Friday, October 28, 2016

Backup QB Worthman leads Air Force past Fresno State 31-21

 Backup quarterback Arion Worthmanran for 102 yards and two touchdowns as an injury replacement to rally Air Force past Fresno State 31-21 on Friday night.
Air Force (5-3, 2-3 Mountain West Conference) snapped a three-game losing streak, while Fresno State (1-8, 0-5) joined the 1929 Bulldogs as the only teams in school history to lose seven consecutive games.
The Falcons were able to win despite senior starting quarterback Nate Romine leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter, when the Falcons were trailing 21-17.
Enter Worthman, a sophomore with one career rush and one career pass - both in this season's opener - to his credit. He fueled the winning rally as the primary ball carrier on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, attempting just two passes as Air Force ran the ball on its final 30 plays - including all 24 in the fourth quarter.
Worthman's 2-yard leap into the end zone on an option keeper gave Air Force a 24-21 lead with 13:02 to play in the game. His 4-yard keeper sealed the victory with 2:34 to play in the game.
Fresno State was playing its first game since head coach Tim DeRuyter was fired. Freshman quarterbackChason Virgil threw three touchdown passes to KeeSean Johnson, but also threw four interceptions that set up two Falcons touchdowns.
THE TAKEAWAY
AIR FORCE: The Falcons have scored in 293 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in FBS history, and the third-longest active streak behind Florida (353) and Texas Christian (300).
FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs are out of bowl-game contention, so their attention is focused on finding the next head coach to replace DeRuyter. Local media reports name former Cal coach Jeff Tedford, a former Fresno State player and offensive coordinator, as the clear front runner. Tedford has long-running ties with Fresno State athletic director Jim Bartko from their mutual time at Oregon. Other potential candidates include Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, a former Fresno State quarterback, and former USC coach Steve Sarkisian.
UP NEXT
AIR FORCE: The Falcons can win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for a record 19th outright time with a win next Saturday at Army. Air Force beat Navy 28-14 on Oct. 1 in the first leg of the round robin.
FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs hope to avoid the second 1-8 start in school history, dating to 1921, in next Saturday's trip to Colorado State.

Pumphrey 5th in NCAA after San Diego State rolls 40-13

 Donnel Pumphrey ran for 223 yards, moving into the top five on the NCAA career list, and Juwan Washington added 137 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego State's 40-13 victory over Utah State on Friday night.
John Baron II was perfect on a career high four field goals in the driving rain for the Aztecs (7-1, 4-0), who have won 15 straight over Mountain West Conference rivals.
Pumphrey leads the country with 1,469 yards this season. He passed Cedric Benson, Travis Prentice and Charles White as he reached 5,741.
Washington had scoring runs of 39 and 1 yards en route to his first 100-yard game and the Aztecs piled up 400 yards on the ground.
Malik Smith scored his first touchdown with a 28-yard return on his ninth career interception for the final Aztec score.
Kurt Myers passed for a score and ran for another for Utah State (3-7, 1-4). His first-quarter run marked the first time SDSU has trailed in a regular-season conference game since last Oct. 31, a span of 400 minutes, 14 seconds.

Flowers shines, South Florida beats No. 22 Navy 52-45

 Quinton Flowers ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns to help South Florida get back on track in the American Athletic Conference with a 52-45 victory over No. 22 Navy on Friday night.
Rebounding from a 16-point loss to Temple that cost the Bulls (7-2, 4-1) sole possession of first place in the AAC's East Division, Flowers keyed a balanced attack that amassed 629 yards total offense against an overmatched Navy defense that yielded TDs on USF's first six possessions of the game to fall behind 42-14 at halftime.
"Great win for us," USF coach Willie Taggart said. "I'm really excited the way our guys responded to how we performed last week."
Will Worth ran for four touchdowns for Navy (5-2, 4-1), which leads the AAC West and entered game as the only team without a loss in league play after beating then-No. 6 Houston and Memphis to nudge into the Top 25.
Flowers joined Marlon Mack in topping 100 yards rushing for the third time in four games. The dual-threat quarterback scored on runs of 1 and 63 yards, while also throwing for 219 and two more TDs.
Mack scored on an 85-yard run in the opening quarter and finished with 125 on 11 carries for the 18th 100-yard performance of his career, fifth this season.
"Our guys accepted the challenge. We needed to run the ball well and score early," Taggart said. "You want (Navy) to have to play from behind."
Worth rushed for 129 yards and scored on runs of 4, 1, 1 and 2 yards for Navy, which was forced to throw the ball more than the Midshipmen are accustomed, with Worth going 15 of 27 for 299 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The senior quarterback from Valrico, Florida - a short drive from the USF campus - set up one of his TDs with a 42-yard completion to Toneo Gulley. The Midshipmen attempted more than eight passes in a game for only the third time this season, finishing with 616 yards total offense, including 317 rushing.
Worth's 9-yard TD pass to Darryl Bonner came on the game's final play.
"We gave them a 28-point lead," Worth said, "and it's tough to come back against a talented team like that."
TAKEAWAY
Navy: The Midshipmen thrive by essentially playing keep-away, using a potent rushing attack to control the ball and keep opposing offenses off the field for long stretches. The strategy worked to perfection a year ago - when Navy ran for 442 yards to beat USF 29-17 in Annapolis - but never got a chance to work this time.
South Florida: Flowers leads the American in TD passes, however the Bulls are at their best when they're able to run the ball consistently. Mack led the AAC is rushing the past two years. And along with Flowers, who is averaging more than 7 yards per carry, USF has the best one-two running punch in the conference.
RUNNING WILD
South Florida rushed for a school record 190 yards in the first quarter and finished with 412. D'Ernest Johnson gained a career-high 108 on 19 attempts, giving the Bulls three 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time in program history.
AIR NAVY
Worth's passing total was a season high. The only other time he threw more than 12 passes in game, he was 17 of 30 for 260 yards and no touchdowns in a 14-point loss at Air Force on Oct. 1.
POLL IMPLICATIONS
Navy remains atop the American West standings, however the lopsided result likely will knock the Midshipmen out of the Top 25. USF was inching toward a spot in the rankings before last week's loss at Temple. The dominating performance on national television states the case that at the very least no team in the AAC is playing better than the Bulls right now.
RARE LEAGUE LOSS
Navy has won 11 of 13 conference games since joining the American last year. The only another loss in league play was a 52-31 defeat at Houston last season.
UP NEXT
Navy steps out of conference, returning to Florida next Saturday to face Notre Dame in Jacksonville.
South Florida has a bye before playing at Memphis on Nov. 12.

Darnold, Jones lead USC over Cal 45-24

Ronald Jones just needed an opportunity to show he was still the running back that became Southern California's most prolific freshman rusher a season ago.
With starter Justin Davis sidelined because of injury and the Pac-12's worst run defense trying to stop him, coach Clay Helton knew that the sophomore was "ready to explode."
Jones rushed for a career-high 223 yards, Sam Darnold threw five touchdowns passes and USC downed California 45-24 on Thursday night.
Darnold threw for 231 yards, with Darreus Rogers making six catches for a career-high 97 yards, as the Trojans rolled up a season-high 629 yards of total offense. Aca'Cedric Warecontributed a career-high 130 yards rushing to USC's total of 398, the fourth time this season the Golden Bears have allowed more than 300 yards on the ground.
"We looked like a tired, beat-up football team and we were," Cal coach Sonny Dykes said.
USC (5-3, 4-2 Pac-12) scored on three of its first four possessions, with Darnold finding Rogers, Jones andDeontay Burnett for touchdowns. Rogers added a second touchdown catch with 28 seconds left, but two fumbles by Darnold allowed Cal (4-4, 2-3) to maintain a modicum of hope despite allowing 451 yards on 46 plays in the first half.
Defensive tackle James Looney returned a fumble to the USC 22, where Tre Watson took a screen pass into the end zone. Webb, the Texas Tech transfer, found his rhythm on Cal's next drive, with throws of 23 and 32 yards to set up Matt Anderson's field goal.
Webb threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, throwing a ball up for grabs that was intercepted by safety Marvell Tell in the first quarter. Webb also rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter that cut USC's lead to 28-17 before Jones had a 37-yard touchdown run and Daniel Imatorbhebhe caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Darnold.
Melquise Stovall, a freshman who originally committed to attend USC as a recruit, had nine receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Cal's best chance to take the lead came on its fourth play from scrimmage, but freshman Demetris Robertsondropped a potential 64-yard touchdown that hit him in the hands. After Webb quick kicked on fourth-and-1 from the Cal 45, Jones ripped off a 61-yard run on the next play and the Cal defense was on its heels for the rest of the half.
"I think we were prepared when we got here," Webb said. "It's on us. That's how it should be. It's a player's game."
Jones had 149 yards on eight first-half carries.
RECORD RETURNS
USC cornerback Adoree Jackson set a new school record for career kick return yardage, breaking the previous mark of 1,723 yards held by Curtis Conway.
Jackson had 56 yards on two kick returns, giving him 1,779 yards in his three seasons at USC. The electric Jackson also had two spectacular punt returns, though one was called back because of a holding penalty.
THE TAKEAWAY
Cal: The Bears have now lost 13 in a row to the Trojans since handing Pete Carroll's 2003 national championship team its only loss in triple overtime that season. Cal was always going to have trouble defending Darnold and USC's plethora of skill players, and that task was even tougher with a short week to prepare and mounting injuries. But with three home games left, Cal has a good chance at becoming bowl eligible if it can maintain its strong play in Strawberry Canyon.
USC: The Trojans are white-hot, with Darnold leading the way. The freshman quarterback has now thrown 16 touchdown passes in leading USC to four consecutive wins, playing with a fearlessness and fire that the team was missing at the start of the season, though his ball security must improve. They need help to win the Pac-12 South, but the Trojans are more than capable of turning the conference race upside down when they travels to No. 4 Washington on Nov. 12.
UP NEXT
Cal: The Bears host the Huskies on Nov. 5, a potential trap game for Washington while completing its only back-to-back road games this season.
USC: The Trojans host faltering Oregon on Nov. 5, seeking their first five-game winning streak since interim coach Ed Orgeron won five straight in 2013.

Brown leads Ohio to 31-26 win; 1st win at Toledo since 1967

Dorian Brown had career highs with 212 yards rushing and 29 carries and Ohio beat Toledo 31-26 on Thursday night for the Bobcats' first road victory over the Rockets since 1967.
Ohio (6-3, 4-1 Mid-American) led 31-20 on Brown's 51-yard TD run with 8:08 left in the game and the Bobcats held the Rockets at midfield in the final minute for the first win in the series since 1988.
Quinton Maxwell passed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and the Bobcats never trailed.
Toledo (6-2, 3-1) capped the scoring on Logan Woodside's 10-yard pass to Jon'Vea Johnson with 3:28 left, but failed on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Woodside was 32 of 24 for 438 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Johnshon had six catches for 156 yards and two TDs and Corey Jones had seven catches for 115 yards and a score.
The Rockets cut the deficit it to 14-13 and 21-20.

Lamb, Appalachian State beat Georgia Southern 34-10

Taylor Lamb passed for 199 yards and ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns to help Appalachian State beat Georgia Southern 34-10 on Thursday night.
Jalin Moore added 126 yards rushing and Marcus Cox ran for 115 yards for the Mountaineers (6-2, 4-0 Sun Belt). Each had a touchdown run in the final quarter and Appalachian State scored the final 34 points after falling behind early.
Lamb put the Mountaineers on the board with a 14-yard run in the middle of the second quarter. Michael Rubino added field goals on each side of halftime and Lamb made it 20-10 with a 30-yard keeper late in the third.
Younghoe Koo's 32-yard field goal opened the scoring for the Eagles (4-4, 3-2) and Ukeme Eligwe returned a fumble 90 yards to make 10-0 late in the first quarter.
Georgia Southern never got moving on offense, though, and was outgained by the Mountaineers 498-159.

Johnson runs for Buffalo-record 282 yards, Bulls beat Akron

 Jordan Johnson ran for a Buffalo-record 282 yards in the Bulls' 41-20 victory over Akron on Thursday night.
Tatum Slack sacked Akron's Thomas Woodson on a fourth-and-7 play to preserve the Bulls' 34-20 lead with 5:44 left.
Johnson put it out of reach 54 seconds later with a 39-yard scoring run. On that play, Johnson passed Alan Bell's previous single-game rushing mark of 266 yards set against Duquesne in 1991.
Johnson covered all 63 yards on Buffalo's final scoring drive and 50 of the Bulls' 64 yards on the drive that made it 34-20 with 9:34 left.
Tyree Jackson threw a touchdown pass and ran for two more scores for Buffalo (2-6, 1-3 Mid-American).
Johnson had a 61-yard TD run to make it 17-3 in the second quarter. He has 24 carries.
JoJo Natson scored on a 79-yard punt return and a 33-yard reception for the Zips (5-4, 3-2).