Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2002

College Football Roundup: Fife rallies Oregon past Fresno State

No. 13 Ducks’ QB directs touchdown drive in final minutes of 28-24 win

September 8, 2002


— Making just his second start for Oregon, Jason Fife already has learned to stay calm.

Fife was unfazed by his crucial fumble with less than five minutes to go and stayed levelheaded as he led No. 13 Oregon's late rally to beat Fresno State 28-24.

Down 24-22, Fife marched Oregon 43 yards on four plays capped by Onterrio Smith's 2-yard rumble into the end zone with 1:07 to go.

"He didn't let any mistake or turnover get him down. And that's the mark of a good leader," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said.

Fife completed 19 of 34 passes for 303 yards and a touchdown for the Ducks (2-0), while Smith had 35 carries for 124 yards and two scores.

"I felt more at ease and more calm today," said Fife, who has replaced Joey Harrington at quarterback.

The Bulldogs (1-2) were without starting quarterback Jeff Grady and star receiver Bernard Berrian because of injuries, but Paul Pinegar and Deandre Gilbert filled in admirably.

Pinegar completed 16 of 36 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns, including first-half TD passes of 5 and 20 yards to Gilbert as the Bulldogs took advantage of Oregon's weak pass rush.

"We're disappointed, but you can't make excuses," Pinegar said. "The plays just didn't go our way."

Rodney Davis' 1-yard run with 5:28 remaining in the third widened the margin for Fresno State to 24-15. Davis finished with 20 carries for 118 yards.

On third-and-2 to open the final quarter, Smith shoved his way into the end zone to bring Oregon within 24-22.

It appeared that Oregon was well on its way to victory, moving back again to Fresno State's 11-yard line with just under five minutes left. But Fife fumbled on the 7-yard line and Bulldog linebacker David Adamo scooped it up quieting the sellout crowd of 56,357.

No. 4 Tennessee 26, Middle Tennessee 3

Knoxville, Tenn. Cedric Houston ran for a touchdown and Jason Witten scored on a pass from Casey Clausen to lead the Volunteers (2-0). The Blue Raiders (0-2), who moved up to Division I-A in 1999, weren't able to take advantage of the Volunteers' mistakes.

No. 7 Michigan 35, Western Michigan 12

Ann Arbor, Mich. Braylon Edwards caught four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns, and Michigan quarterback John Navarre tied a school record with four TD passes for the Wolverines (2-0).

No. 8 OSU 51, Kent St. 17

Columbus Freshman Maurice Clarett scored twice and Craig Krenzel completed his first 11 passes for the Buckeyes (2-0). It was 38-0 before the Golden Flashes (1-1) crossed midfield late in the second quarter.

No. 11 Wash. State 49, Idaho 14

Pullman, Wash. Devard Darling and Jonathan Smith each had three touchdowns as Washington State (2-0) sacked Idaho quarterback Brian Lindgren six times. Lindgren still completed 33 of 49 passes for 267 yards.

No. 14 Washington 34, San Jose St. 10

Seattle Cody Pickett threw three touchdown passes after Washington fell behind 10-0 early. Washington (1-1) got its second straight 300-yard passing game from Pickett, who was 22-for-35 for 347 yards.

No. 15 Michigan State 27, Rice 10

East Lansing, Mich. Charles Rogers caught nine passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns as Michigan State withstood an early scare by forcing four second-half turnovers.

UCLA 30, No. 19 Colorado State 19

Pasadena, Calif. Colorado State (2-1) had a chance to tie with 1:32 left when Bradlee Van Pelt scored from 7 yards out on a fourth-and-three play, making it 21-19. But Van Pelt tried to pitch the ball while running the option on the two-point conversion attempt, and Ben Emanuel picked up the errant toss and ran nearly the length of the field.

No. 21 NCSU 65, Navy 19

Annapolis, Md. Philip Rivers threw for 309 yards and five touchdowns to tie a school record as North Carolina State sent Navy to its 10th straight home loss.

Virginia 34, No. 22 South Carolina 21

Charlottesville, Va. Matt Schaub threw three touchdown passes, and Virginia took advantage of seven South Carolina turnovers.

No. 23 Notre Dame 24, Purdue 17

South Bend, Ind. Defense rescued the Fighting Irish again, as Gerome Sapp and Lionel Bolen scored on fumble returns 11 seconds apart, and Vontez Duff added a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown in Notre Dame's victory.

No. 24 LSU 35, The Citadel 10

Baton Rouge, La. Domanick Davis ran for two touchdowns as LSU bounced back from its season-opening defeat at Virginia Tech by winning its fourth straight game at Tiger Stadium.

No. 25 Wisconsin 34, West Virginia 17

Madison, Wis. Brooks Bollinger passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns to freshman Jonathan Orr, and the Badgers ran off 27 second-quarter points.

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