Week 2 of the college football season served up a massive treat for fans, as No. 1 Alabama narrowly escaped Texas, 20-19, in a rare matchup between two of the most storied programs in the country.
It is the 19th consecutive 2-0 start for Alabama, the longest active FBS streak. The Tide are now 11-11 when scoring 20 points or fewer under Nick Saban.
Elsewhere, No. 3 Ohio State made light work of Arkansas State, rolling to a 45-12 win.
Currently, No. 19 Wisconsin is playing host to Washington State on FOX, while No. 24 Tennessee battles No. 17 Pittsburgh. Elsewhere, No. 25 Houston its taking on the FBS’ top passing offense in Texas Tech on FS1, and Iowa State is facing a familiar foe in Iowa.
Closing things out, there’s an SEC showdown between No. 20 Kentucky and No. 12 Florida, followed by No. 10 USC taking on a Stanford pass defense that leads the Pac-12, while No. 9 Baylor is up against No. 21 BYU.
Here are the top plays from Saturday’s Week 2 slate.
Washington State at No. 19 Wisconsin
Badgers QB Graham Mertz found Chimere Dike along the sideline for a 4-yard gain, but the Cougars thought they had the ball after Washington State defensive back Armani Marsh appeared to intercept it.
Wisconsin tied things up in the second quarter when Mertz found tight end Clay Cundiff for a 17-yard TD. Mertz continued to show off his arm strength, as the Badgers took a 14-7 lead ahead of the break.
No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pittsburgh
All gas, no brakes
Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda cut through the Volunteers’ defense and scampered 76 yards to the house as the Panthers built an early 10-0 cushion.
Pitt extended its lead to 10 again when QB Kedon Slovis connected with TE Gavin Bartholomew on a 57-yard score.
Then, Tennessee roared back with a 17-point spurt to close out the half for a 24-17 lead, highlighted by a 32-yard scoring toss from Hendon Hooker to Bru McCoy.
Iowa State at Iowa
Iowa was first on the board after Leshon Williams powered through the Cyclones’ defense for a 9-yard score.
Special teams blocks punt, Leshon Williams scores from 9 yards out
Iowa took the lead over Iowa State after a blocked punt and Leshon Williams TD.
Up for grabs
Things got chaotic at the end of the second quarter, as the Cyclones came up with a wild interception.
No. 25 Houston at Texas Tech
TX Tech takes charge
Red Raiders QB Donovan Smith connected with receiver Nehemiah Martinez for a dazzling 43-yard TD to take a 10-lead in the second quarter.
Stay tuned for updates.
No. 1 Alabama 20, Texas 19
Things started off with a bang in Austin, as the Tide made their way downfield with relative ease.
But the Longhorns’ defense came up with a massive stop on third down, shutting down QB Bryce Young and forcing the Tide to settle for a field goal on their opening drive.
Going, going, gone!
Texas knotted things up with a field goal of its own shortly after, but things didn’t stay that way for long. Alabama RB Jase McClellan broke off for a monster 81-yard score to give the Tide a 10-3 edge.
Jase McClellan breaks off 81-yard rushing TD
Jase McClellan’s 81-yard rushing TD gives Alabama a 10-3 first-quarter lead.
Newly-minted Texas QB Quinn Ewers, a redshirt freshman transfer from Ohio State, showed off his arm strength late in the opening frame, finding wideout Xavier Worthy for a 46-yard gain that put the Longhorns deep in the red zone.
Ewers took a huge hit on the next play that drew a roughing the passer penalty and left Texas fans holding their breath. After several minutes being attended to on the field, Ewers walked to the sideline and to the locker room under his own power with a towel covering his face.
Texas QB Quinn Ewers goes down awkwardly on his shoulder
Longhorns QB Ewers is helped to the locker room against Alabama after going down awkwardly on his shoulder at the end of the first quarter.
Making it count
Head coach Steve Sarkisian named Ewers the Longhorns’ starter last month over redshirt sophomore Hudson Card, who checked into the game for Ewers on first-and-goal. Card handed the ball off to star RB Bijan Robinson, who did the rest to tie things up at 10.
Bijan Robinson scores on a one-yard rushing TD
Texas and Alabama are tied after Bijan Robinson punched it in from one yard out.
Related: The Business of Bijan: Robinson’s growing stardom is a family affair
Mess with the bull, get the horns
The Longhorns’ defense came up with a huge sack on Young, knocking the reigning Heisman Trophy winner back 11 yards. Texas went on to force three consecutive punts by Alabama in the second quarter.
Card moved the Longhorns’ offense downfield in an effort to take the lead, but not even two pass interference penalties could get it done.
Things remained tied at the break after a missed a 20-yard field goal that left Texas fans stunned.
All gas, no brakes
The Longhorns picked up right where they left off to start the second half, putting pressure on Young and forcing Alabama to punt right out of the gate.
On the following drive, Texas backed up Alabama up to their own 1-yard line, and chaos ensued.
What could have been
What appeared to be a safety and two points for Texas turned into a new set of downs for Alabama, as a questionable roughing the passer and targeting penalty flew in at the end of the play.
After review, the play was deemed an incomplete pass — the officials removed both the roughing the passer and the targeting flags, noting that targeting was incorrectly announced on the field. Moreover, Young wasn’t down, and he avoided grounding because his throw deflected off a defender’s helmet. Chaos and confusion.
WILD sequence involving an overturned safety, roughing the passer call and targeting in Alabama-Texas
Check out this chaotic sequence between the Crimson Tide and the Longhorns featuring an overturned safety, roughing the passer and targeting all in one play.
Back and forth
The Longhorns took the lead midway through the third, 13-10. Just like that, Texas led Alabama for the first time since the first quarter of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game.
Then, at the top of the fourth, Texas extended its lead to 16-10 with another short field goal. On the other side, the only thing Alabama was racking up was penalties — the most in one game in the Saban era.
Alabama was eventually able to find its footing and regain the lead, 17-16, midway through the frame. Young capped off a masterful, 75-yard drive with a 7-yard TD toss to Jahmyr Gibbs.
Bryce Young’s pass finds Jahmyr Gibbs to put Alabama back in front
Bryce Young’s incredible scrambling pass puts Alabama back in front of Texas.
Game of inches
Things came down to the wire in Austin, as the Longhorns defense came up with a massive stop on fourth down to regain possession of the ball with a few minutes to spare.
Texas took a two-point lead, 19-17, following a 49-yard field goal from Bert Auburn with 1:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Alabama, though, charged downfield on its ensuing drive, with a 19-yard run from Young putting the offense back in the red zone.
Will Reichard connected on a 33-yard field goal to give the Crimson Tide a 20-19 lead with 10 seconds remaining. That was game.
Alabama hits the go-ahead field goal with 10 seconds left
Alabama’s field goal with 10 seconds left gave the Tide a 20-19 lead over Texas.
No. 3 Ohio State 45, Arkansas State 12
Round 2 at The Shoe
Fresh off their big Week 1 win over Notre Dame, the Buckeyes were ready to go. Ohio State pulled ahead early in the first quarter with a Marvin Harrison Jr. 42-yard touchdown reception on the opening drive.
C.J. Stroud connects with Marvin Harrison Jr. on the deep crosser
QB C.J. Stroud connects with WR Marvin Harrison Jr. to put Ohio State up early.
TreVeyon Henderson got in on the action, dancing his way into the end zone to close out the first quarter and extend the Buckeyes’ lead, 14-3.
Then, Stroud connected with Harrison Jr. for his second score of the day — another 42-yard TD — to put the Buckeyes up 24-9 ahead of halftime.
Marvin Harrison Jr. snags his second TD of the day
Marvin Harrison Jr. picked up another long TD to put Ohio State up 23-9.
On the move!
The Buckeyes continued to pour it on as the second half got underway. First, Henderson broke off for a 23-yarder, followed by a 51-yard TD from Emeka Egbuka that helped seal the double-digit win for Ohio State.
C.J. Stroud connects with Emeka Egbuka for a 51-yard strike
Buckeyes WR Emeka Egbuka came up with a 51-yard TD in Ohio State’s rout.
BEST OF THE REST:
What started off as a likely Duke touchdown turned into a jaw-dropping interception from Northwestern DB Garnett Hollis, who came away with one of the wildest picks of the season thus far.
No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida (7 p.m. ET)
No. 10 USC at Stanford (7:30 p.m. ET)
No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU (10:15 p.m. ET, FS1)
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