|College Football Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 01 September 2007 11:31|
Julian Rauch's 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left put the Mountaineers ahead of the Wolverines and Corey Lynch's blocked field goal in the final seconds Saturday sealed one of college football's biggest upsets.
The two-time defending champions from former Division I-AA were ahead of the nation's winningest program 28-14 late in the second quarter, then their storybook afternoon seemed to unravel late in the fourth quarter.
Mike Hart's 54-yard run put the Wolverines ahead - for the first time since early in the second quarter - with 4:36 left.
One snap after the go-ahead touchdown, Brandent Englemon intercepted an errant pass, but the Wolverines couldn't capitalize and had their first of two field goals blocked.
Appalachian State drove 69 yards without a timeout in 1:11 to set up the go-ahead kick, but it still wasn't over.
Chad Henne threw a 46-yard pass to Mario Manningham, giving Michigan the ball at Appalachian State's 20 with 6 seconds left.
Lynch blocked the kick and returned it to the other end of the field as the final seconds ticked off, and his teammates rushed across the field to pile on Lynch as the coaching staff and cheerleaders jumped with joy.
Appalachian State has won 15 straight games, the longest streak in the nation.
No. 9 Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 7
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - After 4 1/2 months of mourning, Virginia Tech was ready to celebrate. It took a while for the Hokies to give their fans something to cheer about.
Getting off to a sluggish start in what figures to be an emotionally charged season, No. 9 Virginia Tech struggled to beat East Carolina, even hearing boos from a home crowd that honored a plea not to jeer the Pirates.
The Hokies appeared a bit overwhelmed by the burden of what they'll face all year: rallying a school that is desperate to move on from the worst mass shooting in modern American history. The 32 victims of April's campus massacre were honored in a heart-tugging pregame ceremony, which was followed by an uninspiring performance on the field.
The running game struggled. Quarterback Sean Glennon threw an interception, lost a fumble, was sacked four times and continually missed open receivers with errant passes. The defense had to save the day.
East Carolina, a 27 1/2-point underdog that didn't have its No. 1 quarterback, actually led until Victor Harris returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first half to give the Hokies a 10-7 lead.
No. 6 Florida 49, W Kentucky 3
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Tim Tebow and Florida had an even easier day than expected against Western Kentucky. The Gators didn't even have to play 60 minutes.
Tebow threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score, and the Gators opened defense of their national championship with a rout of Western Kentucky that was called with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter because of lightning.
The weather was about the only thing that stopped the Gators.
Tebow, making his first career start, led Florida (1-0) to touchdowns in its first four possessions. He completed his first six passes for 156 yards and two TDs, proving he can be as dynamic with his arm as he can his legs.
With his first throw, Tebow hit Andre Caldwell in stride down the sideline for a 48-yard gain. Later in the first, he faked a step toward the line of scrimmage, then dropped back and connected with Riley Cooper for a 59-yard score. He added a perfect strike for Percy Harvin to make it 21-0 in the second quarter.
No. 11 Ohio St. 38, Youngstown St. 6
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - No. 11 Ohio State took its first step toward forgetting the end of last season.
Todd Boeckman played well in his first start replacing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith and the Buckeyes made just about all the big plays in beating Youngstown State.
The Buckeyes welcomed the game as a way to put some distance between themselves and the painful memories of a humiliating 41-14 defeat to Florida in the BCS national championship game Jan. 8.
It was the first time the schools met, with Youngstown State now playing in the new Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA.
Ohio State's Jim Tressel was the coach at Youngstown State for 15 years and led the Penguins to four I-AA championships before taking over the Buckeyes in 2001.
Boeckman directed the first four touchdown drives as the Buckeyes steadily pulled away. He completed 17-of-23 passes for 225 yards and two 1-yard TDs.
No. 17 Penn St. 59, Florida International 0
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State welcomed Joe Paterno back to the sidelines with a suffocating show of defense.
Linebacker Sean Lee led a furious defense with seven tackles, a forced fumble and a sack, and Anthony Morelli threw for three touchdowns and a career-high 295 yards as the Nittany Lions routed FIU.
It was a happy homecoming for the 80-year-old Paterno in his first appearance back on the sidelines since breaking his left leg last year at Wisconsin.
Wearing his trademark black sneakers and rolled-up khakis, Paterno jogged out of the tunnel to lead his team on the field with his face plastered on the giant stadium video screens. The 107,000-plus packed into Beaver Stadium cheered them on.
Lee, fellow linebacker Dan Connor and the rest of the defense then made sure Paterno got a win in the opener of his record-breaking 42nd season as head coach.
With Penn State leading 7-0, Connor recovered a fumble by FIU's John Ellis on the Golden Panther 20 six-plus minutes into the first quarter. Three plays later, Morelli found Mickey Shuler wide open down the right sideline
``Joe Paterno!'' yelled fans early in the fourth quarter, with Penn State holding a 59-0 lead. Paterno improved to 35-7 in season openers in his career.