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Thursday, 04 September 2008 13:34
NCAAF Headline News

 Central Michigan (1-0) at No. 2 Georgia (1-0), 3:30 p.m. (FSN South)
Line: Georgia by 23 1/2.
Series Record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
Georgia eyes another easy win and the chance to build depth before getting into meat of one of the nation's toughest schedules. Central Michigan is looking to be this season's Appalachian State.
Key Matchup
The Bulldogs' speedy, aggressive defense will have to contain Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour, who threw for 27 touchdowns and ran for 19 more last season, doing a pretty good impression of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
Players to watch
Central Michigan: LeFevour's face is on a 30-by-60-foot billboard at Detroit's Comerica Park for good reason. In the season opener against Eastern Illinois, he passed for 217 yards and ran for 42 in a 31-12 victory. Of course, Georgia is a big step up.
Georgia: Corvey Irvin steps in at DT after Jeff Owens went down with a season-ending injury in the opener. Freshmen Caleb King (100 yards rushing) and A.J. Green (two catches, 40 yards, one TD) both impressed in their college debuts and should get plenty of playing time against the Chippewas.
Figures
Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and linebacker coach John Jancek both came to the Bulldogs from Central Michigan. ... The Bulldogs are 31-2 outside the SEC during the Mark Richt era. ... The Chippewas haven't beaten a ranked team since a 20-3 victory at Michigan State in 1991.
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Ohio (0-1) at No. 3 Ohio State (1-0), noon (ESPN)
Line: Ohio State by 34.
Series record: Ohio State leads 5-0.
Last meeting: 1999, Ohio State, 40-16.
What's at Stake
The Buckeyes do not want their showdown with No. 1 Southern California ruined. They play the Trojans on the Left Coast next week. Ohio gets $700,000 to try to become the first Ohio school to beat Ohio State since Oberlin in 1921.
Key Matchup
Ohio WR Taylor Price vs. Ohio State's secondary. Price had a school-record 14 catches for a career-high 139 yards in last week's 21-20 loss at Wyoming. The Buckeyes are miffed that they didn't get an interception in a 43-0 drubbing of FCS member Youngstown State.
Players to watch
Ohio: QB Theo Scott will have to handle the pressure of Ohio State's front wall and make wise decisions with 105,000 screaming in his ear.
Ohio State: TB Chris ``Beanie'' Wells won't play after injuring his right foot last week. So all eyes will be on his replacements: Brandon Saine, Dan ``Boom'' Herron, Maurice Wells and Marcus Williams.
Figures
Heralded Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor should again see playing time early. ... A victory would make Ohio State 800-304-53 in 119 years, becoming only the fifth program in major-college football to win 800 games (Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Nebraska). ... Ohio coach Frank Solich helped Nebraska to a few of those wins, going 58-19 as the Huskers' coach 1998-2003. ... Ohio is 0-13 against ranked opponents.
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Cincinnati (1-0) at No. 4 Oklahoma (1-0), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Oklahoma by 21 1/2
Series Record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
The Bearcats could climb another rung on the college football ladder by knocking off a top 5 opponent for the first time in school history, while the Sooners are trying to protect a 19-game home win streak.
Key Matchup
Cincinnati led the nation with 26 interceptions and 42 takeaways last season, and CBs Mike Mickens and Brandon Underwood will do their best to keep the ball out of the hands of Sooners WRs Manuel Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias.
Players to watch
Cincinnati: DT Terrill Byrd, who had eight sacks and a team-best 17 tackles for loss last season, makes his 2008 debut after being suspended for the opener.
Oklahoma: LB Austin Box is expected to make his first career start at outside linebacker but may be limited in his first action since having torn cartilage in his knee surgically repaired last month.
Figures
Bearcats coach Brian Kelly is seeking his 150th career win. ... Against Eastern Kentucky, WRs Dominick Goodman and Mardy Gilyard became the first Cincinnati duo with 100 yards receiving apiece in a game since 1993. ... Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is from Youngstown, Ohio, and offensive line coach James Patton is from Lafayette. Sooners offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson met his wife in Cincinnati while coaching at Miami of Ohio.
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Miami (1-0) at No. 5 Florida (1-0), 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Florida by 21 1/2.
Series Record: Miami leads 28-25.
Last Meeting: 2004 Peach Bowl, Miami 27-10
What's at Stake
The winner gets the War Canoe Trophy, a potential boost in instate recruiting and maybe five years of bragging rights since the longtime rivals probably won't meet again until 2013.
Key Matchup
Florida's defensive line vs. Miami's offensive line. The Hurricanes return three starters on a line that, if Miami is going to win, will have to open up running lanes for Javarris James and Graig Cooper as well as protecting QB Robert Marve in his first career start. The Gators recorded four sacks in last week's opener against Hawaii.
Players to watch
Miami: Cooper touched the ball six times last week against Charleston Southern and scored twice. He had a 14-yard TD run and a 66-yard punt return for a score.
Florida: Percy Harvin returns to the lineup and hopes to return to form. He had heel surgery in April, but has been slow to recover. He had a combined 1,622 yards rushing and receiving last season and scored 10 touchdowns.
Figures
Miami has won six in a row in the series. Florida's last victory came in 1985, before nearly everyone on the roster was born. ... The Gators are 8-1 in ``rivalry games'' under coach Urban Meyer, with the lone loss coming against Georgia last season. ... ESPN's ``College Gameday'' will be on site for the game. It will be the 11th time the pregame show has originated from Gainesville.
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Southeast Missouri State (1-0) at No. 6 Missouri (1-0)
Line: No line.
Series Record: Missouri leads 1-0.
Last Meeting: 1936, Missouri 20-0.
What's at Stake
A payday for Southeast Missouri State, which gets $250,000 for playing up in class. An easy victory for Missouri, getting a breather for its home opener after winning a 52-42 shootout over Illinois in neutral-site opener in St. Louis.
Key Matchup
Missouri's defense surrendered 451 yards and five touchdown passes to Illinois' Juice Williams, who nearly doubled his previous career best. Southeast Missouri QB Houston Lillard was named Ohio Valley Conference offensive player of week after going 27-for-39 for a career-best 387 yards and 3 TDs in comeback OT victory over Division II Southwest Baptist in opener.
Players to watch
Southeast Missouri State: WR Miles Edwards caught 10 passes for 204 yards in opener. CB Eddie Calvin had three interceptions in first half of opener and was Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of week. Lillard leads FCS in total offense. LB Nick Stauffer had 10 solo tackles, six assists and fumble recovery in opener.
Missouri: RB Derrick Washington had breakout game in first career start with 130 yards and two TDs, including 40-yard run. All-American WR-KR Jeremy Maclin, who set NCAA freshman record with 2,667 all-purpose yards last season, is off to fast start after 99-yard KO return - the fourth TD return of his career. LB Sean Weatherspoon had two fourth-quarter interceptions to help hold off Illinois comeback and was Walter Camp National defensive player of week. DE Stryker Sulak had three sacks and five total tackles for loss.
Figures
theast Missouri State was known as Cape Girardeau Teachers College when schools last played, in 1936. That was the second season for Missouri coach Don Faurot, for whom the school's stadium is named. ... Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is 50-37 in eighth season.
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No. 8 West Virginia (1-0) at East Carolina (1-0), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: West Virginia by 8.
Series Record: West Virginia leads 17-2.
Last meeting: 2007, West Virginia 48-7
What's at Stake
West Virginia's first legitimate test of the season marks is the first of two road games, before a visit to Colorado. East Carolina is looking to build on the momentum of its opening victory over Virginia Tech and creep into the national rankings for the first time since 1999 - also the last year the Pirates beat the Mountaineers.
Key Matchup
East Carolina's secondary vs. West Virginia's offense. The Pirates' defensive backs played close to the line and offered effective run support in 2005 and '06, holding run-dominated West Virginia to fewer than 200 yards rushing - the only team to do that twice during that span. That strategy didn't work last year, when the Mountaineers got their passing game working against the Pirates and rolled up nearly 600 total yards in a 41-point rout.
Players to watch
West Virginia: QB Pat White, who showed there's more to his game than rushing with a career-high five touchdown passes last week against Villanova. His speed could be neutralized by a wet field and Tropical Storm Hanna.
East Carolina: FS Van Eskridge, whose strong run support was key in the Pirates' close losses to West Virginia in 2005 and '06.
Figures
An East Carolina victory would give the Pirates a Conference USA-record three straight wins over ranked teams, dating to last year's Hawaii Bowl victory over Boise State. ... After both of West Virginia's previous losses to East Carolina (1995, 1999), the Mountaineers went on to finish under .500. ... West Virginia has won 14 straight nonconference games, including eight on the road.
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No. 9 Auburn (1-0) vs. Southern Miss (1-0), 12:30 p.m.
Line: Auburn by 17 1/2.
Series record: Auburn leads 16-5.
Last meeting: 1993, Auburn 35-24.
What's at Stake
Auburn's chance to feel good about the QB situation and the passing game before the SEC season starts. For Southern Miss, a chance to make a serious statement under first-year coach Larry Fedora.
Key Matchup
The Golden Eagles' spread offense against a defense that pitched an opening shutout. The Tigers have freshmen on the field in the secondary in passing situations, but the Southern Miss is starting redshirt freshman Austin Davis at QB.
Players to watch
Auburn: QBs Kodi Burns and Chris Todd, still vying for the starting job - and to at least mount a passable passing game. Burns' status is a little uncertain due to a gash on his leg.
Southern Miss: RB Damion Fletcher is coming off a 222-yard game, but Tigers seem more worried about the passing game.
Figures
This is the 35th consecutive time USM has been the visitor against an SEC team, dating to a 1989 home loss to Mississippi State. ... USM had a school-record 633 total yards in Fedora's debut against Louisiana-Lafayette. ... Auburn had six first-time starters and 19 players make college debuts last week.
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No. 10 Texas (1-0) at Texas-El Paso (0-1), Saturday, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
Line: Texas by 26.
Series Record: Texas leads 2-0.
Last Meeting: 1933, Texas 22-6.
What's at Stake
Another tune-up for heavily favored Texas before the start of the Big 12. For Texas-El Paso, it's the biggest game in program history - by far - and an upset would pull the Miners out of the shadows of the Franklin Mountains.
Key Matchup
Texas DTs Roy Miller and Aaron Lewis vs. UTEP center Robby Felix. Lewis is getting the start in place of suspended Lamarr Houston. He and Miller will work against Felix, who was on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy given to the nation's top center. If Felix gets pushed around, it will be a long night for UTEP.
Players to watch
Texas: QB Colt McCoy, who passed for more than 200 yards and ran for more than 100 in the opening win over Florida Atlantic. He and Vince Young are the only Texas QBs to have multiple 200-100 games in school history.
UTEP: QB Trevor Vittatoe, who threw three interceptions in season-opening loss to Buffalo after throwing just seven in 2007.
Figures
When these teams last met in the 1930s, UTEP was still known as the College of the Mines ... Texas blocked a punt last week, its first since 2006. Even with that drought, the Longhorns have blocked 49 kicks since 2000, the most in the nation over that span ... New Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp might be the most entertaining Longhorn to watch. The animated and fiery Muschamp got a bloody face last week when he accidentally cut himself on the left cheek during the game.
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Marshall (1-0) at No. 11 Wisconsin (1-0), noon (Big Ten Network)
Line: Wisconsin by 20 1-2.
Series Record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
Momentum. After a pesky Akron team took Wisconsin into the third quarter in the season opener, Wisconsin could use a blowout victory going into next week's tough test at Fresno State.
Key Matchup
Marshall's defensive front against Wisconsin's offensive line. All five Badgers starters weigh 300 pounds or more, helping them roll up 404 yards rushing against Akron last week. Marshall has better size than Akron on defense, and will need to at least slow down Wisconsin's running game and force the Badgers to throw to have a chance at an upset.
Players to watch
Wisconsin: RB P.J. Hill, who ran for 210 yards and two touchdowns against Akron but fumbled away another scoring chance on the goal line.
Marshall: RB Darius Marshall, who rushed for a career-high 115 yards and a touchdown in Marshall's season-opening victory over Illinois State.
Figures
Wisconsin has won 15 straight games at Camp Randall Stadium, the second-longest current streak in major college football. Oklahoma has won 18 straight at home. ... Badgers TE Travis Beckum missed the season opener because of a hamstring injury but is expected to return this week. ... Saturday's game is only the third time Marshall has faced a Big Ten opponent. The Thundering Herd lost 34-24 at Michigan State in 2000 and 24-21 at Ohio State in 2004. ... Badgers coach Bret Bielema was the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State when Marshall pulled off a 27-20 upset of the Wildcats in 2003. ... Marshall head coach Mark Snyder is a former assistant at Ohio State and Minnesota. ... Marshall WR Darius Passmore caught four passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns against Illinois State.
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No. 12 Texas Tech (1-0) at Nevada (1-0), Saturday 9:05 p.m.
Line: Texas Tech by 10 1/2.
Series: first meeting.
Record: first meeting.
What's at Stake
Texas Tech, coming off a 49-24 win over Eastern Washington, travels to Reno for its only road game before its Big 12 opener at Kansas State Oct. 4. Nevada, which beat Grambling State 49-13 last week to win its first home opener in five years, has posted a 20-5 record at Mackay Stadium since 2005.
Key Matchup
Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell vs. Nevada's defense. Harrell led the nation last year in yards passing (5,705) completions (512) and touchdown passes (48). Last week, he completed 43 of 58 for 536 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada's best pass rush in years features outside pressure from speedy sophomore defensive ends Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped, but the secondary has only one starter back from 2007.
Players to watch
Texas Tech: All-American Michael Crabtree, Eric Morris and Detron Lewis each had nine receptions last week. Crabtree scored a touchdown and finished with 73 yards receiving while Morris, a 5-foot-8 slot back nicknamed ``The Elf,'' had 164 yards and Lewis 163.
Nevada: Colin Kaepernick, a 6-foot-6 sophomore quarterback, is a threat to run and pass. He ran for 69 yards and three touchdowns and completed 10 of 17 passes for 122 yards a week ago.
Facts and Figures
M in 1950. ... Nevada runs an unusual offense coach Chris Ault calls the ``pistol,'' a one-back set that's a modified shotgun where the quarterback lines up a few steps back from center.
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No. 13 Alabama (1-0) vs. Tulane (0-0), 6 p.m.
Line: Alabama by 30.
Series record: Alabama leads 26-11-3.
Last meeting: 1994, Alabama, 20-10.
What's at Stake
For Alabama, momentum from the opening rout of preseason No. 9 Clemson. For Tulane, pride after being uprooted from New Orleans by Hurricane Gustav and struggling in coach Bob Toledo's first season.
Key Matchup
Alabama's powerful offensive line against a defensive front replacing two starters and two reserves. The Crimson Tide's mammoth left tackle Andre Smith, who has started every game of his career, is nursing a sprained right knee and listed as doubtful.
Players to Watch
Alabama: QB John Parker Wilson was efficient and on-target to open the season, and 'Bama fans are hoping he keeps it up.
Tulane: RB Andre' Anderson replaces 2,000-yard rusher Matt Forte and is backed up by freshmen Albert Williams and Nathan Austin. Kevin Moore takes over at quarterback.
Figures
Tulane has spent the week practicing in Birmingham, Ala., because of Hurricane Gustav ... Alabama and Tulane haven't met since 1994 in a series that started a century earlier ... Second-year Tulane coach Bob Toledo was 2-0 against Alabama while at UCLA ... Tulane hasn't won a season opener since beating Southern in 2002.
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Louisiana Tech (1-0) at No. 14 Kansas (1-0) 6 p.m. (FSN)
Line: Kansas by 20 1/2.
Series record: Tied at 1-1.
Last meeting: 2005, Kansas 34-14.
What's at Stake
Another tuneup for the Jayhawks before their first real test of the season at South Florida next week. Louisiana Tech tries to make it two surprising wins in a row after bumping off Mississippi State last week.
Key Matchup
Kansas had 10 different receivers catch a pass in a 40-10 win over Florida International last week. Louisiana Tech intercepted Mississippi State's Wesley Carroll three times last week and the secondary will need another big week to knock off a second straight BCS school.
Players to watch
Kansas: Sophomore receiver Dezmon Briscoe has a knack for finding the endzone - he had three TDs against FIU and has 10 in 14 career games. QB Todd Reesing set school record Nos. 22 and 23 against FIU and had his 17th career 200-yard passing game.
LaTech: S Deon Young had seven tackles, an interception and broke up another pass against FIU. K Brad Oestriecher made field goals from 48, 28 and 50 yards to bail out the Bulldogs who gained 269 total yards against Mississippi State.
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Stanford (1-0) at No. 15 Arizona State (1-0), 7 p.m., (FSN Arizona)
Line: Arizona State by 14 1/2.
Series Record: Arizona State leads 15-9.
Last meeting: 2007, Arizona State 41-3.
What's at Stake
The Cardinal is hoping to make it two in a row after an impressive season-opening victory over Oregon State. The Sun Devils need a win if they hope to make a run at the Pac-10 title.
Key Matchup
Stanford's pass rush against Arizona State's offensive line. The Cardinal got two sacks in their opener, and they'll look to put plenty of pressure on ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who will operate behind a revamped front line.
Players to watch
Stanford: Tailback Toby Gerhart rushed for 147 yards against the Beavers. He'll try to find room to run against an ASU defense that conceded 139 yards rushing to Division I-AA Northern Arizona.
Arizona State: Kicker Thomas Weber made all three of his field goal attempts in the opener. Dating to last season, Weber is 27-of-28 in field goal tries.
Figures
Stanford has lost four straight in Sun Devil Stadium. The Cardinal's last victory there came in 1999, 50-30. ... Arizona State has won the last two meetings by a combined 79-6, and it hasn't given up a touchdown to Stanford since 2005. ... The Sun Devils open the season with four straight home games - the last against No. 2 Georgia.
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No. 15 BYU (1-0) at Washington (0-1), 3 p.m. (FSN)
Line: BYU by 9 1/2.
Series record: Washington leads 4-2.
Last meeting: 1999, BYU 35-28.
What's at Stake
The trip to Washington could be the first road block in BYU's quest to crash the BCS party, although plenty of obstacles still await, including UCLA and rival Utah. Tyrone Willingham desperately needs an upset victory to quiet the grumbling Huskies fan base that has unified against the coach after Washington's uninspired 44-10 loss to Oregon.
Key Matchup
Washington's offensive line vs. BYU's front seven. The Cougars are going to score on Washington's defense. That's almost a given. But can Washington's offensive line handle a BYU defensive front likely to follow the same script as Oregon and give the Huskies' offense a chance to match BYU. Oregon loaded the line of scrimmage and forced the Huskies to either beat them on the ground by bulling through 8- or 9-man fronts or throwing over the top. Neither worked.
Players to Watch
BYU: TE Dennis Pitta was already the favorite target for QB Max Hall, earning all-Mountain West Conference honors last year. But nobody could have expected his 11 catches for 213 yards in the opener against Northern Iowa. His presence in the middle complements a deep group of starting receivers that caught 98 passes a year ago.
Washington: OL Ben Ossai. Washington QB Jake Locker rarely had time in the pocket against Oregon, thanks to the constant pressure brought by the Ducks and a poor performance by the entire Huskies line, including left tackle Ossai. His challenge will be keeping BYU's all-MWC DE Jan Jorgensen from pressuring Locker's backside.
Figures
The Cougars own the nation's longest current win streak at 11. Georgia is next with eight. But BYU hasn't won a non-conference road game since 2001 season. ... Last time the teams played was to open the 1999 season, a 35-28 BYU win in Provo, in Rick Neuheisel's first game as coach at Washington. ... Washington and BYU are scheduled to meet in 2010 (Provo), 2011 (Seattle) and 2012 (Provo) as part of the series.
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No. 17 South Florida (1-0) at UCF (1-0), 7 p.m.
Line: South Florida by 14.
Series Record: South Florida leads 3-0.
Last Meeting: 2007, South Florida 64-12.
What's At Stake
So-called Interstate 4 bragging rights. The schools, both relative newcomers, are less than 100 miles apart and compete for many of the same recruits the talent-rich Sunshine State.
Key Matchup
UCF's defense limited South Carolina State to 126 yards last week, the Knights' stingiest performance under coach George O'Leary. But containing USF's Matt Grothe, one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks, RB Mike Ford, and a deep group of receivers will be much more difficult.
Players to watch
South Florida: Grothe boasted after last year's blowout that the Bulls did not run up the score but were simply that much better than the Knights. Ford shares the rushing workload with three other backs, however he's the man the Bulls hand the ball to near the end zone. DE George Selvie, an All-American last year, had a relatively quiet season opener against Tennessee-Martin.
UCF: Redshirt freshman RB Ronnie Weaver carried 23 times for 84 yards in his debut as the successor to All-American Kevin Smith. QB Michael Greco completed 9 of 16 passes for 90 yards and no interceptions in his first career start last week. CB Joe Burnett has 12 career interceptions and is also a dangerous punt returner. One more interception would tie the school record.
Figures
South Florida outscored UCF 122-43 in the first three meetings. ... UCF is 0-17 against ranked teams. However, the Knights came up just short against Texas a year ago, losing 35-32 in the first game in their new stadium. ... The Knights are trying to open a season with consecutive victories for the first time since 1998.
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Utah St. (0-1) at No. 18 Oregon (1-0), 3:30 p.m.
Line: Oregon by 36.
Series Record: Oregon leads 3-0.
Last Meeting: 2001, Oregon 38-21
What's at Stake
Utah State has won just one of 45 games against a ranked opponent. That was back in 1991, when they upset 25th-ranked Fresno State 20-19. Additionally, Utah State is 3-19 on the road under coach Brent Guy, in his fourth season. Oregon, meanwhile, has lost just one non-conference game at Autzen Stadium in coach Mike Bellotti's past 13 seasons.
Key Matchup
Oregon's offense against Utah State's defense. The Ducks use a tricky spread-option offense that perplexed Washington in Oregon's season-opening 44-10 victory. The Aggies have senior linebacker Jake Hutton, who had 12 tackles in Utah State's 27-17 loss to UNLV to open the season.
Players to watch
Oregon: Quarterback Justin Roper, who went down with a concussion in last week's victory over Washington. He could be given a light load if the Ducks build a sizable lead, and coach Bellotti may give backup Jeremiah Masoli and true freshman Chris Harper more game experience.
Utah State: Sean Setzer and/or Diondre Borel. Coach Guy said he was waiting to name a starting quarterback until the end of the week. Setzer completed 10 of 17 passes for 123 yards and threw an interception in Utah State's opening loss to UNLV. Sophomore Borel completed 8 of 16 for 80 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 70 yards.
Figures
Utah State is 0-2 in Eugene, losing 27-9 in 1976 and 52-7 in 1990. ... The Aggies have had a tough time in September, losing all four of the month's games last season, and five games in 2006. ... Utah State hasn't defeated a Pac-10 school since 1965, when they beat Arizona State 13-0, but that was 13 years before the Sun Devils joined the league. ... Joey Harrington was QB for the Ducks the last time they played Utah State. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns in the 38-21 victory at Romney Stadium.
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Oregon State (0-1) at No. 19 Penn State (1-0), 3:30 p.m.
Line: Penn State by 16 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
e Coastal Carolina.
Key Matchup
Stanford piled up 210 rushing yards last week against Oregon State, which starts a new front seven from last year. Penn State's veteran offensive line opens holes for tailbacks Evan Royster and Stephfon Green and figures to be an even tougher test for the Beavers.
Players to Watch
Oregon State: Al Afalava is back from a one-game suspension for violating a team rule. The hard-hitting safety should help on run support.
Penn State: Daryll Clark's first game as starting QB was a breeze against the Chanticleers. The competition gets tougher on Saturday as Clark figures to roll out more of the Nittany Lions' ``Spread HD'' offense.
Figures
Oregon State's previous two trips east were ugly - a 34-3 loss at Cincinnati last year and a 63-27 loss at Louisville in 2005. ... Penn State coach Joe Paterno has 373 wins, tied with Florida State's Bobby Bowden for most among major college coaches. The Seminoles open their season this week against Western Carolina. ... The Beavers were the last Pac-10 team that Penn State had not played.
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No. 20 Wake Forest (1-0) vs Mississippi (1-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (ABC or ESPN2)
Line: Wake Forest by 8.
Series Record: Wake Forest leads 1-0.
Last meeting: 2006, Wake Forest 27-3.
What's at Stake
After a dismal first week, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford will be rooting hard for the Demon Deacons. An upset loss could leave the league without a ranked team next week. After routing Memphis 41-24 in his first game, new Mississippi coach Houston Nutt can energize a fan base that has seen only 10 wins in the past three seasons.
Key Matchup
Ole Miss WR Dexter McCluster vs. the Wake Forest defense. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound McCluster accounted for 125 total yards and a touchdown while routinely lining up in the shotgun against Memphis, a similar formation Nutt used last season at Arkansas for Darren McFadden. Wake LB Aaron Curry leads an experienced unit that forced four turnovers in a 41-13 rout of Baylor last week.
Players to watch
Wake Forest: QB Riley Skinner, who completed 12 of his first 13 passes against Baylor and finished with two touchdown passes, will try to win his school record 20th game as a starter.
Mississippi: QB Jevan Snead threw touchdown passes of 64 and 15 yards to Shay Hodge against Memphis in his Ole Miss debut.
Figures
Wake Forest, which has won four straight games dating to last season, will be shooting for the 400th win in school history ahead of next week's ACC opener at Florida State. ... The Demon Deacons ran on 53 of 58 plays against Ole Miss two years and outgained the Rebels 240-26 on the ground. ... Wake CB Alphonso Smith (15) is two interceptions shy of matching the school record. ... Ole Miss has lost four straight road games and 13 of 14. ... The Rebels haven't beaten an ACC team since a 41-18 win over Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl to conclude the 1971 season.
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UNLV (1-0) at No. 22 Utah (1-0), 8 p.m. (The Mtn.)
Line: Utah by 22.
Series Record: Utah leads 11-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, UNLV 27-0.
What's at Stake
Utah has a chance to avenge an embarrassing shutout last year in Las Vegas and remain an early contender for an at-large BCS berth. UNLV is trying for its first 2-0 start since 1999.
Key Matchup
Utah's offense gained 341 yards in a win at Michigan last week, passing for 305. The Utes could have a big night, especially if the running game gets going and frees up QB Brian Johnson.
Players to watch
Utah: RBs Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack. Asiata ran for 77 yards against Michigan but Mack gained only 17 on eight carries. The Utes' big-back tandem needs bigger production if the Utes are going to make a run at the BCS.
UNLV: Frank Summers gained 190 yards and two touchdowns last year against the Utes.
Figures
UNLV's win last year snapped an 11-game losing streak to Utah. ... UNLV coach Mike Sandford was Utah's offensive coordinator in 2003 and the Utes' unbeaten season in 2004. ... The Rebels have never won in Salt Lake City. Utah has not started a season 2-0 since 2005, Kyle Whittingham's first year as coach.
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Eastern Illinois (0-1) at No. 24 Illinois (0-1), noon (Big Ten Network)
Line: No line.
Series record: Illinois leads 1-0.
Last meeting: 2006, Illinois 42, Eastern Illinois 17.
What's at Stake
Both are looking for their first win, and Illinois is looking to stay in the Top 25. The Illini opened the season at No. 20 in The AP poll, but fell four places after last week's 52-42 loss to Missouri.
Key Matchup
Eastern's defense against Illinois quarterback Juice Williams. The junior Illini QB had a career night Saturday against Missouri, throwing for 451 yards and five touchdowns. Eastern, meanwhile, struggled to stop Central Michigan in its 31-12 loss. The Panthers gave up 172 yards on the ground and another 217 in the air.
Players to watch
Illinois: Running back Daniel Dufrene. Illinois coach Ron Zook would like to jump start his ground game. Dufrene, a junior, carried the ball for 79 yards against Missouri.
Eastern Illinois: Quarterback Bodie Reeder. Eastern is a run-first team, but Reeder will have to be able to throw a little for the Panthers to have a prayer at Illinois.
Figures
Illinois has lost two straight, dating to its 49-17 Rose Bowl blowout against USC. The defense has given up 101 points in those two games. ... The Illini open the renovated Memorial Stadium Saturday, adding $121 million worth of polish to the 85-year-old facility. ... Illinois has won its last 10 home openers, and is 80-33-5 in its first home game of the season. ... Things should get easier next week for Eastern Illinois, a Championship Subdivision team, when it opens its home schedule against Indiana State. ... Eastern is 4-22 all time against teams from the Bowl Subdivision.
 

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