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Air Raid wakes up in second half in upset of Oklahoma State

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  • Air Raid wakes up in second half in upset of Oklahoma State

    Nov. 27, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Jarrett Hicks huddled up at halftime and decided the team's leading receiver should get the ball more.

    It turned out to be a good plan.

    Hicks caught two of Sonny Cumbie's three touchdown passes in the second half and the Red Raiders beat No. 23 Oklahoma State 31-15 on Saturday.

    "It was my opinion he could whip the guy across from him, and he was going up against one of the better cornerbacks in the Big 12," said Leach, referring to Cowboys cornerback Robert Jones.

    Hicks agreed and suggested more throws his way to Leach.

    "He's a great player, and he really rose up there," said Leach of Hicks, the Big 12's leading receiver.

    The Red Raiders' prolific passing attack didn't get going until its first possession of the second half when Cumbie went 4-for-4, with three going to Hicks.

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    The catches were Hicks' first of the game and went for 38, 27 and 2 yards, the last one for the touchdown to put the Red Raiders (7-4, 5-3) up 14-9.

    "Right before that drive, coach Leach got in my ear and told me to make a play," said Hicks, who finished with five catches for 96 yards. "It was coming to a point in the game where we really needed a play."

    He caught his second TD pass, a 14-yarder, midway through the fourth quarter to make it 24-15. Taurean Henderson sealed the win on a 6-yard TD run with 2:52 remaining.

    "We talked during halftime that we were going to try to get me the ball even more. We made some adjustments, talked about it and got it corrected," Hicks said.

    Cumbie, the nation's leading passer, had a season-low 281 yards.

    The Cowboys (7-4, 4-4) have dropped four of six following a 5-0 start. Vernand Morency finished with 108 yards on 23 carries, well below his 149-yard average for Oklahoma State.

    Tech's defense held the Cowboys without an offensive touchdown and to 176 yards rushing. They ranked eighth nationally coming into the game, averaging 251.9 yards per game.

    "It looked like to me we didn't block well," Cowboys coach Les Miles said. "But you have to give them credit.Their defense played well."

    Leach went a step further.

    "I thought our defense set the tone for this game," he said.

    The last time Tech kept an opponent from scoring an offensive TD was in 2002 in a 49-0 win over New Mexico.

    Cumbie, who came in averaging 394 yards passing, was 31-for-46 with an interception. His previous low of 294 yards came two weeks ago in a 42-35 overtime loss at Texas A&M.

    OSU took a 15-14 lead when safety Jaime Thompson intercepted a pass from Cumbie and returned it 68 yards with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter.

    "I've had to bounce back from a few interceptions this year," said Cumbie, who has now thrown 18. "I could have put it on the outside more. But there was a lot of time left on the clock. And our offense, it can score pretty quick."

    The Cowboys attempted a 2-point conversion but failed when quarterback Donovan Woods fumbled the snap.

    "In the second half we had a little bit of a momentum swing, but missed the 2-point conversion and had the wind taken out of our sails," Woods said.

    Tech regained the lead, 17-15, after a 13-play drive stalled at the 5 and Alex Trlica hit a 22-yard field goal with 9:43 remaining in the game.

    Cumbie had a season-low 127 passing yards on 16-of-22 in the first half. His previous first-half low was 132 in a 42-17 win over Baylor earlier this month.

    The Cowboys threw just one pass in the first half, rushing on 23 straight plays. With about seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, Woods completed a 5-yarder to Morency on third-and-8.

    Woods finished 6-for-9 for 60 yards.

    The Cowboys ran for 122 yards in the first half, 86 of those from Morency, but trailed 7-6. Morency went over 100 yards rushing for the ninth time this season.

    Both teams are in the mix for several of the same bowls, including the Alamo and Independence.

    "I think if you're asking did we prove we should be regarded ahead of them on the field, I think we did," Leach said. "But there are a lot of variables involved."

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Gophers grind out Music City victory over Alabama
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 31, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marion Barber III heard all about how Alabama stopped Auburn's vaunted running backs.

    Barber and teammate Laurence Maroney simply thought they were better.

    Barber ran for 187 yards and a touchdown and Maroney added 105 yards to lead Minnesota to a 20-16 victory over Alabama in the Music City Bowl on Friday.

    Barber and Maroney, the only teammates in NCAA history to each rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, were the only runners to go for more than 100 yards in a game this season against the Crimson Tide, who entered with the nation's second-ranked defense.

    "They're a duo, and they're both going to come at you," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said, grinning. "They must be pretty good, I guess."

    Alabama held Auburn to just 74 yards rushing in the Crimson Tide's final game, but Barber wasn't impressed.

    "I never looked at that," the soft-spoken Barber said. "We just came in more prepared."

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    The Golden Gophers (7-5) ran for 276 yards to overcome three turnovers -- including two by Barber -- on their first three drives. Still, they nearly gave the game away in the fourth quarter.

    Rhys Lloyd, who made field goals from 27 and 24 yards, missed a 24-yard attempt with 5:34 left that would have sealed the victory. Mason admitted he was worried since Minnesota lost games late against Michigan and Iowa.

    "When we missed the field goal that would have put us in pretty good shape, I said, 'Here we go again,'" Mason said. "I know if I'm thinking that, so are our kids, but we fought through."

    On Minnesota's next possession, it was pinned deep in its own end and elected to take a safety to make it 20-16 rather than attempt a punt.

    The decision nearly backfired.

    Alabama's Tyrone Prothro returned the free kick to the Minnesota 48, and four completions by Spencer Pennington got the Crimson Tide to the 15. But Pennington overthrew a Prothro in the end zone on third down and couldn't convert a fourth-and-5 with 1:14 to left, ending the game.

    "That's all you can ask for, a chance to win the game," Pennington said. "Prothro was open, and I threw it a little high."

    Alabama (6-6), making an NCAA-record 52nd bowl appearance, was forced to throw throughout the game with leading rusher Kenneth Darby limited because of an abdominal strain. The Crimson Tide had minus-2 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 21.

    Pennington, who finished 22-of-36 for 243 yards and a touchdown, frequently tried to let receivers make plays using short passes.

    "We didn't execute the way we should have," he said. "We felt...
    -12-31-2004, 03:57 PM
  • DJRamFan
    I-AA Wrapup: Shakedown Saturday
    by DJRamFan
    Changes in the elite are emerging

    Oct. 3, 2004

    By David Coulson, Senior Columnist, I-AA.org
    Special to CollegeSports.com from I-AA.org

    As a youngster, I used to watch reruns of Star Trek every day after school. And I always wondered what it would be like to have Scotty's transporter in my house.

    Just think about how cool it would be to quickly beam yourself from one place to another.

    I could have used that device on Saturday to keep track of some great matchups in I-AA football -- matchups that will have obvious repercussions on the NCAA playoffs in the next month and a half.

    I would have started my journey by beaming to Tubby Raymond Field for the Delaware-Maine showdown in the Atlantic 10. As it was, I had to settle for watching the No. 4 Blue Hens and No. 8 Black Bears play a instant classic on my trusty, though less flashy VCR.

    This was a game that many thought would be a defensive struggle, but instead the two teams combined for 81 points and 954 yards of total offense.





    Delaware, which had showed almost no offensive consistency this season, jumped to a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter and had beaten its best scoring output of the season by the middle of the second period with a 27-7 advantage.

    Maine, which usually likes to control the ball on the ground behind big, senior tailback Marcus Williams, was forced to almost completely abandon its rushing attack and came charging back behind the arm of sophomore quarterback Ron Whitcomb.

    Whitcomb completed 22-of-40 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, two of the scoring aerials to Christian Pereira (nine catches for 143 yards).

    When Whitcomb connected with Pereira on a 10-yard scoring strike early in the fourth quarter, the Black Bears pulled within 37-35 and Mike Mellow's 21-yard field goal finally gave Maine the lead with 7:12 to play, 38-37.

    But Saturday was the day that Delaware quarterback Sonny Riccio finally arrived. Much was expected when Riccio transferred last spring from Missouri to fill the void left by the graduation loss of I-AA.Org offensive player of the year Andy Hall.

    Riccio struggled in his first three games as a Blue Hen, games that included a loss to New Hampshire and two unimpressive wins over Towson and Division II West Chester.

    But Riccio hit 33-of-51 passes for 415 yards and a 28-yard touchdown and added a 12-yard scoring run against Maine. And he led Delaware on a clutch drive that resulted in a last-minute, game-winning touchdown.

    As soon as the gun sounded in Newark, Del., I would have been ready to say: "Scotty, beam me to Carbondale, Ill. for the Southern Illinois-Northern Iowa showdown."

    It looked for a half like it would be another week for the curse...
    -10-04-2004, 12:58 PM
  • DJRamFan
    No. 22 Florida 52, Middle Tennessee 16
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 16, 2004
    AP

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Chris Leak threw three touchdown passes, DeShawn Wynn scored three times and No. 22 Florida rebounded from a home loss to LSU with a 52-16 victory against Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

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    Leak, who was 15-of-33 for a season-low 142 yards in a 24-21 loss to the Tigers, completed 17 of 22 passes for 316 yards against the Blue Raiders (2-4).

    He was rarely pressured, giving him plenty of time to find open receivers. He had TD passes to O.J. Small, Andre Caldwell and Chad Jackson before sitting out the fourth quarter.

    Wynn ran for 81 yards, and Ciatrick Fason added 48 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

    Defensively, the Gators (4-2) gave up more yards than they wanted. But for the most part, they kept Middle Tennessee out of the end zone.

    Clint Marks, who completed 30 of 34 passes for 447 yards with four touchdowns last week against Arkansas State, was hurried all afternoon and threw two interceptions.

    The game went about like expected: a mismatch from the opening kickoff. It was supposed to be played as the season opener but was postponed six weeks because of Hurricane Frances.

    The Swamp was about half empty when the fourth quarter started. The game was considered a sellout even though there were thousands of empty seats. The reasons? The weak opponent, it was the fourth consecutive home game, it was an early start and the Gators already have two losses.

    Nonetheless, Florida was ready from the start.

    The Gators scored on their first four possessions and led 24-3. They also scored touchdowns on all three drives in the third quarter, opening up a 36-point lead.

    After forcing the Blue Raiders to punt to open the third, Leak found Jackson for a 33-yard touchdown that made it 38-13. It was the second one-play scoring drive of the game. Leak had a 62-yard TD pass to Caldwell early in the second quarter.

    Colby Smith hit his third field goal for Middle Tennessee to make it 38-16, but the Gators quickly answered.

    Leak hooked up with Dallas Baker for a 41-yard gain, and then Fason ran 20 yards on the next play to make it 45-16.

    But Leak wasn't done.

    Middle Tennessee - which fell to 0-8 against ranked opponents since joining Division I-A in 1999 - punted for the fifth time, and Leak quickly drove the Gators back down the field. Wynn capped the drive with a 9-yard score. He also has TD runs of 5 and 15 yards.

    The Gators were short-handed on defense, playing without two starters. Linebacker Channing Crowder and safety Jarvis Herring were suspended in July for the Middle Tennessee game after an alleged dispute with police. Reserve running back Skyler Thornton also was suspended for the game, but for another off-the-field...
    -10-16-2004, 03:50 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Turnovers Bite Huskies at Michigan
    by DJRamFan
    No. 4 Michigan 33, Northern Illinois 17

    Sept. 3, 2005


    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan made Northern Illinois pay for its mistakes, using turnovers to turn a competitive game into a lopsided win.

    Mike Hart ran for 117 yards and a scored two touchdowns, and the fourth-ranked Wolverines took advantage of five Northern Illinois giveaways to beat the Huskies 33-17 on Saturday.

    A season after leading the nation by losing only one fumble, the Huskies lost four fumbles and threw an interception while the Wolverines turned it over only once.

    "If you win the turnover battle, statistics say you win 79 percent of the time," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "If the turnovers were 1-1, the score would've been much different."

    The Wolverines led just 14-10 early in the second quarter before scoring 19 straight points in the opener for both schools.

    The Huskies ran for 211 yards and threw for 200, but they were doomed by the turnovers and a blocked field goal.

    "I honestly thought we had a shot if we didn't turn it over," said coach Joe Novak, who has built Northern Illinois into a mid-major power after it lost 23 straight from 1996-98.

    Michigan's Chad Henne was 20-of-31 for 227 yards and two TD passes. Jason Avant had nine receptions for 127 yards and a score. Hart had 27 carries and ran for more than 100 yards for the sixth time in his last eight games. He also caught four passes for 49 yards.

    The Wolverines scored TDs on their first three drives, missed a field goal on their fourth and led 27-10 at halftime after converting 8 of 10 third downs.

    "Offensively, we played as well in the first half as any team since I've been at Michigan," said Carr, in his 11th year as head coach.

    Adrian Arrington, Michigan's promising No. 3 receiver, was carted off the field with ice packed on his right ankle after he returned a kickoff early in the second quarter. Carr said he's going to miss some time, but didn't elaborate.

    Garrett Wolfe had 17 carries for 148 yards and a TD for the Huskies, but his fumble in the second quarter was the first of their turnovers.







    "With my fumble, everything started to turn around," he said. "The game started to go downhill for us."

    Phil Horvath was 17-of-25 for 200 yards with an interception and a fumble.

    Northern Illinois had some success against the Wolverines' high-powered offense, but not when it counted most on third downs.

    Michigan opened with a 14-play drive - converting four third downs - ending with Avant's leaping 4-yard catch in the corner of the end zone.

    The Huskies responded with a 16-play possession, but they missed their first of many opportunities...
    -09-05-2005, 09:21 AM
  • 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
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