OGDEN -- Weber State football has its own version of the movie "Eight Men Out."
Eight players were held out of Saturday's season opener against Stephen F. Austin for academic reasons, including starting center Tyson Tiatia and kicker Shaun McClain.
Also unavailable were defensive tackle Karl Finai, defensive end Siamani Harris, linebacker Marquel Holmes, cornerback Devonte Johnson, wide receiver Chase Nakamura and tight end Zane Smith.
WSU announced earlier this fall that the NCAA was investigating players on the football team for potential academic violations; school officials did not comment on how many of the players held out Saturday were connected to that investigation or how long they may be held out.
Tiatia, a senior from Provo, is a three-year starter at center who was an honorable mention all-Big Sky performer as a freshman and sophomore. In his place, true freshman Dakota Jenkins-Baty started Saturday.
McClain is a senior from Redmonds, Calif., who has led Weber State in scoring in each of the past three seasons. In 32 games, he has kicked 33 field goals, ranking seventh in school history. He is seventh in points among WSU kickers and 14th overall and was named to College Football Performance Awards' preseason watch list for kickers entering his final year.
The impact of his absence was immediately seen when Weber State went for two points after its first two touchdowns -- converting both.
Freshman Carson Fackrell, a Bonneville High product, kicked the first extra point of his career following WSU's third TD.
Another two-point conversion attempt was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty in the third quarter, but Fackrell kicked the long PAT for a 30-17 lead.
Fackrell was taken off the field in the fourth quarter after another PAT, highlighting the danger of losing yet another kicker and forcing freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti to kick off, but Fackrell returned for the next PAT and kickoff.