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College football briefs

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 10, 2001


Fresno St. climbs; UM holds top spot

Fresno State is moving on up in the AP media poll.

The undefeated Bulldogs, with a rousing 32-20 win at Wisconsin, soared to No. 11 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday, while Miami, Florida and Oklahoma remained 1-2-3 in the third poll of the regular season.

Last week, Fresno State (3-0) made its first appearance in the AP poll since 1993 at No. 19. This time the Bulldogs are ranked a second week in a row for the first time since back-to-back No. 24s in 1990. In gaining its highest ranking, Fresno State also received one vote for No. 1.

Miami, a 61-0 winner agains Rutgers, strengthened its grip on the top spot in balloting by the 72 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel. The Hurricanes (2-0) had 40 first-place votes and 1,749 points. Florida (2-0), which beat Louisiana-Monroe 55-6, had 14 first-place votes and 1,715 points. Last week, Miami held a 16-point lead; this week the lead is 34 points.

Oklahoma (3-0), a 37-10 winner over North Texas, had 11 first-place votes and 1,638 points.

Nebraska and Texas flip-flopped for the second week in a row, with the Huskers (3-0) moving back to No. 4 and the Longhorns (2-0) dropping to No. 5. Nebraska beat Notre Dame 27-10 and Texas defeated North Carolina 44-14. The Huskers had two first-place votes; the Longhorns four.

Florida State (2-0) is No. 6 after a 29-7 win against UAB, followed by No. 7 Oregon, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 10 Georgia Tech.

After Fresno State, Kansas State is No. 12, followed by No. 13 Washington, No. 14 UCLA and No. 15 LSU.

Saturday features three games in Florida among the top 13 teams -- Washington at Miami, Tennessee at Florida and Georgia Tech at Florida State.

Wisconsin (1-2) and Georgia (1-1) dropped out, while BYU (3-0) and Louisville (3-0) are the newcomers to the Top 25.

VOLS FIND A RUNNER: Tennessee linebacker Dominique Stevenson did his part to identify teammate Travis Stephens as the best running back on the field, and Stephens did the rest.

Stephens, a fifth-year player who waited his turn behind Jamal Lewis and Travis Henry, made his second start since 1998 on Saturday against Arkansas. His much-hyped Razorback counterpart, Cedric Cobbs, set a school rushing record as a freshman and only played in three games last year.

Cobbs contributed a scintillating 40-yard run against the Vols, but the rest of the accolades belonged to Stephens. His 41st carry tied a school record and was a 3-yard touchdown with 59 seconds to play that secured the No. 8 Vols' 13-3 victory against the Razorbacks.

Stephens had a 25-yard run on his way to 206, but mostly he pounded inside and gained 8 yards or more on 10 other plays. Tennessee started the game without injured wide receiver Dante Stallworth, and the burden increased on Stephens when flanker Eric Parker was hurt in the first quarter.

Despite the 40-yard gain, Cobbs wound up with 15 carries for 22 yards. Sometimes, he had no place to run; sometimes, he tried too hard to make a big play.

"Dominique told me before the game he was going to set Cobbs down so I could be the best rusher in the game," Stephens said. "He stuck to his word ... "

Tennessee All-American tackle John Henderson didn't play because of an ankle injury. Henderson is expected to play Saturday against Florida; Parker's status is unclear.

Late Saturday

NO. 22 OREGON STATE 27, NEW MEXICO STATE 22: Ken Simonton scored two touchdowns and ran for 169 yards as the visiting Beavers bounced back from a season-opening loss.

Simonton, the school's career rushing leader with 4,284 yards, scored on two 1-yard runs as Oregon State dodged the upset against a school that has three winning seasons since 1967.

The Beavers (1-1) lost to Fresno State last week and didn't put away the Aggies (0-3) until Mitch Meeuwsen recovered an onside kick with 1:26 left in the game.

It was another sluggish performance by the penalty-plagued Beavers, who went 11-1 last season, won a share of the Pac-10 title and beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

Quarterback Jonathan Smith was 16-for-27 for 207 yards. Tim Euhus had 6 catches for 91 yards.

STANFORD 38, BOSTON COLLEGE 22: Randy Fasani threw for four touchdowns, including passes of 69 and 46 yards to Ryan Wells to lead the host Cardinal.

Fasani also had touchdown passes of 19 yards to Nick Sebes and 14 yards to Teyo Johnson. Kerry Carter added a 5-yard scoring run and Mike Biselli kicked a 41-yard field goal for Stanford, which was playing its first game.

Brian St. Pierre threw touchdowns of 23 and 15 yards to Ryan Read and added a 20-yard scoring pass to Jamal Burke, and Kevin McMyler kicked a 45-yard field goal for the Eagles (1-1).

HAWAII 30, MONTANA 12: Timmy Chang threw for 435 yards and two touchdowns for the host Warriors. It was also the first game Hawaii's June Jones coached since a near-fatal car crash in February.

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