© St. Petersburg Times, published September 29, 2002
UCF bounces back from winless start
ORLANDO -- Ryan Schneider passed for four touchdowns and a career-high 397 yards Saturday as Central Florida won its home opener over Liberty 48-17.
Doug Gabriel caught six passes for 140 yards and two scores for the Golden Knights. It was his third 100-yard game of the season.
Reserve tailback Dee Brown added two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. Fullback Andreal Curry had two short scoring runs and led UCF with 49 yards rushing.
Schneider was 23-for-31 before leaving late in the third quarter as UCF totaled 571 yards of offense, its most since routing Liberty 63-0 last season.
Eugene Goodman led Division I-AA Liberty with 80 yards rushing on eight carries. Quarterbacks James Condon and Kyle Painter combined to complete 11 of 31 for 104 yards and two interceptions.
Schneider had two touchdown passes in 2:45 in the second quarter. The Knights went ahead 21-3 on Tavaris Capers' leaping grab of Schneider's 14-yard pass 8:40 before halftime.
Two plays into Liberty's ensuing possession, Peter Sands' interception gave UCF the ball on the Flames 37. Schneider then found Brown from 2 yards.
Brown also had an 11-yard touchdown run midway through the third. Playing because starting tailback Alex Haynes sprained his ankle early in the second, Brown had 66 yards receiving and 44 rushing.
"We've got some very important people on this team that are hobbled right now, and it's going to take at least two weeks for them to get healthy," UCF coach Mike Kruczek said.
The Flames scored two touchdowns off turnovers in the final six minutes.
B-CC 49, NORFOLK ST. 7: Quarterback Allen Suber ran for two touchdowns and had two passing for the host Wildcats, who stayed unbeaten. Suber, who rushed for 92 yards and completed 12 of 13 for 167, directed Bethune-Cookman to 553 yards of total offense in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for both. Erik Lash caught both of Suber's touchdown and scored late in the first quarter on a 54-yard run after taking an option pitch. Jay Rogers and Unri Thomas also had touchdown runs for B-CC.
FAMU 37, TENNESSEE ST. 24: Reggie Hayes passed for 213 yards and three touchdowns and Levy Brown returned a missed field goal 96 yards for a score to lead the Rattlers in the Atlanta Classic. Hayes' scoring passes covered 11 and 8 yards to Marco Junious and 24 yards to Dennis Bonga. Hayes was 15-for-21 before 67,167 in the Georgia Dome. Brown returned Joey Hudak's short attempt 96 yards to give the Rattlers a 20-3 lead 1:54 before halftime.
AUSTIN PEAY 20, J'VILLE 16: Jay Bailey ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns for visiting Austin Peay, which took advantage of five turnovers.
Bailey scored on runs of 1 and 34 yards in the second quarter for the Governors, who led 17-0 at halftime.
Jacksonville scored 16 unanswered second-half points behind quarterback Mike Sturgill, who was 20-for-40 for 271 yards. Chad Davis rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins.
Senior receiver Jon Turner caught a school-record 10 passes for 84 yards for the Dolphins, who gained 434 yards.
FIU 27, GEORGETOWN 2: Jamie Burke threw two touchdowns before leaving with a separated shoulder for host Florida International. Burke was 8-for-11 for 126 yards and helped FIU score 27 unanswered points in the first half. He left with two minutes to play in the half after being hurt diving on a 9-yard scramble. He started FIU's scoring with a 17-yarder to Adam Gorman and struck again on the next drive, hooking up with tight end Joe Struyf for a 38-yard score.
TALLAHASSEE -- After watching game film and having meetings with players, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said quarterback Chris Rix would be FSU's starter against ACC rival Clemson on Thursday.
"It would be mighty hard to judge a quarterback -- it would be unfair really -- that was playing in the weather we played in (against Louisville)," Bowden said.
Rix took criticism from teammates after the game, including center Antoine Mirambeau, who said Rix ran too often and failed to work within the system.
"It's obvious that, at times, (Rix) is still taking off (and running) too much and not going through his progressions," offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said. "We've just got to continue to coach and get him better at that."
Rix was 14-for-33 for 173 threw two touchdowns but threw an interception in the first play of overtime. The Cardinals scored on the next play for the win.
"The ball was soaking wet," Jeff Bowden said of Rix's interception. "It just slipped out of his hand."
PLAYERS MEET: Junior cornerback Stanford Samuels and senior receiver Talman Gardner called a meeting to regroup before a three-game stretch against Clemson, at national champion Miami and resurgent Notre Dame.
"The coaches are going to have their opinion in their meetings so we needed an opportunity (to do the same)," Samuels said. "It was just time to put everything in the air and stop biting our tongues and just put everything out there."
A players meeting was held last year after FSU lost to North Carolina 41-9. The Seminoles won four of their next five.
"After a loss like that if aren't together now then we will never be together," defensive end Alonzo Jackson said. "We have to reassess ourselves and see what we need to do as a team."
The team practiced for one hour and finished with conditioning Saturday afternoon in shorts and helmets. A two-hour practice in pads is scheduled for 3 p.m. today.
-- Times correspondent Jason Schneider contributed to this report.