KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Amari Cooper caught two of A.J. McCarron’s four touchdown passes Saturday as No. 1 Alabama defeated Tennessee 44-13 for its sixth consecutive victory over the Volunteers.
Cooper finished with seven receptions for 162 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 42-yard score in the third. Cooper also had a 30-yard touchdown nullified by a penalty.
McCarron went 17-of-22 for a career-high 306 yards for Alabama (7-0, 4-0). T.J. Yeldon rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) has lost 11 of its last 12 SEC games and is 0-14 against the Top 25 since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010.
Dooley returned to the sideline Saturday on crutches, less than two weeks after undergoing surgery on a fractured right hip. He had coached from the press box last week in a 41-31 loss at Mississippi State.
VANDERBILT 17, AUBURN 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Zac Stacy ran for 169 yards and a touchdown and Vanderbilt beat Auburn 17-13 on Saturday.
The Commodores (3-4, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) overcame a fourth-quarter fumble by Stacy, who became the school’s all-time rushing leader. Clint Moseley overshot an open Sammie Coates on fourth-and-13 with 52 seconds left as Auburn (1-6, 0-5) dropped its fourth straight.
Stacy, a senior who also owns Vanderbilt’s single-season rushing record, carried the ball 27 times. He now has 2,670 career rushing yards. His 27-yard run in the fourth quarter broke Frank Mordica’s previous mark of 2,632 yards from 1976-79.
Auburn, just two years after winning the national championship, is off to its worst start since losing six of its first seven in 1952 in Shug Jordan’s second year as coach.
No. 6 LSU 24, No. 20 Texas A&M 19
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown, and No. 6 LSU rallied from an early deficit to beat No. 20 Texas A&M 24-19 at Kyle Field on Saturday.
Michael Ford also had a touchdown run and Zach Mettenberger threw a TD pass to Kadron Boone for the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference).
A&M (5-2, 2-2) outplayed the Tigers for much of the first half and led 12-0. But the Aggies gave away two costly turnovers just before halftime, and Boone’s diving catch in the end zone with 11 seconds left put LSU up 14-12 at the break. Hill finished off A&M with a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Johnny Manziel, A&M’s dual-threat quarterback, completed 29 of 56 passes for 276 yards, but threw three interceptions.
No. 15 Mississippi State 45,
Middle Tennessee 3
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Tyler Russell threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns, Johnthan Banks tied a school record with his 16th career interception and No. 15 Mississippi State pulled away in the second half to beat Middle Tennessee 45-3 on Saturday night.
Mississippi State (7-0) led just 10-3 at halftime, but scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to open a comfortable lead in the non-conference game. It was the ninth straight win for the Bulldogs, dating to last season.
LaDarius Perkins shook Mississippi State’s offense out of an extended drought midway through the third quarter, bursting through the middle of the line for a 64-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-3. He finished with 125 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Mississippi State’s Chris Smith caught a career-high seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee (4-3) was led by Jordan Parker’s 66 yards rushing.