Charlie Whitehurst threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Browning in the second overtime that lifted No. 15 Clemson to a 37-30 victory over Wake Forest yesterday in Clemson, S.C.
The Tigers (1-0 ACC) led 19-3 early in the second quarter and looked intent on beating the Demon Deacons as thoroughly as Clemson got beat in a 45-17 defeat at Wake Forest a season ago.
But the Deacons (0-1) rallied for 24 straight points and led 27-19 after Chris Barclay's 50-yard touchdown run with 12 minutes 20 seconds left in the game.
The Tigers rediscovered their offense when it counted.
Whitehurst, starting at his 22-yard line with 6 minutes 35 left, completed passes of 16 and 19 yards to Chansi Stuckey, then hit Airese Currie with an eight-yard completion to get inside the Wake 10-yard line. A pass interference call on fourth and goal kept the drive alive and Yusef Kelly leaped over the pile from a yard out with for Clemson's first points in nearly 40 minutes.
Kelvin Grant pulled down the tying conversion on a perfectly lofted ball into the left corner of the end zone to send the game into overtime.
The teams traded field goals in the first extra session. Then Whitehurst found Browning on a screen pass to give Clemson the lead.
"Once I caught the ball and turned around, I knew I had to get to the end zone," Browning said. "It was just a good feeling because Coach [Tommy] Bowden during the timeout told me to go win it for us."
* WEST VIRGINIA 56, EAST CAROLINA 23: Kay-Jay Harris rushed for a school-record 337 yards and four touchdowns to lead the No. 10 Mountaineers in Morgantown, W. Va.
Harris broke the school record of 291 yards set by Kerry Marbury in 1971 against Temple. It also was a Big East record, eclipsing the mark of 299 set by Miami's Edgerrin James in 1998 against UCLA.
Jason Colson added two scores as West Virginia's platoon rushing attack continued the Mountaineers' recent dominance of East Carolina in the opener for both teams.
* MICHIGAN 43, MIAMI (OHIO) 10: In Ann Arbor, Mich., freshman Chad Henne threw two touchdowns in a surprising start for the eighth-ranked Wolverines, who ended the nation's longest winning streak. Matt Gutierrez was supposed to start, but he was relegated to holding on kicks because of a sore arm. The RedHawks (1-1) had won 14 straight, 13 times last year with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
* GEORGIA 48, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 28: Danny Ware rushed for 135 yards and three touchdown in his college debut, leading the No. 3 Bulldogs, at home, over the Division I-AA Eagles. Ware was the first freshman running back to start his first game at Georgia since 1943, and he was up to the task against an overmatched opponent.
* CALIFORNIA 56, AIR FORCE 14: J.J. Arrington ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and Aaron Rodgers threw for 208 yards and a touchdown to help the No. 13 Golden Bears pull away in the second half for the road victory.
* WISCONSIN 34, CENTRAL FLORIDA 6: In Madison, Wis., John Stocco threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in his first start for the No. 21 Badgers.
Anthony Davis rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin but left late in the first half after taking a hard hit at the end of a 21-yard run. The school didn't announce details of Davis's injury.
* OKLAHOMA 40, BOWLING GREEN 24: Kejuan Jones rushed for a career-high 148 yards and a touchdown and Mark Clayton caught two of Jason White's three touchdown passes, leading the No. 2 Sooners at home. White, the 2003 Heisman Trophy winner, completed 21 of 31 passes for 238 yards, but also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
* OHIO ST. 27, CINCINNATI 6: Lydell Ross rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown, and the No. 9 Buckeyes stymied the Bearcats in Columbus, Ohio. Justin Zwick, seeing his first substantial playing time at quarterback, threw two interceptions and had four fumbles in a rough outing. He completed 14 of 26 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown.
* AUBURN 31, LA.-MONROE 0: Jason Campbell passed for two touchdowns and Carnell Williams ran for 103 yards as the No. 17 Tigers unveiled a new offense in their home victory.
The Tigers' West Coast offense sputtered at times but still fared better than in last year's opening defeat to Southern California, in which Auburn was shut out.
Williams carried 23 times and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass but was mostly contained by a Louisiana-Monroe defense geared toward stopping the run.
* IOWA 39, KENT ST. 7: Drew Tate threw two touchdowns in his first start and the No. 19 Hawkeyes turned in a dominating defensive performance in the season opener in Iowa City.
Iowa held the Golden Flashes to 110 total yards and minus-13 yards rushing.
Kent State, playing without suspended quarterback Joshua Cribbs (Dunbar High), crossed midfield just once, late in the third quarter.
* MISSOURI 52, ARKANSAS ST. 20: Brad Smith threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards and another score to help the No. 18 Tigers roll in Columbia, Mo., in the season opener for both teams.
* KANSAS ST. 27, W. KENTUCKY 13: Darren Sproles ran for 221 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries, leading the No. 12 Wildcats to a home victory in the season opener for both teams.
* MINNESOTA 63, TOLEDO 21: Bryan Cupito went 10 of 12 for 279 yards and a touchdown in his first start to lead the No. 25 Golden Gophers in Minneapolis.
Minnesota finished with 704 total yards, the second most in school history. The record is 742, set in 1982 against Ohio.
* TEXAS 65, NORTH TEXAS 0: Cedric Benson ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 7 Longhorns revved up their punishing rushing attack in Austin.
Benson, who ranks third in career yards at Texas behind Heisman Trophy winners Ricky Williams and Earl Campbell, had 141 yards as Texas cruised to a 44-0 halftime lead.
By then, about the only thing worth sticking around for was to watch Texas retire Bevo XIII, the massive steer mascot that has stood on the Horns' sideline for 16 years. In his place comes Bevo XIV, also known as "Sunrise Studly."