September 25, 2021 at 10:54 PM EDT

Special teams issues again sink Nebraska

Scott Frost is showing, game by game, that he doesn’t have the answers to fix Nebraska’s problems. The special teams woes yet again killed Nebraska against Michigan State in a 23-20 game.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT

Michigan State, Nebraska headed to overtime

Overtime in East Lansing. It’s tied at 20. Michigan State did not get a first down in the second half but scored on a fourth-quarter punt return of 62 yards by Jayden Reed. Nebraska aiming for its first win against a ranked team since 2016.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 10:32 PM EDT

Florida pulls away to beat Tennessee

After trailing 14-10 in the second quarter, Florida turned it on against Tennessee. The Gators scored the final 28 points of the game and won 38-14.

The result had been decided several minutes before the end of the game, but the spread was very much in play until the last second. Florida closed as a 19-point favorite and the Vols were moving the ball for an otherwise meaningless final drive. They got to the 10-yard line of Florida and ran two plays with a chance to score, and cover, but instead both were incomplete. Florida covered.

Dan SantaromitaDan Santaromita·

Associate Editor, Sports Betting

September 25, 2021 at 10:27 PM EDT

An Oklahoma loss would make September … interesting

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT

West Virginia with a strong defensive showing against Oklahoma

West Virginia is having a rare strong defensive game against Oklahoma tonight.

Matt BrownMatt Brown·

Senior Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 10:23 PM EDT

Punt return ties it up for Michigan State

Michigan State was trailing 20-13, but that changed with one special special teams play.

Dan SantaromitaDan Santaromita·

Associate Editor, Sports Betting

September 25, 2021 at 10:19 PM EDT

Jameson Williams showing off his speed for Alabama

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 10:14 PM EDT

Sam Pittman has restored pride to Arkansas program

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman never wants to talk about it, and he certainly won’t use it as an excuse or a request for patience. When he took over the Razorbacks, he knew very little about the state of the job. He didn’t research losing streaks or roster attrition. He just wanted the job.

The reality though, whether or not Pittman wants to dwell on it (he doesn’t), is that Pittman took over the most difficult situation of any of the 24 coaches hired after the 2019 season. And a few months after he did, the sport shut down and he didn’t get a spring practice with his new team. He was a first-time head coach now in charge of a program in the toughest division in college football, and his roster had endured 19 consecutive SEC losses.

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

Ubben: Sam Pittman has restored pride to Arkansas faster than anyone could have imagined

GO FURTHER

Ubben: Sam Pittman has restored pride to Arkansas faster than anyone could have imagined

September 25, 2021 at 10:12 PM EDT

Offensive struggles continue for Sooners

Oklahoma games with fewer than 17 points through three quarters with Lincoln Riley on staff:

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT

Ohio State’s Kyle McCord has big night after slow start

Ohio State's Kyle McCord has big night after slow start

Ohio State is up 45-7 in the third quarter. Looks like Kyle McCord’s day is done. The freshman was a bit shaky early on, but settled in with some short throws and definitely showed his considerable arm strength. He also showed his inexperience with a bad decision and misfire on an interception on the opening drive of the third quarter.

He finishes 13-for-18 for 319 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. There was an opportunity for McCord to create some interesting conversation about the future of Ohio State’s quarterback position with C.J. Stroud sidelined this week. I’m not sure he did that, but you can certainly see his potential. Jack Miller is in the game now.

(Photo: Joseph Maiorana / USA Today)

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

September 25, 2021 at 9:50 PM EDT

Georgia Tech showing big progress

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT

Ohio State’s K’Vaughan Pope storms off field

Ohio State linebacker K’Vaughan Pope abruptly left the sidelines during the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against Akron.

Following his exit, a since-deleted tweet saying “fucc Ohio State” was posted to Pope’s Twitter account. The same account also posted “good lucc to my teammates.”

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

September 25, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT

Possible bad news for Baylor, Terrel Bernard

Some potentially tough news on a great day for Baylor: Dave Aranda told reporters that he fears linebacker Terrel Bernard has a torn meniscus.

Bernard exited Baylor’s win over Iowa State and was seen on crutches in the second half. They’ll know more on Monday about the status of their All-Big 12 defender. This would be especially brutal considering Bernard missed most of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury.

Max OlsonMax Olson·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 9:29 PM EDT

Alabama cutting down on penalties

A big point of emphasis after the Florida game was Alabama’s 11 penalties. Tonight, three through the first half as Alabama leads 42-7.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 9:19 PM EDT

Ohio State finds its offense in first half

Ohio State leads Akron 38-7 at halftime, and its 38 points are more than it scored in the first half of its first three games combined (30).

Per PFF, Buckeyes entered the day 102th in the FBS in first-half scoring at 10 PPG.

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 9:17 PM EDT

Lane Kiffin may like what he’s seeing

Alabama is still struggling to cover the tight end despite a 42-7 lead over Southern Miss. Somewhere Lane Kiffin is kicked back and cackling thinking of all the ways he can abuse the Tide’s defense. Ole Miss comes to town next week.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 9:09 PM EDT

Oklahoma offense struggling again against West Virginia

At halftime, West Virginia leads Oklahoma 10-7. The Sooners offense just looks totally lost. The offensive line is giving Spencer Rattler no time to throw the ball. OU is averaging a measly 1.8 yards per rush.

And the fans are beginning to turn on Rattler, beginning a “WE WANT CALEB” (for 5-star freshman QB Caleb Williams) chant in the second quarter. This is a critically important halftime for coach Lincoln Riley and the Sooners. They’ve gotta get some things figured out, or they could be in big, big trouble.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 9:07 PM EDT

Discouraging injury news for Washington

Some discouraging news for Washington ahead of tonight’s game against California: Neither star CB Trent McDuffie nor star TE Cade Otton are on the field for warmups. Those would be two significant losses. McDuffie left last week’s game with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Not sure what Otton’s ailment is.

Christian CapleChristian Caple·

Staff Writer, Washington

September 25, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT

Tense exchange with Ohio State linebacker K’Vaughan Pope

Odd moment on the sidelines here. Ohio State reserve linebacker K’Vaughan Pope tried to run on the field and was waved off by teammates. He then tried to leave the field altogether and was coaxed back by staffer CJ Barnett.

Pope then yelled at linebackers coach Al Washington and tossed his gloves into the stands. Pope had a terse exchange with head coach Ryan Day, who appeared to tell Pope to leave the sideline. Pope tried to take off his jersey as he walked off the field. Barnett walked Pope up the tunnel to the locker room.

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

September 25, 2021 at 9:03 PM EDT

Alabama needs Jahleel Billingsley in the game plan

A “No-duh” comment here, but Alabama is much more versatile with Jahleel Billingsley in the game plan. Alabama leads Southern Miss 42-7 at the half. Alabama seems to have quelled some fears that it’s not among the elite anymore. Scoring forty-two points in the first half has a way of soothing the most battered of egos.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 9:00 PM EDT

Sloppy first half for Spartans, Cornhuskers

Sloppy first half for Spartans, Cornhuskers

Pretty sloppy football from both teams tonight, but No. 20 Michigan State leads Nebraska 13-10 at the half. Nebraska has held Kenneth Walker III to 37 yards on 12 carries so far.

Payton Thorne threw his first interception of the year but has 171 yards and a touchdown pass to Jayden Reed. MSU is 2-for-2 in the red zone, but the offense has settled for field goals both times. With Nebraska hanging around, the Spartans will need to convert a few more of those trips into touchdowns in the second half. (edited)

(Raj Mehta / USA Today)

Colton PouncyColton Pouncy·

Staff Writer, Michigan State

September 25, 2021 at 8:57 PM EDT

Adrian Martinez a one-man show for the Huskers

Nebraska held the nation’s leading rusher, Kenneth Walker III, to 37 yards on 12 carries, but it still trails No. 20 Michigan State 13-10 on the road at halftime. Adrian Martinez has been a one-man show for the Huskers. The Nebraska QB left for one possession after taking a hard hit on Nebraska’s opening drive. But wow, did he respond, continuing his play as one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten this season.

Martinez finished the first half 7-for-10 passing for 73 yards and rushed for 45 yards. Stats don’t do it justice this time. He carried Nebraska to a 75-yard drive in the second quarter, tying the game on a 12-yard rush.

Nebraska, seeking its first win in the Scott Frost-coaching era against a ranked team, will open the second half with possession.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 8:52 PM EDT

Oklahoma students looking for a change at QB

Spencer Rattler threw an ugly interception with a little more than 5 minutes left in the first half and the Oklahoma-West Virginia game still tied at 7. The OU student section began a very loud, “WE WANT CALEB!” chant, indicating their preference for 5-star freshman Caleb Williams. I can’t think of any time when the OU crowd openly chanted for a backup quarterback in recent history, at least not since Lincoln Riley’s 2015 arrival.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 8:48 PM EDT

Ohio State cruising in first half against Akron

Ohio State is heading toward a blowout win with a 28-7 lead over Akron midway through the second quarter. Akron isn’t a particularly worthwhile opponent, but OSU’s defense could probably use a day to just feel good about what it’s putting out there.

The Buckeyes have two sacks, three tackles for loss and an interception so far.

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

September 25, 2021 at 8:44 PM EDT

Tennessee’s defense looks more composed and in position

Tennessee’s defensive depth chart was gutted, and I’m not sure how you can watch this group so far and not think it’s substantially more effective than it was a year ago. The Vols look so much more composed and in position. Generally, Jeremy Pruitt’s reputation as a defensive tactician is fair but that defense looks a lot different when it’s not stocked with five-star talent all over the field. And that was pretty rare at Tennessee then and now.

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT

Change needs to come for Wisconsin’s offense

Wisconsin’s desperate attempt at a comeback against Notre Dame had brought the Badgers near midfield with five minutes remaining, when quarterback Graham Mertz eyed receiver Kendric Pryor running a slant route against man coverage. The idea with three receivers on the right side was to clear out room for Pryor, whom Mertz called the “man winner” in that situation, and allow him to gain a chunk of yards in space.

Jesse TempleJesse Temple·

Staff Writer, Wisconsin

Temple: Plenty of blame to go around, but the Wisconsin offense is broken and ‘change has to happen’

GO FURTHER

Temple: Plenty of blame to go around, but the Wisconsin offense is broken and ‘change has to happen’

September 25, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT

Notre Dame celebrates Brian Kelly and the road ahead

Drew White and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa needed to covertly cover about 40 yards while carrying that jug of Gatorade. So the two captains weaved through teammates and coaches in the immediate aftermath of Notre Dame’s 41-13 shock of Wisconsin at Soldier Field. And once they spotted Brian Kelly doing an interview near midfield, Notre Dame’s coach never stood a chance.

Pete SampsonPete Sampson·

Staff Writer, Notre Dame

Fighting Irish celebrate Brian Kelly, who welcomes Notre Dame’s all-hands identity

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Fighting Irish celebrate Brian Kelly, who welcomes Notre Dame’s all-hands identity

September 25, 2021 at 8:19 PM EDT

West Virginia, Oklahoma tied after one quarter

After one quarter, Oklahoma and West Virginia are tied at 7. The Mountaineers have been extremely efficient offensively, converting 4 of 5 third-down attempts as well as their only fourth-down attempt.

WVU will begin the second quarter with a third-and-14 at its own 45.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT

Could Washington get some help at receiver tonight?

Could Washington’s receiver corps be closer to full strength against California tonight? Rome Odunze missed the first three games due to injury, but he’s on the field for early warmups.

He had a big preseason camp and had a starting job locked up before his injury. Fellow 2020 signee Jalen McMillan returned from injury last week to catch 10 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.

Odunze is similarly capable of stretching the field and making big plays on the outside. Putting both of those guys on the field together would make a lot of things easier for quarterback Dylan Morris, as well as UW’s stagnant running game.

Christian CapleChristian Caple·

Staff Writer, Washington

September 25, 2021 at 8:17 PM EDT

Oklahoma offense having to work hard

I don’t think it can be emphasized enough how important it was for Oklahoma to convert that fourth-and-4 from the West Virginia 46-yard line. The Mountaineers had methodically driven down the field and scored to open the game, taking 9:07 off the clock before Spencer Rattler and the Sooners’ offense even touched the ball.

The Sooners ran three plays that practically went nowhere, then on that fourth down, Rattler hit Eric Gray in the flats, and Gray picked up 38 yards. That set up the game-tying touchdown. It would have been an utterly disastrous start had the Sooners given up a TD, then not even gained a first down of their own.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 8:16 PM EDT

Brian Robinson hasn’t taken the field for Alabama

Running back Brian Robinson, who got a little dinged up at Florida, has not played so far for Alabama. Jase McClellan has taken every carry so far. He has six rushes for 43 yards, including a 27-yarder.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 8:13 PM EDT

Could Clemson make a change at quarterback?

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 8:09 PM EDT

Tennessee up on Florida in second quarter

Tennessee up on Florida in second quarter

Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee teams scored 10 first-half points combined in three games against Florida.

Josh Heupel’s Vols lead 14-10 early in the second quarter of his first date with the Gators after a 75-yard touchdown to JaVonta Payton.

(Photo: Kim Klement / USA Today)

Daniel ShirleyDaniel Shirley·

Senior Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 8:06 PM EDT

NC State upsets Clemson in overtime

After NC State’s Devin Carter hauled in a 22-yard pass from quarterback Devin Leary in double overtime Saturday, No. 9 Clemson failed to convert on fourth-and-5 and the Wolfpack upset the Tigers 27-21.

It marked Clemson’s first loss to an unranked team since 2017, NC State’s first win against a top-10 team since 2012 and snapped the Wolfpack’s eight-game losing streak against the Tigers.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 8:03 PM EDT

Strong start for West Virginia

Redshirt freshman QB Garrett Greene scored on a read-option keep to cap a 17-play drive and give West Virginia a 7-0 lead in the first quarter at Oklahoma. Can the Spencer Rattler and the Sooners answer?

Andy StaplesAndy Staples·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 7:59 PM EDT

Arkansas talking trash on the state of Texas

Arkansas LB Grant Morgan: “We own Texas now, I guess. … It’s a good day to be a Razorback.”

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 7:47 PM EDT

Why SMU’s win against TCU is so important

The drive from Dallas to Fort Worth features a statement at the midway point on the I-30 highway: “Pony Up Arlington,” the billboard reads, with a photo of SMU cornerback and Arlington native Jahari Rogers.

SMU has put these billboards up for a few years now, highlighting a local player in almost every area around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It’s a smart recruiting strategy. But no billboard makes a statement quite like rolling over to Fort Worth and punching TCU football in the mouth. SMU beat the Horned Frogs 42-34 on Saturday and racked up 350 rushing yards.

Read more below:

Chris VanniniChris Vannini·

Staff Writer, CFB

Vannini: SMU’s decisive win at TCU makes a statement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond

GO FURTHER

Vannini: SMU’s decisive win at TCU makes a statement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond

September 25, 2021 at 7:43 PM EDT

Martinez back in for Nebraska

Adrian Martinez returns for Nebraska after missing one possession. Huskers and Michigan State are scoreless late in the first quarter.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT

Bama already winning

That didn’t take long. Alabama goes up 7-0 on the opening kickoff with Jameson Williams, the Ohio State transfer, flashing that speed. The Crimson Tide came out fast.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 7:40 PM EDT

Arkansas pushes around Texas A&M to shake up SEC West

For the second time in three weeks, Arkansas pushed around an old Southwest Conference rival, as the No. 16 Razorbacks upset the No. 7 Aggies 20-10 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium to provide a shakeup in the SEC West.

The Razorbacks (4-0) are off to a brilliant start under second-year coach Sam Pittman.

Read more about Arkansas’ statement win here.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 7:36 PM EDT

Big comeback win for UTSA

UTSA comes back from down three touchdowns to beat Memphis 31-28. Hunter Duplessis nailed a 42-yard FG to win it as time expires.

Jeff Traylor has the Roadrunners at 4-0 after the road win.

MEEP MEEP

Sam Khan Jr.Sam Khan Jr.·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT

Martinez out of the game for Nebraska

Adrian Martinez, the big-play maestro, is out for Nebraska on this second drive. He was taken to the locker room after trainers looked at his jaw. In at QB is freshman Logan Smothers. Big moment for the kid from Alabama, on the road against No. 20 Michigan State.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 7:31 PM EDT

What now for Clemson?

To me, this seems like a crossroads for Clemson’s program. Will it continue to be one of the three most elite programs in the country along with Ohio State and Alabama every single year? I had some concerns about them long-term given their recruiting results. While they have been good, they haven’t been at the same level as the two other aforementioned powers, which is what it takes to be a College Football Playoff contender every single year. It’ll be weird to see a year with Clemson out of the CFP hunt, but is this the beginning of the end for the Tigers’ reign of dominance atop the sport?

Ari WassermanAri Wasserman·

Senior Writer, CFB

How sustainable is the Dabo Swinney way? Names on jerseys at Notre Dame, Penn State and USC? Recruiting mailbag

GO FURTHER

How sustainable is the Dabo Swinney way? Names on jerseys at Notre Dame, Penn State and USC? Recruiting mailbag

September 25, 2021 at 7:29 PM EDT

Alabama looking to reach 100 in a streak

Alabama is going for its 100th consecutive win over an unranked team. It’s just one of the streaks that defies logic during the Nick Saban era.

Aaron SuttlesAaron Suttles·

Staff Writer, Alabama

September 25, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT

Clemson is likely out of the playoff, is the whole ACC?

Clemson’s bid for the College Football Playoff is done. I think we could maybe say the same thing about the entire ACC?

Ari WassermanAri Wasserman·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT

Down goes Clemson

Clemson can’t convert on 4th-and-5 and this one is over. NC State wins 27-21 in double overtime. Uiagalelei was looking for Ross. The Tigers will miss the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2014 after another abysmal outing from the offense.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT

Iowa rallies after slow start, beats Colorado State for 10th consecutive win

In what has become a weekly occurrence, Iowa’s defense came up with yet another big play to tip the balance in a critical juncture.

With the Hawkeyes trailing early in the second half, defensive tackle Yahya Black forced a fumble and linebacker Jack Campbell recovered on the Colorado State 6-yard line. The No. 5 Hawkeyes scored a play later en route to a 24-14 win and their 10th straight victory.

Read more about Iowa’s come-from-behind win here.

Scott DochtermanScott Dochterman·

Staff Writer, Iowa

September 25, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT

McCord officially starting for Buckeyes

Kyle McCord has officially been named the starting quarterback tonight for Ohio State. He’s the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Buckeyes since Braxton Miller in 2011. A true freshman has not attempted a pass for the Buckeyes since then. McCord is the fourth true freshman to start at quarterback in program history, joining Miller, Terrelle Pryor and Art Schlichter.

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

September 25, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT

Nebraska’s Martinez takes a big hit early

Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez was hit hard on a third-down carry on the Huskers’ first possession by Michigan State safety Xavier Henderson. Martinez stayed down for a couple minutes and walked off slowly. No score in East Lansing.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT

NC State now leads in 2OT

The crowd here in Raleigh genuinely cheered when Wolfpack kicker Christopher Dunn, who has missed three field goals today (including the potential game-winner) made the extra point. Clemson’s defense has been on the field for 40-plus minutes today. The Tigers’ offense have 45 plays to NC State’s 94.

And now Devin Carter makes a 23-yard TD catch for NC State on the second play of the second overtime.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT

NC State forces 2OT, but should Wolfpack have gone for two?

If I’m NC State and I get one play to beat Clemson, I probably take it. We’ll see.

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT

Michigan holds on to beat Rutgers

Leading Rutgers by 17 points at halftime, Michigan ended up in a dogfight before prevailing 20-13. The Wolverines needed a missed field goal, a fourth-down stop and a forced fumble to subdue the Scarlet Knights in the fourth quarter, due in large part to an offense that went AWOL after halftime.

Read more here about Michigan’s win.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT

Injuries continue to be a theme for Clemson

Shipley is the latest in what has been a brutal day for Clemson on the injury front. The Tigers also lost starting defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and starting middle linebacker James Skalski earlier today.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 7:06 PM EDT

Clemson takes the lead in OT against NC State

North Carolina State had a 39-yard field to win the game in regulation, but Christopher Dunn missed the kick. Dunn is 0-for-3 in the game, including two misses in the fourth quarter.

Clemson running back Will Shipley limped off with an injury right before the Tigers took the lead. NC State now needs a touchdown to stay in the game.

Dan SantaromitaDan Santaromita·

Associate Editor, Sports Betting

September 25, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT

Baylor holds on by stopping a 2-pointer

Iowa State nearly came back against Baylor, but needed a 2-point conversion after a touchdown to tie the game. The 2-pointer was denied and Baylor recovered the ensuing onside kick to knock off No. 14 Iowa State. That is Baylor’s first win against a ranked opponent since 2015.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT

K.J. Jefferson returns for Arkansas

With 7:04 left and Arkansas leading 20-10 K.J. Jefferson is back in the game for Arkansas. The Arkansas QB was seen limping earlier and left in the third quarter.

Sam Khan Jr.Sam Khan Jr.·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT

Illinois falls to Purdue in low-scoring game

Illinois took a big step toward a 1-11 finish today with a 13-9 loss at Purdue. The Illini have a key game next week against Charlotte, then get into the meat of the Big Ten. It makes that win for Bret Bielema’s crew in Week Zero against Nebraska look all that much more embarrassing for the Huskers.

Mitch Sherman·

Staff Writer, Nebraska

September 25, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT

Rutgers denied on a big 4th down

Michigan was up 20-3 at halftime, but Rutgers has climbed back into the game. The Scarlet Knights were denied on a 4th and 2 inside Michigan territory in the fourth quarter.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT

Ohio State has good history with QB debuts

Assuming Kyle McCord does get the start tonight vs. Akron. he’ll look to become the 14th consecutive Ohio State QB to win his starting debut.

No Buckeye QB has lost his starting debut since Scott McMullen in 2001 vs. Illinois.

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT

Rutgers blows a golden opportunity

I don’t know what it is about coaches and the fade route, but I fundamentally do not understand calling a play that has a high degree of difficulty in college football — which is known for its chaos and its players not always executing perfectly. Down seven, on third-and 10 from the Michigan 11, Greg Schiano called it, it didn’t work, and then Rutgers misses a field goal. Woof all around.

Nicole AuerbachNicole Auerbach·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT

Iowa has turned it on against Colorado State

Colorado State took a 14-7 lead on No. 5 Iowa on its final drive of the first half and all was well.

After six second-half drives, all is not:

3-and-out

Fumble

3-and-out

Turnover on downs

Punt

Punt

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT

Stroud not expected to play tonight for Ohio State

Early stages of warmups for Ohio State ahead of tonight’s game against Akron. C.J. Stroud is not throwing with the other quarterbacks. Anticipation is that he won’t play tonight.

Kyle McCord is snapping with starting center Luker Wypler pregame, indicating that he’ll get the start tonight. It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but McCord looks like he’ll be the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Ohio State in 10 years.

Bill LandisBill Landis·

Staff Writer, Ohio State

On C.J. Stroud’s shoulder, playing other QBs and Ohio Stadium’s turf: Ohio State takeaways

GO FURTHER

On C.J. Stroud’s shoulder, playing other QBs and Ohio Stadium’s turf: Ohio State takeaways

September 25, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT

Rutgers is creeping back in at Michigan

It’s a one-possession game in Ann Arbor after Rutgers kicked a field goal to pull within 20-13. Michigan’s offense has gone into hiding since the end of the first half. The Wolverines had just 84 yards on the ground through three quarters after rushing for more than 300 in each of their first three games, and the offense just went three-and-out to open the fourth quarter.

Austin MeekAustin Meek·

Staff Writer, Michigan

September 25, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT

Wanna see an 80-yard punt?

Illinois punter Blake Hayes absolutely crushed a punt against Purdue. It goes down as an 80-yard punt that resulted in a touchback from Illinois’ own 20-yard line. More impressively, Hayes’ boot went about 70 yards on the fly before bouncing into the end zone.

Considering Illinois leads 9-6 in the fourth quarter, it’s fitting that a punt is one of the highlights of the game.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT

Clemson entering uncharted (recent) territory

Clemson hasn’t averaged less than 30 points since 2010. That was Dabo Swinney’s second season.

They have yet to reach 30 combined in their three Power 5 games.

Stewart MandelStewart Mandel·

Senior Columnist & EIC, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT

KJ Jefferson leaves with injury

Malik Hornsby is in the game at QB for Arkansas in its second series of the third quarter. KJ Jefferson tackled near the sideline early in the half and has been limping ever since. Tried to give it a go in the second series but is now out of the game.

Hornsby is a redshirt freshman and was a four-star recruit.

Sam Khan Jr.Sam Khan Jr.·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT

North Carolina State leads Clemson

Clemson’s offense is struggling, the defense is losing players to injury and now the Tigers are losing. Devin Leary hit Devin Carter for an all-Devin TD play.

The Wolfpack are up 14-7 in the third quarter.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT

Spiller rips off a big run to get A&M back in it

Texas A&M needed a big play on offense and got it from Isaiah Spiller. Spiller broke free for a 67-yard touchdown to get the Aggies within a score of Arkansas at 17-10.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT

Jalen Redmond out for OU

Oklahoma defensive tackle Jalen Redmond will miss the West Virginia game and at least a few more games after suffering a knee injury last week against Nebraska, a source confirmed to The Athletic. This news was first reported by SI Sooners. Redmond led the Sooners in sacks in 2019 and opted out of playing last season. Redmond has started all three games this season. With Redmond out, expect junior Josh Ellison and senior LaRon Stokes to take on more prominent roles. Although to be honest, if any OU position group could sustain an injury to a starter, it’s the defensive line.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 5:57 PM EDT

Another injury on Clemson’s defense

Clemson’s defense can’t catch a break with injuries. Bryan Bresee limps off the field slowly with the help of two trainers and heads straight to the injury tent. The Tigers are already without starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis for the next seven ish weeks, after he had surgery Tuesday on his bicep. Clemson will now turn to Ruke Orhorhoro and Tre Williams. Williams has also been banged up for most of the season.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT

Baylor making more big plays against Iowa State

Baylor is making a big-time statement today. The Bears just extended their lead to 28-16 over No. 14 Iowa State on a 98-yard kickoff return for a TD by Trestan Ebner.

Max OlsonMax Olson·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT

Pittman has turned around Arkansas in a hurry

I don’t think people quite appreciate the job that Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has done. What Chad Morris left Pittman was a program that was, for all intents and purposes, lifeless. Arkansas might have been the worst Power Five program in 2019, and the Hogs are now on the verge of being ranked in the top-10 if they can keep this up in the second half. Just a remarkable, remarkable job by Pittman and his staff.

Jason KerseyJason Kersey·

Staff Writer, Oklahoma

September 25, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT

Jack Campbell playing big for Iowa

Iowa LB Jack Campbell has 13 tackles, 1 breakup and 1 fumble recovery at the 6-yard line. There’s 8:17 left in the third quarter. In the past three weeks, he joined on a safety, forced a fumble on Iowa’s goal line and recovered a fumble for a TD.

Scott DochtermanScott Dochterman·

Staff Writer, Iowa

September 25, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT

Iowa gets a quick score off, what else, a turnover

Colorado State fumble leads to an Iowa touchdown on the very next play to tie the game at 14-14… It’s been the Hawkeye way this season.

Iowa entered the day with an FBS-high 44 points off turnovers in 2021.

Jason StarrettJason Starrett·

Deputy Managing Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT

All-SEC CB Elam out for Florida

Following up on an Orlando Sentinel tweet from Edgar Thompson, I can confirm per a Florida source that CB Kaiir Elam is out for tonight’s game against Tennessee. That likely means an extended look for freshman Jason Marshall, plus Texas A&M transfer Elijah Blades, who I’m told is available after missing last two games.

G. Allan TaylorG. Allan Taylor·

Staff Writer, Florida

September 25, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT

An injury on the Clemson defense

Clemson linebacker James Skalski appears to be done for the day. Skalski is on the sidelines without his shoulder pads on to start the second half. He appeared to suffer a shoulder injury, which has been the most common injury of the season among Clemson players.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT

Aggies need to be more physical to hang with Arkansas

Jimbo Fisher warned his team about its need to be more physical last week after a win over New Mexico, noting that “big boy ball” in the SEC was on the horizon. Arkansas is showing why the Texas A&M coach was right to be concerned.

Arkansas pushed the Aggies around in the first half, rolling to 308 offensive yards and Barry Odom’s defense has kept QB Zach Calzada guessing, pressuring him at times with a three-man rush. The Aggies should feel fortunate to be down only 14 points at the half.

By the way, Arkansas WR Treylon Burks = STUD

Sam Khan Jr.Sam Khan Jr.·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT

Chaos looms this afternoon

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT

Georgia State has Auburn on alert

Georgia State is a little more than a half away from being blackballed on SEC schedules.

Just ripped through the middle of Auburn’s defense for a 50-yard touchdown to take a 24-12 lead late in the first half. Panthers sniffing a second SEC road win in three years after upsetting Tennessee in the 2019 season opener.

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT

Colorado in search of first AP top-5 win

Of the 130 FBS teams, 76 have at least one win against an AP top-5 opponent. Colorado State is trying to become the 77th.

The Rams previously have top-10 wins against No. 7 Colorado in 2002, No. 6 Arizona in 1994 and No. 10 Wyoming in 1966.

Matt BrownMatt Brown·

Senior Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT

Could Wake Forest win the ACC?

Watching Clemson-NC State is making me more and more confident that Wake Forest is going to win the ACC.

Wake Forest and UNC are playing each other in a non-conference game this year. What if they also meet in the ACC title game?

Stewart MandelStewart Mandel·

Senior Columnist & EIC, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT

Reminder: Treylon Burks is a freak athlete

Arkansas’ Treylon Burks displaying that Freaky athleticism today with 5 catches for 160 yards in the first half. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver wears gloves that are 5XL. His hands measure 10.75 inches across.

Bruce FeldmanBruce Feldman·

Senior Writer, CFB

Bruce Feldman’s 2021 college football Freaks List

GO FURTHER

Bruce Feldman’s 2021 college football Freaks List

September 25, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT

Michigan with a commanding lead at the break

After a dominant first drive, Michigan hasn’t had much success running against the Rutgers defense. Cade McNamara is 8 of 11 passing for 156 yards and has four completions of 20-plus. Miscues by both teams in the last 2 minutes of the half resulted in a short field goal for Michigan and a 20-3 lead.

Austin MeekAustin Meek·

Staff Writer, Michigan

September 25, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT

About Clemson’s offense…

Clemson’s offense in the first half, tied 7-7 with NC State: 87 total yards, 0.8 yards per rush, 0-5 on third downs. Ran 11 plays and managed just 8 yards in the second quarter. Ouch.

Bruce FeldmanBruce Feldman·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT

Could we see more of Anthony Richardson tonight?

A Florida program source tells The Athletic that backup quarterback/developing folk hero Anthony Richardson “looked good” in practice this week as he recovers from a hamstring injury. The Gators face Tennessee at 7 p.m. Eastern, and Richardson’s game-breaking ability in certain packages would be a welcomed augmentation to starter Emory Jones.

G. Allan TaylorG. Allan Taylor·

Staff Writer, Florida

September 25, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT

Iowa trails Colorado State at half

Colorado State appeared to provide the perfect matchup for an Iowa defense built to stop the run but the opposite proved true in the first half at Kinnick Stadium.

The Rams (1-2) converted 9-of-13 third-down opportunities and rushed for 82 yards to take a 14-7 lead on the Hawkeyes. On both Colorado State scoring drives, the Rams took advantage of great field position after Iowa miscues. The first score was after a shanked punt and the second was after Spencer Petras’ first interception in 167 passes. It’s the first time the No. 5 Hawkeyes (3-0) have trailed all season.

Scott DochtermanScott Dochterman·

Staff Writer, Iowa

September 25, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT

Who is actually good this year?

Real question: Which college football teams are good this year? I dare you to get to five.

Ari WassermanAri Wasserman·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:59 PM EDT

Arkansas-Georgia could be fun next week

The SEC is known for its big games being at 3:30 p.m. and at night. Well guess what: Arkansas at Georgia next week is a noon kickoff and if the Razorbacks hold on that will be a matchup of unbeatens, one the No. 2 team in the country and who knows where Arkansas, currently ranked No. 16, would be.

Seth EmersonSeth Emerson·

Staff Writer, Georgia

September 25, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT

A day for some struggling programs?

Has Bowling Green, Kansas and UConn all won on the same day in the history of college football?

Bowling Green already beat Minnesota, UConn leads Wyoming and Kansas is in a close one against Duke.

Ari WassermanAri Wasserman·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT

Baylor is up two scores on Iowa State

Iowa State is a touchdown-favorite at Baylor and scored first, but the Bears have surged ahead 21-10 after this Gerry Bohanon pass to Ben Sims.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT

Clemson’s offense is struggling again

OK so maybe Clemson’s offense isn’t back. Since the Tigers’ touchdown, Clemson has punted three consecutive times, running nine plays for a total of -7 yards. DJ Uiagalelei was also just sacked in back-to-back plays.

Grace RaynorGrace Raynor·

Staff Writer, Clemson

September 25, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT

Look at UConn go

UConn used a trick play to score a touchdown against Wyoming and take a 10-0 lead. Do you believe in miracles? OK, that’s a stretch.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT

A&M forced to attempt a rare comeback

Texas A&M needed to prove for the first time this season it could produce offense against a team with a pulse. Haynes King’s injury hurts, but 10 points wasn’t going to win this game. And Arkansas’ 80-yard touchdown pass puts a lot of pressure on an Aggies team that hasn’t been in this position in a while. The Aggies haven’t trailed by double digits in a game since last year’s come-from-behind win over Florida. They trailed by 11 in the third quarter before rallying for a 41-38 win.

David UbbenDavid Ubben·

Staff Writer, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT

SMU beats TCU and there was a skirmish postgame

SMU wins the 100th battle for the Iron Skillet over TCU as Tanner Mordecai runs for a first down. SMU’s 350 rushing yards are the second-most ever allowed by TCU under Gary Patterson as head coach.

Chris VanniniChris Vannini·

Staff Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:30 PM EDT

Arkansas’ talent is showing against Texas A&M

The Chad Morris era is so deeply burned into our brains that we forget that Arkansas actually has one of the top 25 most talented rosters in college football. Combine that with a really solid coach in Sam Pittman, and you have yet another tough out in the SEC. Texas A&M is finding that out now.

Ari WassermanAri Wasserman·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT

Jack Coan’s injury expected to be minor

Brian Kelly said postgame that he expects Jack Coan back this week. Coan was 15-for-29 for 158 yards and a touchdown. Drew Pyne was 6-for-8 for 81 yards and a score in his place.

Matt FortunaMatt Fortuna·

Staff Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT

Texas Tech will be without Tyler Shough for a few weeks

Texas Tech coach Matt Wells announced after a 70-35 loss to Texas that QB Tyler Shough is going to be out “a few weeks” with what he called an upper-body injury. Henry Colombi will start going forward after throwing for 324 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.

Max OlsonMax Olson·

Senior Writer, CFB

September 25, 2021 at 4:24 PM EDT

Arkansas off to a flying start

Arkansas is up 10-0 after early against Texas A&M after this big play touchdown from K.J. Jefferson to Treylon Burks.

The Athletic College Football StaffThe Athletic College Football Staff

September 25, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT

Clemson’s defense finally allows a touchdown

Clemson’s defense gives up its first touchdown of the season with five seconds left in the first quarter at NC State, in its fourth game of the season. Devin Leary found Emeka Emezie for a 9-yard TD pass to tie the score at 7-7.

Kate HairopoulosKate Hairopoulos·

Senior Editor, College Football

September 25, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT

Irish having fun with ‘Jump Around’ postgame

Notre Dame locker room is blasting “Jump Around,” right after they sang the ND fight song.

Matt FortunaMatt Fortuna·

Staff Writer, CFB