West Virginia Rises to the Top

From Associated Press

Jason Colson rushed for two touchdowns at Morgantown, W.Va., in his first career start Saturday to lead No. 24 West Virginia to a 45-28 victory over Temple and a share of its first Big East Conference title since 1993.

Lance Frazier returned a punt for a touchdown and set up another score with an interception for West Virginia, which improved to 8-4 overall, 6-1 in the conference and is expected to head to the Gator Bowl to play Maryland.

For much of Saturday, West Virginia struggled against Temple (1-11, 0-7), which got 117 yards rushing and four touchdowns from quarterback Walter Washington.

West Virginia's Quincy Wilson, the nation's 11th-leading rusher, sat out the game because of a sore right ankle. His backup, Kay-Jay Harris, has a broken finger on his left hand and played sparingly.

Colson, a redshirt freshman, finished with 104 yards in 28 carries in his most extensive appearance this season.


In other games involving teams from the East: Ryan Hart threw a 19-yard touchdown pass and ran three yards for another to lead Rutgers (5-7, 2-5) to a 24-7 victory over Syracuse (5-6, 2-5) in a Big East game at Piscataway, N.J.... Chris Brown brushed off the wind-driven snow and passed to J.B. Gerald for touchdown passes of 13 and 30 yards to lift Colgate (13-0) to a 19-7 victory over Massachusetts (10-3) in the first round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs at Hamilton, N.Y.


Wali Lundy ran for three touchdowns and caught a pass for another to lift Virginia (7-5) to a 35-21 victory over No. 21 Virginia Tech (8-4) at Charlottesville, Va. Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub completed 32 of 46 passes for 358 yards and two touchdown passes.... Bruce Perry rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns and Maryland (9-3, 6-2) rallied for a 41-28 victory over Wake Forest (5-7, 3-5) in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Winston-Salem, N.C. Wake Forest's Chris Barclay rushed for 243 yards in 28 carries, marking the first time in conference history and only the fifth time in NCAA history that opposing backs had more than 200 rushing yards in the same game.... Dustin Almond made up for three interceptions with two touchdown runs and a touchdown pass to lead Southern Mississippi (9-3, 8-0) to a 38-21 victory over East Carolina (1-11, 1-7) to clinch the Conference USA title at Greenville, N.C. The Golden Eagles earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl against Utah on Dec. 31.... J.R. Reed scored on a 96-yard kickoff return and a 45-yard fumble recovery in the third quarter to lead South Florida (6-5, 4-4) to a 21-16 victory over Memphis (8-4, 5-3) in a Conference USA game at Memphis, Tenn.... Robbie Beck ran for three touchdowns and Rice (5-7, 5-3) had 692 rushing yards in a 49-14 victory over Louisiana Tech (5-7, 3-5) in a Western Athletic Conference game at Ruston, La.... Quincy Richard threw for 552 yards and had three of his five touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead Southern (11-1, 6-1) to a 44-41 victory over Grambling State (9-3, 6-1) in the Bayou Classic at New Orleans. Southern clinched the Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division title.


Josh Harris threw for three touchdowns and caught another one to lead No. 22 Bowling Green (10-2, 7-1) to a 31-23 victory over Toledo (8-4, 6-2) at Bowling Green, Ohio, to clinch a spot in the Mid-American Conference title game. Bowling Green will play host to No. 15 Miami of Ohio on Thursday for the conference title.... Brad Smith ran for 195 yards and two long touchdowns and Zack Abron set the school career rushing record and ran for a score as Missouri (8-4, 4-4) rolled to a 45-7 victory over Iowa State (2-10, 0-8) in a Big 12 Conference game at Columbia, Mo. Abron had 46 yards in 11 carries and has 3,061 career yards, surpassing the record of 3,027 set by Brock Olivo in 1994-97.


Robert Merrill ran for 98 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown with 7:18 left, and No. 19 Texas Christian (11-1) held on for a 20-13 victory over winless Southern Methodist (0-12) at Dallas. The Horned Frogs received an invitation to the GMAC Bowl on Dec. 18 and will decide whether to accept in the next few days.... Kevin Kolb passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Anthony Evans rushed for three scores to lead Houston (7-5, 4-4) to a 56-28 victory over Alabama Birmingham (5-7, 4-4) in a Conference USA game at Houston.


Ryan Dinwiddie threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for two scores to lead No. 18 Boise State (11-1, 7-0) to a 56-3 victory over Nevada (6-6, 4-4) at Boise, Idaho, to clinch its second straight WAC championship.... Kurt Nantkes came off the bench and passed for three touchdowns to rally Nevada Las Vegas (6-6, 2-5) to a 35-24 victory over Wyoming (4-8, 2-5) in a Mountain West Conference game at Laramie, Wyo.

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