1. Archive

Troy State (5-1) at Central Florida (5-2)


When/where: 1 p.m., Citrus Bowl, Orlando.

Key matchup: UCF's offense vs. Troy State's defense. The Knights need to snap a trend of low-scoring games against Troy State if they are to win and keep their Division I-AA playoff hopes alive. UCF has averaged 15.5 points in its past two games against Troy State, but this group is averaging 35.1 points. Behind QB Darin Hinshaw and RB Marquette Smith, the Knights have scored in nine consecutive quarters and have been shut out in just one period in the past five games. UCF is averaging 432.2 yards, while the Trojans are allowing 346.7 yards and 21.0 points per game.

Guess what?: This is UCF's homecoming. The Knights recorded their second Division I-A victory last week, 33-16 over Northeast Louisiana. Troy QB Jeremey Rowell has thrown for 996 yards and rushed for nine TDs. Smith has three 100-yard games this season, but all have been on the road. Opponents have totaled only 16 points against UCF in the first quarter. Hinshaw needs just one TD pass to top Florida's Shane Matthews as the state's all-time leader in that category.

The last word: Smith says, "It's do or die, no question about it. We must beat Troy State. Our backs are up against the wall. There's things we wish we wouldn't have done, but we can't look at the past, we have to look at the future."

Albany State (6-1) vs. B-CC (2-5)

When/where: 4 p.m., Municipal Stadium, Daytona Beach.

Key matchup: B-CC QB Tony Kerrin vs. Albany State's secondary. Division II Albany State went undefeated in the regular season last year, but this season's Rams have a weaker secondary. Albany State does have DB Junior Sneed (32 tackles, 3 INTs). Kerrin (1,522 yards, 11 TDs, 10 INTs) is capable of a big day, but he must avoid interceptions. His prime targets will be WRs John Jones (38-323 yards) and Morris Nobles (29-479 yards).

Guess what?: Bethune has lost its past five games, including two-point losses to Delaware State and South Carolina State. The Wildcats opened with a no-huddle offense against S.C. State last week and drove 75 yards for a 3-0 lead. DB Mario Cooper had 13 tackles against the Bulldogs last week, the most a B-CC player has recorded this season. QB Sultan Cooper is seventh in the nation among Division II quarterbacks (158.1 rating), and running back Antonio Leroy has rushed for 760 yards. The Rams are ranked 15th in the Division II poll.

Memorable moment: As a player, B-CC coach Cy McClairen helped the Wildcats to a 54-0 victory against Albany State in 1952.

Florida A&M (4-2) vs. S.C. State (5-2)

When/where: 8 p.m., Citrus Bowl, Orlando.


Radio: WTMP-AM 1150.

Key matchup: FAMU QB Ray Domingo and the Rattlers' offense vs. S.C. State DE Anthony Cook and the Bulldogs' defense. S.C. State averages 23.8 points, so it may be difficult for the FAMU defense to pull out a victory by itself, which it practically did against Delaware State last week. That means Domingo (1,135 yards, 6 TDs) and company will have to counterpunch, but standing in the way is Cook, the 1993 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year who has eight sacks this season. Despite Cook's presence, the Bulldogs have been susceptible, allowing 22 or more points in five of seven games.

Guess what?: With only one conference loss, a victory tonight would give the Rattlers an excellent shot at a share of the MEAC title because their last two conference games are against cellar dwellers Morgan State and Bethune-Cookman. The Bulldogs are the only team without a conference loss. S.C. State QB Marvin Marshall has been named MEAC Offensive Player of the Week three times, including last week after throwing for 196 yards and four TDs against B-CC. K Tim Camron is expected to play despite a sprained right ankle.

The last word: FAMU coach Billy Joe says, "They will have some big plays, I just hope we have more."


No. 18 Utah (6-0) vs. No. 12 CSU (7-0)

When: 3:30 p.m.

Line: Colorado State by 2{.

Guess what?: Before we get a potential unbeaten matchup between Colorado and Nebraska next week or Auburn-Alabama next month, we have the Utes and Rams today.

This marks the first time two undefeated Western Athletic Conference teams have met this late in the season.

The winner will have a one-game lead in the WAC and the inside track on the league's Holiday Bowl berth. No WAC team has finished a season undefeated since Brigham Young won the national championship in 1984.

The last word: "This game will be as big for us here as any Orange Bowl game," said Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick, an assistant at Miami when the Hurricanes won two national championships. "For our players, it's probably bigger in some ways because they've never been in a game like this. They will be so keyed up. We'll have to calm them down a little."

No. 19 K-State (4-1) at No. 2 Colo. (6-0)

When: 7 p.m.


Line: Colorado by 14.

Guess what?: The Wildcats took their shot at Nebraska last week and came up short. This is their last chance to make a difference in the Big Eight. Kansas State's timing couldn't be better in terms of catching Colorado off-guard. The Buffs are coming off a month of high-profile games against Michigan, Texas and Oklahoma, and they have Nebraska next week.

Heisman watch: Tune in to see Colorado's Hashaan Salaam.

No. 15 UNC (5-1) at No. 25 Va. (5-1)

When: Noon.

Line: Virginia by 3{.

Guess what?: In the old days, this would have been a huge game. Old days being defined as any season before Florida State arrived in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"If Florida State had not come into the league, this would be for the ACC championship," Virginia linebacker Randy Neal said. "It is the biggest game either one of us has left on the schedule."

As it is, the winner of this game moves up in the polls and perhaps moves into position for a major bowl bid.

A tip if you're trying to pick the winner: Virginia's George Welsh is 8-3-1 vs. North Carolina while Mack Brown is 1-5 against the Cavaliers.

No. 11 Michigan (4-2) at Illinois (4-2)

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Line: Michigan by 3.

Guess what?: The Wolverines lost by seven to the No. 1 team in the nation and lost on a last-second desperation pass to the No. 2 team in the nation. And they're getting grilled in Ann Arbor. "The one thing that bothers me is that you have kids going out and playing a game and when I hear them get criticized, it just makes me sick," Michigan coach Gary Moeller said.

_ Compiled by staff writers Ernest Hoopr and John Romano