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SEC Roundup: No. 1 Georgia romps 45-3 over Ball State behind Mews' punt return TD, 3 interceptions

September 10, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Georgia's Mekhi Mews (87) returns a Ball State punt for touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATHENS, Ga. -- No. 1 Georgia intercepted three passes and walk-on Mekhi Mews sparked the offense with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown, leading the Bulldogs to a 45-3 victory over Ball State.

The two-time reigning national champions were held scoreless in the opening quarter. But Georgia finally got rolling with a 31-point outburst in the second period, improving to 2-0 on the season.

The overmatched Cardinals dropped their second in a row to an SEC team. New Georgia quarterback Carson Beck finished 23 of 30 for 283 yards, with two TDs and one interception.

No. 20 Ole Miss, 37, No. 24 Tulane 20

NEW ORLEANS -- Jaxson Dart accounted for 308 yards and passed for two touchdowns and No. 20 Mississippi pulled away to beat 24th-ranked Tulane 37-20 on Saturday as injured Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt watched from the sideline.

Caden Davis kicked a career-long 56-yard field goal to give Ole Miss (2-0) a 10-point lead with 1:53 left, and defensive end Jared Ivey picked up a fumble caused by Khari Coleman's sack and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

Dart passed for passed for 267 yards and rushed for 41.

Tulane coach Willie Fritz said Tuesday that Pratt was "fine." But the coach started backup Kai Horton instead. Pratt had taken a big hit at the end of a 37-17 victory over South Alabama.

Miami 48, No. 23 Texas A&M

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Tyler Van Dyke threw a career-high five touchdown passes, Brashard Smith returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score, and Miami overcame a slow start to defeat No. 23 Texas A&M 48-33 Saturday.

Van Dyke had two touchdown passes of 3 yards, as well as 52-, 11- and 64-yard scores. He finished with 374 yards passing to bring his season total to 575 -- an impressive start after he struggled last year.

Wake Forest 36, Vanderbilt 20

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Mitch Griffis threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns, Brendon Harris returned a fumble 31 yards for a touchdown against his former team, and Wake Forest held off Vanderbilt 36-20 on Saturday in a game delayed two hours by lightning.

Wake Forest (2-0) seemed in danger of squandering a 10-point lead before Harris capped the game's most-critical play by scooping up a fumble by Vandy punt returner Will Sheppard and running uncontested into the end zone.

Walker Merrill caused the fumble with a hit after Sheppard had taken a few strides after making the catch. Harris, a Nashville, Tennessee native and hometown recruit for the Commodores, spent four years at Vandy, including a redshirt season, before the safety transferred to Wake before last season.

Kentucky 28, Eastern Kentucky 17

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Devin Leary passed for four touchdowns, including two to Tayvion Robinson, as Kentucky scored four consecutive TDs to rally past and hold off Eastern Kentucky 28-17 on Saturday.

The Wildcats entered as heavy favorites but spent much of an overcast day having to overcome their FCS neighbor. The Wildcats needed almost the entire first half just getting started offensively and succeeded just before halftime as Leary found Robinson for the first TD and then again in the third quarter.

Leary completed 24 of 38 passes for 299 yards. Parker McKinney completed 19 of 29 for 219 yards to surpass 10,000 career yards.

Print Headline: Top-ranked Georgia romps 45-3 over Ball State


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