Then Tennessee and Georgia showed that the Southeastern Conference isn't all about defense.
Geno Smith and No. 9 West Virginia beat No. 25 Baylor 70-63 on Saturday in Morgantown. The Mountaineers' first game in the Big 12 turned out to be the highest-scoring game in the history of the conference.
The Mountaineers and Bears came up only three points short of the most points in a regulation FBS game. The record is 136 set by Navy (74) and North Texas (62) in 2007.
Baylor did tie a record for most points by a losing team in a regulation FBS game.
It almost made Tennessee-Georgia look like a defensive struggle.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs needed three late takeaways to hold on for a 51-44 victory over the Vols at home. It was the highest-scoring game in the 42-game history of the SEC rivalry.
No. 1 ALABAMA 33, MISSISSIPPI 14
Amari Cooper caught two touchdown passes from AJ McCarron and Christion Jones returned a kickoff 99 yards for another score, leading Alabama to a victory over Mississippi.
The Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) trailed briefly, 7-6, for the first time in regulation since last year's Tennessee game, a span of nine-plus games. The Rebels (3-2, 0-1) put up a fight against a team that had been walloping opponents by nearly 37 points on average, but still lost their ninth straight SEC opener.
McCarron completed 22 of 30 passes for 180 yards and Eddie Lacy gained much of his 82 yards in the fourth quarter when Alabama put it away with Jeremy Shelley's third and fourth field goals of the game.
The Tide's defense bailed out an offense that sputtered at times with three interceptions.
No. 2 OREGON 51, WASHINGTON STATE 26
SEATTLE (AP)—De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner sandwiched touchdown runs around Avery Patterson's 34-yard interception return for a score, and Oregon used a third-quarter scoring blitz to shake Washington State.
Playing for the first time outside the Eugene city limits, the Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) looked shaky at times in the first half and led just 23-19 at the break, but put together a nearly flawless third quarter to run away from the Cougars.
Thomas capped an 18-play drive to start the half with a 4-yard TD, then Patterson stepped in front of Connor Halliday's pass for Oregon's third interception return for a TD in two games. After Washington State (2-3, 0-2) went three-and-out, Barner scored on a 10-yard run to cap the 21-point spurt in just over 4 minutes.
No. 3 LSU 38, TOWSON 22
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Zach Mettenberger connected with Odell Beckham Jr. five times for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and LSU overcame nagging offensive sloppiness.
Mettenberger's scoring strikes to Beckham went for 53 and 27 yards, and LSU's quarterback finished with 238 yards passing. Still, Mettenberger missed some open receivers and his fumble—one of three LSU turnovers—led to the first of two touchdown runs by Towson's Terrance West.
West's first TD run gave Towson, an FCS team, a stunning 9-7 lead in the second quarter before LSU responded with 24 straight points.
J.C. Copeland, LSU's 272-pound fullback, scored his third touchdown of the season on a 1-yard plunge, but was hurt in the fourth quarter and did not put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the field.
No. 4 FLORIDA STATE 30, SOUTH FLORIDA 17
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—EJ Manuel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown, helping Florida State remain unbeaten.
Receiver Rashad Greene got the Seminoles going with a 10-yard touchdown run, Christian Jones scored on a 12-yard fumble return and Penn State transfer Kevin Haplea had a 1-yard TD reception as the Seminoles (5-0) survived their first road test of the season by pulling away from a three-point lead with two TDs and a field goal in the final 5:09 of the third quarter.
Three years after returning to his hometown of Tallahassee to lead USF (2-3) to a 10-point upset of Florida State in his first college start, B.J. Daniels threw for 143 yards and ran for 72 more and two touchdowns for the Bulls.
No. 5 GEORGIA 51, TENNESSEE 44
ATHENS, Ga. (AP)—Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns and Keith Marshall added two as Georgia recovered after blowing a 17-point.
Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) locked it up with three takeaways in the final 6 minutes. Twice Sanders Commings intercepted Tyler Bray's passes and in between the Tennessee quarterback was stripped from behind and the fumble was recovered by Georgia's John Jenkins.
Aaron Murray threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to Michael Bennett for the Bulldogs.
Georgia led 27-10 early in the second quarter before Tennessee took the lead with 20 unanswered points.
Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC) took its third straight loss in the series under coach Derek Dooley, the son of Georgia's former longtime coach Vince Dooley.
Bray completed 24 of 45 passes for 281 yards.
No. 6 SOUTH CAROLINA 38, KENTUCKY 17
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and Connor Shaw passed for another in the second half as South Carolina scored 31 straight points.
Shaw was 15 of 18 for 148 yards as the Gamecocks (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) moved into a tie with Florida and Georgia atop the East division, with the Bulldogs coming to Columbia, S.C., next week.
Lattimore rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and Kenny Miles added a 17-yard score for South Carolina, which trailed Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) 17-7 after a ragged first half.
The Gamecocks returned to score on five of six possessions thanks to Shaw, who hit Damiere Byrd with a 30-yard touchdown before Miles' TD put them ahead to stay.
Kentucky freshman Jalen Whitlow was 12 of 23 for 114 yards in relief of Maxwell Smith, who was knocked out on the first series with an ankle injury.
No. 9 WEST VIRGINIA 70, BAYLOR 63
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP)—Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and tied a Big 12 record with eight touchdown passes to lead West Virginia.
Smith outdueled Baylor's Nick Florence, who had a standout game of his own with 581 yards and five TDs.
Baylor's Terrance Williams set a Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving. The old mark was set minutes earlier by West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and five TDs.
Williams' 8-yard scoring catch brought Baylor (3-1) within seven at 70-63 with 3:08 left.
But Dustin Garrison ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers (4-0) ran out the clock.
It marked the most points scored in a game involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous record of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma's 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980.
No. 12 TEXAS 41, OKLAHOMA STATE 36
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)—David Ash threw three touchdown passes to Jaxon Shipley and Joe Bergeron scored on a 2-yard run with 29 seconds left to lift Texas.
Ash directed the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) on a 75-yard scoring drive after the Cowboys (2-2, 0-1) had taken the lead on Quinn Sharp's 23-yard field goal with 2:34 to play.
Ash connected with tight end D.J. Grant for a 29-yard pick up on fourth-and-4 to keep the drive going, and then Mike Davis outleaped Justin Gilbert on a 32-yard deep ball to set up Bergeron's winning touchdown.
Ash finished with 304 yards passing and his first interception of the season.
J.W. Walsh started in place of injured Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt and threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 14 OHIO STATE 17, No. 20 MICHIGAN STATE 16
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Braxton Miller threw for 179 yards and ran for 136, and Urban Meyer won his first Big Ten game as Buckeyes coach.
Miller put Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) ahead 17-13 with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith in the third quarter, and the Buckeyes' maligned defense held Le'Veon Bell and the Michigan State running game in check. Meyer becomes the third coach to start 5-0 in his first season at Ohio State. Carol Widdoes did it in 1944, and Earle Bruce in 1979.
Michigan State (3-2, 0-1) has lost four home games in a row against Ohio State.
Bell ran for only 45 yards on 17 carries for the Spartans.
No. 15 TCY 24, SMU 16
DALLAS (AP)—Casey Pachall threw two touchdown passes, Jason Verrett had two interceptions and TCU extended its FBS-best winning streak to 12 games.
TCU (4-0) has won 11 of 13 over SMU and regained the Iron Skillet trophy, which goes to the winner of the Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry. The Horned Frogs' previous loss came last season at home to the Mustangs (1-3).
The game was played in a heavy rainstorm. The rain picked up in intensity around kickoff and never relented as the game progressed.
SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw five interceptions, including one by Verrett on a desperation pass to end the game. The Mustangs turned the ball over six times.
No. 17 CLEMSON 45, BOSTON COLLEGE 31
BOSTON (AP)—Tajh Boyd threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns and ran in another for Clemson.
Boyd completed 28 of 38 passes and ran 11 times for 42 yards and a TD for Clemson (4-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). DeAndre Hopkins caught 11 passes for 197 yards for the Tigers, who bounced back after blowing a two-touchdown lead and losing 49-37 to No. 4 Florida State last week.
Andre Ellington ran 25 times for 132 yards and a touchdown for Clemson.
Chase Rettig, who entered the day as the leading passer in the ACC, completed 25 of 43 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Alex Amdion caught eight passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (1-3, 0-2), who led 21-17 before giving up three straight touchdowns to fall behind 38-21.
No. 18 OREGON STATE 38, ARIZONA 35
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP)—Sean Mannion threw for a career-high 433 yards and hit Connor Hamlett on a 9-yard pass with 1:09 left for his third touchdown, lifting Oregon State to wild win over Arizona.
Oregon State (3-0, 1-1 Pac-12) took a 17-0 lead, Arizona charged back and the teams traded scores in the second half of a game filled with big plays and 1,158 yards of combined offense.
Arizona (3-2, 0-1 Pac-12) took a 35-51 lead with 5:34 left when Matt Scott hit Austin Hill on a 7-yard touchdown. That left too much time for Mannion, who moved the Beavers 75 yards in 10 plays for the TD pass to Hamlett that gave coach Mike Riley his 75th win at Oregon State, breaking Lon Stiner's school record.
Storm Woods ran for 161 yards and a touchdown for the Beavers, off to their first 3-0 start since 2002.
No. 19 LOUISVILLE 21, SOUTHERN MISS 17
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP)—Senorise Perry rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, Jeremy Wright added 84 rushing yards and Louisville rallied in a downpour.
Louisville (5-0) trailed 17-6 midway through the second quarter, but scored 15 unanswered points for the win, even though star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was rendered nearly useless because of a driving storm that soaked the Roberts Stadium turf.
Perry scored both touchdowns during the rally. His 1-yard score pulled Louisville within 17-12 just before halftime and his 14-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner.
Louisville is off to its best start since 2006. Southern Miss (0-4) is in the midst of its worst start since 1976.
Southern Miss had a chance to win on the final drive, but a halfback pass by Desmond Johnson fell incomplete on fourth down.
No. 22 NEBRASKA 30, WISCONSIN 27
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)—Taylor Martinez guided four straight scoring drives against a tiring Wisconsin defense in the second half to lead Nebraska's comeback from a 17-point deficit.
Martinez scored on a 38-yard run, threw a 10-yard TD pass to Kyler Reed and set up Brett Maher for the tying and go-ahead field goals. Maher's 41-yarder with 9:41 left gave the Huskers (3-1, 1-0) their first lead in the Big Ten opener.
Danny O'Brien, who replaced Joel Stave, tried to bring back the Badgers (3-2, 0-1) with under 3 minutes to play. But Montee Ball fumbled at midfield on a fourth-and-1, and Martinez took a knee three times to run out the last minute.
Martinez ran for 107 yards and threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Stave passed for 214 yards and a touchdown.
No. 24 BOISE STATE 32, NEW MEXICO 29
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—Joe Southwick passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns and Timmy Smith knocked down a fourth-down pass with two minutes to go for Boise State.
Boise State (3-1, 1-0) led by 25 points at half time after turning three Lobos' fumbles into 18 points.
New Mexico (2-3, 0-1) turned two Broncos' second-half fumbles into touchdowns to help close the gap. The Lobos did not throw a pass in the second half until its final play, but baffled the Broncos with their triple-option offense.
Jay Ajayi had 118 yards and a touchdown on six carries for Boise State.
New Mexico quarterback Cole Gautsche scored twice and added a 2-point conversion, carrying it 71 yards on 11 carries. Kasey Carrier added 86 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.