The Journal Gazette
Sunday, November 22, 2020 1:00 am

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Alabama cruises after 3 weeks off

Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama didn't quite look like itself at first after an extended period on the sidelines, but it scarcely made a difference on the scoreboard.

DeVonta Smith caught nine passes for 144 yards and set the Southeastern Conference career record with two more touchdowns in the top-ranked Crimson Tide's 63-3 victory over short-handed Kentucky on Saturday.

“I think we played better and better and better as the game went on,” coach Nick Saban said.

And the score got bigger and bigger and bigger.

Mac Jones passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and Najee Harris ran for a pair of scores for the Tide (7-0 SEC), both in less than three quarters. A slow start turned into a breezy return from a three-week layoff after LSU was forced to call off last week's scheduled game because of COVID-19 troubles.

The outmanned Wildcats (3-5) were missing a number of key players because of injuries or coronavirus protocol. They were competitive early on the stat sheet, but it didn't hold up particularly long on the scoreboard after they gave up three second-quarter touchdowns.

Smith broke Amari Cooper's SEC and Alabama record with his 32nd touchdown catch, a 10-yarder from Jones in the second quarter. He added an 18-yarder from freshman backup Bryce Young.

“It's certainly a blessing to have my name with all the greats that came to the SEC and this school,” Smith said.

No. 6 FLORIDA 38, VANDERBILT 17: In Nashville, Tennessee, Kyle Trask passed for 383 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Gators.

Florida (6-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) pulled into Vanderbilt Stadium an hour before kickoff already in uniform, hoping to avoid the visitors locker room as a coronavirus precaution.

The Commodores (0-7, 0-7) opened the game by driving for a touchdown, but Trask helped get Florida on track for its seventh consecutive win in the series.

Trask completed 26 of 35 passes to nine receivers. He's the first quarterback in SEC history with 30 touchdown passes in seven games.

No. 7 CINCINNATI 36, CENTRAL FLORIDA 33: In Orlando, Florida, Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to lead the Bearcats.

Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0 American) fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter but grabbed the lead by halftime. Rider passed for 338 yards and ran for 57.

No. 8 BYU 66, NORTH ALABAMA 14: In Provo, Utah, Tyler Allgeier ran for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cougars (9-0).

Allgeier had his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Zach Wilson threw for 212 yards and four touchdowns before halftime and added 33 yards rushing.

No. 11 OREGON 38, UCLA 35: In Eugene, Oregon, Tyler Shough threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Ducks (3-0), who solidified their spot atop the Pac-12 North.

Devon Williams had six catches for 123 yards, including a 19-yarder for a score and a 49-yard reception that helped set up a third-quarter score.

UCLA (1-2) had several players out because of COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing, including starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Redshirt freshman Chase Griffin started.

No. 15 COASTAL CAROLINA 34, APPALACHIAN STATE 23: In Conway, South Carolina, Reese White scored on a 3-yard run with 2:24 to play as the Chants 6-0 Sun Belt Conference) beat Appalachian State for the first time.

Coastal Carolina had lost all six previous games to the four-time defending Sun Belt champion Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1).

No. 17 IOWA STATE 45, KANSAS STATE 9: In Ames, Iowa, Brock Purdy passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns the Cyclones' most lopsided win over the Wildcats in 77 years.

Iowa State (6-2, 6-1 Big 12) matched the school record for conference wins.

The Cyclones hadn't had such a wide winning margin against the Wildcats since they beat them 48-0 in 1943. It was their biggest win over a Big 12 opponent since beating Kansas 45-0 three years ago.

Purdy completed 10 of his first 12 passes for 156 yards to six receivers and all three of his touchdowns. Breece Hall ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

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