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What to Watch this Weekend

Even though there is only one game featuring two ranked teams this weekend, there are several games that should be good, as rivals old and new face each other.  The weekend highlight is a classic SEC border-battle.

No. 6 GEORGIA 1-0 AT No. 24 SOUTH CAROLINA 1-1 The game will feature two of the best running backs in the nation, Carolina’s Mike Davis and Georgia’s Todd Gurley. The Gamecocks got in the win column last week, defeating East Carolina 33-23, but the defense has me concerned, as they’ve allowed big chunks of yardage in their first two games. The Bulldogs have been held to a total of just 27 points in their last three trips to Columbia. This game may decide who wins the SEC East, as loss by South Carolina would drop them to 0-2 in the conference.  I think the game will ultimately be decided by who wins the quarterback battle between Georgia’s Hutson Mason and Carolina’s Dylan Thompson.  I think Mark Richt will have his team focused coming off of a bye week. UGA GETS COCKY, 33-30

WEST VIRGINIA 1-1 AT MARYLAND 2-0   The Mountaineers will be seeking revenge from last years 37-0 loss, a game in which they were completely dominated!  Clint Trickett has been solid under center for the Mountaineers, hitting 75-percent of his passes in two games, with a good performance in the opener against Alabama. The Terrapins are off to a 2-0 start in their first season in the Big 10. They defeated South Florida last weekend 24-17, despite turning the ball over six times. This is  a big game for both these clubs as they both have hope to get back to a bowl game. I’m taking the team with the harder shell and better defense in this one. TERPS 31, MOUNTIES 28

No.12 UCLA 2-0 VS. TEXAS 1-1 (IN ARLINGTON) Before the season started, this game looked like it would be a big-time battle that would feature two nationally-ranked teams. The Longhorns looked good in a season-opening victory over North Texas. Following the opener, Quarterback David Ash displayed concussion-like symptoms, and the offensive line would lose starters to injuries and suspensions.  Last weekend, the Longhorns were blown out by BYU.  That game did see the debut of Tyroone Swoopes, a 6’4″ dual-threat quarterback who should develop quickly.  UCLA has struggled. First on offense in the season opener at Virginia, followed by an anemic defensive effort at home against Memphis.  They have yet to play what head coach Jim Mora calls a,  “complete game.”  This will be the week where the Bruins put it all together and brand a wounded Longhorns squad. UCLA 35, TEXAS 17

PENN STATE 2-0 AT RUTGERS 2-0  Piscataway will be rocking this Saturday, as the Scarlet Knights make their Big 10 Conference debut. Nittany Lions fans will also be charged up.  Monday, the NCAA lifted Penn State’s post-season ban, and restored its full complement of scholarships. Led by Quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the 2-0 Lions become an immediate threat to win the Big 10 East! He leads a Lion attack that features a balanced offense. Rutgers has also jumped out to a 2-0 start, featuring an impressive road win at Washington State to open the season. Gary Nova has actually outplayed Hackenberg thus far, throwing for 563 yards with six TDs!  Making their Big 10 season debut, under first-year Head Coach James Franklin, with something more to play for than pride, the Lions should be sky-high for this game. They have the better defense and that has me dialing up a Penn State road victory! NITTANY LIONS 26, SCARLET KNIGHTS 16


ARKANSAS 1-1 AT TEXAS TECH 2-0 The Red Raiders have opened the season 2-0, but have struggled to pull out victories in both games. Davis Webb has been outstanding completing 67-percent of his passes for 730 yards and seven TDs! The defense has been abysmal, generating zero turnovers, allowing Central Arkansas and UTEP to average more than 200 yards rushing, and go 6-7 on fourth downs.  I think the way to beat the Red Raiders is to use a punishing ground game, control the clock, and not turn the ball over. That is precisely what you will see in this contest from Arkansas. The Razorbacks were able to rush for 153 yards against a tough Auburn front. Quarterback Brandon Allen has also been able to strike through the air as well, with six touchdown tosses. This game should be close throughout, but in the end the Hogs will prevail. Woo Pig Sooie!  RAZORBACKS 41 RED RADIERS 37



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