Sports College Football: Penn State Escapes After Appalachian State’s Surge

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Penn State’s Miles Sanders ran for a 4-yard touchdown in overtime on Saturday, lifting the Nittany Lions over a surprising Appalachian State.CreditCreditJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

Sports 10 Penn State 45, Appalachian State 38

Amani Oruwariye intercepted a Zac Thomas pass in the end zone, and No. 10 Penn State held on to beat visiting Appalachian State in overtime on Saturday, exactly 11 years after the Mountaineers stunned Michigan in one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Miles Sanders rushed 19 times for 91 yards with two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in overtime, for the Nittany Lions. But Penn State let a 31-17 lead evaporate when Appalachian State scored on three straight possessions over 5 minutes 53 seconds in the fourth quarter, and things grew tense in Happy Valley.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who completed 21 of 36 passes for 230 yards and ran for two scores, led a game-tying drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to K. J. Hamler with 42 seconds left.

Thomas, who returned from an injury to lead his team’s comeback, completed 25 of 38 passes for 270 yards, threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more for Appalachian State. Jalin Moore ran 18 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, and Malik Williams caught two touchdowns for the Mountaineers.

Sports 9 Auburn 21, 6 Washington 16

Jatarvious Whitlow ran 10 yards for a touchdown with 6:15 remaining, and the Auburn defense came through at the end, leading the No. 9 Tigers a victory at home over No. 6 Washington that provided a big boost to their résumé in the first game of the season.

Trailing by 16-15 after missing a 2-point conversion on its opening drive of the game, Auburn drove 76 yards in 10 plays for the winning score. Jarrett Stidham kept the drive going early with a 12-yard pass to Chandler Cox on third-and-9.

Then, facing third-and-7 deep in Washington territory, Auburn handed off inside to Whitlow, who knocked over a Washington defender as he smashed into the end zone.

Washington drove to the Auburn 37 with plenty of time to pull off the comeback, but Myles Gaskin was thrown for a 3-yard loss, and Jake Browning was stymied by a fierce pass rush on back-to-back plays that preserved the Tigers’ victory.

Stidham was 26 of 36 for 273 yards for Auburn, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Sal Cannella, who made a leaping grab in the end zone before landing flat on his back.

Browning, seeking to bounce back from a disappointing junior season, completed 18 of 32 for 296 yards.

Sports 5 Ohio State 77, Oregon State 31

Ohio State entered its season opener with a stand-in coach and a new starting quarterback after a chaotic preseason that led to a three-game suspension for Coach Urban Meyer.

The day worked out for the offensively prolific No. 5 Buckeyes, though their defense might be more of a work in progress than had been expected.

The new starter, Dwayne Haskins Jr., threw for a record five touchdowns as Ohio State scored on five of its first six possessions and cruised to a rout at home of overmatched Oregon State.

The Buckeyes shook off Meyer’s first absence from the sideline in six years, piling up 721 yards and tying a program record for points scored in an opener. Meyer will be allowed to return to practice on Monday, although he will be unable to attend the next two games. He was suspended after an investigation showed he had mismanaged the response to a former assistant, Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence.

The scandal has dogged the program for the past month. The acting coach, Ryan Day, said he was not surprised that the Buckeyes started strong, jumping ahead by 21-7 in the first quarter and extending their lead to 42-14 at halftime.

“There was a quiet confidence about this team all along,” said Day, an offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach.

Haskins, who took the keys from the four-year starter J. T. Barrett, was 22 for 30 for 313 yards. The five touchdowns and the yards gained are records for a first-time Ohio State starter.

Sports Maryland 34, 23 Texas 29

Maryland emerged from a trying off-season with an emotionally charged upset at home of No. 23 Texas, shaking off a lengthy weather delay and providing Matt Canada with a satisfying victory in his debut at the Terrapins’ interim coach.

After squandering a 24-7 lead, Maryland forced three turnovers in the final 6:09 and scored the game’s final 10 points, stunning the Longhorns in their season opener for a second year in a row. This one was even more impressive because of what the Terrapins had endured over the summer.

Maryland has dedicated its season to offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who collapsed on the practice field on May 29 and died two weeks later of complications of heatstroke.

The Terrapins paid tribute to McNair by lining up with 10 players on their first offensive play of the game. Maryland waited for a delay of game to be called, and Texas declined the penalty in a show of sportsmanship.

The circumstances surrounding the medical treatment administered to McNair on the scene, as well as charges of bullying by the coaching staff, led the university to place Coach D. J. Durkin on administrative leave and resulted in the resignation of Rick Court, the strength and conditioning coach.

Canada, the offensive coordinator, was named the interim coach.

“I just can’t say enough about our players, everything they’ve been through and the way they stuck together,” Canada said. “It was a great way to honor Jordan. This was a win for Jordan. We’re certainly proud of our team, proud of our program.”

The freshman Jeshaun Jones ran for a score, threw for one and caught a 65-yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Kasim Hill went 17 for 29 for 222 yards.

“Everything that has happened this summer has brought us closer together,” Hill said. “It was just fun to be back out there.”

Sports 2 Clemson 48, Furman 7

The freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns, and No. 2 Clemson scored on all five of his drives as the Tigers opened their season with a rout of visiting Furman.

Even with the impressive debut by Lawrence, who went 9 for 15 for 137 yards and no interceptions, the senior starter Kelly Bryant also shined. He went 10 for 16 for 127 yards and a touchdown and ran five times for 44 yards and a score.

Sports 3 Georgia 45, Austin Peay 0

Jake Fromm threw two scoring passes while sharing time with the freshman Justin Fields, and No. 3 Georgia showed off some new firepower, rolling past visiting Austin Peay.

Georgia flashed big-play potential, including a 59-yard touchdown pass from Fromm to Mecole Hardman and a 72-yard scoring run by Demetris Robertson, who was making his debut.

Fromm completed 12 of 16 passes for 157 yards, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Riley Ridley. Fields, one of the headliners in Coach Kirby Smart’s top-ranked class of signees, made his debut on the Bulldogs’ first second-quarter possession and started the second half.

Fields completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards, including a 12-yard scoring pass to Isaac Nauta. Fields also had three carries for 33 yards in his first opportunity to flash his dual-threat talents. The walk-on quarterback Matthew Downing played most of the second half.

Sports 7 Oklahoma 63, Florida Atlantic 14

Kyler Murray, taking over for the Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, passed for 209 yards and two touchdowns, leading No. 7 Oklahoma over visiting Florida Atlantic.

Murray, a first-round Major League Baseball draft pick, connected on 9 of 11 passes in just under a half. He also ran for 23 yards on four carries.

Sports 15 Southern California 43, U.N.L.V. 21

J. T. Daniels, the second freshman to start at quarterback in a season opener for Southern California, threw for 282 yards with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown, leading the No. 15 Trojans to a victory at home over Nevada-Las Vegas.

Daniels was 22 of 35 passing for the Trojans, with his fellow freshman St. Brown making seven receptions for 98 yards. The former teammates at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., connected for their first college touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, with St. Brown getting a step behind cornerback Jericho Flowers on a post route to give U.S.C. a two-possession lead over the Rebels.

Sports 16 Texas Christian 55, Southern 7

Shawn Robinson threw touchdowns to three receivers and ran for two more scores while playing only the first half as No. 16 Texas Christian opened the season with a victory at home over Southern.

Robinson, who won his only start last season as a true freshman, left preseason camp as the starting quarterback. The Horned Frogs scored on their first six drives, taking a 38-7 lead, before Robinson’s fellow sophomore Michael Collins, a transfer from Penn, took over after halftime.

Sports 17 West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14

Will Grier got his Heisman Trophy campaign off to an impressive start, throwing for 429 yards and five touchdowns as No. 17 West Virginia defeated Tennessee in Charlotte, N.C., in a game delayed for more than an hour at halftime by lightning.

Tim Jordan ran for 118 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown for Tennessee, which lost in Jeremy Pruitt’s debut as coach. Pruitt won six national championships as a defensive coach, including one last year at Alabama, but his Vols had no answer for Grier and the high-powered Mountaineers offense.

Sports OTHER GAMES

After season-opening losses the past two seasons against ranked Washington, Rutgers’s third-year coach, Chris Ash, started with a victory for the first time in his tenure.

“It’s been three years to get there,” Ash said. “But opening the season 1-0 is great.”

Raheem Blackshear and Jonathan Hilliman had two touchdowns apiece, leading Rutgers past visiting Texas State, 35-7.

The freshman quarterback Art Sitkowski had an up-and-down day for Rutgers, going 20 for 29 for 205 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The second interception was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Kordell Rodgers, making the score 21-7 midway through the third quarter.

Gunther Johnson threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns, and Georgetown’s defense forced four turnovers as the Hoyas rolled past host Marist, 39-14, in a season opener.

Linebacker Kyle Johnson returned an interception 32 yards for a score as a stingy Air Force defense limited Stony Brook’s offense to 75 total yards, helping the Falcons to a 38-0 victory at home in a game delayed twice by lightning. Stony Brook quarterback Joe Carbone completed 5 of 16 passes for 30 yards.

Kenny Pickett threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more, and Pittsburgh breezed past visiting Albany, 33-7, in a season opener.

All news by The Associated Press unless noted.

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Penn State Escapes After Appalachian State’s Surge

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