Fla. State shows Clemson who's boss
Death Valley loss is Tigers' first in 16
Florida State, playing its first year in the league, is now in the driver's seat of the ACC following Saturday's 24-20 win over the defending league champions in Death Valley that was Clemson's first home loss in 16 games.
"This was an important game for us," said Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward, who completed 20 of 39 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns. "We wanted to show we were the new kids on the ACC block."
No. 17 Clemson (1-1) led 20-17 after quarterback Richard Moncrief hit on a 35-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter. But No. 3 Florida State came back with a 77-yard scoring drive that was capped by a touchdown pass from Ward to flanker Kevin Knox, who had a career-high six catches.
"I think coming into the game we had already sent a message," Knox said, referring to Florida State's 48-21 over Duke last week. "This game just reinforced that message. We're for real."
But at least one Clemson player wasn't convinced.
"As far as I'm concerned, we're the ACC team," said cornerback James Trapp. "We gave them what they got. We gave them some breaks. Other than that, I don't think they really did anything."
Saturday night live
In other late Saturday games involving ranked teams, No. 5 Texas A & M (3-0) rallied from a 6-3 halftime deficit to beat Tulsa, 19-9; No. 15 UCLA beat Cal State-Fullerton, 37-14, before 63,035 empty seats at the Rose Bowl; and Mississippi State was upset by LSU, 24-3, dropping the Bulldogs from No. 18 to No. 24.
UCLA's victory was not without a price, however, as the Bruins lost quarterback Wayne Cook for the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his right knee. Cook will undergo reconstructive knee surgery today to repair the medial colateral and the anterior cruciate ligaments.
Rob Walker, a redshirt freshman, will replace Cook and make his first start Saturday at BYU.
Walsh back in win column
Bill Walsh got his first win since his return to college coaching as No. 18 Stanford beat Oregon, 21-7.
This is the second stint at Stanford for Walsh, who was 17-7 there in 1977-78 before coaching the San Francisco 49ers for 10 years. In the first game of his return, Stanford was beaten by Texas A & M, 10-7, in the Pigskin Classic.
A lead at last for Prairie View
Saturday started out well for Prairie View, which was 0-11 last season. When Bradley Hays kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Panthers a 3-0 edge over Angelo State, it was the first time Prairie View had led in a game since football returned in 1991.
The cheering was short-lived, as Angelo State (2-0) responded with 33 straight points in a 33-3 win at Prairie View (0-2).
Next for Prairie View: Langston University, an NAIA school.
No way, Ray
Also winless is Arkansas State, which suffered a 61-0 crushing at Oklahoma. Arkansas State, making its return to Division I-A this season after playing 10 years in I-AA, was out-gained 532-73 in losing to the No. 13 Sooners.
After going 1-10 as a I-AA team last season, the move to play with the big boys has obviously been tough for Arkansas State, coached by former New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Ray Perkins. Oklahoma scored on every first-half possession during the course of the easy win.
In two games, the Indians have been outscored 110-0, beginning with a 49-0 loss to Toledo in the season opener.
Sour note from band
The next time North Texas travels to Dallas to play Southern Methodist, the Eagles might consider leaving their band home.
North Texas, a I-AA team, was trailing by seven points in the second half against its state foes from the Southwest Conference, when the Eagles' band was whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for playing as SMU was about to run a play.
The drive resulted in a 1-yard scoring run by SMU running back Kevin Shepard that gave the Mustangs a 28-14 win.