Oklahoma State kicked off 2015 on Thursday night with a 24-13 win at Central Michigan. Marcell Ateman caught four passes for 75 yards including his first career touchdown, and Mason Rudolph threw for 266 yards (22-32) and added a rushing touchdown of his own to go with his pass to Ateman. The victory is the Cowboys’ seventh win in its last eight season openers.
#2 TCU followed up last year’s win over Minnesota with a 23-17 victory in Minneapolis. Horned Frogs QB Trevone Boykin threw for 246 yards (26-42) as TCU racked up 449 total yards on offense. With seven defensive players making their first career start, the Horned Frogs improved to 95-3 under head coach Gary Patterson when holding their opponents to 17 points or less.
On Friday night #4 Baylor scored the final 28 points to claim their season-opening win at SMU 56-21. The Bears racked up 723 total yards of total offense and set the school record by gaining 10.48 yards per play. Defensively, Baylor shut out the Mustangs for the final 36 minutes of play, holding SMU to just 114 yards of offense in the second half. Seth Russell threw for 376 yards (15-30) and five touchdowns, and rushed for 59 yards-including a 4-yard touchdown. Corey Coleman caught five passes for 178 yards (TD), KD Cannon had three catches for 104 yards (TD), and Jay Lee caught three touchdown passes for 70 yards. Shock Linwood, Terence Williams, and Devin Chafin each rushed for 70-plus yards.
Saturday’s action began with an upset as visiting South Dakota State topped Kansas, 41-38. The Jayhawks rallied back from a 31-7 deficit, but ran out of time before they could attempt a game-tying tying 44-yard field goal. Patrick Mahomes threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns, two each to Ian Sadler and Devin Lauderdale, to lead Texas Tech past Sam Houston State 59-45. Kansas State increased their September dominance, blanking South Dakota 34-0, as the Wildcats improved to 60-7 (.896) in September games under Coach Bill Snyder. Baker Mayfield set a school record with 388 yards passing in a season opener as #19 Oklahoma rolled over Akron 41-3.
The first meeting between Notre Dame and Texas since 1996 did not go as the Longhorns had hoped. “The outcome on Saturday is not what we expected and is not acceptable,” Longhorns’ Coach Charlie Strong said of the 38-3 loss. “We have the players to get it fixed, as coaches we have to be accountable and we have to get it done.” West Virginia shut out Georgia Southern 44-0 as Skyler Howard threw for 359 yards (16-25) and two touchdowns, Wendell Smallwood rushed for 96 yards (TD), and the Mountaineers defense limited the Eagles to just 29 yards passing. Iowa State scored 31 consecutive points to defeat Northern Iowa, 31-7, in front of a school-record, sell-out crowd of 61,500 at newly-renovated Jack Trice Stadium.
North Carolina kicked off the season in Charlotte on Thursday, falling to South Carolina 17-13. Gamecocks LB Skai Moore intercepted two Marquis Williams passes in the end zone, including one with just 3:40 remaining in the game.
Less than a hundred miles to the north, QB John Wolford passed for a career-high 323 yards and three touchdowns as Wake Forest defeated Elon 41-3. The home opening win is the Demon Deacons’ sixth straight.
#16 Georgia Tech set a school-record 34 points in the first quarter on their way to a 69-6 win over Alcorn State. Freshman Marcus Mitchell gained 184 yards on just eight carries as the Yellow Jackets had a combined 553 total yards of offense. Duke traveled to The Big Easy and found their game against Tulane the same, winning 37-7. DeVon Edwards recorded his fourth career kickoff return, second-highest among active players.
On Friday, Syracuse blanked Rhode Island 47-0, completing the rare feat of scoring touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams. The Orange recovered two fumbles and recorded an interception in the first 244 seconds of the game. Unfortunately, the news was not all good for Syracuse as QB Terrel Hunt suffered an injury to his right Achilles tendon that will require season-ending surgery.
Saturday’s slate started with Clemson’s 49-10 victory over Wofford. The Tigers gained 533 yards on offense, extending their all-time winning ways to 75-0-1 all-time when gaining 500-plus yards. The Terriers, who averaged 297 yards rushing last year, managed just 123 yards on the ground. Boston College won their third straight opening day game, defeating Maine 24-3. WR Bobby Swigert returned to action for the first time since November, 2012 and caught two passes for 16 yards and one touchdown. Pittsburgh outlasted Youngstown State 45-37, despite a season-ending knee injury to All-America RB James Conner. Redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison ran for 207 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers earned their first victory for first-year coach Pat Narduzzi.
In Atlanta, Louisville’s fourth quarter rally came up short as they were defeated by #6 Auburn 31-24. The Cardinals scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but could not recover their own onside kick with three minutes remaining.
Despite a 238-yard passing performance by QB Matt Johns (21-35), Virginia lost at #13 UCLA 34-16. The Cavaliers could manage just three field goals in the first half while the Bruins gained 503 yards on offense for the game.
RB Matthew Dayes gained 126 yards rushing and ran for two touchdowns as North Carolina State defeated Troy 49-21. Dayes added five catches for 65 yards as the Wolfpack held the Trojans to just one second-half score. Miami defeated Bethune-Cookman 45-0 for the Hurricanes first shutout since 2010. Dating back to 1977, Miami is 158-2 when holding their opponents to ten points or less. After a delayed start due to lightning, #10 Florida State cruised past Texas State 59-16 for their sixth straight opening night victory for Coach Jimbo Fisher. QB Everett Golson passed for 302 yards (19-25) and four touchdowns as Dalvin Cook rushed for 156 yards.
On Monday, a national audience watched #1 Ohio State defeat Virginia Tech 42-24. The Hokies went into the locker room at halftime leading 17-14, but struggled after QB Michael Brewer fractured his collarbone in the third quarter.