Gutsy Jacksonville State call forces Ole Miss to eat (Crow)e
Posted: Monday, September 6, 2010 11:16 am
By: By The Associated Press
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — On the final crazy play of a crazy game, Jacksonville State running back Calvin Middleton found himself in the middle of a mass of bodies as quarterback Coty Blanchard lofted a 2-point conversion pass toward the end zone.
Somehow, through the arms and legs, Middleton came down with the football as the Gamecocks celebrated a stunning 49-48 victory over Mississippi in double overtime.
“The coaches called a shovel pass,” Middleton said. “I don’t even know if (Blanchard) saw me, but I knew if I could catch it I was deep enough in the end zone to score.
“This means everything.”
Blanchard threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kevyn Cooper on fourth-and-15 to pull within 48-47 in the second overtime.
It looked like the two teams might play all night, but then Gamecocks coach Jack Crowe made the call to go for the win in the season opener for both teams.
“I just didn’t think we could play defense again,” Crowe said.
Crowe, who had tears in his eyes during the postgame press conference, was fired as coach at Arkansas in 1992 after his team lost to The Citadel — which was also a lower-level program.
“If you stay in this long enough, it goes both ways,” Crowe said.
Jacksonville State, a Football Championship Subdivision team from the Ohio Valley Conference, trailed 31-10 at halftime but outscored Ole Miss 21-3 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
“Without a doubt, it’s the worst loss of my career,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said.
Alabama 48, San Jose St. 3
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Trent Richardson ran for two touchdowns, Greg McElroy passed for 218 yards and No. 1 Alabama began defense of its national championship by beating San Jose State 48-3 on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (1-0) shrugged off the absence of injured Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and suspended defensive end Marcell Dareus in the opening mismatch.
The subs played much of the game, anyway, after the Tide raced to a 31-3 halftime lead over the Spartans (0-1).
McElroy mostly seemed to be playing pitch and catch, completing 13-of-15 passes and leaving after only one series of the second half. He threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Marquis Maze.
Julio Jones made a diving, one-handed grab for a 29-yard touchdown from backup quarterback A.J. McCarron early in the second quarter.
Florida 34, Miami (OH) 12
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Demps had a long scoring run, John Brantley added a fluky touchdown pass late and No. 4 Florida overcame an error-filled game to beat Miami (Ohio).
The Gators (1-0) used four interceptions, several red-zone stops and two late touchdowns to avoid a meltdown. The bigger story was Florida’s anemic offense — the one quarterback John Brantley had hoped to “keep rolling” after waiting three years behind Tim Tebow.
There were fumbles, bad snaps, poor throws, several penalties and possibly more frustration in The Swamp than ever before.
Brantley completed 17-of-25 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 10-yarder to Omarius Hines that was the offense’s longest play of the day until Demps’ got loose for a 72-yard run in the fourth. Brantley also had a 25-yard TD pass to Chris Rainey with 1:21 remaining. That fourth-down pass bounced off a teammate.
Zac Dysert completed 25-of-44 passes for 191 yards for Miami (0-1), which got a career-high four field goals from Trevor Cook.
Texas 34, Rice 17
HOUSTON (AP) — Tre’ Newton ran for three touchdowns, while quarterback Garrett Gilbert was up and down in his first college start for Texas.
Gilbert, who threw four interceptions filling in for Colt McCoy in the loss to Alabama in the BCS title game, didn’t turn the ball over in this one.
Texas (1-0) was stopped on fourth down at the 1-yard line on its first drive and settled for a 51-yard field goal on the second after another stalled drive. The Longhorns finally got going on their first full drive of the second quarter taking a 10-3 lead on a one-yard TD run by Newton.
Then the defense came alive with a sack on Taylor McHargue that caused a fumble. Keenan Robinson returned it 10 yards for a score to push the lead to 17-3 and Texas was on its way.
Sam McGuffie had 14 carries for 47 yards for Rice (0-1) in his Owls debut after sitting out for a year as a transfer from Michigan.
TCU 30, Oregon St. 21
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Andy Dalton ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score to make up for his two interceptions and No. 6 TCU opened with a win over No. 24 Oregon State.
Dalton became TCU’s winningest quarterback, his 30th victory snapping a tie with “Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh, who had held the mark alone since the mid-1930s until being matched last year after the Frogs’ first undefeated regular season since 1938.
Brothers Jacquizz and James Rodgers both scored touchdowns for Oregon State (0-1) in their first college game in their home state.
Iowa 37, E. Illinois 7
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Adam Robinson ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the first half for Iowa.
Senior Ricky Stanzi threw for 229 yards and a touchdown for the Hawkeyes (1-0), who won their 10th straight season opener under coach Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa has its highest preseason ranking in 22 years, and the Hawkeyes made quick work of the FCS Panthers (0-1).
Robinson scored on TD runs of 2 and 4 yards, and Paki O’Meara blocked a punt and returned it 42 yards to put the Hawkeyes ahead 21-0 late in the first quarter.
Iowa got a brief scare when Stanzi landed awkwardly in the second quarter, but he quickly returned and played until the game was well in hand.
Arkansas 44, TN Tech 3
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Ryan Mallett looked like a Heisman Trophy candidate, throwing for 301 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 17 Arkansas over Tennessee Tech.
The Razorbacks, sporting their highest preseason ranking since 1990, recovered quickly from a sloppy start as Mallett threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Joe Adams in the second quarter. It was the longest completion of his Arkansas career, and the Hogs (1-0) led 23-3 at halftime.
The Golden Eagles (0-1) led 3-0 after the first quarter.
LSU 30, UNC 24
ATLANTA (AP) — Against all odds, undermanned North Carolina nearly rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit before losing to No. 21 LSU.
Patrick Peterson had 257 yards on kickoff and punt returns, leading LSU (1-0) to a 30-10 edge.
But the No. 18 Tar Heels, missing 13 key players because of an NCAA investigation over relationships with agents and possible academic violations, rallied with two second-half touchdowns.
North Carolina (0-1) then got two shots to win after recovering an onside kick and a fumble. T.J. Yates drove the Heels inside the 10, but two passes slipped away in the end zone.
Florida St. 59, Samford 6
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Christian Ponder threw four first-half touchdown passes and Greg Reid returned a punt 74 yards for another score as No. 20 Florida State celebrated Jimbo Fisher’s coaching debut with a rout.
The Seminoles (1-0) exploded for 35 points during an 11-minute span of the second quarter to build a 42-0 lead in the season opener for both schools.
Ponder, who played only the first half, completed 12 of 14 passes for 167 yards. He hit running back Lonnie Pryor for two scores on short passes.
Samford (0-1) could muster only a pair of field goals by Cameron Yaw.
Fisher succeeded coaching icon Bobby Bowden at Florida State after spending three years as Bowden’s offensive coordinator.
Auburn 52, Arkansas St. 26
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cam Newton ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 186 yards and three more scores to help No. 22 Auburn beat overmatched Arkansas State.
Newton, a junior college transfer who started his career at Florida, dashed up the middle for a 71-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Freshman running back Michael Dyer ran 14 times for 95 yards and one touchdown for Auburn (1-0).
Ryan Aplin completed 28 of 42 passes for 278 yards and one score for the Red Wolves (0-1).
Georgia 55, La.-Lafayette 7
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Aaron Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in his first college game to lead Georgia.
Despite the absence of top receiver A.J. Green, Murray completed 16 of 24 passes for 194 yards. Kris Durham caught two TD passes.
Murray ran four times for 41 yards. On a 16-yard scramble down the right sideline late in the first half, he reached out to hold the ball inside the front pylon for a 31-7 halftime lead.
The 55 points was Georgia’s highest since Nov. 6, 2004, when the Bulldogs won 62-17 at Kentucky.
Georgia (1-0) visits South Carolina next week.
Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) scored on Chris Masson’s 60-yard pass to Ladarius Green late in the second quarter.