Originally posted on CU at the Game  |  Last updated 9/1/13
  Pac-12 Notes August 31st – The Pac-12′s First Saturday Washington opens new stadium with rout of No. 19 Boise State From ESPN …  Keith Price was back throwing touchdowns with a grin on his face, Washington returned to the shores of Lake Washington and Husky Stadium was drowning in a cacophony of noise. The Huskies’ response to one of their most anticipated season openers in recent memory was an emphatic and impressive statement. Price threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to become the school’s all-time leader, and Washington returned to renovated Husky Stadium with a stunning 38-6 blowout of No. 19 Boise State on Saturday, the worst loss in Chris Petersen’s tenure as the Broncos head coach. Price was intercepted on his first pass in the Huskies newly renovated home on the shores of Lake Washington. And he was nearly perfect from there, the first step in putting a disappointing 2012 season in the past. Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards. He found Kasen Williams on a 19-yard TD on Washington’s first possession of the second half and his 18-yard strike to Josh Perkins gave Washington a 24-6 lead late in the third quarter. It was Price’s 56th career touchdown, passing Cody Pickett as Washington’s all-time leader. “He played like a point guard tonight, which, in this system, you need to play like,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I thought he distributed the ball really well.” Petersen’s worst loss was just as ugly as the final score indicated. The Broncos failed to finish drives offensively and simply could not stop Washington. Boise State’s 24-10 loss at Washington in 2007 was Petersen’s worst setback prior to Saturday night. The Broncos fell to 26-4 under Petersen when given at least 10 days of preparation and was the first time since a 58-0 loss against Washington State in 1997 the Broncos failed to score a touchdown. The 32-point margin was Boise State’s worst loss since a 48-13 loss at Georgia to open the 2005 season. “It’s a good football team we just played, without question,” Petersen said. “But I know that we can play better than we did. I know we’ve got to get a lot better and we will.” It was a rematch of last December’s Las Vegas Bowl where Price was intercepted on Washington’s final drive and Boise State held on for a 28-26 victory. The Huskies had eight months to simmer about the late loss that left them with a 7-6 record for the third straight season. Coupled with the Huskies playing in their palatial new $280 million home for the first time in nearly two calendar years, the Broncos were already facing a difficult task. – Cal’s no-huddle not enough to overcome miscues in Sonny Dykes’ debut From ESPN … The starting quarterback went down with a concussion on the first drive. The defense was gassed after being on the field for 99 plays. Northwestern used a couple of fortunate bounces to overcome those hurdles and win the season opener. Collin Ellis returned two interceptions after deflected passes for touchdowns to help the 22nd-ranked Wildcats spoil Sonny Dykes’ debut as California coach with a 44-30 victory on Saturday night. “We were going to face adversity for the first time so how were we going to handle it,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “We have to trust our training, trust the things we’ve worked on. Guys have to pick up the flag and pick up the slack. That’s what you saw tonight from our team.” Ellis had a 56-yard return in the third quarter and then put the Wildcats (1-0) in control when he took another one back 40 yards midway through the fourth to take a 10-point lead. Those were rare blemishes on an otherwise strong debut by Jared Goff, who became the first true freshman ever to start the season opener for the Golden Bears (0-1). Goff went 38 for 63 for 445 yards and two touchdowns and Cal also scored on a fake field goal on the opening drive in an entertaining start to Dykes’ tenure. Goff had the second most yards passing in Cal history, trailing only Pat Barnes’ 503 against Arizona in 1996, but also threw three interceptions, included the two deflected passes that went for Northwestern touchdowns. “We definitely played well for most of the game, the ending there was a little disappointing,” Goff said. “We have a lot to build on now with how well we played.” Despite the win, it was a taxing opener for the Wildcats, who were ranked in the preseason poll for the first time since 2001. They lost starting quarterback Kain Colter to a concussion after their second play from scrimmage and then saw starting cornerback Daniel Jones go down with an apparent leg injury late in the first half. A number of other players went down with more minor injuries to the dismay of the Cal fans who felt the Wildcats were trying to slow down Dykes’ no-huddle offense. “It affected it a lot,” Dykes said. “You know it was just unusual, it seemed like every time we had a first down they would have an injury. I hadn’t seen that, didn’t expect to see that, was disappointed that I saw that but that’s the way it goes sometimes.” – UCLA’s Brett Hundley looks like Heisman contender in romp over Nevada From ESPN … Even after his remarkable freshman season, Brett Hundley had a few first-game jitters when he returned to the Rose Bowl. The smooth sophomore quarterback shook them off after halftime, and a blocked punt moments later sent the Bruins rolling to another big win. Hundley passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores, leading No. 21 UCLA’s second-half surge to a 58-20 victory over Nevada on Saturday night. Hundley went 22 for 33 in an impressive start to his second season, rushing for a 37-yard TD on UCLA’s opening drive and adding another TD run to open the second half. “I felt a lot more relaxed than last year, but I still had a little bit of nerves,” said Hundley, who made a long TD run on UCLA’s opening drive for the second straight season. “After I got smacked a few times, I felt a lot better. We went in at the half, made adjustments, and that was when we lit up the scoreboard a little bit.” Yep, just a bit: UCLA piled up 647 total yards and spoiled the debut of Nevada coach Brian Polian with a 41-point second half. The Bruins never trailed and never punted, rushing for 345 yards behind a dominant offensive line. Jordon James rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown, and Phillip Ruhl returned a blocked punt for a short touchdown for UCLA. Shaq Evans had six receptions for 81 yards and a score, and Malcolm Jones caught a late TD pass. “I thought our offense was really sharp tonight, especially for the first game,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. “We couldn’t get them on the field in the first half because we couldn’t stop that quarterback. We’re going to have to learn how to stop guys like that.” On a warm night at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins scored on each of their first five drives in the second half in the schools’ first meeting. – Oregon State falls to Eastern Washington, 49-46 No. 25 Oregon State became the first Pac-12 team to lose in 2013, falling at home to Eastern Washington from the Big Sky Conference. Verdon Adams scored on a two-yard run with 18 seconds remaining to give the Eagles the lead, but Oregon State still had life. The extra point, which would have given Eastern Washington a four-point lead, was missed. Two completions gave the Beavers a chance to send the game into overtime, but Trevor Romaine missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired. From ESPN … Vernon Adams passed for 411 yards and ran for 107 and the go-ahead score with 18 seconds left as Eastern Washington upset No. 25 Oregon State 49-46 on Saturday to become the third FCS team to beat a ranked FBS team. Adams overwhelmed the Beavers in a performance in sure to attract attention around the nation. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for two, completing 23 of 30 passes despite leaving the game twice — once with cramping and a second time after taking a hard hit near the sideline. Adams returned, though, and scored on a 2-yard run to put the Eagles up 49-46. It was the first time a team from the Football Championship Subdivision has defeated a ranked team from the Football Bowl Subdivision since James Madison beat Virginia Tech in September 2010. Sean Mannion threw for 422 yards and Brandin Cooks had 13 catches for 196 yards for the Beavers, who two seasons ago were similarly surprised by lower division Sacramento State and stumbled to a 3-9 finish. Getting the ball back in the final seconds, Mannion led the Beavers down the field, completing two quick passes to give Oregon State a chance to tie, but Trevor Romaine’s 52-yard field goal attempt was wide right. Asked if he thought his team overlooked the Eagles, coach Oregon State Mike Riley was thoughtful. “I don’t. I don’t,” he said. “I think that would be a discredit to that kid playing QB and all the plays they made. I don’t think that’s it.” Ashton Clark had 155 yards receiving and Cooper Kupp had 119 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (1-0), who are ranked fourth in the preseason FCS poll and third in the coaches poll. It was the school’s first win over a Pac-12 opponent. Eastern Washington went 11-3 last season and was the Big Sky Co-Champions before losing in the semifinals of the FBS playoffs. The Eagles were ranked No. 4 in the preseason FCS poll and third nationally in the coaches’ poll. Eastern Washington has played tough against Pac-12 schools in recent years, falling 30-27 to Washington in the season opener in 2011 and 24-20 to Washington State last season. – Washington State falls at Auburn Washington State took an early lead against the Tigers at Auburn, but could not make the plays in the second half, falling at Auburn, 31-24. The Cougars out-gained the Tigers, 464-396, and held leads of 7-0, 14-8, and 21-15, but only posted three points after halftime. From ESPN …   Tre Mason returned a kick 100 yards and Corey Grant scored on a 75-yard run to lead Auburn to a 31-24 victory over Washington State Saturday night in Gus Malzahn’s debut as the Tigers coach. Robenson Therezie also picked off two passes, including one in the end zone with  less than five minutes remaining, for the Tigers (1-0). They had managed just two interceptions during last season’s 3-9 debacle. The Malzahn-versus-Mike Leach matchup of offensive innovators produced plenty of big plays and drama. The Cougars (0-1) had two chances to tie it in the final five minutes, but Therezie’s interception and an incompletion on fourth down ended the threats. Grant gained 146 yards on nine carries. Junior college transfer Nick Marshall was 10-of-19  passing for 99 yards in his starting debut. Connor Halliday was 35 of 65 for 344 yards and a touchdown but was also intercepted three times. – Oregon routs Nicholls State The No. 3 Oregon Ducks opened the 2013 season by rushing for 500 yards against Nicholls State, on their way to a 66-3 rout. Oregon posted 772 yards of total offense, blasting out to a 24-0 first quarter lead and never looking back. Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota went 12-for 21 for 234 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for 113 yards on only five carries, going for another two touchdowns. Nicholls State actually fared better than last year, when Oregon State opened the 2012 season with a 77-3 victory over the same hapless opponent. From ESPN … — Marcus Mariota only had his game ball for a few moments. The quarterback for the third-ranked Oregon Ducks threw for a touchdown and ran for two more in a 66-3 rout of lower-tier Nicholls on Saturday, earning the postgame honor. But he quickly gave the ball away to someone he said was its rightful recipient — new coach Mark Helfrich. Helfrich, the team’s former offensive coordinator, was promoted when Chip Kelly left the Ducks in January for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. “It was his first career victory. That’s something pretty special,” Mariota said. “It wasn’t just me. A lot of the guys thought about doing it. We wanted to give something to coach Helfrich because he earned it.” Helfrich has said all along that he won’t change much for the Ducks, and indeed, they were as fast as ever on offense. Mariota, who set an Oregon record with 38 touchdowns last season as a redshirt freshman, completed 12 of 21 passes for 234 yards before sitting for the fourth quarter when the Ducks had built a 45-3 lead. He also ran for 113 yards for his second career game with more than 100 yards rushing. De’Anthony Thomas ran for 128 yards and two more touchdowns for Oregon. Nicholls’ only score came on Andrew Dolan’s 35-yard field goal in the second quarter. – August 30th Washington suspends star tight end for opener against Boise State From the Seattle Times … Washington star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended for the Huskies’ season opener Saturday against No. 19 Boise State, multiple UW sources told The Seattle Times. Seferian-Jenkins, a preseason All-American, will serve the one-game suspension after pleading guilty to a drunken-driving charge in July. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, 363 of which were suspended. He paid a $695 fine and spent the night of July 15-16 in an Issaquah jail. One source said UW coach Steve Sarkisian had initially handed down a two-game suspension for Seferian-Jenkins, but the suspension was reduced after Seferian-Jenkins met some of Sarkisian’s disciplinary “requirements.” Seferian-Jenkins had been cleared medically to play this week against Boise State, sources said. He broke his right pinkie during UW training camp on Aug. 12 and had surgery three days later to insert a pin in the finger. Seferian-Jenkins will be available for the Huskies’ second game, against Illinois in Chicago on Sept. 14. His absence against Boise State is significant for a UW team expected to improve on three consecutive 7-6 seasons while opening the new $280 million Husky Stadium on Saturday. – August 29th Buff opponents for the 2013 season open with four victories on Thursday night   Fresno State erases two-touchdown deficit, wins 52-51 in overtime From ESPN … Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico missed a 43-yard field goal on the final play of regulation for the Scarlet Knights. Thereafter, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr capitalized right away by lobbing a 25-yard pass to Greg Watson to give the Bulldogs the lead. Gary Nova answered with his fifth TD pass of the game to Coleman. But coach Kyle Flood opted to go for the win, and Nova’s pass tipped off Coleman’s finger tips to end the game. “We had the ball in the hands of two of our better players,” Flood said. “It was just a little bit off his finger tips and a little bit too wide, whatever you want to say. Ultimately, I’ll be judged by those decisions but I don’t regret it. With both those players, I’d do it again if I had the opportunity.” Carr completed 52 of 73 passes for 456 yards to start his senior season off with a win. He focused mostly on three receivers with Davante Adams and Josh Harper each catching 14 passes and Isaiah Burse adding 13. Nova threw for 348 yards, Paul James ran for 182 yards and freshman Janarion Grant returned a kick 100 yards for a score the first time he touched the ball in college, but it wasn’t enough to beat Carr and the Bulldogs. The game went to overtime only after Federico missed a 43-yard field goal wide right on the final play of a roller-coaster fourth quarter that featured four touchdown passes, one made field goal and a sequence of three turnovers in three plays. “It was a 15-round fight,” Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. “Both heavyweights were throwing haymakers and landing them. I’m just happy that we got up every single time.” Nova threw two TD passes, including a go-ahead 30-yarder to Leonte Carroo with 1:18 remaining. But Carr answered that with his second touchdown pass of the quarter when he threw a 2-yarder to Harper with 38 seconds left. Instead of playing for overtime, Rutgers came out throwing and Nova completed four passes to move the ball to the 26 to set up a potential winning kick. But after making his first three kicks of the game, Federico missed at a crucial time. “We’ve got to learn how to finish drives early in the game and put good teams like Fresno away,” Coleman said. “They were one point better than us tonight.” Rutgers used two long runs by James in the third quarter to set up a pair of scores that gave the Scarlet Knights a 31-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter. – Utah rallies to defeat in-state rival Utah State The Utah State Aggies rolled up 487 yards of total offense, but it was not quite enough, as Utah rallied from a 23-14 deficit to defeat Utah State at home, 30-26. The win avenged a 27-20 overtime loss to the Aggies last season in Logan. From ESPN … It’s not as easy as it used to be, but Travis Wilson made sure Utah is back to beating Utah State again. Wilson threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns to help Utah edge Utah State 30-26 in the season-opener on Thursday night. Wilson, a sophomore who was unexpectedly pressed into the starting lineup because of injuries last year, played error-free while completing 17 of 28 passes and rushed for a key first down on Utah’s final drive. Last season, the Aggies snapped a 12-game skid against the Utes, 27-20 in overtime, and used the game as a springboard to a school-record 11-2 record. Chuckie Keeton, who completed 31-of-40 passes for 314 yards, scored on a 15-yard run to give the Aggies a 23-14 lead early in the second half and the visiting Aggies fans’ cheers echoed in the suddenly quiet stadium. But the Utes roared back. – Incarnate Word no match for Central Arkansas From the Conway, Arkansas Log Cabin Democrat … In the first NCAA Division I game in their history Thursday night, the Incarnate Word Cardinals ran smack dab into the University of Central Arkansas’ well-oiled buzzsaw. The Cardinals’ wings were almost fully clipped in less than a quarter. The veteran Bear defense almost completely shut down the Incarnate Word offense and the UCA offense was lethal and efficient. After a sweltering afternoon, UCA’s season opener at First Security Field at Estes Stadium turned into an evening of celebration, fellowship, tailgating and meet-and-greet with a 58-7 romp before 10,455 spectators. Incarnate Word, a fifth-year program up from the Lone Star Conference of NCAA Division II, is one of the newest members of the Southland Conference and will play a full league schedule next year. As they bussed away from Estes Stadium, the Cardinals were probably excited about taking on the NAIA’s Texas College Steers next week. The Bears, now 12-0 on “The Stripes,” go into next week’s game against the Colorado Buffaloes under a full head of steam. They made a statement from the beginning, winning the toss and taking the ball, driving 70 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. They scored on their first three possessions (two on rushes by backup running back Blake Veasley) and didn’t punt in the second half, building a 30-0 lead at halftime, outgaining the Cards, 360-101 and 8-1 in first downs. They finished with a 523-231 advantage in total yards. – USC struggles in opener against Hawai’i From ESPN … Southern California still doesn’t have a clear starting quarterback, and coach Lane Kiffin is already taking criticism from fans after an unimpressive win in Thursday night’s season opener. But Kiffin says it’s most important that the Trojans started their season with a win, giving him more time to evaluate Cody Kessler and Max Wittek as he decides which passer gives his team the best chance to win. “I was hoping that a long time ago it would be settled, but that’s not my job to just do what makes me feel good,” Kiffin said. “I’ve got to make sure that I’m doing what’s in the best interest of the team and I think that showed today. There was not an obvious No. 1 out there today.” Justin Davis ran for 74 yards and a touchdown, and No. 24 USC’s defense picked up for a shaky offense, masking Kessler’s and Wittek’s mixed performances in a 30-13 win over Hawaii. Kessler salvaged a bad start with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor, then gave way to Wittek early in the third quarter as the teammates took turns auditioning for the starting job. Wittek played more of a manager’s role, handing off to Davis more often than throwing. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 77 yards. Neither Kessler nor Wittek did enough to make a starting choice clear. “Neither of them separated themselves, and we didn’t help them very much,” Kiffin said, citing drops, penalties and a fumble. “We didn’t help them, and obviously that falls on me.” – Pac-12 Week One Notes worthy of Note - The Pac-12 will play 37 non-conference games (USC plays four, counting the game against Hawai’i). Of those 37 opponents, 12 were either ranked or receiving votes in the AP preseason poll (CU plays Fresno State). - Utah first opponent of the season is Utah State, and the Aggies are the Utes oldest rivals. The series began in 1892, and the teams will play their 111th game this year. The series is the 12th-longest in FBS history. - Stanford opens the season at No. 4, the highest preseason ranking in school history (CU’s highest preseason rank was in 1972, with the Buffs coming in at No. 2, behind only – who else? – Nebraska). - Oregon is ranked in the preseason poll for the sixth consecutive season, but only the 11th time ever (Colorado has been ranked in the preseason poll 16 times). – Central Arkansas suspends five for opener; four for game against Colorado Not they will need them against the Incarnate Word (Tex.), but still, it won’t hurt to have four of the Bears off the table for the CU game … From ESPN … Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque has suspended five players, including two starters, for the Bears’ season opener Thursday against Incarnate Word. Conque announced Tuesday that he suspended starting running back Willie Matthews for one game and offensive lineman C.J. Simon for two games. The Log Cabin Democrat reports that Conque also suspended receivers Jacoby Walker and Wyatt Hikins and offensive lineman Jordan Kersh for two games each. Conque did not say what led to the suspensions. Central Arkansas is ranked sixth in the preseason Football Championship Subdivision poll. Meanwhile, Central Arkansas will start four true freshman in opener From the Conway (Ark.) Log Cabin Democrat … Four true freshmen will play in the University of Central Arkansas’ season football opener Thursday night against the University of Incarnate Word, coach Clint Conque said at Monday’s weekly Bearbacker luncheon. The rookies who have been put on the fast track in the regular rotation are wide receiver Jatavious Wilson, offensive lineman Bryan Manley and defensive linemen Terence Partee and Jordan Tolliver. Conque told Bearbackers that he has been very pleased with the Bears’ new recruits. “Every scholarship player we signed not only has a future but an exciting future at the university and I couldn’t always say that,” Conque said.
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