Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Christian who? Love stars in No. 14 Stanford's win over Rice

Bryce Love proved he could fill in quite nicely as Christian McCaffrey's replacement at Stanford, scoring a touchdown and finishing with 180 yard rushing to lead the No.14 Cardinal to a 62-7 victory over Rice on Sunday in the Sydney College Football Cup.
Love, installed as the No. 1 player in the backfield after McCaffrey was drafted in the first round by the Carolina Panthers, had 13 carries, including a 62-yard burst through the Rice line on Stanford's opening play from scrimmage. He didn't play much after the middle of the third quarter.
"Bryce is going to be our lead dog," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "But it's nice to know we've got some guys who can back him up. I'm excited about where Bryce is heading into this season. We don't want to wear Bryce out in any one game, so those guys have got to come out and make plays like they did today."
Cameron Scarlett was one of those guys.
Scarlett, a redshirt freshman who also moved up in the Stanford pecking order, had three touchdowns, all rushing, and finished with 68 yards on nine carries. He also had one 56-yard pass reception.
The Cardinal were 31-point favorites. They led 38-0 at halftime and scored touchdowns on their first four possessions.
Rice, trailing 55-0, finally broke its scoreless drought with 6 minutes remaining on running back Austin Walker's 23-yard touchdown run.
THE TAKEAWAY
STANFORD: Quarterback Keller Chryst, who tore the ACL in his right knee in December in the Sun Bowl, showed no sign of the injury. Chryst finished with 14 completions in 24 attempts for 253 yards and two TDs before Ryan Burns and later K.J. Costello took over with Stanford leading 45-0. Costello scored the final Stanford TD on a 25-yard run
"It was great to see Keller Chryst come and be completely healthy, and be able to run the show from the quarterback position," Shaw said.
RICE: Redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Glaesmann won the starting job and had a very difficult beginning to his college career. Starting his first play from scrimmage on the Rice 10-yard line, Rice was hit for a delay of game and false start and the Owls later punted from deep in their end zone. Glaesmann was 7 for 18 for 69 yards.
"We're a better team than we showed today," Rice coach David Bailiff said. "When you play against a team like Stanford, or any elite team, you have to be at your very best. And we made some poor decisions early."
HURRICANE WATCH: Rice players and staff had been keeping a close and anxious eye on developments in Houston from former hurricane and now tropical storm Harvey. The players have been keeping in touch with friends and family on social media, and team staff were in contact with spouses and partners back in Houston to make sure they were aware of neighbors and friends who might have emergency equipment such as generators. The team is scheduled to leave Australia on Monday morning for Los Angeles, with a decision expected in LA whether they will attempt to fly on to Houston
KEY NUMBERS
STANFORD: The Cardinal offense was in strong early-season form, with 656 total yards - 369 passing and 287 rushing. Also, eight touchdowns, 27 first downs and an average of 9.0 yards per play.
RICE: The Owls were 5 for 15 in third-down conversions. Five Owls receivers combined for only 95 yards, the longest 28 yards by Samuel Stewart.
BIG ROAD TRIP: It was Stanford's second game outside the U.S., and first since 1986 when the Cardinal beat Arizona 29-24 in Tokyo. It was the second year in a row that a regular-season college game was played in Sydney. Last year, Cal beat Hawaii 51-31 at the Olympic stadium with 62,000 spectators. This year the game was moved to Allianz Stadium, closer to the downtown area. Officials said there 33,181 spectators Sunday at the 45,000-seat venue.
UP NEXT
STANFORD: after a week off, plays at Pac-12 favorite USC on Sept. 9
RICE: The Owls also have a week off before playing at Texas-El Paso on Sept. 9.

No. 19 S. Florida beats San Jose St. 42-22 after slow start

The start of the Charlie Strong era at South Florida didn't quite go as scripted. Now that it's over the coach of the 19th-ranked Bulls is actually pretty pleased that his team had to show the ability to overcome some adversity.
Quinton Flowers threw two touchdown passes and D'Ernest Johnson had two TD runs in a dominant second quarter that helped South Florida rally from an early 16-point deficit to beat San Jose State 42-22 on Saturday.
"It's good that you have a good game like this so now guys know there's improvement to be made," Strong said. "We can't get complacent. You want a game like this. It's not as much pressure as they think it is but you have to play well to win games."
The Bulls were held to 22 yards in the opening quarter, the defense allowed two early TD passes by Josh Love and two ineffective punts set up two scores for the Spartans.
But the game turned when Josh Black stuffed Malike Roberson for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the South Florida 33 in the closing minute of the first quarter with San Jose State leading 16-0.
"I told the guys we can't flinch," Flowers said. "We've been down like that before. It was time where I had to step up and tell the team, `Let's go.'"
It took less than nine minutes for the Bulls to turn that big early deficit into a lead with help from a pair of interceptions off deflected passes by Josh Love. Flowers started the comeback with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Salomon, Johnson followed with a TD run on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and Flowers followed with a 49-yard scoring strike to Temi Alaka.
Johnson capped the four-touchdown, 271-yard quarter with a tight-rope act down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run that made it 28-16 and the rout was on in the second half.
"I thought we did some good stuff early and we were executing," Love said. "The scoring fell off it felt like we needed to answer their scores and we just didn't."
Flowers added a touchdown run in the fourth quarter and finished 11 for 23 for 212 yards passing and 70 yards on 18 carries.
Strong took over at South Florida after being fired following three losing seasons at Texas. He went 16-21 with the Longhorns after a successful stint at head coach at Louisville and now will look to have similar success with the Bulls.
THE TAKEAWAY
SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls entered the season with lofty expectations after tying the 2008 squad for the highest preseason ranking in school history. The early struggles could be a sign of concern or just the normal process of finding a rhythm under a new coaching staff. One bright spot all game was a stout run defense that held San Jose State to 2.9 yards per carry.
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans looked far more competitive in their opener under coach Brent Brennan but still lost for the 24th time in their past 25 meetings against ranked teams. Love threw two touchdown passes to Bailey Gaither in the first quarter to open up the big lead. Gaither also blocked a punt that set up his second touchdown and the San Jose State defense held one of the nation's most dynamic quarterbacks in check for one quarter. But the offense failed to get much going after the first quarter with Love throwing three interceptions. Backup QB Montel Aaron threw a TD pass in the fourth quarter.
BIG HIT
The defensive highlight for the Bulls came on San Jose State's first drive of the third quarter when Juwuan Brown slammed Zamore Zigler with a 5-yard loss on a crushing hit .
SPEED IT UP
The Bulls are playing at a much faster tempo on offense this season and ran a school-record 101 plays in the opener. That helped wear down the Spartans and contributed to a 315-yard rushing night.
"This offense is really fast," Flowers said. "You get to the point where you get a defense very tired. That's what you have to see in a defense. You pick them apart and just keep moving."
POLL IMPLICATIONS
With no new poll until Sept. 5, this game doesn't figure to have much impact on the Bulls ranking.
UP NEXT
SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls their home opener next Saturday against Stony Brook of the FCS.
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans get a bit of a breather in a grueling nonconference schedule when they host FCS-level Cal Poly next weekend before making trips to No. 23 Texas and Utah the following two weeks

Brown's last minute TD pass lifts Hawaii over UMass 38-35

Dru Brown threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Metuisela `Unga with 48 seconds left to lift Hawaii to a 38-35 win over Massachusetts in the season opener for both teams Saturday night.
Brown drove the Rainbows 73 yards in eight plays, completing 3 of 5 passes, including a 52-yarder to John Ursua on third-and-10 that put the ball on the Minuteman 7 with 1:15 to play. The winning pass came on third down.
Brown completed 25 of 38 passes for a career-high 391 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score. Ursua had 12 receptions for 272 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown late in the first half for the fifth-longest pass play in school history. The 272 yards are the fourth-most in the program.
Hawaii, traveling more than 5,000 miles, had 503 yards of total offense.
Andrew Ford threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns for UMass. Marquis ran for 83 yards and two scores.
Hawaii right guard Chris Posa was ejected in the first half for throwing a punch.

Mangum, Canada lead BYU to 20-6 win over Portland State

 Tanner Mangum completed 16 of 27 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown, and Squally Canadahad 13 carries for a career-high 90 yards and a score to help BYU beat Portland State 20-6 Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Portland State's offense crossed midfield just twice and went three-and-out on four of its first five possessions.
Mangum hit Matt Bushman for a 36-yard completion to the 28. On third-and-10, Neil Pau'u's 28-yard catch gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Midway through the second, Mangum's 33-yard pass to Talon Shumway set up a 1-yard scoring run by Canada.
Jalani Eason's 4-yard pass to Darnell Adams capped Portland State's 17-play, 87-yard drive and, after a missed PAT attempt, it was 14-6 at halftime.
Rhett Almond made fourth-quarter field goals of 27 and 35 yards to cap the scoring as the Vikings had three turnovers - two on downs - in their final three possessions.
Charlie Taumoepeau had six receptions for 73 yards for Portland State.

Colorado St opens new stadium by beating Oregon St 58-27

The opening of a new stadium left quarterback Nick Stevens momentarily breathless.
A big hit to the stomach early in the game from a linebacker will do that. He quickly got his second wind to help Colorado State make quite a first impression.
Stevens threw three touchdown passes, linebacker Tre Thomas scored on a 44-yard interception return to lead a Colorado State defense that forced five turnovers and the Rams launched their new on-campus stadium with a 58-27 win over Oregon State on a steamy Saturday.
Colorado State moved into its new digs after nearly five decades of playing down the road at Hughes Stadium. A raucous 37,583 fans showed up to catch a glimpse of the $220-million facility.
"I just told the guys in there - there's only one shot at opening a new stadium," said Rams coach Mike Bobo , who was hoisted onto his players' shoulders in the locker room after the game. "There's going to be one memory. It was a good one for Colorado State people."
Stevens did his part to make sure it was a successful unveiling by throwing for 334 yards - his third career 300-yard game. A hit in the first quarter, though, left him shaken up and gasping for air.
"It felt like I wasn't going to be able to breathe for another couple hours," Stevens cracked. "Usually, a hit like that takes some of the breath out of you. But it took every ounce of breath I ever breathed. I had to focus on breathing after that. I got over it."
The Beavers fumbled twice and threw three interceptions on the way to losing their 14th straight road game.
Oregon State's Jake Luton finished 27 of 47 for 304 yards and two scores. He also threw three interceptions, including the game-changer in the third quarter. Thomas grabbed a tipped pass out of the air and raced 44 yards to make it 34-20.
"We got beat badly - badly," Oregon State coach Gary Andersen said. "There are a lot of concerns when you get beat like that. It's unchartered waters for me."
For a while, all the "firsts" in the new stadium appeared to be going the way of Oregon State:
- Winning the inaugural coin flip.
- Hauling in the first TD pass (Timmy Hernandez ).
- Picking off the first pass (Kyle White ).
But Colorado State ended up earning the biggest first of all in its new facility - a win.
"Everyone is going to pat us on the back now," Bobo said. "Everybody is going to tell us how great we are. Everybody is going to tell us how great that moment was. ... We've got to be mature enough as a football team to understand how we got to this point to win this ball game - by doing the little things every day."
THE TAKEAWAY
OREGON STATE: Andersen stressed the importance of the little things in winning on the road. Costly turnovers, missed receivers and allowing 48 points in the red zone added up to another road loss.
COLORADO STATE: Granted, it is very early in the season. But the Rams took a big step toward a run at a fifth straight bowl game. Their non-conference schedule also includes Colorado and top-ranked Alabama.
THIS & THAT
Colorado State director of athletics Joe Parker said he was so eager for the stadium opener that he arrived at 6:45 a.m. ... Rams RB Dalyn Dawkins caught an 18-yard TD pass and scored on a 3-yard run. ... Oregon State RB Ryan Nall rushed for 115 yards, including a 75-yard TD run in the second quarter. ... This was Colorado State's first football game on campus since Nov. 25, 1967, when the Rams beat Wichita State.
DON'T DO THAT AGAIN
Bobo wasn't too pleased with Stevens attempting a jump pass near the goal line that was nearly picked off. The Rams ended up with a field goal.
"That was stupid. We've got points right there," Bobo said. "Luckily, they didn't catch it. That's not a smart decision. He's not Brett Favre."
QUOTABLE
"We didn't expect a 10-7 game. Nor that it would be a walk in the park. We expected a dog fight." Oregon State coach Gary Andersen.
UP NEXT
OREGON STATE: Hosts Portland State next Saturday. The Beavers are 4-0 all-time against the Vikings.
COLORADO STATE: Faces in-state rival Colorado in Denver on Friday. The Rams lost 44-7 to the Buffaloes last season.

Friday, August 4, 2017

HOF Game


Stars and starters sit out, Cowboys beat Cardinals 20-18

Now that the Dallas Cowboys have taken care of business in the Hall of Fame game, they're going to hang around for a couple of days.
Why not? The boss is about to get a gold jacket.
With no stars and few starters on the field Thursday night, the Cowboys edged the Arizona Cardinals 20-18. The idea, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, was to get the young players lots of action, win the game, then get ready for owner Jerry Jones' induction on Saturday night.
So the team will be off Friday, practice in Cleveland on Saturday, then tour the hall before the evening ceremonies.
"This is a great experience not only for Jerry and the Jones family," Garrett said, "but for the entire Dallas Cowboys family. We all take ownership in his induction."
Garrett saw lots of value in playing an extra exhibition game.
"As a player you learn so much more in game situations than in any other environment," he said. "There's nothing like putting on a uniform and going on a real football field and playing versus an opponent."
Rookie Sam Irwin-Hill, unlikely to beat out Dallas veteran Dan Bailey for the placekicking job, made field goals of 23 and 43 yards, the latter providing the winning points in the fourth quarter.
The opening half featured a handful of big plays, with Arizona's third-string quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, consistently finding open receivers down the middle.
"There were a couple specific plays by the defense on those first couple of drives," Garrett said. "Blown assignments on a big third-down conversion, and it wasn't physical enough. It wasn't aggressive enough."
Dallas' Kellen Moore, who missed last season with an ankle injury, had some success passing down the sidelines, but his second-quarter interception by Brandon Williams in the end zone ruined a drive.
With the likes of Carson PalmerLarry FitzgeraldDavid JohnsonPatrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu sitting it out, Arizona could be pleased with the work of backup running backs Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington, who both scored on short runs.
"It was great to see the offense move the ball and get touchdowns on those first two drives," Fitzgerald said. "O-line, running game, passing the ball, that was impressive and I'm happy for every one of those guys."
And with Dak PrescottEzekiel ElliottJason WittenSean Lee and their strong offensive line pretty much inactive, the Cowboys could point to veteran RB Alfred Morris and receivers Brice Butler and Rico Gathers.
Morris showed off a spin move worthy of Elliott on a 25-yard run, Butler had 78 yards on two catches in the first half, and Gathers, a hoops starter at Baylor, made a 26-yard touchdown catch.
Gathers also made a diving reception and slipped a pair of tackles on a 17-yard play early in the third period. That led to Uzoma Nwachukwu's 14-yard TD catch from fourth-string rookie Cooper Rush. The former rebounding standout had three catches for 59 yards.
"He's gotten so much better," Garrett said of Gathers, a practice squad player in 2016. "He has a tremendous willingness to work and has come a long way, but has a long way to go."
Generally, though, it was a sloppy exercise befitting the lack of star power.
TURF'S UP: At least the turf held up - unlike a year ago, when the game was canceled for safety reasons. The new field passed NFL operations directors' approval, and the footing was steady all night.
PREGAME INTROS: Jones drew the loudest cheers - no surprise considering the overwhelmingly pro-Cowboys crowd of 21,126 at the renovated Hall of Fame Stadium - in pregame introductions of the seven men who will be inducted into the shrine Saturday night.
Jones, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Kenny Easley, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Morten Andersen walked along midfield between the competing teams, often shaking hands with current players.
Hall of Famer Jackie Smith, who played tight end for both the Cowboys and Cardinals, performed a rousing national anthem.
TAKE A TABLET: Referee Jerome Boger was the first to use a Microsoft Surface tablet to handle replay reviews under a new NFL system. Final say on calls is being made by the officiating staff in New York, in consultation with the referee.
Dallas challenged a down-by-contact call in the third quarter that negated a Cardinals fumble. The verdict came quickly and the call was confirmed.
GO FOR 2: Arizona kicked the extra point after its second touchdown, but Dallas lined up illegally. So the half-the-distance penalty brought the ball inside the 2-yard line. Gabbert threw incomplete, but another flag was thrown for interference. Then Gabbert sneaked in from about the 1 to make it 15-0.
UP NEXT: Dallas will travel to face the Los Angeles Rams on August 12 in the first full week of the preseason and the Cardinals will host the Raiders August 12.