Alabama opens title defense with 52-6 victory over USC

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) " Alabama's freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts threw two touchdown passes to ArDarius Stewart and ran for two more scores as the Crimson Tide opened its national college championship defense with a 52-6 victory over Southern California on Saturday.

Alabama, ranked No.1 among this season's contenders, improved to 10-0 in season openers under coach Nick Saban.

It was a mixed day for the highly ranked teams. While Clemson had a hard-fought victory over Auburn, Oklahoma lost at Houston and Louisiana State went down narrowly at Wisconsin.

Alabama trailed until midway through the second quarter when Stewart got in behind the secondary and Hurts found him wide open in the end zone to make it 7-3.

Right after halftime, Hurts found Stewart alone near the Alabama 40 and the receiver sprinted up the right sideline untouched for a 71-yard touchdown and a 24-3 lead.

The season-opening win came at AT&T Stadium " the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys " was also where the Crimson Tide started their 2012 and 2015 national championship seasons with victories.

Houston's Brandon Wilson caught a missed field goal attempt by Oklahoma and sprinted the length of the field to help lift the Cougars to a 33-23 win against the Sooners.

Regardless of whether Houston ends up in the Big 12 if the conference expands, the Cougars made an opening statement that could have season-long ramifications.

When Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert's 54-yard field goal attempt came up just short, Wilson reached up to catch the ball while barely keeping his feet in bounds. He came flying out of the end zone, hit the sideline and hurdled a teammate to score what went into the books as a 100-yard return, making it 26-17 with 8:28 left in the third.

Wisconsin's Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 47-yard field goal with 3:47 left, and the Badgers held off Louisiana State's last-ditch drive and won 16-14.

LSU's frustration was on full display at the end of the game, when offensive lineman Josh Boutte was ejected for a flagrant foul after a blind-side hit on Wisconsin's D'Cota Dixon after the safety sealed the victory with an interception with 57 seconds left.

Clemson's Deshaun Watson passed for 248 yards, including 174 to Mike Williams in his return from an injury, and the Tigers escaped with a 19-13 victory over Auburn.

Clemson struggled to put away Auburn, who produced little offense for much of the game while swapping three quarterbacks in and out. Finally, Watson hit Hunter Renfrow in the back of the end zone on third and goal from the 16 with 9:59 left in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State racked up a team record 776 offensive yards in routing Bowling Green 71-10.

J.T. Barrett threw six touchdown passes and eight players scored touchdowns as the Buckeyes overpowered the Falcons in front of a crowd of 107,193 at sunny Ohio Stadium. The 776 yards topped the 718 yards Ohio State put up against Mount Union in 1930.

Michigan's Wilton Speight threw three touchdown passes in the first half and the Wolverines trounced Hawaii 63-3 in its most lopsided victory since 1975.

Speight threw an interception on his first snap but bounced back with TD passes to Grant Perry, Jake Butt and Amara Darboh to put Michigan up 21-0 early in the second quarter.

Texas Christian's Kenny Hill accounted for five touchdowns after a shaky start in his team debut, and the Horned Frogs pulled away late to beat South Dakota State 59-41.

The former Texas A&M quarterback threw interceptions on consecutive passes that led to a 10-point lead for the lower-division Jackrabbits.

KaVontae Turpin started the recovery from the surprising second-quarter deficit with an 81-yard punt return for a TD, sparking the Frogs to their 15th straight win in a home opener.

Washington's Jake Browning threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns as the Huskies cruised past Rutgers 48-13.

John Ross caught two scoring passes and returned a kickoff for another score in his first game since the end of the 2014 season as the Huskies raced to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and were never threatened by the rebuilding Scarlet Knights.

Texas A&M's Trevor Knight threw for 239 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores in his team debut, including one in overtime, to lead the Aggies past UCLA 31-24.

Iowa's Akrum Wadley ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns as the Hawkeyes defeated Miami (Ohio) 45-21.

Georgia's Nick Chubb rushed for 222 yards in his return from a gruesome knee injury, including a 55-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that clinched the Bulldogs' 33-24 victory over North Carolina.

Oklahoma State routed Southeastern Louisiana 61-7, led by Jhajuan Seales, who caught two touchdown passes.

Oregon overcame a rocky start to beat University of California Davis 53-28, as Dakota Prukop threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in his Ducks debut.

Florida extended the nation's longest winning streak in season openers to 27 by defeating University of Massachusetts 24-7, with Luke Del Rio throwing two touchdown passes in his first career start.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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