Things were a little shaky early on for Wisconsin against Utah State. And then… they weren’t.
After falling behind the Aggies 10-0 early, Wisconsin tied the game at halftime before exploding for 49 second-half points in a 59-10 blowout. Nine different players carried the ball for the Badgers, totaling 234 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman Jonathan Taylor’s 87 yards led the way for UW while Bradrick Shaw added 84.
Alex Hornibrook, now the full-time starting quarterback after splitting time with Bart Houston last year, had a nice night, completing 15-of-23 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Star tight end Troy Fumagalli, wearing the No. 48 of injured linebacker Jack Cichy, led all receivers with five catches for 105 yards and a score.
Defensively, UW forced four turnovers and held USU to 5-of-16 on third down. Safety Joe Ferguson capped the night off with a 99-yard interception return for touchdown late in the fourth.
• Lane Kiffin’s debut at Florida Atlantic did not go well.
The Owls were blown out at home 42-19 by Navy and gave up 416 yards rushing in the process. Of that rushing total, 235 came from quarterback Zach Abey, who also added 110 passing yards and combined for three touchdowns — two rushing and one through the air.
FAU managed to move the ball a bit early on and even had a bit of excitement when Daniel Parr found Willie Wright behind the defense for a 95-yard touchdown. Kiffin was pumped and knew it would be a TD before Wright even caught the pass.
That score actually gave the Owls a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter, but it was all Navy from there. The Midshipmen led 21-10 by the time halftime rolled around and their lead extended to 35-13 after three quarters.
The teams traded touchdowns to open the fourth, with multiple lengthy lightning delays in between. When the dust — and lightning — finally settled, Navy emerged (just before 2 a.m., Kiffin wouldn’t call the game) with a convincing victory.
It was mostly this kind of night for Kiffin:
And now we have our first Lane Kiffin reaction GIF of the year pic.twitter.com/SNoAQ7lvcl
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 2, 2017
• Boston College opened with a road challenge.
The Eagles traveled to DeKalb to face Northern Illinois and came out with a 23-20 win on a late Colton Lichtenberg field goal, his third of the game. BC, with freshman Anthony Brown starting at QB, led 13-10 at halftime and extended the lead to 20-10 midway through the third, but NIU stormed back.
A short TD pass to Shane Wimann from Ryan Graham late in the third and a chip shot field goal early in the fourth tied things at 20-20. From there the teams went a combined six drives without any points until Brown led the Eagles to the win on a 13-play drive that took more than five minutes off the clock.
The key play of the drive came when Brown, who threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns, hooked up with Kobay White for a 12-yard gain on 4th and 4 from the NIU 36. Four plays later, Lichtenberg drilled a 37-yarder to put the Eagles ahead.
NIU wouldn’t go down quietly. Taking over with 2:13 to go, the Huskies quickly drove into BC territory and advanced all the way to the 22-yard line. Instead of going for the win, the NIU play-calling got conservative to preserve a chance to force overtime. That ended up backfiring when Christian Hagan’s 39-yard game-tying attempt clanked off the crossbar.
— BC Football (@BCFootball) September 2, 2017
• In other ACC action, Syracuse blew out Central Connecticut State 50-7 behind 328 yards and three touchdown passes from Eric Dungey. Senior wideout Steve Ishmael led the way with 12 catches for 134 yards
• In the MAC, Eastern Michigan forced three turnovers and got two rushing touchdowns from Ian Eriksen in a 24-7 home win over Charlotte.
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