Another payday for NAU football, an easy 35-0 win for UA

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                </div>We’re not sure what the pay-out was for Northern Arizona University to send their football team to Tucson to act as the annual sacrifice to the Pac-12 gods.  But, whatever […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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We’re not sure what the pay-out was for Northern Arizona University to send their football team to Tucson to act as the annual sacrifice to the Pac-12 gods.  But, whatever it was, the Lumberjacks should probably be asking for a bonus.

After all, the Jacks should be rewarded with something for continuing to add to the UofA record books.

During the game in which the Wildcats were busy padding their won-loss record by rolling up a 35-0 season-opening win over the smaller, out-manned FCS program from the high-country outpost of Flagstaff, Daniel Jenkins added another entry to the Wildcat record books.

In the second quarter, the senior running back found a little room in the middle of the Lumberjack line and shot through the hole for a 91-yard touchdown run that became the third-longest rushing play in UofA program history. That was after he had scored the game’s first TD in the first four minutes of the game on an 11-yard pass play.

The two record-holders ahead of him were Trung Canidate in 1997 (96 yards) and Nic Grigsby in 2009 (94). Grigsby’s addition to the record books also came in a game against… you guessed it, NAU.

And the Cats’ second-year head coach Rich Rodriguez should also give a little extra thanks to NAU.  Friday night’s shut-out doubles the number he has notched since he took over the reins.

NAU, too, has something for which to be thankful.  This spanking wasn’t as bad as the opener they lost last season to the other Pac-12 school, Arizona State.  That game was a 63-6 nightmare, engineered by Todd Graham in his first season as the new ASU head coach.

While the Lumberjacks were able to hold on through the first half Friday night, trailing just 14-0 at intermission, the talent and depth of the Arizona squad began to wear the Jacks down and, by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the visitors were in a 28-0 hole.

To add insult to injury, back-up quarterback Javelle Allen tacked on a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth to seal the deal.  Allen had replaced the starter, B.J. Denker, who left in the fourth after passing for 87 yards and rushing for 71 yards.

Jenkins contributed most to putting the Jacks in a hole in the first half, accumulating 139 yards of total offense before heading to the locker room.  The Cats as a team ran up 393 total yards in the game, 306 of which was gathered on the ground.

NAU finished with 176 yards passing and 94 rushing as first-time starting QB Kyren Poe went 21-for-36, but had three picks.

For NAU, the fans’ focus was on senior running back Zach Bauman, who is on a quest to break the school record for career rushing yardage.  He tacked on 71 against UA to go with his 3,676 at the close of last season.

That means he needs just 48 more, but he’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to go for it.  The Jacks have a bye week before taking on UC Davis on Sept. 14.  And, unfortunately for NAU fans, the record will not likely fall at home since that game will be played in California.

Arizona, which was picked in the pre-season to be not much more than a middle-of-the-pack team this season in the Pac-12 Conference, has wrapped up their “warm-up” game and shouldn’t have much trouble getting to 3-0 with a non-conference schedule that includes UNLV from the Mountain West Conference and UT San Antonio in Conference USA.

But they have to travel to Seattle for their Sept. 28 conference opener against Washington.  That’s when the rubber will meet the road.

And that’s when we’ll find out whether playing a soft non-conference slate will have prepared them for the real challenges that await in the rugged Pac-12.

(Photo: NAU Athletics)