Originally created 09/07/02

College football gameday



GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 22 South Carolina (1-0) at Virginia (0-2)

WHERE: Carl Smith Center, Charlottesville, Va.

WHEN: 7:45 p.m.

TV: ESPN

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: South Carolina will try to atone for a disappointing defensive performance in last week's closer-than-expected win over New Mexico State. The Gamecocks gave up 212 rushing yards against the Aggies, who lost their entire backfield from last season.

WHAT YOU SHOULD WATCH: South Carolina's secondary. The Gamecocks' defensive backs played poorly last week, enough that coach Lou Holtz made several changes this week. Receiver Andrea Gause moved to cornerback, and Holtz coached the cornerbacks exclusively this week to eliminate the mistakes. The defensive backs' chief flaw against New Mexico State was an inability to disengage from blocks in time to defend the option.

WHOM YOU SHOULD WATCH: Marques Hagans. Virginia's redshirt freshman quarterback isn't listed as the starter, but he is expected to play. Hagans is more mobile than starter Matt Schaub, and he gives the offense a different dynamic when in the game. If Hagans has success running outside the pocket, it could be a long night for South Carolina's defense.

AT STAKE: This is a scary non-conference test for the Gamecocks, who would rather play a team with less pedigree. With the cloud of an NCAA investigation hanging over the program and next week's showdown with Georgia looming, South Carolina needs all the momentum it can get.

HE SAID IT: "I think the guy that scrambles is mostly going to give us a problem. ... The running quarterback will give us a little bit of trouble." - South Carolina safety Jonathan Martin, on Hagans.

WE SAID IT: South Carolina is one of the most experienced teams in the SEC, and Virginia is one of the youngest teams in the country. That doesn't bode well for the Cavaliers, who start nine players who are freshmen or sophomores. Expect the Gamecocks to control the game with their offensive and defensive lines.

AROUND THE ACC AND SEC

Louisiana Tech (1-0) at Clemson (0-1)

WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.

WHEN: 1 p.m.

TV: None

THE STORYLINES: Louisiana Tech says Clemson ran up the score in the Tigers' 49-24 Humanitarian Bowl victory last year. ... The Bulldogs scored 21 straight points last week to beat Oklahoma State, 39-36. ... Clemson tailback Bernard Rambert is expected to miss the game with tendinitis in his foot. Receiver Derrick Hamilton is questionable with a strained tendon. ... Clemson hasn't started 0-2 since 1975. ... Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma State combined for 21 punts last week.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Clemson's secondary, which played well last week against Georgia, won't get a breather against an offense led by quarterback Luke McCown. The junior threw for 3,665 yards last year, and he was 38-of-66 for 448 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma State. Kevin Johnson will start at cornerback in place of Toure Francis, who is out for the season with a knee injury suffered against Georgia.

AT STAKE: Clemson's effort against Georgia made Tigers fans feel good about their team's potential this season, but a loss today would ruin whatever progress was made against the Bulldogs.

Georgia Tech (1-0) at Connecticut (0-1)

WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Storrs, Conn.

WHEN: Noon

TV: Fox Sports South

THE STORYLINES: The Huskies are coming off a 24-16 loss at Boston College. ... Georgia Tech running back Tony Hollings became the first running back in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in last week's 45-3 win over Vanderbilt. ... Connecticut coach Randy Edsall was Georgia Tech's defensive coordinator in 1998. ... The capacity of Memorial Stadium is 16,200. ... Yellow Jackets fullback Brian Johnson, a former Lakeside High star, didn't travel with the team because of a sprained ankle. He said he plans to return next week.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Georgia Tech hopes this is a tune-up for next week's trip to Clemson. The Yellow Jackets should continue to play good defense; they held Vanderbilt to just two first downs.

AT STAKE: The schedule gets difficult after today, so the Yellow Jackets can't afford a letdown. Their next five games are against teams that were bowl eligible last season.

Gardner-Webb (1-0) at No. 12 Georgia Southern (0-1)

WHERE: Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.

WHEN: 7 p.m.

TV: None

THE STORYLINES: Georgia Southern makes its home debut after last week's season-opening loss at Delaware ... The Bulldogs are members of the Big South Conference. ... Gardner-Webb coach Steve Patton is in his sixth season at the school. ... The last meeting between these two teams came in 1983 at Statesboro High School's Womack Field. Georgia Southern won, 25-11.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The Bulldogs run a fast-break offense that is capable of big plays. They managed 321 yards in last week's win over Morgan State despite muddy conditions. The Eagles should be able to move the ball against a defense that surrendered 466 yards last week.

AT STAKE: The Eagles will try to extend their regular-season home winning streak to 29 games

OTHER SEC GAMES

Memphis (1-0) at Mississippi (1-0) 12:30 p.m.- Rebels have outscored Tigers 67-16 in past three meetings.

UTEP (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0) 1:30 p.m.- Wildcats' next two games are at home against Indiana and Middle Tennessee, so a 4-0 start is possible.

Alabama (1-0) at Oklahoma (1-0) 3:30 p.m.- Hard to believe these teams have never met in regular season.

Boise State (1-0) at Arkansas (0-0) 7 p.m.- Razorbacks survived a scare in 2000 against the Broncos, 38-31.

Furman (0-0) at Vanderbilt (0-1) 7 p.m.- Wouldn't the Paladins love to beat their old coach on his own field?

The Citadel (0-0) at Louisiana State (0-1) 8 p.m.- Tigers should punish Bulldogs for last week's loss to Virginia Tech.

Middle Tennessee (0-1) at Tennessee (1-0) 7 p.m.- Volunteers have won their past 16 non-conference games.

OTHER ACC GAMES

N.C. State (2-0) at Navy (1-0) Noon- Wolfpack faces former Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson.

Akron (0-1) at Maryland (0-1) 6 p.m.- Terps try to make up for last week's embarrassment against Notre Dame.

East Carolina (0-1) at Wake Forest (0-1) 6:30 p.m.- Deacons' past eight games have been decided by seven points or less.

Louisville (0-1) at Duke (1-0) 7 p.m.- Cardinals quarterback Dave Ragone didn't look like a Heisman candidate last week.

North Carolina (0-1) at Syracuse (0-1) 8 p.m.- Tar Heels could be in for a long season.

NATIONAL GAME OF THE WEEK

Miami (1-0) at Florida (1-0) 5 p.m.- Gators should test Hurricanes' young secondary.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

1982 Last time Virginia started the season 0-3

1987 Last time Miami and Florida played during the regular season.

2 Punts LSU had blocked against Virginia Tech on Sunday.

THE LAST WORD "I don't think we're as bad as the Shankle or Seagram - or whatever that formula is - says we are."- South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, on the Sagarin Ratings.