Game of the week
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Ohio State at Northwestern
The Buckeyes know what they’re up against. Northwestern, 4-0, is rolling, playing a couple of quarterbacks in strong runner Kain Colter and better passer Trevor Siemian. Ohio State has to prepare for both. The Wildcats expect to get a boost from the return of All-America return specialist Venric Mark, who has missed the previous three games because of a leg injury. Mark averaged 18.7 yards per punt return and rushed for 1,366 yards last season. But history works against Northwestern, which has lost 36 straight against AP top five teams, and 28 of 29 against Ohio State.
Upset of the week
Notre Dame over Arizona State
Odd to find the Irish a touchdown underdog here, but much of this is based on what happened last Saturday. Notre Dame dug itself an early hole with turnovers and couldn’t climb out in a home loss to Oklahoma. Arizona State pummeled a Southern California team that fired its coach upon returning home. This game is on natural ground, in Arlington, Texas, and look for the Irish and quarterback Tommy Rees to bounce back.
Others to watch
Washington at Stanford
The Huskies won this matchup last year, and it was a coming out party for running back Bishop Sankey. He leads the nation in rushing yards per game (151.1) and against the rugged Cardinal defense last year, he went for 144. Good quarterback matchup here between dual threat Keith Price of Washington and Stanford’s Kevin Hogan.
Maryland at Florida State
The Seminoles have won six straight in the series (21-2 overall) and have never lost to the Terps in Tallahassee. Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston is playing with confidence, but the defense now deserves closer scrutiny after giving up 34 to Boston College last week. Maryland, led by wide receiver and return specialist Stefon Diggs, is better on offense. Expect a high scoring game.
On the horizon: Oct. 12
Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas
Mack Brown’s last Red River Rivalry?
Florida at LSU
Big victory for Gators last season
Oregon at Washington
Huskies get Stanford, Oregon back-to-back
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org