Key Games

August 30, 2002|By Gary Lambrecht

Washington at Michigan, tomorrow The Huskies lost three regular-season games last year, all on the road. What better place to test their early-season mettle than the Big House? The Wolverines can't afford to stumble out of the gate.

Miami at Florida, Sept. 7 The regular-season series had been suspended for 14 seasons until the pair signed on for a home-and-home affair for the next two years. Miami beat the Gators, 37-20, in the Sugar Bowl two years ago.

Florida at Tennessee, Sept. 21 First-year Florida coach Ron Zook will get an earful from the home fans if the Gators flop in Knoxville, where Zook can prove he is worthy as Steve Spurrier's successor. This should be a typical, high-scoring affair between Southeastern Conference rivals.

USC at Washington State, Oct. 5 If the Trojans have re-established an offense that fell flat during its 6-6 finish a year ago, a win over the Cougars -- the popular pick to rule the unpredictable Pac-10 -- could have USC in the running for its first outright league crown since 1989.

Florida State at Miami, Oct. 12 This year brings an added twist to the series. Miami is coming off its fifth national championship, while the Seminoles are coming off their first four-loss season since 1986.

Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas, Oct. 12 Many feel these are the best two teams in the nation. Eight starters return from Texas' high-powered offense, and seven starters are back from the Sooners' nasty defense.

Texas at Nebraska, Nov. 2 The last time the Cornhuskers lost in Lincoln was four years ago against the Longhorns. Texas fancies itself national championship material. All it has to do en route to that dream is make it two in a row on one of the game's toughest road trips.

Colorado at Oklahoma, Nov. 2 Both teams could be unbeaten at this point and ranked in the top three, making it possibly the juiciest matchup of the season.

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