Jordan Wynn is back, but Utah followed the same plan that was successful last season – hand the ball to John White.
“John White did his thing. That was what we wanted out of him,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
White rushed for 119 yards, Wynn threw for two touchdowns and backup quarterback Travis Wilson ran for two more scores to power Utah over Northern Colorado, 41-0, on Thursday night in Salt Lake City in both teams’ season opener.
“I just wanted to put points on the board and they didn’t come early,” White said. “It was frustrating, but I knew we’d get it together and it showed at the end.”
Wynn took some time to regain his form after missing the final nine games of the 2011 season due to a left- shoulder injury. The Utes’ first drive ended in an interception by Courtney Hall on Wynn’s underthrown pass, but he recovered to complete 19 of 27 passes for 200 yards, including both TD passes to tight end Jake Murphy.
“Obviously we’d like to start a little faster on offense and a lot of that has to do with me. But we responded well and had a good second and third quarter to put them away,” Wynn said.
White, who set Utah’s single-season rushing record last year, carried 24 times on his way to his ninth career 100-yard game, all of which have been Utah wins.
New Utah offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, the former Utes quarterback who is the youngest OC in the FBS, showed more spread formations but essentially ran the ball like his predecessor, Norm Chow.
“Listening to conversations through the headset and watching the game, you’d never know Brian was calling his first game as a coordinator. He mixed it up and called a good game,” Whittingham said.
Northern Colorado, which has lost 19 of its past 20 games and was 0-11 last season, never crossed midfield and managed only 114 total yards on 50 plays.
UCLA 49, at Rice 24: Johnathan Franklin rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns as the Bruins racked up 348 yards on the ground in beating the Owls in Jim Mora Jr.’s first game as UCLA’s coach.
Brett Hundley, a redshirt freshman, completed 21 of 28 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards and a score.
Franklin just missed his career high of 216 yards rushing set in 2010 against Washington State. He became the first player in UCLA history to have two rushes of at least 72 yards in a game after scoring on touchdown runs of 74 and 78 yards.
Rice’s Taylor McHargue threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 17 of 28 passing and rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Sam McGuffie caught eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
UCLA finished with 651 total yards, compared with 347 for Rice.
At Arizona State 63, Northern Arizona 6: Marion Grice ran for three touchdowns, Taylor Kelly was efficient in his desert debut, and the Sun Devils opened the Todd Graham era with a rout of the Lumberjacks.
Arizona State overwhelmed Northern Arizona from the opening kickoff, forcing three turnovers and running for five touchdowns while building a 42-0 halftime lead.
Kelly, Arizona State’s fourth quarterback in as many years, looked as he’d been under center all along, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Marshall had two of Arizona State’s seven rushing touchdowns, both in the first quarter, and the Sun Devils rolled up 554 yards of offense while scoring their most points since 2005.
Arizona State was just as dominant defensively, knocking out Northern Arizona’s quarterback and leading rusher in the first half.
Hurricane Isaac has forced Oregon State and Nicholls State of Louisiana to postpone their season opener that was set for Saturday at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. Oregon State officials said the game will be rescheduled.
Officials for the two schools will now consider options for rescheduling the game because the teams have different bye dates.
Eastern Washington 20, at Idaho 3: Kyle Padron passed for 260 yards and a touchdown to lead the Eagles past the Vandals in the season opener for both teams.
Padron, who completed 13 of 33 passes, is the second straight SMU transfer to start at QB for EWU. Bo Levi Mitchell led the Eagles to the FCS national title in 2010 and won the Walter Payton Award as the division’s top player last year.
Padron, who started 21 games for SMU from 2009-11, hit Jake Whitnell with a 3-yard TD pass in the second quarter to give EWU a 10-3 lead. Quincy Forte ran for 66 yards and a score.
It was the Eagles’ first win against an FBS school since an 8-5 win at Idaho in 2003.
Najee Lovett had eight receptions for 105 yards for the Vandals, who went 2-10 last season.
Although transfer Dominique Blackman won Idaho’s starting QB job, he did not play Thursday. Logan Bushnell started and was 10 of 24 for 123 yards and an interception.
Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards, and quarterback Connor Shaw ran for 92 yards while playing the second half with an injured shoulder as No. 9 South Carolina rallied for a 17-13 victory against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. … Blake Bortles passed for 168 yards and three touchdowns as Central Florida ruined Terry Bowden’s return to major college coaching after a 19-year absence, routing mistake-prone Akron, 56-14, in Akron, Ohio.
Purdue starting linebacker Dwayne Beckford, already suspended following his fourth arrest in the past 14 months, has been kicked off the team. … Former Notre Dame running back and Fighting Irish radio analyst Allen Pinkett has been pulled off the broadcast of Saturday’s season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, after his comments that teams need bad guys to give them an edge.