Sunday, September 2, 2012
Hat trick for Pac-12 in night games
By Kevin Gemmell
After a rough start to the day for the Pac-12, USC pounded Hawaii and the conference swept the night games. Here's the breakdown of the three 7:30 p.m. kickoffs:
Oregon 57, Arkansas State 34: For 30 minutes Saturday night, Arkansas State outscored the No. 5 Oregon Ducks 24-7. That would have been great news for the Red Wolves, had the Ducks not dropped 50 on them halfway through the second quarter.
Marcus Mariota impressed in his debut as Oregon's starting quarterback, completing 19 of 23 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Twice he connected with De'Anthony Thomas and another went to Josh Huff.
Thomas -- who enters the season with some Heisman hype -- didn't disappoint. The versatile player who comes at you from all angles rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown on three carries to go with four catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
Kenjon Barner also added a pair of rushing touchdowns, carrying the ball nine times for 66 yards.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly pulled a large portion of his starters halfway through the second quarter when the Ducks had built a 50-3 lead.
Byron Marshall got plenty of work, carrying the ball 24 times for 65 yards and a score. In relief of Mariota, Bryan Bennett connected on 10 of 17 passes for 107 yards and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Rahsaan Vaughn.
Washington 21, San Diego State 12: It was a mixed-bag performance for Washington, which topped San Diego State 21-12.
The defense showed significant signs of improvement -- at times -- and the offense looked explosive -- at times -- but both also faltered at times leaving the end result in doubt until the final minutes.
Quarterback Keith Price completed 25 of 35 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown and Bishop Sankey rushed for 66 yards on 22 carries with a score. Washington's third score came on a 44-yard fumble recovery from Will Shamburger. The Huskies defense -- revamped under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox -- forced three SDSU turnovers.
The Huskies jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but gave one back when SDSU receiver Tim Vizzi pulled the old Pop Warner, sneak-on-the-field-near-the-sideline play. No one picked him up and Ryan Katz hit him for a 47-yard touchdown.
But despite giving up 327 total yards (199 on the ground), the Huskies kept the Aztecs out of the end zone again until the fourth quarter, when Adam Muema scored on a 1-yard run. Both of SDSU's two-point conversion attempts failed.
Washington is sure to get a tougher test on both sides of the ball when it travels to face LSU next week.
Arizona 24, Toledo 17, OT: Matt Scott connected with Terrence Miller for a 10-yard touchdown in overtime to give the Wildcats a 24-17, bailing out kicker John Bonano, who missed a 25-yard field goal as time expired that would have given the Wildcats a victory.
Rolling to his right, Scott found Miller just in front of the end zone and released a dart just before being pulled out of bounds. He finished 30-of-46 for 384 yards and two touchdowns and helped make Rich Rodriguez a winner in his first game as Arizona's head coach.
Scott's first touchdown was a 30-yarder to Austin Hill, who laid out and made a fingertip catch in the end zone to put Arizona ahead 10-7 in the second quarter after Bonano's 26-yard field goal Arizona a 3-0 lead early in the game. Hill finished with seven catches for 136 yards and Dan Buckner also broke 100 yards, catching a team-high nine balls for 118 yards.
Running back Ka'Deem Carey turned in a strong performance with 149 yards on 20 carries that included a 73-yard touchdown run.
Arizona piled on 623 yards of offense, but also committed three turnovers, including two fumbles lost. By contrast, Toledo had 347 yards of total offense.