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Big Ten: Wisconsin stumbles, fumbles away game

By Wire services
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 14, 2003

MADISON, Wis. - Jamaal Brimmer was a one-man wrecking crew for UNLV.

The junior strong safety returned a fumble for a score, set up two touchdowns with his first two career interceptions and had two sacks among his game-high 11 tackles as the Rebels stunned Wisconsin 23-5 Saturday.

"Ronnie Lott had those same kind of instincts," said UNLV coach John Robinson, who tutored the former NFL star while coaching at Southern Cal in the late 1970s and early '80s. "He has a sense of the game. He is a wonderful player. He is one of the most instinctive players I have ever coached."

The Badgers lost Heisman Trophy hopeful running back Anthony Davis to a sprained left ankle and fell apart behind quarterback Jim Sorgi's shaky performance in the rain at Camp Randall Stadium.

Sorgi was sacked eight times, overthrew eight receivers and had two of the Badgers' five turnovers - their most in eight seasons. Running back Dwayne Smith also fumbled twice as the Badgers failed to score an offensive touchdown at home for the first time since Nov.25, 1995, when they tied Illinois 3-3.

Junior Dominique Dorsey rushed 26 times for 100 yards for UNLV, which was without leading rusher Larry Croom, who strained his right thigh in a loss to Kansas last weekend.

UNLV won despite having just 187 yards of offense thanks to Brimmer's interceptions, which set up touchdown throws of 6 and 8 yards from Kurt Nantkes to Earvin Johnson.

Smith tripped over a downfield blocker 6 yards from the goal line after a 37-yard catch and run with the Badgers trailing 3-0. He fumbled on the next snap and defensive end Chris Eagen recovered for UNLV.

After a punt, Smith fumbled again and this time, Brimmer returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.

After a 39-yard reception by Lee Evans, the Badgers stalled inside the UNLV 6. Sorgi was sacked when he could have thrown the ball out of the end zone, then he overthrew tight end Tony Paciotti.

Johnson's juggling 6-yard catch over Levonne Rowan, a sophomore making his first start, gave the Rebels a 16-5 halftime lead.

LA. TECH 20, MICHIGAN ST. 19: Luke McCown threw an 11-yard touchdown to D.J. Curry with two seconds left as the visiting Bulldogs rallied.

McCown, 35-for-61 for 436 yards, threw a 4-yard score to Julius Cosby with 1:09 left to make it 19-14, then Dez Abrams recovered an onside kick at the Louisiana Tech 45.

Six plays later, McCown threw a scrambling strike to Curry at the right edge of the end zone for his 73rd career TD pass.

"I don't know what to say, I really don't," Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell III said. "I just checked about 15 times to see if we actually won. It's unbelievable."

The Spartans, outgained 497-361, got 140 yards rushing from Jaren Hayes and four field goals in seven tries from Dave Rayner, but had only five first downs and 127 yards in the final three quarters.

"We totally gave it away," guard Paul Harker said. "We didn't just shoot ourselves in the foot. We took a bazooka and blew the whole thing off."

Bulldogs receiver Shawn Piper had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown. Another 80-yarder was negated by a holding penalty.

Michigan State had 10 penalties for 80 yards and that sloppiness plus a toe injury that sidelined starting quarterback Jeff Smoker in the second quarter helped Louisiana Tech stay close.

MIAMI (OHIO) 44, N'WESTERN 14: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 353 yards and Martin Nance caught pair of touchdowns for the visiting RedHawks.

Miami held Northwestern to 41 yards rushing on 27 carries and outgained the Wildcats 515-314.

Roethlisberger bounced back from a poor outing against Iowa in which he was picked off four times in a 21-3 loss.

Roethlisberger was 28-of-37 with three touchdowns before being taken out with 12:34 to go and Miami leading by 30.

Roethlisberger's second score to Nance gave the RedHawks a 37-7 lead and was one of his best of the afternoon. He was nearly sacked, but steadied himself by planting his left hand on the ground before throwing a strike to Nance, who cut back across the field for a 61-yard score.

MINNESOTA 42, OHIO 20: Marion Barber III rushed for 104 yards and four scores for the Golden Gophers in the Bobcats' first home game against a Big Ten team.

Barber scored on the Golden Gophers' first two possessions and had two more TDs after Ohio pulled within 21-14 in the second quarter. Barber has scored eight touchdowns this season.

INDIANA 33, INDIANA ST. 3: BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 107 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Taylor added 90 yards and a score for the host Hoosiers against the Division I-AA Sycamores.

Indiana snapped an eight-game losing streak dating to Oct.12 by pounding the ball on the ground for 201 yards.

Quarterback Matt LoVecchio's 1-yard plunge late in the first half gave IU a 23-3 lead.


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