Miami makes statement in pasting of Syracuse

Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2002

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Willis McGahee ran for 134 yards and Ken Dorsey threw for 345 yards as No. 1 Miami defeated Syracuse 49-7 Saturday, leaving one obstacle left in the Hurricanes' path to the national title game.

Miami (11-0, 6-0 Big East) won its 33rd straight game, extending the longest current streak in Division I-A.

Barring an upset by Virginia Tech in Miami next week, the 'Canes will finish No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, setting up a showdown against No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) for the national title in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 3.

With No. 3 Oklahoma losing to Oklahoma State, No. 5 Georgia put itself in position to climb into the picture if Miami loses. No. 4 Iowa's season is finished, while Georgia has one more game -- the SEC title game next weekend.

Miami's quick-strike offense gave the Hurricanes a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. On the second play from scrimmage, McGahee ran 61 yards down the right side for the touchdown. That gave him 20 rushing touchdowns, 1,737 all-purpose yards and 120 points this season, all school records.

His 5-yard run late in the first quarter also gave him a team-record 1,419 yards rushing, eclipsing the season mark of 1,416 set by Edgerrin James in 1998. McGahee, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished with 134 yards on 14 carries to move his season total to 1,481.

Walter Reyes ran for 110 yards and gave the Orangemen (4-8, 2-5) their only score on a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Dorsey completed his first 10 passes and was 12-of-15 for 229 yards in the first half.

Oklahoma St. 38, No. 3 Oklahoma 28

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Rashaun Woods had 12 catches for a school-record 226 yards, including three first-half touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to the upset.

A year ago, Woods caught a touchdown pass in the final two minutes to give the Cowboys a 16-13 victory that cost Oklahoma the Big 12 South title.

The Sooners (10-2, 6-2) already had the South Division wrapped up this year, but with two losses, they're out of the race for the national championship.

In beating the Sooners for the fifth time in eight years, Oklahoma State (7-5, 5-3) enhanced its chances of going to a bowl for the first time since 1997. The Cowboys kept Oklahoma from ever holding the lead, something no team had done against Bob Stoops in his first 49 games as Oklahoma's coach.

No. 5 Georgia 51, Georgia Tech 7

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia built a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 51-7 rout of Georgia Tech -- the most points the Bulldogs have ever scored against their state rival.

Georgia (11-1) ensured its first 11-win season since 1982, which also was the last time the school won a SEC title. The Bulldogs will get a chance to end that drought next Saturday in the conference championship game against Arkansas in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech (7-5) endured its worst defeat since a 49-3 rout by Florida State in 1996. The Yellow Jackets are eligible for their sixth straight bowl appearance, but they'll probably have to settle for a return trip to Seattle Bowl.

It was Georgia's most lopsided win in the series, which began in 1893. The Bulldogs won 47-8 in 1968.

No. 6 Southern Cal 44, No. 7 Notre Dame 13

LOS ANGELES -- Carson Palmer threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns, and Southern California's defense held Notre Dame to 109 yards as the sixth-ranked Trojans defeated the No. 7 Fighting Irish 44-13 Saturday night.

With Palmer passing for the most yards ever given up by Notre Dame, Southern California rolled up 610 total yards -- most ever by any team against the Irish.

Early in the fourth quarter, Trojans fans chanted the inevitable ''Overrated! Overrated!'' at the Notre Dame players.

Freshman Mike Williams caught 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns as USC (10-2, 7-1 Pac-10) snapped a three-game winning streak by Notre Dame (10-2) in the intersectional rivalry that began in 1926.

No. 14 Alabama 21, Hawaii 16

HONOLULU -- Shaud Williams ran for 160 and a touchdown as No. 14 Alabama beat Hawaii 21-16 on Saturday night, extending the Crimson Tide's NCAA record of 10-win seasons to 27.

Alabama (10-3) grounded the nation's top passing team in Hawaii (9-3), forcing quarterback Timmy Chang into four interceptions.

The Crimson Tide also kept the Warriors' offense off the field with time-consuming drives. Alabama had the ball for 38:55.

The victory snapped the Hawaii Bowl-bound Warriors' six-game winning streak and improved Crimson Tide coach Dennis Franchione to 6-0 against Hawaii. He beat the Warriors three times at New Mexico and twice at Texas Christian.

No. 23 Florida St 31, No. 15 Florida 14

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Chris Rix used his second chance to make a bad week much better for Florida State.

Rix threw two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and ran for 83 yards Saturday night to help No. 23 Florida State defeat No. 15 Florida 31-14.

Freshman tailback Leon Washington ran for 134 yards, and all of the sudden, a week of turmoil and a season of disappointments didn't seem so bad for the Seminoles (9-4).

UNLV 36, No. 16 Colorado St. 33

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Larry Croom ran for 222 yards and a touchdown, and DeJhown Mandley caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left for Nevada-Las Vegas.

The Rebels (5-7, 3-4 Mountain West) had 390 yards rushing to beat Colorado State for the first time since 1982.

Colorado State (10-3, 6-1), which wrapped up the conference title last week, had won six straight. The Rams can still tie the school record for victories in a season at the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

Colorado State's Cecil Sapp had 157 yards on 31 carries. He has 1,495 yards this season, 76 more than Steve Bartalo's 1986 team record.

No. 24 West Virginia 24, No. 17 Pitt 17

PITTSBURGH -- West Virginia turned two Rod Rutherford turnovers into touchdowns, and the victory might help the Mountaineers get to the Gator Bowl.

Led by Rasheed Marshall's playmaking and Avon Cobourne's running, the Mountaineers (9-3, 6-1 in Big East) completed a remarkable turnaround from a 3-8 season, secured at least second place in the Big East and beat their Backyard Brawl rival for the first time in three years.

The Mountaineers probably will play North Carolina State on Jan. 1.

Pitt (8-4, 5-2), denied its first nine-win season in 20 years, now appears headed for the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.

No. 22 Virginia Tech 21, Virginia 9

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Lee Suggs ran for two touchdowns, and Virginia Tech found its defense, shutting down Matt Schaub and beating rival Virginia for the fourth consecutive year.

The Hokies (9-3) ended a three-game losing streak -- their longest in a decade -- by holding the Cavaliers to 203 yards and getting a touchdown from their special teams to go with Suggs' 51st and 52nd career TDs.

The Cavaliers (8-5), seeking their third consecutive victory against a Top 25 team, led 3-0 in the first quarter and struggled after that. Schaub, the ACC player of the year, went 12-of-23 for just 43 yards.

No. 25 Maryland 32, Wake Forest 14

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Scott McBrien threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone, helping the Terrapins take a 27-point lead and earn a Peach Bowl berth.

The victory gave Maryland a second straight 10-win season for the first time in school history and earned the Terrapins (10-3, 6-2 ACC) a trip to Atlanta for the Dec. 31 postseason game.

Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5), which probably needed a victory to earn a bowl berth, instead endured its fourth consecutive loss to the Terrapins.

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