McGuire scores Shrine game's only TD, West tops East 10-3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Eli McGuire made the most of his opportunity at the East-West Shrine game.
Hoping to improve his standing among NFL scouts evaluating potential help for their teams, the Louisiana-Lafayette star scored the only touchdown Saturday in the West's 10-3 victory before a crowd of 22,198 at Tropicana Field.
The 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back broke an 18-yard run off right tackle, putting the West ahead for good early in the fourth quarter. San Diego State's Calvin Munson recovered a fumble inside the West 5 yard-line, and another East threat was stopped on downs in the final minute of the game's lowest scoring matchup since the East won 14-6 in 1992.
''I thought this week was going to be fun,'' said McGuire, who finished with 42 yards rushing on seven carries. ''It was fun, but at the same time it was a grind. You only get a week together. You're learning a whole new playbook, so you've got to really focus in at practice.''
Idaho's Austin Rehkow kicked a 27-yard field goal in the opening quarter for the West, and North Carolina's Nick Weiler countered with a 21-yarder in the second quarter for the East.
McGuire, who rushed for 1,127 yards and seven TDs for Louisiana-Lafayette this season, scooted through a hole of the right side of the East defense to score the game's only touchdown. Munson recovered a fumble by Michigan's De'Veon Smith on third-and-2 from the West 5 to thwart an East scoring opportunity set up by a muffed punt.
''It was a run to the right, and it was all crowded. I had nowhere to go, so the O-line made a crease on the backside for me,'' McGuire said. ''I saw the crease and made one defender miss going into the end zone.''
Illinois' Wes Lunt completed 11 of 14 passes for 101 yards and no interceptions, while sharing quarterback duties for the West with Cincinnati's Gunner Kiel and Western Michigan's Zach Terrell, who led his school to its first New Year's bowl appearance as a senior and is hoping to show he can make the transition from excelling in a shotgun spread offense in college to a pro-style attack in the NFL.
Terrell didn't get many chances to throw Saturday, going 4 of 9 for 33 yards.
''This was an amazing opportunity and I learned a lot from it,'' Terrell said. ''I'm going to take everything I learned and implement it when my pro day comes around.''
Central Michigan's Cooper Rush, Penn's Alek Torgensen and Southern Mississippi's Nick Mullens saw action at quarterback for the East, though none of them threw for more than 94 yards.
McGuire finished with 42 yards rushing on seven carries.
COACH `EM UP
Former NFL defensive lineman Brentson Buckner, now an assistant with the Arizona Cardinals, coached the East squad. His staff included ex-players and current NFL assistants Duce Staley, Bobby Engram, Curtis Fuller and Sam Mills. Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards led the West staff, which included DeShea Townsend, Larry Foote and Hank Fraley.
Air Force safety Weston Steelhammer won the Pat Tillman Award, presented annually since 2005 to a player who exemplifies leadership on and off the field. The 2016 recipient was Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds.
Terrell threw for more than 3,000 yards in each of his last three seasons at Western Michigan. He's the school's career passing leader with 12,100 yards and threw for 96 touchdowns while completing more than 65 percent of his passes. He's confident he can be an asset on a roster on the next level.
''I really enjoy (the pro-style offense) and I've gotten better each day,'' since arriving in St. Petersburg, said Terrell, who threw for 3,533 yards with 33 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016 while leading the Broncos to 13 straight wins, a Mid-American Conference championship and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
''A lot of the concepts are the same Football is football,'' he added. ''The terminology is the thing that's different, and of course getting under center, which is something I normally didn't do at Western Michigan.''
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25