Florida State at Virginia
Time, TV: 7 p.m., ESPN.
No.1 Florida St. (8-0, 6-0 ACC)
Starting CB Tay Cody (2 INTs) was suspended after his arrest on drug possession charges. But his absence will have less of an impact than did the absences of WRs Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles. Warrick looked a bit rusty last week against Clemson in his first game back from a suspension. But he still caught 11 passes for 121 yards, helping the Seminoles hold off the Tigers to give Coach Bobby Bowden a victory over his son, Tigers Coach Terry Bowden, and his 300th career victory. The Seminoles may have a bit of a letdown this week, but they have dominated the Cavaliers since losing to them in 1995, averaging 41 points in the teams' three meetings since then.
Key Stat: The Seminoles held Clemson to 70 yards in the second half last week.
Fast Fact: Florida State has finished in the nation's top 10 in rushing defense in seven of the past eight years. This season, it is 11th.
Virginia (4-3, 3-2)
The Cavaliers are looking to avoid their first three-game home losing streak since 1986, but it won't be easy. They've been relying heavily on RB Thomas Jones this season, but the Seminoles held him to 66 yards rushing last season. He is, however, coming off a 221-yard performance two weeks ago against North Carolina State and is second in the nation at 158.4 yards per game. QB Dan Ellis might have to be more of a passing threat, and with Cody suspended, his job will be a little easier, but not much. Sophomore DL Monsanto Pope returns from a knee injury that he suffered the first game of the season. That should provide a big boost to a defensive line that has struggled in Virginia's losses this season.
Key Stat: Jones needs 81 yards to break Tiki Barber's school career rushing mark of 3,389 yards.
Fast Fact: The Cavaliers have faced a No. 1-ranked team just twice: Army in 1958 and Purdue in 1968.
of the Week
OTHER AREA GAMES
No. 3 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh
Time, TV, Radio: 7 p.m., ESPN2, WMJS-FM-92.7.
Records: Hokies 6-0, 2-0 Big East; Panthers 4-3, 2-2.
Data: Two weeks removed from their 62-0 whipping of Syracuse, the Hokies are thinking national championship. But the Panthers are no pushovers. They almost beat Penn State and they gave Syracuse a tough time. The Hokies, who have scored 120 points in their past two games, are averaging 242.7 rushing yards per game, but the Panthers are good against the run. QB David Priestley will start for Pittsburgh after passing for 375 yards last week against Rutgers.
Duke at Maryland
Time, Radio: 1 p.m., WTEM-980, WBAL-1090, WFMD-930.
Records: Blue Devils 1-6, 1-3 ACC; Terrapins 5-2, 2-2.
Data: After rushing for 268 yards against North Carolina's ACC-worst run defense, the Terrapins again face a team that is weak against the run. Duke is eighth in the conference in rushing defense, giving up 170.8 yards per game, and is eighth in total defense. Maryland RB LaMont Jordan needs 145 yards to become the fourth Terrapin to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Duke's 1-6 record is deceiving, however. The Blue Devils beat Virginia; they lost to Georgia Tech on a late touchdown, and lost to North Carolina State and Northwestern in overtime.
Navy at Notre Dame
Time; TV: 2:30 p.m., WRC-4, WBAL-11
Radio: WMAL-630, WNAV-1430, WJFK-1300, WGAY-1260.
Records: Midshipmen 2-5; Fighting Irish 4-3.
Data: Navy is coming off a 35-29 loss to Akron last week in which it squandered a 23-0 lead. Notre Dame is 16-2 following a bye week since 1984 and is riding high after erasing a 22-point deficit against Southern California two weeks ago. QB Jarious Jackson has thrown for more than 240 yards in five of six games and has just one interception in his past four. This is one of the older rivalries in the nation and also one of the more one-sided; the Fighting Irish lead the series 62-9-1. Navy QB Brian Madden makes his first career start, replacing the injured Brian Broadwater. Madden is more physical than Broadwater and is not afraid to run right at the defense.
Howard at Norfolk State
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Records: Bison 2-5, 1-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; Spartans 1-6, 0-5.
Data: After giving up 40, 49 and 51 points in their past three games, the Bison's defense should have an easier time against Norfolk State, which is averaging 15 points per game and hasn't won since the opening week of the season. This game features two of the MEAC's top receivers. Howard's Elijah Thurmon leads the conference in receptions (6.6) and receiving yards (112.9) per game. Norfolk State's Delvin Peeks is second to Thurmon in both categories, with 5.3 catches and 89 receiving yards per game.
Fairfield at Georgetown, noon
Fayetteville State at Bowie State, 1 p.m.
Mont.-Rock. at Hargrave Military, 2 p.m.
Emory & Henry at Catholic, 1 p.m.
No. 5 Florida vs. No. 10 Georgia
Time, TV, Radio: 3:30 p.m., WUSA-9, WJZ-13, WXTR-820.
Records: Gators 6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference; Bulldogs 6-1, 4-1.
Data: The Gators will be a near lock to win the SEC East Division with a win, but enter the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party with a quarterback controversy. Doug Johnson has been the starter all year, but Coach Steve Spurrier has been using Jesse Palmer in practice in case Spurrier has one of his patented midseason changes of heart. Georgia's defense sacked Kentucky's Dusty Bonner 11 times last week and will benefit from DT Marcus Stroud's return from injury. QB Quincy Carter threw for 304 yards last week and will throw the ball often again since Florida has the nation's top rushing defense at 49.1 yards per game. Georgia is fourth nationally against the run (72.1 ypg).
No. 20 Southern Mississippi at No. 14 Alabama
Time: 3 p.m.
Records: Golden Eagles 5-2; Crimson Tide 5-2.
Data: The Crimson Tide might be without RB Shaun Alexander, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, and starting QB Andrew Zow. Both suffered a sprained right ankle last week; their status won't be decided until game time. If they can't play, Shaun Bohanon (122 rushing yards this season) and Tyler Watts (five completions for 89 yards, 0 touchdowns) will step in. The Golden Eagles rank 10th in the nation in scoring defense (15 ppg), so Alabama might have trouble if Alexander, who has 18 of Alabama's 26 touchdowns, can't play.
Stanford at Washington
Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., pay-per-view.
Records: Cardinal 5-2, 5-0 Pac-10; Huskies 4-3, 3-1.
Data: The Cardinal hasn't won in Seattle since 1975, and has lost 16 of the teams' past 18 meetings overall. Both teams will have hobbled wide receivers. Stanford's DeRonnie Pitts, who averages 15.9 yards per catch, and Washington's Chris Juergens are questionable. But the Cardinal still has WR Troy Walters (second in the nation at 132.1 yards receiving per game) and is averaging 162.9 yards rushing per game, led recently by RB Brian Allen. However, the Cardinal is 111th in the nation in total defense (473.3 ypg), and Washington QB Marques Tuiasosopo has been at his best in the fourth quarter this season.
Noon: West Virginia at Miami (WUSA-9, WJZ-13).
Noon: Purdue at Minnesota (ESPN).
Noon: Michigan at Indiana (ESPN2).
Noon: Clemson at Wake Forest (HTS, WUTB-24).
Noon: Iowa at Ohio State (pay-per-view).
Noon: Boston College at Syracuse (pay-per-view).
Noon: Wisconsin at Northwestern (pay-per-view).
12:30 p.m.: Auburn at Arkansas (pay-per-view).
3 p.m.: Air Force at Brigham Young (pay-per-view).
3:30 p.m.: North Carolina State at Georgia Tech (WJLA-7, WMAR-2).
3:30 p.m.: East Carolina at Houston (HTS).
3:30 p.m.: Penn State at Illinois (pay-per-view).
3:30 p.m.: Oklahoma at Colorado (pay-per-view).
7 p.m.: Nebraska at Kansas (HTS).
7 p.m.: Alabama State at Alabama A&M (BET).
Noon: West Virginia at Miami (WXTR-820).
1 p.m.: Maine at William & Mary (WABS-780).
1 p.m.: Emory & Henry at Catholic (WCUA-FM-97.5).
1:30 p.m.: South Florida at James Madison (WDCT-1310).
Villanova at New Hampshire, noon
Brown at Fordham, 12:30
Dartmouth at Harvard, 12:30
Towson at Lehigh, 12:30
Rhode Island at
Delaware at Northeastern, 12:30
Monmouth, N.J., at
Sacred Heart, 12:30
Cent. Connecticut St.
at Stony Brook, 12:30
Wagner at Cornell, 1
St. John's, N.Y., at La Salle, 1
Marist at Lafayette, 1
Columbia at Princeton, 1
St. Peter's at St. Francis, Pa., 1
Rutgers at Temple, 1
Penn at Yale, 1
Iona at Canisius, 1:30
Richmond at Connecticut, 1:30
Siena at Duquesne, 1:30
Robert Morris at Albany, N.Y., 2
N. Carolina A&T at
SW Texas at Northwestern St., noon
Wofford at The Citadel, 12:30
Hampden-Sydney at Davidson, 1:30
Austin Peay at Morehead St., 1:30
Furman at North Carolina, 1:30
Chattanooga at Appalachian St., 2
Georgia Southern at
East Tenneesse St., 2
Charleston Southern at Elon, 2
S. Carolina St. at Hampton, 2
Middle Tennessee at
UAB at Louisville, 2
SE Missouri at Tenn.-Martin, 2
VMI at W. Carolina, 2
Texas Southern at
Grambling St., 2:30
Liberty at Samford, 2:30
E. Kentucky at Tennessee St., 2:30
Delaware St. at Florida A&M, 3
Murray St. at Tennessee Tech, 3
Alabama A&M at Alabama St., 4
E. Michigan at Cent. Florida, 4
Ark.-Pine Bluff at Jackson St., 4
Memphis at Tulane, 6
Troy St. at Nicholls St., 7:30
Sam Houston St. at McNeese St., 8
Cent. Michigan at
Bowling Green, noon
Ohio at Ball St., 1
Valparaiso at Dayton, 1
Louisiana Tech at Toledo, 1
W. Michigan at Akron, 1:30
Buffalo at Kent, 2
Cincinnati at Miami, Ohio, 2
Texas Tech at Missouri, 2
W. Kentucky at E. Illinois, 2:30
Indiana St. at N. Iowa, 2:30
SW Missouri St. at S. Illinois, 2:30
Illinois St. at Youngstown St., 4
Miss. Valley State at Prairie View, 3
Rice at SMU, 3
Jacksonville St. at
Stephen F. Austin, 3
Fresno St. at Tulsa, 3
Arkansas St., 5
San Jose St. at UTEP, 9
Boise St. at Utah St., 3
Sacramento St. at E. Washington, 4
North Texas at Nevada, 4
Arizona St. at Oregon, 4
Holy Cross at St. Mary's, Calif., 4
Oregon St. at Washington St., 4
Portland St. at Cal Poly-SLO, 5
Weber St. at CS Northridge, 6
Southern Cal at California, 6:30
UNLV at New Mexico, 8
Idaho at New Mexico St., 8
Montana at Idaho St., 8:30
Montana St. at N. Arizona, 9
Drake at San Diego, 10
Arizona at UCLA, 10
TCU at Hawaii, Midnight
Where the Top 25 Play
TeamRecordOpponentTimeComment 1 Florida State8-0at Virginia7QB Chris Weinke averaging 308.5 yards passing in past four. 2 Penn State8-0at Illinois3:30Has outscored Illini 68-6 in past two meetings. 3 Virginia Tech6-0at Pittsburgh7Has blocked only one kick this season. 4 Tennessee5-1vs. South Carolina3:30Only Division I team not to give up rushing TD this season. 5 Florida6-1vs. Georgia3:308-1 vs. Bulldogs this decade, with average score of 38-16. 6 Kansas State7-0vs. Baylor2Has won 19 straight regular season conference games. 7 Georgia Tech5-1vs. N.C. State3:30Leads nation in total offense at 516.5 yards per game. 8 Mississippi State7-0idle -- Will host Kentucky next week. 8 Nebraska6-1at Kansas730 straight wins over Jayhawks, with two straight shutouts.10 Georgia6-1vs. Florida3:30DE-RB Charles Grant had 3 sacks, 2 rushing TDs last week.11 Wisconsin6-2at NorthwesternnoonRB Ron Dayne is 483 rushing yards from NCAA career mark.12 Texas6-2at Iowa State2First game in state of Iowa.13 Marshall7-0vs. Northern Illinois4Second in nation in scoring defense at 8.4 ppg.14 Alabama5-2vs. Southern Mississippi3LT Chris Samuels has not allowed a sack this season.15 Michigan5-2at IndiananoonHasn't lost 3 straight regular season games since 1967.16 BYU6-1vs. Air Force3PK Owen Pochman scored school-record 17 points last week.17 East Carolina6-1at Houston3:30Averaging 187.1 rushing yards per game, 22nd in nation.18 Purdue5-3at MinnesotanoonFirst game against unranked team since Sept. 25.19 Michigan State6-2idle -- Will visit No. 21 Ohio State next week.20 Southern Miss5-2at Alabama3Blocked two field goals tries last week vs. Cincinnati.21 Ohio State5-3vs. IowanoonWR Ken-Yon Rambo averaging 19.2 yards per catch.22 Texas A&M5-2vs. Oklahoma State3:30Five running backs averaging more than 5 carries per game.23 Miami3-3vs. West VirginianoonHad four scores in 13 minutes in comeback win last week.24 Oklahoma4-2at Colorado3:30Needs 55 passing yards for school season record.25 Mississippi5-2at LSU8Last won three straight SEC road games in 1990.