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WR catches TD in 14th straight game

11/1/2003

BOSTON -- Larry Fitzgerald knew the play would work. After
all, it worked all week in practice.

Fitzgerald set an NCAA record with a touchdown catch in his 14th
straight game -- a 35-yard halfback option pass late in the fourth
quarter that helped Pittsburgh (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) beat Boston College 24-13 on
Saturday.

"Every time we practiced it, it was pretty much the same
thing," Fitzgerald said. "The scout squad would bite on it."

Tailback Jawan Walker threw the TD pass, and also ran for a
score and caught a 47-yard scoring pass to lead the Panthers (6-2,
3-0 Big East). Rod Rutherford finished 24 of 37 for 329 yards, and
Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 156 yards.

Fitzgerald set a record, but coach Walt Harris also praised
Walker.

"I'd say he had quite a good afternoon," Harris said. "He did
an outstanding job."

Derrick Knight carried 19 times for 119 yards, giving him
consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for Boston College (5-4, 1-3).

"To get it on a day like today, a day that didn't go our way,
it is tough," Knight said.

With Pittsburgh trailing 13-10, Walker took a screen pass, broke
through the middle and raced down the left sideline to move the
Panthers ahead with 13:39 to go.

The Eagles appeared to have taken the lead back on the ensuing
possession when Knight ran 41 yards for a score. But the play was
called back by a holding penalty at the Panthers' 19.

On the following possession, Walker took a handoff, rolled right
and threw to a wide open Fitzgerald, who trotted into the end zone
for the score. It was his 28th TD catch in his first two seasons,
also an NCAA record.

"They bit up on the play. That was beautiful," Pittsburgh
defensive end Claude Harriott said. "We had it all in our minds
that we wanted to keep the record going."

Fitzgerald, a sophomore, has caught 24 TD passes during the
streak, and needs one to tie Julius Dawkins' single-season,
school-record of 16 set in 1981.

"I wouldn't say it was the easiest, but probably the most wide
open," he said. "It's something that you really don't think
about. I'll probably think about it five, 10 years from now."

Fitzgerald explained that he just tried to make it look like any
other running play before breaking into the secondary.

"I was just thinking about going out there and executing," he
said.

"He's very, very smart," said BC defensive back Will Blackmon,
who was matched up with Fitzgerald most of the day.

The Eagles led 13-10 at the half after Sandro Sciortino's
23-yard field goal.

Pittsburgh went ahead 10-3 lead on Walker's scoring run, but BC
tied it on Horace Dodd's 1-yard TD run.

Sciortino's 34-yard field goal gave BC a 3-0 edge, but
Pittsburgh tied it on David Abdul's 32-yard field goal.

Abdul missed a 43-yard attempt late in the first half and a
26-yard try late in the third quarter.

Knight's first rush of the game gave him 1,000 yards and moved
him over 3,000 for his career. It is the sixth straight year BC has
had a running back with at least 1,000 yards.

BC's Quinton Porter completed 12 of 29 passes for 186 yards.