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Thursday, 06 November 2008 14:09
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 Alabama (9-0) at LSU (6-2), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Line: Alabama by 3.
Series Record: Alabama leads 43-23-5.
Last Meeting: 2007, LSU 41-34.
What's at Stake
Alabama can win the Southeastern Conference West Division for the first time since 1999 by beating the Tigers, who have two SEC losses. The Crimson Tide also likely will need to remain undefeated to preserve its No. 1 national ranking. LSU, meanwhile, could stay alive in the SEC West race with a victory, while a loss virtually eliminates the Tigers from contending for any BCS bowl.
Key Matchup
First-year LSU starting QB Jarrett Lee against the Alabama defense, which is expected to stack up against the run and dare the inconsistent redshirt freshman to pass. Lee has thrown for a respectable 1,427 yards and 12 TDs in only five starts, but has also thrown 10 interceptions, five of which have been returned for touchdowns.
Players to watch
eads LSU in receiving with 572 yards and six TDs.
Alabama: DT Terrance Cody is expected to play after missing two games with a knee injury. The 380-pounder routinely eats up double teams and has helped Alabama limit opponents to 2.6 yards per carry and 65.6 rushing yards per game. Freshman receiver Julio Jones has 11 catches for 165 yards in his last two games.
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LSU has won five straight and seven of its last eight against Alabama ... The Crimson Tide's record in Baton Rouge is 24-8-2. ... The previous 71 meetings between these teams span 113 years, starting with LSU's 12-6 win in 1895. ... Les Miles is 3-0 against Alabama, with the latest triumph coming against former LSU coach Nick Saban, who took over the Tide's program last season. ... Florida was the last visiting team to play in Tiger Stadium with a No. 1 ranking. That game was in 1997, when LSU pulled out a 28-21 upset. ... The last time LSU played a No. 1 ranked opponent was last season, when the Tigers defeated top-ranked Ohio State for the BCS national championship. ... This is the first regular season game Alabama has played while holding the No. 1 ranking since 1980. ... The Crimson Tide is 19-5 while playing as the nation's top-ranked team.
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No. 8 Oklahoma State (8-1) at No. 2 Texas Tech (9-0), 8 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Texas Tech by 3.
Series Record: Texas Tech leads 20-12-3.
007, Oklahoma State 49-45.
What's at Stake
Texas Tech, with its highest ranking in school history, can stay in the driver's seat in the BCS and Big 12 South races with a win against Oklahoma State, which is trying to get back in both.
Key Matchup
Oklahoma State's defensive line vs. Tech's offensive line. The Cowboys have the fewest sacks in the Big 12, but were able to create enough pressure to disrupt Chase Daniel in their upset against Missouri. Only Air Force, which rarely throws the ball, has given up fewer sacks than the pass-happy Red Raiders, with their wide O-line splits.
Players to watch
Oklahoma State: WR Dez Bryant, the nation's second-leading receiver, is coming off his third four-TD game this season. Strangely, none of his 17 TDs this season have come on the road.
Texas Tech: WR Michael Crabtree's touchdown catch against Texas with one second left gave him at least one touchdown in the last 12 games. The reigning Biletnikoff Award winner has 70 catches for 921 yards and 15 TDs this season.
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Both teams are better known for their explosive offenses, but the Red Raiders have the best total defense in Big 12 play, and the Cowboys rank second.
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No. 3 Penn State (9-0) at Iowa (5-4), 3:37 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Penn State by 7 1/2.
Series Record: Penn State leads 11-9.
Last Meeting: 2007, Penn State 27-7.
What's at Stake
Win this one, and Penn State can see the finish line to an unbeaten regular season. The Nittany Lions play Indiana and Michigan State at home to close out the season, so this is likely to be their toughest game left. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz could really use a signature win in the Hawkeyes' effort to return to a decent bowl.
Key Matchup
Iowa's front seven against Penn State's running game. The Hawkeyes have one of the best defenses in the nation, and if they can keep Evan Royster and Stephfon Green in check they'll have a chance. Iowa held Michigan State's Javon Ringer and Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy under 100 yards.
Players to watch
Penn State: QB Darryl Clark. He came out against Ohio State with a mild concussion, but Penn State coach Joe Paterno says he's ready to go. If not, the Nittany Lions will turn to Pat Devlin, who's only thrown seven passes in Big Ten play.
would come in handy against a stingy Penn State defense.
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Iowa's students are planning a ``Greene Out'' in honor of Greene, but not all the Hawkeyes are thrilled about it. ``We're black and gold, so it'll be a little awkward, I guess,'' offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga said...Penn State is 31-15 in games after a bye under Paterno...With a win, Penn State will have notched a 10-0 start in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and this decade...Don't expect to see many flags on the turf. Iowa's is third nationally in fewest yards penalized, while Penn State was penalty-free against Ohio State.
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No. 4 Florida (7-1) at Vanderbilt (5-3), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Line: Florida by 24.
Series Record: Florida leads 30-9-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, Florida 49-22.
What's at Stake
The Eastern Division title in the Southeastern Conference. A Florida win secures the Gators a berth in the league championship game in Atlanta
Key Matchup
The Gators have allowed only 11 sacks this season, while Vanderbilt leads the SEC with 25 sacks. The Commodores came up with five sacks in a 10-7 loss to Duke.
Players to watch
Florida: QB Tim Tebow leads the SEC and is 10th nationally in passing efficiency with only two interceptions in 177 attempts this season and 14 touchdowns.
nterceptions with six breakups, cornerback Myron Lewis has three interceptions. Nickelback Darlron Spead, who returned his lone interception 41 yards before breaking his leg on the play, will be back for this game.
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Florida and Vanderbilt are charter members of the SEC. ... The Gators have won 17 straight in the series going back to 1988, but three of the past six games in Nashville have been decided by seven points or less. ... The Gators have won four straight. ... Florida has not allowed a touchdown rushing over the past two games and have allowed only two TDs sin the first half all season. ... Vandy leads the SEC in fewest penalties with 32 compared to 65 for Florida. ... The Commodores have not won four SEC games in a season since 1982.
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Baylor (3-6) vs. No. 5 Texas (8-1), 12 p.m. (FSN)
Line: Texas by 24.
Series Record: Texas leads 71-22-4.
Last meeting: 2007, Texas 31-10.
What's at Stake
Texas no longer controls its destiny its destiny in the Big 12 South and needs style points with a big win to keep up in the BCS standings. Colt McCoy's Heisman Trophy bid also took a hit with last week's loss at Texas Tech and a big game should bring back some of the shine.
Key Matchup
ng tackler.
Players to Watch
Texas: WR receiver Jordan Shipley. If receiver Quan Cosby can't return from a back injury this week, Shipley must take even more of the load of Texas' passing game while also returning punts and kickoffs. Shipley has two returns for touchdowns this season.
Baylor: Freshman QB Robert Griffin. A dazzling player who can run or throw, Griffin's ability to make big plays has made the Bears dangerous to play. And he's taking care of the ball with 11 touchdown passes and only one interception.
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It's the first game in a month for Texas against an unranked opponent. The Longhorns were just the ninth team in the history of the AP poll to play four teams ranked No. 11 or higher in a row ... one more loss ensures Baylor's 13th consecutive losing season ... Griffin set a major collage record for consecutive passes without an interception to start a career (209).
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M (4-5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ABC)
Line: Oklahoma by 27.
Series Record: Oklahoma leads 16-10.
Last Meeting: 2007, Oklahoma 42-14.
What's at Stake
hree games. Baylor (Nov. 15) and No. 5 Texas (Nov. 27) are the other two.
Key Matchup
M's defense. The Aggies haven't been able to stop much this season, ranking 102nd nationally in scoring defense (32.6 points per game) and 104th in total defense (427.1 yards per game). The OU offense ranks second nationally in points per game (49.8) and third in yards per game (538.3).
Players to Watch
M record.
Oklahoma: Senior WR Quentin Chaney, who has 13 catches for 288 yards in his last three games. He had five catches for 128 yards and a touchdown in last week's 62-28 win over Nebraska. The Sooners have the nation's third-ranked passing offense (358.89 yards per game).
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unt this season, third in the nation. ... Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford has seven 300-yard passing games this season, one shy of Josh Heupel's school record set in 1999.
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No. 21 California (6-2, 4-1 Pac-10) at No. 7 USC (7-1, 5-1), 8 p.m. (ABC).
Line: USC by 20 1/2.
Series Record: USC leads 60-30-5.
Last Meeting: 2007, USC 24-17.
What's at Stake
USC needs a victory to remain in contention for the Pac-10 championship and the BCS title game. The Trojans have won at least a share of the conference title for six straight years. Cal has to win to continue to control its own destiny in the Pac-10. Should the Golden Bears win their last four games, at USC and Oregon State and at home against Stanford and Washington, they'll end USC's streak and play in their first Rose Bowl game in 50 years.
Key Matchup
USC's nationally top-ranked defense against Cal's offense. The Trojans lead the country in total defense (211.63 yards) and scoring defense (7.1 points), while the Bears rank 19th in scoring offense (36.38 points). Both teams have performed well on the other side of the ball, with USC 10th in scoring offense (40.25-point average) and Cal is 23rd in total defense (300.00) and tied with North Carolina for the national lead in interceptions with 17.
Players to watch
QBs Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley ranks 5-6 in passing efficiency and have combined to throw 18 touchdown passes with only seven interceptions. CB Syd'Quan Thompson leads the conference in passes defended with 14 - three interceptions and 11 passes broken up - and CB Darian Hagan is tied for second with 13.
USC: QB Mark Sanchez leads the conference with 22 touchdowns passes and 235.5 passing yards per game. LBs Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Kaluka Maiava have combined to make 12 tackles for losses and helped limit opposing rushers to 84.1 yards per game and 2.5 yards per carry.
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The Trojans have won the last four games between the teams including a 23-9 decision two years ago at the Coliseum, but the Bears led in the third quarter of that game before USC scored the game's final 17 points. ... USC has a 24-0 November record since Pete Carroll became coach in 2001, and the Trojans have won 42 of their last 43 home games. Cal hasn't won at the Los Angeles Coliseum since a 28-16 triumph in 2000 capped a three-game winning streak over the Trojans in Los Angeles. ... USC has three shutouts in its last four games and outscored the opposition 214-20 since losing 27-21 at Oregon State.
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Utah State (2-7) at No. 9 Boise State (8-0) 2:07 p.m., Saturday
Line: Boise State by 35.
Series Record: Boise State leads 10-4
Last meeting: Boise State won 52-0.
What's at Stake
Boise State needs to keep winning to stay in the running for its second BCS bowl berth in the last three seasons. The Broncos beat Oklahoma two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl, and being from the Western Athletic Conference can't afford a loss if they want to crash the party again. The Aggies are looking to snap a string of seven straight losses to Boise State, many of which have been blowouts.
Key Matchup
Aggie quarterback Diondre Borel against Boise State's stingy defense. Borel, a sophomore, has started the last six games, leading the Aggies to their only two wins. During that stint, he has rolled up 1,436 yards in the air and on the ground, and in the last three has averaged 296.3 yards per game. But will face a Broncos that is the best in the WAC in total defense (277 yards per game) and has allowed just 33 points in the last five games.
Players to watch
Utah State: QB Borel of course is the Aggies' threat offensively, but LBs Jake Hutton and Paul Igboelli are two active players Boise State will need to account for on every play. Hutton ranks fifth in the WAC in tackles, averaging 8.4 per game, while Igoelli had five tackles, recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal attempt in the Aggies' win over Hawaii last week.
ue-best 18 TDs. RBs Ian Johnson, Jeremy Avery and D.J. Harper form a potent rushing attack. The Broncos' three-headed monster averages 152 yards per game. WR Jeremy Childs is Moore's favorite target, catching 39 balls for 454 yards.
Facts and Figures
Utah State is facing its fourth ranked foe this season, marking the first time since 2001 that the Aggies have played that many ranked teams, with losses at Oregon, Utah and Brighman Young. ... The Aggies have been outscored by the Broncos 341-150 in their last seven meetings, all won by Boise State. ... Boise State owns the nation's best home winning percentage since 2003, at .868, or 36-1. ... The Broncos' No. 9 ranking is tied for the highest the team has ever reached during the regular season. The other time was in 2007 before its appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
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No. 12 Ohio State (7-2) at Northwestern (7-2), noon (ESPN2)
Line: Ohio State by 11.
Series Record: Ohio State leads 56-14-1.
Last Meeting: 2007, Ohio State 58-7.
What's at Stake
Ohio State still has a slim chance for its fourth straight Big Ten title, but it has to win out and get some help from the teams it trails, No. 3 Penn State and Michigan State. But even if Penn State keeps winning, the Rose Bowl isn't out of the question.
Key Matchup
ents under 75 yards rushing, and ranks fourth in the Big Ten at 109 yards rushing per game. But Wells is averaging 112 yards rushing, and has gone over the century mark in all but two games he's played this season. One of those two games? Ohio State's last outing, the loss to Penn State.
Players to watch
Ohio State: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Last he was seen, the freshman was sitting on the Ohio State bench, head bowed, after his two mistakes keyed Penn State's win at the Horseshoe. His fumble set up Penn State's go-ahead TD, and the Nittany Lions sealed the victory with an interception.
Northwestern: Quarterbacks C.J. Bacher and Mike Kafka. Playing in place of the injured Bacher, Kafka rushed for a Big Ten quarterback-record 217 yards while throwing for 143 yards in Northwestern's upset win at Minnesota. But Bacher will get his starting job back if he's healthy.
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The Buckeyes are 1-4 after an off week under coach Jim Tressel. ... Ohio State has won eight of its last nine against Northwestern. The Wildcats' one win? After an Ohio State bye week. ... Northwestern's victory at Minnesota was its first over a ranked team since 2005.
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Kansas State (4-5) at No. 13 Missouri (7-2), 8 p.m.
Line: Missouri by 27.
Series Record: Missouri leads 57-31-5
Last meeting: 2007, Missouri 49-32.
What's at Stake
duck coach after Ron Prince was fired on Wednesday with 16-18 record in 2 1/2 seasons, but despite losing four of five the Wildcats still have an outside shot at bowl eligibility. Missouri's on track for a repeat berth in the Big 12 championship game despite a near stumble in 31-28 victory at Baylor last week. A win in the home finale and at Iowa State next week sets up a battle for the North title vs. Kansas in Kansas City on Nov. 29.
Key Matchup
Kansas State defense vs. Missouri offense. Wildcats have surrendered 110 points last two weeks to Kansas and Oklahoma, and braced for another high-powered attack. Tigers' 46-point average is sixth-best in nation behind QB Chase Daniel (26 TD passes, 8 interceptions), TE Chase Coffman (73 catches, 7 TDs), WR Jeremy Maclin (63 catches, 7 TDs) and RB Derrick Washington (708 yards, 6.3 average, 13 TDs).
Players to watch
Kansas State: DE Ian Campbell had seven sacks, 2 1/2 tackles for loss and second blocked kick last week in loss at Kansas. ... QB Josh Freeman, a junior, needs 102 yards to become school career total offense leader. ... LB Alex Hrbec, former walk-on, has 25 tackles last three games.
f Wolfert is on track to break NCAA career record for accuracy on combined FGs-extra point kicks, making 95.6 percent (215-for-225).
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Missouri is seeking its first three-game winning streak against Kansas State since 1988-90. ... The Tigers will honor 23 seniors whose class has totaled a school-record 34 wins last four seasons. ... Missouri DE Stryker Sulak has forced five fumbles, most in the nation. ... Kansas State leads the nation with school-record eight blocked kicks - four punts, two extra points, two field goals - and with five TDs on punt returns. ... Kansas State is 40-22 vs. North Division opponents since the advent of Big 12 in 1996, second-best among North schools, but 7-15 last five seasons. ... Missouri has won its last two after losing previous 13 in a row.
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No. 14 Georgia (7-2) at Kentucky (6-3)
Line: Georgia by 10.5
Series Record: Georgia leads 48-11-2.
Last Meeting: 2007, Georgia 24-13.
What's at Stake
The Bulldogs will get a chance to make up for last week's embarrassing 49-10 loss to No. 5 Florida and try to salvage a somewhat disappointing year for the preseason No. 1. Kentucky can get a lock on a third straight bowl bid for the first time in more than 50 years with a win in the final three games and prove its recent surge is no fluke.
Key Matchup
e Wildcats are in the top 25 in a handful of defensive categories, including pass efficiency defense (19th) and pass defense (23rd). Kentucky corner Trevard Lindley sealed a 24-20 upset win over the Bulldogs two years ago with a late interception.
Players to watch
Georgia: RB Knowshon Moreno (990 yards, 12 TDs), WR A.J. Green (44 receptions, 753 yards, 5 TDs), FS Reshad Jones (3 Ints.)
Kentucky: QB/WR Randall Cobb (21 receptions, 197 yards, 2 TDs; 270 yards passing, 2 TDs; 140 yards rushing, 3 TDs) LB Braxton Kelley (68 tackles, 3 sacks).
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Moreno needs just 10 yards to become the second player in Georgia history to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Herschel Walker did it in each of his three years from 1980-82. ... Georgia coach Mark Richt is one win away from becoming the sixth coach to win 80 Division I games in his first eight seasons. ... Kentucky it second in the SEC with a plus-6 turnover margin. ... The Wildcats are 11-5 in their last 16 games decided by 10 points or less.
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San Diego State (1-8) at No. 17 BYU (8-1)
Line: BYU by 36 1/2.
Series Record: BYU leads 24-7-1.
Last Meeting: 2007, BYU 48-27.
What's at Stake
BYU can wrap up a third straight perfect season at home with a win over the Aztecs, who have yet to win a game in the Mountain West Conference this year.
Key Matchup
p offense in the Mountain West and is going against the lowest-rated defense in the league. The Aztecs are allowing 471 yards and 36 points per game.
Players to watch
San Diego State: Coach Chuck Long because it may be his last trip to Provo.
BYU: QB Max Hall, who has thrown for 29 touchdowns this season and could add several more against a soft defense.

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BYU has won six of the last seven meetings. ... The Cougars' 17-game home winning streak is tied for the longest in school history. ... Long is 8-25 in three seasons at San Diego State.
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Purdue (3-6) at No. 18 Michigan State (8-2), noon (Big Ten Network)
Line: Michigan State by 9 1/2.
Series Record: Michigan State leads 29-28-3.
Last Meeting: 2007, Michigan State 48-31.
What's at Stake
Michigan State would stay in contention for at least a share of the Big Ten title with a victory. The Spartans are 5-1 in the conference, second behind unbeaten Penn State. The Spartans and Nittany Lions could meet for a share of the title Nov. 22, but Purdue would spoil that matchup with an upset Saturday.
Key Matchup
Michigan State running back Javon Ringer versus the Purdue defense. Ringer is second in the nation and first in the conference at 142.7 yards rushing per game. Purdue ranks last in the Big Ten in rushing defense, giving up 176 yards per game.
Players to watch
Purdue: QB Curtis Painter missed last week's victory over Michigan with an injured throwing shoulder but could play Saturday. QB Justin Siller also could play and was the Big Ten's co-offensive player of the week for his performance against the Wolverines. RB Kory Sheets ranks fourth in the Big Ten at 102.7 yards rushing per game. Linebacker Anthony Heygood is third in the Big Ten with 9.8 tackles per game.
Michigan State: QB Brian Hoyer has been effective when Michigan State's running game gets shut down, including during last week's come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin. WR Blair White has two straight 100-yard receiving games. LB Greg Jones leads the Spartans and is fifth in the Big Ten with 8.8 tackles per game.
Figures
Michigan State's 5-1 start in the Big Ten is the best for the program in conference games since the Spartans went 5-0-1 in 1987.... Purdue has won seven of the last nine meetings in the series, including two straight in East Lansing. ... Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio spent the 1981 season at Purdue as a graduate assistant. ... Purdue has an 18-game winless streak against top 25 teams.
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No. 22 Georgia Tech (7-2) at No. 19 North Carolina (6-2), noon (Raycom)
Line: North Carolina by 4.
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads 23-17-3.
Last Meeting: 2007, Georgia Tech 27-25.
What's at Stake
eams have a chance to emerge from the muddled ACC Coastal Division pack, where every team has at least two league losses. The Tar Heels are looking to secure their first winning season since 2001, while the Yellow Jackets are hoping to follow up last week's win against Florida State.
Key Matchup
North Carolina's linebackers vs. Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. Paul Johnson has caused headaches throughout the ACC since bringing his triple-option offense from Navy. The Tar Heels are coming off a bye that gave them extra time to prepare, but athletic sophomore linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter will need to have big games.
Players to watch
Georgia Tech: RB Jonathan Dwyer, averaging just less than 100 yards rushing per game.
North Carolina: WR Hakeem Nicks, needs 48 yards to set school's career receiving mark.
Figures
aying its second straight game against a ranked opponent.
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Cincinnati (6-2) at No. 20 West Virginia (6-2), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Line: West Virginia by 7.
Series Record: West Virginia leads 14-1-1.
Last Meeting: 2007, West Virginia 28-23.
What's at Stake
West Virginia, looking for a sixth straight win, tries to stay alone in first place in the Big East. A loss throws Cincinnati two games behind with three league games remaining.
Key Matchup
West Virginia's secondary against Mardy Gilyard and Dominick Goodman. The Cincinnati receivers average a combined 11 catches for 159 yards per game. The Mountaineers, with seven freshman or sophomore starters on defense, have held opponents scoreless after halftime in three straight contests.
Players to watch
West Virginia: QB Pat White has played in two straight games, throwing for four TDs, after missing all or parts of three games before that with injuries. Against the Bearcats last year he carried a career-high 27 times for 155 yards and threw for 140 more. White needs 239 yards to surpass Missouri's Brad Smith as the top rushing quarterback in NCAA history.
closer, including a 64-yarder that went out of bounds at the 3.
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Cincinnati is playing its third road game and fourth overall in 21 days. ... The Bearcats' lone win in the series came in 2003 in Morgantown on a wet field in which the teams combined for 14 fumbles. ... The Mountaineers have averaged 36 points in their last three games against Cincinnati. ... West Virginia, 5-0 at home, is trying to go unbeaten at Mountaineer Field for the first time since 1993. It has another home game remaining with South Florida on Dec. 6.
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Clemson (4-4) at No. 24 Florida State (6-2), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Florida State by 5 1/2.
Series record: Florida State leads 15-6.
Last meeting: 2007, Clemson 24-18.
What's at Stake
Florida State is still in contention for a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game next month in Tampa, but needs help and can't afford a third league loss. Clemson is trying to regain some of the respect it was shown in the preseason when it was regarded as a heavy favorite to win the league.
Key Matchup
terback Cullen Harper and slow down running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller.
Players to watch
Clemson: Spiller ranks second in the ACC in all-purpose yardage and can be a one-man wrecking crew running, receiving or returning kicks as Boston College found out last week.
Florida State: Kicker/punter Graham Gano has been perfect since missing his first try of the season seven weeks ago, hitting a school-record 15 consecutive field goals that include four from 50 yards or more. Gano, who also averages 46 yards on punts, could be the difference in a close game.
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Clemson will be trying to become the first school in the ACC to defeat Florida State four straight times. The Tigers and Wake Forest have each beaten the Seminoles three straight. ... Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will be after his 380th career coaching victory while Clemson interim coach Dabo Swinney is seeking his second ... Swinney replaced Bowden's son Tommy last month after the Tigers failed to live up to preseason expectations ... Bowden did manage to go 4-5 against his dad, a better mark than most.
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Louisville (5-3) at No. 25 Pittsburgh (6-2), noon
Line: Pittsburgh by 6.
Series Record: Louisville leads 7-4.
Last Meeting: 2007, Louisville 24, Pittsburgh 17.
What's at Stake
thers (2-1 in Big East), coming off a four-overtime road win against Notre Dame, close out the season with four consecutive conference games - including a Nov. 28 home game against Big East leader West Virginia. The Panthers have talked for years about ascending to the top of the conference; here's their chance to do it. Louisville (1-2 in Big East) can knock off a Top 25 team for the second time in three weeks, but the Cardinals' win 24-20 against then-No. 14 South Florida on Oct. 25 was effectively nullified by last week's discouraging loss at Syracuse.
Key Matchup
Pitt's running game vs. Louisville's rush defense. LeSean McCoy's 116.6-yard career average leads active NCAA rushers, and he has rushed for at least 142 yards in five consecutive games. Louisville has allowed only two 100-yard rushers and is No. 9 nationally against the run.
Players to Watch
Pittsburgh: McCoy. Since he started the season with three consecutive games below 100, nobody has slowed him. The sophomore ran for 101 yards against Notre Dame from the fourth quarter on, finishing with 169. He has 10 TDs in his last four games and is tied for second nationally with 15 TDs. McCoy (1,044 yards this season), Curvin Richards (1988-89) and Tony Dorsett (1973-76) are the only RBs in Pitt history to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
t, the Cardinals can lose to ... yes, Syracuse, which had been 0-6 against bowl subdivision teams. Cantwell has thrown an interception in five consecutive games and has 10 overall, but has 9 TD passes in Louisville's 5 wins.
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Louisville has won the last seven games in the series, dating to 1983. ... Louisville has had only two plays longer than 20 yards in its last two games. ... Freshman RB Victor Anderson has five 100-yard games, the most at Louisville since Michael Bush's six in 2005. Anderson needs 160 yards for 1,000. ... Pitt has blocked seven kicks (three extra points, two field goals and two punts). ... McCoy ran for 120 yards and a TD and had three receptions for 60 yards and a TD against Louisville last season. ... Pitt is 4-0 on the road but 2-2 at home, losing to Bowling Green (27-17) and Rutgers (54-34). ... Pitt K Conor Lee was 5-for-5 on field goals vs. Notre Dame and is 16-of-18 for the season. ... Pitt QB Bill Stull (concussion) sat out the Notre Dame game but is expected to return.
 

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