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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Area College Notebook

September 26, 2000|VINCE KOWALICK

Next up for the Cal State Northridge football team is a matchup with the lowly Bengals.

Not the NFL team from Cincinnati, the Idaho State Bengals of the Big Sky Conference.

Then again, these Bengals, who tied for last in the Big Sky last season, have a new look, right down to the insignia on their helmets.

Idaho State (2-1, 1-1 in the Big Sky) plays at Northridge (1-2, 0-1) on Saturday. The Matadors routed Idaho State, 41-27, last season at North Campus Stadium, one of eight consecutive Bengal defeats.

So far this season, the gap has narrowed between the teams. Northridge, plagued by turnovers and an anemic running attack, dropped its opener at home to Northern Arizona, 49-26. Northridge, coming off a bye, ranks last in the Big Sky in total defense.

Idaho State held on to upset Cal State Sacramento, 41-39, last week, forcing a fourth-quarter fumble at the goal line by running back Charles Roberts, who rushed for an NCAA-record 409 yards against the Bengals last season.

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Quarterback Farhaad Azimi of Montana State, who attended Rio Mesa High and Moorpark College, is off to a rough start.

Azimi, a junior, did not play against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo because of a bruised kidney and is questionable for Saturday's nonconference game at Idaho.

In two starts, both losses, Azimi has completed only 19 of 54 passes with one touchdown and three interceptions.

"I am not frustrated at Farhaad or with him, but I am frustrated for him," said Coach Mike Kramer of Montana State. "He is off to a difficult start, but he will have success."

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The Northridge men's soccer team hadn't beaten a Pacific-10 Conference opponent since defeating Stanford in 1996.

That changed dramatically with victories last weekend over California, 1-0, and Oregon State, 2-1, at North Campus Stadium. Nick Pince and Charles Mitchell had goals Sunday against Oregon State. Mitchell's goal at 75:04 snapped a 1-1 tie.

Northridge (4-3) plays at San Diego State today and returns home Friday to play Sacramento. The Matadors play at San Francisco on Sunday.

The Northridge women (3-4-3) have won three of four entering a nonconference game Wednesday against visiting Fullerton. The Matadors play their annual alumni game Sunday at 6 p.m. at North Campus Stadium.

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