Weekly Sports Report - September 14, 2004

If Florida St. head coach Bobby Bowden is in the mood to rent a movie, one I would definitely not recommend is the Bill Murray flick "Groundhog Day." Bowden surely must feel like Murray's character, which is forced to relive his day over and over again. Bowden's Seminoles seemed to have a victory over new ACC member Miami firmly in their grasp Friday night only to see it slide through their fingers once again. As usual, Florida State's kicking game came up lacking in the clutch.

Senior Eric Beitia had the opportunity to give the Seminoles a 10-point lead with less than 4 minutes left, but his 34-yard attempt was blocked. About the only solace for Bowden is that the kick wasn't "wide right." Here's a summary of last week's action:


South - #19 Missouri jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Troy St. after their 1st two possessions of the game. However, it was all Trojans the rest of the way as they shocked the Tigers 24-14 before their largest home crowd ever. Junior QB Brad Smith, a Heisman Trophy candidate, completed 25-46 passes for 224 yards but suffered two costly 2nd half interceptions. The Tigers also lost a fumble and had a punt blocked. Troy St. was held without a 1st down for the first 20 minutes before exploding for 17 points in the final 10 minutes of the 2nd quarter. A trick play got the Trojans on the board as senior WR Jason Samples tossed a 26-yard TD pass to RB Jermaine Richardson. Lady Luck then smiled on the Trojans as senior guard Junior Louissant caught a fumble by senior RB DeWhitt Betterson in the air and rambled 63 yards for the tying TD. Troy St. took the lead for good on a 43-yard field goal by Greg Whibbs with 1:01 left. After a scoreless 3rd quarter, Troy St. scored the clinching touchdown on a pass from senior QB Aaron Leak to Samples. Troy St. is now 2-0 after an upset wins at Marshall last week.


South - After a four day delay caused by Hurricane Frances, #4 Florida St. and #5 Miami met at the Orange Bowl. The script was very similar to many other recent meetings between these two powerhouses. The Seminoles once again watched victory slip from their grasp in the final minutes as the Hurricanes, in their inaugural A.C.C. season, pulled out an improbable 16-10-overtime victory. Neither team's offense had much early success, but Florida St. jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead on a field goal by senior Eric Beitia and sophomore CB Antonio Cromartie's return of a fumble by Miami WR Roscoe Parrish. The Hurricanes finally got on the board on a 19-yard field goal by sophomore Jon Peattie early in the 4th quarter. Beitia missed a chance to clinch the win when his 34-yard field goal was blocked with just under four minutes remaining. Miami's senior QB Brock Berlin finally found his rhythm late in the game. It took him only five plays and 52 seconds to drive the Hurricanes 80 yards. The drive culminated in a 32-yard TD pass from Berlin to Sinorice Moss with just 30 seconds remaining. In overtime, Miami's defense came up with a huge play as Seminole's senior QB Chris Rix fumbled a shotgun snap on 3rd down and Thomas Carroll recovered. Miami needed just two plays to score the winning TD, an 18-yard run by junior Frank Gore. Gore led the Hurricanes with 89 yards rushing on 18 carries. Berlin was 20-36 for 255 yards, one TD and one interception. Rix once again struggled against the Hurricanes, completing only 12-28 for 108 yards. He also threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles. Rix wasn't helped by Florida St.'s anemic ground game, which produced only 57 yards; they're lowest total since 1994.

West - Boise St. extended the longest winning streak and home winning streak in D1A with a 55-34 win over Oregon State. The Beavers jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the 1st quarter. The Broncos then reeled off 17 2nd quarter points to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room. Boise St. stayed red hot, scoring the first 17 points of the 3rd quarter to break the game open on their blue artificial turf. Sophomore QB Jared Zabransky threw three TD passes and ran for another to lead the Broncos' potent offense. The defensive star for Boise St. was sophomore MLB Korey Hall, who intercepted 3, passes and returned one for a 46 yard TD. For the Beavers, senior QB Derek Anderson threw for 411 yards and 4 TDs, but also was intercepted 4 times. Junior WR Mike Hass caught 3 of Anderson's TD passes, and finished with 12 receptions for 293 yards. The win was the first ever for Boise St. over a PAC 10 foe.


East - Louisville ruined Bobby Ross' debut at Army as the Cardinals routed the Black Knights 52-21. Louisville rolled up 574 yards of total offense. Senior QB Stefan LeFors led the Cardinals' balanced attack with 270 passing yards and a TD as Louisville jumped off to a 24-0 lead in the 2nd quarter and was never headed.

Boston College downed visiting Penn St. 21-7 behind the running of redshirt freshman Andre Callender and the passing of senior QB Paul Peterson. Callender gained 114 yards on 27 carries and Peterson threw for all 3 of the Eagles' TDs. Meanwhile, Boston College's defense forced five Nittany Lion turnovers. Penn St.'s only score came on a 13-yard pass from senior QB Zack Mills to Brian Scott on the opening drive of the 2nd half.

Connecticut needed a furious comeback in the final quarter to get past Duke 22-20. Sophomore Matt Nuzie nailed a 21-yard field goal with 3:40 left to give the Huskies their margin of victory. Nuzie redeemed himself after missing an extra point and 26-yard field goal attempt earlier. Duke's back-up QB, sophomore Mike Schneider, almost pulled out a win for the Blue Devils. He drove them down the field in the final seconds but senior Matt Brooks missed a 36-yard field goal attempt with 6 seconds left. Senior QB Dan Orlovsky led the Huskies with 23 completions in 34 attempts for 290 yards, 112 going to senior WR Keron Henry.

The Tyler Palko era at Pittsburgh began on a winning note as the Panthers got past Ohio 24-3. Palko, a redshirt sophomore, struggled in his first career start completing only 6-19 passes for 49 yards and one TD. He also threw an interception. Pittsburgh was saved by big plays by their defense and special teams. With the score tied at 3-3 in the 2nd quarter, sophomore walk-on Keith Malley blocked a Matthew Miller punt. Sophomore LB Brian Bennett returned the block 32 yards to the Ohio 2 yard line. On 2nd down, junior RB Tim Murphy punched it in from one yard to put the Panthers ahead to stay. Pitt got some insurance when senior OLB Marcolm Postell intercepted a Ryan Hawk pass and took it 42 yards for the clinching score.

The delusions of grandeur at Rutgers quickly evaporated. A week after a stirring upset of Michigan St., the Scarlet Knights suffered a shocking 35-24 defeat at the hands of D1AA New Hampshire. The Wildcats were led by redshirt freshman QB Ricky Santos, who pulled out a victory over defending D1AA champion Delaware the week before after an injury to starting QB Mike Granieri. Santos completed 30-40 passes for 385 yards and all five Wildcat TDs. Two of the TDs went to WR David Ball, who caught 9 passes for 132 yards. Rutgers led 24-14 at the half, but New Hampshire outscored the Scarlet Knights 21-0 in the final 30 minutes. The lone bright spot for Rutgers was junior QB Ryan Hart, who completed 30-50 passes for 307 yards and 2 TDs.

Syracuse got a much-needed win after last week's humiliation at the hands of Purdue, winning at Buffalo 37-17. Syracuse trailed early after J.J. Gibson returned a fumble by FB Greg Hanoian 57 yards for a TD to put the Bulls ahead 10-3. Syracuse then tallied the next 24 points to open up a 27-10 lead at intermission. Junior FS Anthony Smith led the 2nd quarter surge by blocking two Buffalo punts. He returned the first for a TD and his second block resulted in another Orange score.

In Annapolis, Navy rallied in the 3rd quarter to pull out a surprisingly difficult 28-24 win over D1AA Northeastern.

South - #3 Georgia had their hands full before finally defeating South Carolina 20-16 in Columbia. The Bulldogs trailed 16-6 at the half before senior QB David Greene finally heated up. Greene connected with Tyson Browning on a 12 yard TD toss late in the 3rd quarter and then found senior WR Reggie Brown with a 22 yard TD pass for the game winning score. Greene finished with 19 completions in 38 attempts for 213 yards. His only interception was returned 57 yards for a TD by Gamecock SS Ko Simpson.

#6 LSU throttled Arkansas St. 53-3 in Baton Rouge. Sophomore RB Justin Vincent carried 13 times for 102 yards and 2 TDs for the Tigers while their QB combo of senior Marcus Randall and redshirt freshman JaMarcus Russell were both effective against the overmatched Indians.

#10 West Virginia went into Orlando and trounced Central Florida 45-20. Senior QB Rasheed Marshall was 14-18 for 225 yards and 4 TDs to lead the Mountaineers. Two of the TD passes went to sophomore WR Chris Henry. West Virginia's outstanding RB Kay-Jay Harris suffered a leg injury but his replacement, sophomore Jason Colson, came through with 108 yards and a TD.

#11 Florida had an easy time with Eastern Michigan, winning 49-10. Sophomore QB Chris Leak passed for 244 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Gators' attack.

#15 Virginia dominated visiting North Carolina 56-24. The Cavaliers amassed 549 yards of total offense including 299 on the ground. Junior RB Wali Lundy led the way with 11 carries for 78 yards and 3 TDs, all in the 1st half. Senior Marquis Weeks added a 100-yard kick off return for a TD for Virginia.

#18 Auburn jumped out to a 21-0-halftime lead and coasted past Mississippi St. 43-14. The Tigers were led by their senior RB combo of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. Williams rushed for 122 yards and 2 TDs while Brown added 147 yards. Auburn's passing attack was also potent as senior QB Jason Campbell threw for 3 TDs, two to junior WR Anthony Mix.

#23 Maryland used a balanced attack to blast Temple 45-22 in College Park. Sophomore QB Joel Stratham hit on 18-25 passes for 268 yards and 2 TDs and senior RB Sammy Maldonado rushed for a career-high 106 yards and 2 TDs.

Elsewhere, Alabama defeated Mississippi 28-7. Memphis drubbed Chattanooga 52-21. South Florida struggled past D1AA Tennessee Tech 21-7. Tulane dumped D1AA Florida A&M 39-19. Virginia Tech whitewashed Western Michigan 63-0. And finally Wake Forest topped East Carolina 31-17.

Midwest - Notre Dame rebounded from an opening day defeat at BYU to upset #8 Michigan 28-20 in South Bend. Freshman RB Darius Walker carried 31 times for 115 yards and two of their three 4th quarter TDs to help rally the Irish to victory. Notre Dame's defense did their part, harassing true freshman QB Chad Henne most of the day. The Wolverines got four field goals from sophomore Garrett Rivas and senior WR Braylon Edwards caught 11 passes for 129 yards but the Wolverines' lack of a ground game was a major factor in their defeat.

#9 Ohio St. needed a 55-yard field goal by senior Mike Nugent on the final play of the game to edge unheralded Marshall 24-21. The Buckeyes began their final drive on their 45-yard line with just 25 seconds left after a poor punt by the Thundering Herd's Ian O'Connor. Sophomore QB Justin Zwick completed three passes, two to sophomore WR Santonio Holmes, to set up Nugent's game winning kick. Zwick completed 18-30 passes for 318 yards and all 3 Ohio St. TDs.

Fresno St. won their 2nd consecutive road game against a BCS conference school, shocking #13 Kansas St. 45-21. Junior QB Paul Pinegar completed 17-30 passes for 244 yards and 2 TDs to lead the Bulldogs' attack. Fresno St. succeeded in their plan to shut down the Wildcats' outstanding senior RB Darren Sproles, holding him to only 37 yards on 11 carries.

#16 Iowa struggled past rival Iowa St. 17-10. With their running game held in check, the Hawkeye's were saved by the play of sophomore QB Drew Tate. Tate completed 16-22 passes for 220 yards and one TD. The Cyclones final drive was halted on downs at the Iowa 28 with 1:09 remaining. Walk-on kicker Brian Janson missed 3-4 field goals for Iowa St.

#21 Wisconsin overcame a sluggish offensive effort in their 18-3 win over UNLV. The only score by the Badgers' offense came in the 4th quarter on a 5-yard pass from sophomore QB John Stocco to senior WR Darrin Charles. Senior FS Jim Leonhard returned a blocked field goal 86 yards for the Badgers' only other TD. They added two safeties; one on a punt snap out of the end zone and the other on a sack by sophomore LB Mark Zalewski.

#22 Minnesota had their hands full with D1AA Illinois State. The Gophers only led 20-14 at the half, but broke the game open with 17 points in the 3rd quarter and went on to a 37-21 victory. Minnesota used a powerful rushing attack to wear down the Redbirds. Junior Marion Barber III carried 18 times for 149 yards and 2 TDs and sophomore Laurence Moroney contributed 18 carries for 141 yards and one TD. Illinois St. QB Yance Vaughn kept his team in the game, completing 33-57 passes for 372 yards and 2 TDs.

#25 Purdue scored their 2nd consecutive blowout win, trouncing Ball St. 59-7. Senior QB Kyle Orton threw for 329 yards and 5 TDs. Three of the touchdown passes went to senior WR Taylor Stubblefield.

Southern Mississippi shocked Nebraska in Lincoln 21-17. The Golden Eagles took advantage of five Nebraska turnovers, three of them interceptions thrown by sophomore QB Joe Dailey. Southern Mississippi's winning score came with 7:47 left on a 46-yard TD pass from junior QB Dustin Almond to senior WR Marvin Young. The Golden Eagles escaped Lincoln with the win despite being outgained 476 yards to 239.

Senior QB Andrew Walter threw for 292 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Arizona State past Northwestern 30-21. Two of the TD passes went to junior WR Derek Hagan.

In other games, Cincinnati topped Miami (Ohio) 45-26. Kansas crushed Toledo 63-14. Kent St. defeated D1AA Liberty 38-10. Michigan St. got past Central Michigan 24-7. Middle Tennessee edged Akron 31-24. UCLA overcame Illinois 34-17.

Southwest - # 2 Oklahoma throttled Houston 63-13 in Norman. The Sooners opened up a 49-7 lead after the 1st 30 minutes and coasted the rest of the way. Heisman Trophy winner Jason White completed 14-18 passes for 257 yards and 2 TDs before being removed after the first drive of the 3rd quarter. True freshman RB Adrian Peterson and Brandon Jones both ran for 2 TDs for Oklahoma.

#7 Texas edged Arkansas in Fayetteville 22-20 in the last scheduled meeting between these longtime rivals. The Longhorns trailed 17-16 at the half. The winning TD came on a 13-yard TD pass from sophomore QB Vince Young to senior RB Cedric Benson in the 3rd quarter. Young also connected on a 49-yard TD toss to junior TE David Thomas. Benson rushed for a game-high 188 yards and a TD. The Razorbacks were led by senior QB Matt Jones who completed 13-27 passes for 249 yards and 2 TDs and also ran for 93 yards on 11 carries.

Elsewhere, Baylor struggled past D1AA Texas St. 24-17. D1AA Florida Atlantic pulled their 2nd straight road upset over a D1A school, as Howard Schnellenberger's Owls topped North Texas 20-13. Oklahoma St. overcame Tulsa 38-21. TCU shut out SMU 44-0. Texas A&M whitewashed Wyoming 31-0. Mike Price recorded his 1st win at UTEP as the Miners trounced D1AA Weber St. 32-0.

West - #1 USC looked the part as they destroyed Colorado St. 49-0, running their winning streak to 11 games. As usual, the Trojans featured a well-balanced attack. They piled up 322 yards on the ground with sophomore LenDale White leading the way with 14 carries for 123 yards and 3 TDs. Sophomore QB Matt Leinert completed 20-31 passes for 231 yards and 2 TDs. USC's defense forced 6 turnovers by the Rams.

#12 California had an easy time with New Mexico St., winning 41-14. The Golden Bears accumulated 611 yards of total offense to just 212 for the Aggies. Junior QB Aaron Rodgers completed 20-26 passes for 260 yards and two TDs and senior RB J.J. Arrington rushed for 177 yards and 3 TDs to lead California's potent attack.

#17 Utah handed new Arizona head coach Mike Stoops his 1st loss, 23-6. The Utes jumped off to a 17-3 lead after the 1st quarter and were never headed. Junior QB Alex Smith threw for 170 yards and 2 TDs, both to sophomore WR Steve Savoy. Utah's defense bent but didn't break as they forced four turnovers by the Wildcats.

Indiana upset #24 Oregon, 30-24 in Eugene. The Ducks were their own worst enemy, committing 7 turnovers and missing a field goal. Several of the turnovers allowed the Hoosiers to go into the locker room with a 23-0 lead. A furious 2nd half comeback by Oregon was thwarted by more turnovers, allowing Indiana to hang on for the victory.

In a game played off-campus in Seattle, Colorado took on Washington St. and emerged with an improbable 20-12 win. The Buffaloes were outgained 416 yards to 117, but scored TDs on the recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone and a 51-yard interception return by Joe Sanders. The Cougars woes extended to their place kicking also. They missed two field goals and another was aborted by a fumbled snap. Washington State's last gasp ended when back-up QB Alex Brink, a redshirt freshman, fumbled on the Buffaloes' 2-yard line with under a minute left.

In other games, Air Force bombed D1AA Eastern Washington 42-20. New Mexico upset Texas Tech 27-24. Finally, Stanford out scored BYU 20-0 in the 2nd half to win going away 37-10.

The following are the key games this weekend:


East - Connecticut @ Boston College - This could be the last meeting between these New England rivals for some time as B.C. heads off to the ACC next season.


East - Nebraska @ Pittsburgh - Nebraska tries to bounce back from their home loss to Southern Mississippi while the Panthers need to quickly find an offense.

South -
#21 Maryland @ #7 West Virginia - The Terps have had West Virginia's number lately. WVU has a shot at an unbeaten season if they can break the "Maryland Jinx."

#9 Ohio St @ North Carolina St. - The Buckeyes pulled out a controversial 44-38 overtime win over the Wolfpack in Columbus last year. They have looked less than impressive so far this season in defeating Cincinnati and Marshall. North Carolina St. has had an extra week to prepare for the Buckeyes after their opening week victory over D1AA Richmond.

#5 LSU @ #19 Auburn - This match-up could well decide the SEC West title. LSU still has road games against Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas while Auburn's schedule is not as difficult.

#11 Florida @ #13 Tennessee - The first big test for the Vols two freshmen QBs. Gators' head coach Ron Zook will have the shadow of Steve Spurrier hanging over him all season. The loser will have a difficult time capturing the SEC East.

Midwest - Notre Dame @ Michigan St. - Can the Irish put two big wins back-to-back?

Kansas @ Northwestern - The Jayhawks will be 3-0 with a win, and the Wildcats would fall to 0-3 with a defeat.

Southwest - Oregon @ #2 Oklahoma - Can the Ducks rebound from their loss at home to Indiana and give the Sooners a game?

Clemson @ Texas A&M - Will the Tigers regroup after their upset loss at home to Georgia Tech last Saturday? It's hard to get a read on the Aggies after an opening day loss at BYU and a big home win over Wyoming last week.

TCU @ Texas Tech - The Red Raiders look to rebound from their loss at New Mexico last week. Will the Horned Frogs' offense be as potent on the road as it has been in their first two home games?

West - #15 Utah @ Utah St. - The Utes have dominated this rivalry lately and appear to have way too much for the Aggies again.

#16 Iowa @ Arizona St. - Will the Hawkeye's' defense be able to shut down Andrew Walter and the Sun Devils' potent passing attack? Will the Arizona heat affect Iowa?

#22 Minnesota @ Colorado St. - Can the Rams regroup after being roughed up by #1 USC last week? The Gophers will need to play a lot better than they did against D1AA Illinois St. last Saturday to win in Fort Collins.

UCLA @ Washington - The Huskies have had an extra week to prepare after dropping their opener to Fresno State. A 0-2 start will have the Seattle faithful calling for head coach Keith Gilbertson's head.

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