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BIG EAST

Pittsburgh Is Upset at Toledo

September 21, 2003|From Associated Press

Pittsburgh heard all week about how dangerous Toledo could be. The Panthers didn't get the message until it was too late.

Bruce Gradkowski threw for 461 yards and three touchdowns for the Rockets, the final score coming with 43 seconds left as Toledo stunned No. 9 Pittsburgh, 35-31, on Saturday night at Toledo, Ohio.

Gradkowski lofted the ball into right corner of the end zone and Lance Moore made a diving catch. The nine-yard pass capped a 15-play, 83-yard drive that began with 4:36 left.

Pittsburgh's defense was no match for Toledo's spread offense that kept the Panthers (2-1) off-balance most of the game.

"I don't think they've shown that much firepower as they did today," Pittsburgh Coach Walt Harris said. "They fought their way back from 10 points down. They never gave up."

Gradkowski, a sophomore from Pittsburgh in only his fourth start, calmly directed the Rockets (3-1) down the field on the final drive. The key play came on fourth and one. He found tight end Andrew Clarke along the sideline for a 13-yard pickup.

Gradkowski relied on short passes as the Rockets chipped away at the Panthers. They converted three times on third down to keep the drive alive.

Pittsburgh had one final shot at the end zone, but Rod Rutherford's pass was batted down in the end zone, setting off a wild celebration on the field.

No. 2 Miami 33, Boston College 14 -- Roscoe Parrish set a school record with a 92-yard punt return and Sean Taylor returned an interception for another score at Boston as the Hurricanes won their final Big East meeting against the Eagles.

Miami (4-0, 1-0) is departing the conference for the Atlantic Coast after the season, giving even more meaning than usual to this game.

But the Hurricanes were businesslike in their approach and finished with a perfect record against Boston College (2-2, 0-1) in conference play.

Boston College has lost 14 in a row to Miami since the "Hail Flutie" game in 1984, seven years before the Big East began playing football.

Cincinnati 30, Temple 24 -- Richard Hall ran 25 yards to score the winning touchdown at Cincinnati as the Bearcats won in three overtimes.

Hall made his game-winning run after Temple (0-3) missed three field goals in overtime. Cincinnati (3-0) had one field goal blocked and one hit the upright.

Syracuse 38, Central Florida 14 -- Walter Reyes ran for a career-high 241 yards and four touchdowns at Syracuse, N.Y., and the Orangemen (2-1) rolled past the Golden Knights (1-2).

Connecticut 38, Buffalo 7 -- Terry Caulley ran for 234 yards and four touchdowns at Buffalo, N.Y., as the Huskies (3-1) extended the Bulls' losing streak to 14 games, longest in the nation.

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