Virginia Tech at Virginia
Time, TV/Radio: 6 p.m., ESPN2; WAGE-1200, WPLC-FM-94.3
No. 8 Virginia Tech (3-0)
The Hokies, who have outscored three weak opponents 109-21, look to prove their top 10 ranking and avenge last year's loss to the Cavaliers, when Virginia rallied from a 29-7 halftime deficit to win, 36-32, in the greatest comeback in Virginia history. Virginia Tech leads the nation in total defense (164.7 yards per game), and senior DE Corey Moore has been a big part of that. Last week against Clemson, he forced a fumble and returned it for his first career touchdown. He has six sacks and six other tackles for a loss this season. Two players who have redemption on their minds are P Jimmy Kibble and CB Anthony Midget. Kibble drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in last year's game against Virginia that helped start Virginia's first scoring drive, and Midget was beaten on the Cavaliers' winning touchdown pass.
Key Stat: RB Shyrone Stith leads the Big East in rushing (136 yards per game) and kickoff returns (28.6 yards per return) and WR Ricky Hall leads in punt returns (17.8 yards per return).
Fast Fact: Stith can become the first Virginia Tech player with four consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Mickey Fitzgerald in 1977.
No. 24 Virginia (3-1)
While first-year starting QB Dan Ellis is still getting comfortable with the offense, RB Thomas Jones has been piling up the yards. He rushed for 210 in the Cavaliers' 45-40 win at Brigham Young last week and is fifth in the nation at 155 per game. A big key to Jones's success has been Virginia's experienced offensive line, but it hasn't faced a defense as potent as the Hokies' this season. Virginia Tech, which is third in the nation against the run, averaging 51.3 yards per game, will be keying on Jones (55 yards rushing on 19 carries vs. the Hokies last season). Ellis and WR Kevin Coffey (25.4 yards per catch) might need to save the day if Jones can't get going. Junior LB Yubrenal Isabelle has been a force in his first year as a starter with 41 tackles, but the Cavaliers haven't been particularly strong defensively all season long.
Key Stat: The Cavaliers have made eight interceptions; Hokies QB Michael Vick has thrown three INTs in 22 attempts.
Fast Fact: Virginia has won three straight over ranked nonconference teams, but all three wins have come on the road.
of the Week
OTHER AREA GAMES
Navy at West Virginia
Time, TV: Noon, WJLA-7, WMAR-2.
Radio: WMAL-630, WNAV-1430, WJFK-1300.
Records: Midshipmen 1-3, Mountaineers 1-3.
Sidelights: Don't expect any fireworks on offense from either team. The Midshipmen are 79th in the country in scoring offense (22.3 ppg), while the Mountaineers are 90th (18.3 ppg). Navy lost last week to Rice, a team that is averaging barely 10 points per game, and West Virginia hasn't scored a touchdown in its past two games. Both teams face questions at quarterback. Navy senior Brian Broadwater, who has started all four games this season but has been ineffective lately, will probably share time with sophomore Brian Madden. West Virginia will be without senior Marc Bulger, who broke his right index finger in last week's loss at Syracuse. Brad Lewis, who threw two interceptions as Bulger's replacement last week, will make his first start for the Mountaineers.
Georgetown at Iona, 1
Catholic at Salisbury State, 1
Mont.-Rockville at Nassau (N.Y.), 1:30
Bowie State at Virginia Union, 7
No. 11 Purdue at No. 4 Michigan
Time, TV: Noon, ESPN.
Records: Boilermakers 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten; Wolverines 4-0, 1-0.
Sidelights: After three wins over option teams and one over a team that features a straight-ahead rushing attack, the Wolverines face QB Drew Brees and pass-oriented Purdue. The Boilermakers have the nation's longest active winning streak at 10 games, but now begin a brutal four-game stretch (Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State). Brees's passing statistics (107 of 172 for 1,315 yards and 10 touchdowns) get all the attention, but the offensive line has allowed just one sack and has helped create a steady, if unspectacular, running game (140 yards per game). Michigan's offense has been sluggish and might have trouble keeping up with Purdue, which is averaging 41 points a game. The Wolverines' running game, traditionally their strong point, ranks 80th nationally at 117.8 ypg, and the two-quarterback system of Tom Brady and Drew Henson has hampered the offense's flow.
No. 13 Kansas State at No. 15 Texas
Time, TV: 3:30, pay-per-view.
Records: Wildcats 3-0, 1-0 Big 12; Longhorns 4-1, 1-0.
Sidelights: Kansas State got a scare last week against Iowa State, but came back from a 28-7 second-half deficit to win, 35-28. As a result, the Wildcats have a quarterback controversy. Jonathan Beasley has started all three games this season, but was pulled after the first series of the second half last week. Backup Adam Helm took over and engineered Kansas State's comeback, which was the biggest in school history. Coach Bill Snyder won't reveal the starter until game time. Texas fields a different team than the one that was blown out by the Wildcats last season. With more of a focus on the pass, QB Major Applewhite has blossomed into a potent threat. He has thrown for 1,492 yards and 10 touchdowns. But the Longhorns are banged up; six starters missed practice time this week with injuries.
No. 21 Alabama at No. 3 Florida
Time, TV: 3:30, WUSA-9, WJZ-13.
Records: Crimson Tide 3-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference; Gators 4-0, 2-0.
Sidelights: Alabama Coach Mike DuBose probably saved his job (for now) with a big win last week over then-No. 14 Arkansas. But Florida has won 30 straight at The Swamp and has the nation's second-ranked offense (518 yards per game). Quarterback Doug Johnson will look to torch an Alabama secondary that is giving up 252 yards per game. The Crimson Tide will throw a lot of dime coverages against the Gators in hope of slowing them. But the Gators' defense has been shaky at times this year, and Florida has not seen a running back with the skills of Alabama's Shaun Anderson, who has accounted for 10 of Alabama's 17 touchdowns this season.
Noon: Illinois at Indiana (ESPN2).
Noon: Iowa at Michigan State (pay-per-view).
12:30 p.m.: LSU at Georgia (pay-per-view).
2:30 p.m.: Oklahoma at Notre Dame (WRC-4, WBAL-11).
3:30 p.m.: Wisconsin at Ohio State (WJLA-7).
3:30 p.m.: North Carolina at Clemson (WMAR-2).
3:30 p.m.: Missouri at Memphis (HTS).
3:30 p.m.: UCLA at Arizona State (pay-per-view).
7 p.m.: Hampton vs. Southern (BET).
7:30 p.m.: Auburn at Tennessee (ESPN).
9 p.m.: Air Force at San Diego State (ESPN2).
10:30 p.m.: Oregon at Washington (Joined in progress-HTS).
2:30 p.m.: Oklahoma at Notre Dame (WTEM-980).
Northeastern at Boston College, noon
Stephen F. Austin at N. Hampshire, noon
Stony Brook at Albany, N.Y., 1
Cornell at Brown, 1
Richmond at Delaware, 1
Colgate at Harvard, 1
Columbia at Lehigh, 1
McNeese St. at Maine, 1
Hofstra at Massachusetts, 1
Fordham at Princeton, 1
LaSalle at Siena, 1
Holy Cross at Towson, 1
Marist at Canisius, 1:30
Rhode Island at Connecticut, 1:30
St. Peter's at Duquesne, 1:30
Dartmouth at Lafayette, 1:30
Bucknell at Penn, 1:30
Wagner at Robert Morris, 1:30
St. Francis, Pa., at Sacred Heart, 2
Temple at Pittsburgh, 3:30
Cent. Connecticut St. at Fairfield, 4
N. Illinois at Buffalo, 7
Georgia Southern at VMI, 1
Lenoir-Rhyne at Charleston So., 1:30
N.C. A&T at Norfolk St., 1:30
East Tennessee at Appalachian St., 2
Jacksonville at Austin Peay, 2
Guilford at Davidson, 2
Bethune-Cookman at Delaware St., 2
New Haven at Elon, 2
Jacksonville St. at Samford, 2
Morehouse at Alcorn St., 2:30
Tennessee Tech at Tenn.-Martin, 3
S. Carolina St. at The Citadel, 4
E. Illinois at Cent. Florida, 6
Furman at W. Carolina, 6
Rutgers at Wake Forest, 6:30
Wofford at Chattanooga, 7
Morgan St. at Florida A&M, 7
E. Michigan at Louisville, 7
Troy St. at Middle Tennessee, 7 Nicholls St. at Northwestern St., 7
Mississippi at South Carolina, 7
S. Illinois at South Florida, 7
Louisiana-Monroe at UAB, 7
Tennessee St. at Alabama A&M, 7:30
Johnson C. Smith at Liberty, 7:30
Louisiana Tech at La.-Lafayette, 8
Alabama St. at Miss. Valley St., 8
Murray St. at W. Kentucky, 8
Minnesota at Northwestern, noon
Akron at Ball St., 2
SMU at Kansas, 2
SW Missouri St. at W. Illinois, 2 Drake at Valparaiso, 2:30
N. Iowa at Illinois St., 4:30
Cent. Michigan at W. Michigan, 6
Toledo at Bowling Green, 7
Butler at Dayton, 7
Youngstown St. at Indiana St., 7 Kent at Ohio, 7
E. Kentucky at SE Missouri, 7
Rice at Tulsa, 3
Sam Houston St. at Arkansas St., 7
North Texas at Baylor, 7
Grambling St. at Prairie View, 8
New Mexico St. at Colorado St., 3
Idaho at Wyoming, 3
UNLV at Nevada, 4
California at Washington St., 4
St. Mary's, Calif. at Cent. Washington, 4:30
San Jose St. at Stanford, 5
Idaho St. at CS Northridge, 6
Oregon St. at USC, 6:30
E. Washington at N. Arizona, 7
Sacramento St. at Weber St., 8
Utah at Boise St., 9
S. Utah at Cal Poly-SLO, 9
Montana at Portland St., 9
TCU at Fresno St., 10
Yale at San Diego, 10
UTEP at Hawaii, Midnight
Where the Top 25 Play
TeamRecordOpponentTimeComment 1 Florida State4-0at DukenoonTeams' seven meetings decided by average of 54-17. 2 Penn State5-0idle -- Visits Iowa next week. 3 Florida4-0vs. Alabama3:301-6 vs. Tide at home, but won last game there, 35-0, in '91. 4 Michigan4-0vs. PurduenoonHas not allowed a point in first quarter this season. 5 Texas A&M3-0at Texas Tech7Has made four interceptions in each of past two games. 6 Nebraska4-0vs. Oklahoma State12:30In top six nationally in four defensive categories. 7 Tennessee2-1vs. Auburn7:30Is 4-0-1 in teams' past five meetings. 8 Virginia Tech3-0at Virginia6Has held opponents scoreless in 9 of 12 quarters. 9 Georgia Tech 3-1idle -- Defeated Maryland, 49-31, Thursday night; UNC next.10 Georgia3-0vs. LSU12:30RB Jasper Sanks seeking 3rd straight 100-yard rushing game.11 Purdue4-0at MichigannoonHasn't won in Ann Arbor since 1966 (0-14).12 Ohio State3-1vs. Wisconsin3:30Has trailed in all four games this season.13 Kansas State3-0at Texas3:30Since '93, only conference road losses are to Neb., Colo.14 Michigan State4-0vs. IowanoonHasn't allowed a rushing touchdown this season.15 Texas4-1vs. Kansas State3:30Lost to Wildcats last season, 48-7.16 Mississippi State4-0at Vanderbilt2Having allowed 28 points, tries for first 5-0 mark since '44.17 Marshall4-0at Miami (Ohio)221-2 record since losing to RedHawks in 1997.18 Miami2-2idle -- Visits Florida State next week.19 East Carolina4-0at ArmynoonRanked for first time since 1995.20 Arkansas2-1at Kentucky1:30WR Anthony Lucas averaging 29.8 yards on 12 catches.21 Alabama3-1at Florida3:301-7 vs. Gators in past eight meetings.22 Syracuse3-1vs. Tulane1:30Giving up 11 points per game.23 Oklahoma3-0at Notre Dame2:30Teams haven't met since 1968; Sooners 1-7 vs. Irish.24 Virginia3-1vs. Virginia Tech6Freshman DBs have 7 of team's 8 interceptions.25 Oregon3-1at Washington10:15WR Tony Hartley averaging 18 yards per catch.