Monkey Off Back;
Virginia Tech Gains Revenge Against West Virginia
by Mike Mitchell
10/3/04 1:45 am edt
Thirty years after their last win in South Bend, Purdue routed Notre Dame 41-16 to shed a giant monkey off their back. And Virginia Tech, whom West Virginia knocked from their lofty ranking last year, upended the high-ranked Mountaineers in Blacksburg 19-13 for a measure of sweet revenge.
Northwestern beat Ohio State in Evanston for the first time since 1958. The Wildcats blew a 27-17 early fourth quarter lead but won, 33-27, in overtime. Northwestern scored the game-winning touchdown after Ohio State's first possession ended on a missed Mike Nugent field goal.
Fresno State's unbeaten season was also derailed as Louisiana Tech surprised Pat Hill's squad, 28-21.
Auburn and Georgia won the SEC's big showdowns. The Tigers routed Tennessee in Knoxville, 34-10. The Bulldogs blasted LSU in Athens, 45-16.
North Texas, which had gone 0-4 in non-conference games to open the season, extended its winning streak to 19 games against Sun Belt conference teams with a 30-21 win over Middle Tennessee.
Meanwhile, TCU rallied from a 17-0 deficit to pull out a 21-17 victory over Army and extended the Black Knight's losing streak to 19 games.
The weekend's wildest game took place between San Jose State and Rice. The Owls built a 34-7 lead in the first 18 minutes of the game but the Spartans battled back to turn the contest into a track meet. When it was finally over, the two teams had combined to score 19 touchdowns and San Jose State had prevailed by the ridiculous score of 70-63. What's that you say? No defense? Actually, the winning points were scored on a 28-yard return of an intercepted pass. Go figure. Unfortuantely, the homestanding Spartans drew just over 4,000 fans for the game and the football program could be in jeopardy.
The computer pegged the upsets of UAB over Cincinnati (30-27), South Carolina over Alabama (20-3), Navy over Air Force (24-21) and Arizona State over Oregon (28-13). It missed on its upset picks of LSU over Georgia and Notre Dame over Purdue.
No Blemishes: 18 teams remain unbeaten with none from the Big East, MAC or Sun Belt. Additionally, there are no unbeaten teams in the north division of the Big 12. Ohio State, Colorado, West Virginia, Tennessee and Fresno State all lost for the first time on Saturday.
Only 5 teams remain winless. Eight teams claimed their first victory of the year this past weekend - Duke, Marshall, Buffalo, UNLV, Vanderbilt, North Texas, Idaho and Hawaii.
David Slays Goliath (Not Exactly): The mighty Buffalo Bulls flexed their muscles and walloped Central Florida 48-20. It was Buffalo's fifth conference win ever since entering the MAC in 1999. Their over-all conference mark is now 5-38.
Three 1-A schools took on 1-AA teams this past weekend and all were victorious. The 1-A teams are now 42-6 against their 1-AA brethren with Florida Atlantic notching half of the lower division's wins. FAU, a 1-AA team transitioning into Division 1-A and joining the Sun Belt next season, opened the year with consecutive road wins over Hawaii, North Texas and Middle Tennessee.
Florida International, which is also entering the Sun Belt next year, had Louisiana-Lafayette on the ropes but couldn't deliver the knockout blow. The Ragin' Cajuns eventually won 43-34. Elsewhere, Duke beat The Citadel 28-10 and Boston College downed Massachusetts 29-7.
Streaking: Boise State has won 16 straight games over-all, 22 straight at home, and 20 straight over WAC foes after dispatching SMU 38-20. The Mustangs had just ended their 15-game losing streak with a victory two weekends ago over San Jose State. Has a new streak begun?
USC has the nation's second-longest winning streak at 13. The Trojans were idle.
North Texas has won 19 straight over Sun Belt conference foes. The Mean Green tripped the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 30-21.
Army has lost 19 straight after blowing a 17-0 lead against TCU before falling 21-17.
East Carolina's losing streak stands at 9 after a 59-7 loss to Louisville.