COTTON BOWL BC vs. Houston

Records: Eagles 9-2, ranked No. 8; Cougars 7-4, cochampions of the Southwest Conference

Place: Dallas

Time: 1:30 p.m.

TV-Radio: WDVM-TV-9, WBAL-TV-11, WCBM-680, WQRA-FM-94.3

Players to watch: Boston College: Doug Flutie won the Heisman and became the first major college quarterback to pass for more than 10,000 career yards (10,579); WR Gerald Phelan; DB Tony Thurman. Houston: Sophomore QB Gerald Landry keys the veer offense; DB Dewayne Bowden.

Data: Flutie passed for 315 yards per game, but the Eagles also rushed for 167. Houston must find a way to stop him -- in Boston College's only losses (to West Virginia and Penn State), Flutie was held to one touchdown. If BC had won just one of those, Flutie says, "We'd be talking about possibilities of a national championship" . . . Houston allowed opponents to complete only 47 percent of their passes for an average of 153 yards per game. Landry may find the Eagles' defense vulnerable to the run. Boston College yielded 201 yards per game rushing. FIESTA BOWL UCLA vs. Miami

Records: Bruins 8-3, ranked No. 14; Hurricanes 8-4, ranked No. 13

Place: Tempe, Ariz.

Time: 1:30 p.m.


Players to watch: UCLA: QB Steve Bono threw for 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns; safeties James Washington and Craig Rutledge will have great responsibility for stopping Miami's passing. Miami: sophomore QB Bernie Kosar completed 63 percent of his passes, 25 for touchdowns; WR Eddie Brown had 59 catches, nine for touchdowns; RBs Alonzo Highsmith and RB Melvin Bratton.

Data: Miami, the defending national champion, gave up 42 and 47 points in losing its last two games, to Maryland and Boston College. In most cases, Kosar can make up the difference -- he threw for 319 yards a game. Miami averaged 30.4 points per game; UCLA averaged 21.5 . . . K John Lee was UCLA's most valuable player, according to Coach Terry Donahue. He made 29 of 33 field goal attempts. UCLA's defense was not particularly adept at stopping the pass: opponents threw for 216 yards a game and completed 55 percent. ROSE BOWL USC vs. Ohio State

Records: Trojans 8-3, ranked 20th; Buckeyes 9-2, No. 6

Place: Pasadena, Calif.

Time: 5 p.m.

TV-Radio: WRC-TV-4, WMAR-TV-2, WMAL-630, WFBR-1300

Players to watch: Southern California: RB Fred Crutcher rushed over 100 yards four times and aggregated 1,083; LBs Duane Bickett, Jack Del Rio and Neil Hope. Ohio State: RB Keith Byars led the nation in rushing with 1,655 yards, all-purpose yards with 2,108 and scoring with 144 points; senior QB Mike Tomczak has 5,289 yards passing, 11th on the all-time Big Ten list; OG Jim Lachey, a probable first-round draft choice.

Data: The Trojans are 17-6 in Rose Bowl play, with victories in their last four appearances. The Buckeyes are 5-6 in the Rose Bowl including losses in their last three. The Pac-10 representative has won nine of the last 10 . . . Interestingly, Bickett was named all-conference, De Rio first-team all-America and Hope was voted USC's most valuable player. If they can stop Byars from breaking big gains, Ohio State will be forced to throw more than it likes. Tomczak's top receiver is Cris Carter. One help to the running game will be 6-3, 265-pound C Kirk Lowdermilk, who was supposed to be out at least six weeks with a broken leg but returned in three weeks to play in the final regular-season game . . . The Trojans return to the Rose Bowl without the one-dimensional running offense they once had. They can give the ball to Crutcher, or QB Tim Green will throw to SE Hank Norman, who has at least one reception in 22 straight games. USC forced 35 turnovers this year . . . Ohio State averaged 34 points a game; USC 18. The Buckeyes also averaged 436 yards of offense a game. SUGAR BOWL Nebraska vs. LSU

Records: Cornhuskers 9-2, ranked No. 5; Tigers 8-2-1, ranked No. 11

Place: New Orleans

Time: 8 p.m.

TV-Radio: WJLA-TV-7, WJZ-TV-13, WCBM-680

Players to watch: Nebraska: RB Doug DuBose averaged 94 yards per game; RB Jeff Smith. Louisiana State: RB Dalton Hilliard rushed for 115 yards per game and 13 touchdowns; QB Jeff Wickersham; WR Eric Martin caught 47 passes for 668 yards.

Data: Nebraska led the nation in total defense, allowing 203 yards (and 9.5 points) per game. It was fourth against the run and fifth against the pass. Led by DuBose and Smith, who struggled with injuries late in the season, the Cornhuskers gained 427 ground yards per game. Smith is a dangerous punt returner, averaging 15 yards per return . . . Wickersham has been inconsistent. He threw for 2,165 yards, but for the second straight year, had more interceptions than touchdown passes. Late in the season, he threw short more often. Prime receivers are Martin, Hilliard and TE Mitch Andrews. Martin drew double coverage from most opponents. LSU represents the SEC in this bowl because third-ranked Florida, the conference champion, is being penalized by the NCAA for violations. ORANGE BOWL Okla. vs. Washington

Records: Sooners 9-1-1, ranked No. 2; Huskies 10-1, No. 4

Place: Miami

Time: 8 p.m.

TV-Radio: WRC-TV-4, WMAR-TV-2, WMAL-630, WFBR-1300

Players to watch: Oklahoma: QB Danny Bradley rushed for 552 yards and eight touchdowns; NG Tony Casillas is especially effective against the run. Washington: DT Ron Holmes made most all-America teams; LBs Tim Meamber and Fred Small were both first team all-Pacific-10; WR Danny Greene averaged 14 yards per catch.

Data: If Brigham Young (13-0) isn't voted national champion, the winner of this bowl likely will be. Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer, for one, thinks his team still has a chance. "If you're talking about records, then it's over with, but I don't believe it's over with," he says. The Sooners went back to the wishbone this year, and were undefeated with Bradley playing. He sat out Oklahoma's only loss, 28-11 to Kansas, with an injury. When defenses cheated up, Bradley showed he can throw by completing 67 of 130 for eight touchdowns. Oklahoma rushed for 219 yards per game. Defensively, the Sooners led the nation against the run, 68.8 yards per game . . . Washington was also stingy against the run, allowing 126 yards per game. It allowed only one team to score more than 16 points this season, gave up only 13 touchdowns and led the nation by forcing 51 turnovers. The Huskies' linebackers will be the key to stopping the wishbone. On offense, inconsistent QB Paul Sicuro will try to find Greene long. Huskies' K Jeff Jaeger could play a key role. He made 22 of 28 FG attempts.