College Football Week 3 Top Moments: Penn State, Alabama, Oklahoma Escape With Wins – FOXSports.com

Week 3 of the college football season brought plenty of drama Saturday.

Top-ranked Alabama survived a scare in the Swamp, using three touchdown passes from Heisman Trophy contender Bryce Young to jump to a 21-3 first-quarter lead before holding on for a 31-29 victory over No. 11 Florida 31-29.

Third-ranked Oklahoma also got a stern test from Nebraska as one of the game’s most historic rivalries was renewed in Norman, Okla., 50 years after the “Game of the Century”. The Sooners got a key late interception and also returned a blocked extra point for two points to hold on for a 23-16 victory in a game in which they were favored by 22.5 points.

Elsewhere, No. 8 Cincinnati continued its quest to be the first non-Power 5 team to make the College Football Playoff, as the Bearcats defeated Indiana 38-24.

And at night, it was an SEC-Big Ten clash as No. 10 Penn State defended its home turf against No. 22 Auburn in a tense affair that ended with the Nittany Lions holding off the Tigers 28-20. 

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Here are the top moments from Saturday’s action.

No. 3 Oklahoma 23, Nebraska 16

Get your popcorn ready

There were some early fireworks before play even started.

Rattler strikes

Oklahoma was first on the board, thanks to this smoothly orchestrated touchdown drive from quarterback Spencer Rattler.

But how about this block from Drake Stoops?

In the third quarter, OU’s special-teams unit got in on the action, blocking Nebraska’s extra-point attempt and returning it for two points, putting the Sooners up 16-9 heading into the final frame.

Interception of the year?

The Huskers charged downfield with nine minutes left in the game, but Oklahoma’s defense held, coming up with this dazzling, one-handed pick from D.J. Graham. 

The Huskers found the end zone again on a missile from Adrian Martinez, but on their final possession, with a minute to play, Nebraska was stifled by the Sooner platoon, and things ended there 23-16.

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No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 11 Florida 29

All Bama Early

The Crimson Tide got things started with back-to-back-to-back scores in the first half. 

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The Gators found the end zone midway through the second to keep Alabama within arm’s reach.

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Alabama led 21-9 at the half, thanks to three touchdown passes by Young, the second player in Alabama history to throw 10 TD passes in his first three career starts, joining Mac Jones.

Gator chomp

To start the second half, Florida picked up right where it left off.

Bama scored again before Florida’s Emory Jones led an 11-play, 99-yard drive to bring the score to 28-23.

The Gators came within two on Dameon Pierce’s second score of the day, but they failed to convert the ensuing two-point attempt, and Alabama was able to run out almost the entire clock from there.

No. 10 Penn State 28, No. 22 Auburn 20

Return of the White Out

More than 106,000 fans gathered in all-white gear to watch the Nittany Lions take on the Auburn Tigers.

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Happy Valley

The first touchdown of the night belonged to Penn State after QB Sean Clifford found Jahan Dotson in the back of the end zone. 

Tank coming though

Auburn fired back with a touchdown run, thanks to the all-out effort from running back Tank Bigsby.

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Catching air

The two teams traded off touchdowns to open the second half to keep it a one-score game.

The fourth quarter was highlighted by this replay-worthy hurdle from Jarquez Hunter that left Penn State defenders in the rear view as Auburn tried to pull off a comeback. 

Penn State was able to hold off the Tigers on a fourth down fade pass from the 2-yard line with 3:12 left. Auburn got the ball back for one final drive, but ran out of time at the Penn State 26.

Fresno State 40, No. 13 UCLA 37

Road warriors

Fresno State served notice to UCLA early that it had come to play at the Rose Bowl.

Heading into the second half, the unranked Bulldogs led the Bruins by 13.

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Settling up

Early in the third, Kam Brown hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Dorian Thompson-Robinson for a Bruins TD, making it a one-score game at 23-17. 

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Fourth quarter comeback

The final frame gave us five touchdowns, three from the Bruins and two from Fresno State.

With 54 seconds left in the game, UCLA’s Kyle Philips found the end zone to put the Bruins back in the lead, 37-33 …

… But the Bulldogs had other plans. With 14 seconds left in regulation, QB Jake Haener, despite being hobbled by an apparent hip injury from a hit late in the fourth quarter, sealed the deal for Fresno State on this play.

No. 23 BYU 27, No. 19 Arizona State 17

Hot hands

Arizona State DB Jack Jones picked off BYU’s Jaren Hall in the end zone in a thrilling fashion.

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Lights out

One of the wackiest plays of the night came late in the third when Hall’s pass was intercepted Merlin Robertson and returned 60 yards to the BYU 15, but before Robertson could reach the end zone, he fumbled, thanks to this monster play from Tyler Allgeier.

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In the end, the Cougars held off Arizona State 27-10, handing the Sun Devils their first L of the season.

No. 17 Ole Miss 61, Tulane 21

It’s raining Rebs

After a nearly two-hour weather delay, Ole Miss and Tulane took the field in Oxford, and the Rebels started pouring it on early.

Heisman hopeful Matt Corral was stellar in the first half, going 18-for-24 for 279 total yards with four TDs.

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Making waves 

Tulane found the end zone twice in the second quarter to keep things competitive heading into the half.

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Video game numbers 

Corral opened with back-to-back rushing scores to open the second half – bringing his rushing TD tally to five on the night – six total – early in the third.

All aboard the Lane Train

Midway through the third, Corral connected with Braylon Sanders on a 45-yard bomb in the end zone, and just like that, the QB tied Ole Miss legend Arnold “Showboat” Boykin for the most total touchdowns in a game in school history with seven. 

The Rebels finished with a staggering 61 points and 707 yards of total offense – more passing yards (335) and more rushing yards (372) than Tulane’s 305 total yards on the night.

No. 21 North Carolina 59, Virginia 39

Early statement

UNC’s Sam Howell connected with wideout Josh Downs twice and Khafre Brown once to get the Tar Heels off to a strong start in the first quarter against Virginia.

Howell finished the first quarter 4-for-5 for 182 passing yards and three TDs.

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Striking back 

But the Cavaliers weren’t going down without a fight, and QB Brennan Armstrong got his squad right back in the game with three TD passes of his own in the second frame to take a 28-24 lead at the half.

He went 21-of-27 for a whopping 364 yards in the first half.

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Offensive shootout

UNC responded with back-to-back touchdowns to open the third and regain its lead, and once the Tar Heels got started, it was all gas and no brakes as they poured on 35 points in the second half.

No. 2 Georgia 40, South Carolina 13

Dawgs on top

UGA got on the board first against South Carolina with this quick touchdown rush, followed by a 43-yard bomb from JT Daniels to receiver Jermaine Burton for another Bulldogs score.

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No. 8 Cincinnati 38, Indiana 24

Defense to offense

The Hoosiers came up with a big takeaway in the first quarter, courtesy of Tiawan Mullen.

The pick led to this plowing romp from Hosiers tight end Peyton Hendershot, followed by another touchdown pass from Michael Penix in the second to take a 14-10 lead at the half.

Cats have last word

Cincinnati kept things tight, and in the second half, the Bearcats took a lead on this doozy of a kick return. From there, the Bearcats scored 28 points in the second half en route to a 38-24 victory.

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West Virginia 27, No. 15 Virginia Tech 21

Mountaineers find pay dirt first

Leddie Brown scampered to the end zone on an 80-yarder to open the scoring, and West Virginia continued to excel in the passing game, going up 24-7 by halftime.

Keeping it close

The Hokies would not go away easily, though. They sparked a comeback effort with two late-quarter touchdowns.

West Virginia came up with the ultimate prize on a crucial fourth-down snap in the red zone.

The stop sealed WVU’s first victory over Virginia Tech since 2003.

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No. 9 Ohio State 41, Tulsa 20

Rookie records

Tulsa led Ohio State 6-3 through the beginning of the second quarter in Columbus, but the Buckeyes turned on the jets, thanks to back-to-back scores from TreVeyon Henderson on his was to recording the most rushing yards in a game by a freshman in Ohio State history (270).

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Returning the favor

Tulsa QB Davis Brin came up with two huge drives in the second half to keep things close …

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… But the Buckeyes had all the momentum. Henderson recorded his third TD of the night in the third quarter, followed by another score courtesy of C.J. Stroud – his first of the night.

Tulsa’s fate was sealed with Brin was picked off late in the final frame and returned 61 yards by Buckeyes defensive back Cameron Martinez.

The best of the rest:

San Diego State 33, Utah 31

SDSU’s Jordan Byrd returned Utah’s punt a jaw-dropping 100 yards to the house for an Aztecs score.

San Diego State went on to beat the Utes in triple overtime, 33-31.

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LSU 49, Central Michigan 21

The Tigers’ first score of the night came on this snag from Deion Smith that you have to see to believe.

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USC 45, Washington State 14

It was a wild matchup between the Trojans and the Cougars, but USC came out on top in the end.

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SMU 39, Louisiana Tech 37

Trailing by four, the Mustangs won on a deflected Hail Mary in the final seconds against Louisiana Tech to stay undefeated. Tanner Mordecai finished with 446 total yards, good for five touchdowns on the day.

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No. 20 Arkansas 45, Georgia Southern 10

Arkansas started the second half with two straight touchdown drives. QB KJ Jefferson dropped this bomb to Warren Thompson for a 60-yard touchdown score in the third, followed by Treylon Burks’ monster 91-yard run on the Razorbacks’ way to smashing Georgia Southern by double digits.

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No. 12 Notre Dame 27, Purdue 13

Notre Dame was a force to be reckoned with against Purdue, thanks to big-time plays such as this 51-yard rush from Kyren Williams to make it a two-score game in the final minutes of Saturday’s contest.

Irish coach Brian Kelly is now tied with legendary College Football Hall of Fame coach Knute Rockne for the most wins in Notre Dame history at 105.

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No. 25 Michigan 63, Northern Illinois 10

The Wolverines flat-out ran past people while on their way to a dominant, 63-10 victory over Northern Illinois. Michigan scored on each of its first nine drives.

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Michigan State 38, No. 24 Miami 17

It was a low-scoring affair early on, as both teams sputtered offensively, but Michigan State turned up the heat in the second half. The Spartans scored once in the third and then added 21 points in the fourth in a strong showing. QB Payton Thorne tossed four TDs in the win.

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No. 7 Texas A&M 34, New Mexico 0

Texas A&M receiver Demond Demas made his first career start Saturday and did this in the first quarter.

The play was good for 70 yards and elation from the Aggie fan base.

Aggies QB Zach Calzada threw for 275 yards and three TDs in his first start, and the Aggies’ defense pitched a shutout against New Mexico.

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No. 16 Coastal Carolina 28, Buffalo 25 

Coastal Carolina scored first, but Buffalo answered quickly, with two touchdowns in the first quarter. CCU quarterback Grayson McCall connected with Jaivon Heiligh on a 17-yarder to tie it at 14.

Coastal scored twice more in the second half, holding Buffalo to one score, plus a field goal, as the Chanticleers began the season 3-0.

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