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Top-ranked Florida (6-0) continues its bid for its first national title with a home game today (3:30 p.m., Ch. 4) against No. 16 Auburn (5-1).

"Some people think it's going to be an offensive display out there," Gators coach Steve Spurrier said. "I think there's going to be a lot more defense on both sides than a lot of people think."

Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel has 17 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He is on pace for an even higher pass efficiency rating than last year, when he set the NCAA record at 178.4.

"They ought to put him on their coaches' payroll. That's how sharp he is," said Auburn defensive coordinator Bill Oliver. "He is a genius. He really is the coolest quarterback I've ever seen."

This year, Florida leads the nation in scoring with 52.5 points per game. The Gators have been especially devastating in the first quarter, outscoring the opposition 83-7 and getting a touchdown on their first possession of each game.

Auburn knows it will have to get off to a good start to stay with Florida.

"You want to establish the tempo for the afternoon, and Florida has done it every week," coach Terry Bowden said.

Top 25

Although things haven't gone the way the Purdue staff had hoped they would, Ohio State coach John Cooper sees some positive changes in the Boilermakers.

"They are a lot better defensively," Cooper said of Purdue, which hosts the second-ranked Buckeyes today in the Big Ten. "In past years . . . they gave up big plays. I haven't seen that happen this year."

Ohio State (5-0, 2-0) will play four of its next five games on the road, a challenge the Buckeyes have faced only once in the last 100 years. That was in 1984, the last time Ohio State went to the Rose Bowl and also the last time Purdue defeated the Buckeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Statistically, there's no comparing the two teams. Purdue (2-4, 1-2) is averaging nearly 18 points per game, the Buckeyes are third in the nation with an average of 45.2. Defensively, the Boilermakers have surrendered 31 points per game and Ohio State has yielded only 8.8 per outing -- the fourth-lowest mark in the nation.

Cooper's players are confident they are on a road to the Rose Bowl and a possible national championship despite a 17-14 scare last week against Wisconsin.

In other games involving teams ranked in the Associated Press' Top 25 Poll, No. 5 Nebraska is at Texas Tech; No. 9 Colorado at Kansas; No. 15 West Virginia at Temple; Kentucky at No. 17 LSU; North Carolina State at No. 20 Virginia; No. 22 Georgia Tech at Clemson; Fresno State at No. 23 Wyoming; TCU at No. 24 Utah; and UCLA at No. 25 Washington.

Extra points

Syracuse starting defensive tackle Jeff Danish will have season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Danish, a junior, injured his left knee during practices in consecutive weeks in early October. He has not played since Oct. 5 against Rutgers and had 11 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in three games. Syracuse (3-2) is off this weekend. The Orangemen play at Boston College on Oct. 26.

The NCAA decided Friday not to punish Miami defensive end Kenny Holmes for a friendly wager he made with two Florida State players. Holmes will be allowed to play today for the 12th-ranked Hurricanes against East Carolina. He had been declared temporarily ineligible Thursday after the NCAA expressed concern about a possible violation of gambling rules after he lost his jersey in a bet with Florida State linebacker Henri Crockett and defensive tackle Connell Spain, friends from his high school days. They are also expected to be cleared.

The most important block in Texas Tech offensive lineman Casey Jones' career appears to have come in a courtroom, not on the playing field. State District Judge John McFall has granted Jones' request for a temporary restraining order against the NCAA, allowing Jones to play today against No. 5 Nebraska and next week at Texas A&M.

Jones, a fifth-year senior, has not played this season because of an eligibility question related to the NCAA's "75 percent rule." The rule requires student athletes to have three-quarters of their coursework completed toward a major by the ninth semester.

Jones, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound guard, changed his major in midstream, leaving much of his prior coursework no longer counted toward his requirements. He was informed of the problem one day before the Aug. 31 opener against Kansas State.

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