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Archive for Thursday, November 6, 2003

Hokies seeking another big win

After knocking off Miami, Virginia Tech now must travel to No. 25 Pittsburgh

November 6, 2003

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Virginia Tech could fall out of the national-title picture about as quickly as the Hokies played their way back into it.

A dominating win against previously unbeaten Miami gave Virginia Tech newfound hope that could dissipate Saturday at No. 25 Pittsburgh.

"If anybody should know this is week to week in this business, it should be us," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.

Complicating matters for the fifth-ranked Hokies, standout cornerback DeAngelo Hall will be suspended for the first half because of a fight at the end of the 31-7 win over Miami. Hall will be missed as Virginia Tech tries to stop Pitt standout receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Virginia Tech still needs help to make it to the Sugar Bowl to play for the national championship because of a 28-7 loss to West Virginia 10 days before their win against Miami.

However, a win against the Panthers would put the Hokies in the best position to win the Big East and get a BCS berth.

"It's not too often you get a second chance to win a title." Hokies defensive end Cols Colas said.

Virginia Tech was sixth in the latest BCS standings, trailing four other one-loss teams, including the Hurricanes.

Two of those teams also play against ranked opponents this week. Miami, sixth in the AP poll and fourth in the BCS standings, plays host to No. 18 Tennessee. Ohio State, seventh in the AP poll and fifth in the BCS, plays No. 14 Michigan State at home.

Miami coach Larry Coker said his team couldn't dwell on the Virginia Tech loss that snapped a 39-game regular-season winning streak.

"The win streak is gone," he said. "Really and truly, I don't think any of us as coaches or players really think about the win streak. It's a great accomplishment, but now it's over."

The picks:

Texas A&M (plus 29 1/2) at No. 1 Oklahoma

OU tries to avenge loss from last year ... OKLAHOMA 52-14.

No. 3 Florida State (minus 16 1/2) at Clemson

Tommy Bowden tries to derail father's title hopes ... FLORIDA STATE 31-17.

No. 5 Virginia Tech (minus 5) at No. 25 Pittsburgh

Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald states Heisman case ... PITT 27-24.

No. 18 Tennessee (plus 12) at No. 6 Miami

Miami rebounds from first regular-season loss under Larry Coker ... MIAMI 24-10.

No. 14 Michigan State (plus 6 1/2) at No. 7 Ohio State

Loser will be all but out of Big Ten title race ... OHIO STATE 24-21.

No. 10 Iowa (plus 2 1/2) at No. 16 Purdue

Boilermakers can move into tie for first in Big Ten with win ... PURDUE 27-20.

No. 11 Texas (minus 3 1/2) at No. 21 Oklahoma State

Longhorns have outscored opponents 81-7 last two weeks ... TEXAS 31-24.

UCLA (plus 10) at No. 12 Washington State

Both teams need to rebound from losses ... WASHINGTON STATE 24-17.

Vanderbilt (plus 24) at No. 17 Florida

Gators get breather after three wins over ranked teams ... FLORIDA 37-10.

No. 19 Nebraska (minus 16 1/2) at Kansas

The nation's longest continuous series goes for its 98th straight year ... NEBRASKA 27-14.

No. 20 Mississippi (plus 8) at Auburn

Rebels undefeated SEC run will end on the Plains ... AUBURN 27-23.

No. 22 Missouri (minus 4) at Colorado

Tigers hope to keep alive Big 12 North title hopes ... MISSOURI 28-21.

No. 23 Northern Illinois (minus 22 1/2) at Buffalo

Huskies should beat up on MAC doormat ... NORTHERN ILLINOIS 41-10.

Wisconsin (plus 7 1/2) at No. 24 Minnesota

Big Ten's top two rushing offenses face off ... MINNESOTA 27-23.

Last week: 14-2 (straight); 9-7 (vs. points).

Season: 149-37 (straight); 88-87-1 (vs. points).

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