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SPOTLIGHT / Saturday's Games at a Glance : MAIN EVENT

September 26, 1993|Thomas Bonk

The fight of the day, well, hasn't Miami retired that trophy? With 12 players ejected (seven from Miami), this dubious honor was bestowed in Boulder, Colo., where the players from Miami and Colorado took turns knocking the heck out of each other.

For Miami, it was the Hurricanes' fifth major fight in five years, so at least they've reached their quota early.

All in all, it was a pretty good day for brawls, especially in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

At Raleigh, N.C., North Carolina ended a five-game losing streak with a 35-14 victory over North Carolina State, but there was a lot more to it than that. All this game needed was Pernell Whitaker and Julio Cesar Chavez as the halftime show.

A bench-clearing brawl broke out just before the end of the half with players on both sides swinging their helmets at each other. It all started when Ricky Bell ran Tar Heel quarterback Jason Stanicek into the North Carolina bench and nailed him out of bounds.

"We all got juiced up about it," Stanicek said. "In the second half we wanted to pick it up a step and change our attitude."

So they did. In the second half, North Carolina players began waving fists. More importantly, they scored 25 unanswered points.

Said offensive lineman Pat Connelly: "We decided to let our actions speak for ourselves."

Meanwhile, at Blacksburg, Va., Virginia Tech's 55-28 victory over winless Maryland was spiced up by a wild melee touched off by a scramble for the ball after a blocked Maryland field goal.

It was a textbook example of how a fight escalates: First there was pushing, then shoving, then a helmet is flung, then a couple of punches are thrown and then both benches empty. The first thing you know, state troopers are on the field. That's a big 10-4. Two players from each team were ejected.

There was also a fight at Charlottesville, Va., where Virginia beat Duke, 35-0, and another bench-clearing brawl resulted in the ejection of four players in the fourth quarter.

STARRING FRED MacMURRAY

Imagine the confusion possible for anyone paging a Bowden at some restaurant in Auburn, Ala., this weekend. 'Excuse me, is Mr. Bowden here?' Well, yeah, but which one do you want? Bobby? Terry? Tommy? Jeff?

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, whose top-ranked team was off this week, watched his three sons coach in the Auburn-Southern Mississippi game. Terry Bowden is Auburn's head coach, Tommy Bowden is Terry Bowden's receiver coach and Jeff Bowden is the Southern Mississippi receiver coach.

DECENT EXPOSURE

Everything is going for the Ty.

Michigan's Tyrone Wheatley scored three touchdowns in the Wolverines' 42-21 victory over Houston. It was the third time Wheatley has scored three touchdowns in a game. He had three against Iowa and three in the Rose Bowl last season.

So far, Wheatley has been over 100 yards in each game this season. His assessment of his play: "Overall, I would grade it as decent."

STREAKS

--Dayton won its 40th consecutive regular season game with a 30-7 victory over San Diego in Dayton, Ohio.

--Alabama had no trouble adding No. 27 to its consecutive-game winning streak, a 56-3 pounding of winless Louisiana Tech.

--Speaking of Louisiana Tech, the 0-3 Bulldogs still haven't scored a touchdown.

HE'D SOONER CHANGE

This is what drives coaches crazy: Mighty underdog Tulsa is hanging close with No. 10 Oklahoma, but has a punt blocked late in the third quarter and soon a seven-point deficit is suddenly two touchdowns.

Tulsa (1-3) managed to keep the Sooners (3-0) off-balance with a no-huddle offense and even wound up gaining more yardage (330-307). Oh, those pesky turnovers. The blocked punt was followed by a fumble recovery that Oklahoma used to set up its final touchdown.

If there was going to be any second-guessing, Tulsa Coach Dave Rader decided he would do it himself: "The difference in the game has to be the blocked punt. I was going to run the fake, but I thought we were too far back. We had a fake punt in for Oklahoma, I just didn't run it. In hindsight, maybe I should have."

CHARTIN' LANDAU

Gilad Landau, a 25-year-old kicker from Israel who fasted until dusk to observe Yom Kippur, had an extra point blocked and a field goal blocked in Grambling's 27-26 loss to Hampton.

Landau kicked field goals of 45 and 24 yards, but Hampton freshman Malcom Benson preserved the margin of victory when he batted away Landau's conversion attempt that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter. Benson then blocked Landau's 22-yard field goal that would have put Grambling ahead.

THE KICKING GAME

Boston College tied an NCAA record with three consecutive blocked punts in the first quarter against Temple. Greg Grice blocked two and Eric Shorter blocked one, leading the Eagles to two touchdowns and a field goal in a 66-14 victory.

Georgia Tech's Tyler Jarrett missed three field goal attempts in a 16-13 loss to Clemson, including a 41-yarder with 2:50 remaining.

SAME TIME NEXT YEAR?

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