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Huffman Quickens Pace, Leads CSUN to 45-0 Romp

September 20, 1987|MIKE HISERMAN | Times Staff Writer

Not even four minutes had passed in the home debut of the Cal State Northridge football team and Rob Huffman already had a few observers shaking their heads.

This was expected when Northridge recruited the highly touted quarterback out of Glendale College.

These heads were shaking for the wrong reasons, however.

Whose JC All-American team had this guy been selected to, anyway?

After throwing five interceptions in his first game calling signals for the Matadors, Huffman started slowly again Saturday night in a 45-0 romp over San Francisco State at North Campus Stadium.

His first pass landed between two beefy CSUN lineman about 15 yards away from the nearest receiver-type.

His second was into the chest of a San Francisco State defensive back, who saved further embarrassment by dropping it.

Not exactly the way to impress the home folks.

Huffman's performance from that point on, however, should suffice in just about any game for the rest of the season.

He completed 10 of 17 passes for 143 yards, threw for two touchdowns and set up another with a nifty fourth-down run in the nonconference game.

"They say he's a notoriously slow-starter," Coach Bob Burt said of Huffman. "I hope he gets over that."

It took only the two misfires before Huffman heated up against the Gators.

His third pass was a bomb that Chris Moore caught in full-stride for a 42-yard touchdown.

That, said Moore, who was one 5-8, 160-pound smile after the game, was exactly what Huffman needed as a confidence booster.

"After the first two passes it was like, 'Oh no, not again,' but he settled down after that," Moore said.

Later in the first quarter, Huffman faked a handoff to tailback Albert Fann and took off around right end for a 23-yard gain on a fourth-and-two play to set up CSUN's second touchdown.

Near the end of the half, he hooked up with Moore again, this time on a 16-yard scoring pass.

"I really felt like I needed to perform this game," Huffman said. "I was tense the first couple of plays, but that first touchdown brought my confidence back."

Moore, a senior, had 57 yards on his two scoring receptions, which was just shy of San Francisco's total offensive production in the first half.

The Gators, who were shut out 37-0 by the Matadors last season, gained 59 yards in the half and only 131 for the game--much of that coming late in the fourth quarter.

San Francisco's only scoring threat ended on a fumble at the Northridge 7, which was par for the course. The Gators committed four turnovers. Northridge, the victim of eight turnovers in a 30-0 loss to Boise State a week before, lost only one fumble and scored immediately following three of San Francisco's miscues.

Perhaps the only thing as frustrating for San Francisco as its performance was watching Matadors from the Bay area do a portion of the damage.

LeVelle Brown, who leveled a couple of Gator defenders on an eight-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, attended San Francisco City College. And Dan Coleman, who lists San Francisco as his hometown, had a second-quarter interception that set up a 39-yard field goal by Abo Velasco.

San Francisco is a member of the nonscholarship Northern California Athletic Conference, however, and can only watch other schools pick its pocket.

They were more than two players short on fire-power, anyway.

Fann, CSUN's prize freshman recruit, had the first of what should be many 100-yard rushing days. He gained 127 yards on 12 carries, the last of which was a 97-yard touchdown romp that came within a yard of breaking a school record.

Richard Brown, the starting tailback, had 60 yards on 12 carries, while Lance Harper had 39 yards on 10 carries and caught three passes for 18 yards.

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