College football scores, Friday games: Michigan State, Colorado deliver strong Week 1 efforts

College football's Week 1 marathon of games featured a big Thursday night ticket and is highlighted by an all-day Saturday slate, but Friday night brought us some quality action, too. The docket was highlighted by a pair of major upsets in the early games: Virginia Tech took down No. 10 North Carolina in the first top-25 shocker of the season. Meanwhile, Charlotte earned its first win over a Power Five team in the program's young history with a 31-28 thriller over Duke. 

The nightcap featured a Big Ten showdown between Michigan State and Northwestern, with the Spartans running over the Wildcats thanks to Kenneth Walker III's 264-yard performance. Colorado handled Northern Colorado in its home opener and Kansas staged a late fourth-quarter comeback to top South Dakota. All in all, it was another fun night of action as the 2021 season hits full stride.

CBS Sports was there every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the night. Check out live scores and highlights from Saturday's games here. All times Eastern

College football scores, schedule: Friday

Virginia Tech 17, No. 10 North Carolina 10 -- Takeaways
Charlotte 31, Duke 28 -- Recap
Michigan State 38, Northwestern 21 -- Recap
Colorado 35, Northern Colorado 7 -- Recap
Check out all eight games on Friday's Week 1 scoreboard

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FCS teams showing off in Week 1

UC Davis knocked off Tulsa and Eastern Washington beat UNLV on Thursday night. The success for FCS programs continued Friday as South Dakota State beat Colorado State. The Jackrabbits played in the FCS national title game just 3.5 months ago, so it was no shock to see them play well, but it was surprising to see them so thoroughly dominate. While their in-state brethren South Dakota came up just short against Kansas on Friday night, it's been a good showing for FCS teams so far in Week 1. We'll see what more Saturday may have in store in that regard.

September 4, 2021, 5:02 AM

Excellent start for Michigan State

Michigan State gets a huge road win against Northwestern to begin Year 2 under Mel Tucker. The story of this one is told in rushing yards. The Spartans outpaced the Wildcats 326-117 on the ground. Of Northwestern's 117 yards rushing, 49 of them came on a single Evan Hull rush in the third quarter that the Wildcats squandered with a stalled drive that ended in a missed field goal. Both teams play FCS foes next week. Kenneth Walker was the story here, as the Wake Forest transfer more than doubled his career-high for yards rushing in a game by racking up 264 yards and four touchdowns in his Spartans' debut.

September 4, 2021, 4:46 AM

Colorado cruises past Northern Colorado 35-7

Former Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey was the game's leading passer, as he threw for 236 yards on 24-of-41 through the air for Northern Colorado. But the son of Northern Colorado coach and ex-Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey could only do so much against the Colorado defense. Plenty of stuff to clean up for the Buffs before they play their next 11 games against Power 5 opposition (12 penalties for 117 yards is a glaring issue), but Karl Dorrell's squad survived the dress rehearsal without any real fear over the outcome. Offensively, it'll be interesting to see how much more leash Brendon Lewis gets in the coming weeks, because the passing game was pretty vanilla for Colorado tonight.

September 4, 2021, 4:33 AM

Walker keeps carrying Sparty

In two seasons at Wake Forest, the most yards that Kenneth Walker III ever ran for in a single game was 131. That was against NC State last season, and it took him 27 carries to get there. Well, tonight the transfer is at 224 yards on just 20 carries. His 50-yarder on Michigan State's series just now helped set up a field goal to give the Spartans a 31-14 lead with 6:04 remaining. A three possession lead should just about do it. Mel Tucker got serious about the transfer portal in the offseason, and the early dividends with Walker have been tremendous.

September 4, 2021, 4:18 AM

Big deficit for Northwestern

The Wildcats are going to look back on a red zone trip that produced zero points early in the third quarter with some regret. It's 28-7 Michigan State heading to the fourth quarter in Evanston. Michigan State's defensive front has been the story here -- that and MSU running back Kenneth Walker III. Doesn't feel like this Northwestern offense has a 21-point quarter in the quiver, but it's been a pretty crazy Friday night in college football, so ya never know.

September 4, 2021, 3:55 AM

South Dakota State takes control against CSU

The Jackrabbits didn't want their in-state rivals to have all the fun against an FBS opponent. The FCS national runner-ups of the spring season are picking up right where they started by taking a commanding 21-10 lead over Steve Addazio's Colorado State team at the half. Running back Pierre Strong has 106 yards and two scores in the first half. Former Samford and South Florida quarterback Chris Oladokun is working the Rams with 211 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Colorado State is averaging just 2.1 yards per carry. 


Kansas rushes field after FCS win

The Jayhawks went more than 600 days without winning a football game at any level. The last was on Oct. 26, 2019, against Texas Tech. So when Kansas quarterback Jason Bean completed a game-winning touchdown pass to Lawrence Arnold to finish off a 17-14 victory over FCS South Dakota, why not enjoy it? Bean was solid in his first start with 163 yards and two touchdowns and 54 yards on the ground. That said, the Jayhawks will need more than that from the rest of their team as they head into a brutally difficult FBS slate. 


Colorado finally gets cushion

The Buffs have been playing around with Northern Colorado for a while now but finally got some separation late in the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by Alex Fontenot. Just 254 total yards fro Colorado tonight, and only 62 through the air so far. Tough road ahead with Texas A&M and Minnesota on the docket BEFORE conference play starts. If you're looking for actual offensive highlights from this game, there haven't been many. This Brendon Lewis TD pass from earlier is probably the best you're going to get.

September 4, 2021, 3:30 AM

Kansas takes late lead

Don't count out the Jayhawks! Kansas quarterback Jason Bean completed three huge passes – including a 20-yard strike on 4th-and-long – to set up a late touchdown drive against South Dakota. The Jayhawks lead 17-14 with just 1:10 remaining. South Dakota scored in just 1:01 on its last drive. 


Northwestern misses opportunity

Evan Hull popped off for a 49-yard gain to ignite a Northwestern drive to begin the third quarter. The Wildcats got all the way to Michigan State's 9-yard-line for a first-and-goal before a penalty, two unsuccessful running plays and a sack pushed them back. Then Charlie Kuhbander missed his second FG attempt of the night to end the series. Missed opportunity for a Northwestern squad that had struggled to get it going on the ground until Hull's big run. Team teams are a combined 0-for-3 on FG attempts tonight.

September 4, 2021, 3:24 AM

South Dakota takes lead on Kansas

After a strange sequence where South Dakota kicked a field goal, called a timeout before and then turned it over on downs, the Coyotes forced a turnover on downs and drove down the field for a go-ahead touchdown. South Dakota flew 46 yards down the field in just three plays, capped off by an effortless run by Travis Theis. South Dakota holds a 14-10 lead over the Jayhawks with just 5:13 left in the fourth quarter. 


Northwestern hanging around with Michigan State

Halftime: Michigan State 21, Northwestern 7 -- Northwestern captured a critical bit of momentum with a 15-play, 62-yard touchdown drive capped off with 59 seconds left in the half by a Trey Pugh 1-yard TD grab from QB Hunter Johnson. That got the Wildcats within 21-7 at the half after they were smacked in the mouth by MSU's Kenneth Walker III in the first quarter. The Wake Forest transfer back is already over 100 yards and has a couple of scores. Curious to see if the Temple transfer Anthony Russo gets a look in the second half for Michigan State at QB after Payton Thorne played the whole first half for coach Mel Tucker's squad. Either way, look for a heavy dose of Walker in the second half as Michigan State tries to bleed the clock.

September 4, 2021, 2:53 AM

Charlotte upsets Duke on late score

What. A. Game. After Duke took a lead with fewer than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Charlotte put together a shocking 75-yard drive in the final minutes to shock Duke 31-28 on their home field. This was the first Power Five win in program history. Quarterback Chris Reynolds threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Duke running back Mataeo Durant ran for a school record 255 yards and three touchdowns. 


Wake Forest handles Old Dominion

The Demon Deacons are 1-0 after a 42-10 victory against Old Dominion. Nothing jumps off the box score, but five backs got three or more carries and eight players caught at least one pass. Oh yeah, there was also a 99-yard kick return by Ja'Sir Taylor. Norfolk State up next for Wake Forest, and Army is the other non-con opponent for the Demon Deacons. Wouldn't be shocked to see this team start 7-1 before a brutal finishing stretch.

September 4, 2021, 2:29 AM

Charlotte and Duke trading late scores

Charlotte receiver Grant DuBose caught a 9-yard touchdown with just 2:59 left to play to give the 49ers a late lead. But with Duke's back against the wall, running back Mataeo Durant showed up big once again. Durant exploded for a second touchdown of 50-plus yards to give Duke a 28-24 lead with fewer than two minutes remaining. Charlotte has the ball with one last shot. 


Colorado getting a test

The Buffs are facing a Northern Colorado team that hasn't played since going 2-10 in 2019 but aren't exactly crushing them. Colorado leads 7-0 in the second quarter and is sputtering offensively. Dylan McCaffrey is Northern Colorado's QB, so that's an interesting wrinkle seeing the former Michigan signal caller now playing for his father at the FCS level. With QB J.T. Shrout out for the season and Sam Noyer transferred to Oregon State, this Colorado offense belongs to Brendon Lewis. It's been mostly dink and dunk stuff with him so far.

September 4, 2021, 2:09 AM

END 1Q: Michigan State explodes into 2021

Hard to imagine a better start to the season for Mel Tucker and Michigan State. Running back Kenneth Walker III took the first snap of the season for a 75-yard rushing touchdown. One drive later, Michigan State put together a 10-play, 74-play drive capped off by – what else – a Kenneth Walker touchdown. Michigan State leads 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and is outgaining Northwestern 189-115. 


Durant retakes lead for Duke

On a night where the rest of the roster is struggling, running back Mataeo Durant has risen to the occasion. Facing 3rd-and-3, Durant found the gap, broke a tackle and exploded 60 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. Durant is up to 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 25 carries against Charlotte. Duke holds a narrow 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. 


Kansas struggling against FCS squad

The Lance Leipold era is off to a slow start in Lawrence. Kansas is up just 7-0 against FCS South Dakota and has mustered just six more yards than the Coyotes. More than a third of its yards came thanks to a short field on the final drive of the half. 

Don't mistake South Dakota for its far superior neighbor schools. South Dakota went just 1-3 in the abbreviated spring season. 


Payton Thorne gets first shot for MSU

Mel Tucker played it coy on Michigan State's QB battle during preseason practice, but sophomore Payton Thorne gets the first two series' over Temple grad transfer Anthony Russo. It really doesn't matter who is playing QB when your backs are pulling stunts like this, though. Spartans looking strong early on the road at Northwestern. This is a big one in the fight for bowl eligibility for both teams as both replace more production than most of their Big Ten peers.

September 4, 2021, 1:34 AM

Duke and Charlotte battling on CBSSN

Well, it was a tough night for the Tar Heels, but there's still some football of interest being played in the state. Duke and Charlotte are in a good one on CBS Sports Network. 49ers up 17-14 late in the third quarter as a Power 5 opponent visits their stadium for the first time. 

September 4, 2021, 1:29 AM

What a win for Justin Fuente

Virginia Tech leadership called a press conference at the end of last season to announce Justin Fuente would be retained as head coach. That's never a good sign for the direction of a program. But that faith was just rewarded in a big way as the Hokies pulled off a 17-10 upset of No. 10 North Carolina in front of a sold-out crowd at Lane Stadium. What an incredible effort from the Hokies' defense, which sacked Sam Howell six times and pressured him into the game-clinching interception. A year after racking up 656 yards and 56 points against Virginia Tech, UNC goes down with just 354 total yards and a lot to work on.

September 4, 2021, 1:17 AM

Six sacks on Sam Howell

Sam Howell has been sacked six times tonight, and that's a bad sign for this UNC offense. A lot of folks weren't worried about everything they are replacing at the skill positions because a veteran QB + veteran OL is supposed to = productive offense. But when that O-line doesn't play well, it just exacerbates the lack of continuity at running back and wide receiver. Sam Howell getting sacked there and forcing UNC to settle for a field goal is a huge play. 19 of UNC's 34 sacks allowed last season came in the team's four losses, and Virginia Tech only sacked Howell once last season. The improvement of the Hokies' defensive front and the substandard play of the UNC O-line loom large as this game comes down to the wire.

September 4, 2021, 1:03 AM

Tough breaks in UNC-Virginia Tech

UNC and Virginia Tech have traded interceptions in the fourth quarter, and now the Hokies have missed a field goal. VT still up 17-7 approaching the midway point of the fourth quarter, but UNC has the ball and some momentum. Hokies had an apparent TD wiped off when it was ruled the receiver had a foot out of bounds. These teams scored 101 points combined last season, and the point total in this game was 63.5 points. Hard to believe with how much VT has dictated the tempo and pace.

September 4, 2021, 12:49 AM

Is Wake Forest an ACC sleeper?

Old Dominion is obviously a low-caliber opponent, but Wake Forest is showing some big-play capability against the Monarchs as the Demon Deacons take a 28-3 lead into halftime. Christian Beal-Smith's 52-yard TD run capped the scoring for the half. That came after a 99-yard kick return from Ja'Sir Taylor (see below) and a 36-yard TD pass for Wake. Lots of experience on that roster, including a vet at QB in Sam Hartman. A couple of nice runs for Old Dominion could be a source of concern if you're looking for one. But overall, a nice first half performance from the Deacs.

September 4, 2021, 12:38 AM

Tense fourth quarter ahead

John Parker Romo just drilled a 48-yarder to put Virginia Tech ahead of North Carolina 17-7. Now, fresh off its first TD of the game, UNC gets the ball back with the whole fourth quarter still to work with. This one is far from over. Lane Stadium is going to be electric here, and that's a critical factor when you consider how long it's been since teams have played in true road environments.

Injury note: DJ Jones is down for the Tar Heels. The freshman RB has gotten a decent bit of run tonight behind Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler, who hasn't been real impressive in his debut (albeit with shaky run blocking playing a role in that).

September 4, 2021, 12:26 AM

Duke finding rhythm vs. Charlotte

After going down 10-0 on the road against Charlotte, Duke is finally starting to put some momentum together. Running back Jordan Waters bullied a defender en route to a touchdown, and then the Blue Devils put together a 9-play, 63-yard drive to take a 14-10 lead. Running back Mataeo Durant has already cleared 100 rushing yards before halftime.  


Josh Downs flashes top end speed

Josh Downs has been getting a lot of buzz as a potential breakout candidate at receiver for UNC, and he just showed why. The sophomore speedster just housed one to get the Tar Heels on the board with 4:03 left in the third quarter. Still 14-7 Virginia Tech, but that was a tantalizing glimpse of the explosiveness that North Carolina is capable of. With Virginia Tech's offense retracting into a conservative shell over its last several possessions, this is is going to be a big series for the Hokies. Feels like they have started playing not to lose.

September 4, 2021, 12:13 AM

Critical turnover

Virginia Tech corner Jermaine Waller wrestles one away from Garrett Walston and it goes down as an interception for Sam Howell, who has yet to reach 100 yards passing midway through the third quarter. Critical turnover because UNC had crossed over into VT territory. Virginia Tech leads 14-0. If you had the under, you can probably rest easy on this one. FWIW, UNC's defense looks a bit more settled in the third quarter and just forced a 3-and-out. But the offense feels toothless as Howell is navigating life without the likes of Michael Carter, Javonte Williams, Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown.

September 4, 2021, 12:07 AM

Ja'Sir Taylor's kickoff return pads Wake Forest's lead

It's a big night for college football in North Carolina. Wake Forest has opened up a 14-3 lead over Old Dominion in the second quarter thanks to Taylor's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Taylor forced a couple of missed tackles and then bolted up the far sideline, outrunning everyone for the score. The Deacs are always known for offense under coach Dave Clawson, but getting some non-offensive touchdowns doesn't hurt, either. 

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