Friday, August 29, 2014

Hilltoppers best Falcons, 59-31, in Brohm's Debut

Brandon Doughty threw for a school-record 569 yards and six touchdowns to help Western Kentucky beat Bowling Green State 59-31 on Friday night in the head coaching debuts of Jeff Brohm and Dino Babers.

Brohm's Hilltoppers had a school-record 702 total yards against the defending MAC champions.

Western Kentucky raced to a 21-0 lead on Leon Allen's 2-yard run, and Doughty's 55-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor, and 34-yarder to Atwane Grant.

Taylor finished with 12 catches for 185 yards and Jared Dangerfield had 10 catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Bowling Green scored in the third quarter on Andre Givens' 3-yard run and Matt Johnson's 41-yard pass to Ronnie Moore. Johnson completed 25 of 36 passes for 314 yards.

Doughty countered with two more scoring strikes, finding Willie McNeal for 20 yards and Dangerfield from 5 yards out.

Cook leads Spartans in 45-7 win against Jacksonville St

Connor Cook threw a long touchdown pass for Michigan State's first points of the season - and coach Mark Dantonio's immediate reaction was concern.

That's because Cook needed to be helped off the field after a late hit to his left leg.

"That looked pretty ugly out there, but he rebounded after that, and he went right back in the football game," Dantonio said. "I'm pretty sure he's fine, based on how he played."

Cook shook off that early scare to finish with three touchdown passes, and No. 8 Michigan State rolled to an easy 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State on Friday night.

Cook completed his first nine passes in a nearly flawless performance. He sat out the second half after going 12 of 13 for 285 yards.

Michigan State won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl last year thanks to its outstanding defense, and although that unit lost a few standouts, it was hard to tell the difference in this season opener against the Gamecocks.

Jacksonville State is considered one of the top teams in the Football Championship Subdivision, but the Spartans showed no vulnerability to an upset in this one.

"They're every bit as good as advertised," said John Grass, who was in his first game as Jacksonville State's coach after being promoted from offensive coordinator.

"I was proud of our kids on how we finished the game. We dug a hole early and you can't do that against a team like Michigan State. They've got a team that's going to make a run at a national championship. I really believe that."

Talk such as that would have been put on hold if Cook had been seriously injured. The talented junior made a nice throw on the run to Tony Lippett for a 64-yard touchdown to open the scoring, but Jacksonville State's Folo Johnson came diving in and hit Cook around the knee.

"I was a little dinged, but nothing too serious," Cook said. "I hadn't really gotten hit like that in a while."

Cook was able to come back for Michigan State's next drive, and he threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Lippett on his next pass. A 17-yard strike to AJ Troup made it 21-0.

When the Spartans opened the season last year, they weren't sure who their starting quarterback should be, and the offense was woeful for the first month or so.

Cook grew more comfortable as the season progressed, and now Michigan State is hopeful its offense can take some pressure off that reliable defense.

"When you have an explosive offense like that clicking, it's dangerous for any team to be playing against," Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond said. "Seeing them come out there clicking early like that is getting us more confidence and allowing us to play more at ease."

Next week, the Spartans head west for a marquee nonconference matchup at No. 3 Oregon. That will be quite a test for this Michigan State defense.

Jacksonville State's offense never got untracked. Spartans linebacker Ed Davis provided one highlight in the second quarter when he hurdled a blocker and sacked Eli Jenkins.

Nick Hill ran for two touchdowns in the first half, including a 17-yarder that featured a nice spin past a potential tackler. At one point, Cook was 9 for 9 for 257 yards.

The Spartans led 38-0 at halftime, and when Jacksonville State finally scored early in the third quarter, it was the first touchdown Michigan State had allowed at home since Oct. 12 - a span of 215 minutes, 40 seconds.

Lippett had four catches for a career-high 167 yards. Backup quarterback Tyler O'Connor ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the third to make it 45-7.

Jacksonville State's DaMarcus James, who rushed for an Ohio Valley Conference-record 29 touchdowns last year, was held to 17 yards on three carries.

'CUSE WINS 2OT THRILLER OVER 'NOVA, 27-26

Syracuse's Riley Dixon found Kendall Moore in the end zone on a fourth-down fake field goal attempt in double overtime, and after a Villanova touchdown, Robert Welsh stopped John Robertson on the potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt to give the Orange a thrilling 27-26 victory over the Wildcats in the opener at the Carrier Dome on Friday night.

After both teams kicked field goals on their respective possessions in the first overtime, it looked like the Orange would attempt a field goal after Adonis Ameen-Moore was stopped just shy of the goal line on third down in the first possession of the second OT. Dixon, the holder and SU's regular punter, took the snap and rolled left, tossing to the tight end Moore in the left corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.

Villanova took over needing a touchdown and extra point to force a third OT, and after an incomplete pass and a five-yard run, Robertson found Gary Underwood in the right side of the end zone for the touchdown. Rather than kick the extra point to tie, the Wildcats elected to go for the two-point conversion and the win. Robertson, the Preseason CAA Player of the Year who finished the game with 115 rushing yards on 34 attempts, looked to keep it himself again, but was quickly greeted by Welsh and a swarming Orange defense to end the game.

"We're 1-0, that's all that counts," said head coach Scott Shafer. "Was it pretty? No, it wasn't pretty, but we found a way. I'm proud of the fact that we came away with the victory, I'm extreme'y pleased and happy with the fans that showed up. They said we had 41,000 people. The people that stayed to the end when we needed them the most were there for us like they always have been. I just have to thank the fans and the community because we're going to get it better every week, but there's something good about saying that it wasn't the performance that we wanted but we got a victory. Teams when they grow and mature, they find a way to win ugly. I've lost pretty and that's no good."

The game went to overtime after Villanova's Chris Gough missed wide right on a 25-yard field goal attempt with 12 seconds left in regulation.

Sophomore quarterback Austin Wilson made his debut, going 11-of-17 passing for 89 yards, all in the second half. He entered the game with late in the second quarter after starter Terrel Hunt (10-of-17, 94 yards) was ejected for throwing a punch.

"The NCAA is pushing to make sure we clean up football and they said that was going to be an emphasis," Shafer said. "That was a shame, but it gave us an opportunity to put Austin Wilson in the game and see what he could do, and to lean on some other people to find a way to win a game. That's what it's about."

Prince-Tyson Gulley led the way on the ground for the Orange, piling up 100 yards on 11 carries, highlighted by a first-quarter 65-yard touchdown run for the game's first points. It was the third 100-yard game of his career.

Jarrod West and Ashton Broyld were the Orange's top receivers, each hauling in five passes for 59 and 57 yards, respectively.

"He's such a damn good football player," Shafer said of Robertson. "That was a hell of an effort by that kid. I've been around football my whole life and that kid is a gutsy son of a gun."

The double-overtime win is the first for 'Cuse since it beat Wyoming 40-34 in 2006.

"It was pretty crazy," Shafer said. "I've been around a lot of them around the years, but that was pretty crazy. You live in the moment and you're just going one play at a time every 10 or 12 seconds trying to make good decisions. What happens is I'll go home tonight and I'll reflect and say 'holy mackerel,' that was some crazy stuff going on out there"

The Orange will return to action after a week off, with the team hitting the road to Central Michigan for a Sept. 13 contest that will kick off at Noon.

UConn Falls to BYU in Diaco's Debut, 35-10

Taysom Hill threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help BYU beat UConn 35-10 on Friday night, spoiling Huskies coach Bob Diaco's debut.

The junior quarterback completed 28 of 36 passes to nine receivers without an interception. He went 17 of 20 to lead the Cougars to a 28-7 halftime advantage, and was BYU's leading rusher with 97 yards on 12 carries.

The Huskies held BYU in check for much of the second half, but had a hard time getting their own offense untracked.

Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer split duties and threw for a combined 284 yards.

Six BYU players - including tailback Jamaal Williams and starting cornerbacks Jordan Johnson and Robertson Daniel - missed the game after being suspended for unspecified violations of team rules.

ASU Opens Season With 45-14 Win Over Weber State

The No.19 Arizona State Sun Devils kicked off their 2014 campaign with a 45-14 win over the Weber State Wildcats on Thursday night in front of a season-opening record 9,800 students at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils (1-0) offense was rolling on all cylinders as it scorws 31 points in the first half alone. Sophomore kicker Zane Gonzalez opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, and it was all ASU after that.

Redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 18-of-27 passes for 238 yards, putting him fourth on ASU’s career passing list with 6,943 yards. Kelly’s performance allowed him to surpass Sun Devil legend Danny White’ 6,717 yards and Arizona high school great Ryan Kealy’s 6,912 yards. Kelly also managed to rush for 14 yards on three attempts.

The end zone was not an unfamiliar place for junior running back D.J. Foster as he crossed the goal line three times and rushed for 147 yards, putting him over the coveted 1,000-yard mark at 1,141 career rushing yards. Foster’s third touchdown run, halfway through the third quarter, was a career-long 57 yards.

Redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong led the way in receiving with 10 catches for 146 yards, including a game-high 35-yard reception.

Youth did not phase the Sun Devil defense as they held Weber State (0-1) to 156 yards passing and 152 yards rushing, all while playing six first-time starters. ASU also made an impressive goal-line stand early in the second quarter when Wildcats failed to convert on fourth down from the one-yard line.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Salamo Fiso was the top performer on the defensive side for the Sun Devils as he recorded seven tackles, including one sack, and redshirt senior safety Damarious Randall contributed six solo tackles to the effort as well.

The introduction to the season proved to be an opportunity of “firsts” for the Sun Devils. Redshirt junior wide receiver Gary Chambers caught an eight-yard pass from Kelly, scoring not only the team’s first touchdown of the season, but making his first career catch as well. Redshirt junior quarterback Mike Bercovici connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Ellis Jefferson on a 15-yard touchdown pass as the two both scored their first career touchdowns.

The Wildcats did mange to get on the scoreboard when quarterback Billy Green threw a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Shaydon Kehano halfway into the third quarter. Running back Zach Smith added another touchdown with a 60-yard run late in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

The Sun Devils next contest comes on Saturday, Sept. 6 against the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque, N.M. Kickoff is set 4:00 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

'Dores fall to Temple in season opener

Derek Mason's head coaching debut didn't go as planned for the Vanderbilt football team.

Committing seven turnovers, including four fumbles lost, the Commodores suffered a 37-7 loss to Temple on Thursday night in their season opener before a crowd of 30,731 at Vanderbilt Stadium.

The start of the game was delayed by more than 90 minutes due to severe weather in the Nashville area, and the rest of the night didn't go much smoother for Vanderbilt (0-1).

The Commodores, who were limited to 278 total yards of offense, used three different quarterbacks in the loss. Patton Robinette started the game but was replaced in the first half by Stephen Rivers. Freshman Johnny McCrary then took over in the third quarter for the Commodores, who trailed 21-7 at the half.

Vanderbilt's lone touchdown came in the second quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Oren Burks after a bad snap on a punte attempt by Temple (1-0).

Owls Kickoff Season with Vanderbilt Victory

After an hour and 37 minute lighting delay, the Temple defense decided to light up Vandebilt Stadium in a 37-7 stunner of a win in front of 31,731 fans. The night was highlighted by an amazing performance by the defense, which included two forced fumbles by Averee Robinson and only allowing the 'Dore to 107 total yards in the first half.

On the first drive of the game, the Owls looked promising, but failed to convert a first down and freshman Alex Starzyk was forced to punt it away.

The first drive for the Commodores didn't end in anything, as the 'Dores were held to only 3 total yards, with the assistance of Matt Ioannidis and Tyler Makatevich tackles on first- and second-down respectively. The 'Dores were forced to punt for the first time after Sharif Finch sacked Pat Robinette.

The Owls were the first to score as Vanderbilt running back Brian Kimbrow was the victim of a Nate D. Smith forced fumble, which was recovered by Averee Robinson at the Vanderbilt 40. From here, Kenneth
Harper fumbled the ball, but Walker was able to recover it quickly. The four play, 40 yard drive ended with a 35-yard pass from Walker to Brandon Shippen, the first catch of his career.

Vanderbilt opened the second quarter by punting the ball away, after Praise Martin-Oguike sacked Robinette, which marked the third sack of the half for the Owls.

The Owls then tried to get a something going, after facing a 3rd and 21 situation, after a chopblock penalty was called on both Kyle Friend and Brendan McGowan. However, the Owls are forced to punt it away, but the 'Dores would catch a break after Alex Starzyk was unable to get a grip on a high snap. Oren Burks recovered the fumble in the end zone, tying up the game.

Once the Owls got the ball back and Walked had completed a pass to Khalif Herbin, the ball was put back into the 'Dores hands, as the ball was stripped and Jake Sealand recovered at midfield. However, Vanderbilt was unable to capitalize on the mishap.

With a little over two minutes left before the half, Walker was able to launch a rocket to Jalen Fitzpatrick in the endzone, following a successful 11-yard completion to Nate Hairston on 4th and 7.

Even though Vanderbilt had the ball back following the Temple touchdown, the 'Dores once again were unable to get any movement, after Stephen Rivers was sacked and Robinson recovered his second fumble of the night, running it 55-yards for the touchdown, making the halftime score 21-7 in favor of the Owls.

The third quarter started with Vanderbilt receiving the ball, but were unable to score, as Hayden Lekacz's field goal attempt went to the left of the uprights.

Once again, the Owls shined through the rest of the third quarter, as Jahad Thomas was able to recover a fumbled punt catch by Darrius Simms. This set up Austin Jones' field goal to make the score 24-7.
Vanderbilt decided to switch up their quarterbacks, adding Johnny McCrary into the game. However, his first pass was intercepted by Tavon Young, who was chosen to wear the coveted number 1 jersey this week.

Walker was able to run the ball four yards in for another Temple touchdown. On the next Vanderbily play, slight movement was made as they were able to make it out to their 34-yard line. But, Young was able to make his second interception, which accounts for five of the last seven Temple picks. The Owls settle for a Jones field goal on the drive.

Vanderbilt once again hits a sour mark, after the kickoff is fumbled and Aretrell Foster is able to recover it. However, the Owls are unable to score as time runs out. But, once the final quarter is underway,
Jones is unable to put his kick through the uprights.

The night ended for the Owls with a Tyler Mayes field goal, which sealed the deal at 37-7.

Walker went 24-34 with 207 yards of passing and two touchdowns, along with eight carries for 21 yards and 1 touchdown. Jones was responsible for three field goals and three point-after attempts, racking his numbers up to 12 points.

The Owls will face Navy on September 6 to open the home season at Lincoln Financial Field.

Cougars Fall in Back-And-Forth Opener, 41-38

Paul James ran for 173 yards and scored his third touchdown with 3:24 left to give Rutgers a wild 41-38 victory over Washington State on Thursday night in the Scarlet Knights' first game as a member of the Big Ten.

Gary Nova threw a 78-yard touchdown to Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage and Rutgers withstood a passing onslaught from Washington State's Connor Halliday.

Rutgers won its opener for the sixth time in nine years and picked up a significant road victory with a challenging Big Ten slate ahead. Meanwhile, Washington State has just one victory in its last nine openers.

Halliday did his part. The senior completed 40 of 56 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns, but his fourth-down pass for River Cracraft near midfield with 53 seconds left was batted away.

Nova was 16 of 27 for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the Scarlet Knights rode James and the run game. James had 113 yards rushing in the first half and touchdown runs of 1 and 56 yards as Rutgers built a 21-10 lead.

The Scarlet Knights leaned on James at the end. Cracraft fumbled a punt near midfield with 7 minutes left and Rutgers recovered trailing 38-34. James carried on four straight plays and Nova hit consecutive passes, the second an 11-yard dart to Carroo to the 14 with 4:11 left. James capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run and Rutgers was back ahead.

Washington State couldn't put together one final drive. Halliday was sacked and a pair of incompletions turned the ball over with less than a minute left.

Halliday overcame a shaky start and was nearly flawless in the middle two quarters. After an early interception, Halliday connected on 15 of his next 21 throws the rest of the half, including touchdown tosses of 4 yards to Isiah Myers and a 26-yard flick to Vince Mayle late in the first half to pull Washington State to 21-17 at the break.

He was even better in the third quarter, leading the Cougars to a pair of touchdowns with nearly flawless efficiency. Halliday hit on 13 of 15 passes to start the second half, his only incompletions a throwaway under pressure and a drop in the end zone. Halliday hit Cracraft on a 7-yard strike to give Washington State a 24-21 lead. Myers had his second touchdown catch, taking a huge hit while hauling in a 14-yard strike on third-and-goal for a 31-24 lead.

Just as quickly the lead was gone. Kyle Federico's second field goal, on the first play of the fourth quarter, pulled Rutgers to 31-27 and after a Washington State three-and-out, Nova found John Tsimis for a 29-yard TD and a 34-31 lead with 10:50 remaining.

Halliday answered in a hurry. He found Myers for 43 yards to the 9, then went over the 500-yard mark on a 5-yard TD pass to Rickey Galvin for a 38-34 lead with 8:13 left, the Cougars' final lead.

The game drew 30,927 to CenturyLink Field in what will likely be the Cougars last visit there in the foreseeable future. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos wants all home games on campus beginning next season and the crowd was the smallest to see a Washington State game played in Seattle.

Rutgers Holds on to Beat Washington State, 41-38

After spending the first 59 minutes trying to slow down Washington State’s pass-happy offense with only moderate success, Rutgers’ defense saved its best for last.

With the Scarlet Knights clinging to a three-point lead, the defense held firm against quarterback Connor Halladay on his final drive tonight, enabling Rutgers to emerge with a 41-38 victory over Washington State at century Link Field in the season opener.

Halliday finished 40-of-56 for 532 yards and five touchdowns but could not solve the Scarlet Knights’ defense when it mattered most.

Rutgers was able to take that 41-38 lead in a back-and-forth second half just when things looked bleak. Trailing 38-34 after Halliday’s five-yard touchdown pass to Rickey Galvin with 8:13 to play, the Scarlet Knights were forced to punt.

But Johnathan Aiken’s hit on returner River Cracraft forced a fumble that teammate Anthony Cioffi recovered at midfield. From there, the Scarlet Knights marched the rest of the way for the eventual game-winning touchdown, getting it when Paul James scored from three-yards out with 3:24 to play, his third rushing touchdown of the game.

James rushed for 173 yards on 29 carries, while Gary Nova passed for 281 yards and two scores. Wide receiver Leonte Carroo caught six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown as Rutgers beat a Pac-12 school for the first time in its history.

Nova’s second touchdown pass of the game, and John Tsimis’ first of his career, had given Rutgers the lead back at 34-31 with 10:50 to play after those two hooked up on a 29-yard scoring play.

Prior to that, Washington State had taken its first lead of the game at 24-21 on its opening possession of the second half as Halliday continued his hot hand. Rutgers would force a 24-24 tie on Kyle Federico’s 36-yard field goal on the very next series before Halliday picked up where he left off.

This time he finished a drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass – his fourth of the game -- to Isiah Myers to get Washington State back on top at 31-24.

But Rutgers wasn’t finished.

Federico, who has made 10 of his last 12 field goals, connected on a 25-yard and to make it 31-27 and Nova then capitalized on a defensive stop. He did that by engineering a 73-yard drive that ended with the touchdown pass to Tsimis, giving the Scarlet Knights the lead back a 34-31 in the wild passing affair.

Rutgers’ ability to make just enough plays – thanks in large part to James and a defense that did its best to hold firm in the onslaught of Washington State’s passing game – was the difference as the Scarlet Knights claimed a 21-17 halftime lead.

James tore through the Cougars’ defense in the first two quarters, rushing for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. The highlight was a 56-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter that pushed the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 21-10.

Though Rutgers led from the very first play from scrimmage – literally – Washington State’s relentless passing attack kept the Pac-12 team always within arm’s length through the first two quarters. Cougars’ quarterback Connor Halliday finish the first half 20-of-29 for 289 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception.

But he was always playing catchup early, starting with Nova’s 78-yard touchdown strike to Carroo on Rutgers’ first play.

Halliday had his share of big plays in the first half, but the Scarlet Knights’ defense had theirs as well, most notably on a fourth and two play midway from the Rutgers six yardline through the first quarter.

Halliday completed a crossing pass to Vince Mayle, who was stopped short of the first down by safety Johnathan Aiken. That preserved Rutgers’ 7-0 lead.

But the offenses and the offensive stars were just getting warmed up.

Rutgers built a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter thanks to a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by James’ one-yard touchdown run.

Halliday answered with a four-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Myers that finished off an 80-yard drive, making it 14-10.

That’s when Rutgers responded once more, with James breaking loose for that 56-yard touchdown run to push the Scarlet Knights’ advantage back to 21-10. Back came Halliday for more, though.

This time he moved the Cougars 72 yards in eight plays, connecting with Mayle for a 26-yard touchdown. Washington State was within 21-17 with 1:42 left before the half at that point. The Cougars had a chance to get even closer, but Eric Powell’s 50-yard field goal try on the final play of the first half glanced off the upright.

Nova, meanwhile, finished the half 5-for-10 for 107 yards with a touchdown pass and interception. And while Washington State managed gaudy passing numbers as usual, the Cougars rushed for just 18 yards on nine carries in the opening half.

TULSA OPENS SEASON WITH 38-31 DOUBLE OVERTIME WIN OVER TULANE

Tulsa took its first lead of the game in the second overtime and Dane Evans' eight-yard pass to Conner Floyd proved to be the winning score, as the Golden Hurricane held off Tulane 38-31 in double overtime in front of 19,032 fans Thursday night at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Senior safety Demarco Nelson intercepted Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee on second down of the ensuing Green Wave possession to seal the season-opening victory for the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa tied the game at 28 with 2:53 remaining in regulation when Evans found Keevan Lucas for a three-yard touchdown, and then hit Josh Atkinson at the front corner of the end zone for the 2-point conversion. The Hurricane completed the comeback after it had trailed 21-7 in the second quarter, and 21-14 at the half.

The teams traded field goals on the south end of Chapman Stadium, before moving to the north end for the second extra period. Tulsa ran a five-play possession, capped by Floyd's score. It was the first career touchdown for the junior receiver.

Lucas' touchdown near the end of regulation was his third of the game. The sophomore receiver caught 13 passes totaling 233 yards. Evans threw for 238 yards, completing 31-of-53 passes, and tossing four touchdowns in the game. It was the most passing yards for a TU quarterback since Sept. 20, 2008 when David Johnson threw for 369 yards against New Mexico.

Tulsa (1-0, 1-0 American) won its American Athletic Conference debut, defeating fellow conference newcomer Tulane (0-1, 0-1 American). It was also the first season opening victory for the Hurricane since the 2009 opener, when it beat Tulane 37-13 in New Orleans.

For the game, the Golden Hurricane piled up 592 yards of offense, including 154 rushing yards. Junior Tavarreon Dickerson picked up the bulk of those ground yards, carrying 15 times for 84 yards. Sophomore linebacker Trent Martin led TU with 12 tackles, while junior safety Michael Mudoh added 10 tackles.

Tulane totaled 516 yards, including 262 yards passing and three touchdowns by Lee. Sherman Badie led the Green Wave with 215 yards rushing on 15 carries. Justyn Shackleford had eight receptions for 113 yards.

Tulsa appeared to score first, but the six points from an apparent 31-yard touchdown pass to Tavarreon Dickerson was erased due to offensive pass interference.

Tulane put the first points on the scoreboard following a Tulsa turnover with a two-play, 20-yard drive that covered 0:15 off the clock. Tanner Lee threw the final 15 yards to Charles Jones for the score at the 3:43 mark of the first period.

The Green Wave increased its lead to 14-0 on an 80-yard, 14-play drive that was capped by a one-yard Donte Butler pass from Tanner Lee.

Tulsa's first two chances to score failed in missed field goals, covering 34 and 23 yards.

Evans connected with Lucas on a 43-yard touchdown to put the Hurricane on the scoreboard, capping a seven-play, 75-yard drive. But the Green Wave wasted little time to counter with their third score of the day on the first play from scrimmage, a 90-yard Sherman Badie run.

Tulsa took possession with 1:01 left on the first-half clock and on the second play from scrimmage, Evans connected on a second TD pass to Keevan Lucas, this time covering 84 yards, and with the extra point brought Tulsa to within seven points at 21-14. The 84-yarder was the longest pass play for the Hurricane since the 2008 season when David Johnson connected on a 97-yard pass to Brennan Marion against UTEP.

Despite trailing by seven points at halftime, Tulsa held a slight edge in total yards, 298-281. The Hurricane threw for 244 yards and had 54 rushing yards, while Tulane gained 144 yards rushing and 137 via the air.

Carl Salazar knocked through his first career attempt past 40 yards with a 42-yarder with 8:15 left in the third quarter to pull with four points of the Green Wave, 21-17. Salazar added three more points with a 26-yard field goal at the 8:31 mark of the third period to cut the Tulane lead to one point at 21-20.

Three plays later Tulane's Lee threw to a wide-open Xavier Rush who got behind the defenders and proceeded to the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown and an eight-point Tulane lead of 28-20 with 6:50 remaining in the game.

Evans marched the Hurricane down the field for a 77-yard, 11-play drive, that saw the Hurricane score on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line as Evans hit Lucas for the pairs third TD of the game cutting the Tulane lead to two points at 28-26. Evans hit Josh Atkinson for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 28 with 2:52 left in the contest.

Scoring Summary
Team Qtr Time Play Score
TLN 1 3:43 Charles Jones 15 pass from Tanner Lee (DiRocco PAT) 0-7
TLN 2 9:56 Donte Butler 1 pass from Tanner Lee (DiRocco PAT) 0-14
Tulsa 2 7:11 Keevan Lucas 43 pass from Dane Evans (Salazar PAT) 7-14
TLN 2 6:51 Sherman Badie 90-yard run (DiRocco PAT) 7-21
Tulsa 2 0:37 Keevan Lucas 84 pass from Dane Evans (Salazar PAT) 14-21
Tulsa 3 8:15 Carl Salazar 42 FG 17-21
Tulsa 4 8:31 Carl Salazar 26 FG 20-21
TLN 4 6:50 Xavier Rush 60 pass from Tanner Lewis (DiRocco PAT) 20-28
Tulsa 4 2:52 Keevan Lucas 3 pass from Dane Evans (Evans to Atkinson) 28-28
TLN OT 0:00 Andrew DiRocco 30 FG 28-31
Tulsa OT 0:00 Carl Salazar 26 FG 31-31
Tulsa 2OT 0:00 Conner Floyd 8 pass from Dane Evans (Salazar PAT) 38-31

Football Can't Hold Off Tulsa in 2OT loss

seemed as if neither Tulane nor Tulsa wanted their first American Athletic Conference game to end as the two conference newcomers battled late into the night and the Golden Hurricane edged the Green Wave, 38-31 in double overtime on Thursday on Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Tulsa's (1-0, 1-0 AAC) Dane Evans found Conner Floyd from eight yards out in the first possession of the second overtime to give the Golden Hurricane its only lead of the game. Tulane (0-1, 0-1 AAC) was unable to find the end zone in the second extra period after the two teams traded field goals in the first overtime.

Redshirt freshmen Sherman Badie and Tanner Lee both shined in their Green Wave debuts. Badie came two-yards shy of breaking Tulane's single-game record for rushing yards by a freshman. The Metairie, La., native gained 215 yards on 15 carries, including a 90-yard touchdown run, while Lee tossed three touchdown passes and threw for 262 yards.

"I thought the young kids played well," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "Tanner Lee had a good game. Sherman Badie played outstanding. We just have to play better, but take nothing away from Tulsa, they played well."

Badie gave Tulane a two-touchdown lead again on the first play from scrimmage after Tulsa cut the deficit to 14-7. The redshirt freshman broke at least three tackles and spun his way 90-yards for the first score of his career with 6:51 left in the second quarter.

Lee's first touchdown put Tulane up, 7-0, when he hit rookie tight end Charles Jones II for a 15-yard strike with 3:43 remaining in the first quarter. The two-play drive was set-up by senior Taurean Nixon's first interception as a member of the Green Wave. Nixon intercepted a Tulsa pass and returned it 22-yards to the Golden Hurricane 20-yard line.

Lee's second strike came on the next possession. He hit senior Dante Butler from one-yard out to cap a 14-play, 80-yard drive with 9:56 left in the second quarter. His third touchdown of the game, a 60-yard catch and run to Xavier Rush with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter that gave the Green Wave a 28-20 lead.

Tulsa's two first half touchdowns were both long passes. Evans found Keevan Lucas for a 43-yard touchdown with 7:11 left in the half and again for a 84-yard catch and run with 0:24 left.

Tulsa added a pair of second half field goals by Carl Salazar before tying the game at 28-28 with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter. Evans found Lucas for the third time on the night for a three-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone and the two-point conversion was successful when Evans hit Josh Atkinson in the same corner. The Golden Hurricane drive was 11 plays and covered 77 yards in 3:52.

Tulane totaled 516 yards of offense on 74 plays, while Tulsa managed 592 yards of total offense on 89 plays, including 438 yards in the air.

Senior Sam Scofield led Tulane's defense with 14 tackles, while junior Darion Monroe and sophomore Nico Marley each added six stops.

The Green Wave will open the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. in the new, on-campus Yulman Stadium in front of a national audience on ESPNews.

Ole Miss Pulls Away Late, Wins 35-13

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. For the No. 18 Ole Miss football team, it wasn’t always pretty Thursday night at the Georgia Dome, but at the end of the night the Rebels accomplished their goal and sit at 1-0 after a 35-13 victory over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

For those who love strong defense, the Rebels opened the season with flying colors. For the folks who love seeing touchdowns, the first three quarters were forgettable, while the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. Either way, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze knows his team has room to improve, and it will do so with a victory in hand.

“Real proud of our defense and special teams," Freeze said. "They really came to play and played with great passion and energy. Offensively, we were totally out of sync the entire first half ... they're a good defense, but we also hurt ourselves quite a bit. We've got a lot to get cleaned up, but at the end of the day, we beat a good football team tonight, and we're excited to be going back 1-0.”

The Ole Miss defense caused three turnovers in the opening half, all interceptions, and despite the Broncos recording seven plays inside the Ole Miss 5-yard line, the Rebels held Boise State to just three points and went into the half with a 7-3 lead.

After the Broncos cut the Rebels’ lead to one on a field goal with 1:02 remaining in the third quarter, Ole Miss broke the game open in the fourth quarter. After scoring just seven points in its first 59 plays, the Ole Miss offense then scored 28 points over a nine-play stretch.

Leading 7-6, Ole Miss responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bo Wallace to sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell finished with a team-high seven receptions for 105 yards. It was his first career 100-yard receiving game. Wallace went 25-of-36 for 387 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Following an interception by sophomore Huskie Tony Conner, Ole Miss’ fourth of the game, the Rebels went 40 yards on two plays, highlighted by a 31-yard touchdown reception from sophomore wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo.

Then, after a Boise State three-and-out, Wallace hit junior wide receiver Cody Core down the middle for a career-long 76-yard touchdown. It was the second touchdown of the game for the Auburn, Alabama, native, who finished with career highs in receptions (4) and receiving yards (111) in addition to touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Mark Dodson closed out the scoring for Ole Miss with a 19-yard touchdown run to give Ole Miss a 35-13 lead after Boise State had scored its first touchdown of the day prior to the Rebels’ five-play scoring drive.

The Rebels’ 28 fourth-quarter points were the most points in a quarter by an Ole Miss team since scoring 28 in the fourth quarter against Memphis in the 2009 season opener.

With interceptions from Senquez Golson, C.J. Johnson, Cody Prewitt and Conner, the Ole Miss defense recorded its most interceptions in a game since picking off four passes against Southern Illinois in 2011. On the ground, Ole Miss racked up eight tackles for loss and three sacks.

In special teams play, redshirt-freshman punter Will Gleeson hit four punts for a 47.2-yard average. Three of Gleeson’s punts landed inside the 20-yard line, including a long punt of 70 yards which settled on the Broncos’ 7.

So while the first half was a struggle at times, and the number of penalties was eyebrow-raising, Ole Miss was still able to come away with a convincing victory on a big stage on college football’s opening night. Now that is a thing of beauty.

Utah Football Picks Up Season-Opening Win Over Idaho State, 56-14

The University of Utah football piled up 589 yards of total offense, had two touchdown returns and blocked a field goal during a 56-14 season-opening victory over Idaho State Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Utah (1-0) offense rattled off four plays of at least 30 yards and had eight plays that went for 20 yards or more. The Utes were 5-of-7 on third-down chances in the first half and ended the game 9-of-21.

Senior wide receiver Kaelin Clay made an impact for the Utes on the special teams. He ran back the 12th 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in school history in the third quarter, which was Utah's first kickoff return for a score since Reggie Dunn in 2012. Clay also came up with a 46-yard punt return for touchdown, which was the first for the Utes since Shaky Smithson in 2010.

Junior quarterback Travis Wilson played in just the first half and went 13-of-18 for 265 yards with a touchdown pass and a 2-yard rushing touchdown. The San Clemente, Calif., native started 4-for-5 for 88 yards in the first quarter.

Junior quarterback Kendal Thompson took over in the second half and ended 6-of-10 for 69 yards. Freshman quarterback Brandon Cox came on and went 3-for-3 passing for 17 yards with two carries, totaling 22 yards, with one rushing touchdown.

Junior running back Devontae Booker registered two rushing touchdowns on the night for a total of 79 yards. He also totaled 61 receiving yards out of the backfield for 139 all-purpose yards. Troy McCormick totaled 45 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Bubba Poole turned in 44 rush yards on six carries.

Through the air, senior wide receiver Dres Anderson had four receptions for 111 yards, which was his seventh career 100-yard receiving game. Anderson is now tied for fourth in school history in career 100-yard receiving games. Tight end Westlee Tonga had a game-high five receptions for 61 yards, while Kenneth Scott turned in 57 yards on four catches with a touchdown near the end of the first half.

Defensively, senior defensive end Nate Orchard was credited with 2.5 sacks and tied with linebacker Jared Norris for team-high honors with eight tackles (Norris also had 1.5 tackles for loss). Orchard set the tone for the Ute defense with a five-yard sack on ISU's second play from scrimmage before sophomore defensive end Hunter Dimick and Orchard met at the quarterback for a combined 6-yard yard sack.

Tom Hackett had two punts downed inside the 5-yard line, starting with a 38-yard effort to pin the Bengals down on the 1-yard line in the second quarter before turning in a 50-yard punt to put the Bengals at their own 3-yard line. Hackett also registered a 62-yard punt in the first quarter, his 20th career punt of 50 yards or more. He has placed 12 punts inside the five-yard line in his career and 20 inside the 10-yard line.

Poole returned the following ISU punt 17 yards to put the Ute offense on the Bengal 35-yard line. Utah wasted little time in capitalizing on the field position and put together a three-play, 35-yard scoring drive to put Utah ahead. Wilson found Anderson for a 13-yard pass along the right sideline and back-to-back rushes (16 and 6 yards) by Poole culminated in his first rush touchdown of the season.

After consecutive 3-and-outs by the Utah defense, ISU running back Xavier Finney broke a 34-yard run down the right hash to spur ISU's 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with Justin Arias finding Broc Malcolm in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown reception.

During the next Utah series, Wilson drew the ISU defense in and found Booker for a 61-yard screen pass down the home sideline. Wilson then dove for the near corner pylon for a 2-yard rush touchdown to cap an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

The Bengals drove down to Utah's 13-yard line before Orchard's second sack of the game forced a 30-yard ISU field goal attempt, which was blocked by Utah senior safety Eric Rowe (his first field goal block). The chase after the loose ball rumbled toward mid field before ISU's Jim Bagley picked up the ball and moved back to the Utah 18-yard line.

Utah struck quickly with a 4-play, 82-yard scoring drive that lasted 42 seconds. Wilson connected with Anderson for 37 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive before Booker finished the drive with a 38-yard rush for his second score of the contest that put Utah ahead 21-7.

Hackett's second punt of the contest was downed at the ISU 1-yard line and Clay broke a tackle and was off on a 46-yard punt return for a touchdown for Utah's first punt return for a touchdown since Smithson's 73-yard effort against New Mexico in 2010.

Utah's next scoring drive began on its own 28-yard line as Wilson found Anderson on a square-in for a 13-yard pass before Scott broke a tackle and jolted down to ISU's 35-yard line after a 20-yard gain before a fumble by McCormick gave the Bengals possession at their own 9-yard line.

Anderson got behind the Bengal defense for a 48-yard pickup on a throw from Wilson to start the drive before Scott extended and dragged his right toe in bounds for his first touchdown on a 26-yard touchdown reception to cap a three-play, 74-yard drive that lasted only 16 seconds.

After the first three plays for the Utah offense stalled, the Ute punt team took the field. Hackett went into a rugby-style punting motion, but kept the ball and ran down the Ute sideline for a 28-yard rush. Booker then reached the end zone for the second time in the game on a 4-yard run.

ISU broke Utah's run of 35 unanswered points with a 75-yard touchdown drive in the middle of the third quarter to pull within 42-14, before Clay answered promptly with a 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown.

A 16-yard touchdown scramble by Cox was the final score of the contest and set the final margin at 56-14 in favor of the Utes.

Idaho State (0-1) was led by a 134-yard rushing performances on 23 carries by Finney. Quarterback Justin Arias was 21-of-40 for 158 yards with two touchdowns.

Up next, the Utes host Fresno State of the Mountain West on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.

Spartans Defeat North Dakota 42-10

In a performance that San Jose State fans have gotten used to seeing in the last couple of years, the Spartans starting quarterback was an efficient 22-25 for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

The difference on Thursday night in Spartan Stadium, was that in the SJSU 42-10 win over the University of North Dakota, it was Blake Jurich who was leading the offense and not David Fales.

"I was encouraged by the game we had tonight," head coach Ron Caragher said. "I like how we came out fast. On offense we spread the ball around effectively and ran the it well."

The Spartans scored on each of their first three possessions. Jurich had touchdown strikes of 14 yards to wide receiver Tyler Winston and three yards to running back Shane Smith. He also added had a two-yard touchdown run to built a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

North Dakota made it 21-3 on a Reid Taubenheim 42-yard field goal with 1:53 to go before the half.

Brandon Monroe scored his first collegiate score on a two-yard plunge in the third quarter and Tyler Ervin had a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown as San Jose State built a 35-3 advantage into the fourth quarter.

The Spartans capped their scoring on Winston's second touchdown from Jurich, an 18-yard strike with 8:26 to play.

Jurich connected with eight receivers on the night led by Winston's 10 grabs for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Hansell Wilson had four catches for 85 yards and Smith's touchdown was one of his three receptions on the night.

The Spartans out gained North Dakota 406-to-244 which included 150 yards on the ground. Thomas Tucker led the team with 20 rushes for 86 yards. Monroe had 37 yards on nine rushes.

The San Jose State defense, under first year defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, had seven tackles for loss and an interception from Cleveland Wallace, III.

"There was some great open field tackling and players were running hard and fast to the ball," Caragher said of the defense.