Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gurley's Performance Lifts Georgia to Win Over Clemson

Under the lights of Sanford Stadium on the opening Saturday of college football, Todd Gurley ran his way into the record books in 12th-ranked Georgia’s 42-21 win over No. 16 Clemson.

In a school record-breaking performance for all-purpose yards, Gurley (Tarboro, N.C.) tallied 298 yards, 198 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 15 carries combined with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. With tonight’s performance, Gurley now has 2,672 rushing yards in his career.

“Todd—he’s amazing,” freshman running back Nick Chubb said. “He’s a beast. I look up to him and he makes me better.”

Gurley’s first scoring play came with 6:46 left in the first quarter on a 23-yard run to tie the score at 7-7. Hudson Mason added a touchdown on the ground on the following drive. But Clemson responded—putting together back-to-back scoring drives—and took a 21-14 lead midway through the second quarter.

After lining up deep for every Clemson kick but having no chance to return, Gurley found his window with 7:15 left in the second. Gurley returned the kick from five yards deep in the end zone, cut around blocks and broke several tackles to get loose in open territory and score. It was his second career 100-yard kick return for a touchdown.

“Coach Ball and Coach Lilly had a great game plan and we knew that we would have the middle of the field open,” Gurley said. “I just had to get there and get through the hole. Luckily, I was able to do that and I just kept running.”

He also added two touchdowns in the second half, with one of those scores coming on a 51-yard run.

Gurley was not the only Georgia running back to turn heads, however. True freshmen Chubb, Isaiah McKenzie and Sony Michel all carried the ball in their Georgia debuts. Chubb (Cedartown, Ga.) ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on four carries. His scoring play came on a 47-yard run, dodging several defenders and breaking away down the sideline.

Michel (Plantation, Fla.) ran for 33 yards on six carries and added 20 receiving yards on three catches. McKenzie (Miami, Fla.) carried the ball once for nine yards, tallied 11 receiving yards and added a 24-yard punt return to his first collegiate performance.

“I know anytime any of our running backs are in the game, they’re going to do something successful,” Michel said. “I try to resemble Todd. I try to be as successful as he is. I’m not surprised [by his performance] at all. That’s what I expect from him.”

Tigers Drop Season Opener at Georgia

An engaging matchup throughout the first half, No. 12 Georgia pulled away at home to defeat No. 16 Clemson 45-21 behind an impressive rushing attack.

Georgia’s running back rotation, led by junior Todd Gurley, amassed 328 total yards, with Gurley accounting for 198.

In his first career start, senior quarterback Cole Stoudt was out to show the Clemson offense was not all Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. And in the first half, he didn’t disappoint. Stoudt and the offense orchestrated an effective, 12-play, 70 scoring drive on the offense’s first series, capped by a one-yard touchdown run from senior running back DJ Howard.

However, Georgia rallied behind senior quarterback in Huston Mason and leaned on the dynamic, superstar ability of Gurley, who put up two scores to end the first quarter with a 14-7 Bulldog lead.

Tiger fans saw a quick glimpse of the future when Deshaun Watson, the No. 1 rated dual-threat quarterback from the Tigers’ latest 2014 class, entered the game in place of Stoudt in the second quarter and led a six play, 78-yard scoring drive, ending with a highlight 30-yard touchdown throw to Charone Peake to even the score, 14-14.

The Clemson defense played effectively in the first half, holding Georgia to 68 passing yards and 45 rushing yards and Gurley to only 44 of those yards. But Gurley broke through, taking a kickoff return 100 yards in the second quarter and dominating the second half.

Clemson’s offense finished the night with 291 total yards of offense, while Georgia finished with 459 total yards. The difference came on the ground, where Georgia finished with 328 rushing yards compared to Clemson’s 102.

CJ Davidson was the Tigers’ leading rusher with 57 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown, while sophomore receiver Mike Williams led the Tigers with 88 reception yards on three catches. Charone Peake had the Tigers’ lone touchdown catch of the day.

Clemson returns to play in Death Valley next Saturday, September 6 against the South Carolina State Bulldogs with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff time.

AUBURN STRIKES RIGHT BALANCE IN OPENING WIN OVER ARKANSAS

The team that led the nation in rushing last season just sent a frightening message to defensive coordinators everywhere.

Auburn can pass, too.

Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards in the first half, Duke Williams had nine catches for 154 yards in his Auburn debut and Nick Marshall directed an offense that still produced a 177-yard rusher in Cameron Artis-Payne as the Tigers overcame Arkansas and an 88-minute lightning delay in a 45-21 victory in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

When the season-opener was done, Auburn had 595 yards, averaging 8.5 yards per snap. The Tigers ran for 302 yards and passed for 293 more.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Did somebody mention Auburn threw a shutout in the second half? Oh, yeah. Coach Gus Malzahn did.

"Our defense made the right adjustment. We started playing physical football," he said.

Auburn had to break away from a 21-21 halftime score to begin its defense of its Southeastern Conference championship in fine form. But when Auburn had taken control, had taken a 38-21 lead, the game was delayed by the lighting delay with almost 10 minutes remaining.

It didn't affect Auburn one bit.

Johnson was the starter, subbing in that role while Marshall was being punished for an off-season traffic stop and citation, and was sharp throwing down field, especially to Williams, the junior college transfer. Marshall didn't appear until the start of second half, and quickly led Auburn down the field and scored on an 18-yard run for a 28-21 lead.

It was a change-of-pace game, for sure. Auburn, the nation's top rushing team last year, relied on the pass in the first half with Johnson at quarterback. Then the Tigers found balance in the second half with tried-and-true Marshall and Artis-Payne gobbling up yards.

"I'm very proud of Jeremy Johnson," Malzahn said. "We've said before we believe he could start for most teams in college football, and I think y'all saw that."

And his principal receiver, the one Duke Williams?

"He's got play-making ability. The passing game was a good shot in the arm, too," Malzahn said. "He attacks the ball. We had a plan if they played us a certain way we'd attack them in the middle."

Williams went there, making seven of his catches for 138 yards in the first half from Johnson. He finished with the 12th best receiving day in Auburn history.

Malzahn said he wasn't sure how long he'd play Johnson, but, after Auburn scored on its first three possessions, he stuck with his sophomore.

"Really, we were just going to see how it went," Malzahn said. "He took care of things he needed to do.

"I thought he got off to an outstanding start. He can really throw it.

"We put Nick in there in the second half, and we thought he did some really good things."

Don't think quarterback controversy.

"At halftime we said, 'Let's put Nick back in.' Nothing against Jeremy at all," Malzahn said, who emphasized that Marshall is the starter.

And while Marshall was in there. The lightning came. And then the rain.

"I'm very proud that our fans hung in there with us. They helped us finish the game," Malzahn said.

The fans had sought cover. Auburn and Arkansas were ordered to their locker rooms.

"We just made sure they were off their feet, rest their body and mind," Malzahn said.

Auburn went over a few things it thought Arkansas might try, too.

"But a lot of it was just sitting around and waiting," Malzahn said. "I'm real proud of our guys. One of the big things for me was how they responded after the break."

Auburn's defense helped build the cushion from there when Jermaine Whitehead intercepted a duck of a pass and went 32 yards for the score and a 35-21 lead with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

Robenson Therezie, who overcame eligibility issue Friday night and was cleared to play only then, hit quarterback Brandon Allen, forcing the errant throw.

Auburn made it 17-0 in the second half, and 38-21 overall, when Daniel Carlson hit his first college field goal, a 45-yarder with 9:55 left.

Then it rained.

Then, after the delay, Corey Grant made it 24-0 in the second half on a 3-yard run with 3:15 remaining.

Johnson was spot on to start the game. He hit his first eight passes for an eye-popping 204 yards and two touchdowns, leading Auburn to three touchdown on its first three series. But the Tigers didn't score again in the half and Arkansas answered the Tigers touchdown for touchdown.

It was 21-21 at the break after Daniel Carlson's 42-yard field goal banged off the right upright on the half's final play.

It was an uneven start, though Johnson-to-Duke Williams was something to behold.

Johnson, playing the whole way in the first half, hit 12-of-16 passes for 243 and those two touchdown passes in the first two quarters. That was a change of strategy from last year's game in Fayetteville, where Auburn threw it nine times, total, the whole game.

Arkansas put up big numbers, too, finishing the first half with 267 yards and three scores.

The Tigers scored first, on a 49-yard pass from Johnson to Melvin Ray. Then Arkansas' Brandon Allen threw a 14-yard TD pass to Hunter Henry, and the race was on.

Artis-Payne scored on a 1-yard run for Auburn and Johnson threw an 18-yard TD pass to Williams for a 21-7 lead.

But Allen threw a 17-yard TD pass to AJ Allen and Jonathan Williams scored on a 6-yard run to tie the game at 21 with 4:28 left in the first half.

Auburn returns to action against San Jose State at 6 p.m. next Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

RAZORBACKFB FALLS AT NO. 6 AUBURN, 45-21

Arkansas football fell to No. 6 Auburn 45-21, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, Saturday evening.

Auburn’s (1-0, 1-0 SEC) win extends its series lead over Arkansas (0-1, 0-1 SEC) to 13-10-1.

The Razorback offense was led by sophomore running back Alex Collins, who totaled 68 yards on 10 carries. Senior wide out Demetrius Wilson led the receiving corps with 55 yards, while senior tight end AJ Derby collected 40 yards and a touchdown. A newly appointed tight end, Derby’s touchdown catch was the first catch of his career. The Razorbacks collected 328 total yards with 175 in the air from junior quarterback Brandon Allen.

On the other side of the ball, Arkansas defensive end Tevin Beanum forced his first fumble as a Razorback in the third quarter while sophomore defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson recorded his first sack and quarterback hurry of his career. Senior safety Alan Turner led the team in tackles (10) and senior Martrell Spaight picked up his first fumble recovery as a Razorback.

Auburn capitalized on its first drive of the game to snag an early lead. The Razorbacks answered on their next drive. With 6:44 on the clock, Allen found sophomore tight end Hunter Henry in the end zone from 14 yards out and senior John Henson’s extra point tied up the game, 7-7. Arkansas’ 75-yard drive lasted six plays and a time of 2:53.

Following the Razorbacks first touchdown, the Tigers produced two of their own to push the score to 21-7.

Arkansas answered again as Derby made a leaping catch in the end zone to collect the Razorbacks’ second touchdown of the game and the first catch of his career. The 75-yard drive lasted seven plays and is the longest scoring drive since

With the momentum flipped, Arkansas forced Auburn three-and-out in the next drive to gain possession. The Razorbacks then marched down the field 93 yards until junior running back Johnathan Williams scampered into the end zone from six yards out for a touchdown to tie the game, 21-21. The 93-yard scoring drive is the longest since a 13-play, 95-yard drive against Ole Miss.

In the second half, Auburn posted two more touchdowns before the game was suspended due to a lightning storm with 9:55 remaining in the game.

After an hour and 28 minutes, the teams returned to the field in pouring rain, where the Tigers scored their final touchdown to seal their win, 45-21.

The Razorbacks return to the field Saturday, Sept. 6, to take on Nicholls in the home opener at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.

No. 2 Alabama Football Beats West Virginia, 33-23

The University of Alabama's Blake Sims set Crimson Tide records for completions and attempts by a quarterback in a starting debut game, running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry rushed for more than 100 yards each, and receiver Amari Cooper eclipsed 100 yards receiving in the No. 2 Crimson Tide's 33-23 victory over West Virginia before a crowd of 70,502 (capacity: 71,228) at the Georgia Dome Saturday evening.

Sims completed 24 of 33 attempts for 250 yards with one interception and did not throw a touchdown pass. The completions and attempts are the most in Crimson Tide history by a quarterback in his first start. Yeldon finished with 126 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns while Henry rushed for a career-best 113 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts. Cooper had 12 catches for 130 yards, the second-most catches in a single game ever by a Tide receiver behind DJ Hall's 13 catches (185 yards) against Tennessee in 2007.

Defensively, the Tide was led in tackles by safety Landon Collins, who notched eight, followed by linebacker Ruben Foster and cornerback Cyrus Jones who both had seven, linebacker Reggie Ragland's six and end Jonathan Allen's five tackles, including two tackles for loss and one quarterback sack.

As a team, the Tide gained 538 yards of total offense (288 rushing, 250 passing), notched 30 first downs and averaged 6.6 yards per play (538 yards on 82 plays). West Virginia moved the ball for 393 yards (365 passing, 28 rushing), averaging 5.7 yards per play. Punter JK Scott had an impressive Crimson Tide debut, booming two kicks for a 50.5-yard average, including a 62-yarder.

GAME SUMMARY
Alabama won the opening coin toss and elected to defer their choice to the second half. West Virginia chose to receive the opening kickoff.

The Mountaineers took the opening kickoff and moved 79 yards in 14 plays to a field goal to break on top. After running back Rushel Shell sparked the drive with three runs totaling 20 yards to the WVU 47, quarterback Clint Trickett passed to Kevin White for 29 yards to the Alabama 30-yard line as Tide defensive back Bradley Sylve slipped and fell and safety Landon Collins ran White down at the 30. Trickett and White connected again for eight more yards, then a 13-yard pass play to the Tide 6 before the Tide defense stiffened, forcing the field goal. Josh Lambert's 20-yard kick was true and the Mountaineers had a 3-0 lead with 10:58 left in the opening period.

The Tide offense responded immediately after a touchback on the kickoff. On Alabama's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Blake Sims threw a quick toss to wide receiver Amari Cooper who turned the short pass into a 24-yard gain to the Tide 49. On the next play, Sims passed to Cooper again for seven yards to the WVU 44. Running back Derrick Henry then gained eight yards on a rush to the WVU 36. A pass to DeAndrew White gained two yards and a T.J. Yeldon rush netted four more before an incompletion on third-and-4 at the WVU 30 set up Adam Griffith's 47-yard field goal that tied the game at 3-3 with 8:18 left in the first quarter. Sims, making his first career start for the Tide, was 4-for-5 for 44 yards on his first drive as a starter.

After stopping a promising WVU drive, Alabama took the ball at its own 5 to start its next possession and methodically drove down the field. Starting with 6:08 left in the first quarter, Alabama moved 95 yards in 14 plays on a drive that consumed 6:57 of game clock. Facing third-and-11 at the Tide 4, Sims passed to Cooper for 11 yards and a first down at the Tide 15 to start the march. The running game took over from there with Yeldon rushing five times for 15 yards on the drive and Henry toting it three times for 21 yards, including a 15-yard burst around left end to the WVU 45. Sims hit wideout Christion Jones for 22 yards to the WVU 15, setting up a 15-yard run by Yeldon that ended in pay dirt. Griffith's extra-point kick gave the Tide a 10-3 lead with 14:11 left in the second quarter.

On the next possession, the up-tempo WVU offense responded by driving 75 yards in nine plays (using only 2:13 of clock) to tie the score. Trickett keyed the march with a 15-yard pass to Mario Alford on a third-and-five play to the Tide 41. A 10-yard pass from Trickett to Elijah Wellman on a third-and-two reached the Tide 23. Two plays later, Trickett lofted a pass perfectly to Kevin White, who made a leaping catch above Alabama's Bradley Sylve for the 19-yard touchdown. Lambert's conversion kick tied the game at 10-10 with 11:58 left in the second quarter.

A 62-yard punt by Alabama's JK Scott pinned WVU at the Mountaineer 6-yard line to start the next possession. The Mountaineers moved to their own 38 before incomplete passes stalled the drive and they punted. The Tide's Christion Jones fair caught Nick O'Toole's 50-yard punt at the Tide 12, where Alabama began its next possession.

From the 12, the Tide moved 88 yards in 13 plays on a drive that took 6:20 off the clock. The march was keyed by three important passing plays. The first came on a third-and-7 play at the Tide 15 when Sims connected with Cooper on a crossing pattern and Cooper evaded one tackler to gain 17 yards and a first down at the Tide 32. Two plays later, Sims and Cooper connected for 10 yards to the Tide 45 and a first down. After three rushing plays produced a first down at the WVU 43, Alabama faced third-and-13 at the WVU 46. Sims threw a short pass to White on the left side. White then crossed the field and evaded four defenders, eventually picking up blockers on a 38-yard gain that reached the WVU 8-yard line with 3:02 showing on the clock. On the next play Yeldon carried over right guard for seven, then gained the final yard for a touchdown one play later. The Tide had a 17-10 lead following Griffith's kick with 1:57 left in the second quarter.

The lead lasted all of 14 seconds, as WVU's Mario Alford took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown to tie it at 17-17 with 1:43 left in the second quarter.

Alabama had one timeout left in the half as it took possession, and Sims engineered a 50-yard drive in seven plays in the waning moments of the half. On the third play of the series, Sims scrambled for 21 yards up the right sideline to a first down at the WVU 49. On the next play, Sims passed to White for 14 yards to the WVU 35 before hitting Christion Jones, who gained three yards before getting out of bounds at the WVU 32 with nine seconds on the clock. Sims and Cooper connected for eight yards to the WVU 24 and a first down with four seconds left, with a timeout allowing Griffith to come on for a 41-yard field goal attempt. Griffith's kick was perfect as time expired, giving the Tide a 20-17 halftime lead.

The Tide had the ball to begin the second half and moved into West Virginia territory, reaching the Mountaineer 36-yard line before stalling. Facing a fourth-and-6 situation, Alabama chose to try to keep the drive moving, but an incomplete pass from Sims for Cooper ended the march with 11:51 left in the third period. West Virginia came right back and marched into Alabama territory, moving 30 yards in seven plays before the drive stalled at the Tide 34 where Lambert's 47-yard field goal was hooked left and no good with 9:34 left in the third period.

The Tide started from its own 30 after the missed field goal and put together a 70-yard touchdown drive in six plays. The drive took only 1:50 on the clock and began with a 13-yard pass from Sims to Cooper to the Tide 43. From there, Henry gained 12 on a rush to the WVU 45 then Sims and Cooper connected for the 10th time in the game, this one for six yards to the Mountaineer 39. Henry then rushed for 13 yards to the 26 and Sims passed to fullback Jalston Fowler for seven more to the WVU 19. Henry took a handoff to the left side for the remaining 19 yards and a touchdown. Griffith's conversion kick gave the Tide a 10-point lead at 27-17 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

The Mountaineers took the ensuing kickoff and marched to a field goal, driving 66 yards in nine plays. Trickett went to the air on the march, connecting with four different receivers to account for 65 yards on the drive that stalled at the Tide 25. From there, Lambert kicked a 42-yard field goal to draw the Mountaineers within seven points of the Tide with Alabama holding a 27-20 advantage with 4:59 showing on the clock in the third period.

Christion Jones returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tide 24, where Alabama took possession. After a 15-yard completion from Sims to Cooper reached the Tide 39 and Henry rushed for a yard to set up second-and-9 at the UA 40, Sims threw deep to an open Jones inside the WVU 10, but Jones dropped a certain touchdown pass. Sims scrambled out of the pocket on third-and-9 for five yards to the Tide 47 and was hit late out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on WVU to set up Alabama at the WVU 38. On the next play, Yeldon rushed for 19 yards over left tackle to the WVU 19, then Yeldon rushed for eight more to the WVU 11. On second down, Sims passed incomplete to Cooper in the end zone, then Yeldon was stopped for a yard on third-and-2 at the WVU 10. Griffith entered the game again and kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Tide a 30-20 lead with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

As the flow of the game had dictated by now, West Virginia moved right back down the field and threatened to score again. Trickett ignited the scoring threat by completing five consecutive pass attempts to start the drive, including a 32-yard pass to inside receiver Jordan Thompson that reached the Tide 39. After a 9-yard pass to Alford to the UA 30, Trickett and White connected for the seventh time in the game, this one a 25-yarder to the Tide 5-yard line. But the drive stalled there as Trickett passed low and incomplete to wide open H-back Elijah Wellman at the Tide 2-yard line on first down, then threw incomplete for White in the right corner of the end zone as Eddie Jackson defended for Alabama. On third-and-goal at the 5-yard line from the shotgun formation, the center snap went far above Trickett's head and Trickett recovered the errant snap at the 24 for a 19-yard loss. Lambert came on to try a 41-yard field goal, which was good, narrowing Alabama's lead to 30-23 with 13:37 left in the fourth quarter.

After Jones returned the WVU kickoff to the Tide 25, Sims' pass was intercepted by WVU cornerback Daryl Worley at the WVU 45. Worley retuned the theft four yards to the Tide 41, but a holding penalty during the return moved the ball back to the WVU 49 where the Mountaineers took possession with 13:15 showing on the clock. After two plays gained five yards into Alabama territory at the 46, a third-down pass from Trickett to Thompson was broken up at the Tide 24 on a violent hit by Tide safety Landon Collins, forcing a West Virginia punt.

Nick O'Toole's 34-yard punt was fair caught by the Tide's Christion Jones at the UA 12 with 12:23 left in the fourth period. The Tide went to the ground game as Yeldon took a handoff up the middle on the first play for 26 yards to the Tide 38. A false start on the next play set the Tide back five yards to a first-and-15 at the Tide 33. On first down, Yeldon carried around left end for seven yards to the Tide 40. On second-and-8, Sims hit Cooper in the left flat for his 12th catch of the game, this one going for 10 yards and a first down at the 50. Henry took the ball up left guard for 11 yards on the next play to the WVU 39. Henry rushed at right guard for four yards to the WVU 35, then Yeldon was stopped for a gain of two. On third-and-4, Sims passed to Jones for six yards and a first down at the Mountaineer 27.

Yeldon lost two on first down to the WVU 29, then Jones dropped a pass from Sims at the WVU 19 to set up third-and-12 for Alabama at the Mountaineer 29 with 8:54 showing on the clock. Sims threw a screen pass to Yeldon but the play only gained two yards, setting up a 45-yard field goal attempt by Griffith. Griffith's kick was long and true, giving the Tide a 33-23 lead with 8:07 left in the fourth period.

The Alabama defense forced another punt via a second consecutive three-and-out by the WVU offense, giving the Tide the football with 6:49 remaining. Facing a first-and-13 after an illegal block penalty, Alabama converted a third-and-7 play from its own 16 when Sims and receiver Chris Black connected on a crucial eight-yard pass play for a first down to keep the clock moving. Three rushes by Henry gained nine yards, but Alabama was forced to punt from its own 33. JK Scott's punt went 39 yards and was fair caught at the WVU 28, where WVU regained possession with 2:24 left on the clock, trailing by 10 points.

A 19-yard pass from Trickett to Smallwood started the drive, moving the Mountaineers to the WVU 47. On the next play, Trickett completed a pass to White for three yards to the 50, but on the next play Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen sacked Trickett for an 11-yard loss to the WVU 39. Facing third-and-18, Trickett found White for seven yards, the duo's ninth connection of the game (for 143 yards), but on fourth-and-11, Trickett's pass for Shell was incomplete and the Tide took possession of the ball with 1:05 left in the game. Two Kenyan Drake rushes totaling six yards drained the time remaining, and Alabama had its 96th season-opening triumph in 120 season openers and moved to 5-0 in neutral-site season opening games with a 33-23 victory.

Murphy Leads Mizzou to Season-Opening Win, 38-18

Gary Pinkel wanted to get Marcus Murphy more touches, and Murph made his coach look good Saturday.
The senior from DeSoto, Texas, returned a third-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to help the 24th-ranked Tigers to a 38-18 win over South Dakota State on Faurot Field on Saturday. The run-back was Murphy's second kickoff return TD of his career, to go with three punt-return scores. Murphy finished with 204 all-purpose yards on 17 touches.
The win is Pinkel's 103rd at Mizzou, and his 14th against FCS competition.
Both teams got off to quick starts; on the game's third play from scrimmage - which already had featured a 19-yard gash on the ground from Russell Hansbrough - junior QB Maty Mauk found senior WR Darius White down the middle on a post route to give the Tigers (1-0) a 7-0 lead just 50 seconds into the game. White would add a second score down the right sideline late in the first quarter.
The Jackrabbits (0-1) evened the game up on its first play from scrimmage, however. SDSU's Zach Zenner - a 2,000-yard rusher the last two seasons - found the ball in his hands after an errant snap. Seventy-five yards later, Zenner had hit pay dirt.
It would be the last good news of the half for the Jackrabbits, as the Tiger defense held SDSU to 70 yards on 27 plays the rest of the opening 30 minutes.

Stanford Routs Aggies

Stanford knew it had a star in Ty Montgomery. And, as well as he played – scoring on a punt return and a long pass – he nearly got upstaged by a true freshman in the Cardinal’s 45-0 season-opening football victory at Stanford Stadium on Saturday.

Christian McCaffrey, sired by Stanford football royalty Ed McCaffrey, showed his big-time chops as well. After a stellar camp, there never was any doubt about burning a potential redshirt year for the running back from Castle Rock, Colo. That was evident when he took the field on the coverage unit for the opening kickoff.

Good thing. First, he was force on the kickoffs, making three tackles and a hit that led to another. Next, he was a force on offense, catching a short pass out of the slot and splitting the defense for a 52-yard score on his first collegiate touch. Finally, he was a force on punt returns, sprinting 41 yards in the third quarter.

It was no wonder that even with Montgomery on the sideline, UC Davis learned to continue to punt away. Anything to keep it away from that McCaffrey kid.

“For the record, so everybody knows, I tried to pull him out,” said David Shaw, Stanford’s Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. “I tried to pull him off of kickoff after that long touchdown reception, because he ran such a long way. He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘I’m not coming off.’ He goes down on kickoff and makes the next tackle. That’s the kind of football player he is.”

Stanford extended its national-leading home-winning streak to 17 while earning its first season-opening shutout since 1972.

The Cardinal pummeled the undermanned Aggies -- missing their two top running backs to injuries -- to the tune of a 38-0 halftime lead, and then coasted toward the finish, failing to build much on the lead by missing a field goal try and fumbling twice inside the UC Davis 5. Still, Stanford didn’t allow the Aggies to cross midfield until the game’s final play and held them to 115 total yards – 54 passing and 61 rushing – in Lance Anderson’s first game as defensive coordinator.

The Cardinal left few clues on the evolution of its running attack in replacing the lineage of alpha backs that began with Toby Gerhart and continued with Stepfan Taylor and last year’s workhorse, Tyler Gaffney. Twelve players contributed to Stanford’s 33 carries for 149 yards, with Barry Sanders leading the way with 43 yards on seven carries.

The run-by-committee approach began with a run-by-Kelsey-Young approach as the senior had four of the Cardinal’s six first-quarter carries, for 21 yards. He finished with 37 on seven tries.

“We need to be efficient and we need to be consistent,” Shaw said. “That's the thing with a bunch of new starters, they're all talented, but they need to know that every single play matters. Every single play is vital. And hopefully we've learned from that.”

While the run responsibilities remain unresolved, there was no doubt about Montgomery’s big-play capability. On his, and the team’s, first touch of the season, the senior zigzagged his way to a 60-yard punt return to open the scoring. And the rout was on.

“Ty Montgomery showed everybody what kind of shape he’s in, what kind of talent he is,” Shaw said. “The different things he can do as a runner, receiver, returner … Dynamic playmaker. He’s got a chance to impact every single game.”

Quarterback Kevin Hogan completed a 12-play, 67-yard drive by tucking the ball and diving across the goal-line after coverage denied a possible pass to the deep corner. The one-yard run was one highlight to a strong day by the senior, who completed 12 of 16 passes for passes for 204 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception in barely over a half of work.

His 40-yard scoring pass to Michael Rector on a deep corner route looked too easy, and his short pass that an uncovered McCaffrey turned into a 52-yard scoring play had a trace of spectacular simplicity as well.

Montgomery’s 44-yard touchdown catch on a wide receiver screen made it 35-0. He wasn’t touched. Montgomery finished with five catches for 77 yards, and 159 all-purpose yards. Normally, a kickoff-return specialist, Montgomery was placed on the punt-return unit for the first time, and his touchdown was his first return in that role.

“The only difference in my mind is you don't have the ability to fair catch a kickoff return,” Montgomery said. “But it's the same thing, 10 guys block, find the seam and hit it.”

He also took the snap in the Wildcat formation and ran for eight yards.

“We're going to put him anywhere and everywhere because he's that kind of a player,” Shaw said of the political science major. “And what I love about Ty he's also extremely humble. Wants to help the team wherever the team is, whatever he can do to help the team. He wants to be a complete football player.”

Stanford’s defense had made its case that it’s as strong as ever by stopping UC Davis for no gain or a loss on each play in its opening series. Montgomery’s score seemed to indicate that, yes, it’s another season, but all is well for the two-time defending Pac-12 champion.

Backup quarterback Evan Crower completed the scoring with a 14-yard toss to tight end Austin Hooper, who reached high for the grab and got a foot down in the back of the end zone. Hooper had four catches for 63 yards.

As for McCaffrey, he remained humble after his coming-out party.

“There’s a lot of things I can work on,” he said. “I dropped a punt, I’ve got to fix that.”

Of course, that dropped punt was retrieved for his 41-yard return. It was obvious that McCaffrey plays the game with a passion.

“Definitely,” he said. “You only get one opportunity to play this game. You might as well play as if it is your last.”

The stakes increase next week when the Cardinal plays host to USC in a 12:30 p.m. contest to open the Pac-12 season -- a big game that will say a lot more about Montgomery, McCaffrey and the Cardinal than UC Davis could draw out.

Beavers down Portland State 29-14 in opener

Senior quarterback Sean Mannion ran for one touchdown, passed for another and threw for 328 total yards on Saturday to lead Oregon State’s 29-14 victory over Portland State at Reser Stadium.

An opening-day crowd of 40,309 saw the Beavers (1-0) parlay five second-half turnovers into 16 unanswered points to erase a 14-13 halftime deficit. OSU coach Mike Riley improved to 9-5 in season openers on the 10-year anniversary of the transformative east grandstand renovation.

Redshirt freshman placekicker Garrett Owens added five field goals and a two extra points in his debut and became the first player in school history with more than three field goals in his first game. The Beavers (1-0) improved to 4-0 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1983.

"It's good to win; we've all been there when we lost (opening) games," Riley said. "I was really proud of the way our defense played in the second half. We took the quarterback away," and did not allow big completions downfield.

Mannion completed 26 of 45 passes to eight different receivers and did not have an interception. He passed the 300-yard mark for the 10th time in his last 14 games, for the 18th time overall, and increased his career total to 10,764 yards.

He moved ahead of Arizona State’s Rudy Carpenter (10,491) and Andrew Walter (10,492), USC’s Matt Leinart (10,693) and UCLA’s Cade McNown (10,708) to assume sixth place on the Pac-12’s career passing yardage list. Next to pass are Stanford’s Steve Stenstrom (10,911) and Washington State’s Alex Brink (10,913).

Senior safety Tyrequek Zimmerman had his first two career interceptions to lead a defense that cracked down in the second half to hold the Vikings (0-1), one of the top offensive teams in FCS in 2013, to no points and 40 total yards over the final 30 minutes.

"We just played sounder football," Riley said, and stayed disciplined. "In the first half we got out of our lanes and not balanced. In the second half we figured out what was hurting us and took it away.

"When you take their best stuff away and don't give them the big pass, it's just a nice job. Our guys executed. That's a good sign. I think Tyrequek had his best game as a Beaver."

Senior tailback Storm Woods rushed for 126 yards on 16 carries and added a 23-yard TD reception with 5:07 left in the third quarter that sent the Beavers in front 23-14. It was his fourth career 100-yard game, and his second in a row. He gained 107 against Boise State in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl.

Owens, whose 26-yard field goal with 10:58 in the third quarter put OSU ahead to stay at 16-14, subsequently added 31- and 23-yard field goals for the final margin. His seven attempts were a school record.

"He did a good job, made some kicks and did a good job on kickoffs," Riley said of Owens.

Tight end Connor Hamlett had five receptions for 88 yards. Victor Bolden added five catches for 55 yards, Richard Mullaney five for 42.

OSU took a 3-0 lead at 8:04 of the first quarter when Owens drilled a 25-yard field goal in his first collegiate attempt. A 35-yard Mannion-to-Hamlett hookup set up the kick.

Owens hit from 25 yards again at 1:12 of the first quarter for a 6-0 advantage. A career-long 50-yard Storm Woods run on a third-and-20 play from the OSU 12 moved the Beavers into scoring position.

PSU went ahead 7-6 on a 58-yard run by quarterback Paris Penn but the Beavers answered with an 82-yard scoring drive to take a 13-7 lead. Mannion scrambled the last six yards on a third-and-goal for the go-ahead points with 9:36 left in the second quarter.

Penn scored again on an 11-yard run for a 14-13 PSU advantage with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter. The Vikings took that lead into the locker room when Owens missed wide-right on a 50-yard field goal on the half’s final play.

The Beavers head to Hawaii this week for a Sept. 6 game with the Warriors at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PDT; it will be televised by CBSSN.

Goff, Jefferson Lead Cal To Season-Opening Win

The California football team jumped out to a 31-7 lead and held on to defeat Northwestern, 31-24, Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field. Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three touchdown passes, one of which was a 76-yarder to Trevor Davis. On defense, Jalen Jefferson picked up his third career sack and second career interception on the same drive late in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Bears.

Cal opened a 31-7 lead in the third quarter en route to the season-opening victory.

Northwestern got two touchdowns in a 25-second span late in the third to pull within 10. Jack Mitchell added a 24-yard field goal with 5:18 left in the game to make it 31-24, and the Wildcats were threatening to score again when Jefferson came up big.

With Northwestern on the California 27, he sacked Trevor Siemian for an 11-yard loss. On the next play, he picked off a tipped pass that was intended for Pierre Youngblood-Ary at the 15, and the Golden Bears came away with the win after dropping 16 straight to FBS opponents.

The late rally aside, it was a rough afternoon for Northwestern.

Coming off a 5-7 season, they couldn't slow Cal's up-tempo offense or get anything going when they had the ball.

Goff, who threw for more than 3,500 yards as a freshman, was 21 of 34 with an interception.

Davis caught the 76-yard touchdown. California racked up 414 yards to come away with the win.

Northwestern's Trevor Siemian threw for 229 yards.

Cameron Dickerson had a 54-yard touchdown reception, but the Wildcats came up short after making things interesting down the stretch. It started with that 25-second stretch late in the third, when Justin Jackson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hauled in a 17-yard pass off a flea-flicker from Jayme Taylor following an interception by Collin Ellis. That made it 31-21 with just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Until then, Northwestern got dominated.

Cal asserted itself right from the start, going 79 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening possession.

Goff, who threw for 450 yards and two scores in last year's loss to the Wildcats, hit Bryce Treggs on fourth down at the 1 to make it 7-0. And things just mounted from there.

Northwestern was then threatening to score when Warren Long got stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Cal 22, and the Golden Bears responded with another touchdown.

This time, Goff hit a leaping Kenny Lawler in the end zone for a 7-yarder that made it a 14-point game, and the Golden Bears continued to pour it on.

Cal started its next possession early in the second quarter on the Northwestern 29 after a short punt out of the end zone by Chris Gradone off a bounced snap. That led to a 20-yard field goal by James Langford to bump the lead to 17-0.

Northwestern finally broke through when Siemian connected with Dickerson on a short slant for a 54-yard touchdown with 6:26 left in the half. But any thoughts of a rally got squashed on the next play from scrimmage, when Goff found an open Davis for a 76-yard touchdown, making it 24-7.

Luke Rubenzer rushed for 48 yards on 11 carries, compiling the most rushing yards by a Cal quarterback since Zach Maynard ran for 78 at Washington State in 2012.

Rushing Attack and Defense Powers Pokes Past Griz, 17-12

Junior Shaun Wick rushed for 134 yards and redshirt sophomore D.J. May added 96 on the ground to guide the University of Wyoming football team to a season-opening 17-12 victory over Montana on Saturday afternoon in War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys also rolled out an improved defense, holding the Griz to just 42 yards on the ground, the lowest total for a UW opponent since 2008.

"We knew coming into this game with Montana, with the type of program they have, that it wasn't going to be an easy game," UW head coach Craig Bohl said. "There was a lot of adversity to deal with. I personally have never been through that many rain delays, which apparently is common practice around here."

A near-capacity crowd of 25,243 saw the Griz hold a slim 6-3 lead at halftime, before one defensive play sparked the Cowboys and one offensive play put the Pokes in control. Montana attempted to convert a fourth-and-seven, but senior linebacker Mark Nzeocha came unblocked up the middle and sacked UM's quarterback to give UW the ball near midfield. The Cowboys used that momentum to craft a five-play, 58-yard drive that cumulated with a five-yard touchdown run from Wick, as the extra point put Wyoming up 10-6 with five minutes left in the third. Following a Montana punt, May ripped off a 58-yard scoring scamper down the left sideline to push UW's advantage to 17-6 just three minutes later.

"I'm really proud of how our team prepared, played and the fourth quarter is a trademark of what we are about," Bohl said. "Certainly there are things that we can build and improve on - pleased with the players and the coaches with the preparation."

Wick's night came on 22 carries to average 6.1 yards per carry, while May ran 13 times for a 7.4 average. Both posted one touchdown run. Redshirt senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard made his first start since 2012 and finished 13-of-21 for 92 yards. Senior Dominic Rufran collected four catches for 25 yards.

Defensively, Nzeocha tallied 12 tackles, just two shy of his career high, and added a sack and three pass breakups. Senior linebacker Devyn Harris and senior defensive lineman Patrick Mertens added eight stops apiece and combined for 3.5 tackles for loss.

As a team, Wyoming earned a 209-42 advantage on the ground for a 301-253 advantage in total yards. The Cowboys held the ball for 34:54 and committed just one penalty for four yards.

Wyoming got on the scoreboard first with a field goal on its opening drive. The Poke defense forced a three-and-out from Montana that the Cowboy offense drove 57 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal that senior Stuart Williams knocked through. Wyoming drove into Grizzly territory on its second possession as well, but a fumble from Kirkegaard gave UM the ball back. Montana converted the turnover to points with a 64-yard drive that ended with a UM score off a trick play. The Grizzlies missed the extra point, though, for a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter.

That would be the extent of the scoring in the first half. Wyoming threatened late in the second quarter after sophomore Eric Nzeocha blocked a Montana punt that freshman Brian Hill recovered at UM's nine-yard line. Kirkegaard threw an interception in the endzone, though, to send the game to halftime at 6-3 Montana.

Montana had a slim 122-108 advantage in total yards during the first half, but the Wyoming defense held the Grizzlies to just 31 yards on the ground. The Cowboys earned an 18:34-11:26 advantage in time of possession, thanks in part to 5-of-9 on third-down conversions. Kirkegaard was 8-of-14 in the first half for 60 yards, while Wick added 46 yards on the ground.

The defensive battle continued into the second half, until Nzeocha's sack and May's touchdown run.

Montana pulled within 17-12 after a touchdown with eight minutes left in the game, but could not convert on the two-point attempt. After exchanging punts, the Cowboys got the ball back with 5:21 left and reeled off nine-straight rushes from Wick, May and Hill to run the clock down to two seconds and put the game out of reach.

Wyoming continues its season by hosting Air Force next Saturday at 8:15 p.m. MT in War Memorial Stadium.

Fajardo leads Nevada to 28-19 win over Southern Utah

Cody Fajardo threw for 303 yards and a touchdown and ran for 68 yards and another score to lead Nevada to a 28-19 win over Southern Utah in the season opener Saturday.
The only FBS player with over 7,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards, Fajardo finished with 371 yards, giving him 9,968 total career yards. He completed 30 of 41 passes.
Jerico Richardson caught 13 passes for 177 yards for Nevada. Don Jackson rushed for 110 yards and one score.
The Wolf Pack led 7-0 at the half. James Butler scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and Jackson scored from the 2 to open the third for a 14-0 lead.
Southern Utah answered when Raysean Pringle broke for a 71-yard TD run to make it 14-6. Fajardo accounted for two scores to give the Wolf Pack a 28-6 lead with 11:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Owens leads Air Force to 44-16 win over Nicholls

Jacobi Owens rushed for 233 yards in his Air Force debut and Devin Rushing scored two short touchdowns, helping the Falcons beat Nicholls 44-16 on Saturday for their 19th straight win over a team from the Football Championship Subdivision.

Owens' output was the most ever by a Falcons player making his first start, breaking the mark of 218 set by Cody Getz in 2011. It's also the seventh-most yards in a game all-time at a school known for its vaunted ground game.

The sophomore averaged 10.1 yards per carry as he danced around and through Nicholls defenders. Owens emerged as the primary ball carrier after a big game in the spring.

Air Force finished with 539 yards rushing, the team's highest total since 2011.

The Colonels kept up with Air Force for just over a quarter before fading. They were beaten 72-0 by the Falcons to start the 2009 season.

Kale Pearson was back at quarterback for Air Force after suffering a torn right ACL in the season opener a year ago. He made all the right reads in the option offense to give Owens & Co. plenty of room to run. Pearson rushed for 46 yards as the Falcons improved to 8-0 in openers under coach Troy Calhoun.

It also was Calhoun's 50th career win at the Academy.

Garrett Brown, Broam Hart, Shayne Davern and Paco Solano also scored TDs for the Falcons. Davern is making the switch from linebacker to fullback this season.

The Colonels kept up with Air Force early on, tying the game at 9-apiece on a 37-yard field goal by Francisco Condado with 13:20 left in the second quarter.

That's when the Falcons snapped out of their offensive doldrums, scoring 35 straight points to coast to the win.

The Air Force defense certainly did its part in the second half, holding Kalen Henderson and the Colonels in check. Henderson didn't have much time to throw and was sacked four times. The senior threw for 136 yards and ran for 1 yard on 12 attempts.

Nicholls fell to 3-21 against FBS schools since 2001. The Colonels beat Western Michigan last season with Henderson at the helm.

Tobias Lofton scored an 18-yard TD for Nicholls when he broke through the line and went untouched into the end zone late in the first quarter. The Colonels added another in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter when backup QB Beaux Hebert connected with Darryl Watson for a 10-yard score.

The Colonels have a difficult start to their season, playing five of their first six games on the road.

Bulls Open Season with Win Over Duquesne

The University at Buffalo football team opened the 2014 season with a 38-28 win over Duquesne at UB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls got key contributions from young players on both sides of the ball getting the chance to step up and prove themselves in the absence of the All-MAC performers they replaced.

One such performance was by Ron Willoughby. The junior wide receiver, who had three career catches entering the 2014 campaign, had a career-best 10 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns against the Dukes. He was the favorite target of quarterback Joe Licata who went 25-of-36 for 298 yard and three touchdowns in the game.

Junior running back Anthone Taylor posted his third career 100-yard game with 115 yards on a career-high 30 carries and a pair of touchdowns. He paced a running attack that rushed for 174 yards as a team. Sophomore Jordan Johnson finally saw the first game action of his career and rushed for 38 yards on nine carries. He used his big frame to bulldoze the Duquesne defense and convert key third-down-and-short conversions late in the game. Devin Campbell added 37 yards on six carries.

Licata did a good job of distributing the football as he connected with eight different receivers. Marcus McGill had four catches for 40 yards. Boise Ross and Campbell each had three catches. Matt Weiser had two catches for 52 yards. The junior tight end opened the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown reception – the longest of his career.

Weiser's touchdown came on the Bulls' opening drive. The next time the Bulls got the ball, they were driving again before the game was halted for 44 minutes due to lightning. Once play resumed, it took them only three plays to find end zone as Taylor rumbled in from 11-yards out.

Another Taylor touchdown run, this time from five yards out, gave the Bulls a 21-0 lead with 5:24 left in half. The Bulls seemed in cruise control until a muffed punt return gave the Dukes the ball at the UB 29-yard late in the second quarter. Duquesne capitalized and scored to cut the lead to 21-7 at the half.

The Dukes rode the momentum into the second half as they marched 75 yards on their first possession to cut the UB advantage to 21-14. The Dukes struck again on their next possession and an 88-yard touchdown pass tied the game at 21 midway through the third quarter.

Patrick Clarke put the Bull back ahead, 24-21, with a 24-yard field goal with 1:46 left in the third quarter. However, Duquesne responded and marched 75 yards on six plays to take a 28-24 lead with 14:55 left in the game.

After the teams traded punts, The Bulls regained the lead for good with an impressive nine-play, 97-yard drive that was capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Licata to Willoughby with 9:50 left. The Bulls sealed the victory with a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a Licata to Willoughby 11-yard connection to make the final score, 38-28.

The UB defense was led by veteran safety Adam Redden who had seven tackles, including a pair of sacks, one of which came late in the game. Kristjan Sokoli and Lee Skinner each added seven tackles as well. The UB defense was stout up front, limiting the Dukes to just 51 yards rushing in the game. Brandon Crawford, making his first-career start, had a sack, forced a fumble that was recovered by UB's Kendall Roberson, and knocked down three Duquesne pass attempts.

"I told the team, nobody owes us anything, we have to go out there and earn it," head coach Jeff Quinn said. "Certainly not what I expected in terms of overall performance, but there were moments in the game when I saw our kids really dig deep and come up big, especially late in the game."

The win gives the Bulls their first 1-0 start to the season since 2010. They will next play at Army next Saturday.

RedHawks Edged in Opener, 42-27

A 17-0 third quarter rallied the Miami University football team within eight of the Marshall Thundering Herd amidst an inspired effort by the RedHawks that opened the Chuck Martin era on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. Despite a valiant effort, Miami (0-1) came up short in its opener, 42-27.

Senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix hit senior tight end Alex Welch on a 2-yard pass for the RedHawks’ first touchdown of 2014 at the 11:53 mark of the third quarter. Sophomore kick returner Fred McRae returned a Marshall punt 54 yards to put the RedHawks on the Thundering Herd’s 7-yard line to set up Miami’s second score of the third quarter as junior kicker Kaleb Patterson drilled a 24-yard field goal at the 10:06 mark.

Late in the quarter, Hendrix found sophomore wideout Rokeem Williams with a 41-yard pass to help stage his second touchdown pass of the quarter. Three plays later, Hendrix hit senior wide receiver Dawan Scott on a 3-yard pass with 10 seconds to go to move the RedHawks within eight points entering the final 15 minutes, 28-20.

The Thundering Herd (1-0) extended its lead to 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter on a 27-yard run with 8:37 to go. But Miami refused to back down and fired back as Williams hauled in a 40-yard pass from Hendrix with a beautiful catch in the endzone at the 6:25 mark. The Patterson PAT again put the RedHawks within eight, 35-27. Marshall was able to tack on one more touchdown in the final minutes, scoring on a 2-yard run to push its lead to 42-27.

Marshall took a 21-0 lead in the opening half with touchdown passes at the 7:20 mark and 2:53 mark of the first quarter and with 14:11 to go in the second quarter. Miami put its first points on the board when Patterson connected on a 22-yard field goal at 8:03 in the second quarter. The Thundering Herd tacked on one more touchdown on a 2-yard run at the 3:10 mark of the second quarter to carry a 28-3 lead into the half.

Hendrix finished with 318 passing yards, completing 24-of-49 passes and throwing three touchdowns with one interception. Senior wide receiver David Frazier led all players with 109 receiving yards on six catches. Williams recorded 99 receiving yards and a touchdown. Defensively, junior linebacker Kent Kern led all players with 13 tackles, including seven solo stops and added a career-high 2.0 sacks for a total loss of 12 yards.

As a team, Miami amassed 418 yards of total offense to Marshall’s 432.

Notes

- Seven different RedHawks made their first career start on Saturday afternoon. On offense, Collin Buchanan, Orlando David, Andrew Hendrix and Ryan Smith saw their first action for the Red and White, while Joe Donlan, Quinten Rollins and Lo Wood were first-time starters on defense.

- Christian Koch had a career-high 60-yard punt in the second quarter.

- Kent Kern had two sacks in the season opener. He now has 2.5 sacks in his career.

- David Frazier had six catches for 109 yards. His yardage total was a career best.

- Andrew Hendrix connected with Alex Welch on a touchdown in the third quarter. It was Hendrix’s second career touchdown pass (1 at Notre Dame) and Welch’s first career touchdown reception. Both played at Notre Dame last season.

- Fred McRae recorded a career-best 54-yard punt return. His previous-best was a 32-yard return at Kentucky in 2013.

- Miami finished with 418 yards of total offense. The highest total in all of last season was 303 yards versus Akron.

- At the same time, the RedHawks threw for 318 yards. Miami’s high in 2013 was 226 yards versus Akron

- Miami held the ball for 34:46, compared to Marshall’s 25:14. Miami ran 85 plays compared to 68 for the Herd.

- Kent Kern led the team with 13 tackles.

UMass Drops Opener To Boston College, 30-7, Before Record Home Crowd

The Massachusetts football team was unable to keep up with Boston College, dropping it's season opener 30-7 before a record home crowd of more than 30,000 at Gillette Stadium Saturday.
BC's Tyler Murphy ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, while also completing 17-of-24 for 173 yards and a TD and an interception.

For UMass, transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel was 9-of-22 for 147 yards, including a 77-yard scoring toss to junior Tajae Sharpe.

The 30,479 marked a school record for a UMass home game and the second-largest crowd for a Minutemen game at Gillette Stadium, just shy of the 32,848 against New Hampshire in 2010 (with the Wildcats serving as the home team).

UMass finished with 202 yards of total offense and just 55 on the ground. BC collected 348 of its 511 on the ground.

BC drove deep into UMass territory three times in the first half, but were held to a pair of second quarter field goals - a 44-yarder from Alex Howell and a 28-yard make from Joey Launceford - and took a 6-0 lead into the locker room.

The Eagles took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and drove 75 yards in just over six minutes to create some distance on the board. Myles Willis' 1-yard run put the visitors ahead 13-0.

Murphy's 1-yard scoring run five minutes later capped a 10-play, 52-yard drive that made it 20-0.

UMass' best scoring bid in the first half came late when Blake Lewis missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.

UMass will play host to Colorado (0-1) next Saturday at 3 p.m.

Cardinals Stifle Colgate in 30-10 Opening Win

With 311 yards on the ground, an efficient performance from quarterback Ozzie Mann in his starting debut and a stout defensive effort, the Ball State football team rolled to a 30-10 win Saturday over Colgate.

The Cardinals (1-0) won their season opener for the fifth consecutive season. Ball State limited Colgate (0-1) to only 227 yards and nine first downs in front of the home crowd at Scheumann Stadium. The nine first downs were the fewest by a Ball State opponent in nearly 14 years.

“We faced some adversity and we responded well,” Ball State head coach Pete Lembo said. “It was a tight game for a while and nobody panicked. We stuck to the game plan. Overall a good solid day, and a lot of guys played a lot more football today than they have in a while. Hopefully, it was a good learning experience for them.”

Horactio Banks and Jahwan Edwards topped 100 yards rushing in the same game for the second time in their careers with Banks going for 134 and Edwards for 109. Edwards scored the 40th touchdown of his career, extending his own school record.

Mann accounted for the team’s first two touchdowns, finding Kevonn Mabon and Aaron Hepp for first-half scores as the Cardinals built a 20-7 lead at the half. A third potential TD toss was instead ruled Mann’s only interception of the day when receiver Chris Shillings came down with dual possession with a Colgate defensive back in the endzone.

“He was Ozzie,” Lembo said. “He was not a whole lot different than practice and just another day at the office. He identified things well, and he managed the clock well. Some of the shorter passes were on target and gave our receivers the chance to catch the ball and run. He was in control of the offense and we were operating like Ball State football operates.”

Scott Secor kicked three field goals on the day to account for the rest of the Ball State scoring. His third field goal plus Edwards’ touchdown in the third quarter extended the lead to 30-7 before Colgate added a fourth-quarter field goal.

Mabon caught a career-high 11 passes for a career-best 110 yards, making his return to the field after being sidelined by injury three games into the 2013 season.

James Travellin scored the only Colgate touchdown of the day on a 4-yard run in the second quarter, while quarterback Jake Melville threw for 137 yards for the Raiders.

Ball State will hit the road for the first time next week, traveling to face Iowa of the Big Ten. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 ET) with the game to be televised by ESPN2.

First Quarter
Ball State 3, Colgate 0
6:08- Scott Secor 38-yard field goal.
(12 plays, 63 yards, 5:00)

Ball State 10, Colgate 0
1:17 – Ozzie Mann 34-yard touchdown pass to KeVonn Mabon. Scott Secor kick good.
(8 plays, 86 yards, 3:01)

Second Quarter
Ball State 13, Colgate 0
12:30- Scott Secor 35-yard field goal.
8 plays, 68 yards, 2:35

Ball State 13, Colgate 7
3:44 – James Travellin 4-yard touchdown run. Jonah Bowman kick good.
(9 plays, 80 yards, 4:27)

Ball State 20, Colgate 7
:45 – Ozzie Mann 19-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hepp. Scott Secor kick good.
(8 plays, 73 yards, 2:56)

Third Quarter
Ball State 23, Colgate 7
6:30- Scott Secor 38-yard field goal.
(4 plays, 8 yards, 1:23)

Ball State 30, Colgate 7
1:14 – Jahwan Edwards 4-yard touchdown run. Scott Secor kick good.
(7 plays, 90 yards, 2:59)

Fourth Quarter
Ball State 30, Colgate 10
11:54 – Jonah Bowman 37-yard field goal.
(9 Plays, 50 yards, 2:49)

Golson Leads No. 17 Irish to 48-17 Win Over Rice

Everett Golson looked better after a year off than he ever did in helping Notre Dame get to the national championship two seasons ago.

In his first game back after missing last season for academic impropriety, Golson threw touchdown passes of 75 and 53 yards and became just the third Notre Dame quarterback to run for three touchdowns in a game as the Irish beat Rice 48-17 on Saturday.

"Everett Golson was electric," coach Brian Kelly said. "He kept his eyes down field. He knew when to run. He knew when to throw it."

Golson was 14-of-22 passing for 295 yards and ran for 41 yards on 12 carries. He threw the ball away on purpose three times and three other times Irish receivers dropped passes. His only big mistake was a pass early in the second quarter that Rice safety Gabe Baker should have intercepted but dropped.

Golson said it was the type of comeback he envisioned while spending a semester away from Notre Dame.

"That's what inspired me through all the training and all the days of me just working out by myself. I think that's what helped me get through it," he said.

Golson's most exciting throw was a 75-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller that traveled nearly 60 yards in the air. Fuller was in a full sprint and wide open and needed to slow down to catch the pass near the 25-yard line. Fuller then made Rice safety Julius White miss as he raced into the end zone. It was the longest TD pass for Notre Dame since 2010.

The 53-yard touchdown pass was a little better timed as Golson scrambled and threw a perfect pass to a wide-open C.J. Prosise in the end zone with 5 seconds left in the half, giving the Irish 28-10 lead. Golson was hit hard just after throwing the pass.

Rice coach David Bailiff said Golson is amazing in his ability to extend plays.

"We left our corner on an island for too long and he got separation. Because that's what great quarterbacks do," Bailiff said.

Golson scored on an 11-yard run on a planned keeper, a 14-yard scramble and a 4-yard run on a blown handoff.

Kelly said Golson had shown a lot of confidence in recent days.

"There's a lot of things that he will tell you that he's got to continue to improve on, but there's a confidence that he carries with him that is starting to emanate, and that's going to only get better and better as he gains more confidence," Kelly said.

Driphus Jackson, making his second career start at quarterback for Rice, was 13 of 24 passing for 163 yards and one touchdown and the key interception.

"I've just got to be better managing the ball, and understand it's OK to throw the ball away," Jackson said. "I don't have to try and make plays all the time."

Rice backup quarterback Tyler Stehling threw a 53 yard TD pass to James Mayden.

Football Falls in Season Opener at No. 17 Notre Dame

In the season opener, Rice University football put forth a strong effort but fell at No. 17 Notre Dame, 48-17, in front of 80,795 fans at Notre Dame Stadium.

After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Owls quickly responded with a 65-yard scoring drive, highlighted by a 30-yard pass from Driphus Jackson to Dennis Parks and punctuated by Zach Wright's first-career touchdown, a 26-yard snag.

The tie game lasted just 12 seconds, as the Irish's Everett Golson connected on a 75-yard strike to Will Fuller to put the home team back in front, 14-7 near the end of the opening frame.

That score held for nearly 15 minutes before James Hairston kicked his first-career field goal, a 33-yarder, with five minutes remaining before the half to pull Rice within four points.

Notre Dame responded three minutes later with an 86-yard drive to up the score to 21-10 with just 2:33 left in the opening half. Rice drove to midfield on the ensuing possession before committing the game's first turnover with 21 ticks left on the clock.

Two plays after regaining possession, Golson connected with C.J. Prosise on a 53-yard touchdown pass to give the home team a 28-10 lead at the intermission. ND scored all 10 points in the third quarter to push the advantage to 38-10, and tacked on a fourth-quarter field goal before the Owls responded.

Later in the fourth, Tyler Stehling entered at quarterback and completed the first pass of his career to true freshman James Mayden for a 53-yard touchdown strike, cutting the score to 41-17 midway through the period.

Notre Dame added one more score late in the game on a three-play drive, providing the final 48-17 margin.

Jackson finished the day with 163 yards on 13-of-24 passing with one touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for a team-high 61 yards on 11 carries, including a 19-yarder.

Jowan Davis added 33 yards on a team-high 14 carries, while Brandon Hamilton added 29 yards on six rushes.

Zach Patt made his first start at defensive end and led the team with a career-high six tackles, including one sack and a quarterback hurry. Safety Jaylon Finner also made his first start and matched Patt's six tackles and assisted on a tackle for loss. Gabe Baker also made six tackles and added a pass breakup in the game.

Notre Dame owned a 576-367 advantage in total yards, including 281 on the ground.

Rice has a bye on Sept. 6 before closing out the road trip at Texas A&M on Sept. 13.

ODU Takes Down Hampton In Season Opener, 41-28

Gerard Johnson rushed for 137 yards and Taylor Heinicke tossed three touchdowns as Old Dominion University football opened the season with a 41-28 victory over Hampton at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
After holding a 28-14 halftime lead, ODU took just 1:38 to score in the second half as Heinicke hit Zach Pascal for a 41-yard touchdown to give ODU a 35-14 lead.
Hampton countered with a two-yard TD run from Eric Carter but ODU bounced back with an eight-yard touchdown run by Cam Boyd, his second of the day to make the score 41-21.
The Pirates came back once again as Jaylian Williamson tossed a screen pass to Jorrian Washington that went for a 75-yard touchdown reception and closed the gap to 41-28.
Hampton followed by recovering a pooch kick down the left sideline that was recovered by Rayshad Riddick. HU drove to the Monarch five yardline before Richie Staton sacked Williamson, and forced and recovered a fumble to give ODU the ball back.
After an ODU punt, Hampton drove inside the ODU 10 again, but Isaiah Worthy recovered a Carter fumble to once again give ODU the ball back.
ODU got on the board first as Cam Boyd capped an 11 play, 66-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.
The Pirates knotted the score at seven early in the second quarter as Jayilan Williamson connected with Marcus Hampton for a five-yard touchdown pass.
Old Dominion retook the lead as Heinicke hit Pascal for a five-yard touchdown pass to complete a 67-yard drive for a 14-7 Monarch lead.
Fellonte Misher gave the offense possession at the HU 31-yardline with an interception while Gerard Johnson ran for a 31-yard score on the next play for a 21-7 ODU lead.
Pascal caught his second touchdown of the game from Heinicke, this one from 19-yards out for a 28-7 ODU lead.
Hampton responded with an 11 play, 62-yard drive as Williamson hit Twarn Mixon from six yards out as time expired in the first half to cut the lead to 28-14.
Heinicke was 29-of-40 with three touchdowns and 281 yards. Pascal had eight grabs for 99 yards while Antonio Vaughan had five catches for 79 yards and a TD. Andre Simmons led ODU with nine tackles while Fellonte Misher had eight.
Washington completed 32-of-45 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns while Riddick had 11 catches for a career-best 119 yards.
Notes: Gerard Johnson surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time in his career, rushing for 137 yards, the second highest of his career… Taylor Heinicke had three touchdown passes and now has 105 in his career … Cam Boyd carried the ball just four times for 37 yards, but scored two touchdowns and had four receptions … With his 281 passing yards, Heinicke passed Brady Quinn for 26th all-time with 11,764 career passing yards … Andre Simmons had a team-high nine tackles and two tackles for loss … Fellonte Misher had eight tackles and the third interception of his career … Nine true freshman played for ODU including, Vincent Lowe, Jonathan Duhart, Christian Byrum, Brandon Simmons, Ray Lawry, Jarrett Cervi, Isaiah Worthy, Darius Garcia and Marques Little … Lowe was the only true freshman to start, starting the game lined up at running back … Six players played their first game for ODU; Nick England, Bumni Rotimi, Reece Schmidt, Eli Kessner, Tyler Burns and Poncho Barnwell … Nick England caught four passes in the first quarter, his first four catches as an ODU player … Marques Little caught his first career pass for 18 yards in the third quarter … With 79 receiving yards, Antonio Vaughan is 12 yards away from second playing on the career receiving yards list.

Marshall 42, Miami 27

-On offense and defense, RB Devon Johnson, WR Angelo Jean-Louis, OG Blake Brooks, OG Michael Selby and DE Arnold Blackmon made their first career starts.
-CB Antavis Rowe was first Herd true freshman to play at Miami (Ohio), when he subbed at corner when Marshall went to nickel on RedHawks' third down on first series. OT A.J. Addison and TE Ryan Yurachek also saw action.
-Cato's streak of consecutive games with a TD pass extended to 33 on his first touchdown pass to Eric Frohnapfel (11-yarder in the first quarter), which leads active FBS quarterbacks. The NCAA record belongs to Russell Wilson (NC State and Wisconsin), with 38 from 2009-11. Oregon's Marcus Mariota is second among current FBS players, with 26 games heading into Aug. 30 (late night) opener versus FCS member South Dakota.
-Angelo Jean-Louis' first quarter catch makes him the 25th Herd player to catch a Cato pass in the quarterback's career.

-WR Tommy Shuler's first-quarter TD catch is No. 17 for his career, in sole possession of 14th place all-time for Herd (next on the list with 18 are Nate Poole, LaVorn Colclough and Antavious Wilson; then it skips to No. 10 Jim Swierczek's 22).
-Cato's three TD passes gave him 61 red zone TD passes in his career against just one interception (at Tulsa in 2013)
-TE Eric Frohnapfel had the first two TD game of his career.
-Tyler Williams' 64-yard punt matched the third-longest of his career (at UCF, 2012). He had a 65-yarder in 2013 vs. Gardner-Webb and career-long 66-yarder in win at Rice in 2012.

-RB Devon Johnson reached 151 yards on 19 carries in his first game as MU's running back.

FOOTBALL FALLS AT NO. 22 NEBRASKA

Florida Atlantic University's junior defensive lineman Brandin Bryant's return home and Owls Head Coach Charlie Partridge's debut as FAU's head coach were not welcomed by the No. 22 University of Nebraska, who dealt FAU a 55-7 loss, Saturday afternoon.
"I had a chance to visit with the team after the game," FAU Head Coach Charlie Partridge said. "Certainly disappointed with the results and some of the things we did on the field. I give all the credit in the world to Nebraska; they executed a great game plan.

The two teams opened the game trading scores, but the Cornhusker defense was the first to respond, and responded in a big way, denying the Owls access to the end zone the remainder of the game.

Nebraska opened its 2014 season and the game with an 81-yard scoring drive that lasted 13 plays and ended with a five-yard scoring rush. Owl junior quarterback Jaquez Johnson followed his 14-yard run deep in Nebraska territory with a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior Lucky Whitehead to even the score at seven.

With 1:22 remaining in the first, Nebraska connected on a 36-yard pass to go up 14-7. The Owls were forced to punt and then held the Cornhuskers to a field goal on the next drive. FAU would march down the field on the legs of sophomore running back Jay Warren. Two pass attempts for the end zone later, Greg Joseph's 44-yard field goal attempt was long enough but just wide right. Nebraska then needed just four plays to drive 72 yards and score on a 47-yard run by Ameer Abdulla. With less than three minutes remaining in the half, Nebraska would score once more, via a three-yard run by Imani Cross. The score ended a seven-play, 66 yard drive.

Sophomore quarterback Greg Hankerson started the second half but, the Owls failed to pick up a first down and saw Dalton Schomp called upon to punt for the fifth time of the game. Nebraska scored seven plays later on a two-yard, right-side run by Terrell Newby to put Nebraska up 38-7.
The Cornhuskers forced a three-and-out and then scored three plays later on an 8-yard pass to De'Mornay Pierson-El to go up 45-7 with 6:41 remaining in the third. Three minutes later, Nebraska added three more with a 45-yard field goal by Mauro Bondi. Bondi's kick capped a drive that gave Nebraska the record for all-time yards tallied against the Owls (784). The Cornhuskers also set a record for most offensive plays against FAU (92). The previous mark was 628, set by Auburn Oct. 23, 2013. Nebraska used a ground attack that gained 498 yards, also a new single-game record versus the Owls. Auburn held the previous mark at 422. "There were times it looked like we had a powerful offense and times it looked like we needed to improve," Partridge said. "We just need to continue to get better as a fundamental football team."

The Owls will travel to Tuscaloosa next weekend for a noon game versus Alabama, the No. 2 team in the nation. The game will air on the SEC Network.

ALABAMA OUTLASTS WEST VIRGINIA

There was plenty of action in today’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and it involved both teams this afternoon.

As expected, heavily favored Alabama won, but it wasn’t a walk in the park – far from it. The Crimson Tide (1-0) needed three touchdown runs from T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, and four Adam Griffith field goals to hold off uncooperative West Virginia, 33-23, Saturday at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

“I’m not interested in moral victories. We've been working hard to put ourselves in a position to get a win,” said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “We played hard and we felt like we put ourselves in a position to win.”

“I think you have to give West Virginia a lot of credit,” added Alabama coach Nick Saban. “I was really pleased with the way we controlled the ball on offense.”

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims completed 24-of-33 passes for 250 yards, and the Tide’s power running game accounted for 288 yards – the majority of those coming from Henry and Yeldon.

Yeldon led all ball carriers with 126 yards on 23 carries while Henry added 113 yards on 17 totes.

West Virginia moved the ball between the 20s against Alabama’s exceptional defense, finishing the game with 393 total yards, but couldn’t punch it into the end zone where the yards are much more difficult to get.

“It’s frustrating because you play against a really good team and you are in position in the fourth quarter to be able to win the game and you don’t have these opportunities very often,” said Holgorsen. “We were in a very similar situation last year when we played Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, and we were in that game, had a chance to win it and we didn’t.”

A big sequence came early in the fourth quarter with West Virginia trailing 30-23. The Mountaineers got the ball down to the Alabama 5 after a Clint Trickett-to-Kevin White 25-yard pass.

On first and goal, Trickett’s first down pass to a wide-open Elijah Wellman coming out of the backfield fell harmlessly to the ground. Trickett’s fade pass in the corner of the end zone to Kevin White on second down was knocked away brilliantly by Cyrus Jones, then, on third down, Tyler Orlosky’s shotgun snap sailed over Trickett’s head, forcing Josh Lambert to kick a 41-yard field goal, which he converted.

West Virginia (0-1) got the ball right back on Alabama’s next possession when Daryl Worley intercepted Blake Sims's pass at the 45 and returned it inside the Crimson Tide 30, but a holding penalty on the return placed the ball back at the 49.

West Virginia wasn’t able to cash in on the golden opportunity and Nick O’Toole’s punt was downed at the Alabama 12. Alabama responded with an 11-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Griffith’s fourth field goal, a 45-yarder, making the score 33-23.

Griffith’s other field goals covered distances of 47, 41 and 27 yards.

The day actually began with field goals, the first one coming from West Virginia’s Josh Lambert on the game’s opening possession – a 20-yarder. Griffith followed with a 47-yard field goal and after a Yeldon 15-yard touchdown run gave Alabama a 10-3 lead, Trickett responded with a beautiful pass to Kevin White in the corner of the end zone that White was able to wrestle away from Bradley Sylve for a 19-yard touchdown.

West Virginia’s other TD came on an electrifying 100-yard kickoff return by Mario Alford on which he escaped traffic on the far side of the field and outran Cyrus Jones for the Mountaineers’ first kickoff return for a touchdown since Tavon Austin took one to the house against Kansas State in 2012.

Lambert added field goals of 42 and 41 yards in the second half.

All seven of Alabama’s scoring drives consumed at least six plays, including four of nine plays or more. The Crimson Tide were outstanding on third down, going seven-for-nine at one point and ending the game nine-of-16.

“We had a tough time getting off the field on third down,” said Holgorsen.

Trickett completed 29-of-45 passes for 365 yards and a touchdown and White led all receivers with 143 yards receiving on nine catches.

After moving the ball ground on its first two possessions with Rushel Shell carrying the football, West Virginia’s running game could only produce 28 yards rushing on 24 attempts.

“I felt like we are better at every position and after watching this game I feel like we are better at every position,” said Holgorsen. “Now I think everybody has got to rally around this team for the rest of the season.”

The Mountaineers return to action next weekend with their home opener against Towson on Saturday, Sept. 6 in a game that will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

Northwestern's Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short vs. Cal, 31-24

Northwestern's furious second-half rally came up just short Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field as California raced out to a big early lead then held on for a 31-24 victory in the season-opener for both teams.

The loss was the first suffered in a season-opener during the head coaching tenure of Pat Fitzgerald, who began the day with an 8-0 career mark in NU season-openers. It also marked the end of Northwestern's 16-game home winning streak in nonconference play, which dated to the start of the 2008 season.

Cal got off to a fast start, receiving the opening kick and mounting an impressive 18-play drive that culminated on a fourth-and-goal play from the Wildcats' 2-yard line. After a timeout, quarterback Jared Goff put the visitors on the board with his two-yard touchdown pass in the flat to Bryce Treggs, finishing a drive that ate up more than six minutes of clock time.

After a Northwestern drive into Cal territory stalled on a failed fourth-and-1 conversion attempt, the Golden Bears took a 14-0 lead when they scored on a seven-yard pass by Goff to Kenny Lawler over the middle of the end zone. The Wildcats were forced to punt from the shadow of their own goal post on their ensuing drive, setting up a short field that Cal used to move into position for a 20-yard field goal that grew the lead to 17 points.

Northwestern's offense found a rhythm midway through the second half as Siemian found junior wideout Cameron Dickerson on the post pattern, with Dickerson breaking past the second line of defense and skirting 54 yards for NU's first touchdown of 2014.

The Bears answered in short order, however, when Goff went over the top on the ensuing play from scrimmage to hit a streaking Trevor Davis for a 76-yard touchdown pass, giving the visitors a 24-7 lead that they carried into the locker rooms.

The score grew to 31-7 when Cal began their first possession of the second half one yard shy of midfield and covered the 49 yards to paydirt on 11 plays, the last of which was a 1-yard scoring run up the middle by Khalfani Muhammad.

Among the Wildcats making their debuts in the game were true freshmen tailbacks Solomon Vault and Justin Jackson, who tag-teamed the ball-carrying responsibilities on a 12-play scoring drive late in the third quarter. Jackson had the honor of punching it in with a powerful 7-yard scoring run to cut Northwestern's deficit to 31-14.

On the ensuing 1st-and-10 play for the Bears, Goff attempted a bubble screen to Bryce Treggs which Treggs bobbled into the air to set up an interception by Collin Ellis in a play reminiscent of both of Ellis' pick-sixes at Cal one year ago.

Though Ellis wasn't able to score on this interception, the Wildcats scored on the next play with a trick double-pass on which redshirt freshman Jayme Taylor sent a perfect return pass to Siemian, who wove his way 17 yards to the right pylon for the score. The play left Northwestern trailing by 10 with 2:06 to play in the third quarter, and that remained the count as Northwestern took over on offense with 8:30 left in the fourth.

The Wildcats marched down the field in an 11-play drive that culminated with Jack Mitchell's first career field goal from 24 yards out, trimming the deficit to just seven with 5:18 remaining.

Northwestern got the defensive stand it needed on the ensuing drive and following a personal foul penalty on Cal, the Wildcats started from their own 48-yard line. NU had 2-and-6 from the Bears' 28, but Siemian was sacked for an 11-yard loss and then was intercepted on the next play. Cal was able to run out the clock to secure the road victory.

Northwestern returns to action at Ryan Field next Saturday, Sept. 6 as it takes on Northern Illinois. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.

Huskers Soar Past Owls

Senior running back Ameer Abdullah sprinted for a career-high 232 yards, while Kenny Bell and Jordan Westerkamp each added 100-yard receiving games, as No. 22 Nebraska rolled to a 55-7 victory over Florida Atlantic Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Cornhuskers, who notched their NCAA-record 334th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium as they opened their 125th season of football, amassed 784 yards of total offense against the Owls. The offensive eruption went hand-in-hand with solid defense to help the Huskers record their 29th consecutive season-opening victory.

The Husker offense enjoyed a record-setting day with a pair of 100-yard rushers and a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game.

Abdullah became just the eighth Husker in history to cross the 3,000-yard rushing mark, finishing the day with 21 carries for 232 yards and a touchdown. He pushed his career total to 3,209 yards to rank sixth on the Nebraska all-time list.

Sophomore Terrell Newby added his first career 100-yard game, crossing the plateau with 16 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the 76th double 100-yard game in Nebraska history.

Bell added his fourth career 100-yard receiving game to push his career total past 2,000 yards. The senior wide receiver became just the third Husker in history to cross 2,000 receiving yards, joining Johnny Rodgers and Nate Swift. Bell finished with four receptions for 116 yards.

Westerkamp, a sophomore wide receiver, added his second career 100-yard game with career highs of seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Westerkamp's day included an amazing behind-the-back catch as he tip-toed on the Nebraska sideline in the third quarter.

Bell and Westerkamp became the first pair of Nebraska wide receivers to go over 100 yards in the same game, and it marked just the third time overall that two Huskers each went over 100 yards receiving in the same game.

The Huskers finished with 784 total yards, including 498 rushing and 286 passing. Sophomore starter Tommy Armstrong Jr. completed 15-of-29 passes for 271 and two touchdowns, while adding seven carries for 62 yards and another score to finish with 333 yards of total offense.

Armstrong put the Huskers on the board first with his five-yard touchdown run to cap Nebraska's eight-play, 86-yard opening drive of the season. Armstrong rushed for 13 yards on the drive, while completing 2-of-3 passes, including a pair of clutch third-down conversions. His first pass attempt of the season was a 24-yard completion to Bell to convert 3rd-and-8.

Junior I-back Imani Cross helped set up Armstrong's opening touchdown with a 25-yard burst up the middle to set up 1st-and-Goal at the FAU 5.

The Owls answered with a touchdown drive of their own, capped by Jaquez Johnson's 20-yard touchdown pass to Lucky Whitehead with 4:56 left in the first, before Armstrong led NU on another first-quarter touchdown march.

NU's second drive, which was slowed by three offensive penalties, ended with Armstrong's 36-yard scoring strike to Westerkamp with 1:22 left in the quarter. The reception was one of several highlights for Westerkamp in the first half, as the sophomore receiver hauled in career highs with six catches for 109 yards in the first half alone.

The Huskers actually rolled up 211 yards of total offense on their first two drives, overcoming 50 yards of offensive penalties in the opening period.

The Huskers added freshman place-kicker Drew Brown's first career field goal, a 44-yarder, with 12:18 left in the half to push the margin to 17-7.

After the Blackshirts held on their next possession, Abdullah cruised over the 100-yard rushing mark for the 18th time in his career. He reached the mark on just his 12th carry of the game. Two carries later, he exploded for his first touchdown of the season with a 47-yard eruption up the middle that included an electric open-field cut that left an Owl flapping at thin air. He finished the half with 178 yards on 18 carries.

Another defensive stop set up a seven-play, 66-yard drive capped by a punishing three-yard touchdown run by Cross with 2:30 left to push the Big Red lead to 31-7. The Huskers scored on each of their first six drives.

The Huskers kept it going on their drive of the second half, driving 78 yards in 10 plays capped by Newby's two-yard touchdown run. NU's drive included a highlight reel, behind-the-back catch by Westerkamp as he stuck two feet inbounds on the Nebraska sideline.

After Blackshirt three-and-out, Abdullah opened NU's drive with a nine-yard run to push his rushing total to a career-high 232 yards. On the next play, Armstrong hooked up on a 63-yard strike with Bell to push Bell over 100 yards in the game and 2,000 in his career. The drive ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass to freshman De'Mornay Pierson-El.

Mauro Bondi added a 45-yard field goal late in the third quarter and Newby scored his second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter to cap the Husker scoring for the day.

The Huskers will be back in action at Memorial Stadium next Saturday when they take on McNeese State. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with live national television coverage provided by ESPNU.

Scoring Summary
Final: #22 Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7
Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

First Quarter (NEB, 14-7)
NEB - 9:19 - Tommy Armstrong Jr. 5 run (Drew Brown kick), 13 plays, 86 yards, 5:41 - NEB 7-0
FAU - 4:56 - Lucky Whitehead 20 pass from Jaquez Johnson (Greg Joseph kick) 11 plays, 75 yards, 4:23 - 7-7
NEB - 1:22 - Jordan Westerkamp 36 pass from Armstrong (Brown kick), 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:34 - NEB 14-7

Second Quarter (NEB, 31-7)
NEB - 12:18 - Brown 44 FG - 9 plays, 49 yards, 2:30, NEB 17-7
NEB - 6:49 - Ameer Abdullah 47 run (Brown kick), 4 plays, 72 yards, 1:38 - NEB 24-7
NEB - 2:30 - Imani Cross 3 run (Brown kick), 7 plays, 66 yards, 2:19 - NEB 31-7

Third Quarter (NEB, 48-7)
NEB - 10:18 - Terrell Newby 2 run (Brown kick) - 10 plays, 78 yards, 3:41 - NEB 38-7
NEB - 6:41 - De'Mornay Pierson-El pass from Armstrong (Brown kick), 3 plays, 80 yards, 1:10 - NEB 45-7
NEB - 3:09 - Mauro Bondi 45 FG - 9 plays, 42 yards, 3:09, NEB 48-7

Fourth Quarter (NEB, 55-7)
NEB - 13:20 - Newby 1 run (Bondi kick) - 8 plays, 71 yards, 3:51 - NEB 55-7


Final: #22 Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7
Attendance: 91,441
Time of Game: 3:20
Game Start: 2:43 p.m. (central)

Maryland 52, James Madison 7

Kicking It Off: Maryland moved to 1-0 on the season with a season-opening 52-7 victory over James Madison Saturday at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The Terps improved to 76-44-2 all-time in season openers.

Curtain Raisers: With the win, Maryland improved to 4-0 in season openers under head coach Randy Edsall and extended its season-opening home winning streak to 11.

Racking It Up: Maryland eclipsed 50 points for the first time since defeating East Carolina (51-20) at the 2010 Military Bowl (12//29/10). The 52 points scored by the Terps are the most by a Terrapin offense since scoring 62 against Wake Forest on Oct. 30, 2010 (62-14).

Pound It In: Quarterback C.J. Brown rushed for three scores and running backs Brandon Ross and Albert Reid each added another as Maryland rushed for five scores. It is the most by a Terrapin team since the Terps rushed for six against East Carolina in the 2010 Military Bowl (12/29/10).

All-Time TD List: Quarterback C.J. Brown rushed for three scores increasing his career total to 20, which is the ninth-most in school history. Brown has now rushed for three touchdowns in two of the last three games dating back to last season. He rushed for three at NC State (11/30/13) to close the 2013 regular season. It is tied for the sixth-highest single-game output in school history and is the most by a Terrapin quarterback.

Craddock Connects: Kicker Brad Craddock hit his first field goal of the season and the 32nd of his career with a 49 yarder that put Maryland up 17-0 late in the first quarter. The junior kicker is now tied for seventh in school history with Obi Egekeze (2006-08) and Dan DeArmas (1988-91).

Career First: With James Madison at the Maryland 24-yard line, defensive back Jeremiah Johnson picked off his first career pass in the back corner of the end zone to keep Maryland in front 24-0 heading into halftime.

Ross Carries the Load: Running back Brandon Ross carried the ball 16 times for 86 yards and one score. For Ross, it was his fifth career rushing touchdown.

Brown to Long: Wide receiver Deon Long hauled in his second career touchdown as a Terp after C.J. Brown found the wide out down the right sideline for a 41-yard score. Long’s first career score came in Maryland’s season opener last season against FIU (8/31/13). For Brown, it was his 21st career touchdown pass moving him into a tie for 12th all-time at Maryland with Dick Shiner (1961-63).

Offensive Notes: Fullback Kenneth Goins Jr. caught his second career touchdown pass after connecting with quarterback Caleb Rowe, his eighth touchdown pass of his career … wide receiver Stefon Diggs led all receivers with five catches for 53 yards, averaging a team-high 10.6 yards per catch … wide receiver Jacquille Veii made his first career catch.

Defensive Notes: Linebacker L.A. Goree led the Terps with 14 tackles, two shy of his career high of 16 … safety Anthony Nixon intercepted one pass and now has two for his career … cornerback William Likely totaled his first career sack … defensive linemen Roman Braglio and Spencer Myers combined on a sack. It was Myers’ first career sack and increased Braglio’s total to 2.5.

Hokies open season with 34-9 win over William & Mary

Michael Brewer completed 23 of 30 passes for 251 yards, with two touchdowns to lead Virginia Tech to a 34-9 season-opening victory over William & Mary on Saturday.
Brewer, a transfer from Texas Tech who won the starting job a week ago, completed passes to nine different receivers, including touchdown passes of 13 yards to Isaiah Ford and 8 yards to Bucky Hodges.
Freshman kicker Joey Slye kicked field goals of 20 and 27 yards for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech pulled away by scoring on three straight drives and four of five spanning the first and second halves. Brewer’s pass to Hodges and Slye’s 20-yard field goal gave the Hokies a 17-6 lead at halftime, and then Slye’s 27-yarder made it 20-6.
Shai McKenzie’s 39-yard touchdown run two possessions later gave the Hokies a 27-9 lead. McKenzie led Tech with 106 yards on nine carries, as the Hokies rushed for 222 yards.
William & Mary finished with just 193 yards of total offense.

Football Downs Massachusetts in Foxboro to Open Season

The Boston College football team earned a 30-7 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in the first game of the 2014 season. Graduate quarterback Tyler Murphy recorded rushing and passing touchdowns while throwing for 173 yards and rushing for a career-high 118 more.

Graduate Josh Bordner made his first appearance as a wide receiver after a three-year stint as backup quarterback to Chase Rettig. He caught his first career touchdown, a 43-yard pass from Murphy, and recorded 81 yards on four catches on the day in his first career start.

The Eagles amassed 511 total yards of offense while the defense allowed just 202. BC collected 338 yards on the ground while allowing just 55. The Eagles held the ball for 42:11, collected 27 first downs. The Minutemen only mustered nine for the entire game. The last time the Eagles recorded over 500 yards in total offense and over 300 in rushing was on Nov. 9, 2013 at New Mexico State.

The Eagles connected on two field goal attempts in the first half to take a 6-0 lead into halftime. After turning the ball over on downs on their first offensive set, senior linebacker Josh Keyes sacked Massachusetts quarterback Blake Frohnapfel for a loss of eight yards on third-and-12 at the BC 43-yard line to give BC the ball back.

Starting on the BC two-yard line, the Eagles drove 71 yards in just under five minutes to put the first points of the game on the board. On third-and-three, Murphy rushed for a career-long 31 yards to put the Eagles at their own 40. Sophomore running back Tyler Rouse led the charge, carrying the ball three times for 27 yards to set up senior kicker/punter Alex Howell for a 44-yard attempt to second the second quarter. The points were the first of Howell's career.

BC went up, 6-0, on a second field goal after the Eagle defense forced a quick three-and-out. The offense took over with 13 minutes to go and drove the field 72 yards. Senior kicker Joey Launceford recorded his first career field goal, a 28-yard attempt, to increase the Eagles' lead.

With just over two minutes to play in the first half, UMass defensive back Randall Jette intercepted Murphy's pass at the 39-yard line and returned it 20 yards. Frohnapfel was called for intentional grounding as junior defensive back Justin Simmons put the pressure on. The Minutemen were not able to recover as the BC defense allowed just a four-yard pass on third-and-25. Kicker Blake Lucas missed a 47-yard attempt to kept UMass scoreless.

Sophomore running back Myles Willis scored the first touchdown of the season to open the second half. On the 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted just over six minutes, freshman running back Sherman Alston registered his first career run - 14-yard run to give the Eagles a first down at the UMass 23-yard line. After six straight rushes and a pass interference call in the endzone on the Minutemen, Willis forced his way into the endzone with a one-yard run to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead with 8:49 to play in the third.

After the defense forced another three-and-out, Murphy made it 20-0 on a one-yard run of his own. It capped off a 10-play, 52-yard drive that lasted 4:47.

Massachusetts got on the board when Frohnapfel connected with Tajae Sharpe on a 77-yard pass with just under 1:29 to play in the third quarter.

It didn't take long for the Eagles to retaliate. On their next possession, Murphy hit Bordner for a 43-yard pass to increase the lead to 27-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Simmons intercepted Frohnapfel's pass and returned it 20 yards, giving the Eagles the ball at UMass's 35-yard line with 12:29 to go in the game. Launceford connected on a 21-yard field-goal attempt to push the lead, 30-7.

The Eagles return to action on Friday, Sept. 5 with a 7 p.m. game against Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Pittsburgh. The game will be televised on ESPN.