National Games To Watch

October 23, 1993

USC (4-3) at No. 2 NOTRE DAME (7-0)

TV: Channels 2, 4, 8; 2:30 p.m.

Line: Notre Dame by 13

Outlook: Before Notre Dame can worry about its showdown with top-ranked Florida State on Nov. 13, the Fighting Irish must get by Southern Cal. The Irish have won the past 10 meetings with the Trojans since USC won, 17-13, in 1982. That marked John Robinson's final game in his first tenure as USC coach. Notre Dame is expected to go with a new quarterback, with Paul Failla subbing for Kevin McDougal, who suffered a bruised right shoulder after being sacked in last week's 45-20 win over Brigham Young. Failla has completed 12 of 14 passes for 195 yards in six games. Robinson is back at Southern Cal this season and he has led the Trojans to three wins in their past four games. QB Rob Johnson has completed 69.8 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns. Notre Dame will stress the running game against a Trojans defense that yielded 223 yards on the ground last week. The Fighting Irish average 247.4 rushing yards per game, and TB Lee Becton averages 6.0 yards per carry.

No. 12 NORTH CAROLINA (7-1)

at No. 21 VIRGINIA (5-1)

Line: Virginia by 1 1/2

Outlook: The Tar Heels and Cavaliers meet for the consolation prize in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With Florida State cruising toward the ACC title, the North Carolina-Virginia winner likely will earn a berth in the second tier of the bowl coalition. QB Symmion Willis of Virginia is the nation's fifth-ranked passer and is averaging 215.3 passing yards with 15 touchdowns. QB Jason Stanicek directed the Tar Heels to a 41-3 win over Georgia Tech last week, completing 12 of 16 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Virginia's Curtis Johnson leads the ACC with 848 yards rushing. Virginia has won five of the past six meetings with North Carolina, but the Tar Heels won last year, 27-7.

No. 19 UCLA (4-2) AT OREGON STATE (3-4)

TV: Home Team Sports; 6:30 p.m.

Line: UCLA by 20 1/2

Outlook: UCLA seeks its first five-game winning streak since 1988. The Bruins are in the middle of the Pac-10 title race. UCLA is 2-1 in conference play, one game behind Arizona, which plays the Bruins next week at the Rose Bowl. Turnovers have keyed the Bruins' recent rise. UCLA has forced 18 turnovers during its winning streak and has converted 13 into scores. UCLA WR J. J. Stokes and Marshall Faulk of San Diego State are tied for the national lead in scoring (12.0 points per game). Using a wishbone, Oregon State ranks second nationally in rushing (300.4 yards per game).

No. 23 SYRACUSE (4-1-1) at No. 6 MIAMI (4-1)

TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m.

Line: Miami by 17

Outlook: Sophomore Ryan Collins will replace Frank Costa as Miami's starting quarterback. The Hurricanes won the first four games under Costa, but lost, 28-10, to top-ranked Florida State on Oct. 9, when Costa went 21 of 43 for 193 yards. Costa becomes the first Miami quarterback to be demoted since Mike Rodriguez was replaced by Jim Kelly in 1979. Miami edged Syracuse, 16-10, last season when the Hurricanes' Casey Greer tackled Chris Gedney three yards short of the end zone as time expired.

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