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Big East: Pitt moves but can't score enough on ND

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 13, 2002


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame had one sustained drive against Pittsburgh. It was all the Irish needed.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame had one sustained drive against Pittsburgh. It was all the Irish needed.

That was because Notre Dame's defense didn't allow a touchdown Saturday despite giving up a season-high 402 yards total offense in a 14-6 victory. The defense sacked Rod Rutherford eight times and forced three turnovers, including one midway through the fourth quarter that led to a 12-yard touchdown drive.

"The bottom line is what they have been living on is turnovers, and that was the difference in the game," Pitt coach Walt Harris said. "Turnovers were devastating."

Notre Dame got nearly half its 185 yards on the first drive of the second quarter, an 80-yarder capped by Carlyle Holiday's 11-yard touchdown to Arnaz Battle. Pitt entered ranked eighth in the nation in defense, giving up 278.3 yards a game.

"You're always concerned that you want to score as many points as possible," Irish coach Tyrone Willingham said. " ... At the same time, the most important thing is to win."

Pitt moved the ball but couldn't finish drives. The Panthers had 284 yards in the first half against a defense that came in ranked seventh in the nation, giving up 273.6 yards a game.

On their first possession, the Panthers drove to the Irish 8 but settled for David Abdul's 29-yard field goal.

The Panthers threatened late in the second quarter, getting to the Irish 6 and settling for another Abdul field goal, from 24 yards.

Pittsburgh was driving with 70 seconds left when Irish cornerback Preston Jackson intercepted at the Irish 21.

TEMPLE 17, SYRACUSE 16: Mike McGann threw two touchdowns in the final 7 1/2 minutes, but the host Owls needed Syracuse's missed extra point with 30 seconds left to win.

The Owls tied the score at 10 when Tanardo Sharps took a short pass from McGann and went 65 yards for a score with 7:18 left. Syracuse went three-and-out and five plays later McGann hit Makonnen Fenton for a 52-yard score with 3:40 left.

The Orangemen stormed back, with R.J. Anderson finding Jared Jones for a 14-yard score with 30 seconds left. But Collin Barber's extra-point kick hit the left upright, giving the Owls their first win in the series since 1983.

WEST VIRGINIA 40, RUTGERS 0: Avon Cobourne ran for 133 yards and a touchdown for the visiting Mountaineers. West Virginia's defense was even better: It scored twice, forced five turnovers and allowed 90 yards in total offense.

Rasheed Marshall threw a touchdown and ran for one and safety Angel Estrada scored on a 43-yard interception return. The Scarlet Knights lost their 17th straight in the Big East, a league record.

Cobourne, who went in leading the nation with a 152.2-yard average, scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter when the Mountaineers tallied twice in a 2:29 span to take a 16-0 halftime lead.

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