Winning streaks in trouble this weekend

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2001

Time for a winning-streak check.

A few bigtime streaks are in serious jeopardy this weekend, the most impressive being No. 14 Florida State's 10-year unbeaten run at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Seminoles (3-1) play host to No. 2 Miami (4-0) on Saturday, well aware it was the Hurricanes who last beat them in Tallahassee -- 17-16 in 1991.

Since then, Florida State hasn't lost at home in 54 games -- there was a 31-all tie with Florida in '94 -- and has a current 37-game home winning streak. Both marks are tops in the nation.

''Maybe they've had a good decade,'' Miami running back Clinton Portis said. ''But we're not going up there to take a back seat or just to play well. We're going up there to win.''

Two other streaks will be tested. No. 10 Washington (4-0) puts its 12-game winning streak on the line when it visits No. 7 UCLA (4-0) on Saturday, and No. 25 Maryland (5-0) tries to extend its surprising unbeaten start to six in a row in a Thursday night game at No. 15 Georgia Tech (4-1).

But no game is bigger than Miami-Florida State. Last season, the Hurricanes ended a five-game losing streak against the Seminoles with a thrilling 27-24 win at the Orange Bowl. Florida State then won out and edged Miami for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series' national title game against Oklahoma.

''By beating them last year, we definitely renewed the rivalry,'' Miami defensive end Matt Walters said. ''That plus the fact that they got to play in the national championship game last year still irks at our whole team, so it's going to be another heated game.''

Miami knows all about winning at home -- the 'Canes own the NCAA record, winning 58 in a row at the Orange Bowl from 1985-94.

Which brings us to Washington, the team that ended Miami's run in '94. The Huskies, expected to start Taylor Barton at quarterback in place of the injured Cody Pickett, will have their hands full against the Bruins.

UCLA, off last week, has come up with a stingy defense (271.5 ypg) this season, while the offense is picking up the pace behind quarterback Cory Paus and running back DeShaun Foster.

The Huskies, coached by former UCLA quarterback Rick Neuheisel, are coming off a last-second, 27-24 win over USC.

Maryland's new coach, Ralph Friedgen, returns to Atlanta, where he was the Yellow Jackets' offensive coordinator before taking his first head coaching job.

The Terrapins are led by Bruce Perry, the nation's leading rusher at 164.2 ypg. George Godsey (78-of-118 for 1,115 yards, 8 TDs) runs Tech's high-octane offense that averages 39.8 points per game.

The picks: No. 1 Florida (minus 21) at Auburn

Gators have over 500 total yards in each of their five wins ... FLORIDA, 42-17.

No. 2 Miami (minus 7) at No. 14 Florida State

'Canes quite capable of ending 'Noles' unbeaten run at Doak Campbell ... MIAMI, 31-21.

No. 3 Oklahoma (minus 21) at Kansas

No chance of Sooners' streak not reaching 19 straight ... OKLAHOMA, 42-14.

No. 4 Nebraska (minus 33) at Baylor

Huskers QB Crouch becoming Heisman frontrunner ... NEBRASKA, 49-7.

No. 5 Oregon (minus 14) at California

Winless Bears could create problems for Ducks ... OREGON, 34-24.

Boston College (plus 20) at No. 6 Virginia Tech

Hokies No. 1 vs. run; BC RB Green averages 142.6 ypg ... VIRGINIA TECH, 35-21.

No. 10 Washington (plus 11 1/2) at No. 7 UCLA

Huskies' 12-game win streak is stopped ... UCLA, 28-21.

No. 8 Fresno State (minus 7) at Colorado State

The bump in Bulldogs road to perfect season? Nah. FRESNO STATE, 31-21.

No. 9 South Carolina (minus 9) at Arkansas

Gamecocks off to best start since '88 ... SOUTH CAROLINA, 24-21.

No. 11 Texas (minus 18) at Oklahoma State

Not a big game? Not a problem for 'Horns ... TEXAS, 44-20.

No. 17 Purdue (plus 11) at No. 12 Michigan

For first place in Big Ten ... MICHIGAN, 28-21.

No. 22 Maryland (plus 9 1/2) at No. 15 Georgia Tech (Thursday)

Wasn't Tech supposed to be the unbeaten team? ... GEORGIA TECH, 42-28.

No. 16 Clemson (minus 3 1/2) at North Carolina State

Teams averaging 70.3 ppg, 816.3 ypg in last three meetings ... NC STATE, 37-34.

No. 18 BYU (minus 13 1/2) at New Mexico

Unbeaten Cougars lead nation in scoring (51 ppg) ... BYU, 41-21.

No. 19 Georgia (minus 8) at Vanderbilt

Dawgs may stick around Top 25 for a while ... GEORGIA, 31-19.

No. 25 Texas A&M (plus 9) at No. 20 Colorado

Aggies unbeaten mark on line ... COLORADO, 27-20.

Wisconsin (plus 7 1/2) at No. 21 Ohio State

Buckeyes ground game grinds up Badgers ... OHIO STATE, 28-18.

Washington State (plus 3 1/2) at No. 23 Stanford

Battle of unbeatens ... amazing, isn't it? ... WASHINGTON STATE, 34-31.

No. 24 Kansas State (no line) at Texas Tech

Good time for road trip ... 'Cats booed by own fans last week ... KANSAS STATE, 31-21.

Last week: 16-2 (straight); 8-9 (vs. points)

Season: 79-19 (straight); 51-44 (vs. points)



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