COLLEGE FOOTBALL | Thursday’s other games
Minnesota 17, Buffalo 7
Tyler Johnson had a 61-yard touchdown reception from Conor Rhoda in the first quarter to give Minnesota a spark in coach P.J. Fleck’s first game, and the Gophers grinded out a victory over Buffalo in the season opener. Fleck led his players in a pregame sprint out of the tunnel beneath a vintage late-summer evening sky, and Johnson racked up 141 yards on six catches by halftime. The rest of the night took on a considerably slower pace, with the Gophers content to call inside handoffs on read-option plays behind new quarterbacks Rhoda and Demry Croft.
Western Illinois 41, Tennessee Tech 14
Jaelon Acklin had a touchdown rushing and receiving in the second half and Western Illinois opened the season with a win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night. Defensive end Khalen Saunders added a 1-yard touchdown and Mike Viti returned an interception 45 yards for a score as the Leathernecks led 34-0 after three quarters.
Utah 37, North Dakota 16
SALT LAKE CITY
Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 227 yards, rushed for 70 and accounted for three touchdowns as the Utes overwhelmed FCS North Dakota in the season opener for both teams. Utah debuted its new fast-paced, pass-first, spread offense with first-year offensive coordinator Troy Taylor and the difference was apparent from the start.
Eastern Illinois 22, Indiana State 20
TERRE HAUTE, IND.
Mitch Kimble fired a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Turner with 3 seconds left to give Eastern Illinois a win over Indiana State in the season opene, spoiling Curt Mallory’s debut as the Sycamores coach in the first night game at Memorial Stadium since 2010.
Toledo 47, Elon 13
Diontae Johnson returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards to break open a close game and Toledo opened the season with a win over Elon. Johnson caught four passes for 102 yards, including a 69-yard catch. Logan Woodside threw for 314 yards on 19-of-31 passing for the Rockets, the preseason pick to win the West Division in a poll of MAC coaches. Cody Thompson pulled in five passes for 112 yards.
Cincinnati 26, Austin Peay 14
Hayden Moore was told by first-year Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell that he won the quarterback job over Ross Trail last week. Moore responded with touchdown passes to Thomas Geddis, Kahill Lewis and Tyler Cogswell in the Beacats’ win over the Austin Peay Governors in the season opener for both teams. Fickell came to Cincinnati after 18 years at Ohio State, serving as defensive coordinator for the bulk of his career there.
UCF 61, FIU 17
McKenzie Milton threw for four touchdowns and 360 yards, and Central Florida routed Florida International in a season opener to spoil coach Butch Davis’ return to the field for the first time since 2010. Milton capped the opening drive with a 22-yard scoring pass to Jordan Atkins, and the Knights capitalized on an interception and a safety to lead 40-10 at halftime.
UT Martin 36, Clarion 0
Troy Cook threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns and Ladarius Galloway rushed for 157 yards and a score to lead Tennessee-Martin over Division II Clarion in the season opener for both teams.