Halloween Tales From the Gridiron

Miami, Florida and Florida State all lost on the same day for the first time since 1978. Baylor slapped Texas A & M silly with an audacious display of courage in overtime. The Sooners barely escaped Stillwater with their undefeated status intact. The latest nightmare for the BCS--the Utah Utes--continues to haunt the postseason czar's dreams. It was indeed an eerie and macabre Halloween Weekend for the denizens of college football.

SHEER BEDLAM. Adrian Peterson continued his remarkable freshman season in leading the Oklahoma Sooners to a, 38-35, victory over rival Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Series. Peterson's, 33 carry, 249 yard, 1 TD performance all but assured his viable candidacy as a serious threat to win the Heisman Trophy in 2004.

Oklahoma raised its record to 35-6-5 in Stillwater with its win over the Cowboys. OU coach Bob Stoops improved his record with the Sooners to 63-11 sending his winning percentage to an astounding .851.

Vernand Mornecy was held to 93 yards rushing by OU's defense, a figure 71 yards less than he had been averaging entering the game.

TROJANS BURIAL. USC used a combination of air-tight defense and robust offense to hound the Washington Huskies into submission in posting a, 42-12, win in PAC 10 action.

The Trojans entered the game with the nation's third best scoring defense at 10.71 points per game and held Washington to just a shade over that total. QB Matt Leinart, jack-of-all trades Reggie Bush and LenDale White supplied plenty of horsepower to the team's offense as Southern Cal forged a, 42-0, third quarter advantage before coach Pete Carroll threw the Huskies a bone by calling off the dogs.

Leinart threw a pair of TD passes, White ran for another pair and Bush returned a punt for one more score as the Trojans posted their seventeenth straight win. Southern Cal has outscored it last three opponents, 125-19.

MIAMI'S FEELING TAR HEEL BLUE. Two weeks after being Ute-thanized, 46-16, by Utah, the North Carolina Tar Heels authored one of the most improbable victories in their football history by toppling Miami, 31-28, on a game winning field goal as time expired. PK Connor Barth hit a 42 yard effort to lift UNC to a shocking triumph over a stunned Miami squad which saw its hopes for a national championship bid fall over the cross bar with Barth's boot.

UNC trailed only once in the game and, never again, after knotting the score at, 14-14, when Chad Scott scored on a 14 yard second quarter run.

The Hurricanes' defense, which had led Miami to wins earlier in the season while the team's offense struggled to find consistency, has allowed 100 points in the team's last three contests.

DAWG BITE. For just the second time in fifteen games against rival Florida, the Georgia Bulldogs posted a victory in the World's Largest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.

QB David Greene threw three TD passes and RB Danny Ware rushed for 103 yards to pace tenth-ranked Georgia's offense to a, 31-24, win over the Gators.

Georgia had lost six in a row to Florida and 13 of the past 14 meetings in the series. Florida QB, Chris Leak, threw a pair of TD passes, the second one coming early in the fourth quarter to draw the Gators within striking distance of the Dawgs at, 24-21.

On its ensuing possession Greene connected for the last of his TD passes when he found Fred Gibson with a fifteen yard aerial.

STILL GOLDEN. The California Golden Bears' defense held prolific Arizona State QB Andrew Walter without a TD pass Saturday night, as coach Jeff Tedford's team downed the Sun Devils, 27-0. Cal posted its second consecutive shutout with this one coming on the heels of last week's effort against Arizona.

TB J. J. Arrington led the Bears' offense with 188 yards on the ground and the game's final TD. Cal raised its record to 6-1, while twentieth ranked ASU lost for the second time in three games.

The victory assured Cal of posting a winning season for the third consecutive year, a feat last accomplished by the Golden Bears in 1950-51-52. ASU became the first team in six games to gain more than 100 yards on the ground against the Cal defense.

HOOKED. The visiting Texas Longhorns spotted Colorado an early, 7-0, lead via an interception returned for a TD before thoroughly dominating the Buffaloes by scoring the final 31 points of the game to post a convincing, 31-7, Big 12 win in Boulder.

Cedric Benson ran for 141 yards and two TDs while the Longhorns' defense limited CU to a paltry 3 yards rushing. Texas leveled its record with Colorado at 7-7, in winning for the 20th time in its past 21 road contests. Coach Mack Brown stands at 25-6 in road games as head coach at Texas and 19-4 in Big 12 road contests. Texas' 39-8 record in the past four season trails only Oklahoma, Miami and Boise State in terms of number of victories in that span.

URBAN RENEWAL CONTINUES. Alex Smith completed a career high 5 TD passes in Utah's, 51-28, laugher over San Diego State in a Mountain West Conference game. Urban Meyer's team boosted its record to 8-0 the year and matched a school mark for best opening to a season set in 1994.

Since becoming the team's coach, Meyer has led Utah to a, 20-2, mark. Smith raised his record to an even more impressive, 17-1, as the team's starter at QB. Utah tore through the Aztecs' so-called "Dark Side" defense for 548 yards and topped the fifty-point mark for the second week in a row.

Smith completed a total of nineteen passes to three receivers Paris Warren, Steve Savoy and Travis LaTendresse for five touchdowns and 236 of his 298 passing yards.

HEADING FOR THE ROARING TWENTIES. The Boise State Broncos held Hawaii QB, Tommy Chang, to 227 yards passing--fourteen fewer than he needed to break Ty Detmer's career mark for passing yardage, and blasted the Warriors, 69-3.

Coach Dan Hawkins ran his record to 41-6 in his fourth season as the Broncos' coach and saw his team stretch its active win streak to 19 games--longest in the nation. BSU spotted Hawaii a, 3-0, lead in the first five minutes of play before its offense got untracked on the way to amassing 589 yards on the night. QB Jared Zabransky paved the way for BSU with 123 yards on the ground and four of the team's eight rushing scores.

BAYLOR'S PAYBACK. Baylor suffered the indignity of a, 73-10, bombardment from Texas A & M last year, but shocked the Aggies by going for a two-point conversion in OT in their win Saturday night, 35-34, in Big 12 action in Waco.

QB Shawn Bell threw four TD passes, but the connection he authored with Dominique Zeigler in overtime provided the Bears with the margin of victory. Zeigler also caught Bell's final scoring pass before hauling in the game winning catch on the final play of the evening.

The Aggies remain the only team in division 1-A not to have been intercepted this year, but their record of having lost just one fumble in their first seven games took a major hit when the team fumbled twice and lost both of them to Baylor.

STUNNED. A Maryland team that scored a combined seventeen points in its previous three games, posted twenty against the Florida State Seminoles, to beat Bobby Bowden's team, 20-17.

QB Joel Statham completed 21 passes for 331 yards against the 'Noles and teamed with Josh Allen on a 72 yard TD pass play late in the third quarter to provide the Terps with the game's winning points.

Maryland held FSU to a meager 54 yards on the ground and twice intercepted QB Wyatt Sexton.

TRICKS & TREATS. In falling to Utah, San Diego State lost its 17th straight game versus a ranked opponent. North Carolina's upset of Miami raised the Tar Heels' record against top five ranked teams to 2-34-1.

QB Tom Lensch of Dana College (in Nebraska) threw a record setting 101 passes in his team's, 60-35, loss to Hastings.

You gotta have Hart. That's Michael Hart. The Michigan freshman reeled off his third straight game in which he rushed for over 200 yards as the Wolverines beat rival Michigan State, 45-37, in triple overtime.

Coach Mike Price, (remember him?), and his UTEP Miners downed San Jose State, 38-20, to ensure just the school's second winning record in sixteen years.

Nebraska beat Missouri, 24-3, despite a passing performance by QB Joe Dailey in which he completed only 4 of 17 attempts.

Army came up short in its bid to extend its winning streak to three games when it lost to East Carolina, 38-28, in C-USA action. The Black Knights may get back in the win column next weekend when they face military academy rival Air Force, a team that has lost 10 of its past 15 games.

OU's Adrian Peterson has some fast company in fellow freshman Jamario Thomas of North Texas State University. Thomas joined Ron Dayne and Herschel Walker as the only freshmen to rush for 200 or more yards four times in leading NTSU to a, 45-30, win against Louisiana-Monroe in Sun Belt Conference action.

Auburn QB Jason Campbell accounted for three of the Tigers' touchdowns as coach Tommy Tuberville's team climbed to 8-0 on the season and kept pace with Southern Cal and Oklahoma near the top of the polls. Auburn beat Mississippi, 35-14, in Oxford and now has two weeks to prepare for a meeting with Georgia. Keep the Tigers in mind when considering a slight darkhorse for a national champion this year.


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