Christian Ponder threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Florida State blasted No. 7 BYU, 54-28, yesterday in Provo, Utah, ending the Cougars’ 18-game home winning streak and probably any hopes they had of a BCS berth.
Florida State (2-1) was too fast for BYU (2-1) and avoided its first 1-2 start in 20 years. Three weeks after upsetting Oklahoma in the season opener, BYU couldn’t keep up with Florida State and the Cougars’ BCS aspirations faded a little bit on each drive by the Seminoles.
The Seminoles pounced for 10 points in the final 24 seconds of the second quarter and added two touchdowns in the third, running away in the Cougars’ home opener. Ponder was 21 of 26 for 195 yards and Ty Jones ran for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Max Hall completed 20 of 31 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns for BYU, but also threw three interceptions. Harvey Unga ran for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars, who turned the ball over five times.
The Seminoles outgained the Cougars, 313-108, on the ground and converted on their first nine third downs. FSU didn’t punt until about a minute remained in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech 16, Nebraska 15 - Tyrod Taylor dodged several defenders and then rifled an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dyrell Roberts with 21 seconds left, rallying the 13th-ranked Hokies over the No. 19 Cornhuskers in Blacksburg, Va.
Taylor, known for his running much more than his passing, completed two big, late throws to lead the Hokies (2-1). Taylor first hit Danny Coale for 80 yards down the right sideline with 1:11 left, setting the ball up at the Nebraska 3. He followed by scrambling for what seemed like a minute before hitting Roberts.
The victory was the 32d in a row for Virginia Tech at home against nonconference opponents. Nebraska (2-1) lost for the 21st time in its last 22 games against Top 20 teams.
N.C. State 45, Gardner-Webb 14 - Russell Wilson had four touchdown passes for the second straight week, threw for a career-high 345 yards, and set an NCAA passing record to pace the
Wilson broke the NCAA record of 325 consecutive passes without an interception set by Kentucky’s Andre Woodson from 2006-07. With his fourth touchdown pass, Wilson extended the pick-free streak to 329.
Kansas 44, Duke 16 - Todd Reesing threw three touchdown passes and Maxwell Onyegbule returned an interception 48 yards for another score, enabling the No. 22 Jayhawks (3-0) to shake off a sluggish start and rout the visiting Blue Devils (1-2).
North Carolina 31, East Carolina 17 - In Chapel Hill, N.C., T.J. Yates threw for two touchdowns while freshman receiver Erik Highsmith had six catches for 113 yards as the No. 24 Tar Heels beat the Pirates (1-2) to get off to their first 3-0 start since opening 8-0 in 1997.
Middle Tennessee 32, Maryland 31 - Alan Gendreau kicked a 19-yard field goal as time expired, rallying the Blue Raiders past the host Terrapins (1-2), who had 446 yards of offense but committed four turnovers that led to 17 points.
Southern Miss 37, Virginia 34 - Tory Harrison’s 57-yard touchdown run capped a rally from a 27-10 halftime deficit and the host Golden Eagles (3-0) dropped the struggling Cavaliers to 0-3.
Wake Forest 35, Elon 7 - Riley Skinner threw for a career-high 289 yards and three touchdowns, and the host Demon Deacons (2-1) tuned up for their conference opener next week at Boston College by routing the Phoenix.