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Jonathanís Journal
October 23, 2001

Breaking Down This Weekís Top Games

There are several outstanding games coming up this weekend in the college football world. Jonathanís College Sports Website will break those down for you right here. To see the TV times for these games, click here!

Oklahoma at Nebraska: This one will decide who takes control of the national title chase. The Huskers and Sooners are ranked 1-2 in the BCS standings, which were released on Monday. Oklahoma hasnít lost since their bowl game at the end of the 1999 season, and the Huskers havenít lost this season. Nebraska has yet to play any big-name teams, although Texas Tech gave the Huskers fits last weekend. Oklahoma, on the other hand, has already beaten North Carolina, Kansas State, and Texas. North Carolina has improved as the season has gone on, which is the opposite of the struggling Kansas State team. Texas still has a shot at the Big XII, especially if Nebraska wins this game. The Soonersí experience in big games should give them a boost in Lincoln. A lot of people already have a date in Pasadena reserved for coach Bob Stoopsí team. The Cornhuskers offense is not easy to stop, however. Led by QB Eric Crouch, Nebraska has dominated most of its opponents in 2001. With a hyped-up home crowd at their back, I think Nebraska wins this game, but just barely. Nebraska 41 Oklahoma 39

Maryland at Florida State: Not many people thought much of the Terps-Noles matchup before the season began. But Maryland has jumped out to a 7-0 start behind first-year head coach Ralph Friedgen. UM has already knocked off top-25 opponent GA Tech on the road. The Seminoles, however, have struggled more than usual this season. A huge loss to North Carolina was followed by a loss to in-state rival Miami a few weeks later. The offense has not been that impressive, while the defense canít stop teams with decent offenses. Maryland is not great offensively, but they just seem to get the job done. Luckily for the Noles and coach Bobby Bowden, Ralph Friedgenís offense is similar to the offense he ran at GA Tech, when he was offensive coordinatior, the past few seasons. The Noles should have a good idea of what Maryland will do. Maryland is on a roll, and I donít think FSU has enough to stop them this season. Florida Stateís home-field advantage did not help them against Miami, and it wonít here either. Maryland 31 Florida State 28

South Carolina at Tennessee: After going on the road to knock off Alabamaís Crimson Tide, the Vols return home to take on Lou Holtz and the Gamecocks. QB Phil Petty and RB Derrick Watson have been getting the job done for Holtz so far this season. USCís only blemish came in a slip-up against Arkansas on the road. South Carolina has already knocked off Georgia and Miss. State on the road, while claiming home SEC wins over Kentucky, Alabama, and Vanderilt. Before slipping up in the final seconds against Georgia at home, UT jumped out to a 3-0 record. The Vols, however, were able to recover in time to knock off Bama. Casey Clausen, with the help of freshman WR sensation Kelly Washington, has been impressive. With the crowd of 100,000+ at their back, the Vols wonít lose twice at home this season. Tennessee 28 South Carolina 27

UCLA at Stanford: Boy, that loss at home to Washington State is hurting for the Stanford Cardinal now. They were able to recover in time to take down the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, snapping a 23-game home winning streak for Oregon. This is one of two big games in the PAC10 this weekend, which could let the leaders seperate themselves or put everyone in a pile right next to each other. UCLA has yet to lose a game, getting impressive wins over Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon State, and Washington. This will be the biggest game yet for the Bruins though. If they can win here, they will step to the top of the conference. If they donít though, the Bruins will be right there with Stanford, Oregon, and Washington State. The Bruins feel they have a shot at the national title if they right things fall into place. The Cardinal however feel a PAC10 title is in their grasp. Winning the big games is crucial for both teams, and in a close one, I think the Bruins will get the job done this time. UCLA 21 Stanford 20

Georgia vs Florida: This game almost always provides a good matchup between the Bulldogs and Gators. With the exception of the loss at Auburn, Florida has thoroughly dominated all of its opponents in 2001. Georgia fell to South Carolina early, but has come back and won its next four games, the most impressive being a road win over the Tennessee Volunteers. If Georgia can win this game, they may finally be able to make it back to the SEC Championship Game. If not, they can once again count themselves out. That itself should be motivation enough. But, unfortunately for UGA, the Gators have too much firepower. The better UGA plays, the closer the score will be. Florida 34 Georgia 24

Oregon at Washington State: Washington State is right there with Maryland as the surprise team of 2001. The Cougars have jumped out to a 6-0 record, with their most impressive win by far coming at Stanford. Oregon appeared to be headed to a possible showdown with UCLA for the title of the PAC10, but slipped up against Stanford. If WSU wins this game and UCLA loses, they will have the front seat in the PAC10. If OR wins and UCLA falls, however, weíll be right back where we started a couple weeks ago, all knotted up at the top. The Cougars know this is a huge game for them to step up to the next level, while Oregon must recover from the disappointment of the loss last weekend. This should be one of the best games of 2001. Washington State 48 Oregon 42

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