Starting late here at The All Around, but better late than never; it’s our college football Week 4 preview. We’ll look at the top games around the country, take our picks and discuss who the biggest upsets of the weekend may be. Let’s get it!
10 Penn State @ Illinois
Big Ten conference szn officially kicks off with 10th ranked Penn State (3-0) heading west to Champaign to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1). PSU is the obvious favorite in this matchup with a -28.0 line over Illinois and an O/U of 60. Trace McSorley is the star QB for Penn State with a total of 603 passing yards and six touchdowns, a pretty good start for a primarily rush offense from last year with Saquon Barkley. The Fighting Illini have struggled immensely, especially in the Big Ten, since the firing of HC Ron Zook and I don’t see that improving anytime soon.
I’m taking Penn State over Illinois 46-13.
Tulane @ 4 Ohio State
Well, another week, another cake-walk for the 4th ranked Buckeyes (3-0) as they take on the Green Wave of Tulane (1-2). The weakness of schedule for this Ohio State team is absolutely ridiculous this season, with their toughest game, in my eyes, being against then 15th ranked TCU last week, maybe Wisco. OSU QB, Dwayne Haskins, Jr., is putting up record breaking numbers (890 yds, 11 TDs) in his debut season and looking to be the most consistently good QB for the Bucks since Terrelle Pryor. Not to mention the Buckeyes defense looking like one of the most powerful D’s in the country, even without 1st round draft prospect DE Nick Bosa this week. Tulane has one weapon in WR Darnell Mooney with 18 receps for 308 yds and 3 TDs. This week also marks the return of head coach Urban Meyer after a 3 game suspension which will make waves against the Green Wave.
This game will be a bloodbath, I have Ohio State over Tulane 63-17.
2 Georgia @ Missouri
2nd ranked Georgia (3-0) is headed to Columbia to take on Mizzou (3-0) in an SEC conference game that never fails to disappoint. I believe this to be one of the better games this weekend with a QB battle between UGA’s Heisman hopeful Jake Fromm and Mizzou senior Drew Lock who is playing incredible ball this season (1062 yds, 11 TDs). However, Lock has not faced a defense as stacked as Georgia’s or an offense as consistent. I believe this will be a real test for Georgia in showing what type of weapons they really have with Fromm playing very subpar compared to last year and not having as strong of a run game without star RB Nick Chubb. Don’t be fooled by the media, Mizzou is a formidable opponent against the second best team in the nation.
I’m going with Georgia over Mizzou, but just by the skin of their teeth, 34-28.
Nebraska @ 19 Michigan
We’ve got us a real doosy of a Big Ten matchup here with Nebraska (0-2) heading up to the Big House to take on 19th ranked Michigan (2-1). Both of these teams have struggled immensely, Michigan especially in Week 1 in their 24-17 loss to rival 8 Notre Dame. Junior QB Shea Patterson and the offense is just not performing to the expectations of head coach Jim Harbaugh, however, DC Don Brown’s defense is looking very solid with DL Chase Winovich and LB Devin Bush. This game is also a huge test for rookie head coach Scott Frost, who has started the season 0-2, partly due to starting QB Adrian Martinez being injured in the team’s first game against Colorado. The star of this game will be Michigan RB Karan Higdon, because of Nebraska’s virtually nonexistent rush defense.
I’ll reluctantly take Michigan over Nebraska 45-17, in Scott Frost’s last game.
22 Texas A&M @ 1 Alabama
Texas A&M (2-1), barely hanging in the Top 25 at 22, takes on SEC powerhouse, Alabama (3-0), highest ranked team in the nation who has the National Championship in their sights… AGAIN. It is ridiculous to me how year in and year out, Nick Saban creates essentially a Pro Bowl team out of no names. A prime example is Tua Tagavailoa, a back-up for Jalen Hurts in last year’s National Championship game who SHINED. Tua is the obvious Heisman favorite, going 36/50 with 646 yds and 8 TDs and is an absolute weapon behind center. Jalen Hurts is also getting a lot of playing time too with 248 yds and 4 TDs. A&M also has some weapons in RB Traevyon Williams with 59 carries going for 399 yds, and QB Kellen Mond who already has 824 yds, but only 6 TDs because of the lack of receivers at A&M. I think A&M is a decent ballclub, but I don’t think anyone can take down Bama right now.
Alabama knocks out Texas A&M, 52-27.
17 TCU @ Texas
The 17th ranked Horned Frogs (2-1) travel 190 miles south to Austin to face the Longhorns (2-1) in a Big 12 battle. Is Texas back? I think so, they are looking very promising since getting rid of head coach Charlie Strong in 2016. After last week’s 37-14 stunner against USC, the Longhorns are making serious moves, Sam Ehlinger is looking very Colt McCoy-ish in his play, with 723 yds, 6 TDs and only 2 INTs, especially as a sophomore. Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs played a neck-and-neck first half against Ohio State that had many wondering if this was the first big upset of the season. Sophomore QB, Shawn Robinson is also putting up impressive numbers, however, you really have to watch out for TCU’s incredible defense, which is easily the best in the Big 12, possibly the country. Patterson’s 4-2-5 defense proved to be quite the challenge for the Buckeyes this past weekend, so we shall see how Ehlinger and the Longhorns’ offense adapts.
UPSET ALERT: Texas takes down TCU, 30-27.
14 Mississippi State @ Kentucky
Mississippi St (3-0), ranked 14th, heads north to Lexington to take on Kentucky (3-0). Fresh off a big win against rival Florida last week, the Wildcats are out for blood, SEC blood that is. RB Benny Snell, Jr. is a force to be reckoned with with over 300 rushing yds and 3 TDs. The Wildcats defense is also looking pretty nice with just 306 yards allowed, however, they haven’t faced an offense quite like the Bulldogs’. Starting senior QB and Heisman dark horse, Nick Fitzgerald, is back after his suspension which could be a determining factor in this fight. Fitzgerald’s first game back will be a hard fought one against a team with everything to lose and looking to make some waves in the SEC and Top 25. Overall, I think State’s defense hasn’t seen a back as determined as Snell is and that will end being the detrimental factor in this matchup and with Fitzgerald’s first game back, he’s got some adjusting to control this Bulldog offense.
I’m going with my gut here and taking Kentucky over Mississippi State, 27-23.
Texas Tech @ 15 Oklahoma State
The Red Raiders of Texas Tech (2-1) head to Boone Pickens Stadium this weekend to square off against the 15th ranked Cowboys of Oklahoma State (3-0). Oklahoma State is looking to continue its undefeated streak against Tech, with only a -14 spread, with senior QB Taylor Cornelius who is looking stellar, with almost 1,000 yds and 7 TDs. OSU’s passing game is the key here because of Texas Tech’s incredibly weak and young secondary. Cornelius will have a field day with long balls to WR Tylan Wallace. I really like Oklahoma St this year and could definitely go head to head with Kyler Murray and Oklahoma. Their defense has only allowed 296 yds this season, and will have to shut down Alan Bowman’s pass game, who has 1,160 yds and 8 TDs, exceptional for a freshman QB. I don’t see the Cowboys having any trouble doing so with their elite secondary, especially after shutting down #17 Boise State last weekend and winning at home, 44-21.
Oklahoma State trounces Texas Tech and wins at home 38-20.
7 Stanford @ 20 Oregon
College GameDay game of the week is a night game at Autzen Stadium between two PAC-12 power teams. The 20th ranked Oregon Ducks (3-0) are trying to make a name for themselves again after the termination of head coach Mark Helfrich in 2016 and are looking to take down #7 Stanford (3-0). Inconsistent coaching at Oregon has proven to be the team’s biggest hurdle as of lately, however rookie HC Mario Cristobal is looking to change that with a 3-0 start already. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they have not seen a team as good as Stanford is, who has already taken down a Top 25 team (USC, 17-3). Stanford’s Heisman hopeful RB Bryce Love has been a major disappointment this season with only 165 yds and 1 TD, but I’m going to stay optimistic and say this is going to be a huge game for him. In all honesty, I haven’t seen one Oregon game or highlight this season so I can’t really speak on their players, but they haven’t played ANYBODY. Their toughest opponent was San Jose State… Why the Ducks are even ranked is absolutely wild to me.
Stanford wipes out Oregon 42-17.
Arizona State @ 10 Washington
The last game we’ll look at this weekend is also the latest game of the week, the ASU Sun Devils (2-1) heading up to Seattle to take on #10 Washington. A lot of the sports world is saying that Arizona State doesn’t stand a chance against the powerhouse that is Washington, but you better bet Herm Edwards, one of the greatest football minds of all time, isn’t going on the road to lose for the second week in a row. Not only does ASU have one the greatest football coaches in CFB, they also have a very, very good QB in senior QB Manny Wilkins who damn near has almost 1,000 yds and 7 TDs and a receiving corps that is very good. ASU’s 3-3-5 odd stack will leave Washington to take advantage of the rush frequently with Myles Gaskin. After watching ASU’s victory over Michigan State, I have a lot of confidence in this team defying all odds this season and squeezing its way in the Top 15. You also have to take into consideration that of the last 12 meetings, Arizona St has won 11, the exception being last season.
I believe, in the biggest upset of the day, Arizona St takes down Washington 41-38.
Well thanks for checking out this little piece for this weekend. Look out for Akron taking out Iowa State as well, had to add a little bit of MACtion in there. Hometown heroes baby. Hit me up on Twitter with your picks or call me a dumbass if you feel so compelled @saintnik56