Backed up to their own goal line, Matt Barkley and Joe McKnight drove into Southern California lore.
Barkley, the freshman quarterback, and McKnight, the shifty tailback, made big play after big play, and Stafon Johnson capped one of the great drives in USC's storied history with a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left to give the third-ranked Trojans a 18-15 victory against No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday night.
For the Buckeyes (1-1), it was another big-game heartbreaker, maybe the toughest one yet. Ohio State has now lost six straight against top-five teams.
For the Trojans, it was their 10th straight victory against a Big Ten team. None was tougher _ and none was likely more satisfying for Pete Carroll's team.
Houston 45, No. 5 Oklahoma State 35
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Case Keenum threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns, and Bryce Beall caught the go-ahead 6-yard pass off a batted ball as Houston stunned Oklahoma State.
The Cougars (2-0) gave second-year coach Kevin Sumlin his first marquee win with the program's first victory over a Top 5 team since an upset of third-ranked Texas in 1984.
Oklahoma State (1-1) was coming off of perhaps the biggest opening win in the program's history last week against Georgia and vaulted into the Top 5 for the first time since 1985. But after overcoming a 17-point halftime lead, the Cowboys squandered their final chances for a win.
Michigan 38, No. 18 Notre Dame 34
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Tate Forcier threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds left, lifting Michigan to a win over Notre Dame.
Armando Allen ran for a touchdown and got the 2-point conversion on a nifty Statue of Liberty play with 5:13 left after Jimmy Clausen threw his third touchdown pass to give the Fighting Irish (1-1) the lead, but their defense could not deny Forcier and the Wolverines (2-0).
Forcier's 31-yard TD run on a fourth down gave the Wolverines an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter. He threw an interception on his next drive to aid the Irish's comeback, but the freshman bounced back by converting a third down with a pass and clutch connection with Mathews on the side of the end zone.
No. 1 Florida 56, Troy 6
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Tim Tebow threw four touchdown passes, ran for another score and the Gators beat Troy in their final tuneup before beginning Southeastern Conference play.
Florida (2-0) started slow in this one, punting twice and fumbling once in its first four series. But once Tebow & Co. got on track, the Trojans (0-2) looked nearly as overmatched as Charleston Southern did last week.
Tebow completed 15 of 24 passes for 237 yards and equaled his career high with four TD passes. He also ran 13 times for 71 yards. His 4-yard TD run was the 45th of his career and tied him with former Auburn star Cadillac Williams for third on the SEC's all-time list.
Texas 41, Wyoming 10
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) _ Colt McCoy warmed up after a shaky start and No. 2 Texas overcame poor special teams play and a bad first half to beat Wyoming.
The Longhorns (2-0) looked ready to be lassoed until taking a 13-10 lead just before halftime, although their defense had a great afternoon against a spread offense in preparation for next weekend's showdown with Texas Tech.
The defense held the Cowboys (1-1) out of the end zone and limited them to 3-for-17 on third down in helping to secure the Longhorns' 15th straight non-conference win, tying a school record established in the 1940s.
No. 4 Alabama 40, Florida International 14
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) _ Greg McElroy completed a school-record 14 straight passes, freshman Trent Richardson rushed for a pair of second-half touchdowns and Alabama pulled away from Florida International.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) couldn't shake the 33-point underdog Golden Panthers (0-1) until Richardson scored from 9 and 35 yards in the final 19 minutes. Terry Grant added a 42-yard TD run.
It wasn't quite the breezy game Alabama fans likely were anticipating until that onslaught, especially after No. 1 Florida decimated FIU's Sun Belt Conference rival Troy 56-6 earlier in the day. The Tide led just 20-14 before getting the big plays from Richardson, who gained 118 yards on 15 carries in his first significant action.
No. 7 Penn State 28, Syracuse 7
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Evan Royster ran for a touchdown and caught another, and Penn State contained quarterback Greg Paulus and rebuilding Syracuse.
Royster turned a short throw into a 49-yard touchdown on the game's opening drive, and added a 12-yard scoring run to give the Nittany Lions a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
Penn State (2-0) throttled Syracuse's running game early, and the Orange (0-2) unsuccessfully tried to throw off the Nittany Lions' defense, at times alternating Paulus and backup Ryan Nassib at quarterback.
Paulus, the former Duke basketball player, finished 14 of 20 for 105 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He threw mostly quick passes to counter Penn State's pressure.
No. 9 Brigham Young 54, Tulane 3
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Max Hall threw two touchdown passes, Bryan Kariya scored twice and Brigham Young crushed Tulane.
The Cougars (2-0) got off to a sluggish start following their big win over Alabama, managing only two field goals by Mitch Payne in the first quarter. BYU began hitting its stride just before halftime, building a 20-3 lead.
BYU had 527 yards of total offense, including 206 on the ground. Tulane (0-2) was held to 162 yards and managed only 37 yards rushing.
Hall completed 24 of 32 passes for 309 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. His counterpart for Tulane, Joe Kemp, managed to complete 14 of 19 passes for 101 yards with an interception and three sacks.
No. 10 California 59, Eastern Washington 7
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ Jahvid Best rushed for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns to make sure California avoided a letdown against Eastern Washington.
Best caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Riley in the first half and scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter for the Golden Bears (2-0). Riley also ran for a touchdown and Shane Vareen had three short TD runs as Cal posted its second straight blowout to open the season.
After starting off with a 52-13 victory over a Maryland team that handed the Bears their first loss last season, Cal remained focused against the Eagles, who play in the lower-division Football Championship Subdivision.
No. 11 LSU 23, Vanderbilt 9
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Keiland Williams rushed for 72 yards and LSU's only two touchdowns in a victory over Vanderbilt.
The Commodores (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed by only one touchdown midway through the fourth quarter as they attempted to win in Tiger Stadium for the first time since 1951.
LSU (2-0, 1-0) pushed it to 23-9 with 6:01 to go after Williams' second touchdown. He slipped a tackle at the line of scrimmage, cut back, then faked a defender to the ground before hurdling over him and into the end zone for the 14-yard score.
No. 12 Boise State 48, Miami, Ohio 0
BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Kellen Moore threw four touchdown passes and No. 12 Boise State rolled over Miami, Ohio.
The Broncos (2-0) were never really challenged by the rebuilding RedHawks (0-2), still looking for their first points of the season.
Moore was 16-of-26 passing for 307 yards, including a 65-yard TD pass to receiver Titus Young in the third quarter. Moore also threw touchdowns to Austin Pettis and Tyler Shoemaker before heading for the bench in the third quarter with Boise State up 34-0.
Boise State outgained Miami 441 to 197, and the Bronco defense held Miami to just 41 yards rushing and intercepted four passes.
No. 13 Oklahoma 64, Idaho State 0
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Freshman quarterback Landry Jones threw three touchdown passes in his first career start and Oklahoma routed Idaho State.
Jones, replacing injured Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, found a favorite target in Ryan Broyles, who caught scoring passes of 24, 51 and 11 yards and finished with seven catches for 155 yards for Oklahoma (1-1), which bounced back from a season-opening loss to BYU.
No. 14 Virginia Tech 52, Marshall 10
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Freshman Ryan Williams ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 14 Virginia Tech more than tripled its offensive production from last week in a rout of Marshall.
The Hokies (1-1) managed only 155 yards in their opener against Alabama, but that tally was topped before the end of the first quarter against the Thundering Herd (1-1).
Marshall barely laid a hand on Williams during his 57-yard scamper up the middle in the first quarter. He added scoring runs of 4 and 28 yards in the second as the Hokies took a 35-7 halftime lead.
David Wilson outdid Williams by running for 165 yards and a touchdown, but most came in second-half mop-up duty. Tyrod Taylor went 9 for 16 passing for 161 yards with two touchdowns for the Hokies.
No. 16 TCU 30, Virginia 14
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ TCU held Virginia's new spread offense to seven first downs, and the Horned Frogs breezed to a victory in their season opener.
Virginia (0-2) largely avoided the turnover problems that led to their opening loss to William and Mary, but couldn't get anything going against the stout TCU defense.
Virginia escaped its first home shutout since 1984 when Jameel Sewell heaved a 56-yard touchdown pass to Javaris Brown late in the game. He added 26-yard TD to Tim Smith with 1:48 left.
Before that, it was all TCU. Joseph Turner and Jeremy Kerley had TD runs, and Andy Dalton threw a 31-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Young. Ross Evans kicked three field goals.
No. 17 Utah 24, San Jose St. 14
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Terrance Cain passed for 248 yards and hit Jereme Brooks for a go-ahead 51-yard score early in the fourth quarter, and No. 17 Utah finally shook free of San Jose State late in its 16th straight victory.
Matt Asiata rushed for 94 yards and an early score for the Utes (2-0), who persevered through 45 frustrating minutes before three late scoring drives kept alive the longest winning streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Utah racked up 499 total yards, but repeatedly failed to finish its drives until the final minutes.
Jordan LaSecla passed for 269 yards while playing the final three quarters for the Spartans (0-2), who put a scare into an elite opponent one week after a 56-3 thrashing at USC.
No. 19 North Carolina 12, Connecticut 10
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut's Dan Ryan was called for holding in the end zone with 1:32 left in the game Saturday, giving North Carolina a safety and a comeback win over the Huskies.
The Tar Heels(2-0) trailed 10-0 entering the fourth quarter, when Casey Barth kicked a 22-yard field goal. Then, T.J. Yates led the team on two 13-play drive, and his 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zack Pianalto with 2:36 left tied the game at 10.
Pianalto hurt his leg jumping up and down after the score and had to be taken from the field in an air cast, another bizarre moment from a game that ended in crazy fashion.
After the safety, UConn recovered the onside kick but couldn't get into field-goal range.
The Huskies (1-1) were playing without its best defensive player, injured linebacker Scott Lutrus, and lost starting quarterback Zack Frazer to a knee injury late in the third quarter.
No. 21 Georgia 41, South Carolina 37
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ Rennie Curran broke up a fourth-down pass at the goal line and Georgia held off South Carolina in a wild game.
The nearly four-hour contest wasn't decided until Curran, a linebacker, batted down Stephen Garcia's final throw on a fourth-and-4 play at the Georgia 7 with 27 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) avoided their first 0-2 start since 1996. South Carolina (1-1, 0-1) was hurt by a blocked extra point after its final touchdown, which prevented the Gamecocks from going for a tying field goal.
The game had a little of everything. Georgia's Brandon Boykin set a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return. South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood returned an interception 35 yards for a TD. There was even an errant snap on a punt attempt by the Bulldogs, the ball rolling through the end zone for a safety.
No. 22 Nebraska 38, Arkansas State 9
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Zac Lee passed for 340 yards and four touchdowns, and Nebraska warmed up for next week's trip to Virginia Tech with a victory over Arkansas State.
The Cornhuskers (2-0) scored on five of their first six possessions, ending any hopes the Red Wolves (1-1) had of pulling an even bigger upset than their win at Texas A&M last year.
Lee completed 27 of 35 passes to 11 different receivers and threw no interceptions. He opened the game leading two straight 80-yard drives and a 46-yarder as the Huskers jumped ahead 21-0.
No. 23 Cincinnati 70, Southeast Missouri State 3
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Mardy Gilyard scored four touchdowns as part of the third-best scoring performance in Cincinnati's history, reaching the end zone on an electrifying punt return, a run and two catches Saturday during the Bearcats' rout of Southeast Missouri State.
A quick-strike offense scored every which way during a 49-point first half, the biggest in coach Brian Kelly's three seasons at Cincinnati (2-0). Gilyard was the catalyst, putting together one of the top individual performances in school history.
Gilyard, the Big East's top returner last season, responded to chants of "Mar-dy! Mar-dy!" by returning the game's first punt 53 yards. It was the Bearcats' first punt return for a touchdown in 12 years.
No. 24 Kansas 34, Texas-El Paso 7
EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ Jake Sharp ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns while Kansas got two big punt returns from Daymond Patterson to beat Texas-El Paso.
Todd Reesing completed 25 of 41 attempts for 260 yards passing with one interception. He threw a 5-yard TD to Sharp and worked again Dezmon Briscoe, who returned from a one-game suspension and had eight catches for 154 yards.
The Jayhawks finished with 576 total yards and their defense racking up five sacks and held UTEP (0-2) to negative rushing yards until the closing minutes.
The Miners avoided the shutout when Trevor Vittatoe found Donavon Kemp for a 75-yard catch-and-run with 12:39 remaining.
No. 25 Missouri 27, Bowling Green 20
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Blaine Gabbert threw two second-half touchdown passes and Derrick Washington scored the go-ahead TD late in the fourth quarter, helping Missouri rally from a dud start to beat Bowling Green.
Washington had 120 yards on 23 carries for the Tigers, who jumped into the rankings after an impressive opening victory over Illinois and needed a strong finish for any hope of staying there. Missouri (2-0) trailed 13-0 in the second quarter and 20-6 midway in the third before awakening.