Storylines to watch during week 4
- by Doug Samuels 1 year ago
Taking a look at the games this weekend we had a few thoughts...
Eastern Michigan (0-3) at Michigan State (2-1): The Eagles were coming off a 6-6 season last year, and were regarded by many coaches as one of the most improved teams in 2011. The six wins marked their best win total in 15 years, and they returned 8 offensive starters (including their quarterback, five of the top six receivers from last year and most of their offensive line) and a total of 5 on defense. So far, they've gotten off to a slow 0-3 start with losses to conference foe Ball State in their season opener (26-37) and then a home loss to FCS Illinois State (14-31) before falling to Purdue last weekend (16-54). The MAC schedule looks to be an uphill battle as well with games against Toledo and Northern Illinois at home, and road games at at Bowling Green, Ohio and Western Michigan.
Wyoming (0-3) at Idaho (1-2): At this time last season, Dave Christensen had Wyoming sitting at 3-0 with wins over Weber State, Texas State, and Bowling Green. They would wind up finishing 8-5 with a freshman quarterback at the helm and an offensive line that only allowed a sack per game. While the offensive line has protected well so far, this year has been a much different experience. After opening up with losses to Texas, Toledo and Cal Poly, this week Wyoming will take on Idaho. Over the next few weeks, Wyoming has to travel to Nevada and Fresno State for some tough, key games, as well as take on Boise State at home.
Louisville (3-0) at Florida International (1-2): Yes, Louisville is undefeated at 3-0, but we remind you that they narrowly avoided a late game melt down against North Carolina last week. After being up 36-14 heading into the final quarter, North Carolina rallied back to put up 20 points, and had a chance to win it late after recovering a fumble on the kickoff with about 4 minutes left before a receiver drops what would have been a tough catch on fourth and goal from the 4. Looking at their remaining schedule, their first big test will come against Cincinnati at home towards the end of October, but games against South Florida, and Rutgers shouldn't be overlooked. Pretty favorable schedule overall though.
Games to watch:
Louisiana Tech (2-0) at Illinois (2-1): What can we say, two high octane offenses matching up is always fun to watch. However, this one may come down to which defense is going to step up. Tech's pass defense is allowing almost 400 yards per game, while Illinois got exposed during their match up with Arizona State, allowing 323 total yards in the first half while their quarterbacks threw only 2 incompletions.
San Jose State (2-1) at San Diego State (2-1): This may be one worth staying up for. The Aztecs only loss came in the first game of the season, a 9 point loss (21-12) to Washington, and San Jose narrowly lost their opener against Stanford at The Farm (20-17). This one is a match up of two programs on the rise in the WAC and Mountain West.
Michigan at Notre Dame: Do we even need to explain why you need to watch this one after last year's finish?
Oregon State at UCLA: The Beavers are the only team in the country to have only one game under their belt (first game against Nicholls State was postponed due to the hurricane, and they had a bye last week). Against Wisconsin, the Beavers held Monte Ball to just 61 carries on 15 touches, and they'll have their hands full this week facing Johnathan Franklin who leads the nation in rushing with over 180 yards per game. Two games, facing two of the top running backs in the country will be a huge test for the Oregon State defense.