No. 2 Alabama rolls past No. 3 Georgia
|Toronto Star 17 Oct 2020 at 23:55|
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mac Jones passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama’s aerial assault picked apart No. 3 Georgia’s heralded defence in the second half of a 41-24 victory Saturday night.
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 offence ultimately got the decisive upper hand in a battle with the Bulldogs (3-1) and one of the nation’s best defences.
Georgia had no answer for Jones and star receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, especially with Alabama’s own beleaguered defence grabbing two second-half interceptions and three overall.
Smith caught 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter that effectively put it out of reach.
Waddle caught a 90-yard touchdown pass and gained 161 yards on six catches.
Then there was some old-school ground and pound, too. Harris gained 152 yards on 31 carries carries with a touchdown during that game-clinching span. He did it against the nation’s top run defence, which came in allowing 38 rushing yards and 12.3 points per game.
Stetson Bennett completed 18 of 40 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, including an 82-yarder to James Cook. But he threw three interceptions.
Alabama got a boost about seven hours before the game when the SEC cleared coach Saban to return to business of usual, determining a Wednesday COVID test was a false positive. He tested negative Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Tide has won the last six meetings with Georgia, including a 3-0 record against Saban’s former defensive co-ordinator, Kirby Smart. The first two came in the January 2018 national championship game and the SEC championship game the following season.
SOUTH CAROLINA 30, NO. 15 AUBURN 22
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kevin Harris had two touchdown runs and South Carolina turned three interceptions into points to beat Auburn for the first time in 87 years.
The Tigers (2-2 Southeastern Conference) 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 (2-2) cashed in each time to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year.
Shi Smith had eight catches, including a 10-yard TD grab midway through the third quarter that put South Carolina ahead for good, 20-19.
Auburn was driving on its following series when Nix threw his third interception — and second to cornerback Jaycee Horn who brought the ball down the left sidelines to the Tigers 8. Harris was in the end zone a play later for a 27-19 lead and Auburn could not recover.
The Tigers closed to 30-22 on Anders Carlson’s 22 yard field goal with 6:39 left. Auburn got the ball back once more with 2:15 left and drove to the South Carolina 13. Nix, though, was called for intentional grounding trying to avoid a sack and the Gamecocks held on to beat the Tigers for the first time since 1933.
NO. 1 CLEMSON 73, GEORGIA TECH 7
ATLANTA (AP) — Trevor Lawrence brushed off his first interception of the season to pass for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns in Clemson’s romp over Georgia Tech.
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.
Clemson (5-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) outgained Georgia Tech (2-3, 2-2) 671-204. The Tigers compiled an equally lopsided 29-7 advantage in first downs.
The second-longest streak of passes without an interception in ACC history ended late in the first quarter when Zamari Walton picked off a pass by Lawrence. Under pressure from Georgia Tech’s pass rush, Lawrence overthrew Powell. Walton ended Lawrence’s streak of 367 passes without an interception.
It was Lawrence’s first interception since Oct. 19, 2019 at Louisville. North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson set the ACC record with 379 consecutive passes without an interception from 2018-19.
NO. 4 NOTRE DAME 12, LOUISVILLE 7
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Kyren Williams ran for 127 yards, Ian Book had a 13-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and Notre Dame held off Louisville.
Williams ran 25 times and had his third 100-yard game of the season to help the Irish (4-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their 22nd straight at Notre Dame Stadium.
It came against an inspired 3-4 Louisville defence 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.