Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns as Eastern Illinois thrashed Eastern Kentucky, 42-7, in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both schools.
Garoppolo, who completed 26 of 39 attempts, combined with Keiondre Gober on 30- and 40-yard touchdown passes in the first and third quarters, respectively, and threw a 21-yard score to Jeff LePak as the Panthers (4-1, 1-0 Ohio Valley) built a 35-0 lead at halftime. EIU was a combined 35 of 52 through the air for 407 yards and four touchdowns.
Anthony Goodman scooped up a Jared McClain fumble and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to cap the first-half rout.
Six runners combined to gain 169 yards on the ground for the Colonels (2-3, 0-1 Ohio Valley), who avoided the shutout with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that saw Caleb Watkins score from the 3 with 3:33 left in the game.
Western Illinois 24, South Dakota 10: Trenton Norvell led a balanced offensive attack as Western Illinois (3-2, 1-0 MVC) finished with a victory over South Dakota in a Missouri Valley Conference game.
Norvell was 11 of 23 for 102 yards and one touchdown. J.C. Baker rushed for 104 yards on 13 carries and Nikko Watson carried 22 times for 96 yards and one touchdown. Kevin Kintzel recovered a bad snap on a South Dakota punt in the second quarter and ran 11 yards for a touchdown, putting Western Illinois ahead 10-3 by halftime.
The Coyotes (1-3, 0-1) compiled only 242 total yards and gave up two fumbles. QB Josh Vander Maten was replaced in the final quarter by Kevin Earl, who put together a successful 8-play drive for the lone Coyote touchdown.
The Leathernecks answered on their next possession with a touchdown pass from Norvell to Joey Borsellino to seal the win.
Youngstown State 28, Southern Illinois 27: Kurt Hess passed for 258 yards and four touchdowns to lead Youngstown State to a grueling comeback win over Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference opener.
Youngstown (4-1, 1-0) trailed much of the game against the Salukis (2-3, 0-1) but took control in the fourth quarter, tying the score with under 2 minutes remaining on a goal-line fourth-and-one pass from Hess to Carson Sharbaugh. The extra point by Joey Cejudo gave the Penguins the lead and the win.
Southern Illinois left itself vulnerable to a Penguin comeback when Thomas Kinney missed the extra point kick following a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kory Faulkner to LaSteven McKinney at the end of the second quarter. Faulkner, who threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, also led the team in rushing with 71 yards.
Andre Stubbs had two touchdown catches for Youngstown, and Nate Adams had one.
Missouri State 37, Illinois State 10: Kierra Harris threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another to finalize Missouri State's first victory of the season.
Harris rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter to stretch a four-point lead into a 21-10 game for the Bears in their Missouri Valley Conference opener (1-4, 1-0). He has scored six of the Bears eleven rushing touchdowns for the season.
Dorian Buford exceeded the 1,000-yard mark for receptions with a 73-yard touchdown catch— he needed 62 yards at the start of the game— for the last score before the end of the half.
Blake Winkler had a game-high 168 yards passing for the Redbirds (1-3, 0-1). He was 15 of 29 and one interception. Illinois State had a combined 46 yards rushing for one touchdown, compared to 272 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears.