LUBBOCK, Texas — Nic Shimonek threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start and Texas Tech opened what could be a crucial season for coach Kliff Kingsbury with a 56-10 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday.
Shimonek completed his first 14 passes and finished 26 of 30 as the Red Raiders pulled away with three touchdowns each in the second and third quarters, capped by Willie Sykes' 33-yard interception return for a 49-10 lead the first play after Justin Stockton's second TD run.
Gage Gubrud threw for 207 yards and a touchdown for Eastern Washington, which upset Washington State in last year's opener on the way to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs.
Texas Tech led 7-3 when Shimonek threw the first of three second-quarter touchdowns, a 75-yarder to Derrick Willies. Keke Coutee caught the other two from 68 and 17 yards, finishing with 99 yards receiving. Willies had 126 yards receiving.
Kingsbury improved to 5-0 in openers at his alma mater, but could be under pressure to keep his job since he's just 18-26 since winning his first seven games in 2013.
Aaron Best lost his coaching debut at his alma mater to the same school that beat former coach Beau Baldwin 49-24 in his debut in 2008. Best went to the same high school as Baldwin in Tacoma, Washington, and was Baldwin's offensive line coach all nine seasons at EWU before Baldwin left to become offensive coordinator at California. The Red Raiders outgained Eastern Washington 626-301.
Terence Grady had 93 yards receiving and EWU's only touchdown, a 22-yarder in the second quarter.
Weber St. 76, Montana Western 0
OGDEN, Utah — Stefan Cantwell threw two touchdowns, Kevin Smith ran for two scores and Weber State defeated NAIA-member Montana Western 76-0 Saturday night in the season opener for the Wildcats.
The 76-point total is a new single-game scoring mark.
Weber State scored on its opening drive when Treshawn Garrett ran for a 3-yard touchdown. Then, on Montana Western's first play, Jordan Preator intercepted Bennett Gibson's pass to set up a field goal.
Weber State proceeded to score 20 points in the first quarter and added four touchdowns in the second and led 48-0 at halftime.
The Wildcats piled up 303 yards on the grounds and scored eight rushing touchdowns. Weber State had an advantage in total yards of 466 to 147.
Gibson threw for 115 yards for Montana Western.
N. Colorado 41, College of Idaho 14
GREELEY, Colo. — Jacob Knipp threw for 238 yards and Trae Riek rushed for 71 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as Northern Colorado opened its 105th football season with a 41-14 victory over NAIA's College of Idaho on Saturday.
Knipp returned for the first time since injuring his shoulder last September. He threw for 103 yards and rushed for a touchdown in the first quarter as the Bears scored on their first four possessions. Northern Colorado had 224 total yards while holding the Coyotes to 36 in the first period.
Knipp stepped aside in the third quarter, replaced by Conor Regan.
Collin Root capped Norther Colorado's scoring by kicking a school record 56-yard field goal. The previous record was 54 yards by Ryan Anderson in 1993.
The Bears will play at Florida next Saturday.
San Jose State 34, Cal Poly 13
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Montel Aaron threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns to lead San Jose State to a 34-13 win over Cal Poly on Saturday.
Trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, San Jose State (1-1) took the lead for good when Aaron connected with JaQuan Blackwell on an 18-yard touchdown throw. Aaron then found Tre Hartley for a 13-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter and less than 8 minutes later heaved a 49-yard TD throw to Bailey Gaither to make it 20-6.
Cal Poly (0-2) was held to just 37 yards passing and 196 yards on the ground. Casey Sublette had two field goals and Khaleel Jenkins punched in a touchdown in the fourth quarter from the 1.