of the first half, the Tigers had a 31-0 lead at the break.
As for West Virginia, well, things went haywire right from the start.
New coach Neal Brown called for an onside kick on the opening kickoff that didn't work. The Mountaineers went three-and-out on their first drive, then Kendall had tipped passes picked off to end each of the next two possessions. They even missed a field goal in the second quarter.
West Virginia's running game may have been the most embarrassing aspect of the day. Brown had vowed it would improve after managing 34 yards against James Madison last week, but the Mountaineers actually went backward in the first half — 15 attempts took them back six feet.
West Virginia lost another three yards on the ground in the third quarter, and its bumbling and ineffective offense didn't reach positive yards on the ground until there was 7:44 to go.
The Mountaineers finished with 32 carries for 30 yards.
Missouri's home opener also was the unveiling of the new south end zone at Faurot Field. The $98 million project created new suites, club seats and a members-only, field-level club space.
Several members of the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues were on hand, getting a big ovation before the start of the game. The Blues play their preseason opener against the Stars on Sept. 16.
West Virginia returns home to face North Carolina State next Saturday.
Missouri faces Southeast Missouri State next Saturday before SEC play begins.
Clemson 24 Texas 10
CLEMSON, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence threw for one touchdown and ran for another and No. 1 Clemson won its record-tying 17th straight game with a dominating 24-10 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Aggies (1-1) talked of an upset all week and figured to be the sternest test left for the defending national champions. Instead, the Tigers (2-0) methodically made plays, stretched out drives and pressured A&M junior quarterback Kellen Mond into an awful showing.
The decisive win tied Clemson's best-ever run of success that spanned the 2014 and 2015 seasons. It also left a major question in college football: Who can stop these guys?
The Tigers will be double-digit favorites the rest of the regular season in their try for a fifth straight Atlantic Coast Conference title and College Football Playoff berth.
Texas A&M came in filled with confidence. The Aggies vowed they wouldn't let their near-miss, 28-26 loss to Clemson happen this time. They shrugged off the Death Valley crowd with all their own experience in loud Southeastern Conference venues. Offensive lineman Jared Hocker even predicted the upset.
Instead, it was A&M shaking its head about what went wrong as Clemson relentlessly wore down the Aggies with its collection of fast, talented playmakers.
It began with Lawrence, who scrambled out of pressure as Justyn Ross broke behind defenders for a way-too-easy, 30-yard TD catch to put Clemson up for good.
Then safety Nolan Turner jarred Mond on what would have been a first-down run to cause a fumble that linebacker James Skalski pounced on to blunt an Aggies' drive.
With the half running out, Clemson receiver Tee Higgins reached behind him to snag Lawrence's throw at the A&M 2. Two plays later, Lawrence had a 1-yard scoring run to send Clemson up 17-3 at the break.
The Aggies could not respond.
Lawrence went 24 of 35 passing for 268 yards.
Texas A&M's offense and Mond struggled against the rebuilt Tiger D. Gone were the swarming front four led by All-Americans — and first round NFL draft picks — Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins. But the new group, led by sophomore defensive end Xavier Thomas, was just as potent. Thomas had a sack and the Tigers held Texas A&M to 92 yards in the opening half.
Mond, who threw for 430 yards against Clemson a season ago, finished with 236 yards passing — only 115 of those the first three quarters — with an interception and a fumble. His lone TD pass came with 6 seconds remaining in the game, a 2-yard lob to Jalen Wydermeyer.
Texas A&M: The Aggies need to regroup on both sides of the ball after getting hammered by Clemson and seem to get the chance to do it. Texas A&M returns home to face FCS opponent Lamar before starting Southeastern Conference play at home against No. 10 Auburn in two weeks.
Clemson: Welcome to the Heisman Trophy chase, Trevor Lawrence. Clemson's sophomore passer has a so-so outing in the opener against Georgia Tech last week, but look sharp and in control against the Aggies, much more the player he was when the Tigers topped Alabama to win the title last January.
Count on Clemson holding firm to its No. 1 ranking and Texas A&M taking a huge fall down the rankings when the new poll comes out.
Texas A&M: Hosts FCS opponent Lamar next Saturday night.
Clemson: Returns to ACC play at Syracuse on Saturday night.
Miss St. 38 Southern Miss 15
STARKVILLE, Miss. — STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Kylin Hill rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown to lead Mississippi State to a 38-14 win over Southern Miss Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
Hill was injured late in the first half but returned in the second half and totaled 67 yards and his touchdown run in the second half. The Bulldogs (2-0) finished with 386 yards of total offense and collected 210 yards on the ground.
Southern Miss (1-1) was held scoreless in the first 40 minutes of action. The Golden Eagles got their first touchdown on a Jack Abraham 28-yard touchdown pass to Jaylond Adams. Abraham also connected with Jordan Mitchell in the final quarter on a 65-yard scoring toss.
Mississippi State was efficient in the first half on offense and held a 21-0 lead at halftime. Quarterback Tommy Stevens opened the game 9-of-9 passing before being injured late in the second quarter. Stevens had touchdown passes to Osirus Mitchell and Stephen Guidry before exiting the game.
The Bulldogs added a Nick Gibson 13-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left in the first half. But the first half was costly for Mississippi State as Stevens did not return to action in the second half.
Mississippi State's defensive showing was much better on Saturday against Southern Miss compared to the opener. The offense was also balanced again but the status of quarterback Tommy Stevens remains unclear. Stevens exited the game late in the second quarter due to an upper-body injury. Head coach Joe Moorhead said Stevens is day-to-day.
Southern Miss struggled to exhibit any kind of running game for the second straight outing. The Golden Eagles collected just 95 yards rushing in the opener against Alcorn State and managed just 110 yards rushing on Saturday.
Southern Miss opens the road schedule with a trip to Troy.
Mississippi State continues a three-game homestand and hosts Big 12 foe Kansas State.
Alabama 62 New Mexico 10
Tagovailoa, No. 2 Alabama romp over New Mexico State, 62-10
By JOHN ZENOR AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa passed for three touchdowns and ran 25 yards for a fourth, all in the first half of No. 2 Alabama's 62-10 victory over New Mexico State Saturday.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) was off to the races starting with the game's first play, when Henry Ruggs III collected a lateral and sprinted 75 yards for a touchdown. It didn't get any better for the Aggies (0-2) after that in sweltering conditions that contributed to thousands of empty seats at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy tied the school record with three touchdown catches, covering 21, 23 and 19 yards. He caught eight passes for 103 yards in his second straight big game .
Ruggs also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in a game that started under a 95-degree temperature with a triple-digit heat index.
There was just the right amount of drama for a Tide team facing 55 1/2-point underdogs: Zero.
Tagovailoa played one series into the third quarter before exiting, but not before becoming the eighth Tide quarterback with 5,000 career passing yards. He also darted up the middle for the scoring run and finished 16-of-24 passing for 227 yards.
Alabama outgained New Mexico State 603-262 in total yards.
The Tide backups delivered big plays as well. Mac Jones hit Jeudy for that 19-yard score and freshman tailback Keilan Robinson raced 74 yards for a touchdown.
The Aggies scored on Jason Huntley's 4-yard catch from Josh Adkins in the third quarter, set up by Adkin's 44-yarder to Tony Nicholson.
TREVON DIGGS HURT
Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs was carried off the field by two trainers and directly to the medical tent in the third quarter. Diggs had started walking with assistance before the trainers picked him up near the sideline.
New Mexico State: Has had a brutal schedule to open the season. The Aggies lost at No. 22 Washington State 58-7, but don't face any more teams that are currently ranked. Adkins completed 19 of 30 passes for 145 yards with the touchdown and an interception that ended New Mexico State's best drive of the first half.
Alabama: Did have modest offensive issues early for the second straight game, with back to back three-and-out possessions in the first quarter. It didn't even come close to mattering in this one, but it's something to work on. The defense forced two turnovers and has allowed only 10 points in the first two games. More good news given Alabama's issues with kicking woes: freshman Will Reichard booted field goals of 48 and 49 yards and was perfect on extra points.
New Mexico State: Hosts San Diego State.
Alabama: Opens Southeastern Conference play at South Carolina.
Georgia 63 Murray St. 17
No. 3 Georgia romps to 63-17 victory over FCS Murray State
By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — D'Andre Swift ran for two touchdowns, Jake Fromm threw for 166 yards and a score, and No. 3 Georgia broke loose in the second quarter Saturday on the way to a 63-17 blowout of FCS school Murray State.
With temperatures climbing into the mid-90s, Georgia (2-0) got off to a sluggish start and went to the second quarter tied at 7 after giving up a long touchdown pass to the Racers (1-1).
But the Bulldogs finally erupted for a 35-point barrage in the second period.
Brian Herrien ran 2 yards for the go-ahead score. J.R. Reed scooped up a fumble and went 14 yards for a touchdown. Swift tacked on a 10-yard TD run. Fromm hooked up with freshman George Pickens on a 15-yard scoring play. Finally, redshirt freshman Zamir White darted for a 6-yard score, sending Georgia to the locker room with a 42-7 lead.
Fromm and most of the starters were able to take the rest of the day off, giving Georgia a chance to give some of its young prospects their first extensive playing time.
Fromm completed his last nine passes and finished 10 of 11. Swift rushed for 67 yards on just six carries. Pickens hauled in a 43-yard catch with a diving, somersaulting effort and finished with four receptions for 78 yards.
Preston Rice was effective against Georgia's defense, completing 20 of 25 for 216 yards.
The Bulldogs had 269 yards on the ground, led by White with 72 yards on eight carries. Freshman Kenny Atkinson showed off the backfield depth with nine carries for 61 yards.
Georgia jumped ahead less than 2 minutes into the game, ripping off a four-play, 56-yard drive that was aided by a pass interference penalty. Swift powered over from 3 yards out.
The Bulldogs were forced to punt on their second possession, and Murray State stunned the crowd when Price hit DaQuon Green on a slant cutting over the middle. He beat one man and outran two others for a 60-yard TD that tied the game.
There were nervous groans when Georgia fumbled the ball away on its next possession, but it was only a matter of time before the overwhelming talent advantage took its toll on the Ohio Valley Conference school.
Murray State's added a TD in the third quarter off another Georgia mistake. Nigel Walton intercepted a pass by backup quarterback Stetson Bennett, returning it 35 yards to the end zone.
Murray State: There were some encouraging signs for a team that never really had a chance against a Southeastern Conference powerhouse, at least providing hope that the Racers will be a factor in the Ohio Valley race.
Georgia: It's hard to fathom what the Bulldogs gained from this game, other than sweating off some pounds and giving plenty of youngsters a chance to play. The most significant moment occurred before the kickoff when the school formally named the field at Sanford Stadium in honor of longtime coach Vince Dooley.
Murray State: The Racers face their second straight FBS opponent on the road next Saturday, though it won't be a team of this caliber. They'll take on Toledo of the Mid-American Conference.
Georgia: The second of three straight home games should be another breather for the Bulldogs. They'll host Arkansas State from the Sun Belt Conference next Saturday.
BYU 26 Tennessee 23 OT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Ty'Son Williams scored a 5-yard touchdown run in the second overtime after BYU made a stunning drive for a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds of regulation as the Cougars edged Tennessee 29-26 on Saturday.
BYU (1-1) rallied from a 13-3 halftime deficit and forced overtime when Zach Wilson's 64-yard completion to Micah Simon set up Jake Oldroyd's third field goal of the night — a 33-yarder with one second left.
"They really did a good job of taking away a lot of the deep throws throughout the game," BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. "Zach was just able to make a throw and trust that Micah would be there, and it worked out."
The Cougars got the ball first in overtime and scored on Zach Wilson's 14-yard touchdown pass to Talon Shumway. Tennessee tied it when Jarrett Guarantano found Jauan Jennings across the middle for a 13-yard completion.
Tennessee opened the second overtime session by settling for Brent Cimaglia's fourth field goal of the night, a 40-yarder that gave the Vols a 26-23 lead.
BYU then sealed the win on Williams' bruising touchdown run. The South Carolina graduate transfer appeared to be stopped just a few yards short of the end zone, but he kept running and finally got across the goal line with some help from his linemen.
Williams ended the night with 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Wilson was 19 of 29 for 232 yards.
Tennessee's Ty Chandler rushed for 154 yards on 26 carries, while Jauan Jennings had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. That still wasn't enough for the Volunteers, who fell to 0-2 for the first time since dropping their first six games in 1988.
For most of the night, it appeared Tennessee would win in regulation as the Volunteers attempted to bounce back from a humiliating 38-30 season-opening loss to 26-point underdog Georgia State.
BYU was facing third-and-6 from its own 20 with less than 20 seconds left when Wilson threw deep to Simon, who caught the pass just beyond midfield and raced into the red zone before Alontae Taylor finally brought him down.
After Wilson spiked the ball with five seconds left, Oldroyd kicked a 33-yard field goal that barely slipped inside the right upright.
"They played really, really hard, but the bottom line is there's a couple of errors we made in the game that you can't do," Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said. "You can't do. You just don't do. It's tough to win against anybody when you make errors like that. It's a tough pill for everybody to swallow. Everybody worked hard this week, responded the right way."
Tennessee had taken the early lead by capitalizing on a fourth-down gamble, enabling the Vols to score a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time in Jeremy Pruitt's 14-game coaching tenure.
The Vols faced fourth-and-3 from the BYU 5-yard line when Pruitt passed up a chip-shot field goal. Jarrett Guarantano threw a pass into traffic that was deflected by BYU linebacker Kavika Fonua and landed in the arms of Jennings.
Tennessee stayed ahead and controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage for most of the night, though missed opportunities enabled BYU to hang around.
BYU: Wilson showed late in regulation what he's capable of doing when he has time to throw, but the offensive line must do a better job of protecting him. Wilson was sacked four times and was pressured all night. BYU's inability to give Wilson time to throw was particularly concerning because Tennessee's defensive line struggled last week and had no returning starters. ... The Cougars must play the first half of next week's game against Southern California without defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi, who was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee: A young team showed it still must learn how to win as it somehow failed to close out a game it had controlled for most of the night. Tennessee also needs better production from Guarantano, whose interception early in the second half set up a BYU touchdown that helped the Cougars get back into the game.
BYU hosts Southern California on Saturday.
Tennessee hosts Football Championship Subdivision program Chattanooga on Saturday.
Auburn 24 Tulane 6
AUBURN, Ala. — Bo Nix threw for 207 yards and a touchdown, No. 10 Auburn ran for 172 yards after amassing just 20 in the first half and the Tigers' defense dominated in a 24-6 victory over Tulane on Saturday night.
With a broken game clock already making for a slow and low-energy start to the game, the teams combined for 86 yards of offense across the first nine drives, with Tulane kicking a field goal on its opening series and Auburn (2-0) losing a fumble on its second.
After Tulane's first scoring drive, Auburn's defense locked down the Green Wave (1-1), allowing minus-3 yards over the next four possessions.
Making his first home start after leading the Tigers to a last-second victory over Oregon last week in Texas, Nix found Will Hastings for a 31-yard touchdown pass two minutes into the second quarter to give Auburn the lead. The Tigers scored on back-to-back drives, with Nix's 40-yard completion to Seth Williams setting them up for a 4-yard touchdown run by Eli Stove.
Nix was 19 for 37, tying the fifth-most passing attempts in a game by a freshman quarterback in program history.
After Auburn's running backs combined for 42 rushing yards on 13 carries late into the third quarter, starter JaTarvious Whitlow carried the ball eight times for 54 yards — including a 14-yard touchdown run — on Auburn's third scoring drive of the night.
Whitlow had 121 yards from scrimmage, but fumbled three times and lost two of them.
Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan — an LSU transfer — completed 10 of 33 passes for 103 yards and an interception by Auburn safety Jeremiah Dinson. McMillan also led the team in rushing with 54 yards.
Auburn: The rushing stat line improved mightily in the second half, but that's two straight games with slow starts on the ground behind an offensive line that has struggled to get push early.
Tulane: While the Green Wave offensive was ultimately stifled when it mattered, it rushed for over 100 yards for the 42nd straight game — an ongoing school record.
AUBURN INJURED RECEIVERS
Williams and Hastings, both starters for Auburn, sustained injuries in the win. On Williams' 40-yard reception, Tulane cornerback Willie Langham landed hard on Williams' left shoulder.
In the third quarter, Hastings was hit in the helmet going up for a reception by Tulane's Macon Clark, who was then ejected for targeting. Hastings walked off under his own power.
Neither player returned to the game. With sophomore Anthony Schwartz still recovering from offseason hand surgery, Stove is Auburn's only healthy starter out wide.
Tulane: At Missouri State next week.
Auburn: Host Kent State next Saturday.
Florida 45 UT Martin 0
GAINESVILLE, Fla.- No. 11 Florida could be without its most dynamic playmaker when it opens Southeastern Conference play at Kentucky.
The Gators lost elusive receiver Kadarius Toney during a 45-0 victory over lower-division Tennessee-Martin on Saturday night. Toney took a hit on his left arm late in the first quarter, walked off the field in pain and eventually headed to the locker room for tests.
Coach Dan Mullen said Toney's injury will be "checked out a little bit more," not exactly promising news for Florida.
The Gators also lost speedy cornerback CJ Henderson in the first half against the Skyhawks (1-1), but Mullen said he has a "slight ankle sprain."
Henderson tweaked his left ankle while covering a receiver in the second quarter, limped into the locker room and later returned to the sideline wearing a walking boot and using crutches.
Florida barely missed either of them against UT Martin, which fell to 0-10 against SEC teams and failed to cover the 44 1/2-point spread. But the Gators know being without either standout in league play would be a crushing blow.
"It's got to crank up about 10 notches getting into SEC play, especially going on the road," Mullen said.
Despite missing two guys who each wear No. 1 because of their talents, Florida still manhandled overmatched UT Martin.
Feleipe Franks completed 25 of 27 passes, including 15 straight to start the game, for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He dropped in beautiful TD passes to Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland, but he also was again slow through his progressions.
"I'm nowhere near perfect," Franks said. "I just try to keep progressing. ... At the end of the day, we've got two wins under our belt. I'm happy with that."
Lamical Perine ran for 51 yards and a score. Fellow running back Malik Davis, who missed most of 2018 because of a knee injury, scored for the first time in nearly two years.
The defense picked up where it left off against rival Miami , finishing with five sacks and holding the Skyhawks to 194 yards.
Florida led 38-0 early in the fourth — and had emptied its bench — when quarterback John Bachus scampered for 48 yards and gave UT Martin its best scoring opportunity. Highly touted freshman Kaiir Elam intercepted Bachus' pass in the end zone on the ensuing play.
"I haven't seen any stats, but the only one that matters is that we didn't score any points," UT Martin coach Jason Simpson said. "I've played against multiple SEC teams in my career. There's been bigger (SEC) teams, but I don't know if there's another as fast as that one."
UT Martin: The Skyhawks got $500,000 for making the 700-mile trip to Gainesville, the kind of payday that helps fund the school's entire athletic department. They will bus two hours to Jacksonville, spend the night there and take a commercial flight home Sunday.
Florida: The Gators still have issues along their offensive line. They should have controlled the line of scrimmage and had their way with the Skyhawks. Instead, Franks was sacked once and hit several more times.
With ninth-ranked Texas losing, the Gators might sneak back into the top 10.
Florida honored its most famous cheerleader before the game.
George Edmondson Jr., better known as Mr. Two Bits while riling up crowds at Florida home games for 60 years, died in early July at age 97. His three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren led the renowned two-bits cheer at midfield prior to kickoff. Grandson Kevin King even used Edmondson's original, decades-old "2 Bits" sign.
Fans, cheerleaders and game-day officials wore yellow T-shirts with a faux orange-and-blue striped tie on the front to mimic Edmondson's typical game-day attire.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
Linebacker Amari Burney and safety Jeawon Taylor missed the game because of injuries. Defensive lineman Luke Ancrum and safety Brad Stewart were suspended. Stewart also was suspended for the season opener.
UT Martin: At Southern Illinois next Saturday.
Florida: At Kentucky next Saturday. The Wildcats ended a 31-game losing streak in the series last year.
Kentucky 38 Eastern Michigan 17
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Backup quarterback Sawyer Smith threw two touchdown passes in relief of injured Terry Wilson, who rushed for a TD before hurting his left leg, and Kentucky rolled past Eastern Michigan 38-17 on Saturday night.
Wilson's 2-yard TD run in the third quarter put the Wildcats (2-0) up 24-3 before he was carted off later with the injury following a horse-collar tackle by EMU defensive lineman Turan Rush, who was flagged on a play with offsetting penalties. Wilson exited to cheers after teammates offered supportive handshakes. His condition wasn't immediately known.
Smith, a junior transfer from Troy, came in and hit Ahmad Wagner for a 54-yard touchdown and Lynn Bowden for the final 2-yard TD with 54 seconds remaining. A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke rushed for TDs of 8 and 32 yards, respectively, in a game the Wildcats led throughout.
Kentucky outgained the Eagles (1-1) 461-386, including a 239-49 rushing edge. But the Wildcats committed seven penalties for 84 yards, several of which snuffed first-half chances to put the game out of reach.
Eagles quarterback Mike Glass III threw TD passes of 26 and 7 yards and completed 34 of 53 attempts for 337 yards.
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles were never in this game because they couldn't stop Kentucky's offense. Glass hit Line Latu and Bryson Cannon for TDs but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice before halftime. This followed a near-perfect opener in which he completed 20 of 22 passes for 188 yards with three TDs.
Kentucky: Wilson's status was the big concern, though the Wildcats have others after struggling for several stretches. The Wildcats achieved their goal of starting quicker with two first-quarter TD drives, but a ragged second quarter featuring Rose's fumble at the EMU 1 and penalties that hurt two other possessions killed chances to put it out of reach early.
Eastern Michigan faces its second consecutive Power Five opponent when it visits Big Ten Conference member Illinois on Saturday.
Kentucky hosts No. 11 Florida on Saturday night, seeking its first home win against the Gators since 1986 and first series winning streak since 1976-77.
LSU 45 Texas 38
AUSTIN, Texas — Joe Burrow passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns, including a 61-yarder to Justin Jefferson with 2:27 left, and No. 6 LSU pulled out a wild 45-38 victory over No. 9 Texas on Saturday night.
The biggest nonconference game in Austin since No. 1 Ohio State came to town in 2006 was one the most anticipated matchups of the season and delivered on its promise. Texas stormed back from a 20-7 halftime deficit and the teams traded seven touchdowns in the second half.
Burrow and Texas' Sam Ehlinger picked apart the defenses at will. LSU (2-0) didn't put it away until Texas came up inches short from covering an onside kick after its final touchdown with 22 seconds left.
Jefferson caught three touchdowns. His clincher came after Burrow stepped away from blitzing Longhorns on third-and-long to fire a pass that would have been good enough for a first down, before Jefferson slipped a tackle and burst down the sideline.
Burrow is just the third LSU quarterback to pass for 400 yards and the first since 2001.
Ehlinger finished with 401 yards passing and four touchdowns for the Longhorns (1-1).
LSU: The new offense is humming after two games. But the defense — and the players who taunted Texas before the game — gave up big plays and long touchdown drives with poor tackling. The Tigers secondary was gashed often in the second half, most notably by Texas slot receiver Devin Duvernay, who bowled over Tigers defenders again and again. Duvernay's 44-yard catch and run up the middle for a touchdown on 4thand-3 early in the fourth quarter kept Texas in the game.
Texas: A poor start was overshadowed in the wild second half but it was important. The Longhorns blew two big chances for touchdowns in the first quarter. Eight plays inside LSU 10 yielded no points as both drives were stuffed at the goal line. Tailback Keaontay Ingram dropped a wide open touchdown pass from Ehlinger.
LSU will likely stay where it is because there's frankly not much room to move up. Don't expect Texas to fall very far. The Longhorns fought back in what could have been a blowout coming out of halftime.
LSU: Host FCS opponent Northwestern State on Sept. 14
Texas: At Rice on Sept. 14. The Longhorns are 41-1 against the Owls since 1966.
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