Miami vs. Ohio State

Time, TV: 2:30 p.m., WJLA-7, WMAR-2.

Rankings: No. 12 Miami, No. 9 Ohio State.

1998 Records: Hurricanes 9-3; Buckeyes 11-1.

Sidelights: The average score of the last six Kickoff Classics has been 32-5, but this one might be close. Miami thinks it is just about back to its late-'80s and early-'90s dominance and has crafted a schedule that reflects that attitude. The defense, which returns 10 starters, should be especially dangerous and will make up for sophomore QB Kenny Kelly's immaturity early on. After years of stability under QB Joe Germaine, Ohio State has questions under center. Third-year sophomore Austin Moherman will start, but Ohio State's coaches plan on using second-year sophomore Steve Bellisari as well. Moherman has one career pass. Bellisari, a special-teamer and a backup safety last season, has never thrown a college pass. Despite playing behind now-departed receivers David Boston and Dee Miller, Reggie Germany and Ken-Yon Rambo have lots of experience and should help ease the transition.

COMING UP

College Football

Preview and

Season Coverage

The Washington Post will preview the 1999 local and national college football season with a special section on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 5, The Post will print a special college football pullout in the Sunday newspaper each week during the regular season, complete with coverage of the ACC, Big East, MEAC and Navy, along with top national games, roundups and scores.

THURSDAY'S GAMES

Maryland at Temple, 6

Oregon at Michigan State

Syracuse at Toledo

UNLV at North Texas

SATURDAY'S LOCAL GAMES

Virginia at North Carolina, noon

Georgia Tech at Navy, noon

James Madison at Virginia Tech, 1

Howard at Jackson State, 7:30

SATURDAY'S NATIONAL GAMES

Louisville at Kentucky

Marshall at Clemson

Notre Dame at Michigan

South Carolina at N.C. State

Stanford at Texas

West Virginia at East Carolina

Wyoming at Tennessee