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.
Texas A&M 58, Arkansas 10
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Johnny Manziel threw for a school-record 453 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Texas A&M over Arkansas 58-10 on Saturday for the Aggies’ first Southeastern Conference win.
The Razorbacks were done in by a porous pass defense and three turnovers, as their once-promising season continued to crumble with a fourth straight loss.
Arkansas (1-4, 0-2) led 10-7 after one quarter before the Aggies (3-1, 1-1) scored 51 straight points to take the lead and cruise to the win. It broke a three-game losing streak to the Razorbacks, who beat A&M 42-38 last season after trailing 35-17 at halftime.
Manziel added 104 yards rushing to also break the school and SEC records for yards of total offense with 557.
Tyler Wilson threw for 373 yards and a touchdown, but he threw two interceptions as Arkansas was shut out after the first quarter.
Missouri 21, Central Florida 16
ORLANDO, Fla. — Marcus Murphy returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown and James Franklin added an 80-yard touchdown pass as Missouri ground out a 21-16 win over Central Florida on Saturday.
UCF trailed 21-10 before a late score, but following a Tigers punt, Knights receiver Jeff Godfrey’s fumble with 2:26 left allowed Missouri (3-2) to hang on.
UCF (2-2) controlled most of the game, using five sacks and a huge advantage in time of possession to take an early lead.
But miscues on defense and special teams unraveled it all, and the Knights’ offense sputtered down the stretch in its bid to defeat its first Southeastern Conference opponent at home.
Coming off a dismal passing performance last week at South Carolina, Franklin was efficient, going 19 for 30 for 257 yards.
No. 6 South Carolina 38, Kentucky 17
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and Connor Shaw passed for another in the second half as No. 6 South Carolina scored 31 straight points for a 38-17 victory against Kentucky on Saturday night.
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. 3 LSU 38, Towson 22
BATON ROUGE, La. — Zach Mettenberger connected with Odell Beckham Jr. five times for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 3 LSU overcame nagging offensive sloppiness in a 38-22 victory over overmatched but feisty Towson on Saturday night.
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.