JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught three TD passes from K.J. Costello to overcome a slow night by Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love and No. 13 Stanford opened the season with a 31-10 victory over San Diego State on Friday.
Love was held to 29 yards on 18 carries as the Aztecs focused their defense on stopping the man who led all Power 5 backs with 2,118 yards rushing last season.
After a slow start in the opener for both teams, the Cardinal made San Diego State pay for that decision. Costello connected with Arcega-Whiteside on a 38-yard score in the second quarter and then on plays from 19 and 80 yards in the third quarter as the Aztecs defensive backs struggled to contend with Stanford’s big receiver. Arcega-Whiteside finished with six catches for 226 yards.
Costello added a 19-yard TD pass to Colby Parkinson in the fourth quarter to break open what had been a close game for more than a half. Costello finished 21 for 31 for 332 yards and four TDs.
The game turned following an odd sequence late in the first half. Noble Hall intercepted a deflected pass for San Diego State but then lost the ball when Stanford receiver Trent Irwin raced back and knocked it loose before recovering the fumble.
Three plays later, Costello found Arcega-Whiteside deep for a 38-yard TD pass that gave Stanford a 9-7 lead at the half.
The Aztecs had scored first behind talented back Juwan Washington, who gashed Stanford with runs of 22, 10 and 40 yards on a 92-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard score.
Colorado rolls to 4th straight win over Colorado State
Steven Montez threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns, including an 89-yard strike to Laviska Shenault Jr. , as Colorado extended its win streak to four straight over Colorado State with a 45-13 rout on Friday night.
It’s the most points Colorado (1-0) has scored against the Rams (0-2) since 1996.
Montez had the offense humming along early, completing his first 12 passes to tie a school record to begin a game. He began the scoring spree with a 38-yard TD run on Colorado’s opening possession. It’s the longest scamper for a score by a Buffaloes quarterback since Kordell Stewart went 60 yards on Oct. 22, 1994.
The mobile Montez found wide-open receivers all evening in a game played at the home of the Denver Broncos. He was in complete synch with Shenault, who caught 11 passes for 211 yards. On his long touchdown, Shenault hauled in a short pass over the middle, made a player miss and was off to the races.
New Buffaloes tailback Travon McMillian, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, got into the scoring act with a 49-yard run as he helps replace Phillip Lindsay, who’s now with the Broncos.
Colorado rolled up 596 total yards against a porous Rams defense that surrendered 617 in a 43-34 loss to Hawaii last weekend.
Rams coach Mike Bobo hobbled along the sideline as he continues to deal with numbness in his feet. Bobo had an assistant shadowing him just in case the action got too close. He watched from the coaches’ box last weekend.
It was a rough night for Colorado State QB K.J. Carta-Samuels a week after throwing for a program-best 537 yards. Under constant duress, Carta-Samuels threw for 176 yards, a TD and an interception. He was spelled at times in the second half by Collin Hill, a redshirt sophomore who’s returning from a knee injury.