Game of the week
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Oregon at Washington
The Huskies go from one philosophy to another with the high-flying Ducks arriving in Seattle. Last week, Washington took smashmouth Stanford to the brink. One area the Huskies need to clean up is kickoff coverage. They allowed Stanford’s Ty Montgomery to return one kick for a touchdown and another to set up a short touchdown drive. This is Oregon’s third Pac-12 game, but the Ducks take a big step up in class after smashing California and Colorado. And running back De’Anthony Thomas, who hasn’t played since spraining his ankle against California on Sept. 28, remains questionable.
Upset of the week
Arkansas over South Carolina
When does Jadeveon Clowney show his old self this season? Or, is the question, will he show up for this game? He’s been injured, ineffective and his desire questioned. Another issue for South Carolina: its inability to put teams away. In the last two games, Kentucky and Central Florida made things too close for comfort in the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks showed fight last week at Florida and are capable of beating a Gamecocks team if it shows up disinterested.
Others to watch
East Carolina at Tulane
A pair of Conference USA programs having nice seasons. East Carolina, 4-1, has only a five-point loss to Virginia Tech spoiling a perfect record. Quarterback Shane Carden is completing 73.4 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns. The Green Wave, 4-2, is off to its best start in 15 years, and Tulane’s 2-0 league record is its best in six seasons. Tulane’s quarterback, Nick Montana, has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game. Montana started his career at Washington but found himself behind Keith Price. He transferred to Tulane and plays in the Superdome, where his dad, Joe, won one of his three Super Bowls as the 49ers quarterback.
Florida at LSU
These permanent SEC cross-over rivals have delivered grand theater over the years. The Gators’ season got a big boost after beating LSU last season, just as the Tigers affirmed their top-dog status in 2011 by thumping Florida. Because both teams have one loss, national-title dreams all but vanish for the loser. It’s all about defense for the Gators, who lead the SEC in scoring and total defense. LSU’s has found itself outscoring foes over the past few weeks, which it’s entirely capable of doing with the improved play of quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Look for the Tigers to hold serve at home as Florida’s schedule takes a rugged turn with a trip to Missouri and Georgia in the next two weeks.
On the horizon: Oct. 19 games
Florida State at Clemson
Could be the biggest ACC game in years
UCLA at Stanford
Pac-12 championship game preview?
Florida at Missouri
Tigers lost by a touchdown in Gainesville last year
| Blair Kerkhoff, email@example.com