Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

October 14, 2010

Top 25 Preview Capsules

(AP) -- No. 1 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at No. 18 Wisconsin (5-1, 1-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Ohio State by 4.

Series Record: Ohio State leads 53-17-5.

Last Meeting: 2009, Ohio State 31-13.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Ohio State insists the bullseye is always on its back, not just when it ascends to No. 1. But the Buckeyes are considered tops in the land at the season's midpoint and must face a Wisconsin team that is looking for a signature win under fifth-year coach Bret Bielema. The Badgers will be playing a rare night game at Camp Randall Stadium, but that means little to Ohio State after a 20-17 win in 2008 under the lights, when Terrelle Pryor was a freshman.

KEY MATCHUP

Wisconsin's OL vs. Ohio State's front seven. Both sides are stacked with guys that will be playing on Sunday, but for all the talent the Badgers have in their front five, Ohio State has been able to take advantage of them with relentless pressure. Wisconsin has allowed 18 sacks in the last three matchups against the Buckeyes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ohio State: WRs Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey. The pair of receivers has 53 catches and 10 touchdowns. While all the attention will be on Pryor, if Sanzenbacher and Posey shake free of a suspect Badgers secondary, Ohio State will have a decided advantage.

Wisconsin: QB Scott Tolzien. The fifth-year senior got a rude first experience with Ohio State last year, throwing two interceptions returned for touchdowns that cost Wisconsin any shot of winning. Tolzien believes he's learned from the experience.

FACTS & FIGURES

Wisconsin RBs John Clay and James White have combined for 178 carries for 1,177 yards with just one fumble. ... Ohio State has won 12 straight and is 39-4 in its last 43 conference games. ... The Badgers haven't committed a turnover in four games. ... The Buckeyes are 8-3 in Big Ten night games on the road since coach Jim Tressel took over. ... Wisconsin's band is back. For the 2008 game at Camp Randall, the group was suspended because of allegations of hazing, alcohol abuse and boorish behavior. It was the first time in 40 years the band had missed a game.

---


No. 3 Boise State (5-0, 1-0 WAC) vs. San Jose State (1-5, 0-1), 8 p.m. (WAC)

Line: Boise State by 39 1/2.

Series Record: Boise State leads 10-0.

Last Meeting: 2009, Boise State 45-7.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Boise State is looking to post a lopsided victory before the first BCS standings are released Sunday. Projections have put the Broncos first if they were already out this week. San Jose State has another shot at knocking off a ranked team, having lost four times already.

KEY MATCHUP

San Jose State's pistol vs. Boise State defense. The Spartans are hitting their stride with their new pistol offense in recent weeks, topping 100 yards rushing the past two games. They are looking for three straight for the first time since 2006, but it won't be easy against the third-stingiest run defense in the country. DE Ryan Winterswyk leads the Broncos defense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Boise State: QB Kellen Moore has 649 career completions, one shy of Bart Hendricks' school record, and needs only four more TD passes to tie Ryan Dinwiddie's school mark of 82. Moore also leads the nation in passing efficiency this season with a 183.3 rating.

San Jose State: LB Vince Buhagiar. The first starting freshman linebacker in six years at San Jose State leads the team with 44 tackles. He entered the week with the second most tackles of any freshman in the nation.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Spartans played the Broncos tight in two of their last three visits to San Jose, falling 56-49 in double OT in 2004 and 23-20 on a last-second field goal in 2006. ... Boise State is the highest ranked opponent to visit Spartan Stadium. The last ranked opponent to lose at San Jose State was No. 9 TCU in 2000. ... With Alabama's loss last week, Boise State has the longest winning streak in the nation at 19 games. ... Boise State is the only team to rank in the top 5 in total offense (fifth) and defense (second). ... The Broncos have allowed only one sack. ... The is the first time the Spartans have played five ranked teams in a season, following games with No. 1 Alabama, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 13 Utah and No. 21 Nevada. San Jose State was outscored 156-33 in those games.

---

No. 4 TCU (6-0, 4-0 Mountain West) vs BYU (2-4, 1-1), 4 p.m. (Versus)

Line: TCU by 29.

Series Record: BYU leads 5-4.

Last Meeting: 2009, TCU 38-7.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

For TCU, a 17-game home winning streak and the chance for another statement game before the first BCS standings come out at the end of the weekend. BYU hasn't been this big of an underdog since 1985, and this is only the sixth time the Cougars have been listed as 20-point underdogs over that span.

KEY MATCHUP

TCU's running back duo of Ed Wesley (102 yards per game, 7 TDs rushing) and Matthew Tucker (59.3 ypg, 5 TDs), along with QB Andy Dalton (44.2 ypg, 3 TDs), against a porous BYU rushing defense. BYU is 113th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 225 yards a game. TCU is seventh nationally with 279 yards a game, their best since 1987.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BYU: Junior RB JJ Di Luigi is the Cougars' top rusher and receiver. He has 508 of their 870 yards rushing with four TDs, and team-highs with 26 catches for 285 yards and another score.

TCU: DE Wayne Daniels has a Mountain West-leading 8 1/2 tackles for losses with 5 1/2 sacks, and has recovered two fumbles. LB Tanner Brock leads the Frogs with 40 tackles.

FACTS & FIGURES

TCU has started Mountain West play with consecutive shutouts. The Frogs had three straight shutouts in 1955, the last time they had held two opponents in a row scoreless. ... The Frogs lead the nation in total defense, allowing 230 yards a game. ... BYU QB Jake Heaps is 13 completions away from setting a school freshman record. ... These aren't the high-scoring Cougars of the past. BYU is 113th nationally, averaging 17 points per game, and last week's 24-21 victory over San Diego State marked a season high. ... TCU is 28-1 in day games and 52-4 on Saturdays the past six seasons.

---

No. 5 Nebraska (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) vs Texas (3-2, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Nebraska by 9 1/2.

Series Record: Texas leads 9-4.

Last Meeting: 2009, Texas 13-12, Big 12 championship game.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Lots of pride for both sides. Texas has won eight of nine meetings, and Nebraska wants to beat the Longhorns on their way out of the Big 12. The Huskers have national title aspirations and can't afford to have Texas be their foil - again. Texas needs a win to snap out of a funk, having never lost three straight regular-season games under Mack Brown.

KEY MATCHUP

QB Taylor Martinez vs. Oklahoma's defense. Martinez has been sensational, averaging almost 11 yards per carry against overmatched defenses. He's yet to see a unit as athletic as Texas, though. The Longhorns better be ready when Martinez decides to keep on the zone-read option. No one in the nation runs it better.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas: QB Garrett Gilbert, after being pressed into duty in the national championship game for an injured Colt McCoy, should be comfortable on the big stage. His biggest issue will be Nebraska's secondary, possibly the nation's best. He has to be effective passing because the Longhorns are yet to prove they can rely on the run.

Nebraska: LB Lavonte David seems to be everywhere, piling up a 35 tackles in the last two games and a team-leading 60 for the season. David didn't expect much playing time as a junior-college transfer, but he took on a major role after two injuries at linebacker in the preseason.

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas (848) and Nebraska (831) rank second and fourth in all-time wins. ... Nebraska has lost five straight in the series since winning 22-6 in the 1999 Big 12 championship game. ... Six of Texas' eight wins against Nebraska since 1996 have been by four or fewer points. ... Huskers IB Roy Helu Jr. has three 100-yard outings in his last four games. ... Nebraska has held 13 straight opponents to 21 points or less, the longest streak in the nation. ... The Longhorns are 36-6 in Big 12 road games under Brown.

---

No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) vs Iowa State (3-3, 1-1), 7 p.m. (FSN)

Line: Oklahoma by 24.

Series Record: Oklahoma leads 67-5-2.

Last Meeting: 2007, Oklahoma 17-7.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Oklahoma can start 6-0 for the first time since 2004. The Sooners had started five straight seasons with at least six consecutive wins at that point, but have failed to do so in five years since. Iowa State can pick up a key win in a difficult stretch that included a loss to Utah last week and continues with a trip to Texas next week.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma offense vs. Iowa State LBs A.J. Klein and Jake Knott. The Cyclones' tandem has combined to force nine of the team's 14 takeaways this season, while the Sooners lead the nation in turnover margin at plus-2, yielding just one fumble and three interceptions. In 2007, three Oklahoma turnovers helped keep it a close game in Ames.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma: RB DeMarco Murray. The versatile senior is only two touchdowns away from tying 1969 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens' school record of 57 career TDs. He's also 403 yards shy of Joe Washington's school mark of 5,881 all-purpose yards.

Iowa State: RB Shontrelle Johnson. With starter Alexander Robinson expected limited with a foot injury, the freshman from Florida could get a heavier load. He gained 102 yards in a win against Texas Tech two weeks ago and averaged 10 yards per carry against Utah last week.

FACTS & FIGURES

Under coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma is 11-0 in games that immediately follow the Red River Rivalry against Texas. ... Iowa State's last win in the series was a 33-31 decision in Norman in 1990. ... The Cyclones have two starting defensive linemen from Oklahoma: NG Stephen Ruempolhamer is from Tulsa and DE Rashawn Parker is from Ponca City. The Sooners don't have any players from Iowa, although Stoops formerly played for the University of Iowa.

---

No. 7 Auburn (6-0, 3-0 SEC) vs No. 12 Arkansas (4-1, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Line: Auburn by 3 1/2.

Series Record: Auburn leads 10-8-1.

Last meeting: 2009, Arkansas 44-23.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Arkansas needs a win to stay solidly in the SEC West mix with one division loss already. The Tigers, meanwhile, can stay in the driver's seat with LSU going into that head-to-head matchup.

KEY MATCHUP

Arkansas' passing game against an Auburn secondary that has been victimized at times. The Razorbacks rank third nationally in pass offense, while the Tigers are 91st in stopping it. Auburn has already given up 300-yard passing efforts to Arkansas State and South Carolina and could face some mismatches in the secondary.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arkansas: QB Ryan Mallett leads the SEC and ranks second nationally with 349.6 passing yards per game. He also has 47 completions of 15-plus yards and 16 of 25 or more.

Auburn: QB Cam Newton is the SEC's top rusher and the nation's No. 2-rated passer. Has three outings of at least 170 yards rushing, and has run or passed for 21 of Auburn's 28 touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first time both teams have been nationally ranked. Arkansas has won the past two meetings and outgained Auburn 911-568 in total yards in the process. ... The Razorbacks are off to their best start since 2006. ... Auburn leads the SEC in total offense while Arkansas is second. ... Auburn has allowed three fourth-quarter points against its last three SEC opponents.

---

No. 8 Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC) vs. Mississippi (3-2, 1-1), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Alabama by 21.

Series Record: Alabama leads 43-9-2.

Last meeting: 2009, Alabama 22-3.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Alabama wants to rebound from its first regular-season loss in 2 1/2 years and has little margin for error in the SEC West. Ole Miss could get another big confidence boost.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama's crimson-faced defense against the SEC's top scoring offense. The Tide allowed 35 points to South Carolina while Ole Miss has racked up 97 points in its last two games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arkansas: RB Brandon Bolden, the SEC's No. 3 rusher, is averaging 103.6 yards per game. He'll go against a defense that nearly had a 40-game streak without an opposing rusher topping 100 yards snapped by South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore.

Auburn: RB Mark Ingram has been held in check - and gotten limited opportunities - the past two games. The Tide could return to smashmouth football after passing early last weekend.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ole Miss's 186 points is the most through five games since the 1935 team had 205. ... Last year's 22-3 Alabama win came after a four-year stretch when the game was decided by 13 total points - all Tide wins. Bama has won the last six meetings. ... Alabama can match its third-longest Bryant-Denny Stadium winning streak of 18 games. ... The Rebels are second in a string of six straight SEC opponents facing Alabama after a bye week.

---

No. 9 LSU (6-0) vs McNeese State (2-3), 7 p.m. (FSN)

Line: N/A

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

LSU is now firmly in the national championship picture heading into the second half of the season and a loss to an FCS team would ruin that. McNeese State, often a playoff team, has endured a tough start to this season but has an opportunity to register a landmark victory over the state's flagship university at Tiger Stadium.

KEY MATCHUP

McNeese's battered offense against LSU's defense, which ranks fifth nationally. McNeese State has lost leading rusher Marcus Wiltz and starting left tackle Taylor Johnson to injuries. LSU has racked up 19 sacks and allows only 80.7 yards rushing per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

McNeese State: RB Andre Anderson has been McNeese State's second leading rusher, averages 5.3 yards per carry and stands to see much more action because of Wiltz's injury.

LSU: WR Terrence Toliver is coming off his best game of the season at Florida last weekend, with six catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score.

FACTS & FIGURES

These two teams have been among the most successful on their respective levels during the past decade. Since 2000, LSU has won 105 games and McNeese State has won 83. ... LSU has not opened a season with seven straight wins since starting 9-0 in 1973. ... This marks LSU's first contest with a team from the FCS since the 2008 season-opener against Appalachian State, which the Tigers won 41-13. ... LSU has not lost a non-conference regular-season game since falling to Virginia Tech to open the 2002 season. ... LSU is 6-0 for the second time under head coach Les Miles and for the first time since 2007, the last season LSU won a national title. ... Miles is 57-15 as LSU's head coach, including 21-0 in regular season games against team outside the SEC.

---

No. 10 South Carolina (4-1, 2-1 SEC) at Kentucky (3-3, 0-3), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: South Carolina by 5.

Series Record: South Carolina leads 14-6-1.

Last Meeting: 2009, South Carolina 28-26.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Gamecocks are coming off arguably the biggest victory in school history, a 35-21 upset of defending national champion Alabama. A win over Kentucky would put South Carolina in the driver's seat in the SEC East as the school chases its first berth in the conference title game. The Wildcats began the season with hopes of taking another step up the SEC ladder. It hasn't happened after three straight losses.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn RB Marcus Lattimore vs. Kentucky's linebackers. The bruising freshman has given South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier something he's rarely had during his lengthy coaching career: a grind-it-out pounder who gives as good as he gets. The Wildcats rank last in the SEC in run defense, giving up 190.3 yards per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Carolina: WR Alshon Jeffery. The 6-foot-4 Jeffery will be a matchup nightmare for Kentucky's largely undersized secondary. He delivered his breakout performance against the Wildcats a year ago, catching seven passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

Kentucky: RB Donald Russell. The sophomore could have the first extended playing time of his career if senior Derrick Locke can't go because of a shoulder injury. Russell, who had dropped to third on the depth chart earlier this season because of poor practice habits, played well in last week's loss to Auburn, combining for 51 yards of total offense in the second half.

FACTS & FIGURES

Spurrier is undefeated against Kentucky, winning all 17 matchups while coaching at Florida and South Carolina. ... The Gamecocks have won 10 straight in the series overall. Kentucky's last triumph came in a 30-10 victory in 1999. ... South Carolina is the SEC's best offense in the red zone, scoring on 19 of 20 opportunities. Kentucky's red-zone defense is last in the league. Teams have scored on all 22 trips inside the Kentucky 20.

---

No. 11 Utah (5-0, 2-0 Mountain West) at Wyoming (2-4, 0-2), 6 p.m. (The Mtn.)

Line: Utah by 20 1/2.

Series Record: Utah leads 50-31-1.

Last Meeting: 2009, Utah 22-10.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Utah would become bowl eligible with a win and hopes to keep its outside shot at playing for a national title alive. The final score could give some indication of how Utah compares with two other highly ranked teams without automatic BCS access - No. 3 Boise State and Mountain West rival No. 4 TCU. Boise State beat Wyoming 51-6, and TCU beat the Cowboys 45-0.

KEY MATCHUP

Utah outranks Wyoming in just about every facet of the game except punting. Wyoming punter Austin McCoy ranks 15th in the nation with a 45.11 average. Utah, which has scored more than 50 points in its last three games, including 68 against Iowa State last weekend, ranks No. 3 in scoring offense at 49 points per game while Wyoming is tied at No. 118 with 12.5.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

UTAH: Shaky Smithson ranks third in the country in punt returns with an average of 24.3 yards. Against Iowa state, he had 261 all-purpose yards, a touchdown reception and a touchdown pass. He figures to pad his punt return yardage against Wyoming.

WYOMING: Sophomore S Shamiel Gary is tops in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in tackles with 10.67 per game. QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, who has averaged 182.2 yards of total offense, is expected to start after missing last week's game with an undisclosed injury.

FACTS & FIGURES

Wyoming is playing its fourth Top 25 team this season. It has played five if you count No. 23 Air Force, which was not ranked when the two teams met. According to Sagarin ratings, Wyoming's strength of schedule is third-toughest in the nation. ... Wyoming and Utah have been in the same conference since 1938. ... Utah is outscoring opponents 101-7 in the second quarter.

---

No. 13 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) vs Illinois (3-2, 1-1), 12 p.m. (Big Ten)

Line: Michigan State by 7.

Series Record: Michigan State 24-17-2.

Last Meeting: 2009, Michigan State 24-14.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

After brushing aside rival Michigan in Ann Arbor last weekend, Michigan State tries to avoid a letdown at home. The Spartans are seeking their first 7-0 start since 1966. Illinois will try to earn more credibility after a respectable loss to Ohio State and last week's 33-13 win at Penn State.

KEY MATCHUP

Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure vs. Michigan State LB Greg Jones. Leshoure ran for 119 yards against Penn State, but Jones, an All-American, heads a defense that made Wisconsin's John Clay and Michigan's Denard Robinson look ordinary.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Illinois: LB Martez Wilson made a team-high 12 tackles last weekend as part of a swarming defensive effort against Penn State.

Michigan State: RB Edwin Baker has rushed for 683 yards this season, the third-most in the Big Ten behind Robinson and Clay.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan State S Trenton Robinson was named Big Ten defensive player of the week after intercepting a pass in the end zone in last week's 34-17 win over Michigan. ... Illinois will play its second of three straight Homecoming games. The Illini were guests at Penn State's Homecoming last weekend and will be visitors at Michigan State's before hosting their own next week against Indiana. ... Michigan State DB Chris L. Rucker has been suspended by the team for Saturday's game. ... Illinois has scored on all 16 red zone trips this season, with nine touchdowns and seven field goals.

---

No. 15 Iowa (5-1, 1-0 Big Ten) vs Michigan (5-0, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)

Line: Iowa by 3.

Series record: Michigan leads 40-11-4.

Last Meeting: 2009, Iowa 30-28.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Michigan was ratted by rival Michigan State, failing its first true test of the season. The next one might be tougher. Rich Rodriguez needs this win - a lot. After a bye week, the Hawkeyes want to earn a victory - for the 20th time in their last 23 games - to stay among the Big Ten teams with unblemished conference records.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan QB Denard Robinson vs. Iowa's front four. Michigan State proved Robinson could be slowed down, clogging running lanes and mixing coverages while adding pressure to rattle him into making mistakes. Iowa's senior-laden defensive line leads a unit that ranks second in the country against the run, giving up just 63.2 yards a game, and is the only major college team that hasn't given up a rushing touchdown this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan: WR Kelvin Grady will likely have a chance to contribute more because Martavious Odoms is out with a broken foot. Grady is a former scholarship basketball player.

Iowa: DE Adrian Clayborn had 10 tackles in his last game, earning Big Ten defensive player of the week honors for helping the Hawkeyes shut down Penn State in a 24-3 win.

FACTS & FIGURES

In last year's win over Michigan, Iowa forced five turnovers and Stanzi threw for 284 yards and two TDs. ... Iowa is ranked higher than the Wolverines, who just fell out of this week's poll, in the matchup for just the second time since 1985, when the top-ranked Hawkeyes beat No. 2 Michigan 12-10. ... Iowa is giving up a nation-low 10.2 points and ranks fourth in total defense, allowing 242.2 yards per game. ... Iowa WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is 66 yards shy of Tim Dwight's school-record 2,271 yards receiving.

---

No. 16 Florida State (5-1, 3-0 ACC) vs Boston College (2-3, 0-2), 12 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Florida State by 22

Series Record: 4-4.

Last Meeting: 2009, Boston College 28-21.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Florida State's modest four-game winning streak has vaulted the Seminoles back into the polls and left them in position for a run at the Atlantic Division title. Boston College, meanwhile, looks to snap a three-game losing streak winning its third straight against FSU.

KEY MATCHUP

Boston College puts its the top-ranked run defense in the ACC up against a veteran Florida State offensive line that helped the Seminoles to nearly 300 yards rushing in last week's 45-17 win at Miami. Florida State is averaging 223.5 yards per game, second in the ACC to Georgia Tech. And Boston College's offensive line and whoever coach Frank Spaziani goes with at QB against Florida State's nation-best 26 sacks, one more than it had all last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Boston College: Junior RB Montel Harris, who is from Jacksonville, Fla., has enjoyed big games against Florida State the past two years while leading the Eagles to victories. Harris rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 victory last year, including a 42-yard game-winning score with 4:07 left. As a freshman in 2008, Harris ran for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Florida State: Sophomore K Dustin Hopkins has put 56 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone, leaving opponents starting from their 20. Coach Jimbo Fisher claims Hopkins' kickoffs are one of the major factors in the Seminoles' early success. Hopkins has 23 kicks for touchbacks while kickers from the other 11 ACC schools have managed 36.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is Florida State's fourth afternoon home game of the season and its third noon kickoff. ... Seminoles QB Christian Ponder is 0-2 against the Eagles. He was picked off three times the last time BC came to Tallahassee. ... Eagles LB Luke Kuechly's 14.2 tackles per game lead the nation. ... Boston College is finishing a month that began with homes losses to Virginia Tech and Notre Dame before last Saturday's 44-18 defeat at North Carolina State ... Florida State has outscored its opponents 144-41 in winning its last four games.

---

No. 17 Arizona (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) at Washington St. (1-5, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.(Versus)

Line: Arizona by 23 1/2.

Series Record: Arizona leads 24-13.

Last Meeting: 2009, Arizona 48-7.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Arizona is trying to rebound from its first loss, 29-27, at home against Oregon State. The Wildcats need win to climb back into the Pac-10 race. Washington State needs a win - any win - to prove the Cougars are much improved over past two years.

KEY MATCHUP

Arizona QB Nick Foles, who is completing nearly 75 percent of passes, against a WSU defense that gives up more than 500 yards and 40 points per game. Arizona DE Ricky Elmore also will have to get after QB Jeff Tuel, who needs time to keep a potent passing attack going.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arizona: Foles threw for career-high 440 yards in the Wildcats' loss to Oregon State last week, with 179 of those yards to Juron Criner.

Washington State: WR Marquess Wilson leads all freshmen with nearly five catches and 85 yards per game, while fellow WR Jared Karstetter is averaging 88 yards per game in the Pac-10.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is Arizona's first road game since its season opener. ... Even though Arizona is mostly a passing team, the top three Arizona runners are averaging 5.5 yards per carry. ... The Arizona defense has four interceptions and knocked down 19 passes. ... Arizona C Colin Baxter has started 42 straight games. ... Washington State is seeking its first Pac-10 win since 2008 ... Washington State has yet to top 27,000 in attendance this year.

---

No. 19 Nevada (6-0, 1-0 WAC) at Hawaii (4-2, 2-0), 11:30 p.m.

Line: Nevada by 7.

Series Record: 7-7.

Last Meeting: 2009, Nevada, 31-21.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Both teams are trying to stay atop the conference with the winner emerging as the strongest challenger to powerhouse Boise State for the WAC title. The Wolf Pack hopes to keep their perfect season intact by defeating the Warriors at Aloha Stadium, something they haven't done since 1948. The surging Warriors are seeking their fourth straight win.

KEY MATCHUP

The pistol vs. the run-and-shoot. The teams will be scoring often in a game featuring two of the nation's top offenses. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick is a potent dual threat with 11 touchdowns rushing this season. Last week, he became the fourth player in NCAA history to pass for 8,000 yards and rush for 3,500 in a career. Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz has been putting up staggering numbers in Hawaii's three-game winning streak and leads the nation in passing and total offense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nevada: RB Vai Taua is coming off a 196-yard, three-TD performance in a 35-17 victory at San Jose State. He has accounted for eight touchdowns the past two games and has five straight 100-yard rushing games. He's facing a Hawaii rushing defense that ranks 85th in the nation.

Hawaii: WR Greg Salas is averaging 8.3 catches and 126.2 yards receiving per game, despite facing constant double-teams. In Hawaii's three-game winning streak, Salas caught 26 passes for 476 yards and seven TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

Nevada hopes to start 7-0 for the first time since 1991, when then-Division I-AA Wolf Pack went 12-0 before losing to Youngstown State in the playoffs. ... Nevada ranks second in total offense (545.3 yards) and Hawaii ranks sixth (496.67). ... Hawaii has won all five meetings at Aloha Stadium by a margin of 16.2 points. ... Nevada has never trailed this season. ... Nevada's last loss was in Honolulu, when it fell to SMU 45-10 in the Hawaii Bowl.

---

No. 20 Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) at Texas Tech (3-2, 1-2), 3:30 p.m. (FSN)

Line: Texas Tech by 3 1/2.

Series Record: Texas Tech leads 21-13-3.

Last meeting: 2009, Oklahoma State 24-17

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Oklahoma State, which has gone 6-0 three times before, wants to avoid marring an unbeaten season. And the Cowboys would like to finally win one in Lubbock. The Red Raiders haven't let them win on the South Plains since 1944, and Texas Tech seeks to pull level in Big 12 play after losses to Texas and Iowa State earlier this season.

KEY MATCHUP

Tech Texas passing offense vs. Oklahoma State passing offense. It should be a ridiculously high-scoring game. The Cowboys' No. 2 passing offense (362 yards per game) goes against Red Raiders defenders who rank 114th against the pass (279.6). Texas Tech brings the fourth-best passing offense (333) to test the 118th-ranked pass defense (290.8) of Oklahoma State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon leads the nation in scoring (14.4 points per game and 12 TDs), receptions (9.4 catches per game and 15.9 yards per catch) and receiving (149.6 yards per game). The team is No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense (52.6).

Texas Tech: QB Taylor Potts is coming off a 45-38 win over Baylor in which he threw for 462 yards and four TDs. He also rumbled 43 yards on an option in the first quarter. His favorite receiver now and at Abilene high, Lyle Leong, has nine TDs and is 16th nationally in receiving yards per game (92.2)

FACTS & FIGURES

Dana Holgorsen for years helped former Red Raiders coach Mike Leach execute a pass-heavy offense. Now he's offensive coordinator for the Cowboys. ... Tech is back home for the first time since a 24-14 loss to Texas on Sept. 18. ... Of Oklahoma State's 12 losses in Lubbock, five have been by seven points or less. ... In games played in Lubbock this decade, the Red Raiders have outscored the Cowboys 224-83. ... In 2008, after beating then-No.1 Texas and garnering their highest ranking (No. 2), the Red Raiders crushed then-No. 8 Oklahoma State 56-20 in Lubbock. ... In Tokyo in 1988, former Cowboys RB Barry Sanders rushed for 332 yards against Texas Tech for the program's single-game record.

---

No. 21 Missouri (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) vs Texas A&M (3-2, 0-1), 12 p.m. (FSN)

Line: Texas A&M by 3 1/2.

Series Record: Texas A&M leads 7-3.

Last Meeting: 2007, Missouri 40-26.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Tigers look to remain undefeated and in the hunt for the Big 12 North in their first road game of the season, after opening with a neutral site game before playing four straight at home. A win would make them 6-0 for just the fifth time in school history. The Aggies need a victory to get back on track after consecutive close losses to Oklahoma State and Arkansas.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson's offense against Missouri's defense. The Aggies are piling up more than 472 yards a game and averaging 35 points, but have been slowed by 18 turnovers in the last four games. The Tigers have the third-best scoring defense in the country, allowing just more than 11 points a game, and have the seventh-best pass efficiency defense in the nation.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Missouri: QB Blaine Gabbert. He's expected to start Saturday despite sustaining a hip pointer in Missouri's win over Colorado. He is 13-5 in his first 18 starts and has thrown for 1,230 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions this season. He is averaging 246 yards passing a game and has scored two rushing touchdowns this season.

Texas A&M: LB/DE Von Miller had his best game of the season last week against Arkansas. He picked up his first sack after having 17 last season, and had six of his 10 solo tackles this season against the Razorbacks. He also posted two tackles for losses along with the sack.

FACTS & FIGURES

The game is A&M's first at home in almost a month. ... There are 28 players from Texas on Missouri's roster. ... The series is tied at 3-3 since the inception of the Big 12. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is 3-1 against Texas A&M. ... The Tigers are 9-3 in road games since 2007. The Aggies are undefeated at home this season. ... Texas A&M's 18 turnovers are second most in the FBS this season behind New Mexico's 20. ... Missouri's first 6-0 start came in 1899 and the most recent was in 2006.

---

No. 22 Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC) vs Mississippi State (4-2, 2-1), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

Line: Florida by 7 1/2.

Series Record: Florida leads 33-18-2.

Last Meeting: 2009, Florida 29-19.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Maybe the sanity of Florida fans, who expressed their disproval with offensive coordinator Steve Addazio's play-calling and the team's lack of production in last week's 33-29 loss to LSU. How will they react to another lackluster performance? On homecoming?

KEY MATCHUP

Florida's defense vs. RB Vick Ballard. After giving up 244 yards rushing to South Florida, the Gators thought they had the problems fixed against Tennessee and Kentucky. Alabama and LSU proved otherwise. The Crimson Tide ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns against Florida, then the Tigers tallied 161 yards and two scores on the ground. Ballard has 253 yards rushing and six TDs the last two games, and leads the SEC in scoring.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi State: WR Chad Bumphis, who does a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs. Bumphis leads the team with 32 catches for 431 yards and four TDs, and has nine carries, nine punt returns and four kickoff returns.

Florida: RB Mack Brown, who posted on Facebook this week that he's finally going to get a chance to play. One of the team's prized freshmen, Brown has sat out three of the last four games. He could fill in for starter Jeff Demps (foot) and backup Mike Gillislee (ankle).

FACTS & FIGURES

Although Mississippi State has won three of the last seven meetings, all of the victories came at home. The Bulldogs have dropped 16 in a row in Gainesville, with their last win coming in 1965. ... Mississippi State is 0-2 against Top 25 teams this season. ... Dan Mullen spent 10 years on the same staff as Florida coach Urban Meyer, working together at Notre Dame and then following Meyer to Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04) and Florida (2005-08). Mississippi State's John Hevesy and Matt Balis also worked for Meyer. ... The Gators have won 21 consecutive homecoming games. ... Meyer is 11-9 against teams from the SEC West, including three consecutive losses. ... The Gators could be without SS Matt Elam because of a concussion.

---

No. 23 Air Force (5-1, 3-0 Mountain West) vs. San Diego St. (3-2, 0-1), 9 p.m. (CBS College)

Line: Air Force by 1.

Series Record: Air Force leads 19-9.

Last Meeting: 2009, Air Force 26-14.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Air Force tries to keep its lead atop the Mountain West. At 3-0, the Falcons have one more victory than the conference's two other undefeated teams, No. 4 TCU and No. 11 Utah. Air Force is ranked for consecutive weeks for the first time since 2002. San Diego State is trying to bounce back from a 24-21 loss at BYU, in which the Aztecs allowed a whopping 271 yards rushing.

KEY MATCHUP

FB Jared Tew vs. the Aztecs' defense. Coach Brady Hoke says the key to stopping the Falcons' triple-option is to stop the fullback. Tew has 524 yards and three touchdowns, and Air Force leads the nation in rushing with an average of 352.7 yards. Tew will be a chore for the Aztecs, who couldn't get off their blocks and stop BYU's running game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Air Force: QB Tim Jefferson. Adding a deep passing threat to the nation's top-ranked running attack, Jefferson threw for 160 yards and hooked up with Zach Kauth for two scores in a 49-27 rout of Colorado State last Saturday. The Rams said they were thrown off guard when the Falcons came out throwing, and Jefferson set up two touchdowns with completions of 51 and 39 yards.

San Diego St.: Freshman RB Ronnie Hillman is 12th in the nation and second among freshmen in rushing yards per game at 118.8. He's eighth nationally with eight touchdowns. Hillman has a 200-yard game and a pair of 100-yard efforts in five games. His 228 yards at Missouri were the seventh-highest total in the country this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Air Force has scored in 213 straight games dating to 1992, the fourth-longest steak in the country and 15th longest in major-college history. ... Air Force's 5-1 start is its best since 2003 and the Falcons are 3-0 in the conference for the first time since 2006. ... Although San Diego State lost 26-14 at Air Force last year, the Aztecs held the Falcons without an offensive touchdown. They did give up touchdowns on a fumble return and an interception return, and had six turnovers altogether. ... The Aztecs are looking for their third straight home victory. ... San Diego State hasn't beaten a ranked team since No. 16 Wyoming on Nov. 7, 1996.

---

No. 24 Oregon State (3-2, 2-0 Pac-10) at Washington (2-3, 1-1), 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Pick.

Series Record: Washington leads 57-33-4.

Last Meeting: 2009, Oregon State 48-21.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

It's October, so it's time for Oregon State to become one of the most difficult matchups in the country. Notorious slow starters, the Beavers showed they're ready to kick into gear with a 29-27 win at Arizona last Saturday. But the loss was costly - leading receiver James Rodgers was lost for the season with a knee injury. Washington followed an upset of Southern California with an offensive flop at home versus Arizona State.

KEY MATCHUP

Oregon State QB Ryan Katz vs. Washington's secondary. Katz's breakout finally arrived last Saturday in Tucson, when the sophomore threw for a career-best 393 yards against Arizona. It was the 10th best passing day in Oregon State history. Now he gets a shot against Washington's leaky secondary, which gave up 288 yards passing to Arizona State's Steven Threet last week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oregon State: WR Markus Wheaton. With James Rodgers done, the multipurpose receiver role in the Beavers offense falls to Wheaton. Last week against Arizona, he had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Washington: QB Jake Locker. It's been a roller coaster of up and down performances for Locker, so if that tendency continues, Saturday could be very good. A masterful performance in the upset of Southern Cal was followed by an illness and 215 total yards against Arizona State.

FACTS & FIGURES

Washington won 25 of 27 against Beavers between 1975 and 2003. Oregon State has won the past six. ... This is the 25th anniversary of Oregon State pulling out a 21-20 victory in Seattle, after entering as a 38-point underdog. At the time it was the biggest point-spread upset in NCAA history. ... Oregon State is trying to start 3-0 in the conference for the first time since '68.


Keep in touch on the go with blue-turf.com at |




Hammer Banner Ad 640



Michigan NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos TheWolverine.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.