Saturday's TV college games


Published: Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 4:11 a.m.

MICHIGAN (2-2)

at No. 12 MICHIGAN STATE (4-0)

  • KICKOFF: Noon, ABC.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: In losing last two Big Ten road games at Ohio State and Wisconsin, Wolverines have yielded 345 yards rushing, 4 TD runs.

  • GAME FACTS: Wolverines are unranked for first time since 1998. Run defense (7th in Big Ten, 49th in nation, 117.5 ypg) remains big problem. Since poor game in loss to Notre Dame Sept. 10, QB Chad Henne (29-of-43, 405 passing, 5 TDs, 1 int. in last two games) has played well. Run game misses RB Mike Hart (hip, questionable). Says WR Jason Avant ''Potential is a bad word if you don't live up to it.'' That's not a problem for sizzling Spartans (third in nation in total offense, 594.2 ypg, fifth in scoring, 49.0 ppg) led by QB Drew Stanton (79-of-107, leads nation in QB rating, 1,184 passing, 13 TDs, 2 ints., 123 rushing, 1 TD run). Other weapons include RBs Javon Ringer, Jehuu Caulcrick (combined 663 rushing, 7 TDs), WRs Matt Trannon, Kyle Brown (33 catches, 6 TDs). They'll look for revenge for last year when MSU blew 27-10 lead in final seven minutes in crushing loss.

    No. 3 VIRGINIA TECH (4-0)

    at WEST VIRGINIA (4-0)

  • KICKOFF: Noon, ESPN.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Hokies are second in nation in scoring defense (5.7 ppg) and have given up 1 TD in their last 15 quarters.

  • GAME FACTS: Talk about déja vu. Two years ago, Hokies came to Morgantown ranked third but lost, 28-7, in WVU's win over highest ranked team ever. Defense, special teams accounted for 3 TDs in last week's rout of Ga. Tech. QB Marcus Vick (13-of-18, 223 passing, 1 TD, 0 ints. last week) is taking good care of ball. DE Darryl Tapp (3 sacks) leads pressure defense. CB Antonio Lewis sparked somewhat listless effort last week with 76-yard punt return for TD. Tough defense (third in nation in total defense, 221.2 ypg, 10th in scoring, 12.0 ppg) is anchored by S Mike Lorello (3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles), DE Ernest Hunter.

    INDIANA (3-0)

    at No. 17 WISCONSIN (4-0)

  • KICKOFF: Noon, ESPN2.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Hoosiers have lost 13 straight Big Ten road games dating back to 2001.

  • GAME FACTS: Surprising Hoosiers are 3-0 for first time since 1994, a year after IU's last bowl trip. After seeing little duty as freshman, QB Blake Powers (53-of-93., 718 passing, 11 TDs, 3 ints.) has been pleasant surprise while RB Chris Taylor had career-high 176 rushing in 38-14 win over Kentucky Sept. 17. Soft run defense (104th in nation vs. run, 217.3 ypg) must rise up vs. bruising Badgers line or RB Brian Calhoun (third in nation with 626 rushing, leads Big Ten with 9 TDs) will run wild. QB John Stocco (49-of-90, 581 passing, 4 TDs, 2 ints.) capped comeback from 13-3 deficit last week with 4-yard TD run on QB draw with 24 seconds left.

    BAYLOR (3-0)

    at TEXAS A&M (2-1)

  • KICKOFF: 12:30, Fox Sports Net.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Bears have never won a Big 12 road game (0-32), including 16 losses by 30 points or more.

  • GAME FACTS: QB Shawn Bell (56-of-86, 576 passing, 4 TDs, 6 ints.) can't afford to make mistakes vs. Aggies' pressure defense (7 turnovers forced). QB Reggie McNeal (sixth in nation with 1,082 total offense, 8 TD passes, TD run, 1 int. in 54 passes) is best signal-caller in Big 12. S Jaxson Appel, CB Marquis Carpenter (2 ints.) are always around ball.

    SYRACUSE (1-2)

    at No. 7 FLORIDA STATE (3-0)

  • KICKOFF: 3:30, ABC .

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: In last 12 games dating back to last season, Seminoles defense has given up just 11.8 points per game.

  • GAME FACTS: Syracuse new spread offense (104th in the nation in total offense, 280.7 ypg) looks in over its head here. QB Perry Patterson showed signs of life in 27-24 loss to Virginia Sept. 17 going 17-of-26, for 172 yards, TD pass. But he will face withering FSU pass rush here led by DE Lamerion Wimbley, NG Brodrick Bunkley (combined 4 sacks) that has helped force 8 turnovers. With freshman QB Drew Weatherford (53-of-99, 652 passing, 4 TDs, 3 ints.) still a work in progress, look for lots of RBs Leon Washington, Lorenzo Booker (combined 233 rushing, 3 TDs).

    SOUTH CAROLINA (2-2)

    at AUBURN (3-1)

  • KICKOFF: 7, ESPN2.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Since start of 2003, Tigers are 7-1 in SEC home games while giving up just 15.7 points per game.

  • GAME FACTS: Gamecocks QB Blake Mitchell (71-of-109, 916 passing, 7 TDs, 3 ints.) is questionable with sprained ankle. If he can't go, freshman Antonio Heffner (6-of-9, 91 passing, 1 TD, TD run in relief last week) gets start. Running game finally showed signs with freshman RB Mike Davis (78 rushing on 19 carries). After losing opener to Ga. Tech, Tigers got better with 28-0 win over Miss. State Sept. 10 then feasted on laughable patsies Ball State, West. Ky. by combined score of 100-17. Starting QB Brandon Cox (5 TD passes, 4 ints.) missed last week with stomach virus as freshman backup Blake Field (13-of-20, 200 passing, 3 TDs) filled in just fine.

    KANSAS STATE (3-0)

    at OKLAHOMA (1-2)

  • KICKOFF: 9, Fox Sports Net.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Sooners are last in Big 12, 109th in nation in turnover ratio (9 given up, 4 forced).

  • GAME FACTS: RB Thomas Clayton (329 rushing, 7.3 per carry, 3 TDs) will play. Offensive line has been huge disappointment for Sooners as QBs Brett Romar, Paul Thompson have yet to throw a TD pass.

    ARIZONA (1-2)

    at No. 11 CALIFORNIA (3-0)

  • KICKOFF: 7, TBS.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: Dating back to 2003, Bears have won nine straight home games while averaging 39.1 points per game.

  • GAME FACTS: Winning consistently won't happen until 'Cats offense (averaged only 14 points vs. Division I foes last two years) finds some consistency. Bears RBs, Justin Forsett (7th in nation with 511 rushing, 4 TDs), Marshawn Lynch (missed last 2 games with broken finger) could find lots of holes in Wildcats' front seven (100th in nation vs. run, 202.0 ypg). After rough debut, highly-touted juco QB Joe Ayoob (42-of-70, 676 passing, 6 TDs. 1 int. in last 3 games) looks to be settling in fine.

    No. 14 NOTRE DAME (3-1)

    at No. 20 PURDUE (2-1)

  • KICKOFF: 7:45, ESPN.

  • STAT THAT MATTERS: In rolling to win over Fighting Irish last year, Boilermakers rolled up 512 yards, but that was 24 less than ND had in defeat.

  • GAME FACTS: Irish QB Brady Quinn has been terrific last two weeks (combined 58-of-97, 814 passing, 6 TDs. 1 int.) as previously-seldom used WR Jeff Samardzija (21 catches, 6 TDs, 17 catches all of last year) has emerged as go-to guy. After giving up 408 yards passing last week, secondary (105th in nation in pass defense, 294.5 ypg, 6 TDs given up, 4 ints.) has serious problems. Boilermakers aiming for first 3-game winning streak vs. Irish since 1967-69. Defense gave up tying TD, two-point conversion last week as QB Brandon Kirsch (15-of-34, 246 passing, 2 TDs, 2 ints.) struggled with passing game. Sophomore RB Kory Sheets showed breakaway speed on 88-yard run. With LB Bobby Iwuchukwu (sprained knee) doubtful, shakeup of LB corps is possible.

    John Lindsay, Scripps Howard News Service

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