DENTON, Texas – Derek Thompson threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns in North Texas University’s dominating 40-6 victory over Idaho in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
Thompson completed 23 of 27 passes and contributed to the Mean Green’s 591 total yards. North Texas running back Brandin Byrd scored two touchdowns on 57 yards rushing. Idaho scored first but Byrd’s first touchdown for the Mean Green started a 34-point scoring run that Idaho could not answer the rest of the game.
The Vandals’ Chad Chalich (Coeur d’Alene High) threw a quick touchdown pass to Jake Manley in the first possession of the game for Idaho’s only points. Former Central Valley Bear Austin Rehkow’s first collegiate PAT attempt was blocked. Idaho picked up 11 penalties throughout the game that cost them 95 yards.
“We hurt ourselves,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said after a disappointing debut with the Vandals. Idaho also lost three fumbles.
“More than anything, we got our butts kicked up front,” Petrino continued.
The big play in the scoring drive was a 59-yard pass from Chalich to tight end Mike LaGrone. LaGrone fumbled at the end of the play but Clayton Homme was on hand to recover the ball deep in UNT territory.
Chalich completed 19 for 27 passes for 230 yards in his collegiate debut. He connected seven times with transfer Dezmon Epps for 89 yards.
Idaho tallied 160 yards rushing, with transfer Jerrel Brown running for 70 yards on six carries. Chalich accounted for 42 yards on 16 carries.
“It’s about 11 guys doing their job together,” Petrino said. “We hit a couple big plays. There we some we could have hit. It’s sad when you leave them out there.”
Rehkow also handled the punting duties as well as the kicking. He punted for six times with a 47.3 yards-per-kick average. The true freshman launched one punt 62 yards. He missed his only field goal attempt wide left from 39 yards away.
Idaho plays at Wyoming on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Carroll thrashes Menlo
It was all Carroll College in Saturday’s season opener at Roos Field in Cheney as the NAIA No. 12 Saints downed Menlo College 51-7. Carroll found the end zone in four of its first seven drives, including three of its first four, to take a 28-0 lead into the half. They continued to score points in bunches in the second half as they found the end zone three more times and took advantage of a botched punt attempt by Menlo in its own end zone for a safety.
Carroll College wasted no time getting on the board in the first quarter when junior quarterback Dakota Stonehouse scrambled 26 yards on a quarterback keeper and scored.