September 2, 2012 in Sports

Top-ranked USC looks the part in win over Hawaii

Associated Press photo

Fans enter the newly retro-fitted Memorial Stadium for Saturday’s Nevada-California game won by Wolf Pack.
(Full-size photo)

Marqise Lee caught a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and No. 1 Southern California rolled to a 49-10 victory over Hawaii on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Matt Barkley kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign with 377 yards passing and four touchdowns, and Lee caught 10 passes for 197 yards for the Trojans, whose offensive stars were every bit as impressive as expected in their first game since their two-year NCAA bowl ban ended.

Silas Redd rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown on a team-leading nine carries in the Penn State transfer’s debut at USC, which led 35-0 at halftime and coasted to its 15th consecutive season-opening victory.

Former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow made his head coaching debut after 40 years in the profession, but his Warriors couldn’t keep up in the opener of their first season since moving to the Mountain West after 33 years in the WAC.

Nevada 31, Cal 24: Stefphon Jefferson ran for 145 yards and scored his third touchdown with 36 seconds remaining as the Wolf Pack spoiled the reopening of Memorial Stadium in Berkeley by beating the host Golden Bears.

Cody Fajardo completed 25 of 32 passes for 230 yards and added 97 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Wolf Pack, who put a damper on what was supposed to be a celebratory day for the Golden Bears in their first on-campus game in 21 months.

Fajardo engineered the winning drive by throw a 14-yard pass to Zach Sudfeld on third-and-4 from the Cal 38 and a 19-yarder to Brandon Wimberly that set up Jefferson’s winning score.

Quarterback Zach Maynard returned after being benched for the first three series as punishment for missing a tutoring session earlier this summer to throw two touchdown passes for Cal. But he also lost a fumble deep in Nevada territory in the fourth quarter as the Bears lost at home to Nevada for the second time in 25 tries and first since 1903.

The Wolf Pack had beaten Cal just once before winning 52-31 two years ago at home behind star quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The day got off to a festive start as Cal held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen Memorial Stadium, which underwent a $321 million seismic retrofit and renovation.

The Bears returned home after playing last season’s games across the bay at the San Francisco Giants home of AT&T Park.

Colorado State 22, Colorado 17: Jim McElwain became the first Colorado State coach to win his debut in 42 years when the Rams rallied past their arch rival for a win over the Buffaloes in Denver.

Oregon 57, Arkansas State 34: Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota made his first start in a real game, passing for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the fifth-ranked Ducks’ season-opening victory over the Red Wolves at Eugene, Ore.

De’Anthony Thomas caught two touchdowns and ran for another while collecting 119 yards in total offense as the Ducks built a 50-10 lead by halftime.

Kenjon Barner, taking over as starter after the departure of running back LaMichael James, ran for 66 yards and two scores.

Oregon sat most of its starters after halftime.

The loss spoiled coach Gus Malzahn’s first game as coach of the Red Wolves, who went 10-3 last season and won the Sun Belt Conference title.

Arizona 24, Toledo 17 (OT): Matt Scott threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Terrence Miller in overtime as the Wildcats edged the Rockets at Tucson, Ariz.

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