Miami at Virginia Tech

Time, TV/Radio: 7:30., ESPN; WAGE-1200, WMJS-FM-92.7

Game of the Week

No. 19 Miami (5-3, 3-0 Big East)

At the start of the season, redshirt sophomore QB Kenny Kelly was the focus of Miami's offense, but his progress has been slower than expected, and Miami has turned to the running game to move the ball. Freshman RB Clinton Portis has three 100-yard rushing games this season, including a 131-yard effort last week against Pittsburgh. James Jackson also has rushed for over 100 yards in three games, but two were in the first three weeks of the season. But because the Hokies' run defense is so stingy, Kelly probably will try to get the ball to speedy WRs Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne against Virginia Tech's banged-up secondary. Kelly leads the Big East in passing (221.9 yards per game) but has thrown 12 interceptions. Miami's defense, led by LB Dan Morgan, has forced 27 turnovers, third in the nation.

Key Stat: In the past three games, Miami has averaged 20.3 points in the fourth quarter.

Fast Fact: The Hurricanes are 12-10 on grass over the past three seasons.

No. 2 Virginia Tech (8-0, 4-0)

The Hokies remain second in the nation in scoring defense, and third in rushing defense and total defense, but they haven't put forth a complete defensice effort in either of the past two games. Two weeks ago against Pittsburgh, they gave up 407 yards passing. Last week against West Virginia, they gave up 133 yards rushing to Avon Cobourne. Miami has two solid running backs and an elusive quarterback who can not only move the ball on the ground but is a big reason the Hurricanes have allowed only 13 sacks. Miami also has an excellent group of wide receivers. Cornerback will be a concern for the Hokies, because Anthony Midget aggravated a groin injury last week. If he isn't at full strength, redshirt freshman Ronyell Whitaker might be Miami's target.

Key Stat: Michael Vick leads Big East quarterbacks in rushing with 46.3 yards per game.

Fast Fact: After winning their first six games by an average of 35.3 points, the Hokies have won their last two by an average of 7.5.

OTHER AREA GAMES

Maryland at No. 1 Florida State

Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., WJLA-7, WMAR-2.

Radio: WTEM-980, WBAL-1090, WFMD-930.

Records: Terrapins 5-4, 2-4 ACC; Seminoles 9-0, 7-0.

Sidelights: As if Maryland needed any more of a disadvantage in this game, the Seminoles were idle last weekend, so they should be well-rested. On the other hand, Florida State probably is viewing this game as little more than a tune-up for next weekend's game against No. 4 Florida that could decide both teams' national title hopes. Florida State has outscored opponents by a combined 72-7 in the second half over the past four weeks. Seminoles QB Chris Weinke has averaged 306 yards passing in his past five games, and WR Peter Warrick needs 87 receiving yards to become the all-time ACC leader.

Buffalo at Virginia

Time, Radio: 1 p.m., WPLC-FM-94.3.

Records: Bulls 0-9; Cavaliers 5-4.

Sidelights: The Cavaliers looked terrific last week in a 45-38 win over then-No. 7 Georgia Tech. Backup QB David Rivers, in his first start, completed 18 of 30 passes for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns. But the real story was RB Thomas Jones, who rushed for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones is 234 yards from setting the ACC season rushing record. Buffalo, in its first Division I-A season, has lost to I-AA teams Connecticut and Hofstra, and is allowing 238.7 yards rushing per game (112th in the nation).

Tulane at Navy

Time, Radio: Noon, WMAL-630, WNAV-1430, WJFK-1300.

Records: Green Wave 3-6; Midshipmen 3-6.

Sidelights: Navy's seniors would like to win in their last home game. Last week, in a 34-7 win over Rutgers, the Midshipmen rushed for 371 yards -- 167 by QB Brian Madden. They should have another productive game on the ground, because Tulane has been beset by injuries and its run defense has struggled. The Green Wave gave up 330 yards rushing to Houston RBs Ketric Sanford and Mike Green last week.

Howard at Morgan State

Time: 1 p.m.

Records: Bears 0-5, 2-6 MEAC; Bison 3-3, 4-5.

Sidelights: The Bison rank last in the MEAC in scoring defense, allowing 35 points per game. But the Bears average only 17.4 points per game. Howard WR Elijah Thurmond needs nine receptions to break Gary Harrell's school season record of 72. Last week, the Bison scored 42 second-half points, including a three-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds left, to defeat South Carolina State, 49-42.

Georgetown at Canisius, 1:30

Catholic at Bridgewater, 1 p.m.

NATIONAL GAMES

No. 5 Kansas State at No. 7 Nebraska

Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., pay-per-view.

Records: Wildcats 9-0, 6-0 Big 12; Cornhuskers 8-1, 5-1.

Sidelights: The Big 12 North Division title is on the line. The Cornhuskers are tough to beat at home (they have won 42 of their past 43 home games) and are looking to avenge last year's loss to the Wildcats (Kansas State has not had consecutive wins over Nebraska since 1958 and '59, and has not won in Lincoln since 1968). Both teams have strong defenses but inconsistent offenses. Kansas State QB Jonathan Beasley was benched in the second half of last week's 20-14 win over Colorado. Beasley will start, but he'll be replaced by Adam Helm at the first sign of trouble.

No. 8 Mississippi State at No. 11 Alabama

Time, TV: 3:30 p.m., WUSA-9, WJZ-13.

Records: Bulldogs 8-0, 5-0 SEC; Crimson Tide 7-2, 5-1.

Sidelights: Mississippi State can almost cinch the SEC West title with a win. The Bulldogs lead the nation in rushing defense at 54 yards per game; the Crimson Tide is ninth at 87 per game. Alabama lost DT Kenny Smith and LB Marvin Constant, both starters, and pass-rush specialist Canary Knight to injuries last week against LSU. But RB Shaun Alexander should start after being hampered by a sprained ankle the past two weeks. Mississippi State QB Matt Wyatt has come off the bench in two of the past three games to lead the Bulldogs to victory, but Wayne Madkin should start despite a sprained ankle.

No. 16 Michigan at No. 6 Penn State

Time, TV, Radio: Noon, WJLA-7, WMAR-2, WXTR-820.

Records: Wolverines 7-2, 4-2 Big Ten; Nittany Lions 9-1, 5-1.

Sidelights: Despite last week's last-second loss to Minnesota, the Nittany Lions can make it to the Rose Bowl with wins today and next week against Michigan State. Their defense has 26 sacks in the past five games, but gave up big plays late in the game against Minnesota. The Wolverines still can get to the Rose Bowl, but they need to win today and next week against Ohio State and they need Wisconsin to lose to Iowa today. Michigan RB Anthony Thomas has 369 yards rushing in his past two games.

Ron Dayne Seeks NCAA Division I-A Career Rushing Record

Matchup: Iowa at No. 9 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., pay-per-view.

Records: Hawkeyes 1-8, 0-6 Big Ten; Badgers 8-2, 6-1.

Sidelights:The Badgers' Dayne needs 99 yards rushing to break Ricky Williams's NCAA career mark and perhaps lock up the Heisman Trophy. The Hawkeyes rank 109th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 220.1 yards per game.

WHERE THE TOP 25 PLAY

on tv

Noon: Clemson at Georgia Tech (WUSA-9, WUTB-24).

Noon: Richmond at James Madison (HTS).

Noon: West Virginia at Boston College (ESPN).

Noon: Illinois at Ohio State (ESPN2).

Noon: Indiana at Minnesota (pay-per-view).

Noon: Syracuse at Rutgers (pay-per-view).

Noon: Marshall at Western Michigan (pay-per-view).

12:30 p.m.: Tennessee at Arkansas (pay-per-view).

12:30 p.m.: Florida at South Carolina (pay-per-view).

3 p.m.: New Mexico at Utah (pay-per-view).

3:30 p.m.: Cincinnati at East Carolina (HTS).

3:30 p.m.: Washington at UCLA (pay-per-view).

6 p.m.: Auburn at Georgia (ESPN2).

6 p.m.: BYU at Wyoming (pay-per-view).

7 p.m.: Southern Cal at Washington State (pay-per-view).

9 p.m.: Kentucky at Vanderbilt (ESPN2).

10:15 p.m.: Arizona at Oregon State (HTS).

on RADIO

Noon: Richmond at James Madison (WDCT-1310).

1 p.m.: Massachusetts at William & Mary (WABS-780).

3:30 p.m.: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (WGAY-1260).

Noon: Richmond at James Madison (WDCT-1310).

1 p.m.: Massachusetts at William & Mary (WABS-780).

3:30 p.m.: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (WGAY-1260).

EAST

Brown at Dartmouth, noon

Lehigh at Bucknell, 12:30

Towson at Colgate, 12:30

Holy Cross at Fordham, 12:30

Penn at Harvard, 12:30

Duquesne at Lafayette, 12:30

Maine at Northeastern, 12:30

St. Peter's at Sacred Heart, 12:30

St. Francis, Pa., at Stony Brook, 12:30

Monmouth, N.J., at Cent. Conn. St., 1

New Hampshire at Connecticut, 1

Columbia at Cornell, 1

Rhode Island at Delaware, 1

La Salle at Fairfield, 1

Marist at Iona, 1

Jackson St. at New Haven, 1

Yale at Princeton, 1

St. John's, N.Y., at Siena, 1

Youngstown St. at Villanova, 1 p.m.

SOUTH

Florida A&M at N. Carolina A&T, 12:30

W. Carolina at Appalachian St., 1

VMI at The Citadel, 1

Austin Peay at Davidson, 1:30

Wake Forest at Duke, 1:30

Bethune-Cookman at Norfolk St., 1:30

Delaware St. at S. Carolina St., 1:30

Jacksonville at Tusculum, 1:30

Prairie View at Alabama St., 2

Chattanooga at E. Tenn. State, 2

Morehead St. at Elon, 2

Wofford at Furman, 2

Army at Memphis, 2

E. Kentucky at Tennessee Tech, 2

Louisiana Tech at UAB, 2

Alabama A&M at Alcorn St., 2:30

Morris Brown at

Mississippi Valley State, 2:30

Murray St. at Tennessee St., 2:30

Georgia Southern at Jacksonville St., 3

Cent. Florida at Middle Tennessee, 7

Grambling St. vs. Winston-Salem, 7

Hofstra at South Florida, 7

Samford at Nicholls St., 7:30

Troy St. at McNeese St., 8

MIDWEST

W. Kentucky at Indiana St., noon

Texas A&M at Missouri, 12:30

Ball St. at Bowling Green, 1

E. Michigan at Cent. Michigan, 1

Miami, Ohio, at Ohio, 1

N. Illinois at Toledo, 1

Kent at Akron, 1:30

Valparaiso at Aurora, 2

Oklahoma at Iowa St., 2

Tenn.-Martin at SW Missouri St., 2

N. Iowa at W. Illinois, 2

Illinois St. at E. Illinois, 2:30

Butler at Lindenwood, 2:30

SOUTHWEST

Kansas at Oklahoma St., 2

Lane at Ark.-Pine Bluff, 3

UTEP at Rice, 3

CS Northridge at SMU, 3

S. Utah at SW Texas, 3

Northwestern St. at S. Houston St., 3

Wingate at Stephen F. Austin, 3

North Texas at TCU, 3

Louisiana-Monroe at Tulsa, 3

Nevada at Arkansas St., 5

Southern U. at Texas Southern, 8

FAR WEST

UNLV at Air Force, 2

Idaho at Montana, 2

New Mexico St. at Boise St., 3

Oregon at California, 3:30

Weber St. vs. E. Washington, 4

Cal Poly-SLO at St. Mary's, Calif., 4

Wagner at San Diego, 4:30

Stanford at Arizona St., 6:30

Portland St. at N. Arizona, 8

Montana St. at Idaho St., 8:30

Fresno St. at Hawaii, 11