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Garcia, South Carolina roll

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Quarterback Stephen Garcia and freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore each ran for two touchdowns and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier won his 18th straight college opener, 41-13 over Southern Miss on Thursday.

Garcia, a former Jefferson High standout, got things started with a 22-yard touchdown run, and Lattimore followed with first-half scores of 3 and 7 yards to send the Gamecocks past the Golden Eagles.

"We're going to come in and watch film (today)," Garcia said. "I hope I played pretty well. I think I did."

Sophomore Alshon Jeffery had 106 receiving yards, and freshman Ace Sanders had a 53-yard rush — the Gamecocks' longest in four years — to set up Lattimore's first score.

"Yeah, it was a good, solid game for us," Spurrier said. "But we've got to get a lot better if we're going to make a run or have a big year."

Gamecocks standout tight end Weslye Saunders, a central figure in an investigation for possible contact with agents, did not play because of an unrelated team suspension.

Then South Carolina scratched two starters — left tackle Jarriel King and cornerback Chris Culliver — just before kickoff. The athletic department did not say why.

Big East: Pitt falls at Utah in overtime

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah freshman Brian Blechen intercepted a pass on the first play of overtime, setting up Joe Phillips for a 21-yard field goal that gave the Utes a 27-24 victory against No. 15 Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh rallied with 14 points in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime on Dan Hutchins' 30-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.

Utah won the toss and elected to play defense, and Blechen bolted in front of Pitt receiver Mike Shanahan and grabbed Tino Sunseri's pass at the sideline.

Utah's Jordan Wynn passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Jereme Brooks.

rutgers 31, norfolk st. 0: Joe Martinek carried 20 times for 109 yards and a touchdown, and Tom Savage completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards and a score, leading the host Scarlet Knights. Martinek, a junior tailback, eclipsed 100 yards for the fifth time in his career.

Top 25

No. 2 Ohio St. 45, Marshall 7: Terrelle Pryor tossed three touchdown passes, Brandon Saine rushed for 103 yards and two scores, and the host Buckeyes opened the season by rolling over the error-prone Thundering Herd.

Pryor completed 17 of 25 passes for 247 yards and touchdowns covering 6 and 11 yards to DeVier Posey and 65 yards to Dane Sanzenbacher in front of 105,040 at Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes then turned their attention to a Sept. 11 visit from Miami.

"It'll be wild to be in that game," Sanzenbacher said. "It's a relief that finally we can talk about Miami."

In the debut for coach Doc Holliday, a former Florida assistant, Marshall fumbled the opening kickoff and was down 14-0 before running its first play in Ohio State territory.

ACC

Wake 53, Presbyterian 13: Ted Stachitas had 160 total yards in his first start at quarterback and the host Demon Deacons had six rushing touchdowns in the opener for both teams. Receiver Devon Brown took an end-around 85 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, the fourth-longest rush in Wake Forest history.

State

Florida Atlantic 32, UAB 31: The visiting Owls blocked a 28-yard field-goal attempt on the final play. Alfred Morris scored on a 38-yard run with 2:20 left for FAU, which trailed 28-12 midway through the third quarter. David Isabelle had 214 yards rushing, a UAB game record for a quarterback.

Nation

minnesota 24, middle tenn. 17: Duane Bennett rushed for a career-high 187 yards and Jon Hoese scored three touchdowns to lead the visiting Gophers to a grinding season-opening win. Bennett became the first 100-yard rusher for the Gophers since 2008.

georgia state wins debut: Parris Lee scored the first touchdown in Georgia State history and the Panthers won their inaugural game, beating Shorter 41-7 in front of 30,237 at the Georgia Dome. Georgia State outdrew the major-league Braves, who played the Mets about 2 miles away at Turner Field in front of an announced 24,893. "I love Georgia State football!" screamed a fan sitting near the end zone, throwing his arms in the air. The game marked the return to coaching for Bill Curry, 67, who had not been on the sideline since being forced out by Kentucky in 1996.

alabama: The NCAA declared defensive end Marcell Dareus ineligible for two games for accepting improper benefits during a trip to Miami. He was ordered to repay $1,787 to a charity of his choice before regaining eligibility. The Crimson Tide opens Saturday night against San Jose State, then hosts No. 19 Penn State.

iowa: Kirk Ferentz became the highest-paid Big Ten coach, agreeing to a five-year extension through 2020 that bumps his salary from about $3 million per season to nearly $3.7 million, starting immediately.

Nebraska: Linebacker Will Compton will likely miss Saturday's opener against Western Kentucky with a foot injury sustained at practice. Offensive lineman Brandon Thompson is out with an unspecified injury.

north carolina: Receiver Greg Little won't travel to Atlanta for the opener against LSU due to an NCAA investigation, the Associated Press reported.

notre dame: David Ruffer will be the No. 1 kicker for the opener against Purdue on Saturday, beating out Nick Tausch.

Texas: Freshman linebacker Tevin Jackson is ineligible to play and can't enroll in school because he has not been cleared by the NCAA. The university said there is an issue with Jackson's high school transcript. Officials plan to work to get him enrolled.

S.C. 41

S. Miss 13

Garcia, South Carolina roll 09/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 3, 2010 1:28am]

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