College Football Top 25 Review
It turns out they didn't need the Heisman Trophy winner after all. Mark Ingram (left), who sat out with an injury, congratulates Greg McElroy after one of the Tide's four first-half touchdowns. McElroy completed 12-of-14 passes for 218 yards and a score. The Tide outgained the Spartans 591-175.
Boise State's Brandyn Thompson bats the ball away from Virginia Tech's Dyrell Roberts in the final minute of the Broncos' victory over the Hokies. It was one of several big plays in the final minutes for Boise, who blew a 17-0 lead but ended up pulling out the win thanks to a Kellen Moore touchdown pass with 1:09 to play.
Gator running backs Mike Gillislee (pictured) and Jeff Demps each broke off one big run, but the offense struggled in Florida's first game without Tim Tebow. The score was 21-12 in the fourth quarter, and Florida did not perform nearly as well as the final score indicates.
Texas looked sluggish on offense at times, but the outcome against an overmatched Rice team was never in doubt.
TCU's Tanner Brock lays the hammer down on Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz. TCU limited Oregon State to 13 first downs and 180 passing yards and 270 total yards.
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles shows a little fancy footwork while negotiating the defense. Broyles hauled in nine passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns as the Sooners survived an unexpected scare. Jamell Fleming secured the 800th win in the program's history by intercepting Diondre Borel's pass in the final 5 minutes, dragging his feet to stay inbounds near the sideline. The Sooners are only the seventh Division I school to reach that mark, joining a handful of powerhouses including Michigan, Texas and Notre Dame.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini didn't want to disclose his starting quarterback before the game, but it looks like Taylor Martinez is the man for the job, rushing for 127 yards and three touchdowns and adding 126 yards through the air. The only redshirt or true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for Nebraska, Martinez became the first NU signal-caller since 2003 to run for more than 100 yards in a game.
Iowa didn't need two blocked field goals to survive its 2010 opener like it did in 2009, but Paki O'Meara blocked a punt for good measure, and the Hawkeyes rolled behind a three-touchdown day from running back Adam Robinson.
Star Oregon running back LaMichael James was suspended for the Ducks' opener, but it didn't matter: Backup Kenjon Barner scored four rushing touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass, and Oregon rolled.
A tight game turned into a blowout in the third quarter after the Badgers opened the second half with 24 unanswered points. Wisconsin flexed its muscles on the ground, totaling 278 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Damien Berry gets in a little airborne training while finishing off a 32-yard scoring play. Jacory Harris threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns before sitting out the second half as the Hurricanes prepared for No. 2 Ohio State next week by scoring 35 points in the game's first 25 minutes.
Southern California was able to get into mid-season form in some areas Thursday, like its touchdown celebrations. Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson connected on three touchdowns to make Lane Kiffin a winner in his first game for the Trojans to start the post-Pete Carroll era. It wasn't all rosy, though, as USC allowed 588 yards.
Utah freshman Brian Blechen intercepted a pass on the first play of overtime, setting up Joe Phillips for a 21-yard field goal that gave the Utes a season-opening win Thursday. The defense pitched in, holding Pittsburgh's Dion Lewis to 75 yards on 25 carries.
Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt only attempted one pass, but he ran 16 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets' big win.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett had plenty of time to look for open receivers. And, most of the time, he found them, completing 21-of-24 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns as the Razorbacks, sporting their highest preseason ranking since 1990, breezed.
Against all odds, undermanned North Carolina nearly rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit. The Tar Heels were missing 13 key players because of an NCAA investigation over relationships with agents and possible academic violations. UNC had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds inside the 10, but two passes slipped away in the end zone.
Penn State started slow, but soon pulled away from Youngstown State thanks largely to receiver Brett Beckett (83), who caught eight passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns and seemed to have a strong on-field connection with true freshman starting quarterback, Robert Bolden.
Florida State began the Jimbo Fisher era in resounding fashion, as Christian Ponder threw four touchdown passes and the Seminoles cruised to a 59-6 victory.
Quindarius Carr (right) hauls in a long touchdown pass as the Tigers got off to a good start. Auburn's Cameron Newton accounted for five touchdowns -- three passing and two rushing.
Despite the absences of top wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Washaun Ealey, Georgia cruised on offense. Tailback Caleb King (pictured) got the Dawgs on the board early, and freshman quarterback Aaron Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in his first Georgia start.
Quarterback Geno Smith impressed in his debut as West Virginia starter, completing 20 of 27 passes for 221 yards and two scores. He got plenty of help from star running back Noel Devine, who rushed for 111 yards and a score.
Did you ever have those moments when you're cool, calm and collected while everything around is coming at you 1,000,000 miles an hour? Terrelle Pryor did, completing 17-of-25 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns as the Buckeyes cruised.