Conference play serves up a full Saturday
Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @jojocornrow
We have seen titans fall and underdogs rise in the young college football season. Ole Miss surprised the nation with a win over Alabama that flipped the South Eastern Conference on its head. LSU announced their presence with authority with Leonard Fournette rushing for 228 yards. Stanford flexed their muscles against USC and showed the Pac-12 they’re still a conference power. Notre Dame doused Georgia Tech’s offense by holding them to just 22 points. UCLA gave BYU a taste of their own medicine as they came from behind to defeat the Cougars in a defensive contest to finish the weekend.
This Saturday is the start of conference play for most teams across the country so we’re getting to the heart of the season. BYU kicks your morning off with an early game in Ann Arbor against Michigan. As part of a handful of SEC games, Tennessee will take on Florida. Oklahoma State will meet Texas in a Big 12 matchup. The Utes will attempt to slow the Ducks as part of the Pac-12 slate. Let’s take a look at the games.
BYU Cougars at Michigan Wolverines
The Cougars travel to the Big House to face the Wolverines Saturday morning. BYU looks to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss against UCLA. The lone meeting between the teams was the 1984 Holiday Bowl, which sealed the Cougars’ National Championship.
Michigan is looking for a win with substance after knocking off Oregon State and UNLV. The Wolverines have a strong running game featuring a different back each of the last two weeks.
UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats
In a Pac-12 affair, UCLA will travel to the desert to take on Arizona. The winner claims the top spot in the Pac-12 South. The Bruins passed their first test of the season against BYU with running back Paul Perkins rushing for a whopping 219 yards. A stout Bruins defense looks to slow down a strong Wildcats offense.
Arizona’s high-powered offense is averaging 629 yards per game. The Wildcats hope to get a defensive boost with the possible return of linebacker Scooby Wright.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns
The unbeaten Cowboys travel to the Lone Star State to face the reeling Longhorns in a Big 12 meeting. Oklahoma State has an average margin of victory of 20.2 points over their last five games. A win against Texas would be a good start to conference play for Oklahoma State.
Texas has had a rough go thus far going 0-2 record Power 5 opponents. It was the Longhorns’ defense that carried them to their one victory against Rice. They’ll need another strong showing to compete with the Cowboys.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers
Mississippi State will travel to Auburn and meet as teams on similar paths. Both are 2-1 with losses coming at the hands of LSU. Mississippi State’s aerial attack, led by Dak Prescott, should capitalize on a weak Auburn secondary.
The Tigers have struggled through three games, even in wins. Every opponent has offensively outgunned Auburn by an average of 114 yards.
Texas A&M Aggies at Arkansas Razorbacks
Texas A&M looks to continue its hot start against SEC foe Arkansas at AT&T Stadium. The Aggies have beaten all challengers with a versatile, balanced offense. Defenses are yet to slow down quarterback Kyle Allen and the powerful Texas A&M running back platoon.
Even at 1-2, Arkansas is allowing just 21 points per game. The Razorbacks have shown defensive improvement with each game and aim to continue the trend against the Aggies.
Tennessee Volunteers at Florida Gators
Tennessee will square off with Florida at The Swamp as both squads try to work their way back to the top of the SEC. The Volunteers can put themselves in the mix for the relatively weak SEC East with a win against Florida. Tennessee’s offense has not had any problems scoring so far, averaging 46 points per game.
Florida’s offense mustered just 14 points and 245 total yards last week in a defensive battle against Kentucky. The Gators’ strong defensive has held opponents to just 258 yards per game.
Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks
Utah will face Oregon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. Devontae Booker has tallied an average of 138 yards the last two weeks and aims to carry that momentum into a huge game for Utah. The Utes put up a good fight against the Ducks for three quarters at home in 2014.
The Ducks have struggled with ball security with seven fumbles in three games. Oregon is looking to make a statement with a win over the Utes after a loss to Michigan State.
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