•A look at how Dartmouth's nonconference opponents fared yesterday with a pithy comment or two . . .
Maybe the big, bad boogeymen aren't as big and bad as we thought. Or maybe they were just playing against big, bad boogeymen. Or maybe it's a little of both. New Hampshire and Towson got walloped in their openers at FBS teams while Holy Cross did a little walloping of its own at a considerably lower level.
San Diego State 31, New Hampshire 0
The goose egg on the scoreboard is one thing. This is another: The traditionally potent New Hampshire offense was 0-for-14 on third-down conversions. Starting quarterback Trevor Knight was 4-for-16 for 37 yards with an interception. Adam Riese was 3-for-4 for 33 yards. San Diego State is one of two favorites in the Mountain West Conference along with Boise State, so it would be a mistake to put too much into this result. San Diego State now has won 11 consecutive games, second only to Alabama's 12. That said, not making a single third-down conversion is hard to ignore.
Holy Cross 51, Morgan State 14
The Crusaders came into the season with the look of a team that could do damage on the offensive end and they did exactly that in Baltimore with quarterback Peter Pujals completing 22-0f-38 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns, albeit with two interceptions. The four-year starter also ran eight times for 67 yards. Holy Cross did not run the ball particularly well a year ago but had 258 yards and four touchdowns on the ground against the Bears with Diquan Walker carrying eight times for 92 yards (aided by a 61-yard burst) with two touchdowns, and Gabe Guild gaining 85 yards on 17 carries. Morgan State was picked seventh in the 11-team MEAC preseason poll.
South Florida 56, Towson 20
Before you get too giddy, know that South Florida was the preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference East Division preseason poll. The Bulls built a 28-10 lead at the half before burying Towson with a 21-7 third quarter. The Tigers did manage 20 first downs (to South Florida's 22) but averaged just 2.6 yards per rush while allowing 5.2. Oregon transfer Morgan Mahalak was 16-for-36 for 165 yards in the air with one interception and backup Ellis Knudson 0-for-5 for Towson. Darius Victor, seeking his third consecutive 1,000-yard season, had 70 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries for the Tigers.
•BGA Premium had coverage of the Green-White scrimmage yesterday. Check in tonight for the final opponent preview (Towson) as well as a look at the freshman outing.