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Top 25 football roundup: No. 2 Alabama roars back for 41-24 win over No. 3 Georgia

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 17, 2020

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) rolls out as he looks for a receiver during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Michigan in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 1, 2020.  (Associated Press)
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) rolls out as he looks for a receiver during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Michigan in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Associated Press)
By The Associated Press

Mac Jones passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama’s aerial assault picked apart No. 3 Georgia’s heralded defense in the second half of a 41-24 victory Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Crimson Tide (4-0), with coach Nick Saban stalking the sideline after a COVID-19 scare, rallied with three touchdowns in a 10-minute span starting late in the third quarter of a battle of the Southeastern Conference’s last remaining unbeatens.

The nation’s top scoring offense ultimately got the decisive upper hand in a battle with the Bulldogs (3-1) and one of the nation’s best defenses.

“This was an obvious great win against a very, very good football team,” said Saban, who was cleared early in the day after a false COVID positive. “I was very proud of the way our guys fought in the game.

“I sort of knew it was going to be a 15-round fight and we wouldn’t be winning until the late rounds.”

No. 1 Clemson 73, Georgia Tech 7: Trevor Lawrence brushed off his first interception of the season to pass for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns in the Tigers’ (5-0) romp over the Yellow Jackets (2-3) in Atlanta.

Lawrence completed 24 of 32 passes. All of his scoring passes came in the Tigers’ dominant first half. Clemson led 52-7 at halftime and kept adding to the lead in the second, even with second- and third- (and maybe fourth-) stringers on the field.

Lawrence left the game after Clemson’s first possession of the second half.

No. 4 Notre Dame 12, Louisville 7: Kyren Williams ran for 127 yards, Ian Book had a 13-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and the Fighting Irish (4-0) held off the Cardinals (1-4) in South Bend, Indiana.

Williams ran 25 times and had his third 100-yard game of the season to help the Irish win their 22nd straight at Notre Dame Stadium.

It came against an inspired 3-4 Louisville defense that spent most of the afternoon on the field. Notre Dame controlled the clock for more than 36 minutes, including a game-ending 14-play drive that burned the final 7:55.

Florida State 31, No. 5 North Carolina 28: Jordan Travis ran for two touchdowns and threw a scoring pass to help Florida State build a big first-half lead, and the Seminoles (2-3) held off the Tar Heels (3-1) in Tallahassee, Florida.

Travis guided an offensive that generated 434 yards for Florida State, but was shut out in the second half.

North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell led three second-half touchdown drives to pull to 31-28, but the Tar Heels had drops on third and fourth down in the final seconds to end the comeback bid.

No. 11 Texas A&M 28, Mississippi State 14: Isaiah Spiller ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for two scores to help the Aggies (3-1) beat the Bulldogs (1-3) in Starkville, Mississippi.

Texas A&M led 14-0 at the half and had 325 yards of total offense in the game. Ainias Smith caught five passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. Chase Lane had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

Bulldogs coach Mike Leach benched starting quarterback KJ Costello midway through the second half for freshman Will Rogers, same as he did last week in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky.

No. 13 Miami 31, Pittsburgh 19: D’Eriq King threw four touchdown passes to help the Hurricanes (4-1) beat the Panthers (3-3) in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Will Mallory caught two of King’s scoring passes and the Hurricanesbounced back from a 42-17 loss at top-ranked Clemson last week.

South Carolina 30, No. 15 Auburn 22: Kevin Harris had two touchdown runs and the Gamecocks (2-2) turned three interceptions into points to beat the Tigers (2-2) in Columbia, South Carolina, for the first time in 87 years.

The Tigers had won eight straight in the series and jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes. But Bo Nix threw three interceptions and the Gamecocks cashed in each time to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year.

Kentucky 34, No. 18 Tennessee 7: Kelvin Joseph and Jami Davis returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first half and the Wildcats (2-2) shut out the Volunteers (2-2) in the second half in Knoxville, Tennessee.

It was Kentucky’s first victory in Neyland Stadium since 1984, the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory in Knoxville since 56-0 in 1893 and their most lopsided victory in the series since 1935.

No. 23 Virginia Tech 40, Boston College 14: Hendon Hooker ran for a career-high 164 yards and three touchdowns and threw for a score in the Hokies (3-1) victory over the Eagles (3-2) in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Khalil Herbert added 143 yards rushing for the Hokies. They ran for 350 yards in bouncing back from a road loss to North Carolina.

Associated Press

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