Brock Jensen backed into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds left, and North Dakota State upset defending Big 12 champion Kansas State, 24-21, Friday night in Manhattan, Kan.
The senior quarterback led the Bison on an 18-play, 80-yard march that ate up 81/2 minutes, helping them convert four third downs along the way, and left the Wildcats with virtually no time left to set up a tying field-goal try.
Jensen threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns for Bison, the two-time defending FCS national champions who have beaten Colorado State, Minnesota and Kansas in the last three years.
Jake Waters threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats, who built a 21-7 lead by the third quarter before everything fell apart. Waters was picked off twice, including a desperation heave after the Bison had taken the lead to wrap up the biggest win in North Dakota State history.
At Arizona 35, Northern Arizona 0: Daniel Jenkins ran 91 yards for a touchdown, the third-longest rushing play in Arizona school history, and the Wildcats opened their season with a rainy victory over the Lumberjacks.
B.J. Denker threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins and ran 30 yards for another score. Moments after Denker left the game in the fourth quarter, backup Javelle Allen ran 61 yards for a TD.
Arizona All-America running back Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher last season, was suspended for the game “per team policy,” the school said. The punishment apparently stemmed from trouble the running back had during the offseason, including an arrest for an incident involving his girlfriend.
Texas Tech 41, SMU 23: Baker Mayfield, believed to be the first walk-on true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for a BCS school, threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns while running for another score as the Red Raiders beat the Mustangs.
It was quite a debut for the 18-year-old Mayfield and new Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, the former Red Raiders quarterback and at 34 the youngest coach at a BCS school.
Mayfield, who completed 43 of 60 passes, made a nifty cut to avoid a defender on his 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter before throwing two TDs in the final 6 minutes.
OTHER SEASON OPENERS
Ryan Jackson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns to lead Houston to a 62-13 win over Southern. Cougars quarterback David Piland was 15 of 23 for 148 yards and a touchdown, and John O’Korn threw for 107 yards and three touchdowns in a backup role.… Duke Johnson had a career-high 186 rushing yards and a touchdown, Stephen Morris threw for 160 yards and another score, and homestanding Miami beat Florida Atlantic, 34-6.
CANES REFUTE KOSAR
Hurricanes trustee Bernie Kosar says the football program held back 10 of its alloted scholarships last year as a byproduct of an ongoing NCAA probe, though school officials said the claim was incorrect. The former Hurricanes and NFL quarterback was among dozens of former Miami players invited to the game as part of the Hurricanes’ celebration of the school’s 1983 national championship team.