(No. 9) Tennessee 20 – Appalachian State 13 (OT)
A missed field goal and clock management issues in the fourth quarter kept the Mountaineers from pulling off a shocking upset against one of the highest-ranked SEC programs in the country.
Appalachian State junior quarterback Taylor Lamb went 15-of-23 from the pocket, tossing a touchdown pass and an interception in the team’s season opener. Senior running back Marcus Cox added 155 yards on the ground and sophomore wide receiver Deltron Hopkins finished with five catches for 39 yards.
The Mountaineers return to Kidd Brewer Stadium at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to take on Old Dominion.
Toledo 31 – Arkansas State 10
A 21-point second quarter and 556 total yards on offense propelled the Rockets to a commanding victory while handing the defending Sun Belt champions their first loss of the season.
Toledo junior quarterback Logan Woodside completed 23-of-31 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Kareem Hunt had 78 yards and a rushing touchdown on 17 carries for the Rockets.
Arkansas State senior quarterback Chad Voytik went 11-of-24 through the air for 124 yards in the loss. Sophomore running back Warren Wand accumulated 77 yards rushing on 12 carries and junior tight end Blake Mack added 87 yards receiving on two catches.
The Red Wolves travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Saturday to face Auburn.
Georgia Southern 54 – Savannah State 0
Georgia Southern head coach Tyson Summers suspended seven players for his team’s season opener Saturday, but the Eagles had no difficulty dispatching the FCS-based Tigers to open the year.
Redshirt senior quarterback Favian Upshaw led the Georgia Southern offense with seven completions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt junior running back Demarcus Godfrey provided the bulk of the Eagles ground game with 14 rushes for 124 yards.
The Eagles travel to Mobile, Alabama, at 7 p.m. Saturday to take on South Alabama in the first Sun Belt matchup of the season.
Ball State 31 – Georgia State 21
Panthers redshirt sophomore cornerback Jerome Smith had two interceptions against Ball State sophomore quarterback Riley Neal, but a strong defensive effort by the Cardinals prevented Georgia State from earning a victory.
Sophomore running back James Gilbert finished with 160 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Ball State, while senior wide receiver KeVonn Mabon collected 69 yards receiving on eight catches.
Redshirt junior quarterback Conner Manning went 21-of-32 from the pocket, amassing 163 yards passing and tossing a touchdown for the Panthers. Redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester contributed 59 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground, while senior wide receiver Robert Davis caught eight passes for 61 yards.
Georgia State travels to Colorado Springs at 11 a.m. Saturday to meet Air Force in a nonconference meeting between the two programs.
UTEP 38 – New Mexico State 22
Miners junior running back Aaron Jones sparked the UTEP offense with 249 yards rushing and two touchdowns to hand the Aggies a season-opening loss as part of the Firstlight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10.
UTEP redshirt junior running back Aaron Jones finished with a career-high 249 yards on 31 carries. Transfer quarterback Zack Greenlee went 15-for-27 for 229 yards passing and three touchdowns.
New Mexico State quarterback Tyler Rogers’s performance highlighted a silver lining for the Aggies, as the senior went 17-for-41 through the air for 206 yards passing. Rogers also carried the ball nine times for 63 yards and a touchdown.
New Mexico State now prepares for a 5 p.m. rivalry meeting Saturday against New Mexico at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
South Alabama 21 – Mississippi State 20
The Jaguars provided the first major upset of the college football season, as a missed field goal by the Bulldogs in the final seconds of the game sealed the win for South Alabama.
Sophomore quarterback Dallas Davis went 24-of-34 for the Jaguars, compiling 285 yards passing and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Josh Magee had seven receptions for 113 yards, and senior running back Tyreis Thomas added 83 yards on the ground.
South Alabama plays host to Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Texas State 56 – Ohio 54 (3OT)
A trick play double-pass gave the Bobcats the lead in the third overtime period, while a defensive effort by the Texas State defensive line prevented Ohio from converting the two-point conversion to seal the win.
The game featured over 1,100 yards of total offense, including 418 yards passing from Texas State quarterback Tyler Jones. The senior went 40-for-55 with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and caught the go-ahead touchdown in the third overtime period.
The Bobcats enter a bye week before traveling to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sept. 17 to take on Arkansas.
Troy 57 – Austin Peay 17
The Trojans offense racked up 706 total yards in a historic performance in the team’s only meeting with an FCS program this season.
Redshirt junior running back Jordan Chunn accumulated 161 yards on the ground for Troy, while sophomore wide receiver Ismail Saleem collected 106 yards receiving and a touchdown.
The Trojans travel to Memorial Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to face Clemson, the No. 2 ranked program in the nation.
Boise State 45 – UL Lafayette 10
The Broncos cruised to a 35-3 halftime lead, as Boise State sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 347 yards and two touchdown passes to hand the Ragin’ Cajuns a season-opening loss.
Less than 24 hours after the loss, UL Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeht announced the decision to fire defensive coordinator Melvin Smith. Hudspeht promoted linebackers coach Mike Lucas into the position for the remainder of the year.
Ragin’ Cajuns senior quarterback Anthony Jennings went 21-of-33 from the pocket for 186 yards passing and a touchdown.
UL Lafayette plays host to McNeese State Saturday at 6 p.m. at Cajun Field.
UL Monroe 38 – Southern University 21
The Warhawks relied on the arm of sophomore quarterback Garrett Smith to guide the team to a commanding victory to open the season.
Smith went 20-for-33 from the pocket, finishing with 208 yards passing and two touchdown passes. The quarterback also added 150 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Sophomore running back Ben Luckett added another 110 yards and a rushing touchdown.
UL Monroe travels to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at 4 p.m. Saturday to take on No. 14 Oklahoma.
Josh Grissom can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GoshJrissom