College football notebook: It's Shrine Game for Scott, Buckner

Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, who threw for 3,620 yards last season, could boost his pro chances with a good showing in the Shrine Game.


Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott and wide receiver Dan Buckner will play in the East-West Shrine Game, to be held Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

At stake: A shot in the NFL.

Buckner and Scott will be evaluated throughout the week by pro scouts and judged based on how they practice and perform against some of the nation's top seniors.

Scott completed 301 of 499 passes for 3,620 yards and 27 touchdowns during his fifth and final season at the UA. His final two scores came in last minute of the Dec. 15 New Mexico Bowl; aided by Scott's two touchdown passes and a perfect onside kick by John Bonano, the UA shocked Nevada.

Scott, a dual-threat quarterback, has already received an invitation to February's NFL scouting combine.

Buckner caught 61 passes for 773 yards and five touchdowns last fall, stats that rank second on the team. The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound Buckner has NFL size but has been bothered by injuries and some inconsistency throughout his career. Buckner played two seasons at the University of Texas before transferring to the UA in 2010.

The Shrine Game will be shown nationally on the NFL Network. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tucson time.

NAU assistant dies

FLAGSTAFF - Northern Arizona assistant coach Jeff Lewis, a former Lumberjacks quarterback who played for Denver and Carolina in the NFL, died Saturday. He was 39.

Northern Arizona confirmed Lewis' death. The school didn't provide a cause of death, saying only that Lewis died Saturday in Phoenix. Lewis was Northern Arizona's wide receivers coach. As a player at the school from 1992-95, Lewis completed 785 of 1,315 passes for 9,639 yards and 67 touchdowns. He was inducted into the NAU Hall of Fame in 2003.

ND State repeats in FCS

FRISCO, Texas - North Dakota State has a second-straight FCS championship in what's becoming their second home.

Backed by more than 10,000 fans wearing green and gold in the same suburban Dallas stadium where they beat Sam Houston State a year ago, the Bison outnumbered their Texas counterparts in the stands and outplayed them on the field - again.

Quarterback Brock Jensen ran for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the third quarter not long after a holding penalty wiped out a touchdown that would have given Sam Houston the lead, and Sam Ojuri scored twice Saturday in a 39-13 victory.

Today's game

• Who: No. 25 Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)

• When: 7 p.m. on ESPN

• Where: Mobile, Ala.

• Key matchup: Arkansas State QB Ryan Aplin against the Kent State defense: Aplin owns nearly every passing record in Arkansas State history after throwing for 10,545 yards and 66 touchdowns in his four seasons. His final game will be against a Kent State defense that has forced 38 turnovers this season, which is the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. They're also first in the country with a plus-21 turnover margin.

Ryan Finley