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Thursday, 09 October 2008 13:51
NCAAF Headline News

 Saturday, Oct. 11
No. 1 Oklahoma (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) vs. No. 5 Texas (5-0, 1-0), noon (FSN)
Line: Oklahoma by 7.
Series Record: Texas leads 57-40-5.
Last meeting: 2007, Oklahoma won 28-21.
What's at Stake
Everything, from the national title chase to the Big 12 to the matchup of Heisman Trophy contenders in quarterbacks Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Colt McCoy of Texas. The 103rd meeting of cross-border rivals is the 10th time both teams have been ranked in the top five and the 12th time one of them has been No. 1.
Key Matchup
Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo vs. Sooners offensive tackle Phil Loadholt. Orakpo has seven of Texas' 19 sacks. He'll need all the strength in his 515-pound bench press to bullrush the 6-foot-8, 337-pound Loadholt, who hasn't given up a sack this season.
Players to Watch
Oklahoma: WRs Manuel Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias have scored 10 touchdowns and could be open most of the afternoon against a Texas secondary that starts two freshmen Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon at safety.
n more as a pass receiver and protector for McCoy than he is a runner. He has the longest catch (65 yards) and run (51 yards) for the Longhorns this season, but it not considered a workhorse who can carry the ball 20-25 times. McCoy leads Texas in rushing with 317 yards.
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Turnovers are a key in this rivalry. The team that forces more has won nine of the last 10 ... A $57 million facelift at the 76-year-old Cotton Bowl has expanded capacity to 92,100. As usual, Sooners and Longhorns fans will be split down the middle at the 50-yard line ... Talk about efficiency: Oklahoma is a perfect 24 of 24 scoring in the red zone this season with 23 touchdowns. Texas is almost as good, scoring on 25 of 26 trips into the red zone with 23 touchdowns.
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No. 17 Oklahoma State (5-0) at No. 3 Missouri (5-0), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Line: Missouri by 14.
Series Record: Missouri leads 28-20.
Last meeting: 2005, Missouri 38-31.
What's at Stake
Oklahoma State is seeking only its second 6-0 start since 1945 and first win over Top 5 school since beating Oklahoma in 2002. Missouri can't afford to look ahead to next week's showdown at No. 5 Texas. A 6-0 start would match 2006, but the last time before that was 1973.
Key Matchups
aturing multiple threats. Balance provided by tailback Derrick Washington (500 yards, nation-leading 13 touchdowns) increases difficulty factor. Missouri defense that held Nebraska below 30 points for first time all season in 52-17 rout will be tested by Oklahoma State ground game that's second in nation at 315 yards.
Players to watch
Oklahoma State: WR Dez Bryant has 27 receptions and nine touchdowns, and is among national leaders with 178.4 all-purpose yards. RB Kendall Hunter has 708 yards, 7.0 per carry, and 8 TDs.
Missouri: TE Chase Coffman needs 54 yards to jump from 5th to 2nd on career yards receiving list. WR-KR Jeremy Maclin has scored seven touchdowns (5 receiving, 1 rushing, 1 kickoff return) and averaging 186.8 all-purpose yards, best in Big 12. ... PK Jeff Wolfert was wide left on 59-yard FG attempt at end of half last week, his first missed kick of any kind in three Big 12 seasons.
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with 38-31 loss in 2005 at home. ... Missouri QB Chase Daniel has completed 76 percent of his passes, Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson is right behind at 72 percent. ... Oklahoma State has won four of last five on road. ... Oklahoma State seeking first 2-0 Big 12 start since 2004.
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No. 4 LSU at No. 11 Florida, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Line: Florida by 6.
Series Record: Florida leads 28-23-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, LSU 28-24.
What's at Stake
Probably Florida's chances of winning the Southeastern Conference. The Gators already have one league loss, so another would leave them in a huge hole with four games remaining.
Key Matchup
LSU's Charles Scott vs. Florida's run defense. Scott has at least 100 yards rushing in every game this season and leads the conference with 133.8 yards a game on the ground. The Gators rank sixth in the league against the run, allowing 99.6 yards a game, but Arkansas' Michael Smith gouged their defense for 133 yards and a touchdown last week.
Players to watch
LSU: WR Brandon LaFell leads the conference with 87 yards receiving a game and could pose problems for Florida's shaky secondary.
Florida: LB Brandon Spikes was dominant in the first half against Mississippi two weeks ago, but hasn't played really well since. And the Gators need their leading tackler to play better against LSU.
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ll mark the first time in nearly two decades and the 10th time in history that the previous two national champions will play the following year. The last time it happened was when 1988 champion Notre Dame beat 1989 champ Miami 29-20 on Oct. 20, 1990. ... LSU has won three of the last four in the series and four of the last six. ... Home team has won the last three. ... The Gators are 5-6 vs. SEC West teams under coach Urban Meyer.
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No. 6 Penn State (6-0) at Wisconsin (3-2) 8 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Penn State by 5 1/2.
Series Record: Wisconsin leads 8-5.
Last Meeting: 2007, Penn State 38-7.
What's at Stake
Penn State needs to win at Wisconsin to keep pace with Ohio State to set up a big game in Columbus on Oct. 25 that will probably determine the Big Ten's BCS team. Wisconsin must stop its two-game slide and be content to spoil someone else's season.
Key Matchup
Penn State's WRs against Wisconsin's DBs. The Badgers' defense is much better thanks to hard-hitting safety Jay Valai and others, but the unit will have to hold coverage a bit longer against playmakers WR Derrick Williams and WR Deon Butler.
Players to watch
Penn State: TB Evan Royster. Shifty between the tackles, Royster has also shown the ability to gain separation in the open field. Royster has run for at least 139 yards the last two games, both Big Ten wins.
ridge. He'll still be the starter, but it remains to be seen just how long. Evridge's accuracy issues (56.6 percent this season) have cost Wisconsin and he was off-limits to interviews this week.
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Wisconsin's two losses have come by a total of five points. ... Penn State is the only squad ranked in the top 10 in total offense and defense among major schools. ... The Badgers have won three of the last four meetings at Camp Randall Stadium. ... This is the last game in the series until 2011.
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Nebraska (3-2) at No. 7 Texas Tech (5-0), 3 p.m. (Fox)
Line: Texas Tech by 20 1/2.
Series Record: Nebraska leads 7-2.
Last Meeting: 2005, Texas Tech 34-31
What's at Stake
A victory would match Texas Tech's longest win streak in nine seasons under Mike Leach. In 2005, the Red Raiders started 6-0 before getting drubbed 52-17 by instate rival Texas. Texas Tech has two road games after the Cornhuskers come to Lubbock before playing host to the Longhorns in what could be a pivotal contest in the race for the Big 12 South title.
Key Matchup
Nebraska run game vs. Texas Tech run defense. The Huskers desperately need to establish the run if they hope to keep the ball out of the hands of Graham Harrell, who last week completed passes to 10 different receivers. The Red Raiders are No. 24 in the nation against the run (102.6 yards a game).
Players to watch
Texas Tech: Harrell, who is six TDs behind the 24 he had after the first five games last season and leads the nation's top passing offense, must read Nebraska's defensive schemes well if the Red Raiders want to continue to capitalize on their increasingly balanced offense.
Nebraska: QB Joe Ganz must do a good job of operating the short passing game if Nebraska can't run the ball. Ganz is completing 66 percent of his passes, but he has thrown interceptions deep in his own end the last two weeks. Tech will make him pay if he does that this week.
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Nebraska suffered its worst loss in the school's history, 70-10, when the Cornhuskers last came to Lubbock in 2004. Turnovers, five interceptions and two lost fumbles, helped the Red Raiders make it a rout to remember. The game was the sixth under then-coach Bill Callahan, who was fired last year after his second losing season in four years.
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Arizona State (2-3) at No. 8 Southern California (3-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: USC by 27 1/2.
Series record: USC leads 15-9.
Last meeting: 2007, USC 44-24.
What's at Stake
but USC was shocked by Oregon State 27-21 on Sept. 25 and ASU has lost three straight games.
Key Matchup
ASU's struggling offense against USC's powerful defense. The Sun Devils scored 71 points in winning their first two games of the season, but only 44 in losing their last three - to UNLV, No. 10 Georgia and California - and are gaining just 2.9 yards per rushing attempt. The Trojans have been superb defensively in three of their four games, holding Virginia, No. 12 Ohio State and Oregon to a combined 20 points. USC leads the Pac-10 in rushing defense (84.8 yards per game) and scoring defense (11.8 points per game).
Players to watch
Arizona State: QB Rudy Carpenter sprained his left ankle in ASU's 24-14 loss at California last weekend, putting his streak of 36 straight starts in jeopardy. If Carpenter can't go, junior Danny Sullivan will make his first career start. It's possible a decision won't be made until game time. Carpenter has thrown 73 touchdown passes in his career to rank seventh on the Pac-10's career list.
USC: QB Mark Sanchez, whose status is also in question because he suffered a bone bruise in his left knee during last weekend's 44-10 victory over Oregon. Sanchez passed for 332 yards and three touchdowns to earn Pac-10 offensive player of the week honors for the third time this season. Mitch Mustain will start if Sanchez is unable to play.
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USC has won the last eight games between the teams. ... A win would give the Trojans their 400th victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where they've won five straight and 40 of their last 41. ... ASU has already played 10 true freshmen this season - the most in school history. ... USC safety Kevin Ellison had a career-best 12 tackles against Oregon, all in the first half. ... ASU's Thomas Weber leads the Pac-10 with eight field goals in 10 attempts. He's 32-of-35 in his career. ... USC has allowed only four quarterback sacks in its four games - the lowest total in the Pac-10. ASU has allowed 12 sacks in five games. ... The Trojans have sacked opposing quarterbacks 12 times while the Sun Devils have only six.
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New Mexico (3-3) at No. 9 BYU (5-0), 6 p.m. (The Mtn.)
Line: BYU by 23
Series Record: BYU leads 42-14-1
Last Meeting: 2007, BYU 31-24.
What's at Stake
BYU tries to remain unbeaten and not get sidetracked by the big test looming next week - a visit to TCU. New Mexico is trying to avoid a 1-2 start in the Mountain West Conference.
Key Matchup
BYU's defense vs. New Mexico's running game. The Lobos have run for 614 yards in the last two games, which helped offset the 88-yard passing total in wins over New Mexico State and Wyoming.
Players to watch
a shoulder injury. Ferguson averages 5 yards a carry and almost 105 yards per game.
BYU: WR Austin Collie, who has topped 100 receiving yards three games in a row and caught two touchdown passes in each of them.
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BYU has won the last three meetings and eight of 10 against New Mexico. ... BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was New Mexico's defensive coordinator from 1998-2002. ... Mendenhall is 3-0 against the Lobos. ... New Mexico hadn't scored first this season before last week's win against Wyoming.
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Tennessee (2-3) at No. 10 Georgia (4-1), 3:30 (CBS)
Line: Georgia by 12.
Series Record: Tennessee leads 20-15-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, Tennessee, 35-14.
What's at Stake
Tennessee, coming off a shaky 13-9 win over Northern Illinois, is trying to salvage its season. Georgia, coming off a devastating home loss to Alabama, is trying to salvage its Southeastern Conference and national championship hopes. Tennessee already has two SEC losses. Georgia can still control its fate in SEC East, but it can't afford a second conference loss.
Key Matchup
Georgia will be without middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, putting more pressure on run-stopping linebacker Rennie Curran to lead the defense against Tennessee running back Arian Foster. Foster has scored six touchdowns in his last two games against Georgia.
Players to watch
Tennessee: QB Nick Stephens. Sophomore passed for 159 yards and a touchdown last week after taking over from Jonathan Crompton and is expected to make his first SEC start.
Georgia: TB Knowshon Moreno. Moreno, who already has 10 touchdowns, severely bruised his elbow against Alabama and may play with extra padding to protect the injury.
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Phillip Fulmer is trying for his 150th win as Tennessee's coach. Fulmer is 11-5 against Georgia, including two straight wins overall and two straight wins at Sanford Stadium. ... This is only the second time since 1981 Tennessee has not been ranked when facing Georgia. ... Georgia freshman WR A.J. Green has 14 catches for 247 yards and two TDs in last two games.
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Purdue (2-3) at No. 12 Ohio State (5-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Ohio State by 19.
Series Record: Ohio State leads 36-12-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, Ohio State, 23-7.
What's at Stake
Purdue coach Joe Tiller's legacy. Having lost three of four, the Boilermakers can't fall much further and hope to gain their 11th bowl game in his 12 years. Ohio State still is chasing an unprecedented third consecutive outright Big Ten title and fourth in a row overall.
Key Matchup
st prolific passers in Big Ten history, he'll need time to find receivers. Ohio State DL Lawrence Wilson, Cameron Heyward, Doug Worthington and Thaddeus Gibson have a combined four sacks and have largely been ineffective in pressuring anybody.
Players to watch
Purdue: Painter, TB Kory Sheets, WR Desmond Tardy, DL Alex Magee, Mike Neal, Ryan Baker and Ryan Kerrigan must contain Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor, who likes to run more than pass.
Ohio State: LB James Laurinaitis must have a good game so Painter doesn't post huge numbers.
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Painter is 0-9 against ranked teams in his career. ... Buckeyes coming off stirring 20-17 comeback win at Wisconsin, have big game next week at No. 23 Michigan State. ... Painter needs just 12 passing yards to become the fourth Big Ten QB to hit 10,000 for a career. ... Boilermakers have lost their last 16 against Top 25 teams. ... Ohio State hasn't lost to Purdue at home since 1988. ... Game pits Big Ten's top passing attack (Purdue at 254.2 ypg) against best pass defense (Ohio State, 115 ypg).
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No. 13 Vanderbilt (5-0) at Mississippi State (1-4), 2:30 p.m.
Line: Vanderbilt by 2 1/2.
Series Record: Mississippi State leads 10-7-2.
Last Meeting: 2004, Vanderbilt 31-13.
What's at Stake?
with a win and clinch a likely bowl berth with their sixth straight victory. For the Bulldogs, it's now or never in a season that's slipping away.
Key Matchup
Mississippi State QB Tyson Lee vs. the Vanderbilt secondary. On the Commodores' last trip to Mississippi, S Ryan Hamilton had three of his team's four interceptions in a 23-17 win over Ole Miss three weeks ago. Lee, a walk-on who earned a scholarship last spring, will be making his second start for the quarterback-cursed Bulldogs. So far, he's been turnover free. He'll need to stay that way if his team has a chance against the opportunistic Commodores.
Players to watch
Vanderbilt: QBs Chris Nickson and/or Mackenzi Adams. The Commodores aren't sure who will start this week. Nickson hurt his right, throwing shoulder against Ole Miss and aggravated the injury against Auburn. Both players have practiced this week, but even if he starts Nickson should be considered fragile.
Mississippi State: TB Anthony Dixon. After a slow start, coach Sylvester Croom promises to give the 240-pound tailback all the carries he can handle this week. He rushed for 1,066 yards and 14 TDs last season, but has just 320 yards and 3 TDs this year and he's hungry for more.
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e season 6-0 eight times before. ... A win would give the Commodores their best SEC start at 4-0. Vanderbilt has reached four conference wins just six times. The last time it happened was 1982. ... The Commodores have been ranked three consecutive weeks. A win would keep them in the poll for a school-record fourth. ... Mississippi State has won eight of the last 10 games in the series. ... Vandy is 1-6 in Starkville. ... The Commodores have outscored opponents 58-10 in the second half.
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No. 14 Utah (6-0) at Wyoming (2-4), 2 p.m.
Line: Utah by 23 1/2.
Series Record: Utah leads 48-31-1.
Last Meeting: 2007, Utah 50-0.
What's at Stake
Utah needs to stay undefeated to keep up its BCS-busting hopes - as well as preserving a showdown with also-undefeated BYU in November. At 0-3 in the conference, Wyoming is pretty much reduced to playing the role of spoiler.
Key Matchup
Wyoming S Chris Prosinski vs. Utah QB Brian Johnson. Prosinski has two interceptions and eight passes defended. Johnson has 10 TD passes and six INTs.

Players to Watch
Utah: WR Brent Casteel had a key catch on each of the Utes' final two scoring drives, but his TD came on the ground.
Wyoming: RB Devin Moore leads the MWC with 149 all-purpose yards.
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. Utah became the first team to become bowl eligible this season when it beat Oregon State 31-28 last week. ... Wyoming's last win over a Top 25 team was in 2002 against Air Force in Laramie. ... The Utes have won 14 of 15 games. ... Wyoming has yet to score first this season. ... Utes QB Brian Johnson is 19-7 as a starter, and just two wins shy of former Utah star Alex Smith.
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No. 15 Boise State (4-0) at Southern Miss (2-3), 8 p.m.
Line: Boise State by 11.
Series Record: Boise State leads 1-0.
Last Meeting: 2007, Boise State 38-16.
What's at Stake
Boise State can't afford a loss if it wants to be the first non-BCS school to make a second appearance in a BCS bowl game. Southern Miss is 2-3 with two straight losses and another one could make it hard to continue a streak of 14 winning seasons.
Key Matchup
Southern Mississippi ranks 97th in the nation in total defense, giving up over 406 yards per game. The Golden Eagles will have to stop Boise State's balanced offense which ranks 9th in the nation in passing. Boise State has had 10 different players to score touchdowns this season. The Broncos are averaging 36 points per game.
Players to Watch
school record for career rushing TDs. QB Kellen Moore, a redshirt freshman, continues to put up impressive numbers. He has thrown for 1,165 yards and 7 TDs.
Southern Miss: LB Gerald McRath, Conference USA's defensive player of the year in 2007, is averaging 11 tackles a game on a defense that's giving up over 400 yards per game. RB Damion Fletcher has twice rushed for more than 220 yards this season. He has 703 yards rushing and is the team's third leading receiver in the Golden Eagles' new spread offense.
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The Broncos will travel an estimated 2,071 miles to Hattiesburg for their final non-conference game of the season. ... Boise State has outscored opponents 73-10 in the second quarter. ... Moore earned his second Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week award following his performance against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 1. ... Southern Miss is averaging 31 points per game. QB Austin Davis has thrown for 1,265 yards and 9 touchdowns for the Golden Eagles.
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Colorado (3-2) at No. 16 Kansas (4-1) 12:30 p.m. ESPN2
Line: Kansas by 14.
Series Record: Colorado leads 41-23-3.
Last Meeting: 2007 Kansas 19-14.
What's at Stake
klahoma, No. 5 Texas, No. 7 Texas Tech and No. 3 Missouri. A win over rebuilding Colorado is an absolute must.
Key Matchup
Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins vs. Kansas' experienced but unexpectedly inconsistent linebackers. Hawkins, the son of the Buffaloes' coach, has already piled up 3,573 career yards of total offense while throwing 23 touchdowns and only one interception in the red zone. Kansas LB Mike Rivera, who got a preseason push for All-American, was actually benched for a time for inconsistency, though he has since revealed he's been playing hurt. He performed well in last week's comeback win over Iowa State.
Players to watch
Kansas: QB Todd Reesing, RB Jake Sharp and WR receiver Kerry Meier will need to keep the momentum going that they generated in a 35-point second half at Iowa State. Sharp and Meier each had more than 100 yards receiving.
Colorado: QB Cody Hawkins and the players on Colorado's kickoff return defense. They rank 119th in the country, the same as those on Kansas' kickoff return unit, so something's got to give.
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ongest home winning streak in the nation at 12 in a row.
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No. 20 Auburn (4-2) vs. Arkansas (2-3), 5 p.m.
Line: Auburn by 18 1/2.
Series Record: Auburn leads 10-6-1.
Last meeting: 2007, Auburn won 9-7.
What's at Stake
The teams' moods after disappointing starts. Preseason favorite Auburn is now on the outside looking in on the SEC West race. Arkansas could use a big win to bolster Bobby Petrino's rebuilding project.
Key Matchup
An Auburn offense that has struggled badly enough that offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was fired this week goes up against a defense that has given up 49, 52 and 38 points in its last three games.
Players to watch
Auburn: QB Kodi Burns, who could see more playing time and possibly start in place of Chris Todd.
Arkansas: RB Michael Smith is the kind of quick, shifty back Auburn's speedy defense hasn't seen much of this season.
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t manhandled 27-10.
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Notre Dame (4-1) at No. 22 North Carolina (4-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: North Carolina by 7 1/2.
Series Record: Notre Dame leads 16-1.
Last Meeting: 2006, Notre Dame 45-26.
What's at Stake
North Carolina is ranked for the first time in seven years and is playing its first home game as a ranked team in a decade. Notre Dame is unranked as a 4-1 team for the first time in its history, and is making its first trip to Chapel Hill since 1975.
Key Matchup
Notre Dame's passing offense vs. North Carolina's defense. Jimmy Clausen has thrown for six touchdowns with no interceptions in the past two games for the Fighting Irish. That air attack will provide a stiff test to North Carolina's pass defense, which leads the nation with 12 interceptions this year - including three last week against previously unbeaten Connecticut.
Players to watch
Notre Dame: Clausen, a sophomore who has thrown for 622 yards in the past two games, setting career highs each time.
North Carolina: TB Shaun Draughn, who ran for 109 yards in last weekend's win against the Huskies to spark the Tar Heels' otherwise struggling running attack.
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over margin (plus-eight) after forcing three last week. ... Notre Dame's only loss in the series was a 12-7 defeat in Chapel Hill in 1960. ... It is the first meeting when North Carolina is ranked and Notre Dame is unranked. ... Notre Dame's defense has allowed no third- or fourth-down conversions after halftime in the past two games.
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No. 23 Michigan State (5-1) at Northwestern (5-0), 3:45 p.m. (ESPN2)
Line: Michigan State by 1 1/2.
Series record: Michigan State leads 33-15.
Last meeting: 2007, Northwestern 48-41, OT.
What's at Stake
Most likely, a spot in the AP Top 25 to go along with keeping pace in the Big Ten. Michigan State is No. 23 after beating Iowa last week, while Northwestern's perfect start has it just outside the Top 25. The Spartans will look for their sixth straight win to stay even in the conference with Ohio State and Penn State. The Wildcats face their toughest opponent to date while trying to continue the school's best start in 46 years.
Key Matchup
Northwestern's run defense against Michigan State RB Javon Ringer. The Wildcats have had mixed results stopping the run, limiting Ohio to four yards while allowing 178 to Duke and 169 to Iowa. However, Northwestern hasn't faced a back of Ringer's caliber. Ringer rushed for only 81 yards in MSU's season-opening loss to Cal. Since then, he's averaged 181.4 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
Players to watch
Northwestern: Quarterback C.J. Bacher, who threw for 133 yards and four interceptions against Ohio, rebounded against Iowa impressively, throwing for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Bacher completed 38-of-48 passes for a school-record 520 yards and five touchdowns in East Lansing last year.
Michigan State: Ringer has taken the Spartans on his back, carrying the ball 212 times for 988 yards, second best in the county. He leads the nation with 12 rushing touchdowns and is second with 212 all-purpose yards per game. Ringer had 239 total yards and three touchdowns last year against the Wildcats.
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Ringer needs 12 rushing yards to reach 1,000. He would be the first MSU running back to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons since T.J. Duckett in 2001 and 2002. The home team in the series hasn't won since 2002. Northwestern is averaging 45 points in its last three contests with the Spartans.
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No. 25 Ball State (6-0) at Western Kentucky (2-4)
Line: Ball State by 15 1/2.
Series Record: Tied 1-1.
Last Meeting: 2007, Ball State 35-12.
What's at Stake
Ball State is hoping to extend its first visit to the Top 25 while the Hilltoppers are hosting a ranked team for the first time in school history.
Key Matchup
ers have struggled on offense, the defense has continued to improve.
Players to watch
Ball State: QB Nate Davis has completed 69 percent of his passes this season and has thrown just three interceptions. WR Briggs Orsbon has become Davis' go-to target following Dante Love's career-ending spinal injury suffered against Indiana on Sept. 20. Orsbon has 16 receptions for 188 yards in the last two games.
Western Kentucky: RB Dexter Taylor had 96 yards rushing in a loss to Virginia Tech last week, often lining up as the quarterback and running with the ball. CB Marcus Minor is among the top cornerbacks in the region and will likely be assigned to stopping Orsbon.
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Ball State is off to its first 6-0 start since 1965, when the Cardinals won their first nine. ... Ball State RB MiQuale Lewis has rushed for 100 yards in five straight games. ... Western Kentucky granted quarterback K.J. Black a release from his scholarship this week, less than two months after Black earned the starting job. ... Ball State is the third ranked opponent the Hilltoppers have played this year. They previously lost to No. 2 Alabama and No. 20 Virginia Tech.
 

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