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Oklahoma vs. Texas
Texas Tech at Iowa State
Michigan State at Iowa
Missouri at Nebraska
Florida State at Miami FL

INSIDE99: (14-13-1 overall)
Boston College +9 over Virginia Tech
Rice -7 over Navy
Duke +13.5 over Wake Forest
Cincinnati -5 over Tulane
Washington State -8 over Stanford
Bowling Green -15 over Central Michigan

Ricky Sixx: (11-14 overall)
Syracuse -4 over Temple
Miami FL -13 over Florida State
Clemson -5.5 over Virginia
Washington State -8 over Stanford
Bowling Green -15 over Central Michigan


Mississippi senior strong safety Matt Grier


October 7, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson


DALLAS (FWAA) – Ole Miss senior strong safety Matt Grier (Smithville, Miss.) is this week's recipient of the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week Award for his performance in the Rebels' 17-14 win over Florida this past Saturday in Oxford.

Grier's two interceptions in the third quarter directly led to 15 Ole Miss points as the Rebels erased a 14-2 halftime deficit in the upset of Florida. His first interception came on Florida's first possession of the third quarter, leading to a Vashon Pearson 4-yard touchdown run. A series later, Grier intercepted another Rex Grossman pass and returned it 24 yards for what would prove to be the game-winning score. Grier also added 7 tackles, of which 2.5 were behind the line of scrimmage.

A three-person panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selects the winner of the weekly award.

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club pick a National Defensive Player of the Week each Monday. Grier will be added to the Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which will be presented on Dec. 9 in Charlotte, N.C., by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

2002 Bronko Nagurski Players of the Week
• Sept. 9: Maurice Sikes, Miami
• Sept. 16: Shane Walton, Notre Dame
• Sept. 23: Willie Pile, Virginia Tech
• Sept. 30: R.J. Jones, Missouri
• Oct. 7: Matt Grier, Mississippi



The Red River Shootout.

COACH: Bob Stoops
The Sooners head into this week's Red River Shootout against Texas having won the last two meetings with the Longhorns.

So many good players in Quentin Griffin, Trent Smith, Fagan, Savage, Tommie Harris, Strait…it was an easy pick to put them and Miami in Tempe as I said in July.

The winner will be on the inside track to the Big 12 championship game.

DB Andre Woolfolk, who's missed the last three games with a knee injury, is expected to play against the Longhorns.

OU's Nate Hybl, while hardly spectacular, has quietly compiled a 13-1 record as a starter, the third-best mark in OU history. All Hybl seems to do is make accurate throws, sound decisions and clutch plays.

Mobile quarterbacks tend to give OU's defense problems, as Missouri's Brad Smith demonstrated last week. Dropback quarterbacks don't seem to stress the Sooners as much, which is one reason the defense can't wait to get another crack at Texas' Chris Simms.

Oklahoma's defense, statistically, is not as strong as it was last season. The Sooners rank No. 22 against the pass and are allowing 174.8 passing yards a game.

TEXAS (5-0)
COACH: Mack Brown
It's put-up-or-shut-up time for Mack Brown and Chris Simms. Fair or not, this is the kind of game by which they will be judged -- and it's the kind of game they've lost before.

Third-ranked Texas already has two shutouts, and is second nationally in total defense going into Saturday's game against No. 2 Oklahoma (5-0). The key: they have gotten faster.

WR Roy Williams, hampered by a hamstring injury since the Sept. 21 game against Houston, expects to be close to 100 percent for the game.

The Sooners are Chris Simms' nightmare. In two games against OU, he has thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns. He's been quietly efficient this season as Texas has plugged away against lesser opponents.

Texas has to get the running game going. Oklahoma held Texas to 27 yards rushing a year ago, although it should be noted that Benson did not play due to a coach's decision.


Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury vs. Iowa State's Seneca Wallace. Heisman Trophy candidate vs. Heisman Trophy candidate.

COACH: Mike Leach
Kingsbury comes into the game leading the nation in touchdown passes (22) and completions per game (33).

Against Texas A&M, Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 120 yards and returned six punts for 166 yards and a touchdown.

Texas Tech has scored 40 points or more in each of its past four games, Tech has scored 48, 49 and 48 points in the past three games, and has averaged 544 yards.

The Red Raiders are allowing opposing offenses to convert third downs into first downs almost 50 percent of the time. That's the most yielded by a Big 12 defense this season.

Iowa State QB Seneca Wallace surely will make for some sleepless nights for Tech's defensive staff. Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Long threw for 367 yards and seven touchdowns against Tech's defense. Wallace is a much more dangerous threat than Long ... or any of the other quarterbacks the Red Raiders have faced this season.

COACH: Dan McCarney
If the Cyclones have an edge heading into this one, it's on the defensive side. Iowa State is coming off an impressive effort in the win over Nebraska when it held the Huskers to 81 yards rushing.

WR Jack Whitver. Whitver's on-field accomplishments are impressive -- he's gone from walk-on to being the second-leading receiver with 23 catches for 352 yards.

I can continue to talk about Seneca Wallace, but what more can be said. He is one heckuva QB. But I think defensively, this will be the Cyclones biggest test.

Saturday's game against high-scoring Texas Tech is the start of what might rank as the most difficult stretch any school in the country will face this season. Iowa State plays at No. 2 Oklahoma and at No. 3 Texas the next two weeks . After a home game against Missouri, the Cyclones then face road games at Kansas State and at Colorado.



COACH: Bobby Williams
The Spartans are wearing their white jerseys at Iowa this Saturday. Based on recent history, the Spartans have little chance at winning. They are 1-7 on the road in the Big Ten during the last two seasons and Iowa is among the hottest teams in the Big Ten.

QB Jeff Smoker needs to get off quickly. The Spartans' slow starts have largely been a result of his inability to find his receivers in the early going. The Spartans also need a solid game from RB Dawan Moss, who has been hot and cold this season..

The Spartan defense is led by OLB Mike Labinjo. That unit needs to have its best game against Iowa's talented and multi-faceted offense if the Spartans are going to survive on the road.
Michigan State (3-2, 1-1) was expected to have a season to remember. However, Michigan State has been among the league's biggest disappointments in the first half of the year.
Charles Rogers set an NCAA record by catching a touchdown pass in his 13th straight regular-season game as Michigan State defeated Northwestern 39-24 Saturday.

Jeff Smoker 141-80-7 239 yards per game on the season.

IOWA (5-1)
COACH: Kirk Ferentz
Banks engineered an 87-yard scoring drive with 2:16 remaining and no timeouts, capped by a 7-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark on fourth-and-goal to lead the 24th-ranked Hawkeyes past Purdue 31-28.

The Hawkeyes can produce through the air and on the ground and should be able to move the ball well against Michigan State this week. The Spartan defense has been ordinary.

Fourth-quarter defense remains an issue for Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes allowed Purdue to rally from a 10-point deficit and take a fourth-quarter lead and we all know about the remarkable fourth quarter comeback by PSU.

QB Brad Banks is one of the least talked about quarterbacks in the nation, but he continues to get the job done -- especially in crunch time. Banks seems to excel when the game is on the line.

TE Dallas Clark was named the Big Ten's offensive player of the week. In addition to the game-winning score, he also caught a 95-yard TD pass from Banks in the third quarter.

Brad Banks: 137-82-2, 205 yards per game average on the season.



COACH: Gary Pinkel
The Tigers would be tough if the game was in Columbia. But this one is in Lincoln. A huge benefit for the Huskers in a game like this.

WR Justin Gage. The Big 12's top receiver.

RB Tyrone Roberson expects to return after suffering a concussion and a seizure during the Tigers' Sept. 28 win over Troy State.

The Tigers fell behind OU by 16 points in the second half, but rallied to take a one-point lead behind the dynamic play of freshman QB Brad Smith.

Mizzou comes to Memorial Stadium this week, seeking their first win over Nebraska since 1978.

Smith amassed 391 yards of offense in the Tigers' near-upset of No. 2 Oklahoma. Smith ran for 213 yards, becoming the first player to top 200 yards against the Sooners in the past 37 games.

COACH: Frank Solich

A week after briefly getting benched in a loss to Iowa State, Lord set Nebraska records for total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback in a 38-14 win over Division I-AA McNeese State on Saturday. His performance said plenty, however. He ran 17 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the school's single-game rushing mark of 199 yards, set by Tommie Frazier in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl against Florida. Lord also completed 12 of 18 passes for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

RE Chris Kelsay played only nine snaps against McNeese State before injuring his hamstring.

WHAT A JOKE: The Huskers had four new starters in the lineup for the McNeese State game. Coach Frank Solich has some angry I-backs on his hands following the coaching staff's decisions to take true freshman David Horne out of a redshirt season and put him in the No. 2 slot behind Dahrran Diedrick. Horne ran for 81 yards in his Husker debut against McNeese State, which delighted NU fans but did little for the other five scholarship I-backs.

None of the Huskers were getting giddy over knocking of a Division I-AA opponent, but after back-to-back regular-season losses for the first time since 1976, the NU nation was in need of something good.



COACH: Bobby Bowden
Two major reasons why FSU is struggling, because let me first say that there is talent everywhere in the Seminole lineup, that is how they got to be #4 in the preseason. This isn’t the same problem Joe Paterno has had at Penn State the last few seasons...there is talent.

Two reasons why FSU is struggling: #1 is Coaching and #2 is Pass defense and nothing more.
Bowden doesn’t call the X’s and O’s, he has lost most all of his assistants from 12 years ago and replaced them with men who are loyal, not the right man for the job.

Mark it down; if big 250-pound tailback Greg Jones does not rush for over 100 yards this Saturday, the Noles get blasted. QB Chris Rix is taking way too much blame; it is all about the horrible FSU pass coverage.

MIAMI (5-0)
COACH: Larry Coker
There is Miami and everyone else. In a nutshell they run, they pass, and they have the best front seven on defense in America. Every single starter on the defensive front will be in the NFL, no doubt in my mind.

Willis McGahee can make a Heisman name for himself this week, but you know, the Noles don’t play a bad run defense, then again they haven’t faced anything like Miami yet.

There are two keys to this game IMHO…
- Can the big All-Senior OL at Florida State pass block and run block against that Miami front seven?
- Can the extremely young Miami DB’s play well against the best receivers they will face all year?

Do not be surprised if FSU makes this a game in the 4th quarter. They have the talent and speed to match up with a few breaks. Final word: Miami wins with more depth/talent, less weaknesses, and way better coaching.



(Aug. 24)
Week 1
(Aug. 31)
Week 2
(Sept. 7)
Week 3 (Sept. 14)
Week 4 (Sept. 21)
Week 5 (Sept. 28)
Week 6 (Oct. 5)
Week 7 (Oct. 12)
Week 8 (Oct. 19)
Week 9 (Oct. 26)
Week 10 (Nov. 2)
Week 11 (Nov. 9)
Week 12 (Nov. 16)
Week 13 (Nov. 23)
Week 14 (Nov. 30)
Week 15 (Dec. 7)

Editor: David Hershorin