Gamecocks survive scare from Vanderbilt
No. 9 South Carolina and coach Steve Spurrier got a big scare to open the college football season. Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw helped the Gamecocks grind their way through past plucky Vanderbilt.
Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards in his first game back after tearing his left ACL, and 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 on Thursday night at Nashville, Tenn.
Shaw bruised his right, throwing shoulder late in the first half and missed the first two series of the third quarter before returning. The junior drove the Gamecocks for the go-ahead touchdown and ran 12 yards to the Vandy 1 before rolling in pain in the end zone.
Lattimore scored the go-ahead TD on a 1-yard run with 11:25 to go.
Vanderbilt had plenty of time to attempt a comeback, the last with 5:08 left. But the Commodores turned it over on downs with 1:47 to go when Jordan Matthews couldn’t handle a fourth-down pass from Jordan Rodgers. Gamecocks defensive back D.J. Swearinger appeared to grab Matthews’ arm before the ball arrived.
Vanderbilt didn’t have the sellout crowd coach James Franklin wanted, but most of the 38,393 who did turn out were wearing black as part of a “blackout.” The Commodores came up with three sacks and forced two turnovers, and they outgained South Carolina 276-272 in total offense.
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 over the Lumberjacks at Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils 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.
UCLA 49, Rice 24: Johnathan Franklin rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns as the Bruins racked up 348 yards on the ground en route to a rout over the Owls at Houston.
Brett Hundley, a redshirt freshman, was 21 of 28 for 202 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown. Joseph Fauria caught three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
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 in the first half.
UCLA finished with 651 total yards in Jim Mora Jr.’s first game as coach, compared to 347 for Rice.
Utah 41, Northern Colorado 0: John White rushed for 119 yards, Jordan Wynn threw for two touchdowns and backup quarterback Travis Wilson ran for two more scores to power the Utes over the Bears at Salt Lake City in both teams’ season opener.
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.
White collected his ninth 100-yard game.