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PENN STATE VS. MIAMI HIGHLIGHTS GRID ACTION

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Here's another reason why Miami has a 40-game winning streak in the Orange Bowl:

The temperature for Saturday's game is expected to be in the high 80s, and with 10 inches of rain drenching the area this week, the stadium should be renamed the Orange Sauna.In Saturday's best matchup, No. 9 Penn State ventures into the steambath against the No. 2 Hurricanes. It's a rematch of the the 1987 Fiesta Bowl in which the Nittany Lions beat Miami to win the national championship.

That game, though, was played in the dry heat of Arizona. The conditions will be extremely different Saturday.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno has won 234 games, but as Florida State coach Bobby Bowden says, "You can't coach humidity."

Last week, Syracuse wilted in the Florida humidity in the second half, as the No. 1 Seminoles turned a 17-14 halftime lead into a 46-14 rout.

"When those Northern teams come to south Florida, there's no question that the warmer weather helps us," said Miami coach Dennis Erickson.

Hurricane defensive tackle Anthony Hamlet is predicting a 21-point win. Why 21 points?

"The Orange Bowl is worth 21 points," Hamlet said.

Paterno is concerned. The Nittany Lions (5-1) practiced in the cool mountain air of State College, Pa.

"If I had my preference, I wouldn't be playing them down there in the second week of October," Paterno said. "If it gets hot, we're going to play as many players as we can. We're not going to use the heat as an excuse."

Indeed, Paterno has other worries. Penn State might not be able to beat Miami even if all the humidity turned to ice.

The Hurricanes (4-0) are averaging 510 yards and 36.3 points a game on offense, while giving up only 6.5 points on defense. Gino Torretta has thrown for nine touchdowns in four games.

Yet Erickson still is unsure about this team. He thought he had some questions answered in Miami's 40-10 rout of Houston, but the Cougars have gone on to lose three in a row.

"I won't know how good we are until we face a team like Penn State," Erickson said.

Paterno also has some uncertainty about his team. The Nittany Lions have played sloppy football in the last two weeks, barely beating Boston College 28-21 and needing a fourth-quarter rally to defeat Temple 24-7.

"We're not anywhere near as good as I had hoped at this stage," Paterno said. "It's because we're careless. Right now, we're not playing with a lot of poise."

Elsewhere, Pittsburgh (5-0) travels to Notre Dame, and Northwestern visits Indiana.

Ohio State is on the road against Illinois in the Big 10's key matchup. The Buckeyes are 4-0, but have yet to face a team of the Illini's caliber.

"I'm happy to be 4-0, but there's a lot of room for improvement," said Ohio State coach John Cooper.

Michigan State is 0-4, but all will be forgiven if the Spartans can pull an upset at home against Michigan. Michigan State did it last year, but that obviously was a different team. What happened to the Spartans is the biggest question in the conference.

"What do you do when you're 0-4?" Michigan State coach George Perles said. "You work hard. There isn't a whole lot you can do."

In other national games, Florida hosts No. 4 Tennessee in a game that could determine the Southeastern Conference title. The Gators are out for revenge after the Volunteers handed them a 45-3 whipping last year.

No. 5 Oklahoma also has the revenge motive in its annual struggle with Texas in Dallas. Texas won by one point last year.