College football scores, rankings, highlights: Texas, Iowa open with important top 25 wins in Week 1

The appetizers were delicious, but the main course that was Week 1 of the 2021 college football season went down Saturday with 18 ranked teams in action and five games featuring top-25 teams going head-to-head. The prime time matchups were tough to beat, though, with No. 5 Georgia winning a good, ol' fashioned defensive battle over No. 3 Clemson in Charlotte. This heavyweight matchups featured all kinds of NFL talent on both sides of the ball, but ultimately, the defenses prevailed. Elsewhere,  No. 16 LSU was upset by home-standing UCLA in the Rose Bowl. 

There was also plenty of goodness throughout the rest of the day. No. 1 Alabama and No. 18 Iowa had impressive victories over No. 14 Miami and No. 17 Indiana, respectively. No. 21 Texas got off on the right foot in the Steve Sarkisian era with a convincing double-digit victory over upset-minded No. 23 Louisiana. For the evening slate, No. 13 Florida and No. 6 Texas A&M took care of business against FAU and Kent State, but No. 20 Washington suffered a stunning defeat to FCS opponent Montana. 

CBS Sports was here every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the night. All times Eastern

College football scores, schedule: Saturday

No. 2 Oklahoma 40, Tulane 35 -- Recap
No. 19 Penn State 16, No. 12 Wisconsin 10 -- Takeaways, highlights
No. 11 Oregon 31, Fresno State 24 -- Recap, Thibodeaux injured
No. 1 Alabama 44, No. 14 Miami 13 -- Takeaways, highlights
No. 8 Cincinnati 49, Miami (OH) 14 -- Recap
No. 18 Iowa 34, No. 17 Indiana 6 -- Recap
No. 7 Iowa State 16, Northern Iowa 10 -- Recap
 No. 21 Texas 38, No. 23 Louisiana 18 -- Recap 
No. 15 USC 30, San Jose State 7 -- Recap
No. 5 Georgia 10, No. 3 Clemson 3 -- Takeaways, highlights
No. 13 Florida 35, FAU 14 -- Recap
No. 6 Texas A&M 41, Kent State 10 -- Recap
UCLA 38, No. 16 LSU 27 -- Takeaways, highlights
Check out the entire Week 1 scoreboard

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UCLA springs the upset

The home-standing Bruins pulled off the late night upset over No. 16 LSU in the Rose Bowl with a 38-27 win over the Tigers. Chip Kelly's crew ran for 210 yards -- including 117 from Zach Charbonnet -- to control the game from the outset. It's the second straight game that the Bruins looked like a ground-and-pound machine out of the shotgun with mobile quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. For LSU, it's the worst case scenario. The defense looked lost, the offense looked uninspired and they fight didn't appear to exist in the fourth quarter when the Tigers were still in the game. That continues a theme from last year when they stumbled to a 5-5 record, one year after winning the national title.


Texas A&M and Florida pull away

The sixth-ranked Aggies struggled out of the gate, but not only found a way to distance themselves from Kent State, but do so in decisive fashion. They outscored the Golden Flashes 31-7 in the second half thanks to two touchdowns from Devon Achane, a touchdown pass from Haynes King to Ainias Smith and an 85-yard pick six from defensive back Leon O'Neal Jr. King was inconsistent through the air in the first half, but coach Jimbo Fisher made adjustments in the locker room and made a concerted effort to get the ground game going in the second half to get the win. Was it an ideal situation for the Aggies? Not really. The passing game is still the primary concern, and that'll linger into next week when they travel to Colorado.

No. 13 Florida had a similar issue with Florida Atlantic. The Gators took a 14-0 lead into the locker room after an inconsistent performance from first-year starter Emory Jones -- who threw two interceptions on the night. Malik Davis punched one into the end zone early in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 28-0, and that's when the real intrigue started. Coach Dan Mullen inserted highly-touted freshman Anthony Richardson into the lineup and he didn't disappoint. The dual-threat weapon rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 40 yards to put the game away. Is there a quarterback battle brewing? There should be Richardson might be too talented to keep on the sideline.


Montana upsets No. 20 Washington

It's been a pretty big weekend for FCS over FBS upsets, but one of the more surprising ones has to be Montana knocking off No. 20 Washington 13-7. Granted, the Grizzlies are a solid program, regardless of their status in Division I football. This is a program that made the Division I playoffs just two seasons ago. Still, what an absolutely horrible loss for second-year Huskies coach Jimmy Lake. Washington scored on its first drive ... and then never scored again. Brutal. 


Washington in trouble vs. Montana

Yes, that's nationally ranked Washington. No. 20 Washington. The Huskies are losing 10-7 with just 11 minutes left against the Grizzlies. It's been a defensive showing, mostly, which is what you'd expect from a Jimmy Lake-coached team. However, now the Huskies need to find some offense when there hasn't been any all night. Washington has just 253 yards of total offense. Of note, Montana is 1-17-1 all-time against Washington -- and the only win came more than 100 years ago. 


Texas A&M pulling away from Kent State

The Aggies only led Kent State 10-3 at halftime, but clearly made the right adjustments at halftime. Devon Achane had a 63-yard touchdown run and Leon O'Neal had an 85-yard pick six to pull away from the Golden Flashes and lead 27-3 at the half. We already knew that Texas A&M could run and play defense. The big question was at quarterback, where Haynes King won the job over Zach Calzada. King has two picks through the first three quarters and hasn't provided the aerial threat that complement the rushing attack quite yet. 


A record-setting day

Presbyterian quarterback Ren Hefley, a former walk-on at Michigan, threw for an FCS record 10 touchdown passes in an 84-43 win over St. Andrews. He went 38 of 50 for 538 yards for the Blue Hose. They were in their first game under coach Kevin Kelley -- who became a household hame as the head coach at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock as the coach who rarely punts and loves to onside kick.


Texas A&M struggling with Kent State

Texas A&M was picked to be the primary threat to Alabama in the SEC West. But so far, it's been struggling against Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban's alma mater -- Kent State. The Aggies lead the Golden Flashes 10-3 at halftime. First-time starting quarterback Haynes King is 12 of 20 for 143 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The second of those picks was especially brutal. The Aggies were driving near the Golden Flashes red zone with one minute to play but Haynes was picked by Elvis Hines. Kent State had a chance to tie it up shortly before the half, but Hezekiah Jones picked off Dustin Crum to send it to the locker room. 


Meep Meep: UTSA leads Illinois at halftime

Many have touted UTSA as a sleeper team in the Group of Five this season, and they're living up to expectations thus far, leading Illinois 20-14. The Roadrunners have been able to move the ball consistently despite Sincere McCormick being held to only 45 yards on 17 carries. Zakhari Franklin has picked up the slack, catching eight passes for 123 yards.

As for the Illini, the buzz from last week's win over Nebraska will quickly fade if they don't bounce back in the second half. The Illini are averaging 6.9 yards per play so far, but turnovers and an inability to get off the field defensively on third down is killing them.

September 5, 2021, 1:14 AM

Game-changing pick-six

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia has been an absolute battle through the first half, but Bulldogs defensive back Christopher Smith has been a game-changer. He perfectly read a pass from Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei and took it back for a critical defensive touchdown. Those are the only points in this game so far as the Bulldogs hold a 7-0 lead. 


Mississippi State completes historic comeback

It was a hairy situation in Starkville, but Jo'quavious Marks and the Mississippi State offense came up big in critical situations to lead the biggest comeback in program history and a 35-34 victory. 

The Bulldogs trailed 34-14 with just 13:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Lideatrick Griffin had a huge 70-yard kickoff return to create a short field, and Marks converted for a 1-yard touchdown. After forcing a three-and-out, quarterback Will Rogers led a seven-play, 77-yard drive capped off by another Marks rush. Another three-and-out and 15-yard Rogers touchdown pass gave Mississippi State a lead it would not relinquish. 

Louisiana Tech inexplicably played for a 46-yard field goal, burning the clock from one minute to seconds left without throwing a pass. Luckily for Mississippi State, the field goal fell short and the Mississippi Bulldogs captured the 20-point comeback. 


Texas posts statement win

The first game of the Steve Sarkisian was relatively drama free as No. 21 Texas beat No. 23 Louisiana 38-18 in the home opener. Running back Bijan Robinson lived up to all the hype in Week 1, rushing for 103 yards, receiving for 73 yards and adding a pair of touchdowns. 

Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis looked good with 282 yards passing and a touchdown, but the Ragin' Cajuns struggled to deal with Texas' physical skill talent. Hudson Card threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start for the Longhorns. 


Greg Johnson picks up USC

USC super senior DB Greg Johnson picks off Nick Starkel and runs it back 37 yards to put the Trojans ahead 23-7 early in the fourth quarter. Huge play for a USC team that's struggled offensively today. All of the sudden, USC is in position to win and cover. The defense has been huge for the Trojans today in limiting a potent SJSU. passing attack

September 4, 2021, 11:50 PM

Iowa State survives

The Cyclones played against in-state FCS rival Northern Iowa, but did not look close to the part of a contender for the College Football Playoff. Iowa State escaped with a 16-10 win over UNI after giving their opponent a number of late opportunities to take the lead. These are the kinds of slow starts we have seen from Iowa State in recent years, the kind that have ultimately kept them out of legitimate contention. With Iowa on the schedule next week, these kinds of performances won't cut it. 


Maryland outlasts West Virginia

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa had a tremendous performance against a WVU defense that finished No. 1 in the Big 12 last season. Tagovailoa completed 26-of-36 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-24 victory over the regional rival. Tayon Fleet-Davis added his second career 100-yard rushing game. WVU quarterback Jarret Doege threw two backbreaking interceptions as West Virginia blew a late lead to start the year 0-1. 


Iowa State still in a battle

The broadcast just showed highlights of UNI's 2016 victory over Iowa State. Apt considering the Panthers are in position to perhaps do it again. Iowa State leads just 13-10 early in the fourth quarter. The No. 7 Cyclones have not looked like a top-10 team, and even if they win, will have a LOT to clean up before facing Iowa next week after what the Hawkeyes did to Indiana today. Could be a dramatic finish ahead.

September 4, 2021, 11:00 PM

USC a defensive juggernaut?

Half: No. 15 USC 13, San Jose State 0 -- USC gets into San Jose State territory four times in the first half but produces just 13 points. However, the Trojans' defense is looking strong, holding the Spartans to just six first downs. This San Jose State offense is no slouch with Nick Starkel at QB, so it's a good defensive half for USC. But the inability to reach the end zone is leaving the door open. Memphis transfer Tahj Washington does look like a serious weapon in the slot for Kedon Slovis, though. He made four catches, including the lone TD grab, in the first half.

September 4, 2021, 10:42 PM

Rough start for Indiana

Indiana and Michael Penix had an excellent 2020 season. But some of the numbers beneath those results covered up problems. Problems that have come to the surface today against Iowa. The Hoosiers trail Iowa 34-6 early in the fourth quarter, as Penix has completed only 14 of his 29 passes for 156 yards, and he's thrown two pick-sixes. 

Michael Tuttle has now replaced him at QB.

September 4, 2021, 10:32 PM

Bryce Young looks like a million bucks

If you were wondering how the Crimson Tide would look after losing their coordinator and three of the top-five Heisman Trophy finishers from last season's offense, the answer is that they are just fine. Alabama is smoking Miami, and Bryce Young has already thrown four touchdowns. You can catch Barrett Sallee's full coverage here, but be warned that it's a beatdown. Just remarkable how this program can lose so much and not miss a beat.

September 4, 2021, 10:31 PM

MSU struggling against La. Tech

Mississippi State took a quick 14-0 lead over Louisiana Tech in the first quarter. Since then, it's been all Louisiana Bulldogs. Former West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall has 136 yards passing, 50 yards rushing and three total touchdowns to give Louisiana Tech a 21-14 lead coming out of halftime. Mississippi State's last four offensive drives: punt, fumble, punt, fumble. 


UNI challenging Iowa State

Half: No. 7 Iowa State 13, Northern Iowa 10 - After going 3-and-out on its first two possessions, the Cyclones got it going offensively later in the half. Only problem was that UNI struck first on a 52-yard connection from Will McElvain to Quan Hampton. The Panthers are a solid FCS squad and are giving Iowa State all it wants. Gotta think ISU is having flashbacks to last year's opener against Louisiana. But honestly, they shouldn't be struggling like this as 28-point favorites.

September 4, 2021, 9:58 PM

West Virginia, Maryland locked in tight battle

Regional rivals West Virginia and Maryland are keeping things close, but West Virginia holds a 21-20 lead over the Terrapins at halftime. Maryland has nearly 120 more yards than West Virginia, but a missed field, goal, fumble and turnover on downs has spelled trouble. 

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is playing inspired football, completing 15-of-21 passes for 222 yards and two scores. West Virginia running back Leddie Brown has 49 yards rushing, 47 yards receiving and three scores, but the Mountaineers are struggling to protect quarterback Jarret Doege. 


Bijan scores first TD of Sark era

It's been an inconsistent start for first-year quarterback Hudson Card and No. 21 Texas against No. 23 Louisiana, but potential All-American running back Bijan Robinson is keeping the offense on track. Robinson has 52 yards on seven touches, including all 27 of Card's passing yards. The Louisiana defense lost track of Robinson on a red zone play and Robinson walked it in for an easy touchdown to take a 7-3 lead. 

One thing to keep an eye on: Robinson is not used to volume. He told us that he rarely even touched the ball 20 times in high school. With time remaining in the first quarter, Robinson already has seven touches. 


Iowa dominating Indiana with rushing attack, defense

Ah, yes. This is the Iowa football we've come to know and love. The No. 18 Hawkeyes have an impressive 21-3 lead on No. 17 Indiana early in the second quarter. The three-score lead has been aided by a big 56-yard touchdown run from Tyler Goodson as well as a pick-six in the first quarter from Riley Moss. The Hoosiers came into the 2021 season with some preseason hype and hoped to at least challenge Ohio State in the Big Ten East. So far, it's been all Hawkeyes. 


Kayvon Thibodeaux's absence looms large

After appearing to injure his ankle in the first half, getting re-taped and returning, Oregon star edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is in street clothes on the sideline, and the Ducks' defense is suffering as a result. Fresno State just tied it up at 21 midway through the quarter. Thibodeaux was a disruptive force before leaving the game. Ideally, you'd like to handle a Mountain West opponent without risking further injury to a star player the week before playing Ohio State. But Oregon is in a fight now and will have to win it without its defensive star.

September 4, 2021, 8:14 PM

Penn State upsets Wisconsin

Final: No 19 Penn State 16, No. 12 Wisconsin 10 - It was one of the most beautifully ugly games you'll see in 2021. Penn State turned back the clock by somehow outlasting the Badgers, who owned time of possession 41:00-17:00. A year after a crushing, dramatic loss to Indiana in the opener, the Nittany Lions find themselves on the right side of a thriller to open the 2021 season. Wisconsin had six series' end in PSU territory and totaled just 10 points on them. Just a gut-wrenching defeat for the Big Ten West favorites on their home field. More on the game here from Tom Fornelli.

September 4, 2021, 7:58 PM

Oklahoma survives upset-minded Tulane

Oklahoma narrowly escaped with a 40-35 win over visiting Tulane in a game that the Sooners were favored by more than 31 points. Quarterback Spencer Rattler was inconsistent with 304 passing yards, but two key interceptions. Oklahoma scored just three second half points, including drives ending on a turnover on downs, an interception and a shocking missed 31-yard field goal. 

The story of the game was Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, who completed 27-of-44 passes for 296 yards passing, 34 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. It was a masterclass in Willie Fritz's option-inspired offense. Pratt had a chance to run for a fourth down conversion but came half a yard short. 

Regardless, tremendous performance by Tulane after an emotional week. And for Oklahoma, hopefully a wakeup call before playing Nebraska next week. 


Oregon with work to do

Half: No. 11 Oregon 21, Fresno State 13

Oregon jumped out to a 14-0 lead, thanks in large part to a couple of Fresno State turnovers, but it wasn't a reflection of its dominance by any stretch. Once Fresno State settled down, it did a good job of moving the football with QB Jake Haener showing some poise and maneuverability to keep plays alive. He led a late scoring drive just before the half. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux update: he made a big strip-sack as you'll see in an earlier post below, but he also rolled his ankle. Thibodeaux came off the field on his own power and returned to the game a bit later. But then he went to the locker room early to get it checked out before halftime. No doubt his absence partially enabled Fresno State's scoring drive before the half.

September 4, 2021, 7:42 PM

Upsert alert in Fayetteville

Year two of the Sam Pittman era at Arkansas is off to a slow start as Rice used a one-yard rushing touchdown by H-Back Jordan Myers to take a 10-7 lead over the Razorbacks into halftime. New Arkansas starting quarterback K.J. Jefferson has been inconsistent, completing just 4-of-11 passes for 21 yards and an interception. Seven of Arkansas' first nine drives have been punts. 


J.J. McCarthy debuts for Michigan

Final: Michigan 47, Western Michigan 14 - The loss of leading receiver Ronnie Bell in the first half is going to sting. But if you're a Michigan fan looking for good vibes from an easy opener, it was a good showing from the QBs. Cade McNamara goes a cool 9-of-11 with two TDs, and 5-star true freshman J.J. McCarthy gets a little bit of late run. McCarthy looked really good in garbage time, too, as Jim Harbaugh/Josh Gattis let him throw it around a little bit. Sure, this TD toss was on a broken play, but it shows his arm strength and awareness. Huge game against Washington up next for Michigan.

September 4, 2021, 7:24 PM

K-State/Skylar Thompson dominant

The Wildcats dominated Stanford today as the Cardinal's drive chart was all punts and INTs until a late TD. Skylar Thompson put the exclamation mark on this one with his second TD run of the game. You'll see here that there was a ton of variance among our experts on where the Wildcats will finish (anywhere from 4th to 9th!). But this combination of stingy defense and ball-control offense with Thompson at QB should be plenty good enough to get this squad bowl eligible. It's easy to look at last season's 4-6 mark and be down on this squad. But the tough times came after Thompson was lost for the year. With him at QB, this is a team that can pull upsets. He's beaten Oklahoma and Iowa State already in his career.

September 4, 2021, 6:55 PM
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