Having survived the wrath Of Hurricane Irma it’s time to get back to football. We have already had some amazing matchups, exciting contests and some stellar performances. This weekend is a bit shy with “special” matchups, but is solid nevertheless.
Saturday Sept. 16 NOON ET ESPN
OKLAHOMA STATE by 8 @ PITTSBURGH
State has looked pretty potent early this season, but in reality the Panthers will be their best opponent to date and it’s on the road. PITT could be on the uptick as QB/MAX BROWNE fits into the new offense of OC SHAUN WATSON. Cowboys QB/MASON RUDOLPH, is perhaps the best senior QB in the country, while everyone concentrates on the flashy underclassmen DARNOLD, ROSEN & ALLEN. PITT should get better as the year goes on, but I think Okie State is clearly ahead of them in that respect right now. Book the Cowboys to get a solid road win and be deserving of a Top 10 national ranking.
Oklahoma State prospects: #2 MASON RUDOLPH/QB; #28 JAMES WASHINGTON/WR; #3 MARCELL ATEMAN/WR; #60 ZACHARY CRABTREE/RT; #91 DeQUNINTON OSBORNE/DT; #45 CHAD WHITENER/IB; #31 TRE FLOWERS/SS; #7 RAMON RICHARDS/FS
Pitt prospects: #4 MAX BROWNE/QB; #85 JESTER WEAH/WR; #63 ALEX OFFICER/OG; #70 BRIAN O’NEILL/LT/JR; #92 RORI BLAIR/DE/ER; #14 AVONTE MADDOX/CB/CAPT.
Saturday Sept. 16 7PM ET ESPN
L.S.U. by 8 @ MISSISSIPPI STATE
COACH “O” takes his boys on the road to Starkville, land of the Cow Bells. The Tigers are heavily favored by some, but I say ‘not so fast’. The Bulldogs are undefeated and have some heavy armour on Offense this season. Jr. QB NICK FITZGERALD is a versatile run/pass threat accounted for 26 TD last season, running HC DAN MULLEN’s attack. He won’t say it of course, but Coach O would take him in a heartbeat to be his QB. If the Bulldog D can contain the LSU running game, this could be tighter than many folks think. As you can see I’m taking LSU but be a single digit margin.
LSU Prospects: #5 DERRIUS GUICE/RB; #7 D.J. CLARK/WR; #63 K.J. MALONE/OT; #18 CHRIS LaCOUTURE/DL; #99 GREG GILMORE/DT; #49 ARDEN KEY/DE/ER/JR; #1 DONTE JACKSON/CB/JR; KEVIN TOLLIVER/CB/JR.
Miss State prospects: #7 NICK FITZGERALD/QB/JR; #6 DOALD GRAY/WR; #55 MARTINAS RANKIN/OT; #12 J.T. GRAY/SS; #7 TOLANDO CLEVELAND/CB
Saturday Sept. 16 8PM ET ABC
CLEMSON by 4 @ LOUISVILLE
So the big showdown this weekend features the 2016 season National Champions from Clemson against the team led by Heisman Trophy winning QB/LAMAR JACKSON. This game could establish the victor as the ACC favorite for the post-season given the loss of FSU starting QB FRANCOIS for the season. We know what JACKSON can do, so the question is how much can the Clemson D restrain him from finding the end zone. Conversely, the other key will be whether the Louisville D can contain the Clemson Offense with a new, young QB. Remember that last weekend Clemson beat Auburn but only managed 14 points in doing so. This could be a surprisingly low scoring affair.
Clemson prospects: #8 DEON CAIN/WR/JR; #55 TYRONE CROWDER/OG; #75 MITCH HYATT/LT/JR; #42 CHRISTIAN WILKINS/DT/JR; #34 KENDALL JOSEPH/OB/JR; #23 VAN SMITH/FS/JR; #90 DEXTER LAWRENCE/DT/SO (6’5/340)
Louisville prospects: #8 LAMAR JACKSON/QB/JR; #9 JAYLEN SMITH/WR/JR; #7 REGGIE BONNAFON/WR; #99 JAMES HEARNS/DE/OB; #14 DREW BAILEY/DL; #32 STACY THOMAS/IB; #22 CHUCKY WILLIAMS/SS; #10 JAIRE ALEXANDER/CB/JR.
Saturday Sept. 16 8:30 PM ET FOX
TEXAS @ SOUTHERN CAL by 10
The Longhorns may have demolished San Jose State last weekend in Austin, but their trip to California may be less enjoyable. It’s early but I have seen both teams play and the Trojans look to be leaps and bounds ahead of the Longhorns for this season. When I watch the Trojans I find it hard to take my eyes off of QB/SAM DARNOLD #14, even though many of his teammates are prime NFL prospects. I have a pretty good idea what the Southern Cal Offense will do in this contest. But the real key may be whether or not their D can stifle fine Texas QB #7/SHANE BUECHELE. I say probably so, because the OL may be unable to give SHANE much time in the pocket. Southern Cal is back and a solid bet to easily rank in the Top 10 at the end of this season, despite playing in a very tough Pac-12 Conference.
Texas prospects: #3 ARMANTI FOREMAN/WR; #47 ANDREW BECK/TE; #58 BRANDON HUGHES/OT; #55 CONNOR WILLIAMS/LT/JR; #95 POONA FORD/DT; #40 NAASHON HUGHES/OB; #46 MALIK JEFFERSON/IB; #31 JASON HALL/FS; #5 HOLTON HILL/CB/JR.
Southern Cal prospects: #14 SAM DARNOLD/QB/RSO; #25 RONALD JONES/RB/JR; #80 DEONTAY BURNETT/WR/JR; #74 NICO FALAH/OC; #42 UCHENNA NWOSO/DE/OB/ER; #35 CAMERON SMITH/IB/JR; #4 CHRIS HAWKINS/S
Enjoy your weekend of college football. I sure hope to after being able to watch very little of it down here in hurricane country.