Ohio State and Oklahoma won their BCS championship game rematches and showed that a couple of former powerhouses from the Sunshine State are not quite ready to return to elite status.
Behind the running of Terrelle Pryor and a ball-hawking defense, the second-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 12 Miami 36-24 on Saturday at the Horseshoe in Columbus.
The last time the teams met was in the 2002 national championship game at the Fiesta Bowl, with the Buckeyes taking a dramatic and controversial 31-24 victory in double-overtime.
In Norman, Okla., Landry Jones bounced back from a sluggish opener and led the 10th-ranked Sooners to an easy 47-17 victory over No. 17 Florida State.
That was a rematch of the 2001 Orange Bowl that brought home the Sooners’ most recent national championship, but it quickly turned into a blowout as Oklahoma (2-0) scored touchdowns on its first four possessions.
Jones finished 30 for 40 for 380 yards without an interception. He had 321 yards by halftime, the second-most in a half in Oklahoma history. Ryan Broyles caught 12 passes for 125 yards and a score.
Christian Ponder was just 11 for 28 for 113 yards with interceptions on back-to-back throws in the third quarter for Florida State (1-1).
At Ohio Stadium, Pryor ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and passed for another score and the Buckeyes (2-0) intercepted four of Jacory Harris’ passes.
But this one was no work of art, with numerous sloppy plays and bad tackling. Miami returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns.
In what was billed as a Heisman showcase, Pryor completed just 12 of 27 passes for 233 yards but added 20 carries, scoring on a 13-yard run. Harris was 22 of 39 passing for 232 yards and a touchdown but had the four interceptions — three of which could easily have been caught.
The last interception was particularly costly for the ‘Canes.
Trailing 26-17 at the half, Miami (1-1) took the second-half kickoff and drove to a first down at the Ohio State 6. But on third-and-goal, Harris’ pass over the middle was wide of the mark and intercepted by burly Buckeyes defensive end Cameron Heyward, who rumbled 80 yards. That set up Pryor’s touchdown run.
James Madison 21, No. 13 Virginia Tech 16
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Drew Dudzik ran for two touchdowns and threw for another and James Madison stunned Virginia Tech, the Hokies’ second loss in six days.
Dudzik scored on second-half runs of 7 and 12 yards as the Dukes (2-0) became only the second team from the Football Championship Subdivision to beat the Hokies. Richmond did it in 1985, a year after the Spiders dropped down from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Hokies (0-2) began the season with national championship aspirations, but the offense that was supposed to be their strength did less against the Dukes than against No. 3 Boise State on Monday night. They lost that game 33-30 on a TD with 1:09 remaining.
No. 6 Nebraska 38, Idaho 17
LINCOLN, Neb. — Taylor Martinez ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns and Nebraska’s defense intercepted five of Nathan Enderle’s passes and had seven sacks.
DeJon Gomes and Rickey Thenarse each ran back interceptions for touchdowns as the defense carried the Huskers (2-0), whose offense was productive but mistake-prone against the overmatched Vandals (1-1).
Martinez went over 100 yards rushing for the second straight game and Roy Helu Jr. added 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Nebraska.
Enderle was sacked five times and threw three of his five interceptions on consecutive possessions in the second quarter. Nebraska converted each of those second-quarter picks into touchdowns to go up 31-3 at half.
No. 8 Florida 38, South Florida 14
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jeff Demps ran for a career-high 139 yards and a touchdown, Justin Trattou returned an interception for a score and Florida pulled away from South Florida in the second half.
The Gators (2-0) overcame a sluggish start for the second consecutive week, took advantage of five turnovers and extended their home winning streak to 13 games.
John Brantley’s first TD pass came after an interception. Demps’ 62-yard TD run followed a fumble. Mike Gillislee scored after another turnover. Trattou picked off a pass and rumbled 35 yards to the end zone. And the Gators turned Demps’ 54-yard kickoff into a field goal.
B.J. Daniels ran for 107 yards for the Bulls (1-1), but also threw four interceptions.
No. 9 Iowa 35,
Iowa State 7
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Adam Robinson rushed for a career-high 156 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries as Iowa beat Iowa State for the third straight time.
Ricky Stanzi threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score for the Hawkeyes (2-0), who scored touchdowns on four of their first five drives.
Stanzi threw short TD passes to Marvin McNutt and Allen Reisner, and his 1-yard TD plunge gave Iowa a 28-0 lead at halftime.
Jewel Hampton, playing his first game since 2008, added a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Robinson’s 39-yard touchdown run made it 35-0 in the third quarter.
Austen Arnaud threw three interceptions in the third quarter and finished 20 of 44 for 197 yards for the Cyclones (1-1).
No. 11 Wisconsin 27, San Jose State 14
MADISON, Wis. — John Clay ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and Wisconsin beat San Jose State, but lost receiver David Gilreath early in the game with a concussion.
It was Clay’s eighth straight 100-yard rushing game as the Badgers won their 15th straight home opener and improved to 13-0 in nonconference regular-season games under coach Bret Bielema.
Wisconsin (2-0) didn’t look much sharper than in its season-opening win at UNLV, but the sloppy performance wasn’t nearly as concerning as the injury to Galreath.
The senior took a hard hit near the head during the third quarter and was down on the field for nearly 10 minutes. He was eventually taken away in an ambulance.
No. 20 Utah 38,
SALT LAKE CITY — Terrance Cain passed for two touchdowns in his first start in almost a year and Shaky Smithson returned a punt 77 yards for a score for Utah.
Eddie Wide ran for two touchdowns and the Utes won their 19th straight at home and their final Mountain West Conference opener before bolting for the Pac-10 next season.
Cain got the start as Utah (2-0, 1-0) didn’t want to risk Jordan Wynn’s sprained right thumb against the Rebels (0-2, 0-1), who have never won in Salt Lake City. Cain finished 13 for 20 for 207 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass to Smithson on the third play of the second half to put the Utes up 24-3.
Smithson added his second touchdown midway through the third with a dazzling return down the UNLV sideline as the Utes capitalized on a bad day for both punt teams.
No. 24 South Carolina 17, No. 22 Georgia 6
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Marcus Lattimore rushed for 182 yards and two first-half touchdowns and South Carolina beat Georgia.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 SEC) played without suspended star receiver A.J. Green and they sure could’ve used him against the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0) in the Southeastern Conference opener.
Georgia was outgained by more than 100 yards and held without a touchdown for the first time in three years since its last loss to South Carolina, 16-12, in 2007.
The Bulldogs’ best chance to tighten the game came in the third quarter when they drove to the South Carolina 3 while trailing 14-6. But Washuan Ealey fumbled and cornerback Stephon Gilmore recovered to end the threat.
Green was penalized four games by the NCAA for selling a game jersey for $1,000. He did not accompany the team on the trip.