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Big East: Hokies withstand scare from Owls

©Associated Press

October 27, 2002


BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Quarterback Bryan Randall is almost an afterthought for Virginia Tech.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Quarterback Bryan Randall is almost an afterthought for Virginia Tech.

Not Saturday.

Temple shut down tailbacks Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs, so Randall made one of the biggest plays of the Hokies' season when he hit Doug Easlick for a 32-yard touchdown on the last play of the third quarter, which led to a 20-10 victory.

"We've been throwing it a little bit more and more and more," Randall said. "I'm getting more confident. I think my coaches are getting more confident, and my receivers are getting a little bit more confident that we can move the ball by passing."

The Hokies led only 10-3 when Randall hit Easlick over the middle as he crossed the goal line.

The Owls, who got one of the biggest upsets in school history when they beat the Hokies 28-24 in 1998, packed the line, intent on making Randall beat them.

They allowed Jones only 72 yards on 17 carries, and Easlick finished with the Hokies' longest run from scrimmage, 10 yards.

But it was the touchdown pass that mattered most.

"The defense over there is tough," guard Luke Owens said. "They fly around, hustle to the ball and just try to make plays. I was hoping that we could enforce our will on them a little more and get them knocked off the ball. It was a slugfest for four quarters."

* * *

PITT 19, BC 16 (OT): David Abdul kicked a 42-yard field goal in overtime after tying it with a 30-yarder with five seconds left for the host Panthers.

Boston College had a chance to tie or win in overtime, but it gained 4 yards on three plays, and Sandro Sciortino's 39-yard field goal was wide left. Sciortino hit from 39, 42 and 24 yards earlier.

Pittsburgh led 13-3 in the first half but was shut out in the second until Abdul's 30-yarder. The Panthers didn't move inside the Eagles 35 in the second half until the tying drive.

SYRACUSE 45, RUTGERS 14: Troy Nunes threw two touchdowns and Damien Rhodes scored three times for the host Orangemen, who ended a four-game losing streak and beat a Division I-A team for the first time this season.

Their only other victory came against I-AA Rhode Island.

Brandon Haw returned a blocked field goal 90 yards to give the Scarlet Knights a 7-0 lead.

Syracuse then scored 24 in a row to take control. Rhodes tied in with a 5-yard touchdown catch. He later scored after he picked up a blocked punt and ran 3 yards and also had a 5-yard touchdown run.

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