CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Florida State has handed out its share of beatings since joining the ACC in 1992. North Carolina returned the favor Saturday in one of the biggest wins in its 111 years of football.
“I haven”t even got a speech for this,” Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said as his Seminoles (No. 6 AP, No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, ) turned the ball over five times in a stunning 41-9 loss.
“They got what they deserved a win and we got what we deserved a loss. We”re not good enough to play like this.”
The defeat was a major jolt to Bowden”s program, which had been to the national title game each of the last three years.
“This team has to decide what it wants to do,” Bowden said. “I didn”t see anything that resembled poise, I didn”t see any execution. I think it was a complete breakdown.”
The Tar Heels, 0-3 and a 17-point underdog, used a 34-point second half to stun Bowden”s Seminoles (1-1 ACC, 2-1 overall).
“I jumped around with everybody else,” North Carolina senior quarterback Ronald Curry said when asked what he did after the game. “I”m still a kid especially at heart.”
North Carolina also limited Florida State to just 11 first downs and 34 second-half yards.
“We felt like we could dominate their offense from the first play of the game,” linebacker David Thornton said. “Their offense wasn”t too complicated and we felt like we had the speed and the talent up front to go out and be aggressive and attack all game.”
Julius Peppers intercepted Chris Rix, sacked him twice and made nine tackles to lead a stellar Carolina defensive effort.
Oregon 24, Southern Cal 22: This rivalry between Oregon and Southern California became even more heated when the two sides scuffled before their game Saturday. It promises to be downright intense next time they meet.
Steve Smith returned one of his three interceptions for a 38-yard TD in the second quarter.
Jared Siegel kicked a 32-yard field goal with 12 seconds left as the seventh-ranked Ducks pulled off yet another breathtaking victory over USC, 24-22 Saturday night. It was Oregon”s unprecedented fourth straight over the Trojans.
“There”s obviously still some magic at Autzen Stadium,” Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. “Our kids just believe they”re going to win, and they find a way.”
Steve Smith had three interceptions, and Joey Harrington directed his eighth career fourth-quarter comeback for the Ducks (1-0 Pac-10, 3-0 overall), who extended their home winning streak to 23.
“I think (Harrington) wants to be an actor, because he always likes to do that final scene, that curtain call,” Bellotti said.
Carson Palmer had one of the best passing games in Southern Cal history, throwing for 411 yards to lead a furious comeback by the Trojans (0-1, 1-2).
UCLA 13, Ohio State 6: UCLA linebacker Robert Thomas didn”t need to say a word his wide smile told the story for an often-criticized Bruins” defense. (No. 14 AP, No. 12 ESPN/USA Today) UCLA stymied Ohio State throughout Saturday”s only matchup of Top 25 teams in beating the 21st-ranked Buckeyes 13-6 before an enthusiastic crowd of 73,723 at the Rose Bowl.
“We”ve been through a lot,” said Thomas, a senior who made six tackles five for losses. “The offense has done it in the past, and it was time to pay them back. It”s nice to make plays and celebrate out there.”
The Bruins did an especially good job containing senior quarterback Steve Bellisari, who completed only 5-of-23 passes for 45 yards with two interceptions, netted 15 yards on nine rushing attempts, and refused comment afterward.
“The corners and the safeties did a good job on pass coverage, and the linebackers, we kept our eye on Bellisari,” Thomas said.