STARKVILLE, Miss. — Skylar Thompson only threw one touchdown pass in Kansas State's 31-24 road win at Mississippi State, but boy was it a big one.
With 5:37 left in the fourth quarter and the game tied 24-24, Thompson rolled out and found Dalton Schoen wide open in the right side of the end zone and hit him with a 15-yard pass that would ultimately stand as the game-winner.
"He lives for those moments," KSU head coach Chris Klieman said. "He's prepared for that moment."
Thompson threw for 123 yards on 10-of-18 passing and managed to keep the Wildcat offense from crumbling under the pressure of self-inflicted wounds and a hostile crowd. It is the first time Kansas State has beaten a Power Five nonconference team on the road since 2011.
KSU (3-0) led 17-14 at halftime but trailed 24-17 in the fourth quarter. Then a 100-yard Malik Knowles kickoff return tied the game, and Thompson's touchdown pass gave the Wildcats a 7-point lead.
MSU (2-1) drove 55 yards on their final meaningful possession, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs at the Kansas State 20-yard line, one yard short of the first-down marker.
The Wildcats managed only 269 yards of total offense, 146 of it on the ground. Schoen caught a team-high three balls for 50 yards and James Mitchell rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries.
Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead benched senior transfer quarterback Tommy Stevens in the third quarter after his second interception and turned the Bulldog offense over to freshman Garrett Shrader.
Shrader led the Bulldogs on a methodical 12-play, 79-yard drive, running the ball into the end zone himself to give the team its first lead. From there, though, he presided over three-and-outs on three of the next four drives and the Bulldogs never reached the end zone again.
MSU's Osirus Mitchell led all receivers with 74 yards and Kylin Hill, the Southeastern Conference's leading rusher, had a game-high 111 yards on 24 carries.
No. 3 Georgia 55, Arkansas State 0
ATHENS, Ga. — Now, the real season begins for No. 3 Georgia.
Finishing off a dominating run through their first three games, the Bulldogs romped to a 55-0 win over Arkansas State on Saturday. Jake Fromm threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns before taking the rest of the day off, while Georgia's defense turned in a dominating performance.
Bring on Notre Dame.
The No. 7 Fighting Irish will make their first trip ever to Athens next Saturday night, a game that has been eagerly anticipated by Georgia fans ever since the home-and-home series was announced.
"We've played in a lot of big games," coach Kirby Smart said. "They're not going to be intimidated by that."
The Bulldogs (3-0) have yet to be tested, blowing through a stretch that felt more like an NFL preseason by a cumulative margin of 148-23.
With thousands of Georgia fans wearing pink instead of red to honor Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson's wife, Wendy, who died last month from breast cancer, the Bulldogs (3-0) took control as soon as they got their hands on the ball. They scored on six of seven possessions in the first half, building a 34-0 lead.
The Georgia defense was equally stout, posting its first shutout since the 2018 opener. The Red Wolves (1-2) went three-and-out four times in the first half and crossed midfield only once, settling for a 50-yard field goal try that faded wide right.
The Bulldogs went to the locker room with a 382-81 edge in total yards, and many of the fans didn't bother coming back to watch the final two quarters.
Brian Herrien got Georgia rolling with a 3-yard scoring run, and Rodrigo Blankenship booted a couple of field goals to make it 13-0 at the end of the first period.
Fromm took it from there.
He connected with Dominick Blaylock on a 60-yard touchdown pass, went to D'Andre Swift out of the backfield for a 48-yard score, and finished it off by zipping a 5-yard TD throw to Lawrence Cager just inside the pylon with less than a minute to go in the half.
Tennessee 45, Chattanooga 0
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee got some desperately needed momentum just in time for the start of Southeastern Conference competition.
Jarrett Guarantano threw three first-half touchdown passes and Tennessee rolled to a 45-0 blowout of Football Championship Subdivision program Chattanooga on Saturday as the Volunteers began digging their way out of their slowest start in over three decades.
Tennessee (1-2) is trying to bounce back from its first 0-2 start since 1988, when the Vols dropped their first six games before finishing 5-6. Tennessee took out its frustrations on Chattanooga (1-2) before beginning a grueling monthlong stretch.
In its next four games, Tennessee visits No. 9 Florida, hosts No. 3 Georgia and Mississippi State and visits No. 2 Alabama.
Tennessee's Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 58 yards to set up his own 13-yard touchdown run around left end. After Chattanooga went three-and-out on its first series, Tyler Byrd blocked a punt and Brandon Johnson picked up the loose ball and ran 24 yards into the end zone.
Mississippi 40, Southeastern Louisiana 29
OXFORD, Miss. — Matt Corral threw for two touchdowns and the Mississippi defense made a pair of game-saving stops on downs in the final six minutes as the Rebels defeated Southeastern Louisiana 40-29.
Corral finished 21 of 30 for 239 yards and directed a pair of fourth quarter field goal drives that preserved the Ole Miss (2-1) win over the FCS Lions (1-1). Jerrion Ealy added two touchdowns, a 94-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard run, to finish with 273 all-purpose yards.
Southeastern Louisiana, trailing 34-29, drove inside the 50-yard line twice in the final period before the drives ended. Virgil Kelly threw for 309 passing yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but was intercepted three times.
The Rebels never trailed but could not break away from the Lions despite rolling up 459 yards of total offense, including a game-high 103 rushing yards by Scottie Phillips. Corral threw touchdown passes of 9 and 5 yards to Elijah Moore and Jason Pellerin, respectively.
Kelly threw touchdown passes of 45 and 5 yards to Juwan Petit-Frere and Bransen Schwebel, respectively, in the third quarter to pull the Lions within 34-29.