Dueling receivers: Mike and Reggie square off
SEATTLE -- It's Williams against Williams, but this isn't another grand slam tennis final between Venus and Serena.
Southern California's Mike Williams and Washington's Reggie Williams, two of the nation's top receivers, will be on opposite sidelines Saturday when the fifth-ranked Trojans (6-1, 2-1 Pac-10) visit the Huskies (4-3, 2-1).
"I'm sure there will be a lot of pro scouts there," Washington coach Keith Gilbertson said.
Is it any surprise both players, who are friends, wear jersey No. 1?
USC's Williams, a sophomore, is averaging 15.5 yards per catch and 106.1 yards receiving a game with eight touchdowns this fall. He's had 10 100-yard receiving games in less than two seasons, half of them this year.
Washington's Williams, a junior, is averaging 13.5 yards per catch and 94.4 yards receiving a game with six TDs so far this season. He has 13 100-yard games in his career.
"We're good friends," Mike Williams said. "We talk all the time."
"Mike's my boy," Reggie Williams said. "We'll just go out and have fun."
Saturday's games with two ranked teams are: No. 17 Auburn at No. 9 LSU; No. 10 Purdue at No. 13 Michigan; and No. 12 Northern Illinois at No. 23 Bowling Green.
In other games involving ranked teams: No. 1 Oklahoma is at Colorado; No. 4 Georgia hosts UAB; No. 6 Florida State hosts Wake Forest; No. 6 Washington State hosts Oregon State; No. 8 Ohio State visits Indiana; No. 14 Nebraska takes on Iowa State at home; No. 15 TCU is at Houston; No. 16 Iowa hosts Penn State; No. 18 Oklahoma State is at Texas A&M; No. 19 Texas plays at Baylor; No. 20 Wisconsin visits Northwestern; No. 21 Arkansas travels to Mississippi; No. 22 Tennessee is at Alabama; and No. 24 Utah hosts New Mexico.
The question in Washington this weekend will be which Williams is better? It will be a hard one to answer, since they won't be matched up against each other on the field.
Still, it's an intriguing showdown. When the Trojans won last year in Los Angeles, Carson Palmer threw four TD passes -- three to Mike Williams -- in USC's 41-21 win.
"Mike's going to get some catches and they're going to throw it to him," Gilbertson said. "Last year, he had a good game against us. He's a really good player. Both of them are."
Each represents a new breed of receivers.
They're tall and fast, each capable of breaking big plays and making matchups confounding for smaller defensive backs. Mike Williams is listed at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, while Reggie Williams is 6-4 and 225.
"All you can do is try to make plays on receivers like that," Washington cornerback Derrick Johnson said.
The Williamses spent time together last spring when they were invited along with other standout players to a photo shoot in Phoenix for an All-America team. The two shared a hotel room.
"It was great to meet each other," Mike Williams said. "We got a chance to know each other better, to know everyone's mindsets, not only about football but also about who they are away from the game."
"We just kicked it," Reggie Williams said. "It was a photo shoot. They had some stuff for us to do. We didn't really talk about football at all."
The Trojans are coming off a 45-14 win at Notre Dame, the second straight year they've beaten the Irish by 31 points. The trip to Seattle marks the fourth time in five weeks they've played on the road.
"In a sense, this is the final game of a big road swing," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "We should have been on a train or something. After this, we'll be home quite a bit. It's really important that we finish this thing right."
After a stretch of six mistake-prone quarters where Washington lost 46-16 at UCLA and 28-17 at home to Nevada, the Huskies rebounded last weekend to win 38-17 at Oregon State.
"We've got those bad plays out of our system," defensive lineman Terry Johnson said. "We're ready to play. We'll be up for this game."
In highlights of other games:< ^No. 17 Auburn at No. 9 LSU=
After opening the season with two losses, Auburn (5-2, 4-0) is in first place in the SEC West. Beating LSU (6-1,3-1) would also give Auburn the edge in a tiebreaker if needed.
"You couldn't really ask for anything better," Auburn defensive tackle Spencer Johnson said. "We're in a good position and we're going to a place where a lot of football has been played. It's going to be a task for us to see how far we've come as a football team."
During its five-game winning streak, Auburn has had success running the football. In the five victories Auburn rushed for 266.6 yards per game. It had only 83 combined in the first two.< ^No. 10 Purdue at No. 13 Michigan=
The Wolverines (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) have won five games at Michigan Stadium by an average of 35.8 points. They will be more than happy just to beat Purdue (6-1, 3-0).
"It's definitely not going to be a blowout," Michigan's Jeremy LeSueur said. "I can promise that. It's going to be a close, exciting and emotional game because the Big Ten championship is basically on the line for both teams."
The Boilermakers haven't won in Ann Arbor since 1966 when current ABC announcer Bob Griese, the father of former Wolverine Brian Griese, led them to a 22-21 victory.< ^No. 12 Northern Illinois at No. 23 Bowling Green=
Northern Illinois (7-0, 3-0 MAC) is just one of four unbeaten teams remaining in Division I-A and is making a bid for a major bowl appearance. The Huskies must win to keep their shot alive.
Bowling Green (6-1, 3-0 MAC) gave Purdue its only loss of the season while losing just once -- at Ohio State 17-10.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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