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Big 12: Iowa State takes charge

©Associated Press
September 29, 2002

AMES, Iowa -- There's a new Big Red to deal with in the Big 12 North, where Iowa State suddenly has eclipsed Nebraska.

Seneca Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Cyclones signaled a shift of power in the conference by dominating Nebraska 36-14 Saturday.

Adam Benike added three field goals for the Cyclones, who handed the Cornhuskers their first back-to-back regular-season losses since 1976, Tom Osborne's fourth season as coach.

"I was ready for this one like never before," said Iowa State's Michael Wagner, who rushed for 107 yards in 19 carries. "This was time to shock the world. I guess we did it."

Iowa State receiver Lane Danielsen wasn't nearly as surprised by the team's effort.

"Going into it, I expected victory," Danielsen said. "I felt like we were a better team. There was never a point in the game when I felt we were going to lose the game."

Nebraska center John Garrison felt the exact opposite way, predicting a victory during the week.

"I made that comment because of the confidence I had in this team," he said. "It's not the performance I pictured."

The loss came two weeks after a 40-7 setback to Penn State and is sure to turn up the heat on fifth-year Nebraska coach Frank Solich, whose team committed five turnovers in losing for the fourth time in the past seven games. All four losses have come on the road.

The Cornhuskers could fall out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1981, which would end a streak of 348 appearances.

"We'll either splinter apart or come together," Solich said. "There's no middle ground."

Iowa State beat a ranked team for the first time since 1993 and is poised to make a run for the Big 12 North championship. The 22-point margin was the Cyclones' largest against Nebraska since a 34-0 win in 1899.

Thousands of Iowa State fans ran onto the field when the game ended, with many climbing the goal posts. Coach Dan McCarney was caught in the middle.

"I got a fat lip out of that," McCarney said with a smile. "I don't think somebody hit me on purpose. That can get a little dangerous, but I'll try to fight my way out of that danger any time."

The Cyclones scored 17 off turnovers and dominated the game in every area. They outgained Nebraska 412-273 and held the Cornhuskers to 81 yards rushing. Nebraska had averaged 411 yards rushing in its previous nine games against Iowa State.

It was the first time Nebraska had been held to fewer than 100 yards rushing since getting 73 against Oklahoma State in 1998.

"We were just flying to the football and getting 11 guys to the ball," Iowa State nose tackle Nick Leaders said.

* * *

TEXAS A&M 31, LA. TECH 3: The Aggies offense is trying to get a reputation to match its rowdy "Wrecking Crew" defense.

Dustin Long threw Texas A&M's first passing touchdown in seven regular-season games as the Aggies rolled.

"Our offense played a lot better than we have the last couple of weeks," coach R.C. Slocum said. "Defensively, we came close to a shutout, but I was extremely proud of the effort the Wrecking Crew gave us."

Texas A&M, ranked No. 2 nationally in total defense, held the Bulldogs to 251 yards.

"They were averaging more than 400 yards and 30 points a game," linebacker Brian Gamble said. "We came out and played vintage Wrecking Crew football. Coming in we had proved we could defense the run, but people were saying, What about the pass?

"I think tonight we proved we could do both."

Long, one of three quarterbacks to play for the Aggies this season, hit Jamaar Taylor for a 25-yard touchdown in the first quarter. It was the Aggies' first regular-season touchdown pass since Oct. 20, 2001, against Kansas State.

* * *

MISSOURI 44, TROY STATE 7: Freshman Brad Smith threw for 213 yards, ran for another 137 and scored two touchdowns for the host Tigers.

Zack Abron rushed for 98 yards and also scored twice for Missouri, and R.J. Jones tied a school record with three interceptions. The Tigers held the Trojans to their lowest point and offensive yardage totals of the season.

* * *

KANSAS 43, TULSA 33: Bill Whittemore ran for three touchdowns, passed for another and accounted for 395 total yards to lead the visiting Jayhawks.

Whittemore rushed for touchdowns of 74, 6 and 2 yards and hit Adrian Jones for a 10-yard score as Kansas handed the Golden Hurricane its 15th consecutive loss, the nation's longest losing streak.

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