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Kent State is unable to stop Gophers in 44-0 blowout at home



Published: Fri, September 1, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Running back James Starks scored on an 18-yard run in overtime, opening coach Turner Gill's Buffalo tenure with a win.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

KENT -- Converted linebacker Alex Daniels rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns to lead Minnesota over Kent State 44-0 Thursday night in Glen Mason's return to the school where he got his head coaching start.

Daniels, a highly touted linebacker whom Mason switched to running back following several losses at the position, opened the third quarter by carrying all seven times on a 56-yard touchdown drive.

The sophomore enjoyed wide open running lanes and punished Kent State's defenders with his 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame. He scored on runs of 1, 3 and 6 yards.

After Daniels left, Amir Pinnix scored on a 15-yard run and Justin Valentine on a 2-yard run. Pinnix finished with 114 yards.

The Golden Gophers (1-0) forced six turnovers, including two interceptions by Jamal Harris, to dominate Kent State in what amounted to a tune up for their Sept. 9 game at No. 9 California.

Northwestern 21, Miami (Ohio) 3

OXFORD -- With his number on their helmets and his nickname on their hearts, Randy Walker's players gave him one more tribute.

Erryn Cobb blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, helping Northwestern finally get beyond two months of mourning .

The entire night was a tribute to Walker, the 52-year-old Miami graduate and Northwestern coach who died two months ago of an apparent heart attack. The season opener featured a lot of emotion but no points in the first half.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was Walker's close friend and top assistant, watched his Wildcats find their stride in the second half behind red-shirt quarterback Mike Kafka, who threw a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Terrell Jordan made the Miami fans head for home with a 4-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter that made it 21-3 -- too much for Walker's alma mater to overcome.

Boston College 31, Central Michigan 24

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Matt Ryan threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns and Brian Toal ended Central Michigan's final scoring threat with a late interception.

Central Michigan drove to the Eagles' 34 with under two minutes to play. The Chippewas decided to get tricky, lining up in a strange formation with the center and quarterback at the far hash mark and the rest of the line in the middle of the field.

But the play went awry when redshirt freshman Dan LeFevour forced a throw into traffic near the sideline and was intercepted by Toal.

Buffalo 9, Temple 3, OT

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Running back James Starks scored on an 18-yard run in overtime, opening coach Turner Gill's Buffalo tenure with a win.

Starks finished with 86 yards rushing, his score coming on a sweep to the right, when he scampered untouched into the end zone, sparking a wild on-field celebration that ended with a large crowd of fans charging onto the field.

It was the Bulls' first season-opening victory since 1997 when they were a Division I-AA program. It also marked the first time Buffalo has had a winning record at any point in a season since opening the 1998 season 4-3.




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