UCLA quarterback Cory Paus leads the 14th-ranked Bruins against No. 21 Ohio State at the Rose Bowl in Pasedena, Calif., in today's only matchup of Top 25 teams (3:30, Ch. 7).
"They say the best thing to do is return to a normal life," said Paus, refering to the cancellation of all games last week because of the terrorist attacks. "That's what we're doing."
Security at the Rose Bowl, and at every other major stadium in the country, will be greatly increased in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins urged fans to arrive well before kickoff since everyone is subject to search.
Coolers and backpacks won't be allowed, and even the media is involved, with UCLA requiring names and credential numbers of everyone covering the game.
A crowd of more than 75,000 had been expected, but that was before the attacks. Officials believe it might be a little smaller, especially considering the game will be televised nationally by ABC-TV.
"I think it will be emotional, especially during the national anthem," Bruins coach Bob Toledo said. "When we kick it off, I think you'll see some good football.
"I think it's time to move on, go on with your life, never forgetting what happened. There will be a little fear, but you have to live with it."
Ohio State's only game under first-year coach Jim Tressel was a 28-14 victory over visiting Akron two weeks ago.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to go and see how we've come along," Tressel said."
UCLA (2-0) will be playing its home opener, having beaten Alabama, 20-17, and Kansas, 41-17, on the road. The Bruins are favored by a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame's been in an ornery mood heading into today's game against Michigan State (2:30, Ch. 2).
Part of it might be the embarrassing way the Irish lost to Nebraska in the season opener. Part of it might be the way they have repeatedly been reminded about last year's loss to Michigan State, when the Irish gave up a 68-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-10 with 1:48 left to lose, 27-21.
But mostly, the No. 23 Irish are feeling ornery just because they are sick and tired of losing to Michigan State (1-0).
"It's really bad that no one on this team has ever beaten Michigan State," senior defensive end Anthony Weaver said.
The only schools to beat Notre Dame more than four straight are Southern Cal (five times, 1978-82) and Michigan State (eight times, 1955-63).
The Spartans dominated the Irish in a 23-7 victory in South Bend four years ago. They routed Notre Dame in 1998 in Lansing, Mich., jumping to a 42-3 halftime lead en route to a 45-23 victory. The past two years, the games have been decided on big plays in the fourth quarter.
Two years ago the Spartans broke a tie with an 80-yard scoring pass on third-and-10 with 5:11 left. Last year, Herb Haygood scored the game-winner on fourth-and-10, which Irish coach Bob Davie describes as one of the most devastating losses of his career.
"I really felt like we were going to win that football game," he said.
In other televised games today, Wisconsin is at Penn State (noon, Ch. 7); No. 9 Virginia Tech at Rutgers (noon, Ch. 67); Akron at Purdue (noon, Empire); No. 25 Louisville at Illinois (noon, ESPN); Arkansas at Alabama (3:30 p.m., Ch. 4); Virginia at No. 19 Clemson (5:45 p.m., ESPN2); Auburn at Syracuse (7:45 p.m., ESPN); and No. 5 Texas at Houston (9 p.m., ESPN2).
The glamour run is done. Now No. 11 Fresno State (3-0) has to grind out the final 10 games, most against the weaker teams, including today's game against Tulsa (1-0).
Quarterback David Carr was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but receiver Bernard Berrian was the star of the upset against Wisconsin two weeks ago with 300 all-purpose yards -- including the 96-yard kickoff return that sparked a second-half comeback.
In other games today involving teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, No. 2 Florida is at Kentucky; No. 6 Florida State at North Carolina; Southern California at No. 7 Oregon; New Mexico State at No. 12 Kansas State; Idaho at No. 13 Washington; No. 16 Northwestern at Duke; and Western Michigan at No. 20 Michigan.
The great chase
We're talking Paterno vs. Bowden. Events of Sept. 11 prevented Penn State coach Joe Paterno the chance of tying Bear Bryant's major college record of 323 wins, but Paterno gets another chance today when the Nittany Lions host Wisconsin in Happy Valley. Meanwhile, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden seeks win No. 318 today at North Carolina. A victory would leave Bowden one victory shy of tying Glenn "Pop" Warner for third on the all-time list.
If Washington State's starting tailback David Minnich scores a touchdown today against California, he plans on breaking rank and defying orders. Minnich says he's going to stand in the end zone and salute. "I know coach doesn't like us doing stuff like that, but I think I'm going to do it anyway." Minnich, at 27, is the oldest player on the team and he's a Marine.
Princeton's game last Saturday against Lafayette, postponed because of the terrorist attacks four days earlier, will not be rescheduled. Princeton announced the cancellation Friday. Princeton will play just four home games this season: against Columbia, next Saturday; Colgate, Oct. 6; Cornell, Oct. 27; and Yale, Nov. 10.