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NITTANY LIONS SINGIN' IN THE RAIN AFTER TAMING 'CANES; IRISH LOSE AGAIN

MIAMI -- As quickly as you can say fourth-and-2, No. 3 Penn State turned a soggy Saturday into a victory celebration at the Orange Bowl.

First, the Nittany Lions stopped No. 8 Miami a yard short of a first down. Then, on the next play, Kevin Thompson threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Chafie Fields with 1:41 left and Penn State had a 27-23 victory over the Hurricanes.

"It's games like these that are the reason I stay in the game," Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, drenched but smiling, said. "We were a little lucky today. You got to feel great for these kids."

After Fields shook off two tacklers and raced into the end zone, Penn State players ran onto the field, jumping and thrusting their helmets into the air. The rain-soaked crowd of 74,427 was stunned. Just seconds earlier, they were cheering what they thought would be Miami's biggest win since coach Butch Davis took over five years ago.

"We had the taste in our mouths," Miami cornerback Leonard Myers said, "and then it was gone."

Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington, who had another shoving incident with a punter, said he thought his team could lose but when the game turned, "it was the greatest feeling in the world. I love Miami!"

This was a game, played in a steady rain, the Hurricanes (2-1) hoped would mark their return to college football's elite. It looked that way after Miami roared back from a 17-3 deficit and led, 23-20, on James Jackson's 39-yard TD run with 7:42 left.

And when Miami's Edward Reed intercepted a pass by Rashard Casey, who alternated at quarterback with Thompson, it looked like Penn State (4-0) was finished.

But Jackson, who carried 33 times for 129 yards and two TDs, was stuffed by linebacker Maurice Daniels on fourth-and-2 at the Penn State 21 after a 1-yard gain.

"Fourth-and-2 was a big thing," Paterno said. "They make a first down and it's over."

Michigan St. 23, Notre Dame 13

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame didn't lose this one in the last minute. The Irish never had the chance.

Bill Burke hit Gari Scott for an 80-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown as Michigan State beat 24th-ranked Notre Dame, dropping the Irish to their second 1-3 start in the last three seasons.

"It just took the wind out of you right there because you felt like you have some momentum," Notre Dame coach Bob Davie said. "You felt like it was going to come down to the last play."

The Irish lost to Purdue last week after being stopped from inside the 1-yard line on two straight plays in the final seconds. Two weeks ago, they lost to Michigan when a last-minute drive ended on the 10-yard line as time ran out. And they seemed poised for yet another last-minute finish after entering the final period tied at 7-7.

But Burke ended any hope of last-minute heroics.

Following Jim Sanson's field goal that tied the game at 13-13 with 5:44 left, Burke took over at the Michigan State 20. He almost handed the game to Notre Dame when his first pass was batted into the air, but Irish linebacker Anthony Denman couldn't hold onto the ball. Burke hit Scott two plays later for the winning score.

Florida St. 42, N.C. State 11

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It wasn't revenge, but getting even was a kick. Actually, lots of kicks.

Sebastian Janikowski booted five field goals and Florida State forced six turnovers as the top-ranked Seminoles defeated No. 20 North Carolina State.

Florida State (3-0 overall, 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) is 100-13-1 this decade -- the only school to reach the century mark in wins. The Seminoles also are 56-2 in the ACC as they go after an eighth straight league title.

North Carolina State (3-1, 0-1) upset the Seminoles, 24-7, last year behind quarterback Jamie Barnette, who was intercepted four times Saturday.

"Jamie was running for his life," North Carolina State coach Mike O'Cain said. "He was getting his butt knocked off after every play."

Florida State's victory was pieced together by big plays on defense and Janikowski's booming kicks.

"We came out strong and they got paid back," Janikowski said. "That's the best feeling ever."

Two turnovers by Barnette resulted in Florida State touchdowns.

Abdual Howard returned one interception 47 yards for the game's final score and Jamal Reynolds recovered a Barnette fumble in the end zone for a third quarter TD that gave Florida State a 32-11 lead. The ball was stripped by David Warren.

"That really turned the game around," said Barnette, who was also sacked three times.

Barnette, who threw for 287 yards against Florida State last year, was 10 of 25 for 129 yards.

Janikowski also kicked five field goals last year against Maryland.

Cincinnati 17, Wisconsin 12

CINCINNATI -- Ron Dayne added another record to his rapidly growing list. It came in a losing cause, however.

Robert Cooper ran for 143 yards and a touchdown, and Deontey Kenner scored on a 5-yard run as Cincinnati (2-1) upset No. 9 Wisconsin (2-1).

Dayne rushed for 231 yards on 28 carries to pass Archie Griffin and become the Big Ten's career rushing leader with 5,615 yards, including bowl games.

Dayne also moved into sixth place on the NCAA career rushing list, which does not include bowl games. He has 5,087 regular-season yards, 1,193 shy of breaking Ricky Williams' NCAA career mark.

"I don't care about the numbers. I'm looking for the win. That's all I was going for," Dayne said.

It was an emotional week for Cooper, who missed last week's loss to Division I-AA Troy State to attend an aunt's funeral.

"I just knew I had to stay positive and upbeat and focus on the game," he said.

"We really missed him last week," Kenner said. "His leadership really helped today."

Kenner's TD run gave Cincinnati a 14-6 lead with 9:59 left in the third quarter. Wisconsin closed to 14-12 on Dayne's 18-yard touchdown run with 5:15 remaining in the third, but a two-point conversion attempt failed and the Badgers self-destructed in the fourth quarter.

Dayne fumbled into the Cincinnati end zone midway through the final period and the Bearcats recovered. Dayne fumbled after being hit by linebacker Bobby Fuller.

"I was just reaching for some extra yards and he stripped me," Dayne said.

Nebraska 20, Southern Miss 13

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Linebacker Julius Jackson returned a fumble and an interception for touchdowns as No. 4 Nebraska's (3-0) defense made up for a poor offensive showing with a win over Southern Mississippi (2-1).

Southern Miss outgained Nebraska 293 yards to 183 and threatened to tie it with 1:17 left in the game, but Keyuo Craver intercepted Jeff Kelly at the Nebraska 1-yard line and the Huskers avoided the upset. It was Craver's second interception of the game.

Kelly was 19 for 39 for 209 yards to lead Southern Miss.

Texas A&M 62, Tulsa 13

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Randy McCown accounted for three touchdowns, one running and two passing, including a school record 96-yarder to Chris Taylor, as No. 7 Texas A&M (2-0) capitalized on six turnovers for a victory over Tulsa (1-2).

Texas A&M converted the turnovers into 34 points.

Georgia Tech 41, Central Florida 10

ATLANTA -- One week after passing for a career-high 387 yards, Joe Hamilton showed off running skills.

The Georgia Tech quarterback rushed for a career-best 100 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 161 yards and another score and guided the No. 12 Yellow Jackets (2-1) to a rout of Central Florida (0-3).

Sean Gregory, Tech's third-string tailback a week earlier, made his first college start and rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The Yellow Jackets piled up 318 yards on the ground against Central Florida, the second time this season they have surpassed 300 yards.

Hamilton followed up his five-touchdown performance (four passing, one running) against Florida State with another strong performance. He scored on runs of 9 and 6 yards, sandwiched around a 6-yard touchdown pass to Russell Matvay.

The senior quarterback rushed 12 times and completed 12 of 18.

Ohio State 40, Ohio 16

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Michael Wiley scored two touchdowns and Steve Bellisari hit Ken-Yon Rambo with two scoring passes as 13th-ranked Ohio State (2-1) overcame a sluggish first half to roll over Ohio (0-3).

Ohio State hasn't lost to an in-state college since falling to Oberlin, 7-6, in 1921. The Buckeyes have never lost to another Ohio college in Ohio Stadium's 78 years. Yet the Buckeyes almost lulled a crowd of 93,222 to sleep with lethargic play in the opening half.

A 43-point underdog, Ohio, which lost to Division I-AA Northern Iowa at home last week, held a 10-3 lead late in the second quarter after Chad Brinker's 3-yard run.

But the Buckeyes took control in the third quarter, scoring three times in four offensive plays.

Purdue 58, Central Michigan 16

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Vinny Sutherland set a school punt-return record and No. 14 Purdue improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1969 in convincing fashion, overpowering Central Michigan (1-2).

Sutherland returned a punt 64 yards for one score en route to topping a 50-year school record for punt return yardage in a game. Sutherland finished with 142 on five returns. The record of 138 was set by Ken Gorgal on seven returns against Pittsburgh in 1948.

Arkansas 44, Louisiana-Monroe 6

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas converted three kicking game mistakes into 17 points in the third quarter and the No. 15 Razorbacks (2-0) went on to an easy victory over Louisiana-Monroe (1-2).

The Indians, known as Northeast Louisiana until a few weeks ago, moved from Division I-AA to Division I-A in 1994. Since the move, Louisiana-Monroe is 7-36 against Division I-A teams.

Kansas St. 40, Texas-El Paso 7

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Frank Murphy rushed for 162 yards and Quincy Morgan caught two touchdown passes, sparking No. 16 Kansas State (2-0) over Texas-El Paso (1-2).

Murphy, who rushed for 149 yards on 13 carries in a 40-0 victory over Temple the week before, also had a 76-yard return of the opening kickoff, putting the Wildcats in business on the UTEP 26.

USC 24, San Diego St. 21

LOS ANGELES -- Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes for 17th-ranked Southern Cal (2-0), which built an early lead held on for a victory over San Diego State (1-2).

The heavily favored Trojans were up, 17-0, late in the first half, but San Diego State came back to make it close.

Palmer finished 16 of 24 for 188 yards, with two interceptions.

Louisiana Tech 29, Alabama 28

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Brian Stallworth threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Sean Cangelosi with two seconds to play to give Louisiana Tech (2-2) an upset win over No. 18 Alabama (2-1).

Tech trailed, 28-22, and was facing fourth-and-26 without its quarterback, 1998 national total-offense leader Tim Rattay, who left the game two plays before with an injury. But Stallworth overcame those odds with the heave into the end zone to Cangelosi.

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