Buffs win opener on Vaughan's career day

West Texas A&M senior quarterback Dustin Vaughan likes playing Western State Colorado University. Saturday, he went 37 of 57 for a career-high 470 yards and a career-high six touchdowns as the No. 3-ranked Buffaloes won 48-21 in Gunnison, Colo.

Vaughan, a senior from Corpus Christi, Texas, threw a then-career-high five touchdowns last season vs. the Mountaineers in Canyon and had 409 yards. In the two games vs. Western State, Vaughan has thrown 11 touchdowns and 879 yards and gone 58-89 in passing.

Not only did Vaughan impress on Saturday, but senior wide receiver Torrence Allen had a career-high 206 yards receiving on 12 catches and two scores. Junior transfer Anthony Johnson had an impressive debut for the Buffs with three catches for 53 yards and two scores. Sophomore Word Hudson had 62 yards on four receptions.

On the ground, the Buffs were led by sophomore Geremy Alridge with 50 yards on 11 carries, while senior Aaron Harris had 44 yards on seven touches.

With the win, the Buffs snapped a four-game skid in season-openers and improved to 31-9 all-time versus teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

As a team, the Buffs tallied 562 yards of total offense and allowed just 267 as they ran 89 plays to just 61 for WSCU. The defense held WSCU to just 18 yards on the ground and 249 through the air, while coming up with four sacks, 10 tackles for loss and recovered three fumbles.

Senior LeBrandon Mosley le the team with seven tackles and five solo stops, while redshirt freshman Patric Youngman had six stops with five solo tackles and one sack along with two tackles for loss and a breakup.

WT took the opening kick and marched right down the field to the WSCU three. The Buffs settled for a 20-yard field goal from senior kicker Sergio Castillo, Jr.

After a three-and-out by WSCU, highlighted by a pass breakup by senior defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks on a third and two, the Buffs took over at their 15. Vaughan connected with junior receiver Jeremy Watson for 11 yards on 3rd and 13 but the Mountaineers were called for a personal foul on a late hit out of bounds, extending the drive.

From there, Vaughan hooked up with Allen for 20 yards and then on 2nd and four from the 13, Vaughan connected with Johnson for the first touchdown and a 10-0 lead.

After a punt by WSCU, Vaughan and the Buffs marched right down the field once again for a 10 play, 80-yard drive as he connected from 17 yards out to Harris for a 17-0 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Buffs scored 17 points in the final six minutes of the second quarter to blow the game open for a 34-0 lead at intermission. The first score came on Allenâ??s second touchdown for a 24-0 lead. Western took over after the score at its 25 yard line, but Austin Ekeler had the ball punched out by senior linebacker Nick Whitt who recovered it for the Buffs and a short field.

From there, Johnson scored his second touchdown for a 31-0 lead from 24-yards out on a long second and goal for the Buffs due to a number of penalties. After a punt by the Mountaineers, Vaughan used the 2-minute drill and drove WT from its 35 to Western Stateâ??s 12 before Castillo belted his second field goal of the day for a 34-0 lead.

Midway through the third, the Buffs took over on their 40 after a Western punt and Vaughan hooked up with senior Trevor Hammargren for a 41-0 lead with 7:15 remaining in the quarter on a four play, 60-yard drive taking just 56 seconds.

Pitching the shutout, the game moved to the fourth quarter where Western showed some signs of life and a few lucky bounces of the ball. First, WSCU backup quarterback Ron Dickerson threw a 72-yard strike for a score to Travis Haney as the ball went ricocheted off the hands of a WT defender and right to Haney for a 41-7 score.

WT came right back with another under a minute score as Vaughan connected with Allen for his career-high sixth touchdown from 28 yards out for a 48-7 lead.

A good kick return by Arius Norris of 40 yards set the Mountaineers up well at their own 45. WSCU went for it on 4th and 3 from the WT 25 and Haney came up with a miraculous catch for a first down to keep the drive alive and starting quarterback Brett Arrivey connected with Vince Delmonico in the back of the end zone for a 48-14 score with 4:35 left.

WSCU added another touchdown late from Arrivey for the final score of 48-21.

The Buffs return home to prepare for the short week as they travel to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for a Thursday night matchup with No. 21 Chadron State on CBS College Sports Network at 7 p.m.