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Notre Dame Nips Texas In Top 10 Showdown

September 21, 1996

The Notre Dame-Texas game came down to two kicks _ a good one by the Irish and a bad one by the Longhorns.

Jim Sanson kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired Saturday, giving ninth-ranked Notre Dame a 27-24 victory over No. 6 Texas before a record crowd of 83,312 at Austin.

The winning drive started after Texas punter Mark Schultis shanked a 22-yard punt that gave Notre Dame the ball at its 43 with 59 seconds left. Autry Denson ran for 22 yards and Ron Powlus hit Malcolm Johnson with an 11-yard pass to set up Sanson’s kick.

``I was real nervous, but I just wanted a chance,″ said Sanson, who has missed so many kicks in practice that coach Lou Holtz nicknamed him ``Foul Ball.″

Notre Dame (3-0) tied it 24-24 on Denson’s 6-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal with 2:54 left. The Irish started the drive on the Texas 34 after Notre Dame linebacker Lyron Cobbins intercepted a tipped pass by James Brown with 6:47 remaining.

``This hurts so much. Mistakes killed us,″ said Texas fullback Ricky Williams, who ran 17 times for 107 yards.

In other Top 25 games, it was No. 5 Penn State 41, Temple 0; No. 7 Ohio State 72, Pittsburgh 0; No. 13 Alabama 17, Arkansas 7; No. 18 Virginia Tech 30, Rutgers 14; and No. 20 Virginia 42, Wake Forest 7.

In late games, it was No. 1 Nebraska at No. 17 Arizona State; No. 4 Florida at No. 2 Tennessee; Boston College at No. 8 Michigan; Georgia Tech at No. 11 North Carolina; No. 21 LSU at No. 13 Auburn; No. 15 Southern Cal at Houston; No. 16 Kansas State at Rice; No. 19 Iowa at Tulsa; No. 23 Syracuse at Minnesota; Arizona at No. 24 Washington; and No. 25 Oregon at Washington State.


No. 5 Penn State 41, Temple 0

At East Rutherford, Aaron Harris ran for two touchdowns and made key blocks to set up two other scores as Penn State (4-0) recorded its second straight shutout. The Lions extended their unbeaten streak against the Owls (1-3) to 29 games, including 21 victories in a row.

No. 7 Ohio St. 72, Pittsburgh 0

At Columbus, Ohio State handed Pittsburgh its worst loss ever as Pepe Pearson and freshman David Boston each scored three TDs. The Buckeyes (2-0) scored on their first 10 possessions and outgained the Panthers 602-120 in total yards.

No. 13 Alabama 17, Arkansas 7

At Little Rock, Freddie Kitchens threw a 29-yard pass to set up Brian Cunningham’s 31-yard field goal, then completed three big passes for Alabama (4-0, 2-0 SEC) in the closing minutes. Arkansas (0-2, 0-1) didn’t cross midfield until midway through the fourth quarter.

No. 18 Va. Tech 30, Rutgers 14

At Blacksburg, freshman Shayne Graham kicked three second-half field goals as Virginia Tech (3-0, 2-0 Big East) extended its winning streak to 13 games. Rutgers (1-3, 0-2) lost its third straight.

No. 20 Virginia 42, Wake Forest 7

At Winston-Salem, Tiki Barber rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown as Virginia (3-0, 2-0 ACC) beat Wake Forest (2-2, 0-2) for the 13th straight time. The Cavaliers held the Demon Deacons to minus-45 yards rushing.

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