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CSU surprises rival Colorado

©Associated Press
September 1, 2002

DENVER -- Colorado State no longer gets intimidated when playing its more famous in-state rival. Three wins over Colorado in the past four years is evidence.

Bradlee Van Pelt ran 23 yards for a touchdown with 6:20 left as the Rams outlasted a second-half Colorado rally to beat the Buffaloes 19-14 Saturday.

Colorado State (2-0) dominated the first half, building a 13-0 lead before the Buffaloes (0-1) rebounded.

Colorado has lost four straight openers under coach Gary Barnett, the team's worst streak since 1938-41.

"We knew going into the game that this CU team wasn't unbeatable," Van Pelt said.

On the first play of the fourth, Colorado's Jeremy Bloom, an Olympian who gave up skiing endorsements to play football after a legal fight with the NCAA, returned a punt 75 yards.

Five minutes later, Chris Brown atoned for three fumbles with a 1-yard TD run, capping an 81-yard drive and giving the Buffaloes a 14-13 lead with 9:39 left. Colorado State countered with a seven-play, 84-yard scoring drive.

Colorado drove to the Rams 12, but John Donahoe could not pull down Craig Ochs' high pass on fourth down at the goal line with 21 seconds left.

NO. 3 TEXAS 27, NORTH TEXAS 0: Chris Simms passed for one touchdown and ran for another for the Longhorns.

Simms was 16-of-26 for 186 yards. Running back Cedric Benson, who set a school freshman record with 1,053 yards last season, scored the first touchdown but struggled for 49 yards on 18 carries.

Texas scored on five of its first six drives and led 27-0 at halftime.

NO. 9 NEBRASKA 31, TROY ST. 16: DeJuan Groce helped a struggling Nebraska offense, returning two punts for touchdowns and grabbing two interceptions. Dahrran Diedrick and Jammal Lord each added touchdown runs for the host 'Huskers. Nebraska's 313 yards was the lowest total since 270 against Notre Dame in the third game last season.

Troy State, in its second year in Division I-A, outgained the heavily favored 'Huskers 374-310, aided by a 73-yard scoring drive in the final minute. Hansel Bearden was 9-for-26 for 153 yards with two interceptions for the Trojans. Jermaine Richardson had a rushing touchdown and Matt Ray added another in the closing seconds.

Lord, the successor to Eric Crouch who ran for 103 yards in the opener last week against Arizona State, finished with 92 yards on 23 carries and completed 8-of-15 for 115 yards with one interception. He also dropped several snaps and fumbled, allowing Troy State to cut Nebraska's lead to 14-10 early in the third.

NO. 23 TEXAS A&M 31, LA.-LAFAY. 7: Brian Gamble recovered two fumbles and had an interception as host Texas A&M set a Big 12 record, forcing 10 turnovers.

The Aggies defense was dominant, holding the Ragin' Cajuns to 205 yards. A&M had six interceptions, another Big 12 record, and Byron Jones returned one 36 yards for a touchdown.

The offensive struggles continued for the Aggies, however, a year after they had the second-worst offense in the conference. Mark Farris, the 26-year-old senior, was benched for part of the game while three others played.

The Aggies finished with 423 yards but led just 3-0 at halftime, when the Ragin' Cajuns had six turnovers.

KANSAS ST. 48, W. KENTUCKY 3: Darren Sproles had all but 4 of his 134 yards rushing in the first half as host Kansas State recovered from a ragged start to score 31 points in the second quarter.

The Division I-AA Hilltoppers held Kansas State to a field goal in the first quarter, but four plays into the second Ayo Saba scored on a 2-yard run. The rout was on. The Wildcats led 41-0 after their first possession of the third quarter.

Sproles, a 5-foot-7 sophomore who was slowed by injuries last season, helped set up three second-quarter scores with long runs.

The Hilltoppers, who returned 17 starters from an 8-4 campaign, are 0-11 against I-A teams in coach Jack Harbaugh's 14 seasons.

MISSOURI 33, ILLINOIS 20: Redshirt freshman quarterback Brad Smith ran for 138 yards and passed for 152, lifting Missouri in St. Louis.

Zack Abron shrugged off two fumbles, rushing for 116 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns, and the Tigers defense stuffed the defending Big Ten champs.

Illinois averaged a school-record 32 points last season but struggled under new quarterback Dustin Ward.

Smith, who became the school's first freshman to start an opener, sealed the win with a 24-yard TD run for a 33-14 lead. Ward played three quarters, going 9-for-21 for 124 yards with a touchdown and interception.

James Kinney's 46-yard fumble recovery with 5:31 left in the third put Missouri ahead for good.

IOWA ST. 45, KANSAS 3: Hiawatha Rutland ran for 122 yards and a touchdown as the host Cyclones spoiled Mark Mangino's coaching debut with the Jayhawks. Seneca Wallace threw for 234 yards for the Cyclones, who outgained Kansas 511-150.

The Iowa State defense sacked Kansas quarterbacks four times and set up three touchdown drives with interceptions. Since falling behind No. 3 Florida State 24-0 in the second quarter of their opening 38-31 loss Aug. 24, the Cyclones have outscored opponents 83-17.

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