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Big Ten: Coach wakes Spartans in time

©Associated Press
September 8, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A few choice words from coach Bobby Williams at halftime seemed to spark Michigan State on Saturday.

After a lackluster first half, the Spartans scored 17 points off four second-half turnovers in a 27-10 win over Rice.

"He really got after us, and we deserved it," quarterback Jeff Smoker said of Williams' angry halftime talk. "I can't tell you exactly what he said, but in a roundabout way, he told us that we were losing to a team that wasn't better than us."

Smoker and receiver Charles Rogers had big games. Rogers caught nine passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Smoker was 16-of-26 for 213 yards and three scores.

Rogers, the preseason Big Ten offensive player of the year, caught seven passes of 10 yards or more.

"They played a lot of really soft zones," Rogers said. "But we were able to find some things, and Jeff did a great job of getting me the ball."

His second touchdown catch, a 5-yarder, put the Spartans ahead 20-10 with two minutes left in the third quarter.

The Owls, 0-2 for the first time since 1994, put a scare into the Spartans early, controlling the line of scrimmage and clock to take a 10-7 lead into the half.

The spread option offense, run by quarterbacks Greg Henderson and Kyle Herm, outgained the Spartans 137-14 on the ground in the opening half.

MSU forced two three-and-outs in Rice's first three possessions of the second half. Dave Rayner, who missed a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter, connected from 45 to tie the score at 10 after the first stop. On the next possession, after an interception, he hit a career-long 50-yarder to make it 13-10.

* * *

NO. 7 MICHIGAN 35, W. MICH. 12: Michigan has found a go-to receiver.

Braylon Edwards caught four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns for the host Wolverines, who scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and built a 29-point lead late in the third quarter.

Edwards fills the spot of Marquise Walker, who set school single-season and career receiving records last year before the Bucs drafted him in the third round.

Edwards caught five passes for 80 yards and a score in his first start last week against Washington.

"It feels good to make plays, but I don't consider myself a go-to guy," Edwards said. "I just think I'm a guy playing in a great system."

John Navarre was 14-of-23 for 174 yards and tied a school record with four TDs. Chris Perry ran for 118 yards despite not playing after the first drive of the second half.

Chad Munson threw two touchdowns to Jermaine Lewis to lead Western Michigan.

"When you play Michigan, you learn to appreciate the excellence of the program and what it stands for," Western Michigan coach and former Florida interim coach Gary Darnell said.

* * *

NO. 8 OHIO ST. 51, KENT ST. 17: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel saw the improvement he sought. Now Tressel will find out whether the Buckeyes are good enough for No. 11 Washington State next week.

Craig Krenzel completed his first 11 passes, and Mike Doss and A.J. Hawk each returned interceptions for scores to lead host Ohio State. It was 38-0 before the Golden Flashes crossed midfield late in the second quarter.

"I'd like to think we've made some improvement," said Tressel, whose team beat Texas Tech 45-21 two weeks ago in the Pigskin Classic. "We need to improve, then, some for this one coming up."

Freshman Maurice Clarett had two touchdowns but lost a fumble and had 64 yards on 12 carries. He had 175 yards and three TDs against Texas Tech.

His 2-yard TD run capped a five-play, 31-yard opening drive after Donnie Nickey partially deflected Jared Fritz's punt, resulting in a 16-yard kick.

After KSU got the ball back, Doss, a two-time All-American, made it 14-0 by picking off a floater from Joshua Cribbs. Doss went 45 yards untouched.

Krenzel then led a 76-yard drive, highlighted by a 33-yard completion to Chris Gamble that led to Maurice Hall's 28-yard touchdown run.

Cribbs threw two touchdowns late in the second quarter and ran for 94 yards on 21 carries.

* * *

NO. 25 WISCONSIN 34, W. VA. 17: Brooks Bollinger passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns to freshman Jonathan Orr for the host Badgers, who scored 27 points in the second quarter.

Behind great protection, Bollinger found his receivers open on short and long patterns, completing 12-of-15 for 203 yards in the first half as Wisconsin built a 34-3 lead.

Running back Avon Cobourne scored a touchdown for West Virginia but was held to 40 yards on 17 carries until he broke a 39-yarder with 1:20 left.

Though tailback Anthony Davis (75 yards on 19 carries) had a tough time finding holes, Wisconsin's offensive line picked up slack. On one play, Bollinger had eight seconds to find his receiver before making a 36-yard completion on third down.

"I don't think we had a pass rush all day," Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez said. "They threw it more than we expected, and we gave them way too much time to throw it around. Bollinger had plenty of time to run around a little bit and then the young ends did a good job of getting open."

Freshman Brandon Williams had six catches for 125 yards, including five for 114 in the first half.

* * *

TCU 48, NORTHWESTERN 24: Corey Connally rushed for 88 yards and a score and had 33 yards receiving for the visiting Horned Frogs.

Jason Wright was the lone bright spot for Northwestern, returning the opening kickoff for a school-record 100 yards.

After falling behind 10-0, TCU ran off 41 unanswered points.

* * *

IOWA 29, MIAMI (OHIO) 24: Brad Banks threw a 38-yard pass to set up a touchdown, then hooked up with C.J. Jones on a 48-yard score as the visiting Hawkeyes rallied in the second half.

Iowa turned to Banks to overcome a 17-16 deficit late in the third, abandoning a plodding run-first approach that stalled.

Banks finished 18-of-27 for 256 yards.

* * *

UTAH 40, INDIANA 13: Marty Johnson ran for 229 yards in three quarters, the fourth-best total in Utah history, and J.R. Peroulis added 118 more for the host Utes.

Johnson scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and added a 16-yard burst in the third, breaking off yardage in big chunks all night. He seemed sure to break Eddie Johnson's 18-year-old school record of 248 yards, but he missed the fourth quarter after spraining his right knee.

Freshman Bryan Borreson kicked four field goals for the Utes, including a 50-yarder early in the fourth quarter that bounced through after hitting the crossbar.

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