College football’s opening* night was jam-packed with action–more than one person could hope to follow.
Fear not, fellow pigskin junkie. The College Football Huddle has the best of what you may have missed from Thursday’s action.
Tulsa Downs Tulane in the First Overtime Game of 2014
Tulsa led just once in a showdown of Conference-USA…er, American Athletic Conference foes. But the Golden Hurricane pulled ahead of Tulane when it mattered, going up 38-31 on the Green Wave in the second extra frame.
Quarterback Dane Evans found Conner Floyd on an eight-yard strike, his fourth touchdown of the night.
While being the first overtime game of 2014 is the top headline, not to be overlooked is that Tulane-Tulsa featured the first truly remarkable individual effort of the season.
Tulsa wide receiver Keevan Lucas was on the receiving end of three of Evans’ touchdown passes, and finished the night with a staggering 233 yards. Lucas caught for just 29 yards fewer than the entire Tulane roster.
WR Keevan Lucas of @TulsaFootball with a conference record 233 receiving yards tonight.
— American Football (@American_FB) August 29, 2014
San Jose State Fairs Just Fine with New Quarterbacks
Kenny Hill wasn’t the only new starting quarterback to flourish in his debut following a legend.
David Fales left San Jose State as the greatest quarterback in program history. Blake Jurich has a long way to go to match Fales’ high standard, but the Spartans new signal caller made a splash in his debut.
Jurich went a remarkable 22-of-25 for 249 yards with three touchdowns in San Jose State’s 42-10 blowout of North Dakota. Jurich also rushed for another score.
New Mexico State is Above .500!
Big Sky Conference member Cal Poly came into Las Cruces, New Mexico, a 7.5-point favorite over home-standing New Mexico State. The underdog Aggies responded with an emphatic, 28-10 win over the Mustangs–their second consecutive win, dating back to last season’s defeat of Idaho in the 2013 finale.
The 10 points to which New Mexico State held Cal Poly were the fewest an Aggies opponent scored since Alcorn State on Oct. 4, 2008.
“I am just thrilled with our defense,” NMSU head coach Doug Martin said, per NMStateSports.com. “We couldn’t have done that a year ago against a wishbone team like that.”
The Aggies couldn’t have defended a running team like Cal Poly a year ago, nor did they have running back Larry Rose III a year ago. Rose’s 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns paced New Mexico State.
Perhaps things are looking up for the program with college football’s longest bowl drought? New Mexico State’s last bowl appearance was in 1960.
Meanwhile, Cal Poly was one of three Big Sky teams to lose Thursday. Weber State and Idaho State were dispatched by a combined 73 points against Pac-12 opponents Arizona State and Utah.
The Big Sky was not alone among its FCS brethren, however.
FCS Shut Out
Football Championship Subdivision teams struck out across the board against their Bowl Subdivision counterparts Thursday.
Chattanooga raced out to a 16-0 advantage over Central Michigan, but the Chippewas chipped away, scoring 20 unanswered points to rally and take the lead midway through the third quarter.
After quarterback Jacob Huesman found Tommy Hudson on the 70-yard touchdown pass that put the Mocs ahead 16-0, Central Michigan did not allow another point for the subsequent 34 minutes, 25 seconds.
Central Michigan joined Akron and Northern Illinois in the win column to put the Mid-American Conference at 3-0 for Week 1.
Replacing Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Jordan Lynch with just one man is a daunting proposition for Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey. Thus, he opted to spread the four ball-carriers who rushed for between 51 and 118 yards in a 55-3 shellacking of Presbyterian
The star among that quartet was running back Joel Bouagnon, who scored four touchdowns.
Akron went ahead 21-0 on Howard just five minutes in, scoring on three Kyle Pohl touchdown passes. The Zips then cruised to a 41-0 win.
Not to be outdone by the MAC, its nearest conference counterpart, the Sun Belt is also perfect on this very young season.
Georgia State got the #FunBelt started on the right track Wednesday with its come-from-behind victory over Abilene Christian.
Perhaps taking inspiration from its conference mate, Louisiana-Monroe rallied to beat Wake Forest in a defensive slobberknocker, 17-10. The Warhawks, hosting a “Camo-Out,” spoiled the beginning of the Dave Clawson era by scoring all 17 of their points in the second half.
The ULM uniforms tonight pic.twitter.com/I2RbMSJh1s
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 28, 2014
Quarterback Pete Thomas provided ULM’s winning touchdown. Thomas is on his third stop: He landed with the Warhawks after abortive tenures at Colorado State and NC State.
New Mexico State’s win capped the Sun Belt’s 3-0 start.