BOISE, Ida. — Both Cal State Northridge quarterback Rob Huffman and the field he had just made his debut upon looked about the same after CSUN's opening game Saturday night against Boise State.
Huffman, a junior who was a JC All-American last season at Glendale, threw five interceptions and spent much of the evening lying flat on the boysenberry blue artificial turf of Bronco Stadium as Boise State rolled to a 30-0 nonconference victory before a crowd of 18,534.
"I made a lot of mistakes and a lot of bad reads," said Huffman, who was 12 for 28 for 121 yards. "I'm sure that will be my worst game."
CSUN Coach Bob Burt certainly hopes so, but Huffman's troubles were only part of the Matadors' problems against the Broncos, a Division I-AA team that is coming off its only losing season (5-6) since 1946.
CSUN had eight turnovers, was bullied at the line of scrimmage and didn't start playing defense until the second half, which it entered trailing, 24-0.
Boise State quarterback Vince Alcalde burned the CSUN secondary for touchdowns twice in the first quarter and finished 9 of 16 for 184 yards in part-time service.
"If you turn the ball over eight times to the Little Angels of the Poor, you're going to get beat," Burt said. "They threw the ball better than we thought they could. Of course, we helped them with some blown coverages."
CSUN toughened in the second half and allowed just two field goals by P.K. Wiggins.
One other bright spot for the Matadors was the play of sophomore tailback Lance Harper, who gained 120 yards on 11 carries while splitting time with senior Richard Brown (13 for 58) and freshman Albert Fann (3 for 24).
The first quarter featured the passing of Alcalde, who riddled CSUN's secondary for 131 yards. The CSUN offense was the scapegoat of the second quarter, committing four turnovers, including three interceptions, two by Huffman and one by Sherdrick Bonner.
CSUN was called for illegal procedure on its first play after the opening kickoff and things didn't improve from there.
After the Matadors punted, Boise State scored its first points 3 1/2 minutes into the game on a 46-yard field goal by Wiggins.
The Matadors did nothing with their next possession, punted, and the Broncos took over at their own 17. Alcalde marched them 83 yards in 14 plays and concluded the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Olaf Reinwald.
CSUN failed again to move the ball after the ensuing kickoff, was forced to punt and Boise State got the ball on its own 18 with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
One play later, Alcalde hit Steve Hale on a post pattern over the middle and Hale covered the remainder of the 80 yards for the score to give the Broncos a 17-0 lead.
"Nobody this year has been able to stop our offense," said Alcalde, whose team beat Delaware State, 34-13, last week. "When we get stalled on a drive, it's usually because we make a mental or physical mistake."
CSUN's second-quarter follies began when a Huffman pass intended for Robert Gullen was intercepted by defensive back Kenny Kuehl.
CSUN's next possession was botched after a fake punt, when Dan Coleman fumbled after catching a pass from Trent Morgan. Boise State recovered and the Broncos were on their way again.