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Colorado Returns Favor Against Colorado State

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From Associated Press

Last year in its showdown against rival Colorado State, the Colorado defensive backs were burned for touchdown passes of 52, 42, 34 and 30 yards.

In Saturday’s rematch, the Colorado secondary returned fire with four interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns and one that set up another score in a 41-14 rout of No. 24 Colorado State at Denver.

“A year ago the secondary gave up four big plays,” Colorado Coach Gary Barnett said. “This year they made four big plays. We were able to limit their running game enough to where we forced them to throw it.”

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Defensive backs Donald Strickland and Michael Lewis returned interceptions 31 and 41 yards, respectively, for scores as Colorado avenged two consecutive losses to Colorado State.

The Buffaloes (1-1) outgained the Rams, 410-294. Bobby Purify ran for 191 yards and Chris Brown added 121 for Colorado, which finished with 315 yards rushing.

Colorado overcame a trying week during which the players and coaches were criticized after a season-opening 24-22 loss to Fresno State and running back Marcus Houston complained of disparaging remarks made by an athletic department official.

The developments proved not to be a distraction, as Strickland returned his interception less than a minute into the game and Purify added a scoring run for a 14-0 lead.

“Our kids withstood all the firestorms of the last week,” Barnett said. “I don’t think they were distracted at all with what went on. We stayed together and stayed focused.”

No. 5 Texas 41, New Mexico State 7--Chris Simms threw two touchdown passes at Austin, Texas, but otherwise forced his way through an erratic game as the Longhorns narrowly missed their first season-opening shutout since 1978.

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“I wasn’t thrilled with my performance. It’s not always going to go the way you want,” said Simms, who was 17 of 33 for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

Walter Taylor rushed for 113 yards for New Mexico State (0-2).

No. 4 Nebraska 42, Troy State 14--The Cornhuskers had eight sacks while holding the Division I-A newcomer Trojans to 165 yards at Lincoln, Neb.

The Huskers (2-0), who held Texas Christian to 187 yards of offense last week, needed a solid defensive performance for the second week. Nebraska gave up only two yards in the second half and its offense added two touchdowns.

Nebraska plays host to No. 18 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Bowling Green 20, Missouri 13--Joe Alls scored on a two-yard run with 3:40 to go as the Falcons scored an upset at Columbia, Mo.

Missouri was flat in Gary Pinkel’s debut, gaining only 71 yards in the first half and 234 overall. Pinkel spent the previous 10 years at Toledo, which beat Bowling Green, 51-17, in his final game there before signing a five-year deal at Missouri.

Bowling Green, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1994, won a nonconference game on the road to open the season for the first time since 1983. Last year, the Falcons lost their three nonconference games by a combined score of 107-37.

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Southern Mississippi 17, Oklahoma State 9--Jeff Kelly passed for 277 yards and a touchdown as the Golden Eagles spoiled Les Miles’ coaching debut with the Cowboys at Hattiesburg, Miss.

It was Coach Jeff Bower’s second victory over his former team. Bower was an assistant at Oklahoma State in 1990 before taking the head coaching job at his alma mater.

Texas A&M; 38, McNeese State 24--Mark Farris ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Aggies overcame a 16-point deficit at College Station, Texas.

The Aggies were surprised in the first half when two miscues by Farris helped the Division I-AA Cowboys take a 16-0 lead.

The Aggies rallied with 10 second-quarter points on a one-yard run by Joe Weber and a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the half by Cody Scates.

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