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BIG EAST

Pitt Takes Care of Syracuse

October 26, 2003|From Associated Press

Larry Fitzgerald tied an NCAA record by making two more touchdown catches and Rod Rutherford-led Pittsburgh finally settled down its trouble-prone defense to beat Syracuse, 34-14, Saturday at Pittsburgh.

Rutherford shook off Pittsburgh's terrible start and a running game that was nonexistent in the first half to complete 21 of 32 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, including one of 19 yards to Kris Wilson early in the second quarter.

Fitzgerald, enjoying the most productive season by a receiver in Pittsburgh's long football history, caught eight passes for 149 yards and tied an NCAA record by making a touchdown catch for the 13th consecutive game. Charles Rogers of Michigan State set the record last season.

Fitzgerald tied the record with a three-yard catch on the Panthers' second possession.

Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-0) beat Syracuse (4-3, 1-2) for the second straight season after losing 11 in a row to the Orangemen.

Rutgers 30, Temple 14 -- Brian Leonard scored three touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights snapped a 25-game Big East losing streak with a 30-14 win at Philadelphia.

Rutgers' 25 straight conference losses were only two shy of the Big East record set by Temple (1-7, 0-3) from 1991 to 1995.

The Scarlet Knights (4-4, 1-3) hadn't won a Big East game since Nov. 13, 1999, against Syracuse.

Connecticut 38, Akron 37 -- Matt Nuzie kicked a 27-yard field goal as time ran out to lift the Huskies at East Hartford, Conn.

Nuzie had just missed a 46-yarder less than two minutes earlier but got another chance when Akron (5-4) was unable to make a first down on its final possession and had to punt.

The Huskies (6-3) drove 45 yards in the final 1:32 to set up the score.

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