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College football Week 6 preview

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Games to watch

5 Miami at No. 9 Notre Dame » In the glory days of Jimmy Johnson and Lou Holtz, this game was known as "Catholics vs. Convicts." Decades later, neither team is as formidable, though both are resurgent under Al Golden and Brian Kelly who have weathered turmoil. Miami has weapons but ranks last in the ACC in defense (494.6 ypg), a bad way to enter storied Soldier Field. (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NBC)

4 No. 21 Nebraska at No. 12 Ohio State » Last year, the Cornhuskers staged the biggest comeback in program history, rallying from a 21-point second-half deficit to win 34-27 as quarterback Taylor Martinez passed for 192 yards and rushed for 102. The Buckeyes answer this year with an exciting dual-threat quarterback of their own in sophomore Braxton Miller. (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC)

4 No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas » Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith is the new Heisman front-runner, after throwing for 656 yards and eight TDs in a 70-63 win over Baylor. Now Smith tries to do it in a hostile stadium and against the resurgent Longhorns led by QB David Ash, who has a chance to steal the spotlight against the porous defense of West Virginia. (Saturday, 7 p.m., Fox)

2 No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida » Five of the nation's top-10 teams reside in the SEC. Two meet in the Swamp as the Tigers try to iron out some kinks evident in ugly wins over Auburn and Towson, while the Gators go for their biggest win in two seasons under Will Muschamp. Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins (Good Counsel) returns this week from a broken thumb. (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS)

1 No. 5 Georgia at No. 6 South Carolina » ESPN's "Gameday" will pump up this increasingly bitter rivalry between undefeated SEC teams and two of the nation's top backs in Todd Gurley (Georgia) and Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina). The Bulldogs have lost two straight to Steve Spurrier, matching their longest losing streak in the series which dates to 1894. (Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN)

LOCAL GAMES

Virginia Tech at North Carolina

When » Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Where » Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV/radio » Fox 5, 106.7 the Fan

Losses to unranked Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will keep Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-0) out of the top 25 for a while. But there's still time for the Hokies to start its traditional ACC run. To begin it this week, the Hokies look to contain UNC junior QB Bryn Renner (284.4 ypg) and will try to get Logan Thomas (218.6 ypg) untracked. Since joining the ACC in 2004, Virginia Tech has never lost a true conference road game in North Carolina, going 4-0 against UNC.

Virginia at Duke

When » Saturday, 3 p.m.

Where » Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C.

TV/radio » RSN, 570 AM

With Virginia (2-3, 0-1) on a three-game losing streak, Alabama transfer Phillip Sims gets the call at quarterback, replacing Michael Rocco. Duke (4-1, 1-0) is off to its best start in 18 years, but the quarterback responsible, Sean Renfree, is questionable with a right arm injury which sidelined him in the fourth quarter of last week's 34-27 win at Wake Forest. Renfree, who threw for 303 yards in a 31-21 loss last year, would be replaced by inexperienced sophomore Anthony Boone.

Wake Forest at Maryland

When » Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Where » Byrd Stadium

TV/radio » ESPNU, 980 AM

After a bye, Maryland (2-2) is rested and in its best health this season for its ACC opener, while Wake Forest (3-2, 1-2) is smarting from a home loss to Duke and the loss of conference receiving leader Michael Campanaro (hand), who has grabbed 38 of the 85 completions thrown this year by Tanner Price. These are the bottom two teams in the ACC in offense. The difference is defense where Maryland ranks No. 2 (261.2 ypg) while Wake Forest is No. 11 (458.0 ypg).

Florida A&M at Howard

When » Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where » Greene Stadium

With a victory, Howard (3-1, 2-0) will be off to its best start in the MEAC since going undefeated in the regular season and winning its last conference title in 1993, when current coach Gary "Flea" Harrell was a standout wide receiver. In a 56-9 romp last week over Savannah State, sophomore back Aquanius Freeman needed only 13 carries to roll up 212 yards, the highest rushing total at Howard since 2003. Yards will be harder to come by against FAMU (2-3, 2-0).

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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