Georgia Tech at Virginia
Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., WJLA-7, WMAR-2.
of the Week
No. 7 Ga. Tech (6-1, 4-1 ACC)
The Yellow Jackets lead the nation in total offense (516 yards per game) and scoring offense (41.6 points per game), but they will have to be thinking about defense, especially stopping RB Thomas Jones, who rushed for 207 yards against them last year. Georgia Tech's offense is excellent for many reasons. QB Joe Hamilton leads the nation in passing efficiency (118 of 177 for 1,883 yards, 17 touchdowns, five interceptions) and is the team's second-leading rusher with 463 yards and six touchdowns. Defenses have to commit extra tacklers to stop Hamilton, meaning that WRs Dez White (28 catches for 615 yards) and Kelly Campbell (43 catches for 747 yards) are able to get open. RB Sean Gregory also has developed, rushing for 113 yards last week against North Carolina State.
Key Stat: Campbell is averaging 19.8 yards per catch over the past three games.
Fast Fact: The Yellow Jackets have kicked nine field goals against Virginia this decade, and five have decided games.
Virginia (4-4, 3-3)
The past two seasons, the Cavaliers had the offensive talent to keep up with the Yellow Jackets. Last year, Virginia took a 38-17 third-quarter lead before giving up 24 fourth-quarter points to lose, 41-38. Two years ago, the Cavaliers won, 35-31. This season, Virginia might not be able to keep up, even if Jones, the nation's leading rusher at 159.1 yards per game, has a big game. QB Dan Ellis suffered a concussion against Florida State last week and won't play, leaving David Rivers to start. The Cavaliers' defense has 14 interceptions this season, but is still having trouble against the pass, ranking 94th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. In addition Virginia is 74th nationally in scoring defense (26.6 points per game).
Key Stat: Jones has averaged 190 yards rushing in Virginia's past three games.
Fast Fact: The Cavaliers, who lost to No. 1 Florida State last week, are playing consecutive games against top-10 teams for the first time in the program's history.
OTHER AREA GAMES
No. 3 Virginia Tech at West Virginia
Time, TV, Radio: 3:30 p.m., WUSA-9, WJZ-13, WMJS-FM-92.7, WAGE-12OO.
Records: Hokies 7-0, 3-0 Big East; Mountaineers 3-5, 2-2.
Data: The Hokies gave up 407 passing yards last week to Pittsburgh and faces another pass-oriented team today. Virginia Tech's pass defense will improve with the return of CB Ike Charlton from a bruised shoulder, but the other starting CB, Anthony Midget, is questionable because of a strained groin. Charlton has intercepted West Virginia QB Marc Bulger four times in the past two games against the Mountaineers. Bulger came into the season as the Big East's best quarterback, but has battled injuries and has thrown 12 interceptions. He threw for 346 yards last week against Miami, but also had four interceptions.
Maryland at North Carolina State
Time, TV, Radio: Noon, WUSA-9, WUTB-24, WTEM-980, WBAL-1090, WFMD-930.
Records: Terrapins 5-3, 2-3 ACC; Wolfpack 5-4, 2-4.
Data: With Florida State and Virginia remaining on the Terrapins' schedule, this might be their best opportunity to get their sixth victory and become eligible for a bowl. North Carolina State is seventh in the ACC in total defense and gives up an average of 156 yards rushing per game, not a promising figure given that Maryland RB LaMont Jordan rushed for 227 yards last week against Duke and is second in the ACC at 135.3 yards per game. After a rough start, N.C. State QB Jamie Barnette has thrown 10 touchdown passes in his past five games. He needs one more to set the ACC career record of 58.
Navy at Rutgers
Time, Radio: 2 p.m., WMAL-630, WNAV-1430, WJFK-1300.
Records: Midshipmen 2-6; Scarlet Knights 0-8.
Data: Navy doesn't get too many chances to blow out a Division I-A opponent, but this is one of them. The Scarlet Knights, who have lost 10 straight, rank lower than 100th nationally in rushing offense (102nd), punting (102nd), scoring offense (105th), pass efficiency defense (113th), scoring defense (113th), total defense (104th) and turnover margin (111th). They also allow 197.5 rushing yards per game, which is good news for Navy's running game, which is sixth in the nation. Navy QB Brian Madden had a good game last week in his first career start, rushing for 168 yards and one touchdown. FS Chris Lepore also was outstanding, with 16 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt.
South Carolina State at Howard
Time, TV: Noon, WHUT-32.
Records: Bulldogs 3-4, 1-3 MEAC; Bison 3-5, 2-3.
Data: Howard likely will emphasize the pass against the Bulldogs, who rank last in the MEAC in pass defense. Bison WR Elijah Thurmon is fifth in Division I-AA in receiving yards per game (116.8) and 10th in receptions per game (6.9). He needs 144 yards to break the Howard single-season record of 1,087 set by Tracy Singleton in 1982. Howard RB Jermaine Hutchinson is seventh in Division I-AA in scoring (11.25 ppg). South Carolina State RB Derek O'Neal leads the conference in rushing at 126.6 yards per game.
No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 17 Purdue
Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., pay-per-view.
Records: Badgers 7-2, 5-1 Big Ten; Boilermakers 6-3, 3-3.
Data: Purdue QB Drew Brees and Wisconsin RB Ron Dayne -- possibly the two favorites to win the Heisman Trophy -- have had big games in this series. Brees attempted 83 passes, a NCAA record, in last year's game while Dayne has rushed for 512 yards in three games against Purdue. The Badgers don't face Penn State this season, and are actually hoping Penn State will win the rest of its games and go to the Sugar Bowl so they will have a chance to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. Dayne needs 321 yards rushing to become Division I-A's all-time leader.
No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 Nebraska
Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., pay-per-view.
Records: Aggies 6-2, 3-2 Big 12 South; Cornhuskers 7-1, 4-1 Big 12 North.
Data: Both teams need a win to have any chance of reaching the Big 12 title game. A win by Nebraska would put added importance on the Cornhuskers' matchup with North Division-leading Kansas State next week. The Aggies are one of three South Division teams with two conference losses and need some help to win the division. Texas A&M, historically known for its rushing attack, has not had a 100-yard rusher this season. Nebraska's former quarterback, Bobby Newcombe, carried the Cornhuskers last week in a 24-17 win over Kansas, returning a punt 86 yards for a touchdown, then catching the winning touchdown pass with a little over three minutes left.
No. 24 Notre Dame at No. 4 Tennessee
Time, TV, Radio: 7:30 p.m., ESPN, WGAY-1260, WXTR-820.
Records: Fighting Irish 5-3; Volunteers 6-1.
Data: Notre Dame has won four straight, but all four, including last week's squeaker over Navy, came at home, and the Fighting Irish haven't played a road game in almost two months. Tennessee hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all season while scoring 15. RB Jamal Lewis bruised his shoulder against South Carolina last week but should play. Notre Dame QB Jarious Jackson relies on calling audibles, but the expected crowd of 102,000 at Neyland Stadium should make that difficult.
Noon: Ohio State at Michigan State (ESPN)
Noon: Minnesota at Penn State (ESPN2).
Noon: Northwestern at Michigan (pay-per-view).
Noon: Miami at Pittsburgh (pay-per-view).
12:30: Louisiana State at Alabama (pay-per-view).
3 p.m.: Southern Mississippi at Memphis (HTS).
3 p.m.: Colorado State at New Mexico (pay-per-view).
6 p.m.: Arkansas at Mississippi (ESPN2).
6:30 p.m.: Arizona State at Southern California (HTS).
9 p.m.: Wyoming at Utah (ESPN2).
9 p.m.: Brigham Young at San Diego State (pay-per-view).
10 p.m.: Washington State at Oregon (HTS).
Noon: William & Mary at Rhode Island (WABS-780).
1 p.m.: James Madison at Maine (WDCT-1310).
Hofstra at Buffalo, noon
Delaware at New Hampshire, noon
Temple at Syracuse, noon
Harvard at Brown, 12:30
Holy Cross at Bucknell, 12:30
Lehigh at Colgate, 12:30
Fordham at Lafayette, 12:30
Princeton at Penn, 12:30
Dayton at Towson, 12:30
Sacred Heart at Albany, N.Y., 1
S. Connecticut at Cent.
Connecticut St., 1
Northeastern at Connecticut, 1
Yale at Cornell, 1
Marist at Fairfield, 1
St. Peter's at La Salle, 1
Wagner at Monmouth, N.J., 1
Canisius at St. John's, N.Y., 1
Dartmouth at Columbia, 1:30
St. Francis, Pa., at Robert Morris, 1:30
Duke at Clemson, noon
Delaware St. at N. Carolina A&T, 12:30
Furman at Georgia Southern, 1
Drake at Jacksonville, 1
Massachusetts at Richmond, 1
Appalachian St. at VMI, 1
Davidson at Centre, 1:30
Tusculum at Charleston Southern, 1:30
Elon at Liberty, 1:30
Morgan St. at Norfolk St., 1:30
Wake Forest at North Carolina, 1:30
Austin Peay at Virginia-Wise, 1:30
East Tennessee St. at Wofford, 1:30
Central Florida at Auburn, 2
East Carolina at UAB, 2
Samford at W. Carolina, 2
Mississippi Valley St. at Alcorn St., 2:30
Morehead St. at Kentucky Wesleyan, 2:30
E. Kentucky at Murray St., 2:30
Jacksonville St. at Northwestern St., 3
Hampton at Bethune-Cookman, 7
The Citadel at Chattanooga, 7
Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana Tech, 7
Tenn.-Martin at Middle Tennessee, 7
New Haven at South Florida, 7
Tennessee Tech at Tennessee St., 7
Stephen F. Austin at Troy St., 7
Grambling St. at Alabama St., 8
Southern U. at Florida A&M, 8
Quincy at Butler, 1
Toledo at Cent. Michigan, 1
Akron at Miami, Ohio, 1
St. Joseph's, Ind. at Valparaiso, 1
SW Missouri St. at Youngstown St., 1
S. Illinois at Indiana St., 1:30
W. Illinois at Illinois St., 2
Illinois at Iowa, 2
Baylor at Kansas, 2
E. Illinois at SE Missouri, 2
Louisville at Cincinnati, 3:30
Ball St. at E. Michigan, 6
Iowa St. at Texas Tech, 2
Missouri at Oklahoma, 3
Ark.-Pine Bluff at Prairie View, 3
McNeese St. at SW Texas, 3
Nicholls St. at Sam Houston St., 3
SMU at TCU, 3
Tulane at Houston, 3:30
Jackson St. at Texas Southern, 9
Tulsa at UTEP, 9
New Mexico St. at Utah St., 2
E. Washington at Montana St., 2:05
Army at Air Force, 3
Arkansas St. at Boise St., 3
Idaho at Nevada, 3
N. Arizona at Weber St., 3
Hawaii at San Jose St., 3:30
Montana at Cal Poly-SLO, 4
California at Oregon St., 4
Idaho St. at Sacramento St., 4
S. Utah at St. Mary's, Calif., 4
Rice at Fresno St., 5
CS Northridge at Portland St., 9
Stony Brook at San Diego, 10
Where the Top 25 Play
TeamRecordOpponentTimeComment 1 Florida State9-0idle -- Hosts Maryland next week. 2 Penn State9-0vs. MinnesotanoonOpponents are a combined 58-33 this season. 3 Virginia Tech7-0at West Virginia3:30Seeking first 8-0 start since 1905. 4 Tennessee6-1vs. No. 24 Notre Dame7:3053-2 in November since 1985; one loss was to Irish in 1990. 5 Florida7-1vs. Vanderbilt3:30Has held past three opponents to 14 or fewer points. 6 Kansas State8-0vs. Colorado12:30Has won 20 straight Big 12 regular season games. 7 Georgia Tech6-1at Virginia3:30Joe Hamilton 100 yards from ACC total offense record. 8 Mississippi State8-0idle -- Beat Kentucky, 23-22, Thursday night; at Alabama next week. 9 Nebraska7-1vs. No. 21 Texas A&M3:30Bobby Newcombe averaging 23.5 yards per punt return.10 Wisconsin7-2at No. 17 Purdue3:30PK Vitaly Pisetsky has made 14 consecutive field goals.11 Texas7-2at Oklahoma State2Has overcome deficits of at least 10 points in past 3 wins.12 Alabama6-2vs. LSU12:30Road team has won seven of the last eight in series.13 Marshall8-0at Kent2Has won past two games in series by a combined 84-24.14 Georgia6-2idle -- Hosts Auburn next week.15 BYU7-1at San Diego State911th nationally in offense (458 ypg) and defense (293 ypg).16 Michigan6-2vs. NorthwesternnoonCan't afford to look ahead to Penn State and Ohio State.17 Purdue6-3vs. No. 10 Wisconsin3:3059 of Chris Daniels's 96 catches have been for first downs.18 East Carolina7-1at UAB2Allowing 15.1 points per game, 10th nationally.19 Michigan State6-2vs. No. 20 Ohio StatenoonGiven up average of 180 yards rushing over past two games.20 Ohio State6-3at No. 19 Michigan StatenoonHas won seven of past eight at Spartan Stadium.21 Texas A&M6-2at No. 9 Nebraska3:30Four receivers averaging more than 15 yards per catch.22 Miami4-3at PittsburghnoonHas overcome deficits of 28 and 13 points in last two.23 Mississippi6-2vs. Arkansas6Two RBs with more than 100 rushing yards last week.24 Notre Dame5-3at No. 4 Tennessee7:30QB Jarious Jackson ranks 9th in nation in QB rating (145.3).25 Southern Miss.5-3at Memphis3QB Jeff Kelly threw two INTs and was benched last week.