Football is back! A look at all the action from the first Saturday of the season in the SEC.
Alabama 24, Florida State 7
The top-ranked Tide’s offense struggled, but a rebuilt defense was stifling in leading the way to the win over the third-ranked Seminoles in Atlanta. Alabama managed just 269 yards against an experienced Seminoles defense, including only 96 through the air. But FSU finished with only 250 yards, including just 40 on the ground. Alabama led 10-7 at halftime, then seized control with a TD and a field goal in an 18-second span in the third quarter. While Alabama was 3-of-16 on third down, FSU was 4-of-13. The Seminoles committed three turnovers, with two picks from Deondre Francois.
Michigan 33, Florida 17
New season, same result: Florida’s offense again was inept and the Wolverines cruised to the win in Arlington, Texas. Florida had 10 players suspended, including star WR Antonio Callaway and starting RB Jordan Scarlett. Michigan’s defensive front dominated the line of scrimmage, and the Gators got nothing going offensively, finishing with 192 yards. Florida led 17-13 at halftime, thanks to two pick-sixes by the Gators. But Michigan dominated the second half and ended Florida’s season-opening winning streak at 27 games, which had been the nation’s best. This was Florida’s 93rd game this decade, and it was its seventh with fewer than 200 yards of offense and the 40th without 300 yards. Michigan had 433 yards of offense. Florida’s lone offensive score was a field goal on its first drive of the game. Florida plays FCS foe Northern Colorado next week.
South Carolina 35, NC State 28
Though the Gamecocks struggled to move the ball consistently, they downed the Wolfpack in Charlotte. South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel returned the opening kickoff for a TD and the Gamecocks never were headed, though the Wolfpack did tie it three separate times. NC State lost despite outgaining South Carolina 504-248. Samuel also had two TD receptions and finished with 83 yards on five catches; the Gamecocks rushed for just 31 yards. NC State QB Ryan Finley threw for 415 yards, but two lost fumbles hurt the Wolfpack. NC State had a chance to tie it on its final play of the game, but the Gamecocks broke up a fourth-and-goal attempt from the 10 with six seconds left. That ended a 14-play, 62-yard drive. NC State ran a school-record 99 plays.
LSU 27, BYU 0
LSU’s defense was stifling, holding BYU to only 97 total yards and allowing the Cougars to cross midfield just twice in a win in New Orleans. LSU’s offense took a while to get going but finished with 296 rushing yards; Derrius Guice had 27 carries for 122 yards and two TDs and backup Darrel Williams rushed for 92 yards and a score. BYU finished with minus-5 rushing yards. The Cougars did not have a drive lasting longer than six plays, and BYU was just 2-of-10 on third downs. LSU had 26 first downs; BYU had six. LSU apparently had 13 players suspended for the opener.
Georgia 31, Appalachian State 10
Starting QB Jacob Eason was injured on Georgia’s third possession of the game, but true freshman backup Jacob Fromm looked solid in leading the host Bulldogs to the win. Fromm came on with the game scoreless, but guided the Bulldogs to a 21-0 halftime lead and they never really were challenged in the second half. Georgia rushed for 221 yards, with RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combining for 183 yards and three TDs. App State finished with 284 total yards; the Mountaineers were penalized 11 times for 105 yards.
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