Pac-12 football: Defense keys California’s win over North Carolina; No. 24 Oregon routs Bowling Green; Arizona State opens Herm Edwards era with bashing
Patrick Laird rushed for one touchdown and caught another, California’s defense took advantage of a rocky outing from North Carolina quarterback Nathan Elliott, and the Golden Bears held off the Tar Heels 24-17 in the season-opener for both teams Saturday.
Cameron Goode scored on a 38-yard interception return but left in the fourth quarter with a possible leg injury.
Goode’s interception was one of four by the Golden Bears. Cornerback Jaylinn Hawkins had two.
Cal’s defense came up big on a day when the Bears rotated three quarterbacks all afternoon — often during the same series — and were limited to 119 passing yards.
Ross Bowers started for the Bears but was in and out of the game. Chase Garbers threw for one touchdown while Brandon McIlwain also split time running the offense.
Laird plodded his way to 95 yards on 29 carries. He had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Garbers in the third.
Antonio Williams scored on a 3-yard run for North Carolina. Anthony Ratliff-Williams added a 14-yard touchdown catch.
The Tar Heels trailed 24-3 before scoring a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Elliott’s 14-yard touchdown to Ratliff-Williams with 1:13 remaining cut the lead to 24-17.
North Carolina appeared to recover an onside kick but the Tar Heels were called for an illegal block. Cal recovered the next try.
The Tar Heels struggled in their first game while playing without 13 players who were recently suspended for selling team-issued shoes.
Elliott, who started the final three games in 2017, completed 15 of 35 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown.
North Carolina had one first down in the first half and didn’t cross midfield until early in the third quarter.
at No. 24 Oregon 58, Bowling Green: Justin Herbert threw for five touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 24 Oregon to a 58-24 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday night.
Herbert completed 10 of 21 passes for 281 yards and the five passing TDs were the most for a Duck in a season-opening game. He also rushed for 41 yards.
The victory extended Oregon’s winning streak in home openers to 14 straight.
Bowling Green, which went 2-10 last season, jumped in front 10-0 in the first quarter, but the Ducks scored 37 unanswered points until the Falcons scored again just before the halftime to make it 37-17.
Bowling Green quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Scott Miller had 166 receiving yards and two touchdowns and Andrew Clair ran for 113 yards.
at Arizona State 49, Texas San Antonio 7: Manny Wilkins threw for four touchdowns, two to N’Keal Harry, and Arizona State gave new coach Herm Edwards a big night in his return to the sidelines with a 49-7 rout of UTSA on Saturday night.
Wilkins, entering his third season as Arizona State’s starter, completed 16 of 24 for 237 yards and left the game after three quarters with his team comfortably up 42-0.
Harry, a second-team preseason All-American wide receiver, caught six passes for 140 yards, including touchdown plays of 58 and 31 yards. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound junior did most of the damage with his legs on both plays.
Arizona State (1-0) outgained the Roadrunners (0-1) 503-220, including 266-2 on the ground. Eno Benjamin had 131 yards on 16 carries, including a 3-yard TD run. USTA quarterbacks were sacked nine times.
It was a highly successful debut for Edwards, who left his ESPN studio job to return to the sidelines. He hadn’t coached since he was fired by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and hadn’t coached collegiately since he served as a defensive backs coach for San Jose State in 1989.
Washington State 41, at Wyoming 19: Graduate transfer Gardner Minshew threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns as Washington State gained a 41-19 season-opening win over Wyoming Saturday.
Minshew, who transferred from East Carolina, completed 38 of 57 attempts.
He had TD passes of 2 yards to James Williams, 6 yards to Max Borghi and 7 yards to Easop Winston. Minshew threw one interception.
Cougar coach Mike Leach had kept his starting quarterback a secret until the game started.
Williams rushed 16 times for 82 yards and one score for Washington State (1-0). He also caught 10 passes for 53 yards.
Wyoming (1-1) was led by Nico Evans, who ran for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The Cowboys offense was limited to 206 total yards, including just 67 passing yards.
Wyoming led 16-13 at the half but managed only a 30-yard field goal in the second half.
The Cowboys hurt themselves with penalties, committing 13 infractions for 109 yards.
Brigham Young 28, at Arizona 23: Squally Canada scored on three short touchdown runs and Brigham Young spoiled Kevin Sumlin’s Arizona coaching debut with a 28-23 win over the Wildcats on Saturday night.
BYU went 4-9 last year, but looked like a far better team in its 2018 opener. The Cougars were overpowering up front on offense and the defense limited Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate’s effectiveness by not letting him get out and run.
Arizona had some good moments in the first half in its first game under Sumlin, but struggled on both sides of the ball in the third quarter as BYU built an 18-point lead.
at No. 15 USC 43, Nevada Las Vegas 21
Cincinnati 26, at UCLA 17
Go beyond the scoreboard
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