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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Missouri Sees Why Miami Is No. 1, 55-0

From Times Wire Services

Missouri Coach Woody Widenhofer may have come here thinking about an upset over the top-ranked Miami Hurricanes, but he left town realizing just how tough a task it is.

Starting quarterback Steve Walsh threw 4 touchdown passes and his backup, Craig Erickson, threw 2 as the Hurricanes rolled to their 36th consecutive regular-season victory, a 55-0 romp Saturday over Widenhofer’s Tigers.

“When you talk about upsetting Miami, you better come down here and play a heck of a lot better than we played,” Widenhofer said. “Miami’s got a great football team. . . . I’ve seen nobody better than Miami.”

Said Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson: “Every once in a while you get a game like this where everything happens right for you and everything happens wrong for your opponent. We got a lot of breaks, and we were hitting on all cylinders--offense, defense and the kicking game.”

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Walsh agreed.

“We played almost perfectly except for some turnovers,” he said. “We moved the ball well, and we moved it consistently.”

Walsh threw scoring passes to Rob Chudzinski, Dale Dawkins and Randal Hill as the Hurricanes (4-0) took a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Walsh also combined with Dawkins on a 35-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.

Walsh, yet to lose in 16 starts at Miami, completed 15 of 21 passes for 249 yards despite playing less than a half. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes this season.

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Miami, which has not lost a regular season game since the 1985 season-opener to Florida, led at halftime, 38-0.

Erickson teamed up with Andre Brown on touchdown plays covering 45 yards and 17 yards. Cleveland Gary added a 4-yard scoring run and Carlos Huerta kicked field goals of 34 and 47 yards.

The shutout was the second of the season for Miami, which blanked Florida State, 31-0, in its opener.

Missouri (1-2-1) managed 1 first down and 29 yards offense in the first half, while Miami rolled up 349 yards in the same span.

The Tigers had their best scoring opportunity midway through the second period, after Adrian Jones recovered a fumble at the Miami 13. But Brad Fitzmaurice threw 3 incomplete passes, the last on fourth and 9.

It was Miami’s most lopsided victory in 21 years, dating back to a 58-0 win over Pittsburgh in 1967.

Miami has a week off to prepare for its Oct. 15 date at Notre Dame, while Missouri returns to Big Eight play next week at Kansas State.


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