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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT / WEEK 10

No Time to Grab a Nap During This Magic Hour

October 29, 2000

Got a dish? Or perhaps you happened to be at your favorite sports bar where 20 games are shown at once. A Vegas sports book would have been nice. If so, you picked the perfect day.

During a span of about 54 minutes Saturday afternoon, college football fans were treated to some of the most exhilarating finishes of this season, making it all the more remarkable because most of the teams involved had some sort of stake in the national championship picture or were playing to keep their major bowl hopes alive.

And we won't even discuss Notre Dame's 34-31 overtime win over Air Force that ended with former Bishop Amat High standout Joey Getherall's third touchdown (3:21 p.m.) or Alabama's last-second 40-38 loss to Central Florida (3:36 p.m.), which was book-ended by Washington's 31-28 come-from-behind win at Stanford (5:25 p.m.).

But if you weren't anywhere near a TV between about 4-5 p.m. Pacific time, here's what else you missed:

* 3:57--Georgia Tech's Kerry Watkins catches a 16-yard touchdown pass from George Godsey with seven seconds left for a 31-28 lead as the Yellow Jackets threaten to ruin Clemson's perfect season.

* 3:59:20--Previously undefeated Clemson watches its BCS hopes flicker in the chilly South Carolina night as Georgia Tech wins, 31-28.

* 3:59:50--Drew Brees makes another Heisman pitch by finding wide receiver Seth Morales on a 64-yard touchdown pass to give Purdue a 31-27 lead over Ohio State with 1:55 remaining at West Lafayette, Ind.

* 4:06--Virginia Tech's Carter Warley makes everyone forget about Michael Vick momentarily as he kicks a 27-yard field goal with 16 seconds left at Blacksburg, Va., for a 37-34 lead over Pittsburgh.

* 4:07--Purdue's road to its first Rose Bowl appearance in 34 years remains nicely paved as the Boilermakers close out a 31-27 victory over Ohio State.

* 4:08--Virginia Tech keeps its championship hopes alive by hanging on for a three-point victory against upstart Pitt.

* 4:21--With Arizona State leading 49-42 and trying to run out the clock after Oregon failed on a fourth-down play, Mike Williams fumbles to give the Ducks another chance to tie.

* 4:23--Oregon's Justin Peelle scores on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Joey Harrington to tie it at 49-49 against Arizona State with 27 seconds left in regulation.

* 4:26--Oregon and Arizona State move into overtime at Tempe, Ariz.

* 4:51--Arizona State Coach Bruce Snyder unbelievably tries to be a hero, goes for two, fails, and gift wraps a 56-55 double overtime thriller for Oregon to keep the Ducks' BCS hopes, however far-fetched, alive.

Come to think of it, there's probably not a remote control that could have kept up with all of that.

THESE CARDINALS ARE HAVING A BALL LATELY

What's gotten into Ball State? The Cardinals, who just a few weeks ago were reliable monologue fodder for one of its most famous alums, David Letterman, suddenly have won four in a row.

Ball State's 38-34 victory at Central Michigan evened its record at 4-4, has put the Cardinals in the race for the Mid-American Conference title and all but erased the memory of its 21-game losing streak, snapped last month against Miami of Ohio.

"What happens when you have a little bit of success is that you have something to fall back on," Ball State Coach Bill Lynch told the Muncie (Ind.) Star Press. "If there is an adverse situation, there's no here-we-go-again thing."

AS FUN AS A NIGHT ON THE TOWN IN EUGENE

Spending the wee hours of the morning on a airport runway because of a driving rainstorm in another city probably isn't the way most us choose to spend our Friday night as it turns into Saturday morning.

Oregon players didn't get a choice when they made their trip to Tempe, Ariz., to play Arizona State on Saturday.

After standing idle on the runway in Eugene for 2 1/2 hours Friday night because of bad weather in Phoenix, the team didn't get into its hotel until 1 a.m., and had to get up at 7 a.m. for the 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

How drained were the Ducks?

So much so that all they could do was battle back from deficits of 21-7, 42-28 and 49-35 in a remarkable 56-55 double overtime victory over the Sun Devils.

Beddy-bye time.

THIS WAS A LOT EASIER THAN GETTING TO THE BIG LEAGUES

With a one-yard gain on a dive play over right guard, R.J. Bowers of Division III Grove City College (Pa.) fell into history.

Bowers broke the NCAA all-division career rushing record to give him 6,999 yards in four seasons, surpassing the mark of 6,958 set by Brian Shay of Division II Emporia State from 1995-98.

Bowers, 26, played five seasons in the Houston Astros' farm system before returning to football.

"It really hasn't hit me yet, but I'm sure that on the ride home, I'll say to myself, 'I'm the nation's all-time leading rusher,' " Bowers said. "But I won't pinch myself because I'm too beat up for that."

*

--Compiled by JIM BARRERO

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