College football: No. 11 Michigan State avoids Utah State upset; No. 4 Wisconsin beats Western Kentucky
Connor Heyward scored his second touchdown with 2 minutes left to put No. 11 Michigan State ahead and the Spartans held on to beat Utah State 38-31 on Friday night.
The Spartans trailed until the second quarter, built a 13-point lead late in the third and fell behind late in the opener for both teams.
Darwin Thompson put the Aggies ahead with a 1-yard run, his second go-ahead score of the game, with 5:05 remaining. Their defense couldn’t make one more stop to beat the highest-ranked team in school history, surpassing the victory over No. 18 BYU in 2014.
Utah State did have one more chance to send the game to overtime — or possibly pull off the upset — but Joe Bachie tipped and intercepted a pass at midfield with 1:15 remaining.
Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke was 23 of 33 for 287 yards with two TDs, an interception and a fumble.
Jordan Love completed 29 of 44 passes for 319 yards with two interceptions.
Heyward scored on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 17-yard run in the third. He is the son of the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, an NFL running back from 1988-1998. The sophomore ran for 436 yards and did not score last season.
Taylor scores twice, No. 4 Wisconsin beats W. Kentucky
Jonathan Taylor had two long touchdown runs, Alex Hornibrook threw for 257 yards and two scores and No. 4 Wisconsin opened the season with a 34-3 victory over Western Kentucky on Friday night.
A young defense working in seven new starters forced two turnovers inside Wisconsin’s 5 . A.J. Taylor paced the short-handed receiving corps with five catches for 85 yards, while Garrett Groshek turned a screen pass into a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 31-point lead.
The Badgers finished with a flurry, scoring on five of six drives after punting on three of their first four possessions.
Leave it to Jonathan Taylor to get the offense going. He finished with 145 yards on 18 carries, even watching most of the fourth quarter from the sideline with the game well in hand for Wisconsin.
The dynamic back picked up right where he left off last year, when he rushed for an FBS-record 1,977 yards as a freshman.
Three tight ends and the Badgers’ burly offensive line helped spring Taylor for a 47-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Taylor scored from 30 yards with 3:48 left in the second quarter as the Badgers closed the first half with 14 unanswered points.
He had 100 yards and 11 carries by the half, when the Badgers held a 24-0 lead.
Drew Eckels was 15 of 26 for 167 yards in his first career start for the Hilltoppers, while also running for 38 yards on seven carries.
Known as a passing team last season in coach Mike Sanford’s first season, Western Kentucky tried to keep Wisconsin off-balance early with read-option plays.
It didn’t really work. The Hilltoppers punted on the first six possessions, including four three-and-outs.
A trick play flopped too when receiver Quin Jernighan’s fluttering pass for Eckels from the 10 was picked off by cornerback Faion Hicks in the third quarter.
Preseason All-American linebacker T.J. Edwards had seven tackles for the Badgers.
Jones, Brown lead Duke past Army, 34-14, in opener
Daniel Jones threw for one touchdown and rushed for another score, helping Duke open with a 34-14 victory over Army on Friday night.
Jones was 13 of 17 for 197 yards with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 25-yard scoring pass to Aaron Young. Brittain Brown had a 12-yard touchdown run and backup Deon Jackson added a 7-yard score.
The Blue Devils responded to both Army touchdowns by scoring TDs of their own to win their opener for the seventh straight year and atone for their most recent loss — a 21-16 defeat at Army last November.
“Being able to push the ball down the field and keep the defense on their heels has been an emphasis of ours,” Jones said.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr. was 10 of 21 for 197 yards — the most yards passing for Army since 2015 — with a short rushing touchdown and a 45-yard scoring pass to Cam Harrison.
That touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter pulled the Black Knights to 24-14. Jones followed with his TD to Young that restored Duke’s 17-point lead, and Ben Humphreys effectively ended it by blocking Landon Salyers’ 45-yard field goal attempt with less than 7 minutes left.
Dungey leads Syracuse over Western Michigan, 55-42
Senior quarterback Eric Dungey rushed for 200 yards and passed for 184, coming back off the bench for Syracuse in a 55-42 win at Western Michigan on Friday in the season opener.
Dungey looked like he was going to get the second half off after the Orange built a 34-7 lead, but he returned after Western Michigan made it a six-point game in the third quarter.
Dungey connected with Jamal Custis six times for 168 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs for the senior wide receiver.
Syracuse scored the first 17 points, and converted its first six possessions for points before the Broncos mounted a comeback, scoring 21 unanswered to start the second half until Dungey’s return.
Western Michigan quarterback Jon Wassink was 19-of-36 passing for 379 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wassink threw two touchdowns to D’Wayne Eskridge, including an 84-yard score to make it 34-21 with 7:32 left in the third quarter. Eskridge caught eight passes for 248 yards.
LeVante Bellamy had a 64-yard run to make it 34-28 before Dungey’s return put Syracuse back on track.
at Eastern Michigan 51, Monmouth 17
at Nevada 72, Portland State 19
Florida State backup quarterback Bailey Hockman has decided to transfer, leaving the No. 19 Seminoles without much depth at the position. He hasn’t decided what school to attend. ... Clemson and Georgia will renew their rivalry when they open the 2024 season at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The rivals will play for the 65th time in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, set for Aug. 31, 2024.
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