In Sports from United Press International

Nov. 16, 2001 at 3:02 PM
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QSU suspends qb after drunk charge

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari was suspended indefinitely Friday after he was arrested on a drunken driving charge.

"This is a very unfortunate situation for Steve and our team," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said.

Sophomore quarterback Scott McMullen will make his first start for the Buckeyes Saturday when they host Illinois.

Belissari, a 21-year-old senior, was arrested by Ohio State police and charged with two counts of drunken driving and a stop sign violation.

"He is most distressed by how his actions could affect his team," Tressel said.

This suspension comes at a critical time for Ohio State (6-3), which can win at least a share of the Big Ten title with wins over Illinois and Michigan in its final two games.

"Our team will rise to the occasion," Tressel said.

Miami-Syracuse spices college fb lineup

By United Press International

The annual Florida-Florida State donneybrook is coming up Saturday with its potential national implications. But, this year it's being somewhat overshadowed by a a more important college football matchup to the south. That would be the meeting between No. 2 Miami and No. 13 Syracuse in a game that likely will decide the Big East Conference title.

The two games highlight a weekend that includes some traditional rivalries and could possibly determine some berths in the Bowl Championship Series.

Miami (8-0) avoided a major scare last week and escaped with an 18-7 win at Boston College with the help of a bizarre return for a score by safety Edward Reed in the final minute. The Hurricanes did not wilt under the pressure and seek their 19th straight victory -- the longest in the nation -- on Saturday. The winner clinches at least a tie for for the Big East crown.

Miami remained second to Nebraska in the latest BCS ratings and has taken the positive approach from last week's close call.

Syracuse (8-2) stamped itself as a serious threat with a 22-14 win at Virginia Tech in late October and takes an eight-game winning streak, fourth best in the nation, into this week's game.

Third-ranked Florida (8-1), currently fifth in the BCS, still entertains hopes of landing a berth in the national title game, but needs to win the rest and get some help from other teams. The next step for the Gators is Saturday against No. 20 Florida State (6-3), which is trying to avoid its first four-loss season in 15 years.

attention to anybody singing the blues."

Florida State's troubles have opened the door for No. 9 Maryland (9-1) to clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference title and a BCS bowl berth with a win Saturday at North Carolina State.

Maryland also can become the first team other than Florida State to win the ACC title since the Seminoles joined the conference in 1992. Under first-year coach Ralph Friedgen, the Terrapins are looking to reach 10 wins for the first time since 1976 and just the fifth time in school history.

No. 19 Louisville opened the football weekend by rallying for a 39-34 victory over East Carolina Thursday night, earning at least a share of the Conference USA title and a Liberty Bowl bid. The Cardinals, 9-1 overall and unbeaten in the conference, got a measure of revenge for last season's 28-25 defeat by East Carolina (6-4), their only conference loss in two years.

Saturday's schedule includes a number of intense rivalries, including three in the Pac-10 Conference.

No. 14 Washington (9-1), which fell out of the national title chase with last week's loss to Oregon State, opposes 10th-ranked Washington State (7-2) in the Apple Cup.

A victory by the Huskies on Saturday would hand No. 7 Oregon the automatic berth in the BCS as Pac-10 champions. The Ducks (9-1) are idle until Dec. 1, when they face Oregon State.

Southern California takes a three-game winning streak into Saturday's meeting with No. 21 UCLA (6-3), which has staggered to three straight defeats, ending its national title aspirations.

Enduring its worst season ever and riding a school-record 12-game losing streak, California visits 15th-ranked Stanford (6-2) in the 104th edition of "The Big Game."

No. 18 Auburn (7-2) looks to clinch its second straight berth in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday when it hosts Alabama (4-5) in the 66th edition of the Iron Bowl.

Fourth-ranked Oklahoma (9-1) faces what could be tough test when it opposes Texas Tech (6-3) in a Big 12 Conference game. Wins this week over the Red Raiders and next week over Oklahoma State put the Sooners in the conference title game on Dec. 1, likely a rematch with Nebraska, which is off this week.

Hewitt wins, claims No. 1

SYDNEY, Australia, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt could not have dreamed of a better setting to make tennis history. In front of a raucous crowd, the Australian became the youngest men's player to finish the year at No. 1 after beating childhood idol Patrick Rafter, 7-5, 6-2 on Friday at the $3.65 million Tennis Masters Cup.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Hewitt said. "To become No. 1 at 20 years of age, and to do it in Australia, you couldn't have written a better dream."

At 20 years and eight months, Hewitt surpassed last year's Champions Race leader Gustavo Kuerten, who lost earlier in the day to Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Kuerten finished 0-3 in the round-robin tournament, failing to add to his total of 771 points in the ATP Champions Race.

Hewitt, the U.S. Open champion, entered the Cup trailing Kuerten by 48 points, but earned 20 points in the ATP Champions Race for each of his three round-robin wins against Sebastien Grosjean, Andre Agassi and Rafter, raising his total to 783 points.

Jimmy Connors of the United States had been the youngest to achieve the year-end No. 1 ranking at 22 years and three months in 1974. New Zealand duo leads World Cup

Woods, Duval trail New Zelanders

GOTEMBA, Japan, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Michael Campbell and unheralded David Smail of New Zealand combined for a 6-under-par 66 on Friday to open a four-shot lead midway through the World Golf Championships-EMC World Cup.

One stroke off the pace after the opening round, Campbell and Smail thrived under the foursomes format, completing one of just two bogey-free rounds at the Taiheiyo Club and moving to 15-under 129 through 36 holes.

Defending champions Tiger Woods and David Duval of the United States bounced back from a difficult first day with a 4-under 68 and are tied for fourth at 134.

The duo of Shigeki Maruyama and Toshimitsu Izawa thrilled the home crowd with a 69 that gave Japan a share of second place at 11-under 133. First-round leaders Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson of Scotland could not match their opening-round 62 but stayed within striking distance with a 1-under 71.

Woods and Duval, the world's first- and fourth-ranked players, were penalized Thursday for taking an illegal practice putt. But they climbed within five shots of the lead and are tied with the Danish duo of Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen and the Spanish team of Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Hawks center out 6-8 weeks

ATLANTA, nov. 16 (UPI) -- Atlanta Hawks center Theo Ratliff will undergo surgery to remove a cartilage tear in his right hip on Saturday and will miss the next six to eight weeks, the team announced Friday.

Ratliff already has missed six regular season games due to the injury, which is thought to have occurred during workouts this summer. He also was sidelined for seven of Atlanta's eight preseason contests

Webb ahead in Tyro

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.,Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Karrie Webb held a one-stroke lead going into Friday's second round of the Tyco/ADT Championship.

The Australian shot a five-under-par 67 Thursday to lead playing partner Annika Sorenstam of Sweden.

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