'Canes slip, Huskies skip into top spot in AP poll

Will garbage time decide who's No. 1?

Miami surrendered three meaningless touchdowns to West Virginia on Saturday night and the top spot in the Associated Press top 25 to Washington yesterday.


The Hurricanes had a 35-3 lead on West Virginia with 6:58 left before three touchdown passes by Darren Studstill narrowed the final difference to a deceptively close 35-23. Washington played its best game of the year in a 41-7 pounding of No. 21 Stanford and leaped over Miami into the No. 1 ranking.

"I have to question whether these guys want to be No. 1," wide receiver Lamar Thomas said of Miami's second unit. "It hurt us. We dominated this game, and West Virginia is lucky to get that many points. I didn't want those guys to score. They talk too much.


Miami, which has won 26 straight, got the voters' attention with its back-to-back victories over Florida State and Penn State, and now Washington is trying for its own brand of double exposure. This Saturday, the Huskies travel to No. 12 Arizona, which posted its first shutout in four years with a 30-0 defeat of New Mexico State.

Arizona, which moved up five spots from No. 17, lost by a point to Miami on Sept. 26.

In another night game Saturday, No. 19 Mississippi State blocked a field-goal attempt as time expired to beat Kentucky, 37-36.

The third and fourth spots in the top 25 also were switched, as idle Alabama took over No. 3 from Michigan, which rallied to beat Purdue, 24-17.

Georgia and Colorado took losses that dropped them out of the top 10, allowing No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 9 Boston College and No. 10 Syracuse to move up two spots each.

Heisman watch

Miami dropped to No. 2, but quarterback Gino Torretta is back in the chase for the Heisman Trophy. The senior completed 28 of 40 passes for 363 yards against West Virginia.

Torretta, sharp in recent weeks after struggling against Florida State and Penn State, completed 13 consecutive passes before Horace Copeland dropped a bomb that likely would have gone for a 64-yard touchdown. Torretta increased his touchdown total for the season to 16 with throws covering 9 yards to Kevin Williams and 2 and 22 yards to Thomas.


The performance gave Torretta a boost, as two other contenders had subpar days. Georgia's Garrison Hearst managed just 41 yards rushing in 14 carries in a 26-24 loss to Florida, and San Diego State's Marshall Faulk ran for 60 yards in 18 carries and injured his left quadriceps against Colorado State.

Who would Torretta vote for if he had a Heisman ballot?

"I'd vote for myself," he said. "What do you think, I'm stupid? That'd be like asking one of the presidential nominees who they're going to vote for."

No drought in Texas

The Lone Star Conference game in San Angelo, Texas, between Angelo State and Cameron ended at halftime when severe thunderstorms dumped three inches of rain on the field. Winds up to 68 mph were recorded during the storm.

Angelo State, leading 20-7 at the time, was declared the victor.