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PENN STATE BARELY SURVIVES AGAINST BIG UNDERDOG PITT

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Maybe Pitt-Penn State is a rivalry after all.

Pittsburgh, a 34-point underdog, gave No. 2 Penn State a scare on Saturday for the second straight year. Travis Forney kicked a tiebreaking 24-yard field goal with 1:20 left and LaVar Arrington blocked a 52-yard field-goal attempt with four seconds remaining to preserve a 20-17 victory for the Nittany Lions.

"If they didn't make a statement that this is a rivalry," Arrington said, "then I don't know what a rivalry is. It was too close, but we still came through."

Penn State coach Joe Paterno was glad to see his team tested after two blowouts.

"We knew a game like this would come for us because things have come so easy for us," he said. "You've got to be able to win a game like this if you've got aspirations."

Eric McCoo had a 7-yard TD run and Mike Cerimele caught an 11-yard TD pass for Penn State (3-0), which visits No. 8 Miami next Saturday.

Penn State started the winning drive on its own 16-yard line. Kevin Thompson's 51-yard pass to Eddie Drummond put Penn State on Pitt's 11, setting up Forney's go-ahead field goal.

Hank Poteat ran the kickoff to the 50 and John Turman hit Latef Grim for a 25-yard gain, but David Fleischhauer sacked Turman and Nick Lotz's field-goal attempt was blocked by Arrington.

"I should have thrown it away," Turman said of the sack on third down. "It's tough, but the whole team showed a spark. Now we know we can play."

Pittsburgh (1-1) lost to Penn State for the seventh straight time, but thanks to great defensive line play, stuck with the Lions for the second year in a row.

"It was an old-fashioned bar fight out in the back alley," Cerimele said.

Last year, Penn State narrowly beat its long-standing rival, 20-13, but that didn't lead the two schools to sign a new contract. The 107-year-old series has turned lopsided over the past decade, prompting debate about whether it should continue.

Their last scheduled meeting is next September.

Penn State had just 65 yards rushing and Kevin Thompson threw two interceptions, first to defensive end Bryan Knight, then to defensive tackle Nigel Neal.

"Doggone it, look at the pound-per-man size comparison," said coach Walt Harris, whose starting linemen gave up 29 pounds a man to Penn State's offensive line. "Our guys played their butts off."

Turman was 19 of 35 for 316 yards and two touchdowns, including a 42-yarder to Julius Dixon to make it 17-17 with 4:34 left.

Florida St. 41, Ga. Tech 35

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's Peter Warrick and Georgia Tech's Joe Hamilton lived up to their billing Saturday. So, too, did top-ranked Florida State, which had too many weapons in a victory over the 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets.

Hamilton threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell with 1:35 left as the Yellow Jackets (1-1) closed to 41-35 in the final minute. An onside kick was fielded by Florida State's Travis Minor and the Seminoles (2-0) ran out the clock to win the Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Hamilton, who was knocked out of the last two games against Florida State, was 22-of-25 for 387 yards and four touchdowns, completing his final 14 passes of the game.

Warrick caught a touchdown pass, ran for a TD and finished with 167 yards as Florida State extended its home unbeaten streak to 42 games.

The teams combined for 595 yards in the first half and Florida State scored last to take a 28-21 halftime lead. The game was tied three times in the half.

Florida State, which never trailed in the game, took the lead for good at 28-21 with 68 seconds left in the half when Jeff Chaney weaved 29 yards for a TD on a screen pass from Chris Weinke.

Florida State finally got a bit of breathing room on the first drive of the second half when Warrick caught a 26-yard pass from Weinke for a touchdown and a 35-21 advantage.

Florida 58, Central Fla. 27

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In a big turnaround from opening week, No. 4 Florida played a game to be proud of. More importantly, the Gators gave Tennessee something to think about.

Doug Johnson connected with Travis Taylor for three of his four touchdown passes and the Gators scored seven touchdowns before halftime in a victory over Central Florida.

Florida (2-0) extended its nation-best home winning streak to 29 games. The streak will be put to its first genuine test of this season next Saturday, when defending national champion Tennessee visits The Swamp.

If the convincing showing against an outmanned team from Central Florida (0-2) was any indicator, the Gators are ready.

Or at least a lot better than they were last week.

Johnson, who had an interception returned for a touchdown in a 55-26 victory over Western Michigan, looked sharp, going 15-for-23 for 271 yards, all before the starters came out after the first half.

The special teams, which gave up a turnover that kept last week's game close into the third quarter, produced a touchdown off a blocked punt.

The defense that gave up 405 passing yards last week still looked soft at times, allowing 379 yards to Central Florida quarterback Victor Penn. But unlike last week, most of the yardage came well after the game was decided.

Nebraska 45, California 0

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Eric Crouch became the first Nebraska player since Johnny Rodgers in 1973 to run, throw and catch a pass for a touchdown as the No. 5 Cornhuskers beat California.

Nebraska (2-0) held the Golden Bears to 145 total yards and didn't allow an offensive touchdown for the second straight week. The Cornhuskers have outscored their opponents 87-7 this season.

Cal (1-1) was able to shut down Nebraska's powerful running game, holding the Cornhuskers to 114 yards on 48 carries, but penalties and big plays stopped the Bears. Cal was called for 14 penalties for 110 yards.

Crouch, who lost a preseason battle with Bobby Newcombe for the starting quarterback job, led the Cornhuskers' offense despite sitting out most of the first quarter and all of the fourth. He was 2-for-2 passing for 102 yards and a touchdown, had nine carries for 21 yards and two scores and caught one pass for a 60-yard touchdown.

Rodgers ran, passed and caught a pass for a touchdown in Nebraska's 40-6 win over Notre Dame in the 1973 Orange Bowl. Rodgers was the Heisman Trophy winner that season.

Michigan 37, Rice 3

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Drew Henson may have gained a step in Michigan's quarterback race as he scored one touchdown and passed for another in the No. 6 Wolverines' win over Rice.

Anthony Thomas ran for two touchdowns and Jeff Del Verne, a walk-on who received a scholarship earlier in the week, kicked three field goals for Michigan (2-0).

Rice (0-2), giving away nearly 40 pounds per man, never had the ball in Michigan territory until late in the fourth quarter when the Owls drove 56 yards for Derek Crabtree's 33-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining.

Michigan rolled up 356 yards, while holding the Owls to 157.Wisconsin 50, Ball St. 10

MADISON, Wis. -- Ron Dayne moved 158 yards closer to a national rushing record and Nick Davis returned a kickoff for a touchdown as No. 9 Wisconsin rolled over Ball State.

The best offensive weapon for the Badgers (2-0) wasn't Dayne, who needs 1,424 in Wisconsin's nine remaining games to beat the NCAA major-college mark set last year by Texas' Ricky Williams. He finished with 31 carries that included a 2-yard rush for a touchdown, his fourth of the season, in the third quarter.

The star was Davis, a sophomore receiver and kick returner who racked up 227 yards on kick returns, pass receptions and rushes. Davis, who had a 76-yard touchdown punt return last week against Murray State, made a beautiful 77-yard TD run on the free kick following a second-quarter safety.

Dayne carried nine times for 57 yards on Wisconsin's opening drive, but saw the ball just 11 more times in the first half for a total of 98 yards. He sat out the fourth quarter and needs 321 yards to pass Ohio State's Archie Griffin as the Big Ten Conference's leading career rusher.

The Cardinals fell to 0-2.

Virginia Tech 31, UAB 10

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Shyrone Stith rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and Andre Kendrick threw a 35-yard halfback pass for a TD as No. 11 Virginia Tech beat UAB.

The Hokies (2-0) charged to a 17-0 lead, only to have UAB (0-2) close within a touchdown by halftime. Kendrick's TD throw to Andre Davis put Tech in control again at 24-10 with 13:45 left in the game.

With starter Michael Vick out with a bruised left leg and ankle, the Hokies relied heavily on their ground game. Smith carried a career-high 29 times as the Hokies ran for 196 yards on 55 attempts.

Georgia 24, So. Carolina 9

ATHENS, Ga. -- South Carolina finally scored the first points of the Lou Holtz era, but not enough to beat No. 12 Georgia.

Quincy Carter threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Edwards, Jasper Sanks rushed for a career-high 130 yards and Kendrell Bell led the swarming Bulldogs defense.

The Gamecocks (0-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) were shut out in Holtz's debut and went nearly three quarters against Georgia (2-0, 1-0) without scoring.

Courtney Leavitt finally erased the string of zeros with a 28-yard field goal with 2:58 left in the third period.

Ohio State 42, UCLA 20

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Michael Wiley rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns and Ken-Yon Rambo caught two scoring passes as 13th-ranked Ohio State climbed out of a 10-0 hole to beat No. 14 UCLA.

It was the first time in 27 games that UCLA (1-1) had not scored at least 24 points.

Ohio State (1-1) won its 21st straight home opener before 93,283 in only the fourth night game in Ohio Stadium's 78 seasons.

Kansas State 40, Temple 0

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Frank Murphy ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries Saturday night, leading No. 17 Kansas State (1-0) over Temple (0-2).

Murphy, a senior who entered the season as a backup to David Allen after breaking a bone in his right foot during summer workouts, scored on runs of 31 and 7 yards as Kansas State used a 23-point second quarter to take a 26-0 halftime lead.

Alabama 37, Houston 10

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Shaun Alexander had three touchdowns and Alabama scored three times in just over seven minutes as No. 21 Alabama beat Houston.

Leading just 17-10 in the third quarter, the Tide (2-0) put Houston (1-1) away on three big plays.

Clemson 33, Virginia 14

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Old coach Danny Ford may have gotten the loudest ovation, but Clemson's Brandon Streeter showed the Tigers' future, passing for a school-record 343 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over No. 22 Virginia.

Ford, saluted at Death Valley for the first time in 10 years as he was inducted into the school's hall of fame, led the Tigers to a national championship and five Atlantic Coast Conference titles in the 1980s with power running and ball control.

Streeter, using the offense brought in by first-year coach Tommy Bowden, used accurate passing and timely runs as Clemson (1-1, 1-0 ACC) held off Virginia (1-1, 0-1).

Streeter threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Wofford and a 15-yarder to Pat Cyrgalis -- Clemson's first to a tight end since Ford's last season -- for a 20-0 lead at halftime.

N.C. State 39, William & Mary 9

RALEIGH, N.C. -- No. 23 North Carolina State and Jamie Barnette produced the offensive tune-up that was needed, building a 31-point halftime lead en route to a victory over William & Mary (0-2).

The Wolfpack (3-0) beat Texas and South Carolina the two previous weekends to crack the top 25, but had mustered only a combined 13 first downs and 268 yards and wanted a good showing heading to No. 1 Florida State next Saturday.

Colorado St. 38, Nevada 33

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Matt Newton threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns as No. 24 Colorado State overcame a slow start and then held off Nevada.

The game was dominated by the offenses as Nevada (0-2) finished with 597 yards, including 429 through the air. Colorado State (2-0) gained 529.

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