Sept. 6 USC 13, at Stanford 10
And You Care Because … Andre Heidari nailed a 53-yard field goal with 2:30 to play for a 13-10 USC lead, and the Trojan D held on with J.R. Tavai blindsiding Kevin Hogan deep in to force a game-sealing fumble on a deep Stanford drive. The game was all about missed opportunities for the Cardinal with two missed field goals, two key turnovers, and stalls in the red zone. Stanford had a 10-7 lead at halftime with a Patrick Skov two-yard touchdown run and a 33-yard Jordan Williamson field goal, but USC’s defense managed to bend but not break in the second half. Two Heidari field goals in the second half were enough for the Trojans.
What Else? Stanford outgained USC 413 yards to 291 and held on to the ball for close to 34 minutes. The Cardinal dominated this game at times, but couldn’t seem to score, with missed field goals and penalties proving deadly.
– The USC running game worked. Javorius Allen ran 23 times for 154 yards, and Justin Davis pounded for 20 yards and a score on eight carries. Stanford won its share of battles, did enough to stay alive offensively.
– Red zone chances: USC 2-of-2, Stanford 2-of-5. The Cardinal got the ball on the green, but couldn’t putt.
– Welcome to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. USC DT/DE Leonard Williams made 11 tackles with a sack on a gimpy ankle.
Game Rating: A
Sept. 6 at Washington 59, Eastern Washington 52
And You Care Because … In a wild and crazy back and forth game, Vernon Adams Jr. threw seven touchdown passes for Eastern Washington, but it wasn’t enough. Washington got up 21-0 in the first quarter helped by the first of three Cyler Miles touchdown runs and a 57-yard Shaq Thompson touchdown dash, but Adams started firing and didn’t stop, finding Cooper Rupp on touchdown passes from 41, 26 and 13 yards out, and connecting with Corey Mitchell from 28 and 22 yards away to keep pace. EWU took the lead in the third quarter on Mitchell’s second scoring grab, but Washington put the game just out of reach on two Miles scoring runs. Adams got the Eagles within seven late, but UW held on.
What Else? Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams Jr. completed 31-of-46 passes for 475 yards and seven touchdowns.
– Washington QB Cyler Miles returned from suspension to complete 14-of-24 passes for 180 yards and a score, and ran 12 times for 58 yards and three touchdowns.
– Washington committed ten penalties for 100 yards, Eastern Washington six. For 51.
– EWU’s Cooper Kupp caught eight passes for 145 yards and three scores, and Kendrick Bourne caught eight passes for 114 yards and as core.
Game Rating: A
Sept. 6 Colorado 41, at Massachusetts 38
And You Care Because … Colorado avoided disaster, coming back from a 31-20 deficit with Christian Powell running for a 14-yard score and Nelson Spruce scoring on passes from 70 and three yards out to take the lead for good. But UMass wouldn’t go away, scoring on a six-yard Marken Michel touchdown run late. Blake Frohnapfel found Jean Sifrin on touchdown passes from 12 and 14 yards out to help the Minutemen stay alive, but Colorado and Sefo Liufau kept pressing – he completed 26-of-42 passes for 318 yards and three scores with a pick.
Game Rating: A-
Sept. 6 at UCLA 42, Memphis 35
And You Care Because … UCLA got into a much bigger firefight than expected, seeing its 35-21 lead get erased by a 40-yard Doroland Dorceus touchdown run and a 17-yard pick six from Fritz Etienne to tie it up, but Brett Hundley responded with a strong nine-play, 75-yard drive closed out by a 33-yard Thomas Duarte touchdown catch. Hundley threw three touchdown passes and Paul Perkins ran for two scores, but Memphis wouldn’t go away with Paxton Lynch throwing a touchdown pass and adding a rushing touchdown to stay alive. However, UCLA never trailed after getting down 7-6 late in the first quarter.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 33-of-44 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns with a pick six, and he ran 11 times for 26 yards.
– Memphis QB Paxton Lynch completed 27-of-41 passes for 305 yards and a score, and he ran ten times for 27 yards and a touchdown.
– Memphis LB Tank Jakes was a force making 11.5 tackles with two sacks, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
– Memphis got flagged ten times for 110 yards, UCLA was tagged nine times for 85 yards.
Game Rating: B+
Sept. 6 at Oregon 46, Michigan State 27
And You Care Because … Down 27-18 late in the third, Oregon scored 28 unanswered points as Marcus Mariota threw two third quarter touchdown passes and Royce Freeman scored on runs from 38 and 14 yards out, with the last one closing out the Spartans for good. The Ducks took an 11-0 lead, but Michigan State roared back with Connor Cook throwing seven-yard touchdown passes to Tony Lippett and Josiah Price, and Jeremy Langford running for a 16-yard score, but Oregon stayed alive with a 70-yard Devon Allen scoring play.
What Else? Oregon QB Marcus Mariota was sharp under pressure, completing 17-of-28 passes for 318 yards and three scores, and running nine plays for 42 yards.
– Michigan State QB Connor Cook has now thrown for 300 yards or more in his last three big games (Ohio State, Stanford, Oregon) completing 29-of-47 passes for 343 yards and two scores with two picks.
– Michigan State LB Marcus Rush was fantastic, leading all players with 11 stops with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Shilique Calhoun only made four tackles and no plays behind the line.
– Oregon’s Devon Allen caught three passes for 110 yards and two scores, while Michigan State’s Tony Lippett caught 11 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Game Rating: B
Sept. 4 at Arizona 26, UTSA 23
And You Care Because … Arizona survived a battle with ten third quarter points on field goals from 44 and 28 yards out by Casey Skowron, and had to hold on in the final minutes. UTSA took a 16-14 lead in the first half on a safety, but Arizona scored 13 straight points for a ten-point lead. The Roadrunners came back with a three-yard David Glasco II touchdown run midway through the fourth, but the Wildcat held on.
What Else? The two teams kept stalling in key moments. They combined to convert 7-of-27 third down chances.
– UTSA was held to 121 yards rushing on 39 carries with two scores, while Arizona’s Nick Wilson ran 30 times for 174 yards and a touchdown.
– Arizona PK Casey Skowron hit four field goals from 38, 23, 44 and 28 yards out.
– Arizona QB Anu Solomon completed 17-of-32 passes for 231 yards and a score, hitting Cayleb Jones for a 85-yard score on the team’s first play from scrimmage.
Game Rating: B
Sept. 6 Oregon State 38, at Hawaii 30
And You Care Because … Oregon State got up 38-7 going into the fourth quarter on four Sean Mannion touchdown passes, and Terron Ward ran for touchdowns from 22 and two yards out, but had to hang on late. Hawaii scored 23 fourth quarter points with Joey Iosefa running for two of his three touchdowns on the day, and Ikaika Woolsey ran for a two-yard score to pull the Rainbow Warriors within eight with 1:35 to play, but the Beavers got out.
What Else? Oregon State QB Sean Mannion completed 26-of-37 passes for 300 yards with three touchdowns and a pick.
– Hawaii RB Joey Iosefa ran 19 times for 54 yards and three touchdowns, and caught three passes for 33 yards.
– Oregon State RB Terron Ward ran 15 times for 124 yards and two scores, and Victor Bolden caught 11 passes for 119 yards and a score.
– In a penalty-marred game, Oregon State was flagged 13 times for 99 yards, and Hawaii was hit 12 times for 108 yards. Both teams turned it over twice.
Game Rating: B-
Sept. 5 at Nevada, 24, Washington State 13
And You Care Because … Don Jackson ran for two short scores, with the first one set up by a 45-yard interception return by Kendall Jackson, and James Butler added a rushing score as Nevada got by the high-powered Cougars. Wazzu was heled to just 13 points and one touchdown on a 13-yard Vince Mayle catch. The Wolf Pack never trailed, getting up 14-0 and breaking away from a 14-10 lead in the fourth quarter, put away by a 40-yard Brent Zuzo field goal.
What Else? Highlighted by an impressive 55-yard dash, Nevada’s Cody Fajardo led the way with 100 yards on 16 carries, and completed 12-of-21 passes for 110 yards.
– Washington State’s Connor Halliday completed 38-of-57 passes for 389 yards and a touchdown with two sacks.
– How did Nevada keep the Cougar offense under wraps? Pass rush. Nevada got to Halliday for four sacks and came up with constant pressure behind the line.
– Missed field goals were a big problem for the Cougars. Erik Powell hit a 25-yarder, but missed third quarter shots from 37 and 38 yards away. If he hits those, Wazzu has the lead.
Game Rating: C
Sept. 6 Arizona State 58, at New Mexico 23
And You Care Because … Arizona State jumped out to a 22-0 first quarter lead on one-yard runs from Deante Lewis and Kalen Ballage and a 12-yard Taylor Kelly scoring dash. New Mexico fought its way back with touchdown runs from Jhurell Pressley and Crusoe Gongbay and a 32-yard Teriyon Gipson scoring grab to pull within eight, but ASU pulled away with 17 straight points helped by a 41-yard Cameron Smith touchdown catch.
What Else? Arizona State might have suffered a little bit of a lull, but it finished with 621 yards of total offense. New Mexico ended with 337.
– New Mexico isn’t built to comeback, but it did. Lamar Jordan completed 7-of-11 passes for 130 yards and a score, and the ground game ran for 207 yards and two scores averaging 3.6 yards per carry.
– Arizona State RB D.J. Foster ran 19 times for 216 yards and a score. The Sun Devil offensive line was terrific, pounding away for 423 yards and six touchdowns for a ground game that averaged 8.8 yards per carry.
– New Mexico held on to the ball for almost 35 minutes, but Arizona State kept striking quickly.
Game Rating: C
Sept. 6 at Utah 59, Fresno State 27
And You Care Because … Utah blew out to a 24-0 first half lead on three of Travis Wilson’s five touchdown passes on the day. He only completed 11-of-20 passes for 181 yards, but he made them count. Kenneth Scott scores from seven and 36 yards out, while Dres Anderson came up with a 38-yard touchdown and a five-yard score – the Utes were never threatened. Greg Watson scored twice for Fresno State in the fourth from 42 and four yards out. Utah committed 12 penalties for 118 yards.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 at California 55, Sacramento State 14
And You Care Because … Cal came up with a 45-0 first half lead and ended up with four Jared Goff touchdown passes in the blowout. Goff connected on 17-of-22 passes for 229 yards and four scores, while Daniel Lasco ran nine times for 94 yards and a touchdown. Sacramento State scored twice, highlighted by a 73-yard Garrett Safron run, but Cal came back with ten unanswered points. The two teams combined for 19 penalties for 198 yards.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 USC 13, at Stanford 10