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News Nuggets, 11.24.04
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Bowl-bound UTEP eyes winning exit from WAC


11.23.04: Fox snatches up BCS rights for $320 million ... Brawl scratches bowl trips for Clemson, South Carolina ... BCS football rankings ... AP basketball poll ... More...
11.22.04: Cincinnati-Louisville game to air on ESPN2 ... C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... Associated Press college football poll ... More...
11.21.04: Utah rout of old nemesis BYU forces BCS hand ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...
11.20.04: ABC TV backing out of BCS sweepstakes? ... Former Louisville hoops star dead at 48 ... More...
11.19.04: Holtz paves way for ascension of Spurrier at South Carolina ... Mountain West Conference bonanza rides on Utah-BYU game ... More...
11.18.04: No separate divisions planned for future Big East ... Old nemesis stands in Utes' path to BCS bid ... More...
11.17.04: National talent hunt lands 12 diamond prospects for ECU ... BCA tourney takes on distinct Wolfpack flare ... More...
11.16.04: Badiane joins Heels' Felton on one-game suspension ... BCS football rankings ... AP college basketball poll ... More...
11.15.04: C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... Utes close in on BCS berth ... AP football poll ... More...
11.14.04: Cancer-stricken USF basketball player to miss season ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...
11.13.04: Herrion seals the deal with New Jersey prep target ... Tigers tune up for Pirates with win over USM ... More...
11.12.04: Cook, Badiane fuel ECU win in final preseason test ... Hard-luck Louisville big man lost for season ... More...
11.11.04: Spurrier signals desire for warm weather college job ... LeFors leads Louisville rout of Horned Frogs ... More...

With a new conference on the horizon and a remarkable resurrection of a previously downtrodden program almost in the books, Mike Price can be given credit for boosting Texas-El Paso's football reputation while helping his own.

Already guaranteed a bowl appearance, Price and the Miners end the regular season when they visit Tulsa in a Western Athletic Conference matchup Saturday.

Among the objectives of both teams will be to bid adieu to the WAC on a victorious note. It will be the Miners' and the Golden Hurricane's final football game in that league before migrating to Conference USA next season.

While UTEP knows where its home will be in 2005, the team's 2004 postseason destination has yet to be determined — an unknown that Price is happy to live with.

``It really doesn't matter what bowl we go to; we're happy to go to any bowl that takes us,'' Price said after No. 24 UTEP (8-2, 6-1) beat Southern Methodist 57-27 on Saturday.

The victory clinched second place in the WAC for the Miners, guaranteeing them their third bowl appearance since 1967. It'll be the first bowl since 2000 for UTEP, which is wrapping up just its fourth winning season since 1970. Saturday's victory was UTEP's seventh in a row, which ties the school record set in 2000.

Players credit the turnaround to Price, who took Washington State to five bowl games during 14 seasons there before being fired by Alabama without ever coaching a game for the Crimson Tide. UTEP lost eight times by 28 or more points last season before bringing Price, who lost the Alabama job and tarnished his reputation with one drunken night at a strip club last year.

``This is a totally different feeling than last year,'' said running back Howard Jackson, who rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries Saturday. ``Coach Price has changed the atmosphere and the attitude here. We're a bunch of winners now.''

Jackson's 99-yard game gives him 1,017 for the season, his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Jayson Boyd had 122 yards receiving and a touchdown and Higgins caught four passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns for the Miners.

Jordan Palmer was 20-of-27 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Southern Methodist. Palmer, brother of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, has passed for 2,178 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Tulsa (3-8, 2-5) and UTEP aren't the only teams playing their final game in the WAC. They will be joined in C-USA next season by fellow league members Rice and Southern Methodist.

Tulsa wants to go out a winner in a season that's been a disappointment after last season's second-place conference finish. Tulsa was picked to finish fourth in the preseason.

The Golden Hurricane, though, have come up just a few points short of having three more victories. They lost to Nevada and Southern Methodist in overtime on the road, and then-No. 21 Boise State beat Tulsa on a 46-yard field goal with three seconds left.

After beating San Jose State 34-24 last weekend behind Uril Parrish's 229 yards and two touchdowns on 30 rushes, a win over UTEP would help springboard Tulsa into the new league.

Parrish needs 77 yards Saturday to become the 11th running back in school history and the first in seven years to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. Charlie Higgins gained 1,043 yards in 1997.

Tulsa leads the all-time series 7-5.

MAC to sub for Pac-10 in Silicon Valley Bowl

SAN JOSE, CA — The Mid-American Conference agreed Tuesday to send a team to the Silicon Valley Football Classic bowl game on Dec. 30.

The MAC team will take the spot contractually reserved for the Pac-10's seventh-place team to face a Western Athletic Conference team. The Pac-10 won't have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill its spot.

Fresno State has represented the WAC in all four of the previous Silicon Valley bowl games, and the Bulldogs could return this season. Miami of Ohio, Akron, Bowling Green, Marshall, Northern Illinois and Toledo are the current bowl-eligible MAC teams.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:06 PM


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