Posted: Sunday September 2, 2012 8:38PM ; Updated: Monday September 3, 2012 5:36PM
Stewart Mandel

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Spreading the field

Division III quarterback Sam Durley set the NCAA record with 736 passing yards on Saturday.
Division III quarterback Sam Durley set the NCAA record with 736 passing yards on Saturday.

• You think Big 12 quarterbacks put up video game numbers? They've got nothing on Sam Durley of Division III Eureka (Ill.) College, who set an NCAA record with 736 passing yards in a 62-55 victory Saturday over Knox. He did it on 34-of-52 completions. He had no idea while he was doing it, either. "I thought maybe high 300s," said Durley. Zamir Amin of Menlo College held the previous record since 2000. Personally, I would have guessed Timmy Chang.

• For UCLA fans who had to watch the Bruins' quarterbacks the past several years, it was a sight for sore eyes: On his first college play Thursday night, redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley broke off a 72-yard touchdown run against Rice. Johnathan Franklin rushed for 214 yards himself as UCLA scored its most points (49) since 2005. New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone must be very popular in Westwood today. But that was Rice. Next up: Nebraska.

• Speaking of Nebraska, Huskers fans had their own cause for encouragement Saturday. Oft-maligned quarterback Taylor Martinez looked like a real, honest-to-goodness passer, going 26-of-34 for 354 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-20 rout of Southern Miss. "It's what I expected from Taylor," said coach Bo Pelini, who's spent much of the past three years defending his quarterback. Nebraska's offense will be much tougher to defend if the passing game finally poses a legitimate threat.

• Chances are, Tennessee's going to throw the ball around plenty this season. Quarterback Tyler Bray and receiver Justin Hunter were already proven commodities, but the breakout star of Friday night's 35-21 win over NC State was juco transfer Cordarrelle Patterson. A hulking 6-foot-3, 205-pound specimen, Patterson hauled in six passes for 93 yards, beating Wolfpack All-America cornerback David Amerson on a 41-yard score. Hunter-Patterson is a tough tandem to defend.

• The Vols weren't the only SEC East team with new talent on display. Georgia hopes it has a new weapon in freshman running back Todd Gurley. The Tarboro, N.C., native ran for a 55-yard touchdown and had a 100-yard kick return in a 45-23 win over Buffalo. He finished with 100 yards on eight carries. "He averaged about what he averaged every scrimmage, about 12.5 yards per carry," said Dawgs coach Mark Richt. Sophomore Ken Malcome started at tailback but left with a hand injury, so Gurley may be the guy against Missouri.

• Before boarding the bus to Autzen Stadium, Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn told a reporter: "I know what we're fixin' to run into." As in: a buzz saw. New Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota went 18-of-22 for 200 yards and three touchdowns and De'Anthony Thomas notched 119 total yards as the Ducks jumped to a 50-3 second quarter lead. Considering its lightweight early schedule, expect a long string of 45-plus point performances from Oregon over the next several weeks.

• Assuming the role formerly held by a certain Honey Badger, LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown against North Texas and broke another 76-yarder that got called back for an illegal block. New quarterback Zach Mettenberger's debut could have gone better; he threw for 192 yards after briefly leaving the game following a hard sack. But Mettenberger may have a new big-play receiver in sophomore Jarvis Landry, who had eight catches for 82 yards.

• Northwestern jumped to a 35-13 lead on Syracuse thanks in part to the dynamic Venric Mark (who had 82- and 53-yard punt returns plus a 21-yard touchdown catch), proceeded to give up 28 unanswered points to fall behind 41-35, then watched backup quarterback Trevor Siemian lead a last-minute 75-yard touchdown drive to win 42-41. Coach Pat Fitzgerald said Kain Colter, who suffered a shoulder injury, remains the starter, but it may be hard to keep Siemian off the field.

• Five-star Miami freshman running back Duke Johnson lived up to the hype Saturday, breaking off 54- and 56-yard touchdown runs in a 41-32 win at Boston College. That's the good news for Al Golden. The bad: His uber-young defense allowed Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig to throw for 441 yards. Rettig did make one crucial mistake, however, throwing an interception that Miami sophomore Denzel Perryman returned 41 yards for a touchdown to wipe out an early 14-0 BC lead.

• Rich Rodriguez has had his fill of Toledo. Four years ago he lost at home to the Rockets in what may have been the low point of his disastrous Michigan tenure. Saturday night in his Arizona debut, also at home, the Wildcats needed overtime to survive Toledo, 24-17. Among the coach's most immediate concerns: kicking. Previously reliable senior John Bonano missed a 24-yard field goal early, then a 25-yarder that would have won the game in regulation.

• Virginia Tech's athletics communications department tweeted this very ominous public service announcement for Monday night's game against Georgia Tech: "Remember no umbrellas allowed in Lane [Stadium]. Game forecast: Tropical Rains, heavy at times, ponding water."

• It's not too late to jump on the Duke bowl bandwagon. The Blue Devils pummeled a respectable FIU team, 46-26, in their opener.

• Former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain became the first Colorado State head coach in 42 years to win his debut with a 22-17 victory over still-hapless Colorado.

• Maryland went 2-10 in Randy Edsall's first season. Maryland is starting a true freshman quarterback. Maryland has 13 players out with injuries. Maryland beat William and Mary, 7-6.

• Merchandise suggestion for the Savannah State bookstore: "We Lost 84-0 to Oklahoma State and All We Got Was This T-Shirt (and a $375,000 check)."
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