College football kicked off on Thursday with the Pac-12 conference holding down the bulk of the major conference presence. Four Pac-12 teams were in action to start the 2012 season.
Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from last night. Clint Eastwoods’ Republican convention speech not included.
UCLA Rushing Attack
Johnathan Franklin is one of the best running backs non-Pac-12 fans do not know much about. His talent is undeniable. UCLA used Franklin as their unstoppable weapon against Rice. The senior rushed for 214 yards including a 74 yard touchdown run. Freshman Brett Hundley had his moments as well taking the Bruins’ and his first snap 72 yards for a score. Not exaclty a bad way to start a collegiate career. Jim Mora’s squad finished with 343 yards on the ground in their 49-24 win.
Utah and Arizona State Take Care of Business
I can’t give a lot of credit to derailing Northern Colorado or Northern Arizona. What I can do is praise both Utah and Arizona State for dominating in their opening games.
The Utes had a slow start hosting UNC, going scoreless in the first, but that was short lived as Utah limited the Bears to a mere 114 total yards. Jordan Wynn was solid in the blowout, but it was freshman QB Travis Wilson who displayed his athletic ability rushing for two TDs.
Todd Graham wasn’t exactly challenging himself in his ASU debut by playing the Lumberjacks. However, the 63-6 final looks good in the paper the next day, and gives Sun Devil fans the warm and fuzzies going into week two.
Mike Leach’s Opening Night
In my Pac-12 game of the week, the Washington State Cougars had the national stage to show what the new coach could do with the keys to car. Let’s just say the vehicle hit a tree.
BYU kept Leach’s crew out of the endzone in the 30-6 blowout. Even with viable quarterback Jeff Tuel, and stud receiver Marquess Wilson, the air raid offense will apparently take time to gel. Two interceptions and negative five rushing yards isn’t going to put fear into other Pac-12 programs.
UCLA’s Kicking Game
Missing an extra point happens. Sometimes they get blocked, and sometimes the kicker just whiffs. Two in a game is rare. Three in a game and you almost have to wonder if the kicker is point shaving. UCLA’s placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn saw three extra point attempts blocked by Cameron Nwosu. After the second block, one would think to put a body on him. Either way, the three blocks set an FBS record.
James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America
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