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ACC: Gamecock turnovers lift Cavs

©Associated Press
September 8, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Matt Schaub threw three touchdown passes, and Virginia took advantage of seven South Carolina turnovers to beat the 22nd-ranked Gamecocks 34-21 on Saturday.

Schaub, who had been inconsistent during the Cavaliers' first two games (both losses) while sharing time with redshirt freshman Marques Hagans, played nearly the entire game and delivered a strong performance.

Billy McMullen, a 6-foot-4 receiver who struggled to get open during the first two games, took advantage of South Carolina's smaller secondary, catching four passes for 72 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown and three other catches on third and longs.

The Gamecocks fumbled six times and threw an interception. Three turnovers led to Cavaliers touchdowns, and two others happened deep in Virginia territory, stopping potential scoring drives.

South Carolina's defense, which looked suspect during a 34-24 season-opening victory over New Mexico State, again gave up big yardage. The Cavaliers amassed 339 yards of total offense, including 196 passing yards.

The Cavaliers trailed 21-20 at halftime but took advantage of two third-quarter fumbles to take a 13-point lead.

With a little more than four minutes left in the quarter, Schaub was intercepted on the South Carolina 6 by Langston Moore. But Moore fumbled and Schaub recovered.

Three plays later, Schaub hit Kase Luzar for a 5-yard touchdown.

On the next drive, Gamecocks quarterback Corey Jenkins fumbled on his 20, and Virginia's Angelo Crowell recovered.

On the next play, tight end Heath Miller, originally recruited as a quarterback, threw a 20-yard touchdown to Patrick Estes to make it 34-21.

South Carolina had several scoring opportunities during the final quarter, but turnovers deep in Virginia territory ended two drives, and a failed fourth-down conversion ended the other.

The Cavaliers, who began their season with three opponents now ranked in the Top 25 (including Colorado State and Florida State), avoided their first 0-3 start since 1982.

* * *

N.C. STATE 65, NAVY 19: Philip Rivers threw for 309 yards and five touchdowns to tie a school record for the visiting Wolfpack.

Rivers, who also ran for a score, completed 10 of 15 passes, including touchdowns of 64 and 88 yards to split end Bryan Peterson. Rivers broke a school record by accounting for six touchdowns.

Terrence Holt also blocked two punts for the Wolfpack, including one recovered in the end zone by teammate Craig Moody during the third quarter. He has blocked 11 kicks during his career.

N.C. State took a 21-0 lead 3:42 into the game and had two touchdowns before Navy ran a play.

On the game's third play, Rivers found Peterson on a short pass over the middle, and Peterson outran the defense for a 64-yard touchdown. On the kickoff, Navy's Eric Roberts was hit and fumbled.

The ball tumbled several yards to his left, and the Wolfpack's Lamont Reid picked it up and went 28 yards untouched.

N.C. State quickly regained possession when Roberts lost a pitch by quarterback Craig Candeto on Navy's first play.

Five plays later, the Wolfpack made it 21-0 when Rivers hit Sterling Hicks across the middle for an 18-yard touchdown with 11:18 left in the first quarter.

* * *

CLEMSON 33, LA. TECH 13: After losing ugly at Georgia a week ago, the visiting Tigers were more than happy to win ugly.

With Bernard Rambert out with tendinitis in his right foot, Yusef Kelly took over at running back for the Tigers, gaining 97 yards and scoring three touchdowns on 25 carries.

Louisiana Tech hoped to avenge a 49-24 loss to the Tigers in last season's Humanitarian Bowl.

But on a steamy day (conditions a lot different than last season's snowy encounter in Boise, Idaho) Clemson's defense stole the show, limiting Luke McCown to 213 yards passing with three interceptions. Joe Smith led Louisiana Tech with 69 rushing yards on 19 carries.

The Bulldogs gained 293 yards Saturday compared with 450 yards in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Tigers, under new defensive coordinator John Lovett, have allowed 248 yards a game this season compared with 395 yards a year ago.

Down 17-13 at the half, Louisiana Tech held the Tigers to three field goals and were driving trailing by 13. But Clemson's Justin Miller picked off a fourth-down pass in the end zone with about seven minutes left.

On the next drive, Maurice Fountain picked off McCown for a third time. Kelly sealed the win for the Tigers with a 2-yard touchdown run two plays later.

* * *

WAKE FOREST 27, E. CAROLINA 22: James MacPherson threw for 216 yards and a touchdown for the host Demon Deacons.

East Carolina was hurt by five turnovers and dropped to 0-2 for the first time in 15 seasons. The Pirates last started a season 0-2 in 1986, when they lost six in a row to finish 2-9.

MacPherson became the 10th quarterback in Wake Forest history to pass for more than 3,000 yards. He finished 16-of-29 with no interceptions and a 46-yard touchdown pass.

The Pirates trailed 27-22 and were driving when Paul Troth threw his fourth interception of the game, this one picked off Eric King -- his second of the night -- just inside the end zone with 4:33 to play.

Wake Forest tried to run out the clock but only got to midfield before it had to punt.

Steve Hale dropped the snap, and East Carolina's Marcus White recovered on the 42-yard line with 1:35 to play.

But Troth had two passes broken up and, on fourth down, nearly was sacked when he tossed the ball away.

* * *

MARYLAND 44, AKRON 14: Scott McBrien scored two touchdowns and Steve Suter returned a punt 81 yards for a score as the host Terps led by 28 at halftime and cruised.

Maryland amassed 209 yards and 18 first downs in the first half after being held to 133 yards and eight first downs in a 22-0 loss to Notre Dame last week.

McBrien, who was yanked in his Maryland debut, quickly rebounded against the Zips. He scored from the 2 yard-line and threw an 8-yard touchdown during the first nine minutes then directed two more scoring drives to put Maryland up 35-7 at halftime.

At that point, the defending conference champions could begin looking ahead to Saturday's visit from No.5 Florida State.

With Maryland up 41-7 in the third quarter, coach Ralph Friedgen began pulling his starters, including McBrien, who finished 9-of-15 for 110 yards.

Akron, coming off a 57-21 defeat at Iowa, had more penalties (nine) than first downs (four) in the decisive first half.

But the Zips' performance was an improvement from a week earlier, when Iowa took a 37-0 lead in the first quarter.

Charlie Frye, who went 21-of-29 for two touchdowns and no interceptions against Iowa, was intercepted three times by Maryland before leaving at the start of the fourth quarter.

* * *

LOUISVILLE 40, DUKE 3: Dave Ragone threw for 258 yards and the visiting Cardinals' defense held Duke without a first down during the first 28 minutes.

Last week, Duke limited East Carolina to 155 total yards in a 23-16 victory to snap the nation's longest losing streak at 23. But it went six consecutive series without a first down.

After an early safety, Ragone hit his favorite target, tight end Ronnie Ghent, from 4 yards out for the first of his two first-half touchdown passes. Ghent caught seven passes during the first half and finished with a career-high 10.

Five minutes before halftime, Trey McDonald's punt was blocked by Brandon Johnson, who then picked the ball up and raced 26 yards untouched for another Louisville touchdown.

"People are completely down on us and that's fine," Ragone said. "We just want the people who have been with us the whole time. The bandwagon is now gone -- it's unhitched."

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