Ohio State at UCLA
ABC 3:30 PM
After beating Kansas 41-17 two weeks ago, No. 14 UCLA (2-0) heads into a showdown at the Rose Bowl against the No. 21 Buckeyes (1-0) with an offense that would make storied Ohio State coach Woody Hayes smile. This fall the Bruins have ground out yardage by handing off to running back DeShaun Foster (149.5 yards per game). This week, though, expect coach Bob Toledo to open up the offense in an effort to get the ball to star wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon. The Buckeyes need their fumble-prone quarterback, senior Steve Bellisari, to maintain his aerial acumen (15 completions in 24 attempts for 246 yards in a 28-14 win over Akron).
Cubs at Astros
WGN 8 PM
Playoff implications abound as Houston looks to protect its National League Central lead and Chicago (in third place, six games back as of Sunday) fights to stay in the division race or grab a wild-card berth. The Cubs hope slugger Sammy Sosa (54 homers) can take advantage of the cozy confines of Enron Field as he makes his way toward an unprecedented third season of 60-plus dingers. The Astros counter with their own heavy artillery, first baseman Jeff Bagwell (36 homers, 115 RBIs), rightfielder Moises Alou (second in the league in batting with a .336 average) and leftfielder Lance Berkman (just behind Alou, at .333).
Giants at Padres
ESPN2 4 PM
San Diego has a chance to play spoiler to San Francisco's playoff hopes and to Barry Bonds, who continues his run at the single-season home run record. If the Padres opt to pitch around Bonds, they will have to deal with his protector, newly invigorated Andres Galarraga (29 RBIs in 36 games as a Giant).
Broncos at Cardinals
ESPN 8:30 PM
In this, the NFL's first Sunday back after the attack on the World Trade Center, fans might witness a more subdued atmosphere and—we're hoping—a measure of restraint from announcers accustomed to invoking the vast array of war analogies permeating the football vernacular. This is the opener for Arizona, which had a bye in Week I, and thus the first test for beleaguered quarterback Jake Plummer (above), aiming to return to his form of 1998, when he threw for 3,737 yards and 17 touchdowns (albeit with 20 interceptions). Denver is coming off a 31-20 victory over the Giants and is encouraged by the play of running back Terrell Davis, who rushed for 101 yards on 21 carries after missing most of the last two seasons with assorted leg injuries.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEUDLES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.