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Gunn Lifts Texas Christian

September 02, 2003|From Associated Press

When No. 25-ranked Texas Christian appeared to be near a stunning collapse, Tye Gunn showed the poise of a quarterback who has never lost a game he has started.

Gunn completed two crucial third-down passes, then scored on a four-yard run, and Texas Christian held off a furious rally by Tulane for a 38-35 victory Monday night at New Orleans in the season opener for the Conference USA teams.

"I thought he did what I wanted him to do, which is manage the game," Coach Gary Patterson said of Gunn.

Gunn orchestrated the 11-play, 61-yard drive that lasted 5 minutes 33 seconds after Tulane had scored three consecutive fourth-quarter touchdowns -- the last on a 35-yard fumble return -- to pull to within 31-28 with 7:39 left.

Gunn said he was determined to take charge on the drive.

"I could tell everybody was getting kind of lackadaisical on the sidelines" after Texas Christian had taken a 31-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Gunn said.

After Gunn put the Horned Frogs ahead, 38-28, Tulane drove 77 yards for a touchdown with 24 seconds left but could not recover the on-side kick.

Gunn completed 17 of 27 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown.

Lonta Hobbs scored three touchdowns on short runs for the Horned Frogs, and Ricky Madison had an 80-yard touchdown on a short swing pass from Gunn. Madison finished with 206 yards, 115 on the ground.

Tulane's J.P. Losman, a former standout at Venice High who also briefly attended UCLA, was 25 for 42 for 303 yards but had two passes intercepted, including one that set up Texas Christian's last scoring drive. It came one play after Tulane had recovered a fumble near midfield with more than six minutes left.

Cincinnati 40, East Carolina 3 -- Gino Guidugli tied the Bearcat record for career touchdown passes but was little more than a middleman in the victory at Cincinnati.

Guidugli, a junior, had as many runs as completions in the first half, when the Bearcats led, 21-0.

"I'd rather throw the ball, but if that's what it calls for and what the game plan is, I'm willing to do it," said Guidugli, who was 13 for 25 for 121 yards.

Richard Hall ran for 117 yards and scored the Bearcats' first touchdown, and Derick Eddington had 138 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Cincinnati spoiled the debut of John Thompson as coach of East Carolina.

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