Today's games

December 28, 2004|By Orlando Sentinel

Independence Bowl

Iowa State (6-5) vs. Miami (Ohio) (8-4)

Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.

Time, TV: 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Key stats: Iowa State is 97th in the nation in total offense (321.8 ypg). Miami is 30th in the nation in total offense (408.0 ypg).

About Iowa State: The Cyclones won four of their final five, to become bowl-eligible. If not for a season-ending home loss to Missouri, the Cyclones would've won the Big 12 North. The offense isn't much, and Iowa State must get good production from RB Stevie Hicks.

About Miami: The RedHawks won the MAC East and are one of five league teams in bowls. QB Josh Betts did a nice job in his first season as the starter, and TB Luke Clemens is the main running threat. The receiving corps had been one of the best in the MAC, but injuries have taken their toll. WR/KR Ryne Robinson will be the key guy today.

The buzz: This is the final game for Miami coach Terry Hoeppner, who was hired as Indiana's new coach Dec. 17.

The line: Miami by 2

The pick: Miami, 28-17

Insight Bowl

Notre Dame (6-5) vs. Oregon State (6-5)

Where: Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix

Time, TV: 9:45 p.m., ESPN

Key stats: Oregon State is eighth in the nation in passing offense (304.4 ypg). Notre Dame is 114th in the nation in pass defense (274.4 ypg).

About Notre Dame: The Irish will be led by interim coach Kent Baer. QB Brady Quinn must avoid mistakes, and he needs help from TBs Darius Walker and Ryan Grant because the Irish's passing attack isn't going to scare the Beavers. Defensively, Notre Dame is excellent against the run.

About Oregon State: Senior QB Derek Anderson has a big-time arm, but he also can be pressured into bad decisions (25 TD passes, 17 interceptions). WR Mike Hass and TE Joe Newton have combined for 130 catches and 12 TDs. The defense is a good one. DE Bill Swancutt is a big-time pass-rusher (11.5 sacks).

The buzz: If Notre Dame doesn't have a good pass rush, it has no chance to win this.

The line: Oregon State by 3 1/2

The pick: Oregon State, 30-24

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