Tomorrow's Key Games

October 06, 2006|By Christian Ewell

No. 9 LSU@No. 5 Florida

Where -- Gainesville, Fla.

Kickoff -- 3:40 p.m.

TV -- Ch. 13

Outlook -- LSU's defense looms over all. Leading the nation in total defense (193.4 ypg), the Tigers have been able to suffocate offenses, led by pass-rusher Tyson Jackson, who has 5.5 sacks so far. The team has only given up three touchdowns in 20 quarters. The question is how Florida might score, but the Gator defense deserves a degree of respect, and poses its own challenges to the LSU offense. Last weekend, Florida's defenders allowed only two field goals in a 28-13 win over Alabama.

No. 7 Texas vs. No. 14 Oklahoma

Where -- Dallas

Kickoff -- 3:37 p.m.

TV -- Ch. 2

Outlook -- Everyone's favorite subplot is gone. Texas got past Oklahoma last year after five straight losses in the series, and did so in emphatic fashion (45-12) on the way to a national title, quieting any criticisms of Longhorns coach Mack Brown. In fact, the title also protects Texas from any doubts one would have about a team with wins over North Texas, Rice, Iowa State and Sam Houston State.

No. 11 Oregon@No. 16 California

Where -- Berkeley, Calf.

Kickoff -- 8:13 p.m.

TV -- ABC Regional

Outlook -- The Ducks have dominated this series of late, winning eight of the past nine meetings. Like the Golden Bears (43 ppg over the past four years), Oregon is able to move the ball well, averaging 497 yards of total offense. The big question mark concerns the team's run defense, which is allowing an average of 163 yards on the ground.

No. 15 Clemson@Wake Forest

Where -- Winston-Salem, N.C.

When -- Noon

TV -- ESPN

Outlook -- Not that Wake Forest deserves a commendation for its opponents to this point - including last weekend's victory over Liberty - but tomato can scheduling is the rule in Division I-A football, not the exception. So the belittling of Wake's 5-0 record seems puzzling in that context. And as much as Clemson seems to be the favorite in this one, the matchup has been close in four of the five games in the Jim Grobe era with the Demon Deacons.

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