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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Saturday's college football bowl games

A capsult look at the Little Caesars, Meineke and Emerald bowls.

December 26, 2009
  • Coach Butch Davis and North Carolina face Pittsburgh on Saturday in the Meineke Bowl.
Coach Butch Davis and North Carolina face Pittsburgh on Saturday in the… (Jeff Siner / Associated…)

LITTLE CAESARS

OHIO (9-4) VS. MARSHALL (6-6)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m., Ford Field, Detroit.

* TV: ESPN.

* About Ohio: The Mid-American Conference East champion Bobcats bring the conference's No. 3 pass defense and the top positive turnover margin.

* About Marshall: The Thundering Herd is led by tight end Cody Slate, a Mackey Award finalist, and running back Darius Marshall.

* Bowl records: Ohio 0-3; Marshall 5-3.

* Previous meetings: Marshall leads the series, 29-17-6.

* Worth noting: Ohio is coached by former Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Frank Solich.

* Prediction: Ohio 22, Marshall 13.

MEINEKE CAR CARE

NORTH CAROLINA (8-4) VS. PITTSBURGH (9-3)

* Kickoff: 1:30 p.m., Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

* TV: ESPN.

* About North Carolina: The key for the Tar Heels will be their defense, which ranks sixth nationally (267.8 total yards given up per game). They also could be helped by the pro-Carolina crowd.

* About Pittsburgh: This is a consolation prize for the Panthers, who fell a point short of upsetting Cincinnati in the Big East championship game and earning a BCS bowl berth. A victory would seal Pitt's first 10-win season since the Dan Marino days.

* Bowl records: North Carolina 12-14; Pittsburgh 10-15.

* Previous meetings: North Carolina leads the series, 4-2.

* Worth noting: Pitt tailback Dion Lewis needs only 46 yards to break Tony Dorsett's freshman rushing record (1,686 yards). Lewis also has scored a school-freshman-record 102 points.

* Prediction: Pittsburgh 35, North Carolina 30.

EMERALD

BOSTON COLLEGE (8-4) VS. USC (8-4)

* Kickoff: 5 p.m., AT&T Park, San Francisco.

* TV: ESPN.

* About Boston College: The Eagles finished second to Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division. They'll lean on sophomore running back Montel Harris, the ACC's second-leading rusher with 1,355 yards and 13 TDs.

* About USC: After seven straight seasons in a BCS game -- winning two national titles along the way -- the Trojans compiled their worst record since going 5-7 in 2001. USC's strength is its rushing attack (173.3 yards per game), but that underachieved this season.

* Bowl records: Boston College 12-7; USC 31-16.

* Previous meetings: USC leads the series, 2-0.

* Worth noting: BC is the first team to play in the Emerald Bowl twice. The Eagles beat Colorado State 35-21 in 2003.

* Prediction: Boston College 27, USC 20.

-- Orlando Sentinel

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