Today's games

January 01, 2000

Today's games

Outback Bowl

No. 21 Georgia (7-4) vs. No. 19 Purdue (7-4)

When: Today, 11 a.m.

Where: Tampa, Fla.

TV: ESPN

Line: Purdue by 5 1/2

Outlook: Talented Georgia is lucky to be playing on New Year's Day after dropping three of its last four games. The Bulldogs lost to Tennessee and Florida again and got blown out at home by Auburn. They rallied for a gutsy win at Mississippi but gave away the season finale at rival Georgia Tech when Jim Donnan made a poor coaching decision. Georgia also struggled to beat Central Florida and LSU at home. Sophomore QB Quincy Carter can be a standout. RB Jasper Sanks had a solid season and freshman WR Terrence Edwards is a deep threat. The defense struggled against good teams and the secondary could get exposed again here. The Boilermakers finished a very respectable 7-4 considering their difficult schedule. They went 2-3 against Big Ten bowl teams. They smashed Michigan State at home and won at Minnesota. PU was in every contest except one (at Michigan) but it rarely pulled out the close games against formidable foes. Third-team All-America QB Drew Brees thrives in a pass-happy, spread attack. His top targets are third-team All-America WR Chris Daniels (109 catches) and speedy WR/KR Vinny Sutherland (eight TDs), the long-ball threat. The emergence of RB Montrell Lowe makes the offense even scarier. This should be a shootout.

Cotton Bowl

No. 24 Arkansas (7-4) vs. No. 14 Texas (9-4)

When: Today at 11 a.m.

Where: Dallas, Texas

TV: Chs. 45, 5

Line: Texas by 5 1/2

Outlook: Arkansas upset Tennessee late in the season but otherwise stumbled in the rough-and-tumble SEC. The Razorbacks were awful on the road, losing at Alabama and Kentucky and getting bombed at Mississippi and lowly LSU. That doesn't bode well here, as the crowd figures to favor Texas. Heady QB Clint Stoerner has a big-play target in WR Anthony Lucas, a third-team All-American. Exciting freshman RB Cedric Cobbs and RB Chrys Chukwuma power a fine ground game. Third-team All-America FS Kenoy Kennedy captains the defensive backfield. The well-rounded Longhorns enjoyed another successful season under Mack Brown (18-7 in two seasons at Texas) and landed in their favorite bowl game. But they'll be without two star players who were suspended for breaking team rules, second-team All-America WR Kwame Cavil (100 catches) and pass-rushing DE Aaron Humphrey. The Longhorns crushed Stanford and beat Oklahoma. They lost to Kansas State and dropped their last two, including the Big 12 title game to Nebraska. And QB Major Applewhite missed much of a tough loss at rival Texas A&M. Brown says promising freshman QB Chris Simms will play here. Elusive TB Hodges Mitchell had 1,346 yards rushing. First-team All-America DT Casey Hampton heads a ferocious front four. Today's meeting is the 74th between the two teams but the first since 1991.

Gator Bowl

No. 17 Georgia Tech (8-3) vs. No. 23 Miami (8-4)

When: Today, 12: 30 p.m.

Where: Jacksonville, Fla.

TV: Chs. 11

Line: Miami by 5

Outlook: If this matchup is as high scoring as everybody expects, Tech will be ready. The Yellow Jackets and first-team All-America QB Joe Hamilton can light up a scoreboard with the best of them, though Miami has not allowed a TD pass in 23 quarters. The Tech offense is balanced and sophisticated. Tech runs the option as well as it throws deep. Hamilton, the Heisman runner-up, is a deadly accurate passer and a dangerous runner. Speedy WRs Kelly Campbell (10 TDs) and Dez White put up huge numbers. Freshman RB Sean Gregory ran for 836 yards and 13 TDs. But the defense is horrific. The unit folded in losses at Virginia and Wake Forest. The Hurricanes were a few plays away from a breakout season. Miami rebounded from an early three-game losing streak and won its last three in convincing fashion. But the Canes' best victory was at Boston College, a game in which they trailed 28-0 late in the third quarter. QB Kenny Kelly is back from injury and slated to start. WR Santana Moss and TE Daniel "Bubba" Franks (45 catches), a second-team All-American, are his big-play targets. RBs James Jackson (10 TDs) and freshman Clinton Portis (10 TDs) drive a powerful ground attack. Second-team All-America LB Nate Webster (139 tackles) and the stiff Miami defense try to become the first to slow down Tech.

Citrus Bowl

No. 10 Florida (9-3) vs. No. 9 Michigan State (9-2)

When: Today, 1 p.m.

Where: Orlando, Fla.

TV: Ch. 2

Line: Florida by 2

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