Oklahoma St. defeats UCLA; BYU knocks off Notre Dame

Sunday, September 5th 2004, 9:32 am
By: News On 6

Vernand Morency rushed for 261 yards and two touchdowns and Oklahoma State beat UCLA, 31-20, yesterday in the season opener for both teams in Pasadena, Calif.

With the Cowboys' ground game clicking, Oklahoma State's Donovan Woods threw just eight passes in his college debut. The redshirt freshman completed two passes for 23 yards and ran 15 yards for a score.

Oklahoma State, facing UCLA for just the second time and winning for the first, did not have a turnover, but recovered two Bruins fumbles and intercepted two of Drew Olson's passes.

The Cowboys' veteran offensive line consistently overpowered the Bruins' young defensive front, so Morency often sprinted through gaping holes and was untouched until he was already into the secondary.

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound junior carried 29 times and scored on runs of 22 yards and 1 yard. Morency topped 200 yards rushing twice after taking over for the injured Tatum Bell late last season, gaining 496 yards against Kansas and Baylor.

BYU 20, Notre Dame 17 -Matt Berry passed to Austin Collie for a 42-yard touchdown and to Todd Watkins for a clutch 37-yard gain as Brigham Young beat Notre Dame in Provo, Utah.

The Fighting Irish were about to get a final chance with BYU facing a third and 8 from its 25. But Berry, who replaced injured starter John Beck in the second quarter, threw a long pass toward the sideline that Watkins leaped to pull in, giving the Cougars a first down with 1 minute, 34 seconds remaining.

Colorado 27, Colorado State 24 -Bobby Purify ran for 189 yards and a touchdown and J.J. Billingsley made a game-saving tackle as time expired, helping host Colorado hold off visiting Colorado State in Boulder.


South Carolina 31, Vanderbilt 6 -Dondrial Pinkins ran for a touchdown and threw for another to lead South Carolina past Vanderbilt in Nashville, the 14th straight time the Commodores have lost their Southeastern Conference opener.

South Carolina, trying to rebound from an embarrassing 63-17 blowout at home to Clemson to end last season, took control from the opening kick and scored on three straight possessions.

Mississippi State 28, Tulane 7 - Sylvester Croom won his first game as Mississippi State coach, with Jerious Norwood running for 112 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Tulane in Starkville, Miss.

The Bulldogs held their helmets in hand, whooping and dancing around Croom, the first black head football coach in Southeastern Conference history, as the clock expired. Flashbulbs sparkled throughout Scott Field, and Croom jogged off to a standing ovation.

North Carolina 49, William and Mary 38 - North Carolina needed a dominating fourth quarter to avoid a stunning start to the season. Ronnie McGill rushed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Tar Heels rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to gain a win over William and Mary in Chapel Hill, N.C., giving coach John Bunting his first season-opening win in four tries.

Alabama 48, Utah State 17 - Brodie Croyle threw two touchdown passes and Alabama took its first step toward rebounding from a losing season, beating Utah State in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Croyle, who underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder in December, had scoring passes of 57 yards to Keith Brown and 19 yards to Clint Johnson. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 205 yards with no interceptions.

Elsewhere:Jay Davis threw two touchdown passes in his first chance as Philip Rivers' replacement, leading North Carolina State past Division I-AA Richmond, 42-0, in Raleigh, N.C., in a game marred by a fatal shooting in a nearby parking lot... . P.J. Daniels rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns and Reggie Ball passed for two touchdowns as Georgia Tech overwhelmed Division I-AA Samford, 28-7, in Atlanta. Daniels, the Atlantic Coast Conference's rushing leader last season, scored on runs of 47 and 1 yards and also caught a 25-yard scoring pass from Ball... . DeWhitt Betterson rushed for the go-ahead touchdown and Troy State's defense held Marshall to 177 total yards in a 17-15 victory in Huntington, W.Va. The loss was only Marshall's sixth at home since it opened its stadium in 1991... . Darrell Hackney threw three touchdown passes and ran for one score to lead Alabama-Birmingham to a 56-14 victory over Baylor in Birmingham, Ala.


Connecticut 52, Murray State 14 - Dan Orlovsky threw for 382 yards and tied his own school record with five touchdown passes to lead Connecticut (1-0) to victory over Murray State (1-1) in Hartford, Conn.

Orlovsky threw scoring tosses of 34, 40, 31, 80 and 61 yards to match the record, which he set last year in a win over Army. Two of the touchdowns went to Jason Williams, including the 80-yarder, the fifth-longest in school history.

Massachusetts 51, Delaware State 0 - Tim Day accounted for half of the offense, throwing for 290 yards and four touchdowns, as the visiting Minutemen (1-0) routed the Hornets (0-1) in Dover, Del.

Day completed 17 of 19 passes for UMass. Jason Peebler had five catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring pass with 8:09 left in the first half. J.J. Moore and Mike Douglas caught one touchdown pass apiece.

Massachusetts, which had 20 penalties, scored on its first four possessions.

Navy 27, Duke 12 - Aaron Polanco threw a touchdown pass, ran for another score and finished with 259 yards of total offense to help Navy (1-0) beat Duke (0-1) in Annapolis, Md.

Polanco ran for 130 yards on 22 carries and completed 8 of 9 passes for 129 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jason Tomlinson at the end of the first half.

Elsewhere: Jayson Davis scored his fourth touchdown on a 1-yard run with 1:19 left to give Rhode Island a 37-36 win over Fordham in New York, spoiling Ed Foley's debut as coach of the Rams. Davis, who also scored on runs of 5, 8 and 3 yards, had 63 yards on 24 carries for Rhode Island... . Eric Rath rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown while Neal Boozer-Gallman intercepted a pass and ran 98 yards for another score as Lehigh defeated Stony Brook, 25-2, in Bethlehem, Pa... . Brad Maurer ran for one touchdown and threw for another, and Joe McCourt also scored twice for Lafayette in a 48-7 victory over Marist in Easton, Pa.


Nebraska 56, Western Illinois 17 - Joe Dailey threw for four touchdowns and ran for two others, and Cory Ross and Tierre Green each rushed for more than 100 yards to lead Nebraska (1-0) to victory over Western Illinois (0-1) in Lincoln, Neb.

New Nebraska coach Bill Callahan promised to end the plodding ways of the triple-option offense when he took over for Frank Solich, and he delivered on an 87-degree night.

Illinois 52, Florida A&M 13 - Pierre Thomas ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns, leading Illinois (1-0) past Florida A&M (0-1) in Champaign, Ill.

The Illini built a 31-0 lead by halftime against the Division I-AA Rattlers, who played without four starters serving suspensions for playing games while academically ineligible.

Elsewhere: Bret Meyer threw a touchdown pass in his first start, Stevie Hicks ran for 111 yards and Iowa State won for the first time in a year, beating Northern Iowa, 23-0, in Ames... . Adam Barmann threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, igniting a sluggish Kansas offense and leading the Jayhawks past Tulsa, 21-3, in Lawrence, Kan.


Arkansas 63, New Mexico State 13 - Matt Jones completed 13 of 16 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown to lead Arkansas past overmatched New Mexico State in the season opener for both teams.