Louisiana Tech 56, Rice 37
RUSTON - With its 56-37 win over Rice Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs accomplished something that hadn't been done in Ruston in more than 100 years.
For the first time since the 1910 season, LA Tech (2-0) scored 50 or more points in back-to-back games in the same season and the Bulldogs did it in impressive fashion.
When senior quarterback Colby Cameron wasn't torching the Owls secondary for 276 yards and four touchdowns, Tech's freshman tandem of Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon combined to rush for 317 yards and three more scores.
It was a complete effort by the LA Tech offense which amassed 609 yards on 72 offensive plays while recording 30 first downs - the second straight game of 30 or more first downs.
"It was a great crowd out there tonight," said Tech head coach Sonny Dykes, who saw 23,228 red-clad Bulldog fans in the stands. "It's our job to give them a quality product and keep them coming back. We had some chances early to pull away. That was a little disappointing in the first half. We didn't score as many points in the second half, but our play was better and cleaner."
Tech opened the onslaught by scoring the first 21 points of the game as the Bulldogs built an early first quarter lead. Tech struck early when Cameron connected with Quinton Patton for a 65-yard touchdown on only the second offensive play for Tech.
"That is a lot of what they do," said Rice coach David Baliff. "It is a very frustrating offense. We worked on that all week with the tempo. Louisiana Tech gets in your head with the deep ball and then they attack the perimeters when your safeties are backed up a little bit."
Cameron tossed two more first quarter touchdowns - a 14-yard pass to Hunter Lee and a 16-yard hookup with Myles White - as the Bulldogs defense held Rice scoreless in the opening quarter. The final score of the quarter was set up when Dave Clark recovered a fumble by Rice running back Charles Ross.
The Owls came to life in the second quarter, scoring 17 points while Tech put two more touchdowns on the board as Dixon scored on runs of one and eight yards. The Bulldogs took a 35-17 lead into the halftime locker room.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter as Tech struck first with a Cameron 11-yard toss to Patton with 11:56 to play in the frame gave the Bulldogs a 42-17 lead. Patton ended the night with seven receptions for 119 yards and two scores, one week after having a subpar game in the win over Houston.
"I got back to the basics," Patton said. "I got a little complacent, so I had a heart-to-heart with my position coach and got back in the right frame of mind. It's Louisiana Tech football. There's no quitting for sure."
Rice came right back and scored on a 13-yard run by Taylor McHargue as the Bulldogs led 42-23 through three quarters.
Dixon added a nine-yard run early in the fourth quarter while Hunter Lee hit paydirt from six yards out to cap the scoring for the Bulldogs.
Although King didn't find the end zone for Tech, he did rush 22 times for 204 yards - averaging 9.3 yards per carry. Dixon added 14 carries for 113 yards and three scores.
"Being so young, you expect young guys to be young, but they don't act young," said Cameron. "Each week they've matured, and they've done an awesome job the last two games. It helps us so much to balance the attack. It's great having them."
McHargue led Rice, passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns and adding another 93 yards rushing and three more scores. Ross set a career-high for the Owls with 116 yards on the ground while adding a receiving touchdown.
"Because of the nature of our offense, our defense is going to have to play a lot of plays," said Dykes, who saw his team surrender 477 yards. "We need more stops on defense. We need to get better on third down defensively."
Defensively, Liggins recorded a career-high 10 tackles and one pass break up while Antonio Mitchum and Rufus Porter each registered eight tackles. Porter recorded his first career sack.
Tech returns to action Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to face Illinois at 7 p.m. CT.
UTSA 38, Georgia State 14
ATLANTA, Ga. — Evans Okotcha rushed for a program-record three touchdowns and UTSA scored on six of its first seven drives en route to a 38-14 victory at Georgia State on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.
Okotcha had 49 yards on the ground to help the Roadrunners, who improved to 3-0 and now are riding a four-game winning streak dating back to last season, rush for 225 yards against the FBS transitional Panthers (0-3). David Glasco II had a team-high 55 on just four carries, including a 47-yarder on UTSA's opening possession, while Eric Soza and CheRod Simpson added 51 and 35, respectively.
The Roadrunners tallied a season-high 442 yards of total offense, with 217 coming through the air, and they doubled up Georgia State, 26-13, on first downs.
UTSA got on the board first on Sean ianno's 26-yard field goal, but Georgia State answered with an 84-yard scoring pass down the left sideline from Ben McLane to Albert Wilson on their first drive.
Kenny Harrison returned the ensuing kickoff a school-record 84 yards to set up a 5-yard scoring jaunt up the middle by Okotcha and give UTSA a 10-7 lead with 8:01 left in the first quarter.
The Birds extended the advantage to double digits when Soza found Aaron Grubb in the back of the end zone on third-and-goal late in the opening stanza.
Okotcha got his second TD of the evening on a one-yard dive with 5:31 remaining in the second frame to stake UTSA to a 24-7 halftime edge.
The Roadrunners added a pair of TDs in the third to put the game out of reach.
Soza connected with Marcellus Mack in the back corner of the end zone from 20 yards out to put UTSA up, 31-7. Okotcha then struck paydirt once again from the one to make it 38-7 with 6:33 left in the third.
A late scoring pass from Ronnie Bell to Wilson provided the final 24-point margin.
"I felt like if everyone played their best today, we could win this game," head coach Larry Coker said. "I'm very proud of our coaches and the game plan they put together and I'm really proud of the way our guys executed today. This was a good road win against a solid team."
UTSA scored on six of its first seven drives and was 6-for-6 in the red zone at one point, finishing 6-for-8 after two late drives resulted in turnovers on downs. The Birds also converted four turnovers into a pair of scores and now have created seven scores off 10 opponent miscues this season (other three have resulted in UTSA running out the clock).
Mack entered the game with two catches for 20 yards this season and six for 54 for his career, but finished with team highs of four receptions and 52 yards.
Soza, who finished 17-of-24 for 206 yards and a pair of TDs, completed passes to 10 different receivers, including three for 39 yards to Okotcha.
The UTSA defense limited Georgia State to 86 rushing yards and 307 total with 53 coming on the final drive of the contest.
Crosby Adams, Eric Brown and Brian King all picked off passes, while Brown also forced a fumble that Darrien Starling recovered.
The Roadrunners return home to host Northwestern Oklahoma State (0-3) next Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Alamodome in the inaugural Hispanic Heritage Day.
San Jose State 40, Colorado State 20
San Jose, Calif. – David Fales went 27-of-34 for 370 yards and three touchdowns and Noel Grigsby set the San Jose State career-receiving record as the San Jose State Spartans defeated the Colorado State Rams 40-20 on Saturday night in Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans rolled up 568 total yards to Colorado State’s 386 and got 100-yard receiving nights from three receivers. Jabari Carr led San Jose State with eight catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Grigsby had 124 yards on seven receptions and Chandler Jones had a game-high 133 yards and two touchdowns in six catches.
The Spartans (2-1) started quickly scoring on each of their first two possessions. They opened with an 8-play, 83-yard drive that featured an 18-yard run by Tyler Ervin and culminated with a 25-yard touchdown strike from Fales to Carr. It took just 3:57 and was the first first-quarter scoring drive by the San Jose State this year.
On the opening play of their next drive, Fales hit Grigsby for 51 yards. Five plays later Ervin ran to the right pylon from 10-yards out to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead.
To start second quarter, Colorado State (1-2) drove 4-plays and 74 yards culminating in a 15-yard run from quarterback Garret Grayson to cut the lead to 14-7.
The Rams took just 1:47 on their next possession to find the end zone going 80 yards in eight plays. Grayson, who finished the night 24-of-42 for 297 yards and two touchdowns, found Kivon Cartwright on a 28-yard strike up the seam. Colorado State however, muffed the try for the extra point and SJSU kept its lead 14-13.
On the ensuing possession the Spartans drove 65 yards in 14 plays, but stalled on the Rams' 9-yard line. They had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Austin Lopez and led 17-13 with 4:08 to play before the half.
With the Rams driving for perhaps the final score of the half, safety James Orth stepped in front of and picked off a Grayson pass a the Spartans 10-yard line to end the threat.
Colorado State opened the second half with a 3-and-out, but a 72-yard punt by Pete Kontodiakos reversed the field position and pinned the Spartans at their own two.
Ten plays later, on 4th and one from the Rams’ 23, De’Leon Eskridge ran for 3 yards the first down and two plays later Fales hooked up with Carr for a 19-yard strike. The drive covered 98 yards and pushed the San Jose State advantage to 24-13.
The Spartans controlled the ball for 12:20 in the third quarter and out gained the Rams 150 yards-to-14.
On the first play of the fourth quarter San Jose State took a 27-13 lead after Lopez got his second field goal of the night, this one from 30-yards.
Down 14 points and having to throw, Grayson was swarmed by the Spartans defense. They sacked him twice in the next three plays forcing another 3-and-out. On the ensuing punt, the ball grazed a Spartan down field. Colorado State recovered the ball on the San Jose State 43-yard line. Two plays later Charles Lovett grabbed a 38-yard scoring strike from Grayson. San Jose State’s lead was cut to 27-20 with 11:27 to play.
On the fourth play of the Spartans next possession, Fales handed the ball off to Eskridge. He flipped it to Kyle Nunn on a reverse. But rather than running, Nunn threw a strike to Jones on the 19. Jones weaved his way through two defenders and found the end zone to give the Spartans a 33-20 lead.
A Vince Buhagiar fumble recovery on the next possession set San Jose State up on the Colorado State 46. Three plays later Fales hooked up with Jones on a 51-yard bomb and a 40-20 lead.
Buhagiar led the defense with 11 tackles and a sack. Damon Ogburn, Jr. was in on eight tackles and Travis Raciti had two sacks and Anthony Larceval and Travis Johnson each had one sack.
The Spartans next game is Saturday, September 22 at San Diego State. Kickoff against the Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
LSU 63, Idaho 14
BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana State did what top-10 teams do. It capitalized on mistakes, created opportunities and subdued an upstart with an inspired second half to down the Idaho Vandals 63-14 before a near full house at Tiger Stadium.
“In the first half,” coach Robb Akey said, “our team did a better job of competing and finding a way to make plays. It was a battle at that point in time.”
In the second half, some of the fizzle went out of the Vandals in the face of two quick scores that pushed LSU to a four-touchdown lead with 8:29 to go in the third. Part of Idaho’s troubles were of their own making – penalties and turnovers.
“You can’t turn the ball over to a team that good the way we did it,” Akey said.
Then, there were the Tigers themselves.
“Their size and mass took over.”
The Vandals moved the ball on their first drive with sharp passing from senior quarterback Dominique Blackman and a couple runs by senior Ryan Bass but they gambled on fourth-and-inches at the LSU 44 and Bass was caught behind the line for a two-yard loss.
The Tigers went to the air first and last to score with the short field on a 17-yard pass from Zach Mettenberger to Kadron Boone to put LSU up 7-0 with 9:46 left in the first. LSU’s next TD also came with the short field when Blackman was intercepted on a tipped pass and the Tigers needed to cover just 30 yards, which they did in six plays to go up 14-0 on Alfred Blue’s three-yard run with 6:29 to go in the first.
The first quarter ended at 14-0 LSU but senior safety Gary Walker gave Idaho a breath of fresh air when he intercepted Mettenberger at the Idaho one and returned it to the LSU five. The Tigers were called for pass interference on first down when Blackman went to LaGrone in the end zone. That moved the ball to the LSU two where James Baker tried a run through the middle. On second-down-and-four, Blackman went back to LaGrone who was wide open in the left front of the end zone for the score with 13:47 to go in the half for the 14-7 score.
Walker’s return was the longest since Stanley Franks went 98 yards to score with one at Utah State on Sept. 3, 2006.
The Idaho defense held on LSU’s next possession and the Vandals’ took over after the touchback at their own 20. The Tigers made short work of the drive when, on second down, Blackman went to Jahrie Level only to have Ronald Martin pick off the tipped pass and return it 45 yards to make it 21-7 with 9:05 left in the half.
Undaunted, Blackman came back and led a seven-play, 81-yard drive to score on a 22-yard pass to Jahrie Level, who caught the ball just a stride out of the end zone to make it 21-14 with 5:34 left in the half. With the exception of Todd Handley leading off the drive with a 14-yard run, it was all passing with Blackman completing six in a row (using four receivers).
The defense took its turn next when back-to-back Benson Mayowa sacks forced the Tigers into a four-and-24 at their own 39.
The Vandals dug their own hole this time with a three-yard loss on the punt return followed by three successive false starts in the wake of the thunderous noise from the nearly capacity crowd at Tiger Stadium. The hole was too deep from which to escape and, with 1:33 left in the half, LSU had the ball at Idaho’s 39 after an 11-yard punt return. Mettenberger took LSU into the end zone with back-to-back-to-back passing plays with the scoring toss a seven-yarder to Drew Alleman with just 37 seconds to go before halftime.
Idaho forced a punt on LSU’s first drive of the second half but the Tiger defense made up for it when Lavar Edwards scored on a 23-yard interception return for a 35-14 lead with 10:58 left in the third quarter.
After forcing an Idaho punt, the Tigers went up 42-14 in a little more than a heartbeat when Kenny Hilliard broke through traffic and raced 71 yards to score with 8:29 left in the third.
LSU’s next score, for a 49-14 lead, came when Hilliard capped a nine-play 87-yard drive with a one-yard run as time expired in the third.
Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14
MADISON, Wis. - Just like in two of its three games this season and 12 of its last 16 games dating back to last year, Utah State football found itself in a one-score game, but came up short as the Aggies' lost 16-14 at Wisconsin Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
USU had its seven-game regular-season win streak halted with the loss after a 37-yard field goal missed wide right by junior placekicker Josh Thompson with six seconds left. The Aggies' also had their three-game road game winning streak halted, in falling to 2-1 on the year. Wisconsin improved to 2-1 with the win which also evened the all-time series between the Aggies and Badgers at 1-1 after USU's 20-0 win in 1968.
The Aggie defense limited Wisconsin to 234 total yards while the USU offense totalled 308 total yards, with sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton completing 18-of-35 passes for 181 yards while rushing for 75 yards, part of USU's 127 total yards on the ground.
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had a career-night receiving with six catches for 78 yards with one TD, all career-highs. Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs matched Williams with six receptions, totally 41 yards. Fellow senior wide receiver Cameron Webb added three receptions for 41 yards with 36 coming on an amazing catch down the sideline to set the Aggies up with a 1st-and-10 at the UW 15 on its last drive of the game.
Sophomore safety Brian Suite led the Aggie defense with a career-high 13 tackles while senior safety McKade Brady added eight stops and junior linebacker Zach Vigil tallied seven stops, including two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.
Wisconsin was led by Montee Ball with 139 yards rushing on 37 carries and one TD. Danny O'Brien was 5-of-10 passing for 63 yards in the first half, before getting relieved by Joel Stave who was 2-of-6 for 15 yards. Brian Wozniak led the Badgers with two catches for 24 yards. Kenzel Deo had one punt return for an 82-yard TD.
Mike Taylor led the Badger defense with a game-high 15 tackles.
Willliams started his career receiving night with the Aggies' first score on a 39-yard catch-and-run to the end zone from Keeton for a 7-0 USU lead with 9:17 to go in the first quarter. Kyle French hit a 19-yard field goal to pull the Badgers within 7-3 at the 14:16 mark of the second quarter.
After the Aggie defense made repeated stops, with Vigil forcing his fumble that was recovered by fellow junior linebacker Jake Doughty at the UW 33 with 2:17 left in the first half, Keeton drove the Aggies to the end zone and hit senior wide receiver Matt Austin from 11 yards out with 29 seconds left for a 14-3 USU lead at intermission.
Doe's big punt return for a score came with 7:06 to play in the third quarter to pull Wisconsin within, 14-10, and exactly four minutes later, Ball darted in from 17 yards out but French's PAT was blocked by redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen, leaving the score 16-14 and the Aggies within the game-winning field goal attempt.
USU continues its two-game road swing at Colorado State on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. (MT). Utah State returns to the friendly confines of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium to host UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29 for USU's Homecoming.
UTEP 41, New Mexico State 28
EL PASO, Texas - The New Mexico State football team lost the 90th meeting with its I-10 rival UTEP Miners, 41-28, at the Sun Bowl in El Paso Saturday night.
The Aggies found themselves down early, played well during the middle portion of the game, but could never quite catch up to the Miners. NM State falls to 1-2 on the season while the Miners are also now 1-2.
Aggie sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley finished the game 20-of-47 with 290 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. NM State had a couple of 100-yard receivers in the game, senior wide receiver Kemonte' Bateman finished with seven catches for a season-high 115 yards receiving and one touchdown while sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin also finished with seven catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, NM State was led by junior running back Germi Morrison who ran the ball 12 times for 76 yards. Junior running back Tiger Powell had the only touchdown on the ground for the Aggies and finished with 49 yards on 12 carries.
Defensively, senior cornerback Jeremy Harris and junior strong safety George Callender each had nine tackles to lead the Aggies.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Manley threw an interception on his second throw of the game. UTEP senior strong safety Richard Spencer picked off Manley at the Aggie 47-yard line. The Aggies would not score their first points until their final possession of the half.
The Miners scored a touchdown on their first four possessions. UTEP had two rushing touchdowns from sophomore running back Josh Bell and two throwing touchdowns from senior quarterback Nick Lamaison. With 10 minutes left in the first half, the Miners had a 27-0 lead.
One of the bright spots for NM State in the half was a blocked extra-point attempt by Aggie senior Desmond Anaya.
NM State finally got on the board with 3:05 left in the half when Manley hit Franklin who was running a deep cross route. The 37-yard touchdown pass cut the Miner lead to 27-7.
UTEP proceeded to drive down the field, but botched a 25-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half.
Manley finished the half 8-of-17 with one interception, one touchdown and 116 yards passing. Franklin had four catches in the half for 71 yards and a touchdown. Powell led the Aggies on the ground in the first half with 11 total rushing yards.
NM State cut the Miner lead to 13 on its second possession of the second half. After a UTEP late hit penalty, Manley hit Bateman on a 47-yard pass play down the right side that put the ball on the Miner 1-yard line. Powell punched it in a couple of plays later to make the score 27-14 with 6:03 left in the third quarter. It was Powell's fourth rushing touchdown of the year. He has scored at least one touchdown in each of the Aggies' first three games.
It took the Miners only three plays, however, to answer the Aggie touchdown. The 58-second drive was punctuated with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Lamaison to junior tight end Craig Wenrick. The third quarter ended with the Miners on top 34-14.
NM State drove into Miner territory during its next two drives but could not convert on fourth down on both drives, once at the Miner 21-yard line and again at the Miner 39-yard line.
UTEP took advantage of the second missed conversion by the Aggies and capped off a 6-play, 61-yard drive with a 36 yard touchdown pass from Lamaison to senior wide receiver Michael Edwards which gave the Miners a 41-14 lead with under 10 minutes left in the game.
Aided by a 25-yard pass play from Manley to junior tight end Perris Scoggins, NM State once again drove deep into Miner territory and for the third straight series found itself with a fourth down conversion opportunity. This time, however, Manley hit Bateman in the right corner of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
The Aggies added a late 11-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Franklin to make the final score 41-28.
NM State now welcomes I-25 rival New Mexico to Aggie Memorial Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 22. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. (MT).