College football scores, NCAA top 25 rankings, highlights in Week 3: Clemson rolls, UCF impresses in opener

There were five top-15 teams in action during Week 3 of the college football season, and three of them — No. 1 Clemson, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 13 Cincinnati — combined to win their games by a total of 156-20. But No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 14 UCF had to fight to avoid upsets in their season openers. 

The Knights ultimately outlasted Georgia Tech 49-21, but not without a struggle after the Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. UCF roared back to take a 28-7 lead, only to see Georgia Tech close the gap to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter. That’s when UCF found its prolific offensive attack again with three unanswered touchdowns to close the game. In the end, it was an encouraging debut for the Knights against an ACC foe that knocked off Florida State last week. 

Top-ranked Clemson, meanwhile, needed not to worry one bit as it cruised to a 49-0 victory over The Citadel to move to 2-0 on the year. In limited action, Clemson star QB Trevor Lawrence was 8-of-9 passing for 168 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers racked up all 49 of their points in the first half over their FCS foe before taking the foot off the gas in the second half. The No. 1 team in the country will now enjoy a week off before hosting Virginia in Death Valley on Oct. 3. 

College football scores, schedule — Week 3

No. 11 Oklahoma State 16, Tulsa 7 — Recap

No. 25 Pitt 21, Syracuse 10 — Box score

No. 19 Louisiana 34, Georgia State 31 (OT) — Box score

No. 13 Cincinnati 55, Austin Peay 20 — Box score

No. 7 Notre Dame 52, South Florida 0 — Recap

Marshall 17, No. 23 Appalachian State 7 — Box score

No. 14 UCF 49, Georgia Tech 21 — Box score

No. 1 Clemson 49, Citadel 0 — Box score

No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville — 7:30 p.m. on ABC — Live game updates

Check out the complete Week 3 scoreboard

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Miami goes ahead 27-13 in the third quarter on one of the best runs of the day. Check out the finish from Cam’Ron Harris.

Half: No. 17 Miami 20, No. 18 Louisville 6

The ‘Canes offense is looking pretty good in game number two with D’Eriq King at QB. He’s 12-of-20 for 158 yards and a TD. Louisville hasn’t been bad but had to settle for a couple FGs. Speaking of field goals, this was a bomb from Miami’s Jose Borregales. The FIU transfer appears to have solved Miami’s kicking woes.

Final: No. 14 UCF 49, Georgia Tech 21

The Knights ultimately outlasted Georgia Tech but not without a struggle after the Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. UCF roared back to take a 28-7 lead only to see Georgia Tech close the gap to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter. That’s when UCF found its prolific offensive attack again with three unanswered touchdowns to close the game.

Final: No. 1 Clemson 49, Citadel 0

Clemson reportedly offered to go with a running clock at halftime with the score 49-0. But Citadel declined and held its own against Clemson’s reserves in the second half. The Tigers played four quarterbacks, 11 players logged rushing attempts and 15 players caught passes, including two of Dabo Swinney’s sons and one of Kirk Herbstreit’s sons.

Final: Marshall 17, No. 24 Appalachian State 7

The Thundering Herd survive a slugfest between two Group of Five programs with high expectations. The over/under was at 59.5 points for this one, but defense won the day. Appalachian State could have pulled within 17-10 with 2:54 remaining but missed a 31-yard field goal. That came after a crushing fumble ended an App State drive earlier in the fourth quarter, which you can see by scrolling down. The Mountaineers certainly had their chances. Here is the TD run from Marshall redshirt freshman QB Grant Wells that was the final score of the game.

SMU is absolutely clubbing North Texas 21-0, but this interception might be the best takeaway we’ll see today. What an effort.

Close game alert!

No flags, no video reviews, no missed extra points. That’s just a good ol’ fashioned touchdown for Georgia Tech. Jahmyr Gibbs runs 33 yards to bring the Yellow Jackets within 28-21 against No. 14 UCF early in the fourth quarter.

End 3Q: UCF 28, Georgia Tech 14

Pretty remarkable that neither team scored in that quarter. Georgia Tech had multiple chances and UCF did too.

Just a crushing turnover for Appalachian State. Still plenty of time for the Mountaineers, but this one will be tough to recover from. 17-7 Marshall early in 4Q.

Just when you think Georgia Tech has made a fatal mistake and is about to get blown out, you look up and they are getting the ball back. Yellow Jackets have mustered another defensive stop and have the ball in UCF territory as we enter the latter stages of the third quarter with UCF leading 28-14.

Marshall up 17-7 now on App State. Grant Wells with the sneaky keeper for the TD. Fun game on CBS.

Update from Clemson-Citadel. Sounds like the Bulldogs believe they can stage a comeback!

Final: No. 7 Notre Dame 52, South Florida 0

If you want to nitpick a blowout victory, you can point to the fact that Notre Dame is no closer to identifying its playmakers at WR after this one. That’s because the Fighting Irish pillaged South Florida with 428 yards rushing. Sophomore RB C’Bo Flemister didn’t play in the opener but ran for 126 yards and a TD on 13 carries today. Wake Forest is next for the Fighting Irish.

Half: No. 1 Clemson 49, Citadel 0

Looks like Trevor Lawrence’s day may already be done with a line of 8-9, 168 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. The Tigers led 28-0 after the first quarter and will be in cruise control during the second half. Biggest question is if they let off the gas enough to let Citadel cover the 50.5-point spread. Obviously the caliber of opponent is pretty low, but a couple of Lawrence’s throws have been quite nice.

Half: No. 14 UCF 28, Georgia Tech 14

GT struck first after a big kick return to start the game, but UCF quickly showed its aerial superiority with three straight unanswered TDs before the Yellow Jackets got one back. Dillon Gabriel’s halftime line: 15-20, 252 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. Turnovers and FG woes plaguing GT again as they did in last week’s upset win at Florida State. But Jeff Sims continues to look like he has a bright future at QB in the ACC.

Half: Marshall 10, No. 24 Appalachian State 7

This Group of Five showdown is a good one so far. Not a ton of points, but plenty of deep throws, weird plays, etc. App State got down the field late in the half thanks to a couple of DPI penalties, but Zac Thomas threw an INT. Marshall running back Brenden Knox is the MVP so far. Arguably the best player in C-USA and showing it again with 16 rushes for 100 yards and a TD. Perhaps the Mountaineers were a little TOO energized for this one???

UCF has found some breathing room in a fun game against Georgia Tech, up 21-7 in the second quarter. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel and the Knights wideouts are absolutely abusing Georgia Tech’s defense on the intermediate and comeback routes. Gabriel is also showing great speed and patience in the running game as well. I love what Tech’s potential is with this offense, but right now UCF just looks like the superior team.


More great pitch and catch alerts. Check out this touchdown by Appalachian State to answer Marshall’s touchdown. Great catch by Jalen Virgil, but I’d argue that’s a drop in a bucket pass from Zac Thomas. Impressive way to cap off a solid drive: 11 plays, 85 yards.

Half: No. 7 Notre Dame 35, South Florida 0

The Fighting Irish are running wild. No resistance from South Florida. This is an encouraging effort for Notre Dame after it looked a bit sluggish against Duke last week. Obviously, South Florida is in its first season under Jeff Scott and wasn’t expected to keep this one very close. But Notre Dame has already surpassed its point total from last week. Ian Book has run(!?) for three touchdowns. 

Final: No. 19 Louisiana 34, Georgia State 31

The Ragin’ Cajuns roar back from down 21-7 and survive Georgia State on the road in OT. Looks like they’ll stick in the polls for at least another week.

Final: Navy 27, Tulane 24

Navy completes the biggest second-half comeback in school history after getting blown out 55-0 against BYU in the opener. Huge win for the Midshipmen. Comebacks for that program are especially impressive when you consider how little they throw the football. Dalen Morris was the third-string QB entering the fall and barely played in his first three seasons. But he was huge.

Final: Oklahoma State 16, Tulsa 7

The Cowboys avoid disaster thanks in part to true freshman QB Shane Illingworth, who entered in the second half and led a 6-play, 81-yard scoring drive. This throw to Tylan Wallace below was huge. OK State starting QB Spencer Sanders left in the first quarter, and the Cowboys looked lost offensively for a while. Chuba Hubbard didn’t really get free, but he finishes with 93 yards and a TD on 27 carries.

Close finishes!

Navy-Tulane and Louisiana-Georgia State are both tied in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

Final: Cincinnati 55, Austin Peay 20

A balanced attack produces 510 yards for the Bearcats in their opener. Next up for Cincy: a showdown with No. 22 Army. That should be a pretty fun game.

Final: Pittsburgh 21, Syracuse 10

The Panthers didn’t cover the 21.5-point spread, but they also didn’t have to sweat all that much in the second half against an inept Orange offense. Final line of 25-36, 215 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT for Pitt QB Kenny Pickett.

Final: Boston College 26, Duke 6

BC just dominated the second half against a Duke squad that hung tough against Notre Dame last week. Impressive start to the Jeff Hafley era. Duke’s Chase Brice finishes 23 of 42 for 217 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs.

Comeback alert!

Louisiana was down 21-7 but has rattled off three unanswered TDs and is back on top of Georgia State in the fourth quarter.

Comeback alert!

Navy was down 24-0 and has now tied up Tulane at 24 in the fourth quarter. Not only that, but Navy’s game-tying score came on a PASS. 


No. 11 Oklahoma State 10, Tulsa 7 — early 4Q

No. 13 Cincinnati 48, Austin Peay 13 — mid 4Q

No. 19 Louisiana 21, Georgia State 21 — start 4Q

No. 25 Pittsburgh 21, Syracuse 10 — mid 4Q

Liberty 30, Western Kentucky 17, mid 4Q

Tulane 24, Navy 16 — early 4Q

Boston College 26, Duke 6 — late 4Q

Notre Dame 7, USF 0 — early 1Q

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