FARGO, N.D. — No. 1-ranked North Dakota State rolled up 508 yards of total offense and cruised to a 58-0 win against Incarnate Word in the home opener Saturday, Sept. 13, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
Carson Wentz completed 14 of 18 passes for a career-high 237 yards and three touchdowns, and John Crockett ran 13 times for 82 yards and a pair of scores as the Bison (3-0) won their FCS-record 27th game in a row.
A crowd of 19,020 was on hand to see NDSU raise its national championship banner during pregame festivities for the third consecutive year. It was the sixth largest crowd in Fargodome history.
Cornerback Tre Dempsey led the Bison defense with six tackles including four solo stops, Esley Thorton made five tackles and a career-high 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Pierre Gee-Tucker had an interception and Shea DeJong returned an interception 69 yards for the final score of the game.
NDSU held Incarnate Word to just 42 yards of total offense through three quarters. The Cardinals (0-3) finished with 55 yards rushing and 95 yards passing.
No. 5 Coastal Carolina 30, SC State 3
CONWAY, S.C. — Before a record crowd of 10,124 at Brooks Stadium, De’Angelo Henderson rushed for a career-high 172 yards, including 122 in the first half, to lead No. 5 Coastal Carolina to a 30-3 victory against South Carolina State in the Chanticleers’ 2014 home opener Saturday night at Brooks Stadium.
Henderson averaged 8.6 yards on 20 rushes with his 172 yards ranking seventh on the CCU single-game list. Quarterback Alex Ross added a rushing touchdown but had his streak of consecutive games with a passing touchdown snapped at 16. He completed 15-of-21 passes for 141 yards.
All-American linebacker Quinn Backus only played the first half due to an injury. However, he still managed nine tackles and a forced fumble — which was recovered and returned for a CCU touchdown. Also, he additionally played a key role in keeping the Bulldogs to just three first-half points. On second-and-goal from the one, Backus had a tackle for loss and, on third down, broke up a pass in the endzone to force the South Carolina State field goal.
Safety Richie Sampson and linebacker Brett Johnson each recorded a team-high 10 tackles for Coastal defensively. Johnson had two tackles for loss, including one sack. The Chanticleers totaled 211 rushing yards as a team, surpassing the 200-yard mark for the 19th time in the last 25 games and improving to 18-1 in those contests.
No. 6 McNeese State 48, PV A&M 16
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A near capacity crowd of 17,469 watched McNeese open its 50th season in Cowboy Stadium with a dominating 48-16 win against Prairie View A&M. The win evened the Cowboys’ record to 1-1 on the season as the largest crowd since 19,235 witnessed McNeese beat Lamar in the 2010 season opener.
Junior running back Derrick Milton led the offense with three touchdowns and tacked on 109 rushing yards on 12 carries as the Cowboys rolled up 379 yards on the ground while averaging 7.0 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Cowboys’ unit scored for the second consecutive game when Deonte Thompson scooped up a fumble late in the first quarter to blow the game open early.
The Cowboys put up 517 total offensive yards as the defense held Prairie View to 336, including just 94 on the ground.
Tulane 35, No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana 20
NEW ORLEANS — Tulane scored the game’s first 21 points and never looked back on the way to a 35-20 victory against No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana in non-conference football action Saturday night at Yulman Stadium.
The Lions couldn’t overcome a 28-3 halftime deficit or 15 penalties for 154 yards. Tulane picked up its first win behind three touchdown passes by freshman quarterback Tanner Lee.
The standout performer for the Lions was senior linebacker Isiah Corbett, who finished with two interceptions. Senior Tyler Stoddard led the Lions with eight tackles, as both he and senior Marice Sutton had sacks. Junior Denzel Thompson forced a fumble and junior Micah Eugene was credited with his second fumble recovery of the season.
The Lion offense was limited to 271 total yards. Senior quarterback and Walter Payton Award candidate Bryan Bennett finished 16-for-34 for 213 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while also rushing for his 19th career touchdown. Senior Devante Scott (five catches, 93 yards) and junior Jeff Smiley (five catches, 79 yards) were Bennett’s top targets, while senior Jeremy Meyers caught his first touchdown of 2014.
No. 9 New Hampshire 45, Lehigh 27
DURHAM, N.H. — A year ago, the Wildcats led Lehigh by a couple of touchdowns early in the third period, but were unable to finish off the Mountain Hawks and lost, 34-27, in Bethlehem.
On Saturday, under the lights in Cowell Stadium, UNH finished the job this time for a 45-27 triumph. The Wildcats roared to a 29-0 halftime lead and, while the second half wasn’t the prettiest, they did plenty both on offense and defense to secure the victory.
With the offensive line opening holes and protecting well, junior quarterback Sean Goldrich putting up career-best numbers and a defense led by sophomore linebacker DeVaughn Chollette doing a nice job of shutting down Lehigh, the Wildcats got their win.
Goldrich passed for 422 yards to smash his previous career high of 291 and matched his career high with four touchdown passes.
The defense, which didn’t have a turnover or sack in a season-opening loss at Toledo two weeks ago, picked off a pass and recovered a fumble and also had four sacks. Chollette had the interception, a sack and seven tackles.
No. 10 South Dakota St. 26, Southern Utah 6
CEDAR CITY, Utah — The South Dakota State defense intercepted three passes and carried a shutout late into the fourth quarter before the Jackrabbits prevailed 26-6 against Southern Utah Saturday night at Eccles Coliseum.
With the win, the 10th-ranked Jackrabbits improved to 2-1 overall, while SUU dropped to 0-3. The victory was career win No. 113 for South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier, tying him with Ralph Ginn (113-89-9 record from 1947-68) for the most in program history.
The Jackrabbit offense moved the ball almost at will in the first half, starting with a methodical 13-play, 75-yard scoring march on the opening drive. Reggie Gandy capped the scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
SDSU moved the ball into Thunderbird territory in each of its first four possessions, but two ended with interceptions. The Jackrabbits did not punt in the first half and held a 250-60 advantage in total yards.