Thursday, September 9, 1999 -The Michigan Daily -- 7
reorgia Tech, Florida State to joust for ACC supremacy
y Dan Ding"rson
aily Sports Writer
After two weeks on the gridiron,
ery little has been decided. There is
ontroversy within and between
ams. Who's the No. I quarterback?
's the number one team?
his weekend should provide a
ttle clarity in the race for the
ational championship, featuring
me of the best early season
atchups so far.
No. 10 GEORGIA TECH AT No. I
LORIDA STATE: Unfortunately for
CC fans, there is little time to glo-
fy the matchup of the year in the
onference. This game is the confer-
nce opener for both teams.
Ooth the Yellow Jackets and
eminoles come into the game with
ational title aspirations. Although
e Seminoles are used to being
nked near the top, the Yellow
ckets have not thought about the
ational championship since 1990,
hen they took home a share of the
tie. Florida State beat a tough
ouisiana Tech team in its opener,
ut did not look impressive.
*hris Weinke came back strong
om a neck injury though, making
e Seminoles' title hopes legitimate.
he key to Florida State's season
ould be the running game.
Although Florida teams are gen-
rally known for their high-octane
assing attack, the Seminoles will
robably only be spectacular when
eter Warrick is catching the ball.
This means that the ground game
be critical for success. Travis
r'needs to return to his form of
st year, when he was spectacular at
mes. Leading the way for Minor
ill be transformed quarterback Dan
endra. With the recent injury of
illiam McCray, Kendra has been
rust into the starting fullback posi-
You have to respect the toughness
a guy who not only comes back
serious injuries, but is willing
tmp into a new position, one
uch more contact-oriented than
Once again the strength of
orida State will be the defense.
gainst Louisiana Tech, the
minoles shut down the most potent
fensive player of the past two
ars, quarterback Tim Rattay.
Florida State, .which seemingly
s a defensive lineman every NFL
ir day, replaces them with no loss
The Seminoles again have one of
e best defenses in the country, one
at will almost definitely lead
orida State to a final ranking in the
The question in Tallahassee
ough is; can the Seminoles and
obby Bowden finally go undefeat-
Efense is certainly not the
rongest aspect of Georgia Tech's
ime. The weak point of the Yellow
ickets team last year, defense does-
't look to be much better this year.
hat could cause a lot of problems if
eorgia Tech wants to play on New
car's Day again.
The player that could lead Tech to
e promised land is Joe Hamilton.
he senior quarterback is one of the
laymakers in the country, and
e the best overall player that
e Seminoles see this season.
Georgia Tech couldn't beat
orida State last year in Atlanta.
his year they have to travel to
dlahassee, and they face a much
ugher group of Seminoles, a team
ith much more experience and
otivation than they had a year ago.
Florida State has never lost a con-
e game at home, and they only
s in conference once every three
GEORGIA TECH 16
NO. 22 VIRGINIA AT CLEMSON:
Another big game in the ACC.
Tommy Bowden will coach his first
game in the conference his dad owns
and he's hoping that the domination
will be a family affair.
Virginia has been a very solid
team throughout the nineties. This
year the Cavaliers will be lead by
their standout running back, Thomas
Jones. His running was the key to
Virginia's victory over North
Carolina. Despite the win - a three-
point victory over a young UNC
team is not what Virginia fans had
hoped for - they will need to he bet-
ter to beat a well-coached Tigers
Clemson is looking to restore the
roar of the 80's when Death Valley
was the toughest stadium in the
nation to play in.
Bowden was disappointed with a
tough loss to Marshall in the opener,
but should be encouraged by the pro-
lific tandem of quarterback Brandon
Streeter and receiver Rod Gardner.
The two hooked up ,on I I passes
against the Thundering Herd.
Bowden wants to fight his father
for the ACC title. But to do that, he
needs to beat everyone else in the
ACC. Clemson pulls off the upset in
what will be a big weekend for the
SOUTH CAROLINA AT No. 12
GEORGIA: An intriguing game sim-
ply because of Lou Holtz.
Although South Carolina's
offense was completely inept against
N.C. State, Holtz' debut in Columbia
should be considered a success. The
Gamecocks defense was spectacular
in the torrential rain, holding the
Wolfpack to under 100 yards passing
and only three points offensively.
South Carolina will be tested
again by Georgia's solid offense.
The Gamecocks should have the
chance to move the ball against the
Bulldogs' weak defense though - if
they can hold on to the ball. South
Carolina's eight fumbles were. an
embarrassment, even for a team that
only maaged one win a year ago.
Georgia may be a little overrated,
but their offense should get them
through this one. The Bulldogs
should be happy that they get Holtz'
Gamecocks early in the year.
South Carolina will play well, but
can't pull an upset this soon. Look
for Holtz to get his first points at
SOUTH CAROLINA 3
No. 14 UCLA AT No. 13 OHIO
STATE: This could be the best game
of the day, if it was played a year ago.
Unfortunately, we finally get last
year's dream matchup, and it will
feature two teams with a quarterback
Both teams have had a tough time
deciding who should lead the way.
Ohio State is leaning towards Austin
Moherman over Steve Bellisari,
although John Cooper has promised
that both will see playing time.
UCLA is waffling between Drew
Bennett and Cory Paus. Bob Toledo
sees flashes of Cade McNown in
Paus, something that will eventually
give Paus the edge.
Both teams will rely on their
abundance of skill at other offensive
positions to make it through the year.
Ohio State's Michael Wiley is proba-
bly the best running back in the col-
lege game. Whether or not he can
avoid slipping into "cruise control"
could determine whether or not he
wins the Heisman Trophy. Ohio
State's receivers will have to play
better than they did against Miami if
Ohio State hopes to win 10 games
in the country and should break out
Unfortunately for UCLA, the
defense will still be as terrible as it
was last year. A strong performance
against Boise State doesn't say any-
thing about how the Bruins will play
against tough opponents.
If the Buckeyes are smart enough
to remove all of the handicap parking
signs, UCLA's busses will never be
able to park. But we all know that
Ohio State isn't smart enough to do
The Buckeyes won't care if
UCLA finds a parking spot though.
The extra game against Miami, along
with playing at the "Horseshoe", will
provide the difference for Ohio State.
Although it is tough to pick a
team that has kicked more players off
their team than the three Florida
schools combined, Ohio State will
not start the season 0-2. It won't be
the best game of the day, but it
should be fun to watch.
OHIO STATE 24,
PITTSBURGH AT No. 2 PENN
STATE: This intrastate rivalry used to
be one of the best in the country. Pitt
has not played well in recent
matchups with the Nittany Lions
Pitt is not a bad team. Most peo-
ple forget that the Panthers were a
bowl team two years ago. They
could very well be a bowl team again
this year. The team could also be
inspired by their last season in his-
toric Pitt Stadium and make a run in
the weak Big East. This game isn't
in Pittsburgh, though.
The Panthers have to travel to
Happy Valley to face a team that has
looked almost perfect in its first two
Linebacker U. has the best line-
backers in the country, and the
defense again will lead the way for
Although the offense has been
effective so far, if the Nittany Lions
can't decide on a quarterback soon,
they can forget about winning a
Pitt looks like a team that could
pull a big upset this year, but not this
week. They are playing the best team
in the country up to this point of the
season. It could be close for a half,
but that's about it.
PENN STATE 49,
PITT 17 -
No. 16 NOTRE DAME AT No. 20
PURDUE: This will be the best game
of the day. Amidst all of the quarter-
back controversies throughout the
nation, these two are as sure of that
position as any team in the country.
A year ago, Purdue played solid,
and slowly put itself into position to
win the game. In an all too familiar
refrain, the luck of the Irish prevailed
as the Boilers couldn't do anything
but turn the ball over in the last five
minutes. This game will come down
to the final minute as well
Drew Brees is probably the best
pure quarterback in the country. His
competition for the Heisman will
only be Big Ten foes Ron Dayne and
Ohio State's Wiley. His golden arm
will lead Purdue to the end zone
many times this season. Count on a
shootout in this game.
The Fighting Irish's hopes lie
with quarterback Jarious Jackson. If
he can run the option well, Notre
Dame could play in the Bowl
Championship Series. If he thinks
that the only way to make the game
interesting is by pitching the ball into
the ground, it will be tough for Notre
Dame to win.
Touchdown Jesus won't be watch-
ing, thus Notre Dame won't win.
NOTRE DAME 36
BALL STATE AT NO.9 WISCONSIN:
If Wisconsin loses this game they
shouldn't be allowed to play in a
bowl game, even if they go 10-1.
The only thing interesting about
Florida State hasn't lost a home game since 1991 season, when Miami (Fla) came out on top. The Seminoles are hoping that
Georgia Tech doesn't break that string.
this matchup is the over/under, 180,
Ron Dayne's first half rushing total.
Barry Alvarez is part of the
Kansas State school of scheduling. If
the opponent plays in a division
notated by many numbers and letters,
put them on the schedule. This
works, at least until bowl positioning
At least Badger fans don't need
to worry about early season break-
Wisconsin will roll.
BALL STATE 9
EASTERN MICHIGAN AT
MICHIGAN STATE:, Michigan State
looked as if it didn't care about win-
ning against Oregon, but their talent
prevailed. The same will happen
against the Eagles.
Gari Scott plays hard on every
play, and it shows. Although not gift-
ed with the physical talents of
Plaxico Burress, he constantly out-
shines him. Bill Burke can be effec-
tive. But Michigan State should
already start to play for the future; it
is their best hope for success. Start
playing heralded quarterback Ryan
Van Dyke.and let's see if he is for
Walt Church could make this
game interesting. He proved last year
against Michigan that he can lead the
team down the field. Eastern is hop-
ing that they can repeat the success
that Central Michigan had against
Michigan State in recent years.
Unfortunately the Eagles have to
play defense, something that they
don't so well.
Although Nick Saban thinks that
.500 is the goal for a final record, the
Spartans usually lose more games in
the Big Ten.
MICHIGAN STATE 42,
EASTERN MICHIGAN 24
NORTH CAROLINA AT INDIANA:
Wish that this was basketball? -
Indiana will surprise a lot of peo-
ple this year, and could contend for a
North Carolina won't surprise
anyone. They are starting eight fresh-
man on defense, not a good sign for
any team. They should be vulnerable
to any team that understands how to
Antwaan Randle-El is a playmak-
er. He should be glad though that he
has a great coach in Cam Cameron
- together they could make a great
Indiana fans will see more of
their future every week, as the team
should consistently get better.
NORTH CAROLINA 14
MINNESOTA: I know what you're
thinking, Minnesota probably stole
this game off of Wisconsin's sched-
ule. Actually, Louisiana-Monroe is
not a Division II team. It is the for-
mer Northeast Louisiana. The
change has caused some controversy
down in Louisiana, probably because
there is really nothing else to talk
Minnesota, on the other hand, has
something to be excited about. They
should be in their first bowl game
since 1987. With an easy non-con-
ference schedule, and games against
Northwestern, Iowa, and Illinois, six
wins should be no problem.
Thomas Hamner is the star run-
ning back at Minnesota now, and this
week the Hammer will drop on the
SAN DIEGO STATE AT ILLINOIS:
Steve Fisher coaches for the Aztecs,
so they must be good, right? Wrong
San Diego State will still be good
though. They were a bowl team last
year, and could repeat that this year.
They dominated South Florida last
week, although a win against a I-AA
team isn't that impressive.
When people saw the Fighting
Illini play, they probably thought that
Illinois was I-AA the last two years.
Although they should be a lot better
than they have been, they aren't on
the same level as any bowl team.
SAN DIEGO STATE 23,
IOWA AT IOWA STATE: One rule of
college football: Intrastate rivalries
are always good.
Not this one. Both of these teams
are awful. If you don't live on a farm,
you don't care who wins this one.
Iowa will pull it off though. After-
getting embarrassed last year at=
home, there is only one thing that the
Hawkeyes have to play for this year,
and it's not pride. It's whatever tro-
phy goes to the winner of this
thrilling example of gridiron great-
IOWA STATE 3
TEXAS CHRISTIAN AT
NORTHWESTERN: Both of these
teams wear purple and black. You
can't possibly look forward to a
game that features two teams wear-
The Horned Frogs should have
beaten the most overrated team in the
country last week, the Arizona
Wildcats. This week they will get to
beat the worst Wildcats in the coun-
Texas Christian 41,
Peter Warrick stayed another year again this year.
win a national championship; his Along with Wiley, UCLA's
iances will be intact after this DeShaun Foster will make fans for-
ime. get about the quarterbacks. Foster
FLORIDA STATE 38. can run with the best running backs
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