South Carolina had the run-and-shoot passing offense, but Miami did most of the running, shooting, passing and scoring Saturday night.
With Melvin Bratton scoring two of his three touchdowns on first-quarter runs of 34 and 12 yards following interceptions by Bennie Blades, the third-ranked Hurricanes opened their season at Columbia, S.C., by rolling to a 34-14 victory.
“This was a good ballgame to open the season with, but not a great game,” Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson said. “Overall I am happy with the performance. About the run-and-shoot, we didn’t really know what to expect. We treated it like the wishbone and did what we could.”
Bratton, a 217-pound junior, carried 10 times for 105 yards and teamed with quarterback Vinny Testaverde and wide receiver Michael Irvin, who hooked up for 6 completions totaling 101 yards.
Overall, Testaverde completed 17 of 30 passes for 231 yards, including a third-period screen pass to Alonzo Highsmith for a 17-yard touchdown.
The Hurricanes’ defense provided a rude inaugural for South Carolina’s new wide-open attack, which features four wide receivers and lots of motion.
Miami held the Gamecocks without a first down on six of their eight first-half possessions.
Florida 38, Georgia Southern 14--Quarterback Kerwin Bell passed for three touchdowns and ran for another at Gainesville, Fla., to lead the 13th-ranked Gators past last season’s Division I-AA champions.
Bell, who finished second to Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh in passing efficiency last season as a sophomore, completed 14 of 23 passes for 160 yards.
He scored on a 16-yard run just 1:27 into the game and added touchdown passes of 28 yards to Ricky Nattiel, 9 yards to Eric Hodges and 3 yards to freshman Darrell Woulard.
Wayne Williams scored on an 8-yard run, and Jeff Dawson kicked a 28-yard field goal for Florida.
Air Force 24, Hawaii 17--Sophomore quarterback Troy Calhoun, in his first starting assignment, scored from five yards out with 7:07 left to lead the Falcons to a Western Athletic Conference victory over Hawaii.
Playing before a home crowd of 46,242 at Colorado Springs, Colo., Air Force dominated play in the first half by building a 16-3 lead on field goals of 37, 22 and 28 yards by Mike Johnson and a four-yard run by Pat Evans.
But Hawaii scored on a 31-yard field goal by Rodrigo Valverde with time running out at the half, and then dominated the third period, taking a 17-16 lead on a pair of two-yard runs by fullback Dan Krowell.
With eight minutes remaining, however, Hawaii’s Kyle Ahloo took a low snap and hurried his punt, which covered only 16 yards.
This gave Air Force possession at the Hawaii 41.
Calhoun immediately threw 23 yards to wide receiver Tyrone Jeffcoat and, four plays later, ran off the left side for the clinching score.
Kansas St. 35, W. Illinois 7-- At Manhattan, Kan., Randy Williams threw two touchdown passes and Robert Easterwood intercepted three passes to make a success of the K-State coaching debut of Stan Parrish.
The Wildcats led at halftime, 28-0, more points than they scored in any one game during last season’s 1-10 campaign. It was K-State’s first home victory since the final game of the 1984 season.
Texas El Paso 64, N. Michigan, 29--Quarterback Sammy Garza completed 36 of 49 passes for 457 yards and 6 touchdowns, and tailback John Harvey added 128 yards and 3 touchdowns as a crowd of 26,510 turned out at El Paso to see the Miners, under new Coach Bob Stull, win their first season opener since 1983.
Louisiana Tech 22, Tulsa 17--Garlon Powell’s 59-yard touchdown run, his second score of the game, rallied Louisiana Tech to victory at Tulsa, Okla.
Tulsa was leading 17-15 when Powell, who finished with 129 yards, broke through the left side of the line in the third quarter.
Appalachian St. 17, W. Carolina 13--At Boone, N.C., John Settle rushed for 103 yards in 36 carries and scored 2 touchdowns to carry Appalachian State to a come-from-behind victory over its Southern Conference rival.