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2003
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NIU Dropped From List Of Unbeatens; Purdue Suffers First Big 10 Loss;
Tennessee Beats 'Bama In Marathon

by Mike Mitchell
10/26/03

And then there were three.

Bowling Green ended Northern Illinois' hopes of an undefeated season on Saturday as the Falcons rolled to a 34-18 win. Coupled with Toledo's loss to Ball State on Saturday, BGSU earned sole possession of the lead in the MAC west division.

Josh Harris threw for 435 yards and 3 touchdowns, and added 86 yards rushing on 19 carries, for Bowling Green. Northern Illinois running back Michael Turner was held to 73 yards on 16 carries. The Falcons racked up 635 yards in offense while limiting the Huskies to 176.

Ball State pulled off a surprising 38-14 bombardment of Toledo to keep the Cardinals in the chase for the MAC west division crown. Both teams are now tied with NIU at 3-1 in the league standings.

Miami (Ohio) remained undefeated in the MAC east division with a 38-30 win at Kent State. Marshall continues to trail the RedHawks by a game in the conference standings after the Thundering Herd beat Western Michigan, 41-21.

Five teams entered the long college football weekend undefeated. Virginia Tech fell like a ton of bricks at West Virginia on Wednesday night, 28-7. Oklahoma, TCU and Miami are the only unbeaten teams remaining.

The Sooners got more trouble from Colorado than expected but improved to 8-0 with a 34-20 win. The Buffaloes rallied from a 27-7 deficit to pull with a touchdown with 5:30 left in the game. But Jason White threw a short pass to Mark Clayton that turned into a 60-yard touchdown with 1:59 left to put the game away.

TCU barely survived a shootout at Houston, 62-55. The Horned Frogs entered the game allowing less than 14 points per game. But the Cougars amassed 684 yards, only to be outdone by TCU's 782 yards. Cougar freshman QB Kevin Kolb threw for 434 yards and 4 touchdowns. He added 144 yards rushing and another score.

Miami visits Virginia Tech next Saturday.

Michigan whipped Purdue, 31-3, to hand the Boilermakers their first Big 10 conference loss. That leaves Michigan State as the only team in the Big 10 with a perfect conference record. The Spartans had the weekend off in preparation for their battle next Saturday against Michigan.

Wisconsin was upset at Northwestern, 16-7, handing the Badgers their second Big 10 loss. Meanwhile, Ohio State easily dispatched Indiana by a 35-6 count and Minnesota trounced Illinois, 36-10.

Georgia needed Billy Bennett's third field goal of the game, a 31-yarder with 12:57 remaining, to edge UAB 16-13.

Tennessee played in a multiple overtime game for the second time in as many years. The Vols emerged with a 51-43 win at Alabama after five overtimes when the Crimson Tide failed to answer Tennessee's touchdown. The Volunteers went six overtimes last year in handing Arkansas a 41-38 defeat. Alabama lost to Arkansas in overtime earlier this year while Tennessee had already edged South Carolina in an overtime game this season.

Tennessee and Florida are each 3-2 in the SEC east, a game behind Georgia. The Gators and Bulldogs meet in Jacksonville next Saturday while the Vols go out of conference to host Duke.

LSU romped 31-7 over Auburn to hand the War Eagles their first conference loss and end their five-game winning streak. Now, each team has one loss in the SEC and trail Mississippi which remained the only team in the league with a perfect conference mark when the Rebels downed Arkansas, 19-7. It was the third straight loss for the Razorbacks.

Kentucky spotted Mississippi State a 17-0 head start, then rallied to curb the Bulldogs 42-17.

Boston College upended Notre Dame, 27-25, on Sandro Sciortino's 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds left.

In the PAC-10, USC stayed in the national championship hunt with a 43-23 win at Washington.

Washington State and UCLA stayed unbeaten in conference play and tied atop the PAC-10 standings. The Cougars grabbed a 36-30 win over Oregon State, despite five interceptions thrown by Matt Kegel. The Bruins repelled Arizona State 20-13.

Oregon snapped a three-game losing streak with a 35-0 win over Stanford. The loss sends the Cardinal to 0-4 in the conference and in a last-place tie with Arizona after the Wildcats were trounced by Cal, 42-14.

Florida State clinched at least a tie for the ACC title as the Seminoles doubled-up Wake Forest, 48-24. The Seminoles are 6-0 in league play. Five teams have two losses - Clemson, Georgia Tech, N. C. State, Maryland and Virginia.

South Florida, the computer's preseason pick to win CUSA, lost its second consecutive conference game. Southern Miss stayed perfect in the league with the 27-6 victory in Hattiesburg.

Louisville scored a 36-20 win over East Carolina, outscoring the Pirates 23-7 in the final quarter to break a 13-13 tie. Louisville upped its record to 7-1, 3-1 in CUSA. East Carolina's records are the mirror opposite at 1-7, 1-3.

Memphis improved to 5-3 over-all, 2-2 in the conference, with a 41-9 win over Tulane. The Green Wave are on a four-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh scored a 34-14 win over Syracuse to improve to 2-0 in the Big East and remain the only conference team than Miami to be unbeaten in league play. Larry Fitzgerald had 8 catches for 150 yards including two short touchdown grabs.

Missouri crushed Texas Tech, 62-31, as Tiger quarterback Brad Smith ran for 291 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also threw for 128 yards. B.J. Symons threw for 407 yards and 4 touchdowns but was also picked off three times.

In other Big 12 action, Oklahoma State roped Texas A&M, 38-10; Kansas State had no trouble with Kansas as the Wildcats strolled to a 42-6 win; Nebraska blanked Iowa State, 28-0.

Nebraska's win and Kansas' loss give the Cornhuskers first place in the Big 12 north.

Connecticut beat Akron 38-37 when Matt Nuzie connected on a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the game. Dan Orlovsky threw 5 TD passes for the Huskies. Jamie Goodwin had a 100-yard kick-off return for the Zips.

Utah lost its grip on the Mountain West title with a 47-35 loss at home to New Mexico. The Utes entered the game as favorites by more than a touchdown while the Congrove Computer Rankings forecasted a Lobo upset in its weekly picks. It was the first conference loss of the year for Utah which now is tied with Air Force for the conference lead. Colorado State, which was idle Saturday, and New Mexico sit just a half-game back.

Boise State remained unbeaten in WAC play with a 77-14 smacking of San Jose State. Ryan Dinwiddie threw five touchdown passes and ran for another score in a little over two quarters of action.

The Broncos are 4-0 in the conference and have sole possession of first place after Nevada was upset 42-34 by Louisiana Tech. The Huskies slipped to 3-1.

Hawaii is 4-1 in the conference after beating UTEP, 31-15. Fresno State is 2-1 in the conference following its 33-28 win over Rice.

North Texas won the battle for first in the Sun Belt with a 33-28 win at Middle Tennessee.

1-AA Delaware upset Navy, 21-17, ending the Midshipmen's 3-game winning streak. The Blue Hens, who entered the game ranked 3rd in the nation in 1-AA, improved to 8-0 as Navy fell to 5-3.

Monkey Off Back: Buffalo toppled Ohio 26-17 to end what had been the nation's longest losing streak at 18 games.

Rutgers halted its 25-game conference losing streak with a 30-14 win over Temple for their first Big East victory since November 13, 1999.

Army and SMU are the last two teams still searching for an initial win.

Still Streaking: Army has lost 10 straight after its 33-29 loss to Cincinnati.

SMU has lost 8 consecutive games after falling 35-16 to Tulsa.

Duke played its first game since the firing of Carl Franks as head coach. The result was still the same. The Blue Devils played N. C. State tough but ultimately got beat. The 28-21 setback to N.C. State, under interim coach Ted Roof, was the 30th consecutive ACC conference loss by Duke.

Vanderbilt lost its 22nd straight game to SEC foes, and 12 straight to 1-A teams, as South Carolina beat the Commodores, 35-24. Vanderbilt had already clinched its 21st consecutive losing season.

Baylor fell to 5-55 lifetime in the Big 12 when Texas bagged a 56-0 win over the Bears.

Conference Realignment: Rice, SMU and Tulsa will leave the WAC to join CUSA. Marshall may also get an invitation to CUSA.

Utah State and New Mexico State will head to the WAC from the Sun Belt.

Boise State may move from the WAC to the MWC.

It appears Louisville, Cincinnati and possibly South Florida are headed to the Big East.

It all began with the migration of Miami, Virginia Tech and, most recently, Boston College from the Big East to the ACC.

Coaching Milestone: Bobby Bowden passed Penn State's Joe Paterno on the career 1-A coaching wins list with Florida State's 48-24 win over Wake Forest and the Nittany Lions' 26-14 loss to Iowa.

Bowden is 339-97-4 in 38 seasons, 28 at Florida State. Paterno is 338-106-3 at Penn State.

Tracking the new coaches: There were eighteen head coaching changes in the off-season and all of them now have at least one win this year. But there have been three new coaches taking over teams since the season began.

John Mumford is 0-2 with Army after the Cadets lost 33-29 to Cincinnati.

Mike Hankwitz is 0-3 with Arizona following the Wildcats' 42-14 loss to California.

Ted Roof is 0-1 at Duke after the Blue Devils fell 28-21 to North Carolina.


2003 POST-GAME ARCHIVES
12/07: Kansas St. Surprises Everyone But Themselves...
11/30: Miami Takes Big East Title; BCS Must...
11/23: Oklahoma, USC Each One Win Away....
11/16: Conference Races Come Into Focus....
11/09: 8 Of Top 25 BCS Teams Take A Hit
11/02: Hokies Blow Away Hurricanes....
10/26: NIU Dropped From List Of Unbeatens....
10/19: Michigan State and Purdue Remain....
10/12: Win Streak Ends At 19 For Ohio State; Six....
10/05: Tennessee, Air Force, Louisville Fall
09/28: Unbeaten Ranks Shrink With Losses By USC...
09/21: Marshall Leads Mighty MAC Conquest .....
09/14: Upsets Will Rock The Rankings.....