What to Watch This Weekend

The Pac-12 takes center stage this weekend with two monster games.    Michigan State travels to Eugene to take on the third ranked Oregon Ducks, and USC  travels to Palo Alto to face the Stanford Cardinal.  ESPN GameDay will be heading to Eugene, to take in the Animal House atmosphere at what is considered the marquee non-conference match-up of the season.  These are the only two games that featuring ranked teams facing each other this weekend.

 

MICHIGAN 1-0  AT  No.16 NOTRE DAME  1-0      These two teams first played each other in 1887, a 8-0 Michigan win.  And they have met every year since 2002 with the Wolverines holding a 7-5 advantage, but this heated rivalry will come to an end after this game.   Last week Notre Dame welcomed back quarterback Everett Golson who had been suspended for the entire 2013 season.   He was electric, leading the Irish to a big 48-17 win over Rice 48-17.   The Wolverines were my pre-season pick to win the Big 10 East Division.    They are led by Quarterback Devin Gardner and have 15 returning starters.    The Irish play this game seeking revenge from last year’s 41-30 loss at the “Big House.”  I think they get that revenge.  LUCK OF THE IRISH TRUMPS WOLVERINES 33-27

 BYU  1-0  AT  TEXAS  1-0      This could well be a coming-out party for BYU, as the Cougars could run the table if they can pull a win in Austin.    They catch the Longhorns in a bad spot here, as they have been hit hard by suspensions and injuries.    Quarterback David Ash was lost last week to a concussion, leaving Tyrone Swoopes to make his first career start.  He has a grand total of 55 snaps of college football playing experience.    Compounding the problem is the loss of two starting offensive linemen to injury, forcing the Longhorns to start an offensive line that has a total of five career starts!    BYU rushed for a  school-record 550 yards last season in a 40-21 victory over the Longhorns, with  Quarterback Taysom Hill responsible for 259 yards himself.   I will be at this game and expect to see a much better defensive effort by Texas.    COUGARS SCRATCH AND CLAW THEIR WAY TO A 19-17 WIN

 No.7  MICHIGAN STATE  1-0  AT  No.3  OREGON  1-0      Strength versus strength in this big battle.  Oregon features an outstanding offense, led by Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota at quarterback.  Michigan State will counter with a stout, physical defense that ranks among the best in the country.   The key to the game for the Ducks will be to start fast and force the Spartans to play catch-up.  If any defense can slow down the Ducks, it is Michigan State  — the Spartan’s have not allowed more than 28 points in the last 28 games!    I think Mariota is the best player on the field, he’ll have some success against the State defense.    QUACK ATTACK ROLLS 34-24

No.14  USC 1-0 AT No.13  STANFORD  1-0     These two teams know each other well as this series dates back to 1905.   Recent games have been very close, as three of the last five contests have been  decided on the last play of the game!    Kevin Hogan returns as the Cardinal signal caller, but without his top running back and three offensive linemen from last season.   The Cardinal also suffered heavy losses on defense.    Cody Kessler has  established himself under center for the Trojans.  He has more weapons to work with than his counterpart Hogan, and that will ultimately be the difference!    TROJANS MARCH INTO PALO ALTO AND MARCH OUT WITH 27-20 VICTORY

UPSET EXPRESS

WASHINGTON STATE  0-1  AT NEVADA  1-0      Washington State opened the season with a 41-38 loss to Rutgers at home.    The Cougars allowed 496 total yards, including 215 on the ground.   The bright spot for the Cougars was Connor Halliday, who threw for 532 yards and five TDs, good enough to rank second in the country.   This week the Cougars go on the road to Reno to take on Nevada.    The Wolf Pack has 17 returning starters from last years squad, 10 of which are on defense.  The Wolf Pack offense is led by Cody Fajardo, a dual-threat quarterback, who threw for 303 yards and rushed for 68 more in last weekend’s 28-19 win over Southern Utah. The Cougars have lost eight straight road openers, and on Friday night they’ll make it nine.    HOME COOKING MAKES THE DIFFERENCE, WOLF PACK 38-33

Season Records –  (Picking winner)

  • WHAT I’M WATCHING 3-1 
  • UPSET EXPRESS 1-0
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