Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 1:18 a.m.

Gator Bowl

  • WHO: No. 23 Maryland (9-3) vs. No. 20 West Virginia (8-4).

  • WHERE: Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville.

  • WHEN/TV: 12:30 p.m., NBC.

  • COACHES: Ralph Friedgen (29-8 in third year at Maryland) and Rich Rodriguez (20-16 in third year at West Va.).

  • PAYOUT: Each school receives $1.825 million.

  • BOWL RECORDS: Maryland is 7-10-2. West Va. is 9-13.

  • LAST BOWL APPEARANCE: Maryland beat Tennessee, 30-3, in last year's Peach Bowl. West Virginia lost to Virginia, 48-22, in last year's Continental Tire Bowl.

  • SERIES HISTORY: Maryland leads, 20-19-2.

  • LAST MEETING: Maryland won, 34-7, on Sept. 20.

  • LAST GAME: Maryland won at Wake Forest, 41-28, on Nov. 29. West Virginia beat Temple, 45-28, on Nov. 29

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Under Friedgen, Terps are 3-0 vs. Mountaineers winning by combined score of 114-44.

  • GAME FACTS: Terps must get up for revenge-minded Mountaineers after dominating them (Md. outgained WVU 498 total yards to 156) in Sept in College Park. QB Scott McBrien (58-of-105, 981 passing, 10 TDs, 1 int., 3 TD runs in last 4 games) is riding hot hand. RB Bruce Perry showed what he can when healthy with 237 yards, 3 TDs in win over Wake. LBs Leon Joe, D'Qwell Jackson (128 tackles) are physical hitters. Since tough 22-20 loss at Miami Oct. 2, Mountaineers have won all seven games while averaging 37.7 points per win to gain share of Big East title. RB Quincy Wilson (1,331 rushing, 13 TDs), WR Chris Henry (31 catches, 26.0 per catch, 7 TDs in last 7 games) have keyed surge. QB Rasheed Marshall (1,642 passing, 15 TDs, 8 ints., 3 TD runs) has struggled badly vs. UM (14-of-31, 130 passing, 0 TDs, 2 ints. in last 2 losses). LB Grant Wiley (47-1/2 career tackles for loss) needs two tackles to become all-time leader at WVU.

    Capital One Bowl

  • WHO: No. 12 Purdue (9-3) vs. No. 11 Georgia (10-3).

  • WHERE: Orlando.

  • WHEN/TV: 1 p.m., ABC.

  • COACHES: Joe Tiller (55-31 in 7th year at Purdue) and Mark Richt (31-8 in third year at Georgia).

  • PAYOUT: Each school receives $5.1 million.

  • BOWL RECORDS: Purdue is 7-4. Georgia is 20-15-3.

  • LAST BOWL APPEARANCE: Purdue beat Washington, 34-24, in last year's Sun Bowl. Georgia beat Florida State, 26-13, in last year's Sugar Bowl.

  • SERIES HISTORY: Georgia leads, 1-0.

  • LAST MEETING: Georgia won, 28-25, in the 2000 Outback Bowl.

  • LAST GAME: Purdue won at Indiana, 24-16, on Nov. 22. Georgia lost to LSU, 34-13, in the SEC Championship Game Dec. 6.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Since 1987, Bulldogs are 9-3 in bowls including eight games decided by seven points or less.

  • GAME FACTS: Prior to Tiller, Boilermakers had been to only five bowls. They're now making 7th straight trip under Tiller, whose 3-3 bowl mark is marred by loss to Bulldogs three years ago when 'Boilers blew 25-0 lead as UGA made biggest bowl comeback ever. DE Shaun Phillips (led Big Ten with 13-1/2 sacks), S Stuart Schweigert lead best defense (8th in nation in scoring, 16.0, 10th in total defense, 291.1) Tiller's ever had at PU. WR John Standeford (70 catches, 4 TDs) is Big Ten's all-time leader with 3,677 receiving yards. While Bulldogs offense slumped (67th in nation in scoring, 25.9, down 4.1 points from last year), defense (second in nation in scoring, 13.5, fourth in total defense, 275.9, 7th vs. pass, 170.2, ) remained stout led by S Thomas Davis (110 tackles, 4 sacks), LB Odell Thurman (17 tackles for loss), DE David Pollack. Poor protection hurt QB David Greene (2,980 passing, 10 TDs, 11 ints.), whose 3 ints. vs. LSU in SEC title game summed up frustrating year.

    Rose Bowl

  • WHO: No. 4 Michigan (10-2) vs. No. 1 Southern California (11-1).

  • WHERE: Pasadena, Calif.

  • WHEN/TV: 4:30, ABC.

  • COACHES: Lloyd Carr (86-25 in 9th year at Michigan) and Pete Carroll (28-9 in third year at Southern Cal).

  • PAYOUT: Each school receives $14-17 million.

  • BOWL RECORDS: Michigan is 18-16. Southern Cal is 26-15.

  • LAST BOWL APPEARANCE: Michigan beat Florida, 38-30, in last year's Outback Bowl. Southern Cal beat Iowa, 38-17, in last year's Orange Bowl.

  • SERIES HISTORY: Tied, 4-4.

  • LAST MEETING: Southern Cal won, 17-10, in the 1990 Rose Bowl.

  • LAST GAME: Michigan beat Ohio State, 35-21, on Nov. 22. Southern Cal beat Oregon State, 52-28, on Dec. 6.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Since 1970, Wolverines are 4-9 in Rose Bowl including 1-4 mark vs. Trojans.

  • GAME FACTS: Win likely gives Trojans A.P. national title. Wolverines are anxious to play spoiler in first Rose Bowl since their 1997 national-title season. RB Chris Perry (won Doak Walker award as nation's top RB, 1,589 rushing, 19 TDs) saved his best for Ohio St., bulling his way to 154 yards, 2 TDs. QB John Navarre (3,060 passing, 23 TDs, 9 ints.) has historically struggled in big games on road. Junior WR Braylon Edwards (75 catches, 14 TDs) is mulling over early departure to NFL. CB Jeremy LeSueur faces tough task covering gifted Trojans WR Mike Williams (87 catches, 16 TDs), who has that rare combination of size (6-5, 210 lbs.) and speed. Sophomore QB Matt Leinart (7th in nation in QB rating, 3,229 passing, school-record 35 TDs, 9 ints.) has been big surprise in helping SC score 43 or more points in record 7 straight games. Rock-solid defense (second in nation vs. run, 61.1, 41 turnovers forced) gets DE Omar Nazel back from thumb injury to boost All-America DE Kenechi Udeze (22 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles) DTs Shaun Cody (6 sacks), Mike Patterson.

    Orange Bowl

  • WHO: Florida State (10-2) vs. No. 10 Miami (10-2).

  • WHERE: Pro Player Stadium, Miami.

  • WHEN: 8:30 p.m., ABC.

  • COACHES: Bobby Bowden (269-64-4 in 28th year at FSU) and Larry Coker (34-3 in third year at Miami).

  • PAYOUT: Each school receives $14-17 million.

  • BOWL RECORDS: Florida State is 18-10-2. Miami is 15-12.

  • LAST BOWL APPEARANCE: Florida State lost to Georgia, 26-14, in last year's Sugar Bowl. Miami lost to Ohio State, 31-24 in overtime, in last year's Fiesta Bowl.

  • SERIES HISTORY: Miami leads, 27-20.

  • LAST MEETING: Miami won, 22-14, on Oct. 11.

  • LAST GAME: Florida State won at Florida, 38-34, on Nov. 29. Miami won at Pittsburgh, 28-14, on Nov. 29.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Hurricanes have beaten Seminoles four straight times but have not won five in row over FSU since series' first five games in 1951-57.

  • GAME FACTS: Grudge rematch of two hated rivals that will also open up 2004 season against each other. Seminoles are 18-7-1 in bowls under Bowden but just 3-4 since 1996. QB Chris Rix (6 TD passes, 1 int., TD run in last 2 games) wants to avoid becoming first FSU QB to ever go 0-4 vs. UM. With WR Craphonso Thorpe (broken leg) out, WR P.K. Sam (49 catches, 5 TDs) must step up, along with RBs Greg Jones, Leon Washington (combined 947 rushing, 8 TDs). Defense struggled down stretch giving up 104 points, 1,383 yards in last three games. Hurricanes embattled QB Brock Berlin (2,262 passing, 12 TDs, 15 ints.) has played decently (18-of-31, 281 passing, 3 TDs, 1 int. in last 2 games) since reclaiming his starting job, lost after ugly 3-turnover effort in 10-6 loss to Tennessee Nov. 8. TE Kellen Winslow (55 catches) has 13 catches in last two wins over FSU. Swarming defense forced 5 FSU turnovers, including S Sean Taylor's 50-yard TD return on int., in rain-soaked win Oct. 11. RBs Jarrett Payton, Tyrone Moss ran wild for 246 yards, 3 TDs in clinching Big East title at Pittsburgh.

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