The Chargers’ defense regularly tried to blitz Wood, stacking the box and sending multiple pass-rushers. That strategy stalled out several Buffs drives early in the second, but Wood eventually figured out how to beat the rush, throwing three touchdown passes in the second quarter, two of which went to Mason Bumphus on deep routes.
Though Wood ran the ball well and could move in the pocket, he said he’s still getting his timing back with his receivers. He completed just 39 percent of his passes and threw three interceptions, one of which led to a 12-yard touchdown pass from Boone to Keith Driver that cut McAlester’s lead to 56-33 Buffs early in the fourth.
Wood ended the ensuing Buffs drive with a 25-yard touchdown run. Taeam Kang, who went 10-for-10 on extra points, then split the uprights to push the lead back to 30.
“I knew we were going to have throw quick passes because they bring so many in the box and we didn’t have enough to block them,” Wood said. “They were fast, so I just had to move and get out of the way.”
The Chargers had some success running the ball, getting a 100-yard game and two rushing touchdowns from Mikequan Deane. But while Boone threw four touchdown passes, a physical Buffs defense kept him from completing more than a third of his passes and intercepted him three times.
Two of those interceptions led to touchdowns. One play after Rhyln Stephens’ interception, Wood connected with Harkins for a 51-yard touchdown pass that made it 56-27 Buffs.
“He was up pressing me, and I’m not the fastest guy in the world, but I think I run good routes, and I think that’s how I get open,” Harkins said. He caught three passes for 144 yards.
The Buffs didn’t even need an offensive play after a fourth-quarter interception. After Riley Smith’s sack forced the Chargers into a second-and-21 from their 18, Boone bounced a pass off a receiver, Allen Woodmore grabbed it and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown and a 70-33 lead.