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Hurricanes blow through Florida at The Swamp

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2002

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Best in the state. Best in the country. Best in The Swamp.

Top-ranked Miami could pick any title it wanted Saturday after Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee and a cast of dozens led the Hurricanes to a 41-16 rout of No. 6 Florida.

Miami (2-0) can complete its Sunshine State sweep on Oct. 12, when it plays Florida State.

Miami actually came into this game as a 2-point underdog, but when the day of domination was over, that seemed silly.

''I don't know what that was all about,'' defensive tackle Matt Walters said. ''It's not a big surprise to us that any of that happened.''

A great opportunity for new Florida coach Ron Zook to prove he can coach in the big time instead turned into a showcase for Dorsey, and a couple of Hurricanes trying to replace key players from last year's national championship team.

McGahee, a sophomore tailback who replaced Clinton Portis, rushed for 204 yards against the overmatched Gators (1-1).

''I wouldn't describe this as my worst nightmare,'' Zook said. ''Any coach in this position, it's going to happen sooner or later. Mine happened sooner. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise.''

Safety Maurice Sikes, replacing big-play defensive back Ed Reed, had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a 97-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. That gave Miami a 34-16 lead and sealed the victory to extend the nation's longest Division I-A winning streak to 24 games.

It was the first regular-season meeting between these once-bitter Florida rivals since 1987, and the defeat was Florida's worst at home since 1979, a 40-0 loss to Alabama. The 41 points were the most the Gators have given up at home since 1970 (a 63-14 loss to Auburn). That came a full two decades before Steve Spurrier took over the program and took it to greatness.

But not even Spurrier could have saved the Gators this time. They were too overmatched.

Dorsey threw for four touchdowns, including two to running back Jason Geathers, and despite his up-and-down effort, the senior quarterback probably gained ground on Florida quarterback Rex Grossman in the early race for the Heisman Trophy.

Under heavy pressure all night, Grossman went 19-for-45 for 191 yards and two interceptions.

No. 2 Oklahoma 37, Alabama 27

NORMAN, Okla. -- Playing poorly and with its national-title hopes in the balance, Oklahoma scored twice in the final 2:11 to beat Alabama 37-27 Saturday in the first regular-season meeting between the tradition-rich programs.

Kejuan Jones' 8-yard run with 2:11 remaining capped an 80-yard drive that gave the Sooners a 30-27 lead. With 24 seconds left, safety Eric Bassey picked up a fumble and returned it 45 yards for the clinching score.

Oklahoma (2-0) lost quarterback Jason White, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was hurt when he turned upfield on a keeper around the right side.

White won the starting job from Nate Hybl midway through last season, but White's season ended when he hurt his left knee during a game against Nebraska.

Hybl struggled in the second half but found Renaldo Works on shovel passes for 23 and 39 yards during the Sooners' go-ahead touchdown drive. The 39-yarder set up Jones' touchdown.

The game between teams with a combined 13 national titles -- seven for Oklahoma, six for Alabama -- was pretty much a dud until Alabama (1-1) came alive in the third quarter with three touchdowns and a field goal to take a 27-23 lead.

No. 4 Tennessee 26, Middle Tennessee 3

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Cedric Houston ran for a touchdown and Jason Witten scored on a pass from Casey Clausen to lead the Volunteers.

After the offense faltered in the second half, the Vols' defense added a safety on a blocked punt and fumble recovery in the end zone.

The Blue Raiders (0-2), who moved up to Division I-A in 1999, weren't able to take advantage of the Volunteers' mistakes but did enough to make Tennessee (2-0) look sloppy in the first meeting between the schools.

Clausen finished 24-of-29 for 263 yards passing with one interception.

No. 7 Michigan 35, Western Michigan 12

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Braylon Edwards caught four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns, Chris Perry ran for 118 yards and Michigan quarterback John Navarre tied a school record with four TD passes.

The Wolverines (2-0) didn't let up following last week's dramatic 31-29 victory over Washington. Michigan scored TDs on its first two possessions and built a 29-point lead late in the third quarter.

Chad Munson threw two TDs to Jermaine Lewis to lead Western Michigan (1-1).

No. 8 Ohio St. 51, Kent St. 17

COLUMBUS -- Freshman Maurice Clarett scored twice and Craig Krenzel completed his first 11 passes for the Buckeyes (2-0).

It was 38-0 before the Golden Flashes (1-1) crossed midfield late in the second quarter.

Clarett followed his 175-yard, three-touchdown performance against Texas Tech last week with just 64 yards on 12 carries, and he fumbled once.

No. 11 Washington St. 49, Idaho 14

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Devard Darling and Jonathan Smith each had three touchdowns as Washington State (2-0) sacked Idaho quarterback Brian Lindgren six times.

Lindgren still completed 33 of 49 passes for 267 yards, but the Vandals (0-2) gave up more than 500 yards for the second straight week.

Darling caught two touchdown passes from Jason Gesser, who was 12-of-16 for 220 yards and three TDs. Darling also ran a reverse 15 yards for a TD.

No. 9 Nebraska 44, Utah St. 13

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Quarterback Jammal Lord threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to lead the Cornhuskers.

DeJuan Groce intercepted two passes for the second straight week and Dahrran Diedrick ran for 93 yards for the 'Huskers (3-0) in their best offensive game of the season.

Lord pitched the ball only once on the option and finished with 59 yards on nine carries. He was also 6-of-12 passing for 105 yards. Nothing fancy, but it was enough to beat the Aggies (0-2).

No. 13 Oregon 28, Fresno St. 24

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon needed Onterrio Smith's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:07 remaining to complete the comeback against the Bulldogs.

Down 24-22, quarterback Jason Fife guided the Ducks 43 yards on four plays -- punctuated by Smith's score.

Fife passed for 303 yards and a touchdown for the Ducks (2-0), while Smith had 35 carries for 124 yards and two scores.

The Bulldogs (1-2) were without starting quarterback Jeff Grady and star receiver Bernard Berrian because of injuries, but Paul Pinegar filled in by throwing for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

No. 14 Washington 34, San Jose St. 10

SEATTLE -- Cody Pickett threw three touchdown passes after Washington fell behind 10-0 early.

Washington (1-1) got its second straight 300-yard passing game from Pickett, who was 22-for-35 for 347 yards. Reggie Williams caught six passes for 160 yards and two TDs, and Rich Alexis ran for 125 yards.

Williams did most of the work on an 89-yard catch and run for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter that put the Huskies ahead 24-10.

San Jose State (1-1) fell to 0-8 against Washington.

No. 15 Michigan St. 27, Rice 10

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Charles Rogers caught nine passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns for Michigan State, which withstood an early scare by forcing four second-half turnovers.

Rogers' second touchdown catch, a 5-yard pass from Jeff Smoker, put the Spartans (2-0) ahead 20-10 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Owls (0-2) took a 10-7 lead into the second half, but their four turnovers led to 17 Michigan State points.

No. 17 Colorado 34, San Diego St. 14

BOULDER, Colo. -- Chris Brown ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns as Colorado overcame the loss of starting quarterback Craig Ochs, who departed at halftime with his third concussion in the last 14 months.

Rebounding from last week's loss to Colorado State, the Buffaloes (1-1) took a 21-14 halftime lead on two TD passes from Ochs, then were led on two scoring drives by backup Robert Hodge.

Adam Hall completed 39 of 59 passes for 359 yards to lead the Aztecs (0-2), but they came up empty on all five of their trips into Colorado territory in the second half.

UCLA 30, No. 19 Colorado St. 19

PASADENA, Calif. -- Akil Harris and Manuel White ran for touchdowns just 64 seconds apart early in the fourth quarter, and White scored an insurance TD with 1:01 left for UCLA.

The Rams (2-1) had a chance to tie with 1:32 left when Bradlee Van Pelt scored from 7 yards out on a fourth-and-3 play, making it 21-19. But Van Pelt tried to pitch the ball while running the option on the two-point conversion attempt, and Ben Emanuel picked up the errant toss and ran nearly the length of the field to give the Bruins two points and a four-point lead.

Colorado State tried an onside kick, but UCLA (1-0) recovered, and White scored on a 16-yard run to put the game out of reach.

No. 20 Texas A&M 14, Pittsburgh 12

PITTSBURGH -- Texas A&M needed two quarterbacks and two long completions to Terrence Murphy to open up a two-touchdown lead, and the Aggies held on with the help of a missed extra point.

Rod Rutherford struggled badly for three quarters before driving Pitt (1-1) to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. But the missed conversion forced the Panthers to go for the 2-pointer after Rutherford's 2-yard TD pass to Kris Wilson with 2:02 remaining, and Rutherford's throw intended for freshman Larry Fitzgerald was wide.

Derek Farmer scored twice on short runs for the Aggies (2-0).

No. 21 North Carolina St. 65, Navy 19

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Philip Rivers threw for 309 yards and five touchdowns to tie a school record as North Carolina State sent Navy to its 10th straight home loss.

Rivers, who also ran for a score, completed 10 of 15 passes, including touchdown passes of 64 and 88 yards to split end Bryan Peterson. Rivers broke a school record by accounting for six touchdowns.

Terrence Holt also blocked two punts for the Wolfpack (3-0).

Navy (1-1) has lost 32 straight games to ranked opponents.

Virginia 34, No. 22 South Carolina 21

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Matt Schaub threw three touchdown passes, and Virginia took advantage of seven South Carolina turnovers.

Schaub had been inconsistent in the Cavaliers' first two games -- both losses -- while sharing time with redshirt freshman Marques Hagans, but Schaub played nearly the entire game and delivered a strong performance.

The Gamecocks (1-1) fumbled six times and threw an interception. Three of the turnovers led to Cavaliers touchdowns.

No. 23 Notre Dame 24, Purdue 17

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Defense rescued the Fighting Irish again, as Gerome Sapp and Lionel Bolen scored on fumble returns 11 seconds apart, and Vontez Duff added a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown in Notre Dame's victory.

The Irish, who got off to their worst-ever 0-3 start last season, are 2-0 without scoring an offensive touchdown.

The Boilermakers (1-1) lost three fumbles and an interception, leading to all three Notre Dame touchdowns.

No. 24 LSU 35, The Citadel 10

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Domanick Davis ran for two touchdowns as LSU bounced back from its season-opening defeat at Virginia Tech by winning its fourth straight game at Tiger Stadium, and eighth straight home opener.

The Division I-AA Bulldogs (0-1) were outscored 21-0 in the first half and outgained 317-106. They only made it past midfield once, and then only to the LSU 49-yard line.

No. 25 Wisconsin 34, West Virginia 17

MADISON, Wis. -- Brooks Bollinger passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns to freshman Jonathan Orr, and the Badgers ran off 27 second-quarter points.

Behind great protection, Bollinger completed 12 of 15 passes for 203 yards in the first half as Wisconsin (3-0) built a 34-3 lead.

Running back Avon Cobourne scored a touchdown for West Virginia (1-1), but he was held to 40 yards until he broke a 39-yard gain with 1:20 left.



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