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Florida Blows Big Lead to Miami, Berlin

September 07, 2003|From Associated Press

Brock Berlin might have thought he hurt Florida when he left for Miami. Turns out, that was only the beginning of the pain.

Overcoming a 23-point deficit and leg-buckling cramps late, Berlin threw for 340 yards Saturday night to lead the third-ranked Hurricanes on a stunning rally for a 38-33 victory at Miami.

"I can't explain it," said Berlin, who jilted Florida in favor of Miami after the 2001 season. "My emotions are just sailing right now."

After Frank Gore's 12-yard touchdown run gave Miami (2-0) the lead with 1:46 left, Florida (1-1) had one more chance.

The Gators drove to the Miami 20. But Al Marshall picked off freshman Chris Leak's desperation pass. Berlin came back onto the field to take a knee and run out the clock.

Berlin's performance turned what looked like a great night for the Gators into a heartbreaker. They led, 33-10, with 6:10 left in the third quarter, and coach Ron Zook appeared en route to the biggest victory of his checkered year-plus as Steve Spurrier's successor.

"We knew it was only a matter of time before Brock started clicking," Gator cornerback Keiwan Ratliff said. "We just had to build a big enough lead to withstand the comeback."

Still, in the aftermath, many of the Gators were spinning a success story.

"Everyone was watching this, and now they know the Gators are for real," offensive lineman Shannon Snell said.

No. 8 Georgia 29, Middle Tennessee 10 -- Michael Cooper ran for the first two touchdowns of his career and David Greene threw for 267 yards to lead the Bulldogs (2-0) over the Blue Raiders (0-2) at Athens, Ga.

Billy Bennett had three field goals for Georgia, which was a 29 1/2-point favorite against a team that had lost its opener to Division I-AA Florida Atlantic. Georgia set a school record with 18 penalties, easily eclipsing the previous mark of 14 set in 2001 against Georgia Tech.

No. 12 Tennessee 34, Marshall 24 -- Casey Clausen threw three touchdowns passes and James Wilhoit kicked two field goals in the fourth quarter as the Volunteers (2-0) held off the Thundering Herd (1-1) at Knoxville, Tenn.

Marshall quarerback Stan Hill threw three touchdown passes before leaving the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter because of a sprained left knee.

South Carolina 31, No. 15 Virginia 7 -- Dondrial Pinkins threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson -- the longest in school history -- to lead the Gamecocks (2-0) over the Cavaliers (1-1) at Columbia, S.C.

Pinkins had a five-yard touchdown run and Daccus Turman had 123 yards rushing and a touchdown for South Carolina, which outgained Virginia, 423-170.

Georgia Tech 17, No. 17 Auburn 3 -- Freshman Reggie Ball threw for one touchdown and set up two other scores at Atlanta as the Yellow Jackets (1-1) handed the Tigers (0-2) another stunning loss.

After getting routed at home by USC, 23-0, Auburn was held to 230 yards by Georgia Tech (1-1). Jason Campbell was sacked seven times and took a ferocious beating nearly every time he dropped back.

Memphis 44, Mississippi 34 -- Danny Wimprine threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns to lead Memphis (2-0) to a victory over visiting Mississippi (1-1).

Wimprine threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to DeAngelo Williams for one score and Williams, who had 135 yards rushing, also scored on runs of a 19 and 20 yards.

But it was a 92-yard touchdown pass from Wimprine to Tavarious Davis with just over six minutes to play that put Memphis ahead for good.

Arkansas 45, Tulsa 13 -- Cedric Cobbs rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown, and De'Arrius Howard ran for two more scores to lead the Razorbacks (1-0) over the Golden Hurricane (0-2) at Fayetteville, Ark.

Cobbs scored in Arkansas' season opener for the fifth consecutive season. He was given a medical redshirt year in 2000 when he separated his right shoulder after three games.

Kentucky 37, Murray State 6 -- Jared Lorenzen threw four touchdown passes and became the career passing yardage leader for the Wildcats (1-1) in a victory over the Division I-AA Racers (1-1) at Lexington, Ky. Lorenzen completed 14 of 21 passes for 197 yards and has 8,566 career yards, breaking Tim Couch's mark of 8,435.

Vanderbilt 51, Chattanooga 6 -- Norval McKenzie ran for 102 yards and a touchdown and the Commodores (1-1) scored 41 points in the first half in cruising over the Division I-AA Mocs (0-2) at Nashville.

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