Shakeout, Part II Five Saturday games will help clear up the bowl picture

November 03, 2003

No. 14 OKLAHOMA STATE (7-1) at No. 1 OKLAHOMA (8-0)

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE COULD WIN The Cowboys, who've beaten Oklahoma
two straight times, have nothing to lose. Led by the trio of QB
Josh Fields, WR Rashaun Woods and RB Tatum Bell, Oklahoma State's
offense is gaining 6.62 yards per play, fifth most in the nation.

WHY OKLAHOMA SHOULD WIN This team has no apparent weaknesses. QB
Jason White is second in the nation in passing, the defense held
explosive Missouri and Texas to 13 points apiece, and the special
teams feature game-breaking punt returner Antonio Perkins.

PREDICTION Oklahoma 42, Oklahoma State 21

No. 2 MIAMI (7-0) at No. 10 VIRGINIA TECH (6-1)

WHY VIRGINIA TECH COULD WIN The Hokies likely were looking ahead
when they lost to West Virginia. RB Kevin Jones, who had four
straight 100-yard games before getting tripped up in Morgantown,
will look to get back on track against the Hurricanes'
32nd-ranked run defense.

WHY MIAMI SHOULD WIN In the Hurricanes' one marquee game, at
Florida State, they dominated on defense and did enough
offensively to win. They've taken three straight from the Hokies.

PREDICTION Miami 24, Virginia Tech 20

No. 11 MICHIGAN (7-2) at No. 9 MICHIGAN STATE (7-1)

WHY MICHIGAN STATE COULD WIN Jeff Smoker's been on fire recently,
connecting on 70.2% of his passes in his last four games. The
Spartans have forced 23 turnovers.

WHY MICHIGAN SHOULD WIN The Wolverines have averaged 13.1 points
a quarter in the past nine quarters. If anyone can stop Smoker,
it's the nation's second-best pass defense (allowing 142.0 yards
per game).

PREDICTION Michigan 34, Michigan State 31

No. 4 GEORGIA (7-1) vs. No. 23 FLORIDA (5-3) AT JACKSONVILLE

WHY GEORGIA COULD WIN Blame the weak games against Vanderbilt and
UAB on injuries. Georgia leads the nation in total defense,
yielding just 243.4 yards per game.

WHY FLORIDA SHOULD WIN The Gators own the Bulldogs: 12 of the
last 13 Cocktail Parties have gone in favor of Florida.
Crisp-throwing freshman Chris Leak gets better by the game.

PREDICTION Florida 21, Georgia 20

No. 6 WASHINGTON STATE (7-1) at No. 3 USC (7-1)

WHY WSU COULD WIN The Cougars' D is tough and opportunistic, and
QB Matt Kegel has persevered through injury (bruised shoulder vs.
Stanford) and interceptions (five vs. Oregon State).

WHY USC SHOULD WIN QB Matt Leinart is flourishing along with
young tailbacks Reggie Bush, Hershel Dennis and LenDale White in
offensive mastermind Norm Chow's system.

PREDICTION USC 28, Washington State 17

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER POINT MEN The Wolverines are riding a hot offense.

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