Today's games

College Football

December 29, 2004|By Orlando Sentinel

Houston Bowl

Colorado (7-5) vs. Texas-El Paso (8-3)

Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston

Time, TV: 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Key stats: Colorado is 101st in the nation in total defense (426.6 ypg). UTEP is eighth in scoring offense (36.5 ppg).

About Colorado: If you look at the stats (94th in total offense, 101st in total defense), you wonder how the Buffaloes have a winning record. But a late three-game winning streak in which Colorado scored 94 points propelled it to seven wins.

About UTEP: The Miners were one of the nation's biggest surprises under new coach Mike Price. UTEP scored 35 points in at least eight games.

The buzz: This is interesting if for no other reason than the coaches - UTEP's Price, Colorado's Gary Barnett - and their recent travails.

The line: Colorado by 3

The pick: UTEP, 27-23

Alamo Bowl

Ohio State (7-4) vs. Oklahoma State (7-4)

Where: Alamodome, San Antonio

Time, TV: 8 p.m., ESPN

Key stats: Ohio State is 100th in the nation in total offense (313.4 ypg). Oklahoma State is eighth in rushing (245.0 ypg).

About Ohio State: The Buckeyes struggled offensively all season, and starting QB Troy Smith will miss the game because of a suspension. That means a return to former starter Justin Zwick. WRs Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes are big-time threats.

About Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are about the run. Vernand Morency is eighth in the nation in rushing (145.5 ypg).

The buzz: The outcome will be determined by Ohio State's defense. If the Buckeyes keep Oklahoma State under 175 rushing yards, they'll win. If they don't, they won't.

The line: Oklahoma State by 3 1/2

The pick: Oklahoma State, 24-17

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