You will be shocked by the number of great games coming this weekend
- by Zach Barnett 10 months ago
This week's slate of games is bursting with great match-ups. So many, in fact, we won't have time to devote the necessary attention to all of them. So we're rolling out a weekend preview on Monday.
Let's get right to it.
TCU at Texas Tech (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): A measuring-stick game for both programs, and a rematch of last year's triple-overtime thriller. Baker Mayfield has yet to meet true adversity in his young career, while Trevone Boykin settles in as TCU's quarterback with Casey Pachall on the shelf.
Troy at Arkansas State (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Trojans quarterback Corey Robinson's numbers through two games: 47-of-51 for 499 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The first team to 35 wins.
Air Force at Boise State (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): Here's Troy Calhoun's challenge this week - leave Boise with a win or see your team's conference championship hopes disappear by mid-September.
Stanford at Army (12 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): Flying cross-country, kicking off at 9 a.m. body clock time and facing a style of offense unique to the rest of its schedule means David Shaw is excited to see how his team handle's Saturday's test.
Louisville at Kentucky (12 p.m. ET, ESPN): Three things about this game: 1) It's an in-state rivalry game. 2) It's the first of four straight games where Kentucky faces an opponent ranked in the top 20. 3) Outside of Rutgers and maybe Cincinnati, this may be the closest thing to a challenge presented by Louisville's schedule.
Tulsa at Oklahoma (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Trevor Knight couldn't get the Sooners' passing game going, and now he's out with a knee injury. Will Josh Heupel morph Oklahoma into a more ground-based attack?
UCLA at Nebraska (12 p.m. ET, ABC): The Huskers have been shredded by just about every offense with a pulse they've faced since last year's UCLA loss. The Bruins have had two weeks to prepare, and already looked plenty prepared in a 58-20 destruction of Nevada on August 31.
Bowling Green at Indiana (12 p.m. ET, ESPNU): The Hooisers have eyes a game in late December or early January to close the season. A 1-2 start would not jive with those plans. Dave Clawson's Falcons are more than capable of inflicint that. Keep this one in your clicker rotation.
Alabama at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): After 10 months of hype, it's finally here. Based on the limited sample size, these teams seem to matchup with strength vs. strength (when the Aggies have the ball) and weakness vs. weakness (when Alabama has the ball). But I'm expecting a much different Alabama offense than the one that took the field against Virginia Tech.
Tennessee at Oregon (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): Encouraging as those first two games were for Butch Jones' team, the Volunteers will need to dial up the five-turnovers-in-six-plays formula to keep Oregon within reach.
Washington at Illinois (6 p.m. ET, BTN): Washington had one of the most impressive debuts in college football, and has now had two weeks to prepare for Illinois' much-improved offense.
Iowa at Iowa State (6 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1): Cruel but true - could this year's battle for the CyHawk trophy also represent a tussle to determine who can call themsleves runner-up to Northern Iowa for the best college football team in the state of Iowa?
Ohio State at California (7 p.m. ET, Fox): The nation's passing leader to this point is Cal's true freshman Jared Goff - by 68 yards per game. With Braxton Miller's status uncertain for Saturday, who'd have guessed the Bears could have the advantage at quarterback? Unfortunately for Sonny Dykes, every other advantage lies with the visitors.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Here's a meeting between a pair of teams where two losses by Week 3 was not in the preseason budget.
Mississippi State at Auburn (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Auburn's 2012 slide started with a 28-10 loss to Mississippi State on September 8. The Tigers would like to start Dan Mullen's team down a similar path starting Saturday night.
Kansas at Rice (7:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): Speaking of slides, Kansas blew a 24-13 third quarter lead against Rice last season in Lawrence, and never won again. The Jayhawks are better this season, but so are the Owls.
Notre Dame at Purdue (8 p.m. ET, ABC): No doubt about it, this is quite a step down for Brent, Herbie and company from last week. But look at the bright side - when's the next time Purdue will play on ABC's Saturday Night Football?
Ole Miss at Texas (8 p.m. ET, LHN): What's the best way to put this? The guy in charge of stopping the explosive Rebels watched last week's game from his couch in Los Angeles. Oh, and the status of Texas quarterback David Ash is questionable. No matter the final score, the result of this game will be fascinating.
Oregon State at Utah (10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks): Quietly, Kyle Whittingham's team has gotten off to a very solid start to this season by upending Utah State 30-26 on August 29 and then a 70-7 blasting of Weber State on Saturday.
Wisconsin at Arizona State (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): One of the gems of this weekend, in part because we don't truly know what we have with either club. In three games, the pair has yet to allow a point. The opponents, though? Massachusetts, Tenneessee Tech and Sacramento State.