LA Tech, UTSA Remain Undefeated
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois - Louisiana Tech continued its record-setting season scoring 31 unanswered points in the second half and handing Illinois its worst non-conference regular season loss since 1996 as the Bulldogs defeated the Illini 52-24 at Memorial Stadium.
With the victory the Bulldogs improved to 3-0 on the season and scored 50 or more points for the third consecutive game, marking the first time a LA Tech football team has accomplished the feat. It also marks the first time since 1997 that Tech has opened the year with three straight victories.
While the Bulldog offense was racking up six touchdowns and the first field goal of the year, the LA Tech defense forced six turnovers and the special teams unit recovered a muffed punt for a score. Tech is plus 21 in turnover margin during its 10-game regular season winning streak - the third longest in the country behind only LSU and Georgia.
After Louisiana Tech built a 21-7 first quarter lead thanks to a pair of Tevin King touchdown runs and the first of four Colby Cameron scoring strikes, Illinois fought back behind backup quarterback Reilly O'Toole who led the Illini to a touchdown and field goal to cut the Bulldogs lead to 21-17 at the half.
Tech gained 132 yards of total offense in the opening quarter but was held to only two total yards of offense during the second quarter. Illinois' success defensively in the second quarter wouldn't last into the second half.
Cameron opened the second half by finding Quinton Patton for a 78-yard touchdown on only the second play of the stanza as Tech pushed the lead to 28-17. Patton finished the game with six receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
After a three-and-out by the Tech defense, the Bulldog offense struck again as Cameron found Patton for a 21-yard score, capping a nine-play, 73-yard drive. Matt Nelson - who became Tech's all-time leader in extra point attempts and makes - connected on one of his seven extra points on the day as Tech led 35-17.
Tech's defense rose once again as Vontarrius Dora recorded a 12-yard sack of O'Toole on a fourth-down-and-three play to give the football back to the Bulldog offense. However, the Bulldog offense stalled and Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen punted inside the Illini 10-yard line where the ball hit an Illinois player and bounded into the endzone where Antonio Mitchum recovered for a score and a 42-17 lead with 4:27 to play in the third quarter.
On Illinois' ensuing possession, Mitchum recovered his second fumble of the night which led to a 32-yard Nelson field goal with 1:42 to play in the third quarter as Tech led 45-17.
Tech scored one final time in the fourth quarter as Cameron hit Myles White on an inside receiver screen and White found the hole and outran the Illinois defense for a 37-yard touchdown reception.
Illinois scored one final time in the fourth as Tech posted its first win over a Big Ten team since defeating Michigan State 20-19 in East Lansing in 2003.
Illinois opened the game with the first score. After Cameron was sacked and fumbled, the Illini took over on the Tech 18-yard line where Nathan Scheelhaase found Ryan Lankford for an 18-yard score. Taylor Zalewski's extra point gave Illinois a 7-0 lead with 8:30 to play.
Cameron, who finished the night 15-of-22 for 284 yards and four touchdowns, then led an eight-play, 74-yard drive that tied the game as DJ Banks hauled in a 27-yard score - his first as a Bulldog.
Following a Solomon Randle interception - the second of his career - Tech took its first lead as King scored on a nine-yard run with 4:37 to play in the first quarter. King - who was helped off the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury - scored just over three minutes later as his five-yard run gave the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead. The second touchdown run was set up after Dora recovered a fumble by Steelhaase which was forced by Rufus Porter.
Tech has now outscored its opponents 56-13 in the first quarter of its three games this year.
The Bulldogs, which entered the game ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in scoring and total offense, finished with 403 total yards of offense. The Bulldog defense held Illinois to 324 yards of total offense.
Tech, which has been one of the most penalized teams through the first few weeks of the year, was only penalized five times for 39 yards in the game.
The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday at Virginia. Kickoff time will be released by the ACC office tomorrow.
UTSA 56, Northwestern Oklahoma State 3
SAN ANTONIO — David Glasco II and Evans Okotcha scored a pair of first-half touchdowns apiece and UTSA rolled past Northwestern Oklahoma State, 56-3, on Saturday afternoon in front of 25,742 fans at the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners (4-0) extended their winning streak to five games dating back to last season and they have outscored their opposition, 203-71, during that stretch.
UTSA registered a school-record six rushing touchdowns and 235 yards on the ground in compiling a season-high 445 yards of total offense against the NCAA Division II Rangers (0-4).
Meanwhile, the Roadrunners defense held Northwestern Oklahoma State to just 167 yards of offense, including only 24 rushing, and forced eight three-and-outs in 12 possessions. The Birds also created a pair of turnovers, which were converted into two touchdowns to up that season stat to nine scores off 12 opponent miscues.
Okotcha, who set a program-record with three rushing TDs in last week’s 38-14 win at Georgia State, scored from two and nine yards out to help stake UTSA to a 14-0 lead through the first 10 minutes of the contest.
Triston Wade then picked off a Kyle Jech pass, the Rangers quarterback's first interception in his last 245 attempts dating back to last season, and returned it 38 yards for a score with 3:21 left in the opening stanza. It was the Tyler product’s second pick of the year and fourth of his career and he now has played a hand in eight turnovers in his two seasons.
The Roadrunners reached paydirt three times in the second quarter in tallying their largest first-half point total, 42, in school annals.
Kenny Harrison, the reigning Western Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, returned a punt a program-record 54 yards to set up UTSA at the Rangers 26-yard line. Two plays later, Glasco II scampered down the right sideline and dove into the end zone from seven yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Blake Terry forced a fumble that Sean Luchnick recovered on the Northwestern Oklahoma State 30. It again took UTSA only two plays to punch it in, this time on an 11-yard dash up the middle by Glasco II with 13:47 left until intermission.
Four minutes later, Eric Soza found Cole Hubble on a TD pass up the seam for 32 yards to cap a five-play, 68-yard drive and Kristian Stern’s point after touchdown gave UTSA a 42-0 advantage.
The Rangers got on the board with a 20-yard field goal by Edgar Colmenares as time expired in the first half.
In the second stanza, UTSA got a 1-yard touchdown run from Nate Shaw with 10:12 left in the third and a 2-yard TD scamper from Ryan Polite with 7:15 remaining in the contest to provide the final and school-record 53-point margin.
UTSA will open its first season of Western Athletic Conference play next Saturday, Sept. 29, when it travels to Las Cruces, N.M. to face New Mexico State. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Utah State 31, Colorado State 19
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Senior running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for a career-high 205 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Utah State to a 31-19 road win against Colorado State here Saturday night at Hughes Stadium.
Utah State continued its stellar play on defense as it has now out-scored its opponents 51-0 in the first quarter this year after leading 10-0 tonight following the first 15 minutes, and has not allowed a first-half touchdown as the Aggies have a 65-9 scoring advantage in the first-half this year.
With the win, Utah State improves to 3-1, which is its best start to a season since the 1978 team won its first five games of the year. USU also snapped a four-game losing streak to CSU as the series is now 36-31-2 in favor of the Rams. Overall, USU has now won eight of its last 10 games dating back to 2011, including four of its last five on the road.
Williams, who recorded his second-career 100-yard rushing game and his first this year, carried the ball a career-high 21 times highlighted by a career-long 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Overall, Williams now has 10 career rushing touchdowns after his first-career multi-touchdown game.
Utah State finished game with 440 yards of total offense (262-rushing, 178-passing) and had 24 first downs that translated into possessing the ball for 31:04 of the game. USU also converted a season-best 10 third downs on 17 attempts.
Williams scored Utah State's first touchdown of the game with 9:52 to play in the first quarter on a 26-yard run to cap an 8-play, 77-yard drive. Junior placekicker Josh Thompson made the score 10-0 later in the first-quarter on a 20-yard field goal after the Aggies' 9-play, 45-yard drive stalled at the 1-yardline.
Utah State extended its lead to 17-0 in the second quarter as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton connected with senior wide receiver Matt Austin for a 1-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. Overall, USU's scoring drive covered 85 yards in 19 plays and took 7:46 off the clock. For USU, those 19 plays were the most in a drive since at least the 2004 season, according to available records. The drive was also its longest in terms of possession time since 2007.
Colorado State scored back-to-back field goals in the third quarter to get within 17-6 before Williams extended the Aggies advantage on his 58-yard scoring run. CSU scored its first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter, but failed on its two-point conversion to make the score 24-12.
Utah State's final touchdown of the night came on a 15-yard run by sophomore running back Joe Hill, his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, to up USU's advantage to 31-12 midway through the fourth quarter. The Rams added another touchdown with 1:43 to play on a 29-yard pass play to make the final score 31-19.
Defensively, Utah State was led by senior safety McKade Brady who tied his season-high with 10 tackles for his fifth-career double-figure tackle outing. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil added seven tackles and had career-highs with three tackles for loss and two sacks, while senior cornerback Will Davis had three pass breakups to go along with four tackles.
Colorado State finished the game with 331 yards of total offense (224-passing, 107-rushing), most of which came in the second half as USU limited the Rams to just four first-half first downs and just 61 yards on 27 plays in the first half.
After back-to-back road games, Utah State returns home to host UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29 in its annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
San Jose State 38, San Diego State 34
San Diego, Calif.-----David Fales threw three touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes and four for the game leading San Jose State University to a 38-34 non-conference football win over San Diego State University.
The win for the Spartans (3-1) was their third in a row and first in San Diego in 10 tries since 1952.
Fales completed 21-of-31 passes with an interception for 260 yards and a season-high four touchdowns. In the final 15 minutes alone, he was 13-of-16 for 187 yards.
Four different receivers caught a scoring pass for San Jose State capped by wide receiver Chandler Jones' 14-yard reception with 50 seconds remaining in the game.
The Spartans overcame a sluggish first half offensively and 271 rushing yards by San Diego State (2-2).
Going into the second half with the score tied 17-17, the teams traded scores all the way to the final minute. Ryan Otten caught his first touchdown pass of the season, a 15-yard play with 3:26 remaining in the game to give San Jose State a 31-27 lead. Noel Grigsby opened the fourth scoring with a 21-yard reception to tie the game at 24-24 with 11:28 to go.
A key play in the final quarter came on 3rd-and-goal from the San Jose State 9-yard line. A bad center snap forced San Diego State's Chance Marden to kick a 41-yard field goal giving the Aztecs a 27-24 lead.
Though San Diego State outgained San Jose State, 484 to 367, the Spartans won the game with drives of 80, 77 and 65 yards on just 17 plays.
Fittingly for San Jose State, the game effectively ended when defensive end Travis Johnson recorded the team's fifth sack of the game on San Diego State's last play of the game.
The teams traded six scores in a first half filled with big plays and mistakes by both teams. San Jose State fumbled twice and San Diego State, three times. The Spartans got three points off of their takeaways while the Aztecs turned San Jose State's generosity into seven points on an 83-yard touchdown run by running back Adam Muema who rushed for 202 yards on 25 carries.
The Spartans had a big night returning kickoffs taking advantage of breakdowns on the Aztecs' right side of coverage. Tyler Ervin answered Muema's long scoring run immediately with a 97-yard kickoff return giving San Jose State a 10-7 lead.
After Walter Kazee's 8-yard run gave San Diego State a 14-10 advantage on the Aztecs' next possession, Damon Ogburn nearly matched Ervin's kickoff return feats churning his feet 67 yards to the San Diego State 22-yard line. Two rushes by back-up quarterback Blake Jurich to the 1-yard line preceded a touchdown pass from David Fales to fullback Ina Liaina with 3:09 left in the half.
Chance Marden's 25-yard field goal with 49 seconds left in the second quarter sent the teams into halftime tied 17-17.
San Jose State closes out September at Navy next Saturday. The Spartans have an opportunity to be 4-1 for the first time since 2006.
Texas State 41, Stephen F. Austin 37
San Marcos, Texas - Senior Shaun Rutherford threw for a career-best 300 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Texas State football team to a 41-37 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday night.
Rutherford opened the game completing his first 11 passes and 13 of 14 passes in the first half as the Bobcats held a 27-17 lead at halftime. Texas State opened the scoring with Will Johnson kicking a 48-yard field goal on Texas State's first possession.
Then, Isaiah Battle opened the Bobcats' second drive with a 47-yard run to SFA's 6-yard line to set up a five-yard TD run by Rutherford. Johnson kicked the extra point to give Texas State a 10-0 lead.
After Stephen F. Austin closed to within 10-3 on a 42-yard field goal, Jafus Gaines returned the kickoff 45 yards to give the Bobcats possession on their 45-yard line. Rutherford led the Bobcats on another TD march as he completed all four of his passes in the drive. The final completion was a 16-yard TD pass to tight end Chase Harper.
The Lumberjacks answered when Brady Attaway hit Corde Roberson for a 36-yard touchdown pass and Wiggs added the extra point to cut Texas State's lead to 17-10 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began as the opening period. Johnson kicked his second field goal when he connected from 52-yards away. The kick was one-yard shy of tying his school record of 53 yards that was set against Tarleton State last year.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 27-10 when Marcus Curry scored on a one-yard run up the middle after Justin Iwuji recovered a fumble following a muffed punt return by Mike Brooks.
SFA closed out the scoring in the first half when Attaway capped off an 80-yard drive with a 10-yard pass to Gus Johnson out of the backfield. Wiggs connected on the extra point to make the score 27-17 at halftime.
Texas State scored on its first two drives of the third quarter. The first TD came after Attaway punted the ball 57-yards down to Texas State's two-yard line. But, Rutherford set a school record when he hit Battle for a 98-yard touchdown pass. Battle ended the game with 6 catches for 140 yards and ran three times for another 59 yards.
Then, Rutherford threw a nine-yard TD pass to Harper to give the Bobcats a 41-17 lead with 8:23 left to play in the third quarter. Harper finished with a season-best five catches for 48 yards to go along with his two touchdowns.
However, SFA mounted a comeback as the Lumberjacks scored 21 straight points. The first 14 points came in the third quarter when Johnson ran for a 28-yard TD and Attaway threw a two-yard TD pass to Roberson.
The Lumberjacks added the final touchdown in the game on a six-yard run by Johnson in the fourth quarter to make the final score 41-37. But, Wiggs missed the extra point to give the Bobcats a four-point edge.
Texas State's defense kept the Lumberjacks out of the end zone the rest of the way to win to win its sixth straight game over SFA.
The victory improves Texas State's record to 2-1 this season and the win over SFA marked the first win in the renovated Bobcat Stadium this season. The Bobcats play host to Nevada next Saturday in a non-conference game at 1:00 p.m.
New Mexico 27, New Mexico State 14
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Sept. 22)- The New Mexico State football team lost to I-25 rival New Mexico, 27-14, in front of 25,211 fans inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.
The Aggies fall to 1-3 on the season, while the Lobos improve to 2-2.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley completed 22-of-34 passes and finished with 256 total passing yards and one touchdown. Senior running back Robert Clay led the Aggie ground attack rushing 11 times for 47 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin had his third 100-plus yards receiving game of the season, finishing with a team-high 107 yards on six catches.
Defensively, junior strong safety Davis Cazares led NM State with 19 total tackles. Sophomore linebacker Anthony Joiner added 12 tackles, while junior linebackers Bryan Bonilla and Trashaun Nixon each finished with 10 tackles.
The Lobos took the opening kickoff and proceeded to go on a 13-play, 71-yard drive that culminated with a 24-yard field goal by junior kicker Justus Adams. The field goal would be the only score of the first quarter.
UNM added to its lead early in the second quarter after driving 84 yards on nine plays. Freshman Lobo running back Jhurell Pressley capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run up the middle giving the Lobos a 10-0 lead.
It took NM State just over two minutes, however, to answer the Lobo touchdown. Manley completed a couple of first-down passes to junior tight end Perris Scoggins before hitting Franklin on a deep post. The 35-yard pass play placed the ball at the UNM 11 yard line. Clay finished off the drive on the next play with an 11-yard touchdown run to the left side cutting the Lobo lead to 10-7.
With just over five minutes left in the half, UNM began a drive that would end with a 29-yard field goal on the last play of the half. The Lobos led at halftime, 13-7.
Manley finished the half with 81 passing yards, going 7-of-11. Clay rushed for 24 yards to lead the Aggies at the half, while Franklin led the receivers with 42 yards receiving on two receptions.
After a turnover-free first half, the second half started with each team turning the ball over on its first possession.
NM State received the second half kickoff and drove into Lobo territory, but sophomore wide receiver Joseph Mathews fumbled the ball at the Lobo 30 yard line. Freshman free safety Brandon Branch recovered the fumble for UNM and returned it to Aggie 40 yard line.
NM State got the ball right back on the next play, however, when junior defensive end Kalvin Cruz recovered a fumble by Lobo senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook.
Three plays after the fumble recovery Manley hit Franklin on a 29-yard pass play that put the ball at the Lobo 27 yard line. The drive stalled, however, and UNM took over after the Aggies could not convert on a fourth and nine.
The Lobos proceeded to score on a 29-yard touchdown run up the middle by junior running back Kasey Carrier to take a 20-7 lead after three quarters.
UNM added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter after a fumble by Aggie sophomore running back Akeelie Mustafa gave the Lobos the ball at the NM State 40-yard line. UNM took advantage of the short field and increased its lead to 27-7 after Pressley's second rushing touchdown.
NM State added a late 23-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Franklin to make the final score 27-14.
The Aggies now host UTSA, Saturday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Wyoming 40, Idaho 37 (OT)
MOSCOW, Idaho – A game that included hundreds of yards came down to a matter of inches. For Idaho’s Vandals, those inches translated to heartache as the University of Wyoming escaped the Kibbie Dome Saturday with a 40-37 overtime victory.
“It’s more painful,” said coach Robb Akey after the Vandals dropped to 0-4. “We’re talking about inches. Literally inches. You can pick your opportunity. It’s not just the last play of the game.”
The last play was when Wyoming’s Jalen Claiborne pulled in a 25-yard pass from Brett Smith on the Cowboys’ overtime possession. The Vandals had scored when it was their turn on Trey Farquhar’s 49-yard field goal – his third boot of the day, to set up Wyoming’s chance from the 25.
It was that kind of day for the Vandals, who fought the good fight in putting up 506 yards total offense (their most since October 2010), only to have the Cowboys respond with timely big plays. In particular, after three lost fumbles by the Vandals.
“They took advantage of some mistakes we made,” said senior receiver Mike Scott, who had eight catches for 79 yards. “It definitely hurts. It hurts us a little bit harder. It (the offensive numbers) looks and feels good but at the same time, that loss takes away from the joy of how good we look on paper.”
In by far the best offensive outing for the Vandals in more than a year, Idaho put up 306 yards passing and covered 203 yards on the ground with senior Ryan Bass’ 121 leading way. Quarterback Dominique Blackman completed 34 of 46 passes for the 306 yards and three touchdowns.
But both had turnovers that proved costly. Bass’ was on the Vandals first possession when the ball came loose at the Idaho 31 and the Cowboys scored on four plays to take the 7-0 lead. Blackman’s was at the start of the fourth quarter when he was trying to stretch the ball over the goal line only to have it pop loose into Ghaali Muhammad’s hands. Smith connected on an 80-yard pass to Chris McNeill to tie the game at 27 a time when the Vandals were hoping to go up by two scores.
“Now it’s inches – and in overtime,” said Akey, noting the progress the Vandals have made. “Know this – I’m not saying for one second that makes things OK. Because it doesn’t. We’re getting ourselves closer. We’re inches away. But that’s not good enough either.”
To go with the turnovers were a handful of penalties – five for 47 yards. But the timing often couldn’t have been worse.
“We had some self-inflicted things that hurt us today,” Akey said. “Hat’s off to Wyoming – they made one more play than we did.”
In addition to Bass’ 121 yards, James Baker had 75 on 10 carries, while Najee Lovett matched Scott’s eight catches with his totaling 73 yards. Defensively, Homer Mauga had nine total stops in addition to two tackles for loss, which includes one of the Vandals three sacks. QuayShawne Buckley had two sacks to figure into Idaho’s total six tackles for loss. Tracy Carter’s two pass breakups were a team best.