Tuesday, September 25, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 24



On any given Saturday

AP Top 25

Derrick Hinton

The shocker of the weekend was North Carolina's downright dismantling of then-No. 6-ranked Florida State, 41-9. The Tar Heels took advantage of FSU
breakdowns in their man-to-man coverage and slower defensive ends to pull the upset.

Seminole quarterback Chris Rix did little to help his team's cause. The redshirt freshman hit only eight of 21 passes for a measly 112 yards and a pick.

FSU still has games with No. 1 Miami, No. 2 Florida, No. 9 Georgia Tech, and Clemson on the schedule. That's formidable enough without the bevy of
injuries the team has suffered early in the season. A major bowl bid is looking more and more like wishful thinking.

The fallin' Irish

The folks in South Bend are reeling. Notre Dame has started a season 0-2 only three times since 1900. By beating the Irish for the fifth straight time,
Michigan State accomplished something that's only been done once before in Notre Dame's storied history. Southern California did it between 1978

The problem with the Irish is the lack of any game breakers. Notre Dame's great defense should keep them close every game, but without any stars on the
offensive side they'll struggle to win games. 

A case of senioritis

After its 13-6 loss Saturday to No. 12 UCLA, it has become increasingly apparent at Ohio State that much-heralded Steve Bellisari is not the answer at
quarterback for the Buckeyes.

The senior signal caller's passing was miserable; five of 23 passing for 45 yards and two interceptions will only win a seat on the bench.

Against Akron, Bellisari was a respectable 15-24 for 246 yards, but that came with four fumbles and three passes through the hands of defenders.

Newly appointed Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel now has his first tough decision to make - does he let Bellisari sink a talented team, or does he risk
breaking team chemistry and playing inexperienced sophomore Scott McMullen?

All indications are that Bellisari will be given one last chance against the inept defense of Indiana next week. If Bellisari can't produce, look for a new face to
come rushing in as the savior of the team.

Hokies' heroes

No. 8 Virginia Tech has outscored its first three opponents 133-10. While many might think the Hokies possess electrifying offense powers, it's the defense
that gets credit for the disparity.

The Hokies' D forced eight turnovers, blocked two kicks and recorded a safety in their first three games.

The Hokies should be favored in their remaining games until their December 1st face-off in Blacksburg, Va., against No. 1 Miami. No one will be shocked if
both teams are undefeated going in and the winner goes to the Rose Bowl.

A new face at the table?

CBS reported that Marshall might be bound for Conference USA. Since moving up from Division I-A in 1997, Marshall has gone 43-10 and appeared in four
consecutive bowl games.

The Herd would be a quality addition to the conference. Marshall would join as a football-only school, giving the C-USA 12 schools (South Florida will join
the conference next year), which would then lead to a split into two divisions and add a championship game.

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