Even after sending three starting defenders from last year's national championship team to the NFL as first-round draft picks, the second-ranked Crimson Tide threw around No. 8 Michigan while pounding Denard Robinson in a season-opening 41-14 victory last night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
C.J. Mosley returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown for the Tide. AJ McCarron threw for two touchdowns as Alabama won its 11th consecutive season opener.
Dee Milliner, the primary nickelback last season now in a starting role, deflected four passes in the first half, and had an interception after shoving intended receiver Roy Roundtree to the ground and into the Alabama sideline. That set up a touchdown for the Crimson Tide, which shot to a 31-0 lead.
Robinson was limited to 11-for-26 passing for 200 yards and 27 yards on 10 carries.
Ohio State 56, Miami (Ohio) 10: New coach Urban Meyer won in his debut for host No. 18 Ohio State and Broxton Miller rushed for 161 yards, a record for a Buckeyes quarterback, ran for one touchdown and threw for two more.
West Virginia 69, Marshall 34: Geno Smith was 32-for-36 for 323 yards and four touchdowns, and he also ran 28 yards for a TD for host No. 11 West Virginia. Smith was not intercepted.
Clemson 26, Auburn 19: Andre Ellington rushed for 231 yards and DeAndre Hopkins set a school record with 13 receptions for No. 14 Clemson in Atlanta.
Iowa 18, Northern Illinois 17: Damon Bullock ran for 150 yards and scored on a late 23-yard touchdown run at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Wisconsin 26, Northern Iowa 21: Montee Ball rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown, and No. 12 Wisconsin needed a tipped pass at their own 41-yard line to survive a fourth-quarter scare in Madison.
Rutgers 24, Tulane 12: Jawan Jamison ran for a 46-yard touchdown and Brandon Jones returned an interception for a score in New Orleans.
Northwestern 42, Syracuse 41: Ryan Nassib was 44-for-65 for 470 yards and four touchdowns, guiding the host Orange from a 35-13 deficit to a 41-35 lead, only to see it disappear when Trevor Siemian hit Demetrius Fields with a 9-yard TD pass with 44 seconds left.
Youngstown State 31, Pittsburgh 17: Kurt Hess passed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Andre Stubbs caught one score and ran for another in Pittsburgh as the Penguins got the program's first victory over a Division I-A opponent.