Hokies win opener, lose Suggs

Sunday, September 2, 2001

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech found a replacement for Michael Vick. The ninth-ranked Hokies might need to find one for running back Lee Suggs.

Grant Noel threw three touchdown passes in a near-perfect debut as Vick's replacement Saturday, but Virginia Tech lost Suggs to an injured left knee in a 52-10 win over Connecticut.

Suggs, the nation's leading scorer last season, has both a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus. He is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair the meniscus and determine if the ACL tear is new or a previous injury.

If the ACL tear is an old injury, Suggs could return this season and wait until January to have surgery to repair it. If it is not, Suggs will be out for the season.

Suggs gained 99 yards on 12 carries, including scoring runs of 1 and 49 yards before hurting the knee with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

Otherwise, the hurting was put on the Huskies, with Noel shaking off some nervousness and leading the way. He finished 16-for-20 for 267 yards.

Noel completed his first pass, a screen that Andre Davis turned into a 47-yard touchdown 1:52 into the game, and was 8-for-8 for 129 yards when he finally threw a ball away under pressure late in the first half.

NO. 1 FLORIDA 49, MARSHALL 14

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Rex Grossman set his career high by halftime and finished with 375 yards passing to lift top-ranked Florida.

Grossman, a sophomore, threw for three touchdowns and Earnest Graham scored three times as the Gators improved to 12-0 in openers under Steve Spurrier.

Marshall played without two starters -- running back Franklin Wallace and nose tackle Marlan Hicks -- and two key reserves, as the Herd learned of several NCAA suspensions Thursday.

The suspensions, for improperly receiving extra benefits, may have demoralized Marshall, but with the way Florida played, it was doubtful four players would have made a difference.

NO. 2 MIAMI 33, PENN STATE 7

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ken Dorsey threw three first-half touchdown passes and No. 2 Miami scored on six of its first seven possessions in a dominating win over Penn State.

The Hurricanes kept Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno at 322 career wins -- one shy of Bear Bryant's major-college record. They did it by equaling the largest margin of victory over Penn State at home in Paterno's 26 seasons as head coach.

NO. 3 OKLAHOMA 44, AIR FORCE 3

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Quentin Griffin ran for a career-best 201 yards and quarterback Nate Hybl had mixed results for the second straight week for Oklahoma.

Hybl, making his second career start, was 14-of-31 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception inside the Air Force 20 but was aided by Griffin and an overwhelming defense.

NO. 4 NEBRASKA 42, TROY ST. 14

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Dahrran Diedrick rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns in his first start and No. 4 Nebraska held Division I-A newcomer Troy State to 165 yards.

The Huskers (2-0), who fell behind 7-0, allowed just 2 yards of offense in the second half and sacked Brock Nutter eight times.

Eric Crouch and Thunder Collins also scored for Nebraska, which had 457 yards of offense. Crouch rushed for 48 yards on 15 carries and was 8-for-15 for 109 yards.

NO. 5 TEXAS 41, NEW MEXICO ST. 7

AUSTIN, Texas -- Chris Simms threw two touchdown passes and Texas narrowly missed its first season-opening shutout in 23 years.

Simms fought through an erratic night but connected with Montrell Flowers on TD passes of 9 and 10 yards in the second and fourth quarters. Simms finished 17-of-37 for 182 yards.

Walter Taylor rushed for 113 yards for New Mexico State.

NO. 6 FLORIDA ST. 55, DUKE 13

DURHAM, N.C. -- Chris Rix eased into the post-Chris Weinke era with two touchdown passes and Florida State blocked two punts.

The Seminoles scored 31 points in the first half, but Rix had just 93 yards and finished 9-of-18 for 135 yards throwing to a depleted group of receivers. His TD passes of 26 and 33 yards came after Florida State already had a big lead.

NO. 8 TENNESSEE 33, SYRACUSE 9

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Casey Clausen threw a 37-yard TD pass to Donte Stallworth on Tennessee's first play from scrimmage of the season and John Henderson recovered a fumble to set up another score.

With Tennessee ahead 12-3, Syracuse (0-2) turned the ball over when the snap sailed over the head of Troy Nunes, who chased it 31 yards toward the Vols' end zone. Henderson was right behind him and recovered it at the Syracuse 5, setting up Travis Stephens' 4-yard scoring run. Stephens had a career-high 111 yards on 14 carries.

NO. 11 GEORGIA TECH 35, THE CITADEL 7

ATLANTA -- George Godsey passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns and directed scoring drives on four of Georgia Tech's first five possessions.

Godsey completed his first 11 passes and was 14-of-16 when he left with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter and Tech up 28-0. He threw TD pass of 40 yards to Jonathan Smith and 13 yards to Kerry Watkins.

The Jackets, who opened the season last Sunday with a 13-7 victory over Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic, got two touchdowns from Joe Burns on runs of 1 and 7 yards.

Luke Manget made five extra points to break the Atlantic Coast Conference record for consecutive PATs with 97.

NO. 12 MICHIGAN 31, MIAMI (OHIO) 13

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- John Navarre completed 19 of 32 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown for Michigan.

Michigan, already the victory leader in Division I-A football, won its 806th game to tie Yale for the most wins in any division.

B.J. Askew had 20 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Miami freshman Ben Roethlisberger was 18-of-35 for 193 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

NO. 19 CLEMSON 21, CENTRAL FLORIDA 13

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Woody Dantzler was 15-of-25 for 152 yards and ran for 46 yards as Clemson beat Central Florida.

The rest of the Tigers accounted for only 92 yards as Clemson's offense sputtered.

UCF's Ryan Schneider completed 29 of 48 passes for 297 yards, but the Knights had just 35 yards rushing and scored only twice in seven drives into Clemson territory.

NO. 21 S. CAROLINA 32, BOISE ST. 13

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina tailback Derek Watson put his off-the-field troubles behind him, scoring twice and rushing for 71 yards on 13 carries.

Watson had a 16-yard touchdown catch to start South Carolina's scoring and a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter as the Gamecocks opened with a victory for the fifth time in six seasons.

Andrew Pinnock added a 5-yard touchdown run, and Phil Petty was 18-of-25 for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

COLORADO 41, NO. 24 COLORADO ST. 14

DENVER -- Defensive backs Donald Strickland and Michael Lewis returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Colorado avenged two straight losses to Colorado State.

In a dominating performance, the Buffaloes (1-1) outgained the Rams (0-1) 410-294.

Bobby Purify ran for 191 yards and Chris Brown added 121 for Colorado, which finished with 315 yards rushing. Brown scored twice on 1-yard runs, and Purify had an 18-yard TD run. Craig Ochs completed 15 of 18 passes for 95 yards.

-- From wire reports

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