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Huskers quarterback has promising debut

©Associated Press
August 25, 2002

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Jammal Lord threw his first career touchdown and ran for 103 yards in his first start as the No. 10 Cornhuskers beat Arizona State 48-10 on Saturday night in the Black Coaches Association Classic.

The Cornhuskers blocked two punts and played strong defensively on a night they were trying to forget closing last season with blowout losses to Colorado and Miami.

Nebraska's offense largely had been centered around 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch the past three seasons. Though Lord and the option attack struggled at times, he showed promise.

With three new starters on the offensive line, Lord did not get much protection and was forced to scramble. He finished with 17 carries, most of his yards coming on broken pass plays. He was 5-for-13 for 33 yards, including a 9-yard strike to Wilson Thomas that put the Huskers up 17-3 early in the second half.

Arizona State's Chad Christensen, a redshirt freshman making his first start, was 6-for-16 for 77 yards, and Mike Williams scored on a 34-yard run.

NO. 13 OHIO ST. 45, TEXAS TECH 21: Though it was an unprecedented game for an Ohio State freshman tailback, Maurice Clarett acted as if it were no big deal.

"I just wanted to do my job and everything just fell its own way," said Clarett, after becoming the first true freshman to start at tailback in an Ohio State opener.

Clarett rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns as the Buckeyes won the Pigskin Classic in Columbus. He scored on runs of 59, 45 and 2 yards, and set up two short touchdown runs by ex-Gaither High standout Lydell Ross as the Buckeyes compiled 318 yards rushing.

Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, touted as a Heisman Trophy contender but befuddled by the Ohio State defense, was 26-for-44 for 341 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

N.C. STATE 34, NEW MEXICO 14: Philip Rivers had no trouble with New Mexico's blitzing defense, throwing three touchdowns and running for two as host North Carolina State won he Black Coaches Association Bowl.

Rivers was 15-for-24 for 276 yards against a defense that was ranked 18th in the nation last season. He has thrown at least one touchdown in 21 of 25 starts.

New Mexico did little against N.C. State's defense, gaining 72 yards in the first half to fall behind by three TDs as the Wolfpack won its sixth straight opener.

T.A. McLendon, the national high school record-holder with 170 career rushing touchdowns, looked good in his debut, gaining 79 yards on 20 rushes for the Wolfpack.

Around the nation

ARKANSAS ST.-VA. TECH PREVIEW: Stopping Virginia Tech's tailback tandem of Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones will be the most difficult challenge for Arkansas State. The Indians are at the No. 16 Hokies today in the season opener for both teams.

Suggs had 1,207 yards and scored 31 touchdowns in 2000 but injured his knee in the 2001 opener, missing the season. Jones rushed for 957 yards despite starting only the final four games.

Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Noel will attempt to play with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he injured in spring practice. Waiting behind Noel are sophomore Bryan Randall and freshman Marcus Vick, younger brother of former Hokies standout Michael Vick.

The Hokies have four starters back on the offensive line, but there are holes elsewhere. Five starters on the front seven are new, and there are no big-play receiving threats. Also, cornerback Ronyell Whitaker is suspended two games, and wideout Terrell Parham and defensive end Lamar Cobb one game each for violating team rules.

ARKANSAS: Coach Houston Nutt wanted to take 38 Razorbacks, by private plane, to the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas state prison system for an exchange of information with prisoners. Nutt hoped players could encourage prisoners, and prisoners could show them what can happen because of bad choices. But NCAA rules prohibit a school from transporting players for any reason other than practice or competition.

FORT HAYS STATE: Doctors said a bacterium was the possible cause of a mysterious illness that sent several players to the hospital last week. Senior defensive end Dustin Herrs and senior linebacker Shane Ohlde, the last of four hospitalized, were released Saturday.

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