Starting strong

RichRod has long history of success in season opener

2013-08-30T00:00:00Z RichRod has long history of success in season openerDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Rich Rodriguez’s first game as a major college head coach came on Sept. 1, 2001, in front of 42,482 fans at Boston College. Rodriguez’s West Virginia team scored the first 10 points of the game and led 10-0 after the first quarter.

But BC running back William Green then put up 237 yards of total offense and three touchdowns as the Eagles scored 24 straight points to hand Rodriguez a loss in his debut.

Since then, Rodriguez’s teams have won eight of 10 season openers. Rodriguez coached at WVU from 2001-07 and at Michigan from 2008-10.

Here’s a closer look:

2002: West Virginia 56, Chattanooga 7. Player of the game: West Virginia QB Rasheed Marshall threw for 163 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

2003: No. 21 Wisconsin 24, West Virginia 17. Player of the game: Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi was 20 for 34 for 215 yards and a TD.

2004: West Virginia 56, East Carolina 23. Player of the game: Rodriguez’s star running back Kay-Jay Harris had an incredible game, rushing for 337 yards and four TDs on 25 carries.

2005: West Virginia 15, Syracuse 7. Player of the game: There obviously wasn’t much offense in this one, but freshman Pat White, who went on to be a phenom for Rodriguez, made his debut and accounted for 83 yards of total offense in part-time duty.

2006: No. 5 West Virginia 42, Marshall 10. Player of the game: Mountaineers running back Steve Slaton ran for 203 yards and two TDs on 33 carries.

2007: No. 3 West Virginia 62, Western Michigan 24. Player of the game: Slaton was great again, accounting for 170 yards of total offense and four TDs.

2008: Utah 25, Michigan 23. Player of the game: Current Utah co-offensive coordinator Brian Johnson threw for 305 yards as the Utes won on the road.

2009: Michigan 31, Western Michigan 7. Player of the game: Tate Forcier was solid for Rodriguez, throwing for 179 yards and three TDs and leading the Wolverines to a win.

2010: Michigan 30, Connecticut 10. Player of the game: Sophomore QB Denard Robinson was electric, throwing for 186 yards and a TD and rushing for another 197 and a score.

2012: Arizona 24, Toledo 17 (OT). Player of the game: Matt Scott chucked the ball 46 times, going 30 for 46 for 387 yards with two TDs.

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

Team W L T PCT
Arizona 5 1 0 0.833
Utah 5 1 0 0.833
USC 5 2 0 0.714
ASU 5 1 0 0.833
UCLA 5 2 0 0.714
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429

Pac-12 North football standings

Team W L T PCT
Oregon 7 1 0 0.875
Oregon State 4 2 0 0.667
Stanford 4 3 0 0.571
Washington 5 2 0 0.714
Washington State 2 5 0 0.286
Cal 4 4 0 0.500
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