Nebraska hopes to start the new season season on a better note than it ended 2001.
The Cornhuskers lost to Miami 37-14 in the national championship game at the Rose Bowl, giving up 472 total yards. That came after a humiliating 62-36 loss to Colorado.
They begin a brand new season at home against Arizona State on Saturday in the Black Coaches Association Classic, one of six games during an unusually early opening weekend of college football.
Fresno State plays at No. 25 Wisconsin in Friday's only game. On Saturday, No. 3 Florida State plays Iowa State in Kansas City, 13th-ranked Ohio State plays host to Texas Tech and New Mexico is at North Carolina State. On Sunday, Arkansas State visits No. 16 Virginia Tech.
Florida State made some last-minute preparations for Iowa State, a game the Seminoles will hope is the first chapter in a stellar season to follow up last year's 8-4 record.
"We've done all we can do," he said. "We'll have a very light practice on Friday, have our meetings, then play the game and we'll find out what we've got."
The team said only two players, wide receiver Lorne Sam and nose guard Jeff Womble, would be not able to play Saturday. Sam has a shoulder injury, while Womble is serving a one-game suspension for unspecified disciplinary problems. He probably wouldn't have played anyway because of a sprained knee.
With its rich tradition, speedy players and coach Bobby Bowden's 323 victories Florida State was a logical choice for Saturday's game at Kansas City.
But Iowa State? In the last 12 years, Iowa State has had two winning seasons while Florida State has won two national championships. Florida State has gone a bowl game for 20 straight years. Iowa State has gone to six in its entire history.
"This a tremendous opportunity," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "I just hope everybody in my football family understands it. They've heard it enough from me."
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