COLLEGE BOWL Friday's football game
in Tempe, Ariz.
No. 1 MIAMI (12-0) vs. No. 2 OHIO STATE (13-0)
Time: 8 p.m.
TV/radio: ABC WYTV (33); WKBN-AM (570), WBBW-AM (1240).
Coaches: Larry Coker (24-0 in second year at Miami) and Jim Tressel (20-5 in second year).
Bowl records: Miami is 15-11. Ohio State is 14-19.
Last bowl appearance: Miami beat Nebraska, 37-14, in last year's Rose Bowl. Ohio State lost to South Carolina, 31-28, in last year's Outback Bowl.
Series history: Tied, 1-1.
Last meeting: Miami won, 23-12, in the 1999 Kickoff Classic.
Last game: Miami beat Virginia Tech, 56-45, on Dec. 7. Ohio State beat Michigan, 14-9, on Nov. 23.
Stat that matters: Hurricanes have won 34 in row, longest streak in college football since 1971 and sixth longest of all time.
Game facts: Winner takes national championship. It would be 'Canes' sixth since 1983 and first to defend crown since Nebraska 1994-95. High-powered offense (3rd in nation in scoring, 41.9) is triggered by QB Ken Dorsey (3,073 passing, 26 TDs, 10 ints.), RB Willis McGahee (1,686 rushing, 2nd in nation with 27 TDs), WR Andrew Johnson (48 catches, 21.9 per catch, 9 TDs), TE Kellen Winslow II (46 catches, 7 TDs). Defense has had problems with run (73rd in nation, 167.0), but is brutal to throw on (leads nation in pass defense, 119.5, 44 sacks, 10 ints.). In search of first national title since 1968, Buckeyes want to stay close, make big plays late (rallied for 4 wins in 4th quarter). RB Maurice Clarett (OSU freshman record 1,190 rushing, 14 TDs) will look for holes. QB Craig Krenzel (1,988 passing, 12 TDs, 5 ints.) is efficient leader. WR Michael Jenkins (57 catches, 18.1 per catch, 6 TDs) has made huge plays all year. CB Chris Gamble (4 ints.), also plays WR, where he caught 29 passes. Rugged defense (4th in nation in scoring, 12.2, 4th in nation vs. run, 78.7) is led by LB Matt Wilhelm (16 tackles for loss), S Mike Doss (62 solo tackles), DE Darrian Scott (8.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles).
Scripps Howard News Service