Quinton Flowers threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns to lead South Florida to a 48-17 rout of Northern Illinois on Saturday night.
With two-time American Athletic Conference rushing leader Marlon Macksitting out after spending the past week in the concussion protocol, Flowers accounted for 403 of his team's 658 yards total offense while tossing TD passes of 73 yards to Ryeshene Bronson, 26 yards to Rodney Adams, 13 yards to D'Ernest Johnson and 6 yards to Chris Barr.
The dual-threat quarterback also rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries, helping the Bulls (2-0) - preseason favorites to win the American's East Division - remain unbeaten through two games for the first time in four seasons under coach Willie Taggart.
"2-0! It's been awhile," Taggart, 14-23 in his first three seasons with the Bulls, said. "Climbing is easier than hanging on."
Northern Illinois quarterback Drew Hare was carted off the field with an apparent left leg injury midway through the third quarter. The redshirt senior missed the last five games of 2015 with a right Achilles injury.
Backup Ryan Graham threw an 11-yard TD pass to Aregeros Turner, who also scored on a 4 run for the Huskies, who lost their season opener at Wyoming 40-34 in triple overtime.
Northern Illinois: The Huskies have played in six straight Mid-American Conference championships games and also appeared in a league-record eight consecutive bowl games, which is to say the most important part of their season is still ahead of them. The 0-2 start will mean little if NIU can rebound - especially defensively - to make another strong run in conference play.
South Florida: Taggart has his team playing with confidence and swagger. The Bulls have won nine of 11 games dating to last season, improving to 2-0 for the first time since 2012, when they went on lose nine of 10 and finish 3-9. The last time USF won three straight to begin a season was 2011, when it dropped seven of eight following a 4-0 start to wind up 5-7. Houston may be the team to beat for the American title, however Taggart's bunch looks as strong as any bidding to represent the East in the league's championship game.
NEXT MAN UP
Mack led the American in rushing the past two seasons. He had a streak of five consecutive 100-yard performances ended when he sat out the entire second half of USF's season opener against Towson, finishing with 58 yards. Darius Tice replaced him in the starting lineup Saturday night and gained 120 yards on 19 attempts. D'Ernest Johnson shared the workload, finishing with 87 yards on 16 attempts.
"It was good to get so many guys get involved and contribute," Taggart said.
TRACKING THE HUSKIES:
A week after scoring three touchdowns and leading NIU with 144 yards receiving and 82 yards rushing, NIU's Kenny Golladay was limited to four receptions for 43 yards and no TDs. Hare, meanwhile, completed 13 of 20 passes for 96 yards, no TDs and no interceptions before being injured when he was nearly tackled in his own end zone with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter. Graham was 9 of 15 for 65 yards, one TD and no interceptions.
"I don't know the diagnosis on Hare," NIU coach Rod Carey said, "Right now, we'll move forward with Ryan."
Northern Illinois: Huskies get a break from the road, where they played consecutive games to begin a season for the first time since 2013, and return to DeKalb, Illinois for their home opener against San Diego State.
"It'll be good to be home," Carey said. "We've got to a bunch of things to correct and move forward."
South Florida: Begins the tougher portion of its non-conference schedule, traveling to Syracuse next Saturday before returning home to face No. 3 Florida State in two weeks.
"Now we get to see if we can take this show on the road and do what we do at home," Taggart said.
Favian Upshaw ran for 108 of Georgia Southern's 304 yards rushing and the Eagles beat South Alabama 24-9 on Saturday night, a week after the Jaguars upset Mississippi State.
Younghoe Koo got the Eagles (2-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) even at 3-3 before L.A. Ramsby went in from 1 yard out - the 10th straight game he has scored - to take the lead for good late in the first quarter. Upshaw threw for 127 yards on just six completions.
The Jaguars (1-1, 0-1), who rallied to beat the Bulldogs 21-20 in their opener, only managed three field goals by Gavin Patterson against Georgia Southern. Dallas Davis was 21 of 42 for 279 yards passing with an interception.
Baker Mayfield passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a half of work, and the 14th-ranked Sooners beat Louisiana-Monroe 59-17 on Saturday night in a warmup for their showdown with the Buckeyes.
Oklahoma lost its opener to Houston and fell from No. 3 to No. 14 in the AP poll , but its home matchup with fourth-ranked Ohio State next week offers a chance to return to its place among the nation's top teams.
"They're obviously a good program," Mayfield said. "Everybody knows that. I feel confident in what we're doing right now, and I think we're going to keep progressing. I think it'll be a good matchup."
Mayfield took the blame for the loss to Houston, saying he forced throws at times in the second half and took too many sacks. He bounced back well.
"Baker, I thought, was really decisive and quick getting the ball out in a lot of spots," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "Threw it really well."
Joe Mixon rushed for 117 yards, and Samaje Perine ran for two touchdowns as the Sooners (1-1) outgained the Warhawks (1-1) 640 yards to 350.
Garrett Smith passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns and R.J. Turner caught seven passes for 135 yards for ULM. Smith was a dual threat in the opener when he ran for 150 yards and a touchdown in a win over Southern. He was one-dimensional against the Sooners, finishing with five yards on six carries.
Mayfield completed 10 of 11 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter to help the Sooners take a 21-0 lead.
Mark Andrews opened the scoring with a 39-yard touchdown grab. Andrews has four receptions this season, including three for touchdowns. Dimitri Flowers added an 8-yard touchdown catch, then Perine's 1-yard blast up the middle made it 21-0.
"Things obviously weren't going our way in the first half, and we were overmatched and playing against a good football team," ULM coach Matt Viator said.
Austin Kendall replaced Mayfield in the second half, and he passed for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
"As much as anything, (it was about) keeping Baker healthy in the situation we're in, and Austin's a true freshman who needs to play," Stoops said.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: The Warhawks felt they defended better in the second half, though they were playing against mostly reserves. Both teams scored 17 points after the break.
"Hopefully, we got a little bit better and learned something tonight to use for next week," Viator said.
OKLAHOMA: The Sooners re-established their run game. They gained just 70 yards on 26 carries against Houston, but bounced back with 288 yards on 46 attempts against ULM. Mixon, a sophomore, finished with the third-highest rushing yardage total of his career.
Perine's two touchdowns gave him 39 in his career, tying him with Joe Washington for seventh in school history.
"I thought Joe and Samaje did a great job early," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. "I thought we really played well up front. We had good balance offensively."
Oklahoma's coaching staff was concerned about how many big plays the Sooners' cornerbacks gave up against Houston. He said aside from two busted coverages in the third quarter that resulted in long touchdown catches of 73 yards by Turner and 43 yards by Alec Osborne, the Sooners defended the pass well on Saturday. Aside from those two plays, ULM passed for just 156 yards.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook attended the game and drew a loud cheer when he was shown on the video board. Mayfield entered the postgame press conference with a T-shirt with the phrase, "In Russ We Trust" on the front.
The announced attendance of 87,037 was a record for the stadium. The south end had been partially open since the stadium opened in 1923, but an upgrade turned it into a bowl and added an 8,500 square-foot video board and luxury seating.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: at Georgia Southern.
OKLAHOMA: Hosts Ohio State in a game the Sooners must win to have a realistic shot at returning to the College Football Playoff.
Jeffrey Wilson ran for two touchdowns, Andrew Tuckeraccounted for two more and North Texas rolled to a 41-20 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday night.
It's the first win for coach Seth Littrell, who joined the Mean Green (1-1) after two seasons as North Carolina's offensive coordinator.
Wilson had scoring runs of 10 and 20 yards while Tucker returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and added another score on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter to stretch the North Texas lead to 31-7. Willy Ivery added 103 yards rushing, including a 25-yard touchdown run.
Frank Brown scored on an 88-yard punt return early in the first quarter to give the Wildcats their only lead. Diquan Richardson had a 30-yard interception return for a TD, and freshman Akevious Williams ran for an 83-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for Bethune-Cookman in its season opener.
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback and the Bulldogs defeated South Carolina 27-14 Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
Fitzgerald rushed 17 times for 195 yards and also passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Mississippi State (1-1) captured its first win of the season in its SEC opener after being upset by South Alabama last week.
"I like the effort the players came out with in the first half," said Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. "That looked like Mississippi State football. We have to do a better job in the red zone, especially in the first half and we had some big missed opportunities there. But we played with effort and I am not sure I saw that for the entire game last week."
South Carolina (1-1) was outgained 485-243 in total offense. The Gamecocks did register a pair of second half touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Brandon McIllwain, who started the second half for South Carolina after not playing in the first half.
Fitzgerald's rushing yards for a quarterback broke a 36-year old school record. His 195 yards easily passed former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond's previous record of 163 rushing yards in 1980 against Ole Miss.
"It was kinda what I saw last week when we decided to start Nick," said Mullen. "He had a good week of practice. We had to make that decision to start him, let ho, go and play the game. We decided that before the game and he came out and played fairly well. There were a couple of things here and there in the throw game but a lot of that comes from experience."
Mississippi State rolled to a 24-0 lead at halftime thanks to a pair of touchdown passes by Fitzgerald. Receiver Fred Ross had a touchdown catch and a touchdown pass in the first half.
The Bulldogs outgained South Carolina 324-90 in total yards in the first half. A lightning delay forced both teams to stay inside the locker room for an extra 32 minutes at halftime.
McIllwain finished with 126 yards passing and two touchdowns. Hayden Hurst led the Gamecocks with eight catches for 68 yards. As a team, South Carolina was held to just 34 yards rushing and both quarterbacks were each sacked twice.
"In the second half, we've got young players and they've got to learn to keep it cranked up for four quarters," said Mullen. "We had the lightning delay and guys were waiting, waiting, waiting. So we've got to learn to crank it back up."
Last week Mullen also started Fitzgerald but pulled him after just two series. Junior Damian Williams went the rest of the way in the loss to South Alabama. Williams did not play on Saturday and Mullen said Fitzgerald would start Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to LSU.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks only had 90 yards of total offense in the first half with Perry Orth at quarterback. Orth was 9-of-17 for just 83 yards with one interception.
Mississippi State: In his second career start, Nick Fitzgerald had career highs in rushing yards, passing touchdowns, passing yards, pass attempts and pass completions.
South Carolina: After opening the season with two straight road games, South Carolina hosts East Carolina next Saturday in the home opener.
Mississippi State: Mississippi State goes on the road for the first time this season next Saturday with a trip to LSU.
Anthony Jennings threw for 170 yards and one touchdown and Elijah McGuire rushed for 139 yards to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 30-22 win over McNeese State on Saturday night.
McGuire, who had just 41 yards in the first half, now has 13 games with 100 or more yards rushing. Jennings was 15-of-21 passing and Ja'Marcus Bradley grabbed six for 97 yards.
Louisiana-Lafayette (1-1) was up 14-12 at the break. The Cowboys took their only lead when Trent Manuel nailed a 28-yard field goal with 9:31 left in the third quarter. The Ragin' Cajuns responded quickly, retaking the lead for good on Raymond Calais' rushing score from the seven with 7:18 left.
McNeese State (1-1) closed to within eight when Dylan Long plunged in from the three with 12 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick failed.
James Tabary threw for 237 yards for McNeese State.
Mark Walton saved Miami against Florida Atlantic last year.
He was even better in the rematch.
Walton rushed for career highs of 155 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 25 Miami shook off a slow start to beat Florida Atlantic 38-10 on Saturday night.
He ran for three touchdowns against FAU a year ago, and this time became the sixth Miami back in program history to rush for four in a game.
"I'm not a stats guy," Walton said. "It's great for me. Great for me to be the sixth or whatever. I'm not big on stats. I just go out there and play and my ability showed tonight."
Walton scored on runs of 7, 3, 16 and 30 yards. He was suspended for much of the offseason after a drunken-driving arrest, a charge that was dropped, and said he's had a chip on his shoulder since returning.
"He just plays with a lot of passion and heart," said Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, who completed 17 of 31 passes for 191 yards for the Hurricanes and was picked off twice. "He shows up every day and gets after it."
Miami (2-0) set a school record with 108 points in the season's first two games, breaking the previous mark of 104 set in 1998 and matched in 2002.
"I just want to score enough to win, truthfully," said Miami coach Mark Richt, who is the 10th coach to win his first two games on the Hurricane sideline. "I like when there's not a whole lot of drama."
Greg Howell rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown for FAU (1-1). Jason Driskel completed 18 of 36 passes for 167 yards for the Owls, who punted on their first seven possessions. Kalib Woods caught nine balls for 121 yards.
"We came here to win. We didn't accomplish the mission we came here to accomplish," FAU coach Charlie Partridge said. "The good news is these are all very fixable things for a very young football team - a very young, talented football team."
Joe Yearby ran for 121 yards and a score for the Hurricanes. Miami outgained FAU 470-214, and forced nine punts for the second consecutive game.
"I thought our defense played spectacular," Richt said. "Very obvious how great they played. They would not let it get interesting at all."
Florida Atlantic: The Owls had chances early, getting into Miami territory five times in the first half but only coming away with three points. Driskel was poised against Miami's rush, but his offensive line failed him - and Howell, who managed only 16 yards on nine first-half carries. The FAU defensive front caused Miami's experienced offensive line plenty of problems, a good sign for the Owls.
Miami: The Hurricanes regressed in the first half, plagued again by the mistakes that doomed them in past seasons. There were drops, a missed field goal for the second straight week and silly penalties - roughing the punter most egregious among them. Kaaya threw multiple interceptions for the first time since Game 6 of his freshman season, though he got clobbered on one. But Miami found what worked in the second half.
Miami might not be a lock to stay in the AP Top 25. Florida's big win over Kentucky could get the Gators back in the ranking, though No. 22 Oklahoma State's "loss" - the Cowboys fell to Central Michigan on the last play of the game, though officials later said the winning score should not have counted - may be enough to keep the Hurricanes ranked.
FAU: The Owls visit Kansas State next Saturday. It's the only time FAU leaves Florida in the first six weeks of this season.
Miami: A dangerous game awaits at Appalachian State next Saturday. The Mountaineers are 18-3 in their last 21 games, and the biggest crowd in the history of Kidd Brewer Stadium is expected.
Kevin Olsen threw three touchdowns as Charlotte beat Elon 47-14 on Saturday.
Olsen, in his second start for the 49ers (1-1), was 19 of 25 for 155 yards passing before being replaced in the fourth quarter. Robert Washington ran for two scores and Austin Duke had 103 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Olsen's three touchdown passes in the second quarter - one apiece to T.L. Ford, Kyle Hoffman and Justin Bolus - erased an early Elon lead and put Charlotte on top 20-7 at halftime.
Washington's two scores in the third quarter stretched it to 33-7.
Daniel Thompson took Elon 99 yards on the team's first possession and Brandon Gentry punched it in to give the Phoenix (0-2) a 7-0 lead with 7:44 left in the first quarter. Thompson finished with 322 yards passing.
The 49ers lost their 2016 season-opener at No. 19 Louisville, 70-14, in Charlotte's first-ever game against a nationally ranked opponent.
Colorado wanted to build momentum with a big win over an FCS school. Idaho State was happy to fill its coffers by being the fall guy for the Buffaloes.
Sefo Liufau passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards and another score in less than a half as the Buffaloes beat the Bengals 56-7 on Saturday.
Colorado has scored 100 points in its first two games but now the focus is playing at No. 5 Michigan next week with a chance to put a signature win on its resume and end an eight-year bowl drought.
But that's not the only goal for the suddenly prolific Buffaloes
"There's a misconception with everyone that we just want to get to a bowl game," Liufau said. "We're shooting for much higher than that. We want to win every week."
Phillip Lindsay ran for two scores as Colorado (2-0) built a 49-0 halftime lead on its way to a second straight blowout win.
Liufau, who had 384 yards of offense in the 44-7 win over Colorado State last week to earn Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, had another big game with touchdown passes of 15 and 4 yards. He ended his day with a 19-yard touchdown run late in Colorado's 35-point second quarter that made it 42-0.
Colorado won its first two games for just the second time in nine seasons. The Buffaloes are 5-40 in the Pac-12 since joining in 2011 and are hoping to use the first three games as a springboard into conference play.
"They're really hungry," coach Mike MacIntyre said. "They're basically starving. In the Pac-12 we haven't done very well as far as winning the games we've had a chance to win. That keeps them hungry."
Jakori Ford scored for the Bengals (1-1), who had just seven first downs and 96 yards total offense.
Idaho State was paid a reported $500,000 to travel to Colorado and be routed.
"A big check," coach Mike Kramer said when asked what he could take from this game. "Literally."
Colorado receiver Shay Fields got the best of Bengals defensive back Anthony Ricks in a one-on-one battle in the second quarter. Fields went deep four times with Ricks chasing him. Ricks was flagged for pass interference three times, one of which was declined after Fields caught a 42-yard pass to set up a score. He had a 36-yard reception that led to another touchdown.
"It's always kind of stressful when he holds and you only have one hand, but I still have to make the catch," Fields said.
IDAHO STATE: Josh Cook had five receptions for 28 yards to establish the school record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,287. He passed Josh Hill, who is now with the New Orleans Saints.
COLORADO: The offense looks vastly improved under new offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini. The Buffaloes had 578 yards in the opener and 597 more Saturday. It's the first time since November 2002 Colorado has had more than 500 yards of offense in consecutive games.
IDAHO STATE: The Bengals play their second-straight Pac-12 team when they travel to Oregon State next week. Beavers head coach Gary Anderson coached at Idaho State in 1992-93.
COLORADO: The Buffaloes return to the Big House next week to face Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines. It is their second visit to Ann Arbor since the `94 Miracle in Michigan, when Kordell Stewart hit Michael Westbrook with a 64-yard pass on the final play to beat the Wolverines, 27-26.
Jake Browning has thrown for 581 yards and eight touchdowns in Washington's first two games.
Though Browning as yet to play in a fourth quarter in No. 8 Washington's victories against lesser opponents Rutgers and Idaho, coach Chris Petersen believes he has even more to offer with a little more refinement.
Browning matched Washington's school record with five touchdown passes - two each to Dante Pettis and John Ross - and finished with 294 yards in the No. 8 Huskies' 59-14 romp over Idaho on Saturday.
Browning has helped Washington (2-0) to its highest ranking since 2001.
"He's done a real nice job," head coach Chris Petersen said of Browning. "He's completing a lot of passes. He's keeping his eyes downfield. He's buying time, all those things that good quarterbacks do."
After throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns last week against Rutgers, Browning was nearly flawless against Idaho. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 294 yards and deferred to backup K.J. Carta-Samuels after the opening drive of the third quarter following his fifth touchdown pass of the day, an 8-yard strike to Ross that gave Washington a 42-0 lead.
While the production has been stellar, it's the process that will yield the consistency needed when conference play begins. That's where Petersen feels there is still room to grow.
"I think the thing that is interesting is I still think there is some things we're cleaning up with him," Petersen said. "When you go back, what I really want to look at is did he need to escape? Did he have things he could have got the ball out? I know on one early on - I think he threw a touchdown - I think he didn't need to make it so spectacular."
Against Idaho, it was still more than enough.
Following a fumble on the opening kickoff by Lloyd Hightower that was recovered by Washington, Browning threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Pettis on his first attempt of the game. He completed 13 consecutive passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the second quarter as the Huskies built a 35-0 halftime advantage.
"We didn't really do anything crazy," Browning said. "Just go in, run our stuff and execute well."
Browning joined Keith Price (2012), Jake Locker (2010) and Chris Rowland (1973) as the only Huskies to throw five touchdown passes in a game.
The Vandals (1-1) kept it in reach in the first quarter. Kaden Elliss forced a fumble on a sack of Browning to give Idaho the ball in Washington territory. But after driving into the red zone, Jacob Sannon fumbled at the 1 after a hit from Jojo McIntosh, and Azeem Victor recovered to keep Idaho out of the end zone.
"We got whooped," Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. "We got whooped but I thought our guys stayed fighting in the second half."
Washington scored 35 straight points afterward before the Vandals finally got on the board with a 20-yard pass from Matt Linehan to Trent Cowan in the third quarter.
Idaho: Idaho lost its road opener against Pac-12 foe USC 59-9 in 2015. The Vandals' foray against Pac-12 opposition wasn't much better. The Vandals forced just six incompletions in 33 pass attempts by Washington. They'll face an even more pass-happy opponent in Washington State next week.
Washington: The Huskies' defense and passing attack are every bit that of a Top 10 team. However, the rushing attack has struggled in the first two weeks. Myles Gaskin has rushed for just 124 yards through two games after being thought of as a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate before the season.
Idaho: The Vandals will face a second straight Pac-12 foe in Washington State. They will make the short eight-mile trip to Martin Stadium for their first meeting in three years.
Washington: The Huskies host FCS Portland State in their final test before the start of Pac-12 play.
Washington will remain in the Top 10 this week after the convincing victory and is likely to stay there into the start of Pac-12 play with another non-conference warmup against FCS Portland State next week.
"They felt like it," Petrino said about Washington's No. 8 ranking. "The hitting, hearing the hitting, defensively they definitely felt like it. Offensively, their speed is like it. So I wouldn't be surprised if they're there at the end of the year, that's for sure."
Kenny Potter threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, and San Jose State had 642 total yards and forced six turnovers in its 66-35 win over Portland State on Saturday.
Potter's 1-yard scoring run with 1:04 left in the second quarter - his second rushing TD of the period - gave the Spartans (1-1) a 21-14 lead. The defense forced a 3-and-out, and Potter found Tre Hartley for a 9-yard score right before the half.
Zamore Zigler scored from a yard out on San Jose State's opening possession of the second half, and Potter hit Justin Holmes for a 46-yard touchdown, putting the Spartans up 42-21 with 8:46 left in the third, capping a 28-0 run.
Paris Penn had 14 carries for 137 yards and a TD for Portland State (1-1).
Andre Chachere picked off two passes to become the first Spartan since 2012 with multiple interceptions in a game.
Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason turned the lights out in the locker room for 10 minutes during a weather delay that lasted for an hour, 44 minutes. He wanted his Commodores to picture themselves playing good football.
Aside from a blocked punt on the first play once the game resumed, Ralph Webb and the Commodores did just that.
Webb ran for a career-high 211 yards and two touchdowns as Vanderbilt easily handled the weather delay and beat Middle Tennessee 47-24 Saturday.
"We did what this team hasn't done since I've been here," Mason said. "I mean just responded all the way around."
Vanderbilt (1-1) took control with a 28-point second quarter after trailing 10-5 at the end of the first, the final two TDs coming after the storm. Middle Tennessee blocked a field goal on the first play after resuming the game, setting up Brent Stockstill's 5-yard TD pass to Ty Lee to pull within 19-17.
The Commodores answered by scoring two TDs in a span of 87 seconds, the last a 3-yard TD by Webb giving him 102 yards before halftime. Vanderbilt also forced two turnovers to win its second straight in this series against an in-state rival.
Stockstill finished with 399 yards passing and three TDs for Middle Tennessee (1-1), which was trying to start 2-0 for the first time since 2001.
Middle Tennessee: Stockstill just keeps getting better with every game, showing a quick release. He had 148 yards passing after the first quarter despite a receiving corps battered by injuries. He set school records completing 38 of 65 attempts, while receiver Richie James caught a school record 14 passes for 183 yards.
But coach Rick Stockstill called it a disappointing loss. "I don't know if they stopped us in the first half, we just stopped ourselves," the coach said. "We did some good things, but we just weren't consistent enough. We have to play smarter than how we played."
Vanderbilt: The weather delay helped the Commodores' offense. Kyle Shurmur failed to complete his first seven passes before finally connecting on his eighth after the delay. That was the first of seven straight completions, and Shurmur was 9 of 10 for 79 yards driving Vandy to two TDs before halftime. He finished with 113 yards passing.
Not only did the junior strip the ball away from Richie James on a punt return that led to a Vanderbilt safety, he also hurdled a defender on a 16-yard run. He turned in the best rushing performance since Frank Mordica set the Southeastern Conference record with 321 yards in 1978 and the third best game in school history. "The O-line did their job tonight," Webb said.
Vanderbilt honored freshman pitcher Donny Everett, the 19-year-old who drowned while fishing June 2, the day before the Commodores hosted an NCAA Tournament regional. Vanderbilt put his No. 41 on helmets, had his parents Teddy and Susan accompany the anchor onto the field before kickoff and played a tribute to Everett on the videoboard between the first and second quarters.
NOT SO SPECIAL TEAMS
For a second straight game, Vanderbilt was penalized for sending a kickoff out of bounds. The Commodores also had a punt blocked on the first play back after the storm delay ended, and Stockstill found Ty Lee for a 5-yard TD 36 seconds after play resumed. Middle Tennessee had its issues too with a facemask on a 46-yard kickoff return by Darius Sims, and kicker Canon Rooker clanked a 44-yard field goal off the left upright.
Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders visit Bowling Green for their second straight road game.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores visit Georgia Tech for the first of a two-game road swing.
No. 19 Mississippi got exactly what it needed Saturday in a relatively boring, lopsided victory.
Playing just five days after an emotional loss to Florida State, quarterbackChad Kelly threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rebels to a 38-13 victory over Wofford of the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Ole Miss (1-1) didn't look tired despite the short turnaround, scoring on all four of its first-half drives to take a 24-3 halftime lead. The Rebels didn't need to punt until late in the third quarter when the game was well in hand.
"I thought our kids came out with an edge," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "Especially on offense."
It was an efficient, mistake-free performance from Kelly, who threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the Florida State loss. He completed 20 of 27 passes against Wofford.
"We were anxious to get that first win," Kelly said.
The only bad news for the Rebels was when Metcalf, a 6-foot-4 freshman who has quickly earned a role as one of the team's top receivers, broke his left foot in the second quarter. He also caught a touchdown pass in the Florida State game.
Freeze said he wasn't sure how much time Metcalf would miss, but it's possible the injury could end his season.
Ole Miss has already struggled with injuries this year. Starting cornerback Kendarius Webster and running back Eric Swinney both tore knee ligaments in the Florida State game and are done for the season.
Ole Miss announced a crowd of 64,232, which is a stadium record. The Rebels spent about $60 million on offseason renovations to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which included roughly 5,000 new seats after bowling in the north side of the stadium.
Wofford (1-1) moved the ball effectively at times, but couldn't find the end zone until the fourth quarter, when quarterback Brad Butler ran for a 17-yard touchdown.
Freeze pulled a minor surprise on Saturday when he used redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin as the backup quarterback instead of true freshman Shea Patterson. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Pellerin completed 2 of 3 passes for 23 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a touchdown.
Patterson was widely regarded as one of the nation's top quarterback recruits last year, but Freeze left open the possibility that Patterson might redshirt this fall in order to save him for future seasons when Kelly, a senior, is no longer with the program.
"He's certainly talented enough to play," Freeze said. "But we discussed it this week, and playing him in mop-up duty is probably not the smartest thing at this juncture."
Wofford coach Mike Ayres, who is in his 29th season leading the program, had a unique way of describing his team's growth so far this season: "We're close. We're like that fat guy that's got one leg over the fence and he's close. He's working to get that second leg over. It's tough, but it's not quite there. That's where we are. We didn't have a great day."
Wofford: The Terriers' triple-option offense was decent, but finding the end zone was difficult against an SEC defense. Wofford has a 1-19 record against Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
Ole Miss: The Rebels got what they needed - an easy win. Now they can turn their attention to a marquee SEC game against Alabama in Oxford next weekend.
Wofford: The Terriers return home to face Johnson C. Smith.
Ole Miss: The Rebels host Alabama after beating the Tide in each of the past two seasons.