Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida on November 25, 1995 · Page 36
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Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida · Page 36

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Saturday, November 25, 1995
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8C B FLORIDA TODAY, Saturday, November 25, 1995 uskers roil booners : i ) A & ;r AP NEBRASKA RUNNING BACK Ahman Green (30) barrels over Oklahoma defensive back Wendell Davis (28) during Friday's game. The No. 1-ranked Cornhuskers won 37-0. FLORIDA TODAY Wires LINCOLN, Neb. No. 1 Nebraska wrapped up its third consecutive undefeated regular season and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl to play for the national championship with a 37-0 victory against Oklahoma on Friday. The Cornhuskers (11-0, 7-0 Big Eight), and Sooners combined for seven fumbles, 12 penalties and 14 punts. It was Nebraska's first shutout of Oklahoma since a 7-0 victory in 1942. Nebraska's Tommie Frazier,. locked in a tight Heisman Trophy race with Ohio State tailback Eddie George, completed 12 of 25 for 128 yards with one interception and a 38-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. Nebraska, which led the nation in scoring (54 points) and rushing (413 yards), finished with 271 rushing yards against the nation's 12th-ranked defense, led by 73 yards from Lawrence Phillips. While the offense sputtered, Nebraska's defense scored two touchdowns, forced three turnovers and allowed just 3.8 yards a play. Oklahoma (5-5-1, 2-5), which averaged 2.6 turnovers a game, also had nine penalties for 97 yards. After a 31-yard field goal by Kris Brown, linebacker Jamel Williams picked off the third pass by Oklahoma redshirt freshman Eric Moore and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. It was the fifth interception return for a score by Nebraska this season. In other college football: North Carolina 30, NC State 28: In Raleigh, N.C., Leon Johnson ran for 139 yards, scored two touchdowns and broke the North Carolina single-season reception record as the Tar Heels held off North Carolina State 30-28 on a rainy and windy day. The victory enabled the Tar Heels (6-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) to string together their sixth consecutive winning season for only the third time in school history, and kept alive possibilities for the Carquest or Independence bowls. The Wolfpack fell to 3-8, 2-6 its worst record since going 3-8 in 1985. Boston College 41, Rutgers 38: In Piscataway, NJ., Mark Hartsell threw two of his four touchdown passes in the final 3 minutes, 49 seconds, and Boston College rallied to beat Rutgers 41-38 in what might have been the final games for coaches Dan Henning and Doug Graber. . Henning, who took Boston College to a bowl last year only to see the Eagles fall to 4-8, (4-3 Big East) in an injury-plagued season, reportedly is a candidate to become the offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots. Graber's job is in jeopardy at Rutgers after going 4-7 (2-5), giving him a 29-36-1 mark; If this was their last game, it was a memorable one, with safety Rob Clifford dashing Rutgers' hopes by intercepting a pass by Ray Lucas in the end zone with 5 seconds to play after the Scarlet Knights drove the Eagles' 13. Purdue 51, Indiana 14: In Bloomington, Ind., already Purdue's career rushing and scoring leader, Mike Alstott broke the Boilermakers' single-season rushing record and scored three touchdowns in a 51-14 victory against Indiana. i Alstott finished with a career-high 264 yards. ; Alstott, who increased his earlier career records to 3,635 rushing yards, 39 rushing touchdowns and 256 points, raised his season total to 1,436 yards, breaking the former Purdue record of 1,361. Arizona 31, Arizona State 28: In Tempe, Ariz., Jon Prashun kicked a 36-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining as Arizona scored 17 points in the final 6:30 to beat Arizona State 3 1-28. j Arizona State (6-5, 4-4 Pac-10) probably needed a win to gain a berth in either the Liberty or Independence bowls. The Wildcats (6-5, 4-4) avoided their first losing season since 1991. ; West Virginia 21, Pittsburgh k In Morgantown, W.Va., the "Backyard Brawl" bragging rights go to West Virginia for an unprecedented fourth year in a row thanks to a 21-0 victory against Pittsburgh. Chad Johnston threw for two TDs for the Mountaineers (5-6, 4-3 Big East). Pitt (2-9, 0-7) finished the season with nine consecutive losses, a school record. Summaries, 7C. UM hosts Syracuse in state undercard By Evan Grant FLORIDA TODAY MIAMI On the state's football lineup Saturday, it's definitely the undercard to Florida-Florida State. But try telling that to Miami and Syracuse, who will wage their own little holy war at the Orange Bowl at 7:30 p.m for a share of the Big East title. The winner of this game will tie Virginia Tech for the league championship. The loser gets the not-much-of-a-consolation prize berth in either the Carquest or Gator bowls. "The Carquest Bowl," Miami defensive end Kenny Holmes said, "who even thought of that?" That's exactly Miami's response to the idea of playing in anything other than a New Year's Day bowl. And the 25th-ranked Hurricanes (7-3, 5-1 in the Big East) probably will reach their 13th consecutive Jan. 1 bowl if they beat the Orangemen. Should Miami win although it lost to Virginia Tech earlier in the season the Hurricanes likely will be offered the Orange Bowl bid when bids go out on Dec. 3. Miami would probably meet Notre Dame. That would drop Syracuse (8-2, 5- 1) into the Carquest game against either North Carolina, Maryland or Georgia. It would force No. 11 Virginia Tech, which has beaten both Miami and Syracuse, into the Gator against Clemson. But before the bids are engraved, Miami's got to face the most potent scoring attack in the Big East. And its biggest threat since Miami lost to Florida State 41-17 six games ago. "They have one ingredient that very few teams we've played this year have outstanding skill position players," Miami coach Butch Davis said. "This is our biggest challenge since FSU." Syracuse, which averages 31 points a game?' is led by quarterback Donovan McNabb, who ranks second in the Big East in total offense, and wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who ranks second in all-purpose yards. Miami, however, has the Big East's second-stingiest defense, giving up just 17.7 points per game. This also is likely to be Miami's final game before it begins serving an unknown sentence on NCAA probation. The Hurricanes have already admitted to six NCAA violations and only the length of probation is yet to be announced. 3 jr; BEAT PIT PETER KERASOTIS GRACIE El yi l 1 FAMU misses playoff to keep rivalry going Florida Today columnist Peter Kerasotis has been matching wits with Space Coast college football tans all season. This is his last try. With columnist Peter Kerasotis four games behind his opponents in the overall standings and .500 in the week-to-week standings, we decided it was time to give him a break well, we think it's a break, anyway. Gracie, a 6-year-old golden retriever from Melbourne, picked her games by gobbling biscuits that represented her choices of winners. We'll publish final results Monday morning. Pete picks: Gracie picks: Florida Florida State at Florida FSU Miami Syracuse at Miami Syracuse FAMU Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman FAMU Michigan ' Ohio State at Michigan Ohio State Penn State Penn State at Michigan State Penn State Miss. State Ole Miss at Mississippi State Miss. State Tennessee Vanderbilt at Tennessee Vanderbilt Air Force Air Force at Hawaii Air Force BYU Brigham Young at Fresno State BYU San Diego St. Colorado St. at San Diego State Colorado St. Texas Tech Houston at Texas Tech Texas Tech Wisconsin Illinois at Wisconsin Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota at Iowa Minnesota Wyoming Wyoming at Texas-El Paso Wyoming Texas A&M Texas A&M at TCU Texas A&M Last week: Dennis Sommers, the director of community services for Indian Harbour Beach, beat Pete by two games 18-2 to 16-4. Pete's opponents now lead by four games 174-56 (.744) to 170-60 (.726). Pete has won six weeks and lost six weeks. By Gary Graves FLORIDA TODAY The scheduling conflict that Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman hoped would never happen with the Florida Classic has unfortunately come to pass. And the ones that are paying are the Rattlers, whose best team in a decade missed out on a Division I-AA playoff berth because it clashes with today's 5 p.m. kickoff at Tampa Stadium. That means this year's game likely will be the last one played over the Thanksgiving weekend, and perhaps the final one played in Tampa. That doesn't mean it lacks drama. FAMU (8-2, 5-0) has a chance to finish unbeaten in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title. BCC (3-7, 2-3) can salvage a sorry season marred by NCAA sanctions by beating its arch-rival for the second year in a row. "We're not going to the playoffs, but we still have something to play for," FAMU coach Billy Joe said. "The conference title is very important to us." Joe's second Rattlers squad has been defined by an offense that runs and passes well. They also are very deep: quarterback Damian Slaughter has completed 70 of 146 passes for 901 yards, seven TDs and Updates by phone For frequent updates of today's college football games, call News, Vow 511. Dial 511, then when instructed, enter one of the category codes below for Florida teams: 2516 Florida Gators 2452 FSU Seminoles 2460 Miami Hurricanes 2788 Central Florida 2587 Florida A&M 2585 Bethune-Cookman Each call is 50 cents for five minutes. Calling details, 2A. just two interceptions; backup Mario Allen has hit 49-of-81 for 871 yards, nine TDs and seven interceptions. Senior tailback Kwame Vidal has rushed for 1,038 yards and 12 touchdowns. Fullback Gerald Jackson has 604 yards and four TDs. The Rattlers could get their biggest defensive test from the Wildcats, who feature one of the MEAC's top passing attacks. Quarterback Todd Walker has thrown for 2,408 yards and 19 touchdowns. And there is a matter of the rivalry. "They got the MEAC title, but we want the state title," BCC coach Cy McClaren said. Win would take heat off OSU's Cooper FLORIDA TODAY Wires ANN ARBOR, Mich. Ohio State is playing for the Rose Bowl and a shot at the national Championship. Michigan is playing for pride and a bid to a lesser bowl. Either may succeed. But what about John Cooper? The Ohio State coach is trying to escape the shadow of Woody Hayes. It might just be an impossible task. The No. 2 Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) are heavy favorites to defeat the No. 18 Wolverines (8-3, 4-3) today. That would send Ohio State to Pasadena, breaking the hearts of Northwestern rooters the world over. A victory also would take a little of the heat off Cooper around Columbus. In eight seasons under Cooper, the Buckeyes have compiled a 65-26-4 record. But they have been only 1-5-1 against Michigan. Perhaps an undefeated, untied season will allow Cooper to finally make Buckeye boosters quit evoking the memory of Hayes. "It's amazing how much better (a) coach you are when your players go out and perform well," Cooper said earlier this week. "I'm also a lot luckier this year than I have been. My lucky buckeye and lucky silver dollar have brought me a lot of luck. The more good players you have, the better luck you have." The Buckeyes do have a lot of weapons. Tailback Eddie George had his 10th consecutive 100-yard game last week. Quarterback Bobby Hoying has reclaimed the lead in the national passing efficiency derby with a rating of 182.6. And Terry Glenn is third in the nation in receiving yards, averaging 124. In other college football games today: In East Lansing, Mich., Michigan State and Penn State have similar records. They're competing for third place in the Big Ten. Both want a bowl invitation. And they conclude their regular seasons today at Spartan Stadium. "This is a big game," said Michigan State coach Nick Saban. "It's clear to everyone what's at stake Michigan State and Penn State playing for third place in the Big Ten." In Fort Worth, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Christian end a 68-year series today. The Aggies, boasting the nation's top-ranked defense while allowing only 241 yards a game, were an 11-point favorite over the Horned Frogs, whom they've beaten 22 times in a row. The rivalry ends with this meeting because the Southwest Conference is breaking up. A&M (7-2, 4-1) is going to the Big 12 Conference, while TCU will join the Western Athletic Conference. In Starkville, Miss., Jackie Sherrill can do in five years what only one other coach in Mississippi State's 100-year football history has done: win more than three games against instate rival Ole Miss. But if he doesn't pull off the feat Saturday, there will apparently be several more opportunities for Sherrill to do it. School president Donald Zacharias told The Clarion-LedgerhaX Sherrill, who has three years on his contract, will remain the Bulldogs' coach. 4rJ : J rife-: r ij' HEISMAN CANDIDATE Eddie George has led Ohio State to an 11-0 record heading into today's game against Big Ten rival Mjchigan. ; Gators, Seminoles eye shot at national championship PRIZE, From 1C At stake is a probable berth in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 against Nebraska in a national title showdown. The Seminoles have an NCAA record 10 straight bowl wins (four of those have been against Nebraska, two in the Fiesta). Saturday's game is more unusual than ever in that both clubs have national championship aspirations. The Seminoles have had their share of clashes for No. 1 with numerous big games. But Florida has never finished a season 13-0 nor played in a national title game. If Florida beats the Seminoles, it would need only a victory against Arkansas in next Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to secure a berth in the Fiesta. For Florida, it's also a chance to erase some of the demons that have haunted them since last year's two meetings. Gator players have never forgotten, the tie in which FSU scored an NOA record 28 fourth quarter pointy "It's one of those things where, you wake up the next day and say, 'Did that really happen?'" Florida linebacker Jason Bartley said. "It was like a bad dream that kept going and going and wouldn't end," Doering said. "We felt the game slipping through our hands, but we couldn't do anything to stop it." How big is this game? ABC will televise the contest regionally. A Florida Field record 576 press credentials have been issued (over 200 others were turned down) with requests from over a dozen states plus Germany and England. An additonal 50-60 security officers have been hired. The key to the contest? Put it this way: Elsie Pruett, wife of Gator defensive coordinator Bobby Pruett, had to visit practice one night just so she could see her husband. Florida has one of the best offensive teams in the country. When the defense plays well, the Gators win period. Pruett: "How well we are able to contain the run and pressure the quarterback those are two very big factors." Spurrier adds, "The defensive teams will probably be a lot more of a factor than people mifht anticipate." Florida is giving up 316.6 yards (187.1 passing) and 17.4 points. FSU is allowing 326.2 (190.4 passing) and 18.5 points a contest. Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel and the Seminoles' Kanell rank second and sixth, respectively, in the NCAA in passing efficiency. "(Kanell) makes good reads, has a strong arm," Gator cornerback Anthone Lott said. Another big factor: FSU has outrushed Florida five of the last six meetings. The Gators had 90 yards rushing in two games last year on 59 carries. The Seminoles had 218 on 62 attempts. The only time UF has outrushed Florida State in the '90s was a 117-37 advantage in 1991 the Gators' only victory in that stretch. Other keys: Warrick Dunn vs. Williams. They're similar backs and either one can turn the tide. Dunn is averaging 148.0 all-purpose yards a game, Williams 114.6. "The guy who scares me the most is Elijah Williams," Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said. "Seems like when I've seen them play, he's done the most damage in crucial situations." Spurrier: "(Dunn is) certainly the player you've got to stop to have a chance to beat (Florida State." f Florida-Florida State predictions Mike Blanch!, The Florida Times-Union: FLORIDA 42-30. Larry Guest, The Orlando Sentinel: FLORIDA 34-20. Arnold Feliclano, Northwest Florida Daily News: FLORIDA 42-35 Steve Wvche, Miami Herald: FLORIDA 35-24. Dennis Maffezzoll, Charlotte Sun Herald: FLORIDA STATE 55-54 Mike Cobb, The (Lakeland) Ledger: FLORIDA 35-27, Dwight Collins, Ocala Star-Banner: FLORIDA 38-28. Steve Ellis, Tallahassee Democrat: FLORIDA STATE 33-30. Pat Dooley, The Gainesville Sun: FLOR IDA 41 -27. Chris Harry, The Tampa Tribune: FLORIDA 42-27. Mike Graham, The (Fort Pierce) Tribune: FLORIDA 42-21. Tom Spousta, Sarasota Herald-Tribune: FLORIDA STATE 32-31. Craig Dolch, The Palm Beach Post: FLORIDA 45-31. Bob McComas, Bradenton Herald: FLORIDA 48-47. Rick Warner, The Associated Press: FLORIDA 42-34. Ken Willis, Daytona Beach News Journal: FLORIDA 31-20. Rick Weber, Florida Today: FLORIDA 35-30. David Jones, Florida Today: FLORIDA 31 -30. Bob Harlg, St. Petersburg Times: FLORIDA 45-41 . Bill Vllona, Florida Todav: FLORIDA STATE 36-33. Michael Bontz, Palatka Daily News: FLORIDA 41 -39.

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