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December 11, 2000 - Image 14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 11, 2000

000-2001

bowl

previews

ahea d
Heisman in hand,
Chris Weinke
looks for more as
his team faces
Heismnan
runner-up Josh
Heupel and
Oklahoma

Sugar Bowl
Florida (8-1 SEC, 10-2
overall) vs. Miami (7-0
Big East; 10-1 overall)

national-championship spotlight,
Florida State will be playing for its
fourth title in the past five years.
The octane in the gasoline fueling
these respective offenses has been
Florida State's 28 year-old Heisman
Trophy-winning quarterback Chris
Weinke and Oklahoma's Heisman
Trophy runner-up Josh Heupel.
The 6-foot-5 Weinke led the nation
with school-record 4,167 yards passing,
33 touchdown passes and had just II
interceptions.
Heupel led his Sooners to the title
game with 3,392 yards passing and 20
touchdowns.
Wcinke's offensive dominance has
helped his third-ranked team leapfrog
Miami - a team ranked No. 2 in both
polls- in the Bowl Championship Series.
Although the polls select national champi-
ons, the BCS system of rating teams using
polls, computers, schedule strength and
losses favored Florida State and in turn left
Miami out of the title game.
"Everything was run through the
computer," Florida State coach Bobby
Bowden said in a released statement,
"We had nothing to do with it. The facts
were fed in during the season and it
came out ranking us second. We will
accept that. I'm not turning it down."
With Florida State taking Miami's
spot, some of the Orange Bowl's drama
depends on whether the Hurricanes can
beat Florida. If both Miami and Florida
State win, there would be the possibility
of co-national champions, one of the
things the BCS was trying to avoid.
"If that happens, then that will be
what it is," BCS coordinator John
Swofford said in a released statement.
"The BCS doesn't eliminate that possi-
bility. We knew that all along.
"It does minimize the chances for it
happening."

NCKIA

Jan. 2, 8 p.m. ABC

VS.
Players to watch:
Oklahoma:
Josh Heupel, QB
Quentin Griffin, RB
Florida State:
Chris Weinke, QB
Snoop Minnis, WR
Why Oklahoma can win
Heupel's leadership carries over
into a defense that creates
turnovers.
Why Florida State can win
The Seminoles' defense has kept
its last three opponents under a
touchdown. They'll keep Heupel
at Bay.

Orange Bowl
Oklahoma (9-0 Big
s 12, 12-0 overall) vs.
lridState (8-0
LV ACC,11-1loverall)
Jan. 3, 8 p.m., ABC
By David Roth
1DAy Sports Wntcr
Fifteen years ago in the 1986 Orange
Bowl, Oklahoma rattled Penn State, 31-
6. Giving up just six points in the title
game was no anomaly for its defense. In
its last seven games that season,
Oklahoma gave up a total of 35 points.
Through all 12 games, the Sooners held
their opponents to a combined 90
points.
In the past decade-and-a-half, though,
Oklahoma's identity has flip-flopped

from an unpenetrable defense to an
unrelenting offense. The respective
Texas-El Paso and Arkansas State
defenses that took on Oklahoma in its
first two games this year gave up a total
of 90 points in 94 minutes of football.
Scoring didn't pose a problem over
the next 10 games. No. I Oklahoma tal-
lied 458 points in 12 wins.
As eye-popping as 458 points in 12
games seems, the Sooners need not look
any further for an equally potent offense
than No. 3 Florida State (l1-1). The
Seminoles face Oklahoma in this year's
Orange Bowl.
There's no question that few eve-
brows should be raised if the total points
in the championship game reaches
triple-digits.
Unlike the Sooners, who have
endured a 15-year hiatus from the

By Swapnil Patel
For 'I'he Daily
Having won 10 games this past sea-
son, including a 27-24 win against No.
3 Florida State, Miami did almost
everything necessary for a shot at the
national championship. But the Bowl
Championship Series computers didn't
agree.
With Oklahoma and the Seminoles
selected to play in the Orange Bowl, the
Hurricanes are left to face Florida in the
Nokia Sugar Bowl.
"It makes no sense that Miami got
looked over by a team they have already
beaten," LSA sophomore and Miami
native Sumanth Padmanabh said. "As a
die-hard fan, I would only be satisfied if
the Hurricanes were playing for the
national championship. Playing in the
Sugar Bowl is very little consolation for
a great season."
Miami's only hope at earning a share
of the national championship will rely
on whether it can run up to score on the
Gators.
The Hurricanes' offense, led by quar-
terback Ken Dorsey and wide receiver
Santana Moss, faces the challenge of
bettering Florida State's 30-7 win over
Florida. If Florida's defense is not up for
the challenge, Dorsey and Moss will
jump at the chance to light up the score-
board..
Miami continues to maintain a posi-
tive attitude despite the BCS snub.
"I really think we're happy with
where we're at," Dorsey told
Foxsports.com. "We've had a great sea-
son, and we're glad we're playing in a
BCS bowl game. We feel like we can
still get a part of the national champi-
onship if we go out and perform."
The Gators, fresh off of their 28-6
win over Auburn in the SEC champi-
onship game, boast a defense that pro-
duced a nation's-best 40 turnovers.
Florida must find ways to limit Miami's
big-yardage plays if it wants to come

Miami: Players to watch:
Ken Dorsey, QB
Santana Moss, WR
Florida:
Rex Grossman, QB
Jabbar Gaffney, WR
Why Miami can win With a
chance at sharing the national
championship Dorsey, Moss, an
themrest of the Hurricanes will
come out fired up.
Why Florida can win
Florida's defense needs to ste
up. Keep it a low-scoring affair
and cause turnovers and the
Gators may have a chance.
away victorious.
Quarterback Rex Grossman at
wideout Jabbar Gaffney will have
step up their games to keep up wi
Miami's offense. If sophomore runni
back Earnest Graham, who rushed
169 yards in the SEC title game,
provide a similar contribution it wi
increase Florida's chances of gettin,
With the intensity of the intrast
rivalry coupled with the opportunity t
stop Miami from earning a share Qof
national title, look for Florida to co
out fired up.
Many players on both teams ha
played against each other in high schoo
so bragging rights within the state
Florida will also be up for grabs. -
Florida State playing for the nation
championship, the loser of the Sug'
Bowl will have to deal with an ofAseas
in which it will be considered the thir
best team in the state.
Considering the intrastate rivalry On
the hype of playing in a BCS game th
will draw national attention, the bot
teams hope to maintain a high level.
intensity.
Though Miami and Florida. a
intrastate rivals, they will be facing Ca
other for the first time in 13 years.
In their last meeting, Miami stompe
the Gators, 31-4. But Florida still mai
tains an overall series edge - 25-24. -
VS.-

s ®_~

r r . r i i

--I

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TIRED OF WAITING?
WELL THE WAIT ENDS
WEDNESDAY...
CITRuS BOWL
EXTRAVAGANZA'
GAME PREVIEW.*
MATCHUPS.
STAFF PICKS.
IN WEDNESDAY'S
DAILY.

, (
. ;!.

Rose Bowl
Purdue (6-2 Big Ten,
8-3 overall) vs.
Washington (7-1 Pac
Ten, 10-1 overall)

'" "s

,_;M4N>
NVG DaI

I-.

Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m., ABC
By Kristen Fdh
Daily Spoits Writer
It's the granddaddyof thenm all.
The Tournament of Roses began in
1890 when the townspeople of Pasadena,
Calif, p nposed a parade and atletic
competition on New Year's Day to show
the world the city's allure. College foot-
ball was invited to the celebration in 1902
when Michigan beat Stanford 49-0 in the
first-ever postseason game. Fourteen
years later, the. Rose Bowl was bor.:'
On the first of January 2001,, No.:14
Purdue will face No. 4 Washington in the
87th Rose Bowl.
Purdue will parade around its golden
boy, Drew Brecs, and a passing offense
that has turned heads from across the
nation. Washington will.boast a solid
offknse of its own led by arguably the
most underrated college quarterback of
the season, Marques Tuiasosopo.
Brees, who finished third in the
Heisman race, has broken almost every
Big In quarterback record including
passing attempts (1,639), passing com-
pletions (1,003), passing yards (I l1,517),
passing touchdowns (88) and total offen-
sive yards (12,442).
As Rick Neuheisel prepares for
Purdue's spread offense and key receiver
Vinny Sutherland, he should keep in mind
the strong running game of Montrell
Lowe that often comes in to save the
Boilermakers unwanted turnovers.
Washington's Tuiasosopo does not
have Brecs',passing talent, but he pos-
sesses an all-around endowment with the
ability to run and also take a hit.
Breaking records of his own in 1999,
Tuiasosopo becanie the first NCAA
player to achieve the 300-200 passing-

Players to watch:
Purdue:
Vinny Sutherland, WR
Drew Brees, QB
Washington:
Marques Tuiasosopo, QB
Hakim Akbar, S
Why Purduecan win
Offense will put up enough
points to offset shaky defense.
Why Washington can win
Used to defending high-powered
offenses. Tuiasosopo can win a
game single-handedly.
rushing double.
the lusies'6ften thrives on versa-
tility in running and passing - much
like conference foes Purdue faces in the
regular season. With Washington's rush-
ing talents of Rich Alexis as well as
receivers Jerramy Stevens and Justin
Robbins, the teams fare evenly on the
offensive end.
Defensively, the teams are also similar
- on-again-ofd-again coverage.
in its second game of the season, the
Boilermakers gave up 24 unanswered
points to Minnesota and 30 total to
Michigan State. But key plays are made
when nedded, as the defensive line works
best under pressure in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Washington began the
season with questionable talent, but
accelerated to overcome leads in the
fourth quarter. Tight-squeezed victories
against Colorado and California were
achieved by this last-minute energy
burst, but the wins over Miami and
Stanford happened even after the
Huskies blew 17- and 18-point leads.
Offensively and defensively, the teams
butt heads. When it comes down to the
wire, it is the special teams making the
difference.
Purdue s Travis Dorsch, although the
school's leader in career field goals, cost
the Boilermakers at Penn State. His
missed attempts all season have been
Purdue's main weakness.
Missing two field goals in the
Washington's season opener against
Idaho, John Anderson's season has been
mediocre. Yet he has lacked the fatal mis-
takes of Purdue's Dorsch.
For a Purdue victory, the key lies in
Bree's vision of Washington's schemes,
as attacks may cone from anywhere. For
Washington, shutting down Brees and
blocking Lowe will ensure a victory.

Jan. 1, 8 p.m., ABC
By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports witer

Perhaps the most shocking matchup of
all the bowl fairings this year is Notre
lDame and Oreg6n State - two unranked
teams in the preseason that received bids
to play on New Year's Day at the 2001
Fiesta Bowl. It will be the first-ever meet-
ing between the two teams.
The Beavers suffered through 28 con-
secutive losing seasons before finishing
with a 6-5 record last year. This year, they
were co-Pac-10 champions with a confer-
ence record of 7-1 (10-1 overall). Their
only loss came at Washington.
After beginning the season 2-2, the
Irish managed to rattle off seven consccu-
tive wins to finish the season at 9-2.'
This game will also feature two of the
most successful coaches this season in
Dennis Erickson of Oregon State and
Bob Davie of Notre Dame. Erickson, in
just his second year, won Pac-10 coach of
the year honors by leading his team to
their first 10-win season. Erickson, who
is seventh on the all-time Division I-A
college football win list, owns a 1-1
record against Notre Dame in his career.
Bob Davie, who was hired as coach of
Notre Dame four years ago, has rejuve-
nated the Irish football program. Davie, a

Players to w
Notre Dame:
Tony Fisher, RB
Anthony Weaver, DL
Oregon State:
Ken Simonton, RB
Chad Johnson, WR
Why Notre Dame cai
Tough early schedule
team for tough comp
the offense has foun
Why Oregon State c;
Playing with somethi
prove. Their only los
point heartbreaker t
Washington.

atch:

1~Ir

in win
e prepared
petition, an4
d its stride.

Fiesta Bowl
Notre Dame (9-2 over-
all), vs. Oregon state
(7-1 Pac-1 0,10-1 over-
all)

Im

,an win
ing to
s was
to

finalist for the 2001 Football News coal
of the year award, engineered a 4.5-gala
turnaround from last year, the thitd
largest in school history.
The Beavers currently possess the
defense in the Pac-10. They have
especially dominant in the fourth qua,
when they have outscored their oppooxa
94-63. On the other end, the Irish W&1
bring one of the best special-teams unit
in the nation. They are ranked third ii
kickoff returns, 10th in net punting an
12th in punt returns. Their offensive line
which came on strong toward the end o
the year, helped the team average 27C
yards on the ground over the final1
games of the season.

Uy

I

THE PLACE To BE FOR THE
FLORIDA CITRUS BOWL
-W'-p
For Wolverines, a $109*rate!
The Adam's Mark Orlando is the headquarters for your band; make it
yours, to, ir the big game! Attached to Central Florida s largest indoor
shoppig imill ) taturing Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard's, Burdines, Pottery
Kir and o,,r 250 specialty stores. Plus the Adam's Mark Orlando is
centrally located near the Orlando International Airport and all major

U of M consciously
intnde todestroy the
Stuen-Cmmunity in
Ann Arbor. But it
feeds off the
result and

A ,

Gator Bowl
Virginia Tech (6-1 Big East,
10-1 overall) vs. Clemson
(6-2 ACC, 9-2 overall)

V7 vs.
Players to Watch:
Clemson:
Rod Gardner, WR
Chad Carson, LB
Virginia Tech:
Lee Sugg s, RB
Michael Vick, QB

needs student
anomie to be successful.
www universitysearets.com

J

I

9

Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m., NBC
By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
Left out of the BCS games, Virginia
Tech will look to take out its aggression
on a stingy Clemson team in the Gator
Bowl on New Years' Day in
Jacksonville, Fla.
The Hokies looked well on their way
to an appearance in the national title
game until sophomore quarterback
Michael Vick went down with an ankle
injury against Pittsburgh eight games
into the season. Tech was knocked from
the ranks of the undefeated the next
week without Vick in a 41-21 loss at
Miami.
Like Tech, Clemson rolled to wins in
its first eight games. The Tigers' hopes
of a perfect season came to a halt in a
31-28 loss to Georgia Tech. Any BCS

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breweries!

Why Clemson can win
Quick enough defense to shut
down Michael Vick.
Why Virginia Tech can win
Running game will open
things up for Vick.
Tech's forgotten man on offense, is
running back Lee Suggs, who quietly
had a great season. At least as quietlyas
anvone can when they rush for I,
yards and a whopping 27 touchdowns.
With Clemson most likely focusing
their pressure on Vick. Suggs should be
able to exploit the Tigers' defense.
Dantzler combined with Clemson
running back Travis Zachery to rushfor
26 touchdowns.

It

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