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Big Five matchups

BYU vs. Rice

Saturday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. MDTRice Stadium, Houston

TV: ESPN2; Radio: KSL 1160-AM

BYU (3-1, 1-0 WAC)

Ranked No. 21 AP; No. 22 USA Today/ESPN

Looking ahead: Oct. 18, vs. Hawaii

Notebook: BYU's three wins have been by a total of 13 points . . . Cougar offense finally got untracked last week with 559 total yards and 42 points.

Watch for: Starting QB Kevin Feterik (sprained ankle) is expected to start. Challenged Y. secondary gets a week off against Owls' option.

Rice (3-2, 1-1 WAC)

Nickname: Owls

Notebook: Owls' spread-option offense is No. 2 rushing attack in the country . . . Rice is 3-0 on the road (Tulane, Northwestern, Tulsa) and 0-2 at home (Air Force, Texas).

Watch for: QB Chad Nelson, TB Michael Perry and FB Benji Wood are among nation's top 30 rushers . . . Young, suspect defense is giving up yards and points.

Series: 1-0, BYU. Last meeting: 1996: 49-0, BYU.

Utah vs. Southern Methodist

Saturday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m. MDT

Rice Stadium, Salt Lake City

TV: None; Radio: KALL-AM 910 (and Utah Sports Network stations)

Utah (3-2 overall, 2-1 WAC)

Looking ahead: At Oregon, Oct. 18

Notebook: Defense's streak of not allowing a first-quarter score this season ended at Fresno, but Utes have still outscored opponents 45-10 in opening quarters, and they still lead the WAC in yards allowed (96.2).

Watch for: A make-or-break game for the rest of the season. Lose this, and any title hopes are gone. The Utes regressed severely last week.

Sick bay: Out - OG Luis Park (season-ending knee injury), Jason Hooks (knee surgery), FS Brandon Dart (torn ACL). Doubtful - OG Todd Jackson (foot sprain), DE John Frank (groin-area sprain), OC Darren Walker (dislocated shoulder). Questionable - RB Chris Fuamat-Ma'afala (ankle sprain). Probable - CB Clarence Lawson (ankle).

Southern Methodist (1-4 overall, 0-2 WAC)

Nickname: Mustangs

Colors: Red, Blue

Coach: Mike Cavan

Looking ahead: Host Wyoming Oct. 25

Notebook: The Ponies are looking (still) for their 400th win in school history. They are tied as the least-penalized team in the WAC, averaging 35.2 ypg, and they're second-best in third-down conversions (.309). SMU athletic director Jim Copeland spent 1985-87 as Utah's A.D.

Watch for: Changing quarterbacks. Starter Ramon Flanigan, a sixth-year senior, needs 72 total-offense yards to become SMU's all-time leader (current record 6,884).

Sick bay: Out - RG Bill Holder (torn right ACL). Questionable - LT Jerry Chavira (bruised kidney), DL Chase Schavrda (back spasms), DT Blake Perkins (ankle sprain).

Last meeting: Utah won 21-17

Series: Utah leads 1-0

Utah State at Oregon State

Saturday, Oct. 11, 2 p.m. MDT

Parker Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.

TV: Fox Sports (delayed to Sunday); Radio: KVNU (610 AM), KISN (570)

Utah State (2-3)

Looking ahead: New Mexico State Oct. 18

Notebook: This is USU's first day game of '97 . . . A win would give the Ags three non-league wins for first time since 1982.

Watch for: If QB Matt Sauk isn't recovered from sprained ankle, redshirt freshman Brian Benza will start . . . DT Lindsay Hassel performed well in first start against BYU.

Sick bay: Sauk was only player injured vs. BYU. CB Kevin Simmons is still out with leg injury.

Oregon State (2-2)

Conference: Pac-10

Nickname: Beavers

Notebook: Beavers lost by three points to Stanford and Arizona State . . . Nationally-ranked UCLA and Washington are next on OSU schedule.

Watch for: QB Tim Alexander is a dual threat, rushing for 1,202 yards and passing for 1,384 in his career.

Sick bay: Top RB DeShawn Williams is out 4-6 weeks with knee injury. Cornerback Basheer Elahee and nose guard Shawn Bell are questionable.

Series: 1-0 OSU Last meeting: OSU 45-0, 1904

Weber State at Cal State Northridge

Saturday, Oct. 11, MDT

North Campus Stadium, Corvalis, Ore.

Radio: KSOS (800 AM)

Weber State (3-2)

Looking ahead: Portland State, Oct. 18

Notebook: Wildcats received 53 points, good for 34th place in I-AA poll . . . Coach Dave Arslanian won his 50th career game Saturday.

Watch for: Scott Shields was 5-for-5 in field goals last week . . . WR Richard Clarke broke out with 5 catches for 140 yards.

Sick bay: OT Phil Bunch was lost for the year with dislocated ankle.

Cal State Northridge (2-2)

Conference: Big Sky

Nickname: Matadors

Notebook: The Matadors beat Boise State by 40 and Boise beat Weber by 17. However, injuries have taken their toll since,and they lost to lowly Portland State last week.

Watch for: With starting QB Aaron Flowers out with a broken leg, Josh Fiske has taken over the top passing team in I-AA football.

Series: Tied 3-3 Last meeting: CSN 35-28, 1996

Southern Utah (4-2), idle

Looking ahead: Oct. 18, at Idaho State