Wyatt Sexton, who earlier this week was inducted into the university's prestigious Golden Key International Honor Society in recognition of his team-best 3.77 grade-point average, threw three touchdown passes in his starting debut yesterday as No. 9 Florida State defeated visiting North Carolina, 38-16.
Florida State (3-1, 2-1 ACC) built a 24-6 lead early in the third quarter, but didn't put the game out of reach until Sexton's 15-yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Stovall completed the scoring with 6 minutes 53 seconds left.
Stovall also caught a five-yard scoring pass in the final minute of the first half that gave Florida State a 21-6 lead at halftime over the Tar Heels (2-3, 1-2).
Sexton, the son of Florida State assistant coach Billy Sexton, showed no signs of the nervousness he said followed him onto the field when he replaced Chris Rix last week.
"I felt comfortable and real at ease with everything today," Sexton said. "I've been waiting my whole life."
Sexton hit 10 of 11 passes to open the game as he took the Seminoles to touchdowns on their first two drives.
* MIAMI 27, GEORGIA TECH 3: Brock Berlin had a career-high three touchdown passes and the No. 4 Hurricanes shut down the turnover-plagued Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-2 ACC) in Atlanta.
"That was probably our most complete game that we've had," Miami Coach Larry Coker said. "I'm very encouraged. I really liked what I saw."
Miami forced four turnovers and has allowed only one offensive touchdown this season.
Frank Gore rushed for 115 yards and, like Berlin, was held out in the fourth quarter when Miami (4-0, 2-0) had the game under control.
* LOUISIANA TECH 28, FRESNO STATE 21: Ryan Moats scored his fourth touchdown with less than four minutes left and finished with in 236 yards rushing to lead the host Bulldogs in an upset of No. 17 Fresno State (3-1, 0-1 WAC).
Moats, who entered as the nation's fifth-leading rusher, scored from 8 yards with 3:20 remaining, helping Tech beat a ranked team for the second time in school history.
* MINNESOTA 16, PENN STATE 7: Laurence Maroney ran for 144 yards and a touchdown and the No. 18 Gophers overcame the visiting Nittany Lions scrappy defense. Minnesota (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) recorded its second straight 5-0 start since 1940-41 and have won four in a row against Penn State. But the Gophers' offense, which entered the game averaging 44 points, stalled frequently against the Lions.
* OKLAHOMA 28, TEXAS TECH 13: Jason White threw three touchdown passes to break the Sooners' career mark and Adrian Peterson added 146 rushing yards and a touchdown, leading No. 2 Oklahoma at home.
White broke Josh Heupel's record in the third quarter with his 54th career touchdown pass. Fullback J.D. Runnels caught White's pass in the right flat and took it into the end zone to put Oklahoma ahead 21-6. Travis Wilson caught his second touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter to make it 28-6.
* TEXAS 44, BAYLOR 14: Cedric Benson ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns and Vince Young passed for two scores as the No. 5 Longhorns cruised in Austin. Benson passed Earl Campbell for second place on the school career rushing list and Young threw his first scoring passes to a wide receiver, both going to Tony Jeffery in the first half.
While rain and an early start kept many fans away, Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) made quick work of the Bears (2-2, 0-1) in its final tuneup before next Saturday's matchup with No. 2 Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout in Dallas.
* FLORIDA 45, ARKANSAS 30: Chris Leak threw for a career-high 322 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 16 Gators held off another late rally to win at home. Florida extended its winning streak against the Razorbacks to five games -- every matchup since Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992.
Florida (3-1, 2-1 SEC) led 38-7 late in the third quarter before the Razorbacks (3-2, 2-1) scored 23 consecutive points. Quarterback Matt Jones, who leads the league in total offense, hurt the Gators running and passing. He scrambled effectively and picked apart Florida's secondary. But he also threw three costly interceptions, including one that ended the rally.
* OKLAHOMA STATE 36, IOWA STATE 7: Vernand Morency rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns and Jason Ricks kicked three field goals to lead the No. 25 Cowboys in Stillwater, Okla. The Cowboys, plus-13 in turnover margin this season, forced four Cyclones (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) fumbles and used stingy defense to set up short scoring drives as they improved to 4-0.
Jamie Thompson caused two fumbles and recovered another for Oklahoma State (1-0).
* WISCONSIN 24, ILLINOIS 7: Tailback Anthony Davis's return from an eye injury sparked the No. 20 Badgers' stagnant offense and the Wisconsin defense was as stout as ever in a win in Madison. Davis rushed 27 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns in his first action in a month and the Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) held their fifth straight opponent to a touchdown or less.
* LOUISVILLE 59, EAST CAROLINA 7: Eric Shelton ran for 129 yards and tied a Cardinals record with five touchdowns on the ground to lead No. 22 Louisville at home.
The Cardinals (4-0, 2-0 Conference USA) piled up 549 yards overall on the nation's second-worst defense and reached 40 points for the seventh time in 17 games under second-year coach Bobby Petrino.
* MICHIGAN 35, INDIANA 14: Chad Henne threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and Leon Hart returned a punt 76 yards for a score to help the No. 19 Wolverines rout host Indiana. Michigan (4-1, 2-0) retained a share of the Big Ten lead by winning its third straight game and 13th in a row against the Hoosiers since 1987.
* CALIFORNIA 49, OREGON STATE 7: The Golden Bears (3-0, 1-0 Pacific-10) jumped out to a 28-7 lead before halftime and never let up in a rout of the Beavers (1-4, 0-2) in Corvallis, Ore. Chase Lyman had five catches for a career-high 176 yards and three touchdowns, and Aaron Rodgers completed 12 of 16 passes for 140 yards and three scores.
* BOISE STATE 38, SMU 20: Jared Zabransky threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No. 23 Broncos at home, extending the longest winning streak in the nation to 16 games. Zabransky completed 20 of 31 passes before leaving after three quarters and Boise State (5-0, 2-0 Western Athletic) won at home for the 22nd straight time.