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Wildcat Staff Picks

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 4, 2003
Shane Dale
assistant sports editor

#13 Louisiana St. at UA, Saturday, 7 p.m. (TBS)

The Wildcats aren't as bad as everyone thinks! They routed UTEP by 35 and covered the spread by two touchdowns! Take a deep breath and hold off on those Sugar Bowl tickets for at least two more days. UTEP sucks. No, no ÷ they really, REALLY suck. They won two games last year and two games the year before. Conversely, LSU does not suck. UA will make it interesting for 15, maybe 20, minutes. Then everyone will remember why they hate that Mackovic guy so much.

LSU 34, Arizona 13

N. Arizona at #20 Arizona St., Saturday, 7 p.m.

The Lumberjacks had a nice little opening to their season with a 44-3 victory over St. Mary's in Flagstaff. ASU's probably a little better than the Gaels, but the fact that ASU has yet to take the field this season gives NAU a slight advantage they otherwise wouldn't have. Devils QB Andrew Walter would torch the ĪJacks ÷ if he had anyone to throw the ball to. ASU will win, but the Tempe faithful will head out to Mill Ave. Saturday night with somewhat of a muddled feeling about their football team.

ASU 23, NAU 9

#21 Florida at #3 Miami Saturday, 5 p.m. (ABC)

Florida, which has earned a more respectable 18th ranking in the coaches' poll, had to begin the season without the services of Rex Grossman ÷ and only managed a 65-3 squeaker over San Jose State, a team that won six games last year. Meanwhile, Miami did its part by defeating its opening-game bitch, Louisiana Tech, 48-9. This doesn't by any means suggest Miami is overrated, but perhaps Florida's a bit underrated. Why not pick this game for an early-season upset?

Florida 24, Miami 22

#1 Oklahoma at Alabama Saturday, 4:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Oklahoma had a tough time with Alabama last season, winning 37-27 in Norman. This time, the Sooners head to Tide country against to face a team looking for revenge. ĪBama struggled big time in the first half against a South Florida team they should have dispensed of easily. Sooners QB Jason White, who suffered an injury against Alabama last season, is looking to match his fantastic play from last week in defeating a not-as-bad-as-you-might-think North Texas team, 37-3.

Oklahoma 31, Alabama 10

Branden Lombardi
staff writer

#13 Louisiana St. at UA, Saturday, 7 p.m. (TBS)

The last time these two teams played each other, the original Karate Kid was still in theaters, meaning that some players on each of these squads weren't even born yet. I guess we can throw out the revenge factor for the Wildcats, who lost that 1984 game, 27-26. The problem for the Wildcats, however, is going to be the fact that these LSU Tigers are definitely not the UTEP Miners. I am wishing that it is a close game, but in reality, it could get ugly. Think positive, Wildcat fans!

LSU 42, UA 21

N. Arizona at #20 Arizona St., Saturday, 7 p.m.

Outside of Jake Plummer, I can't stand anything that has come out of ASU. The same can't be said for NAU, which is where my girlfriend goes to nursing school. That has to be worth at least seven points in NAU's favor, but that definitely won't be enough for two reasons. First, NAU's best player in years, LB Keith O'Neil, is now playing for the Dallas Cowboys, and secondly, Heisman Trophy candidate and ASU QB Andrew Walter, along with the rest of his teammates, is unfortunately very, very good.

ASU 56, NAU 21

#21 Florida at #3 Miami Saturday, 5 p.m. (ABC)

Miami QB Brock Berlin may get a bit confused on Saturday when it comes to who he should be throwing to. Berlin is a transfer from Florida, where he was nothing better than a backup to Rex Grossman. Luckily for Berlin, Miami has so much talent it doesn't know what to do with itself. RB Frank Gore, who could be better than Willis McGahee, who was better than Clinton Portis, who was better than Edgerrin James, will have plenty of opportunities to run all over the Gators.

Miami 38, Florida 17

#1 Oklahoma at Alabama Saturday, 4:45 p.m. (ESPN)

With Mike Price able to spend most of his time now frequenting gentleman's clubs, Alabama can get back down to business. Oklahoma rolled last week as QB Jason White showed he could run as well as pass. The trouble for Oklahoma was that White was their best rusher as well as passer, but Bob Stoops is the best coach in the country by far and will have his Sooners ready to go. The Sooner defense is the difference in this one. Boomer Sooner!

Oklahoma 21, Alabama 3

Ross Hammonds
staff writer

#13 Louisiana St. at UA, Saturday, 7 p.m. (TBS)

Mackovic's three-year plan is actually coming true, but no one knows it. It starts with a primetime national telecast featuring a rising program and some no-namers from some school in the South · and Arizona. What a matchup it'll be: Tigers and Wildcats, SEC and Pac-10, LSU's senior secondary and Arizona's · stuff. It's time we show those East Coast-biased people that the West is a force to be reckoned with. As much as I would love to see it happen, the universe is still upright.

Arizona 25, LSU 24

N. Arizona at #20 Arizona St., Saturday, 7 p.m.

What do you get if you rearrange these school names? UNUASA. Just say it aloud in class, then you'll get it. But seriously, only people from these schools will care about this game (unlike the national broadcast of the UA game), since this is for the ĪJacks, who make another appearance in a stadium that hosts a D-1 team and a wanna-be pro team. ASU returns what seems like everyone but Suggs on that absurd 4-2-5 D. Around the 2nd quarter, this one will get quite ugly.

ASU 62, NAU 10

#21 Florida at #3 Miami Saturday, 5 p.m. (ABC)

I love it: The Florida program is taking the Zook-train to the SEC bottom. A quality institution; the Gators put a crocodile on their media guide. Brilliant. Now all they have to do is fake some more school tests, get some guys arrested and they will be Miami ÷ minus the winning. The Hurricanes have more people in the NFL than the Cowboys, so they'll be staying perfect in their last Big Easy season. All Zook and the crocs have to do is lose to Georgia, and I'll forgive Spurrier.

Miami 42, Crocodiles 19

#1 Oklahoma at Alabama Saturday, 4:45 p.m. (ESPN)

No team should have to play OU's defense this year. It really is not fair. But neither was playing the 1972 Dolphins, and with the advice of his dad, Mike Shula can grab this program off the floor of · something other than a strip club. Nonetheless, this game will be a great one to watch because the teams are so similar in appearance. If Shula '72 can help Shula '03, this one could stay close. But not that close.

Oklahoma 25, Alabama 19

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