It was forecast to be a shootout in Boise on Thursday night between Oregon and Boise State. Instead, it was a typical opening game -- entertaining at times, but hardly smooth.
Final score Boise 19, Oregon 8. Oregon was horrible offensively in Coach Chip Kelly's debut, managing only 152 total yards, the lowest total for the Ducks in 25 years.
The highlight (or lowlight) of the game came at the end. After making a big deal about a new feeling of sportsmanship, the NCAA suggested the competing teams shake hands BEFORE the game, which was a challenge for these two teams since there were some ruffled feelings when Boise went to Eugene last year and knocked off the Ducks. That went fine.
After the game? Well, Boise's Byron Hout said something to Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount, which a moment later, prompted Blount to sucker punch Hout on the side of the head.
Blount, who is the Ducks' top running back, who was kicked out of one practice during training camp, will likely sit out a game or two for his actions until he learns to control himself as Oregon tries to recover.
Boise, which is now 65-2 on its blue turf field since 1999, can continue its chase to earn a BCS bid. The win should give the No. 14 (and going higher) Broncos a huge boost in the polls.
Can you say Boise vs. USC in the Rose Bowl?
On the other side of the country, N.C. State looked inept on offense in a 7-3 loss to South Carolina and Russell Wilson looked like anything but the best quarterback in the ACC. Wilson wasn't even the best QB on the field.
Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson has heard nothing but praise for his coaching skills over the past several years at Georgia Southern, Navy, and now at Georgia Tech. Here's one reason why. During a recent scrimmage, Johnson went up to his offense and asked a rhetorical question. "You guys want to score a TD?" Naturally there were all nods of agreement. Johnson gave them a play. TD. ... Billboard in South Bend congratulating Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis on his fifth year of "apprenticeship'' has been taken down. Guess Charlie's apprenticeship is over. Irish face Nevada in their opener tomorrow. It might be tougher than people think. Boise might have company among the non-BCS conference teams with Utah, which was unbeaten last year and knocked off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Utes won their 15th straight on Thursday night, beating Utah 35-17. The Utes, who have the longest current winning streak in the FBS, have now scored 30 or more points in 12 of their last 15 games. ... Former Texas QB Todd Dodge's job is on the line at North Texas after a 1-11 season last year and an overall 3-21 record in the last two years. So Dodge asked for help -- bringing in his son Riley as his QB. The Mean Green's opening game on Thursday night produced a 20-10 win over Ball State, with Dodge throwing for 216 yards and 1 TD. Now that's a good son.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell