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Today's Games To Watch

November 08, 1986|RICHARD HOFFER | Times Staff Writer

GAME OF THE DAY Miami (8-0) at Pitt (4-3-1) TV: Channels 7 and 10, 12:30 p.m. PST.

A lot of people tabbed this game as upset material. But now that Pitt is without quarterback John Congemi, the game loses some mystery. Anyway, top-ranked Miami hasn't appeared too vulnerable to underdogs; it's an equal opportunity destroyer. Hurricane quarterback Vinny Testaverde continues to enhance his own prestige, meanwhile. Last week, he played with a bum foot and completed 10 of his last 11 passes. "The thing about him is that he has such great field presence," Pitt Coach Mike Gottfried said. "The rap on him last year was that he couldn't scramble, but this year, he's run with the ball as good as anybody I've seen."

THE SOUTHEAST LSU (5-2) vs. Alabama (8-1) at Birmingham TV: ESPN, 4:30 p.m. PST.

Alabama is hoping to clinch a tie for the Southeastern Conference title here, its national championship hopes having long since been left behind. After losing to Penn State, 23-3, two weeks ago, though, the Crimson Tide has really rolled. It is coming off a 38-3 rout of Mississippi State. LSU barely lost to Mississippi, 21-19, last Saturday. Alabama's Bobby Humphrey is one of the nation's hottest backs, rushing for 284 yards last week to reach 1,000 this season, but LSU specializes in defense. No back has gained more than 100 yards against the Tigers this season. Statistic: The home team hasn't won this game since 1980.

THE PACIFIC 10 Cal (1-7) at Arizona State (7-0-1) TV: WTBS, 4 p.m. PST.

The Sun Devils look to be sailing into the Rose Bowl except that they are catching Cal at one of those awkward times. The Bears' coach, Joe Kapp, was just fired. "A certain amount of motivation was evident (last) Saturday," Cal co-captain Gary Hein said. So what now, now that Kapp's departure is official? Unless Kapp works something dramatic, this is a walkover. Arizona State has a clock-eating offense. Opponents always wonder: "When's our turn."

THE ACC North Carolina (5-2-1) at Clemson (6-2) The loser drops out of Atlantic Coast Conference contention. Clemson is tied with North Carolina State (4-1) for the conference lead, with North Carolina (3-1) just behind. Clemson is coming off a big victory over Wake Forest, in which tailback Terrence Flagler scored four touchdowns. North Carolina last beat Clemson in 1980, a year before Clemson won a national championship.

THE SOUTHWEST Arkansas (7-1) at Baylor (5-3) Arkansas hasn't been to the Cotton Bowl in 11 years. To go this season, it has to beat Baylor and set up the Southwest Conference showdown with Texas A&M next week. Baylor is out of the Cotton Bowl running but still seeking a bowl berth somewhere. "If we beat Arkansas, then we are in a good position when the bowl invitations are set up prior to our Texas game," Baylor Coach Grant Teaff said.

THE IVY LEAGUE Columbia (0-7) at Dartmouth (1-6) Columbia, which lost its first Ivy League game in 1872, is still losing. In fact, it's apt to tie the Division I-AA record for consecutive losses in this one. Columbia has already dropped 28 in a row. It's another one of those eras. Coach Larry McElreavy said: "You could bring Joe Paterno in here, and if Columbia didn't want to win, he wouldn't win." Grads fondly remember the 1892-99 and 1906-14 years when Columbia refused, officially, to play varsity football.

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