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Other Colleges Smizik's Picks: Kansas State can throw more mud in Nebraska's eye

Friday, November 15, 2002

The once-mighty Nebraska program, which has been kicked in the teeth too often this season, faces the possibility of another indignity tomorrow at Kansas State (8-2).

 

The Cornhuskers (7-4) have not lost five games in a season since 1961. Five losses would be more than Tom Osborne, who retired after the 1997 season, lost in his final five seasons.

Nebraska has lost its past two at Kansas State, where 170-pound tailback Darren Sproles has rushed for 100 yards in each of the past six games. The Cornhuskers have the No. 3 rushing offense, the Wildcats are No.5. Kansas State. 27-20.

Penn State (7-3) at Indiana (3-7): The Lions' offense should run wild against a defense that is almost totally inept. In their past three games, against second-division Big Ten teams, the Hoosiers have allowed an average of 47 points. Michigan State scored 49 in two quarters last week. The Hoosiers have allowed more than 200 rushing yards in seven games. Penn State, 47-10.

Ohio State (11-0) at Illinois (4-6): The improving Illini have won three of its past four games and scored 38 points against Purdue, a team that held the Buckeyes to 10 last week. Ohio State's defense will be challenged by an offense that leads the Big Ten in total yards and passing yards. The Buckeyes' once-powerful offense has cooled. In three of the past four games, they've scored less than 20 points. Ohio State, 27-19.

Alabama (8-2) at Louisiana State (7-2): The Tide, which has lost only to Georgia and Oklahoma, has won four consecutive SEC games by an average margin of 24 points. Nor do they fear Death Valley. Although they lost their previous game at Baton Rouge, they were an astonishing 14-0-1 in their 15 visits before that. The Tigers might have trouble coming down from their win against Kentucky last week. Alabama, 24-13.

Maryland (8-2) at Clemson (6-4): With freshman Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback the past two games, Clemson has scored 76 points and gained more than 1,000 yards. Whitehurst has passed for 674 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. The Terrapins have won seven in a row. Clemson, 31-28.

Georgia (9-1) at Auburn (7-3): A game with major SEC implications. Georgia must win to control its destiny for the conference title game. If it loses, it falls into a tie with Florida, and the Gators have the tiebreaker. If Auburn wins -- and LSU loses -- it is in line to represent the West Division in the title game. Georgia. 24-20.

Iowa (10-1) at Minnesota (7-3): After opening 7-1, the Gophers were outscored, 75-27, in two games against elite Big Ten teams. The Hawkeyes have allowed 30 points in the past four games. Iowa, 41-10.

Washington (5-5) at Oregon (7-3): It doesn't get any easier for the Huskies, who ended a three-game losing streak last week. Quarterback Cody Pickett is second in the nation with 3,502 yards. After opening 6-0, the Ducks have lost three of four games. Oregon, 27-19.

Bowling Green (8-1) at South Florida (7-2): The Falcons' unbeaten season and spot in the Top 25 ended with a loss to Northern Illinois last week. Guess who beat Northern Illinois by 29 points in September? None other than South Florida, whose only losses have been to Arkansas and Oklahoma. South Florida, 27-24.

Arizona State (7-4) at Southern California (7-2): An aerial circus looms in this game. Andrew Walter threw for 477 yards and four touchdowns last week and owns the Sun Devils' single-season yardage record, although he didn't start until the fifth game. Carson Palmer has thrown 13 touchdown passes in the Trojans' past three games, and his career 61 is a school record. Southern California, 41-20.

North Carolina State (9-2) at Virginia (6-4): The Wolfpack's dream season is unraveling. They've lost two games in a row and blew a 14-point second-half lead to Maryland last week. The Cavaliers also have lost two in a row after six consecutive wins. North Carolina State, 27-17.

Texas (9-1) at Texas Tech (7-4): All four of the Red Raiders' losses have come against ranked teams. But none was ranked as high as the Longhorns. Texas, 33-17.

Wisconsin (6-5) at Michigan (8-2): After opening the season 5-0 and being ranked as high as 15th, the Badgers have lost five of their past six games. Their past three defeats have been by an average of 18 points. Michigan, 31-20.

Last week: 12-1; season: 94-46, .671

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