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LIBERTY BOWL

No. 23 Colorado State vs. No. 22 Louisville

COACHES: Colorado State _ Sonny Lubick (66-29, eighth season). Louisville _ John L. Smith (23-12, third season).

LINE: Colorado State by 1{.

NOTES: The schools have never met. The Cardinals were fourth in the nation against run (79.9) and Rams were 67th in rushing (137.7). With the running game stalled, Rams QB Matt Newton (2,405 passing, 19 TDs, 13 interceptions) relies on spreading the ball around to WRs Pete Rebstock (46 catches, six TDs), Frank Rice (37 catches) and Joey Cuppari (30 catches, five TDs). Rebstock is sixth in the nation in punt returns (16.7, one TD) and LB Rick Crowell has 120 tackles. In helping Louisville win Conference USA for its first league title in 28 years, QB Dave Ragone (2,621 passing, 27 TDs, 11 interceptions, six TD runs, 61.0 completion percentage) will stretch the field with WRs Arnold Jackson (all-time NCAA receptions leader with 300, 63 this season), Deion Branch (71 catches, nine TDs) and Zek Parker (30 catches, five TDs).

SUN BOWL UCLA vs. Wisconsin

RECORDS: UCLA 6-5, Wisconsin 8-4.

COACHES: UCLA _ Bob Toledo (35-22, fifth season). Wisconsin _ Barry Alvarez (78-48-4, 11th season).

LINE: Wisconsin by 5.

NOTES: UCLA leads the series 7-3. Wisconsin defeated the Bruins 38-31 in the 1999 Rose Bowl. The Bruins finished 3-5, yielding 35.2 points per game. The Badgers want to push around a smallish Bruins front seven (88th in nation against run, 186.0, 19 TDs) with speedy RB Michael Bennett (1,598 rushing, 10 TDs) behind a huge line. But QB Brooks Bollinger (1,363 passing, 8 TDs, 7 interceptions) isn't a great passer and WR Nick Davis is suspended after being arrested. CB Jamar Fletcher (led Big Ten with six interceptions) will be challenged by Bruins WRs Freddie Mitchell (68 catches, second in nation with 1,314 yards receiving, eight TDs) and Brian Poli-Dixon (46 catches, five TDs). RB DeShaun Foster (930 rushing, 11 TDs) and QB Cory Paus (2,007 passing, 16 TDs, 7 interceptions) round out offense that was third in Pac-10 in scoring (30.2).

PEACH BOWL No. 15 Ga. Tech vs. LSU

RECORDS: Georgia Tech 9-2, LSU 7-4.

COACHES: Georgia Tech _ George O'Leary (45-27, sixth season). LSU _ Nick Saban (7-4, first season).

LINE: Georgia Tech by 8{.

NOTES: Georgia Tech leads the series 12-5. LSU won the last meeting 7-6 in 1963. The Yellow Jackets' .678 winning percentage in bowl games is best in nation. Tech is 5-1 in bowls since 1985. Jackets QB George Godsey (2,908 passing, 23 TDs, 6 interceptions, 63.6 completion percentage) must adapt to the loss of offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, who became coach at Maryland. Godsey, from Tampa Jesuit, has weapons in WRs Kelly Campbell (58 catches, 10 TDs), Kerry Watkins (26 catches, 18.5 per catch, six TDs) and RB Joe Burns (908 rushing, 12 TDs, 26 catches). Tigers QB Josh Booty (2,123 passing, 17 TDs, 15 interceptions) must avoid mistakes, get time to find WRs Josh Reed (65 catches, 10 TDs), Reggie Robinson (31 catches) and Jerel Myers (five TDs). LSU LB Bradie James, whose father died recently, missed several practices but is scheduled to start.

HOLIDAY BOWL No. 12 Texas vs.

No. 8 Oregon

WHEN/WHERE: 8:30 tonight; San Diego.

COACHES: Texas _ Mack Brown (27-10, third season). Oregon _ Mike Bellotti (47-22, sixth season).

LINE: Texas by 7.

NOTES: Texas leads the series 4-0, winning the last meeting 35-7 in 1971. Under Brown, the Longhorns are 6-7 against ranked teams. In a rout of Texas A&M, Longhorns sophomore QB Chris Simms came of age (18-of-24, 383 passing, three TDs) replacing injured starter Major Applewhite (knee, questionable). Simms is scheduled to start. Freshmen WRs Roy Williams (37 catches, 21.1 per catch, eight TDs) and B.J. Johnson (41 catches, three TDs) can score from anywhere, and RB Hodges Mitchell (1,118 rushing, eight TDs) adds balance. Ducks QB Joey Harrington was 24-of-46 with 333 yards passing with five interceptions and a lost fumble in a loss at Oregon State, which cost Oregon a Rose Bowl berth. RB Maurice Morris (1,106 rushing, 8 TDs, 19 catches), WRs Marshaun Tucker (50 catches, six TDs) and Keenan Howry (47 catches, five TDs) are weapons.

_ Scripps Howard News Service.

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