Tide rolls; Noles struggle in Death Valley

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
8:29
PM ET

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Sammy Watkins had 141 receiving yards and two touchdowns to help Clemson (4-0 for the 1st time since 2007) win its fifth straight at home against Florida State.

Trent Richardson rushed for 126 yards and caught a receiving touchdown as the Alabama Crimson Tide won its SEC opener for the 20th straight season after defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks 38-14. Although some of those 20 wins have been vacated, it’s the longest streak in the FBS, and just two other schools even have double digit win streaks in conference openers – Virginia Tech (15) and Boise State (11). The Florida Gators have the next-longest win streak in SEC openers at seven games (entering their game against the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday night).

The Tide improve to 16-5 against AP Top 25 opponents (Arkansas was ranked 14th) since 2008 and 6-1 at home against AP ranked opponents. Overall, Alabama has won 23 of its last 24 home games and five straight over Arkansas.

In other mid-day action, in the first matchup of AP Top-10 teams at Kyle Field since 1975, the seventh-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to rally from a 20-3 halftime deficit and beat the eighth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies 30-29. Oklahoma State ran its road win streak to seven straight games, third-longest in FBS. Each of the last three meetings between these teams has seen Texas A&M take a halftime lead but Oklahoma State win the game. All have been decided by five points or fewer.

In Death Valley, Tahj Boyd threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns as the Clemson Tigers defeated the Florida State Seminoles, 35-30, to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2007. Freshman receiver Sammy Watkins led the way for Clemson with 141 receiving yards and two TD. He now has a six receiving scores on the season, a new school record for a freshman.

This is the fifth straight loss for Florida State at Clemson (Seminoles last won here in 2001). This is the longest road losing streak the Seminoles have had against a single ACC opponent since joining the conference in 1992. In fact, Florida State has only one other such streak!

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