The college football season kicked off Thursday night and already one ranked team has gone down to defeat. Joe Phillips kicked a 21-yard field goal in overtime, as the Utah Utes edged the 15th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers, 27-24, in a non-conference showdown at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Terrelle Pryor threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns, as second-ranked Ohio State blew out Marshall, 45-7. Junior quarterback Jacory Harris completed 12-of-15 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns, as the 13th-ranked Miami- Florida Hurricanes annihilated in-state foe Florida A&M, 45-0, in the season opener at Sun Life Stadium. The final top-25 game of the night signaled a new era in USC football as new head coach Lane Kiffin led his 14th-ranked Trojans into Honolulu for a 49-36 win over the Hawaii Warriors. Matt Barkley threw five touchdown passes for the Trojans, who are banned from postseason play due to NCAA violations.
Iowa announced Thursday it plans to extend the contract of head football coach Kirk Ferentz through the 2020 season. School officials expect Ferentz to sign the contract Friday. The Hawkeyes begin the 2010-11 campaign Saturday against Eastern Illinois, and it will be Ferentz's 12th season as Iowa's head coach. The Hawkeyes have gone 81-55 with five bowl victories since Ferentz took over the position in December 1998. Ferentz has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year three times, including last season, when Iowa went 11-2 and beat Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. He was also named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year in 2002. Under the new agreement, Ferentz's annual compensation will total $3,675,000.
The NCAA has declared Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus ineligible for two games due to his dealings with sports agents. In its ruling, the NCAA said Dareus must repay benefits to become eligible again. Those benefits amount to $1,787.17, which will go to a charity of his choice. The ruling means Dareus will miss the Crimson Tide's season-opener Saturday night against San Jose State and then a game against No. 19 Penn State on September 11. Dareus led the SEC in sacks with 6 1/2 as a sophomore in 2009. He added 33 tackles, nine for a loss, and one interception in 14 games for the national champion and current No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide.