Defense, Murray Lead Knights To Opening Victory
ORLANDO - Freshman Latavius Murray scored two touchdowns to help Central Florida defeat South Carolina State 17-0 on Saturday. Daren Daly added a 27-yard field goal for UCF, which recorded a shutout for the first time since a season-ending 31-0 win vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in 2001. Murray was one of three freshman running backs who had carries as UCF searches for a successor to All-American Kevin Smith. Ronnie Weaver led the Knights (1-0) with 23 carries for 84 yards and Murray finished with 43 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Michael Greco had 57 yards on 13 rushes and completed 9-for-16 passes for 90 yards.South Carolina State had just five first downs and was only 2-for-11 on third-down situations. Quarterback Malcolm Long completed 11 of 21 passes for 74 yards and one interception. Murray's first touchdown ended a nine-play, 40-yard drive that began when UCF safety Jason Venson picked off Long at the Bulldogs' 40. Eight of UCF's nine plays on the drive were on the ground. A Greco scramble gave UCF a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and Murray barged in from there. Murray had his final six carries on a 12-play, 62-yard drive that sealed the game. He scored on a 7-yard run with 3:15 left in the game. NO. 11 TEXAS 52, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 10 AUSTIN, Texas - Colt McCoy and Texas showed Florida Atlantic a few things about being tough. On a night when Texas retired the No. 10 jersey of Vince Young, McCoy passed for three touchdowns, ran for another and the No. 11 Longhorns coasted to a win vs. Florida Atlantic that got testy at times when the Owls popped McCoy for three late hits. McCoy never wavered as Texas ran up a 28-10 halftime lead. His third touchdown pass made it 42-10 and he left early in the fourth quarter with 222 yards on 24 of 29 passing. He also did his best to imitate Young with 103 yards rushing on 12 carries. McCoy, who hugged Young during a pregame ceremony, joined him as the only Texas quarterbacks to pass for more than 200 yards and run for 100 more in a game multiple times. McCoy has done it twice. Young did it five times. Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger had rankled Texas with comments suggesting the Longhorns weren't tough and could be intimidated if hit hard enough. When the Longhorns walked into the stadium about two hours before kickoff, defensive tackle Roy Miller pulled off his shirt on the field and appeared to be yelling at his teammates to get them fired up as several Owls players stood nearby. Texas had little trouble pushing around the Owls' defense. While Schnellenberger had said he wanted to get "three hats" on Texas ball carriers, Florida Atlantic seldom appeared to have three players even close in the first half. McCoy moved the Longhorns with ease, completing his first 13 passes, tossing TDs of 2 and 9 yards to Chris Ogbannaya and Jordan Shipley in the first quarter. Twice he was hit hard late on the drive that ended with Shipley's TD and his 2-yard TD run in the second quarter made it 28-3. KANSAS 40, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 10 LAWRENCE, Kan. - Todd Reesing threw three touchdown passes to Dezmon Briscoe and No. 14 Kansas, coming off the greatest season in its history, opened with a victory against Florida International before a record-breaking home crowd. Reesing, who rewrote the Kansas record book last year during a 12-1 season that vaulted the long-woeful Jayhawks into national contention, was 37-for-52 for 256 yards. Briscoe, a sophomore and Reesing's third-leading receiver in 2007, had touchdown catches of 3, 4 and 3 yards against a Sun Belt Conference team the Jayhawks smacked 55-3 a year ago. Briscoe's third TD, on fourth-and-goal from the 3, was a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone after Reesing appeared to have overthrown his wide-open target. The game was played before a school-record crowd of 52,112, breaking the mark of 51,910 which watched the resurgent Jayhawks beat longtime nemesis Nebraska 76-39 last year. It also broke by 4,000 the Memorial Stadium record for a nonconference game. Kansas took a commanding lead with a 23-point second quarter that made it 30-10 at the half. FLORIDA A&M 30, ALABAMA STATE 20 TALLAHASSEE - LeRoy Vann returned a kickoff 99 yards and Eddie Battle ran for a 17-yard touchdown to lead Florida A&M to a win against Alabama State, giving Joe Taylor a win in his debut as head coach. The teams started off quickly, scoring three touchdowns and totaling 250 offensive yards in the first quarter. Florida A&M took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards to take a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Philip Sylvester. Vann's return with 2:56 left in the second quarter broke a 14-14 tie, and Florida A&M led the rest of the game. Taylor took over as Florida A&M coach this year after 16 years at Hampton. He replaced Rubin Carter, who was fired after the Rattlers finished 3-8 last season.