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  • Michigan State 49, No. 4 Wisconsin 14

    Nov. 13, 2004

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State used a powerful rushing attack, a trick play and a key defensive stand to defeat No. 4 Wisconsin 49-14 Saturday and knock the Badgers out of the national championship race.

    The Spartans (5-5, 4-3 Big Ten) handed the Badgers their first loss and knocked Wisconsin (9-1, 6-1) into a second-place tie with Iowa in the Big Ten behind Michigan. The win keeps bowl hopes alive for Michigan State.

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    The Badgers entered the game ranked fifth in the Bowl Championship Series standings, primarily because of a dominating defense that had allowed 9.1 points a game - lowest in the nation. But Michigan State rolled up 551 yards of total offense, including 430 on the ground.

    Jehuu Caulcrick had 146 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries for the Spartans. Jason Teague had 112 yards and a TD on 17 carries. He also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in the first half, with the ball thrown by wide receiver Aaron Alexander.

    Anthony Davis led Wisconsin with 128 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown.

    Michigan State grabbed a 28-14 lead on the first drive of the second half, sparked by the recovery of a surprise onside kick. It set up a 54-yard drive capped by Caulcrick's 1-yard touchdown run.

    The Spartans had preserved their halftime lead by stopping Wisconsin on four straight plays from inside the 1 late in the second quarter. Davis was stopped short of the goal line on fourth-and-inches by linebacker David Herron Jr. and cornerback Roderick Maples.

    The play was reviewed by Big Ten officials, but the play stood as called on the field.

    Michigan State got a first-half touchdown on a blocked punt by Marshall Campbell, recovered by Travis Key in the end zone.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Fresno State dominates Big 12 champs in shocking rout
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 11, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    MANHATTAN, Kan. -- In 2001, Fresno State made a run at breaking into the Bowl Championship Series by beating big-name teams.

    The Bulldogs are at it again.

    Fresno State's 45-21 upset of No. 13 Kansas State was its second victory over a team from a BCS conference in seven days -- and their seventh since the BCS was established in 1999.

    With the big payday a BCS bowl guarantees, perhaps it's fitting that coach Pat Hill used a poker metaphor to describe his team's situation.

    "We are still at the main table," Hill said. "We were all in. We picked up all their chips, and now we've got a bigger pile -- and next week we'll go all in again."

    Fresno State (2-0) didn't have to catch many breaks against the Wildcats, either. After giving up an early touchdown on Bret Jones' 42-yard interception return, they dominated the defending Big 12 Conference champions the rest of the game.

    Bulldogs running back Dwayne Wright scored two touchdowns before tearing a tendon in his right knee in the fourth quarter, sidelining him for the season.

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    Bryson Sumlin was originally credited with Wright's second touchdown, but Kansas State officials gave the TD to Wright after reviewing the tape.

    Paul Pinegar threw two touchdown passes to Matt Rivera and ran for another score, and Sumlin added one TD run in Fresno State's biggest win over a ranked team -- and the Wildcats' worst regular-season nonconference loss in 13 years.

    "I've been here for 16 years," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "You can remember some of the 1-10 and 5-6 (seasons). We never had a football team that just got beat up as badly as we did today."

    The Bulldogs' 45 points were the most given up by the Wildcats in a regular-season nonconference game since a 56-3 loss to Washington in 1991. Fresno State's previous most decisive win over a ranked team was a 44-24 defeat of Oregon State, then ranked 10th, in 2001.

    That season the Bulldogs, from the Western Athletic Conference, also knocked off Colorado and Wisconsin on the road.

    Kansas State (1-1) led 7-0 before it took a snap, but the Wildcats couldn't do much right after Jones' defensive touchdown less than 3 minutes into the game. They had only 2 yards of offense in the first quarter and trailed 31-14 at the half.

    Fresno State's defense, which scored three times in last Sunday's 35-16 win at Washington, held Kansas State star Darren Sproles to 37 yards on 11 carries and forced two key turnovers.

    "We realized that if we stopped him, it would be no contest," said cornerback Richard Marshall, who set up a touchdown with a third-quarter interception. "We knew the only person they have...
    -09-13-2004, 01:24 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Rix starts, but Sexton cements FSU victory over Duke
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 6, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Backup quarterback Wyatt Sexton led three long scoring drives in the second half, and Gary Cismesia tied a school record with five field goals in his college debut to lead 13th-ranked Florida State past Duke 29-7 Saturday.

    Sexton completed 11 of 15 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown while taking the Seminoles on drives of 93, 80 and 70 yards to break open a tight game with 20 straight points.

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    Florida State (7-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled on offense in the first half, managing three short field goals from Cismesia to make it 9-0.

    Sexton replaced Chris Rix, who failed to get the Seminoles into the end zone in the first half while making his first start in six weeks. Rix went 9-of-15 for just 94 yards and threw an interception that set up Duke's touchdown -- his 37th pick at FSU.

    The Seminoles reached Duke's 1, 6 and 3 on successive series in the first quarter before settling for the kicks by Cismesia, a freshman playing in place of slumping senior Xavier Beitia.

    Rix, under a heavy rush, was intercepted by Duke's Cody Lowe at midfield late in the second half to set up the game's first touchdown. Lowe ran 26 yards to the Florida State 24, and eight plays later Cedric Dargan scored on a 1-yard run to pull the Blue Devils within 9-7.

    Duke wasted a second-half scoring chance when Mike Schneider was intercepted in the end zone by Pat Watkins.

    The Seminoles went up 19-9 on Cismesia's fourth field goal, and Sexton's 45-yard touchdown pass to Chris Davis. The hosts made it 26-7 with a little more than 11 minutes left on freshman Lamar Lewis' 4-yard TD run.

    Cismesia's fifth field goal, from 43 yards, tied a school record. Sebastian Janikowski -- now with the Oakland Raiders -- kicked five in a game twice for FSU, and Bill Capece did it once.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -11-06-2004, 02:08 PM
  • DJRamFan
    No. 14 Michigan 30, Illinois 19
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 16, 2004

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Michael Hart rushed for 234 yards and No. 14 Michigan rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Illinois 30-19 Saturday, sending the Illini to their 12th consecutive conference loss.

    The Wolverines, who struggled through the air in the first half, turned almost exclusively to a running game after halftime and outscored Illinois 20-2 in the second half.

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    Hart ran for 127 yards and Max Martin added 60 yards rushing in the second half as the Wolverines kept the ball on the ground after two first-half interceptions of Chad Henne led to a 17-10 halftime deficit.

    Michigan threw only nine passes and rushed 39 times after the intermission.

    Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) won its fifth straight. The Illini (3-4, 0-4) haven't won in the conference since the last game of the 2002 season.

    The Wolverines held the Illini to 98 yards rushing, while running for 294 themselves. Henne was 14-for-27 for 114 yards and one touchdown.

    Michigan scored the first 10 points of the game, but the Illini jumped ahead in the second quarter, thanks in large part to two long interception returns.

    The Wolverines intercepted Illinois quarterback Jon Beutjer at his own 6 on the first Illini drive of the second half, and Henne found Tyler Ecker from 1 yard out to cut the Illinois lead to 17-16.

    Michigan took the lead for good on its next drive when Henne ran the ball in himself from 2 yards out. A two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Wolverines led 22-17.

    Beutjer finished 20-of-39 for 156 yards, but he threw three interceptions. Pierre Thomas caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Beutjer, and added a 1-yard TD run.


    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -10-16-2004, 03:44 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Florida State overcomes mistakes to down West Virginia
    by DJRamFan
    Jan. 1, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida State overcame mistake after mistake to avoid an unprecedented third straight bowl loss.

    Leon Washington ran for 195 yards and Chris Rix crafted two long second-half touchdown drives, leading No. 17 Florida State to a 30-18 victory over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl on Saturday.

    Coach Bobby Bowden, facing his former school for the first time since the 1982 Gator Bowl, moved within one bowl win of Joe Paterno's NCAA record of 19 at Penn State. The Seminoles finished 9-3.

    Rix played poorly for much in his final game of an up-and-down career. Bowden's first four-year starter at quarterback fumbled three times and threw two interceptions, one of which led to a touchdown.

    But Bowden stuck with Rix and he eventually gave the Seminoles a spark.

    Rix completed five straight passes during a 90-yard drive, capped by his 14-yard TD pass to Craphonso Thorpe late in the third quarter. Thorpe leaped for the ball over Dee McCann in the right corner of the end zone for a 23-15 lead. It was only Rix's third TD pass of the season.

    Quarterback Rasheed Marshall and West Virginia's platoon of running backs shredded the nation's top run defense for 238 yards. Kay-Jay Harris carried 25 times for 134 yards and scored twice.

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    But the Mountaineers (8-4) failed to find the end zone three times after advancing inside the 20-yard line.

    West Virginia has lost 11 of its last 12 bowls games and is 0-5 in the Gator.

    West Virginia, the only unranked team playing in a New Year's Day bowl, continued special teams mistakes that were costly in losses to Boston College and Pittsburgh to end the regular season.

    In the first half, two kickers missed extra point, Brad Cooper booted a kickoff out of bounds, and the Mountaineers later faked a 27-yard field goal attempt, but couldn't convert the first-down run.

    Backup Andy Good practiced his kicks feverishly before the start of the third quarter, and it paid off. He made field goals of 44 and 34 yards to cut the deficit to 23-18 early in the fourth period.

    Rix then led an 80-yard scoring drive, capped by James Coleman's 1-yard run. Rix finished 16-of-31 for 157 yards.

    The game featured the preseason favorites of the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference who couldn't secure BCS berths.

    The Seminoles needed only six plays to score a season-high 10 points in the first quarter.

    Washington went 69 yards down the right sideline on the game's second play for the longest TD run in Gator Bowl history. He had 135 yards by halftime and had only 12 carries for the game, or else he might have challenged the Gator Bowl record of 216 yards by Syracuse's Floyd Little against Tennessee...
    -01-01-2005, 03:55 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Northwestern ends 33-year losing streak vs. Ohio State
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 3, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Northwestern players piled on top of each other in the corner of the end zone while students rushed the field, turning it into a purple mosh pit.

    They partied into the night long after Noah Herron's 1-yard touchdown run gave Northwestern a 33-27 upset of No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday night, not even caring when the north goal post held firm. This party was 33 years in the making, and they weren't about to go home early.

    "It's hard to put into words," said safety Jeff Backes, an Ohio native. "I came here with a dream to beat the Buckeyes and it's been 33 years. This is one I will never forget."

    Herron scored three touchdowns, including the winner in overtime, and Northwestern (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) backed up its pregame trash talk with its first victory over Ohio State (3-1, 0-1) since 1971. The win snapped the Buckeyes' 24-game winning streak in the series, and handed them their first loss in Evanston since 1958.

    "Thirty-three years was long enough," said Northwestern coach Randy Walker, an Ohio native.

    It also was Northwestern's first victory over a top-10 team since beating then-No. 7 Wisconsin in double overtime in Madison on Sept. 23, 2000.

    Ohio State has made it a habit of pulling out the close wins, winning 13 of its last 15 games that were decided by seven points or less. The Buckeyes beat Marshall earlier this season on Mike Nugent's field goal as time expired, and Nugent tied a school record with five field goals to beat North Carolina State two weeks ago.

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    It looked as if the Buckeyes' luck might hold again Saturday after they rallied to score 10 points in the final nine minutes and force overtime. But the normally automatic Nugent misfired, with his 40-yard field-goal attempt sailing wide right on the first overtime possession.

    "It was probably one of the best balls I hit tonight," Nugent said. "I thought it was going to be dead-center."

    Instead, the Wildcats got a second chance to put the Buckeyes away and they made the most of it. On the second play, quarterback Brett Basanez scrambled to the left and up the sideline for a 21-yard gain. Two plays later, Herron bulldozed his way into the end zone for the winning score, setting off pandemonium at the stadium.

    "I wouldn't have requested to be at the end of (the streak)," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "But we are. Unfortunately, that's the case. We have to start trying to get better, starting tomorrow."

    Herron ran for 113 yards, rushed for two 1-yard scores and also caught a 12-yard TD pass. Mark Philmore had 134 yards receiving and a touchdown, the first of his career. Brett Basanez was 24-of-44 for 278 yards, two touchdowns...
    -10-04-2004, 01:14 PM
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