College Football Scores: Utah Football No Fluke on Opening Night
The word around college football is that the Utah Utes "upset" the Pitt Panthers last night.
But other than some arbitrary poll rankings, the only people who should have been upset were gamblers who took the higher ranked team.
In what was definitely the best opening night game of the college football season, The Utes recovered from losing an 11-point lead, to beat Pittsburgh in overtime, 27-24.
Tino Sunseri Makes His Debut
Sunseri made his first start at quarterback for the Panthers and played well. It helped that he had a great tailback lined up behind him, in Dion Lewis.
The high point of the night for Sunseri had to be his fourth quarter touchdown pass and two point conversion toss to Jon Baldwin.
Unfortunately it will be his interception in overtime to Brian Blechen that will keep him up at nights this week.
Brian Blechen's Game Saving Interception
Though it was his first interception, Blechen described it like an old pro.
Blechen told the AP:
"The quarterback rolled out and looked to the flat and we were ready for that play... I saw it happening and just went for it."
Blechen ended up making the play of the game.
Jordan Wynn: Game MVP
Though it was the defense that set up the winning score in overtime, it was Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn's steady play throughout the game that had the Utes winning for most of the game.
Wynn completed 21 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns.
His only error being a late second quarter interception.
Dion Lewis Laments The Loss
Pitt Panthers star runningback Dion Lewis, who ran for 1,799 yards last year as a freshman, finished last night's loss with 75 yards on 25 carries.
Lewis told the AP:
"We had a lot of missed opportunities. Our defense played their heart out. They played a great game," Lewis said. "We didn't convert. That's something we're going to have to work on."
Joe Phillips Seals The Deal
After the Blechen interception in overtime, Utah decided to play it safe.
Once they got the ball the Utes didn't even attempted a pass in the extra period.
Instead they ran the ball inside the 10 and left kicker Joe Phillips with a 21-yard chip shot field goal to give the Utes a 27-24 victory.
Utah Shaky at Times
Though the Utes had an 11-point lead at one point in the game, their three turnovers almost came back to haunt them.
Ironically, Utah senior Shaky Smithson had the perfect name last night. Smithson fumbled in the first quarter after a catch then later botched a punt return that was recovered by Pitt.
Utah at Home? Unbeatable
In the end, Utah again set themselves up as a potential "BCS Buster" by knocking off a ranked team from a BCS conference and locking down their 18th consecutive home victory.
Soon the Utes will be on the inside looking out, as they join the BCS by becoming a member of the Pac-10 in 2011.
Recapping The Other Big Games:
The University of Southern California Trojan's offense was in mid-season form last night against Hawaii.
Their defense? Not so much.
In what turned out to be a shoot out USC beat Hawaii 49-36.
Controversial Head Coach Lane Kiffin though, was not happy with his team's performance. Especially since he was making his debut as the Trojan head man.
He was happy they won, but now how they did it.
"We didn't do it in the style that we wanted. We want to be tough, we want to be disciplined," Kiffin said to the AP. "I thought we were tough today. I thought that we played physical in parts of the game, but we weren't disciplined."
Kiffin couldn't have asked for more from Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley, who 257 yards passing and tied a school record with five TD passes.
His favorite target was receiver Ronald Johnson who matched a school record with his three TD catches.
USC tailback Marc Tyler made his debut as a starter and finished with 154 yards on 17 carries and scored a late touchdown.
But as good as things looked on offense, Coach Kiffin knows he has a lot of work to do on defense before the Trojans are ready for Pac-10 play.
Pryor Looks In Mid-Season Form
Whenever anyone mentions Terrelle Pryor, they mention how well he played in last season's Rose Bowl and how he needs to continue to play at that high level this year.
Well, Pryor picked up where he left off in Pasadena, with three touchdown passes, and 247 passing yards as they worked over Marshall 45-7.
He also got help from his running back, Brandon Saine rushed for 103 yards and two TDs on nine carries.
No, that wasn't a typo. Saine had only nine carries.
The game was never in doubt as the Marshall Thundering Herd made it easy for the Buckeyes by losing the turnover battle, 3-0.
There was not much time for celebrating after the game as Ohio State must now get ready for one of the biggest games of the year, a September 11th showdown against the 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes.
"It'll be wild to be in that game," Buckeye wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said to the AP. "It's a relief that finally we can talk about Miami."
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