Friday, October 25, 2002

Buckeyes, Wildcats host crucial games

OSU welcomes No. 18 Lions; UK vs. Georgia

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Chris Gamble has produced big plays as a receiver and cornerback for fourth-ranked Ohio State. The sophomore will get a bigger test Saturday, when the Buckeyes (8-0, 3-0) host Big Ten Conference rival and 18th-ranked Penn State (5-2, 2-2).

Gamble has made game-saving interceptions against Cincinnati and Wisconsin to go with his 20 pass receptions. But OSU coach Jim Tressel won't make Gamble a full-time defensive starter.

"I don't want our secondary coaches to get tempted to start coaching (Gamble)," Tressel joked. "We just want to let him go out there and make plays."

Kentucky (5-2, 1-2 SEC) will also get a test Saturday when it hosts fifth-ranked Georgia (7-0, 4-0). Two Wildcats - safety David Johnson and linebacker Ronnie Riley - will be happy to challenge the Bulldogs. After all, the fifth-year seniors have suffered through back-to-back 2-9 seasons, the departure of coach Hal Mumme and NCAA violations.

"To get this far and be this successful feels great," Riley said.

UC (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) isn't having the season it expected, but the Bearcats have received a positive surprise. For the first time in at least 20 years, the program will turn a profit this season.

About 20,000 tickets have been distributed for Saturday's homecoming game against Memphis (2-5, 1-3), not including student tickets.

Miami (5-3, 3-1 Mid-American), fresh off a 49-0 victory over Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo, hits the road again Saturday for a showdown with Toledo (5-2, 3-0).

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