Game of the week
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
This game, to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, didn’t have much juice in the preseason. In the poll taken at SEC Media Days, the Aggies were projected to finish sixth in the West, Arkansas was seventh. Gone was Johnny Football, and the Razorbacks were coming off a winless season in league play. Now, this looks like a blockbuster game. A&M quarterback Kenny Hill Jr. is part of the early Heisman conversation and Arkansas has controlled its last three opponents with a dominating ground attack that averaged 324 rushing yards per game.
Upset of the week
Washington over Stanford
The Huskies, after a shaky start, have put up impressive numbers over the past two weeks, although a slow start against Georgia State (down 14-0) was cause for some concern. Still, quarterback Cyler Miles is off to a nice start with a 68-percent completion rate and no interceptions. He hasn’t seen anything like Stanford’s defense, which has pitched two shutouts in three games. Huskies coach Chris Peterson knows how to win big games. He won plenty of them at Boise State.
Others to Watch
UCLA at Arizona State (Thursday)
The last three meetings have been classics. Last year in the Rose Bowl, Arizona State jumped to a three-touchdown lead in the first half and held off a frantic Bruins rally. The Sun Devils are without quarterback Taylor Kelly, who injured his foot during the Colorado game on Sept. 13. Mike Bercovici gets the call for Arizona State.
Florida State at North Carolina State
Will Jameis Winston have to knock off some rust? He’s back after being suspended for last week’s escape against Clemson. North Carolina State has cruised to a 4-0 start against underwhelming opposition, but over the years the Wolfpack has given Florida State fits. N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett has suited up against the Seminoles as a quarterback for two teams, including Florida. His Gators team split with Florida State.
Cincinnati at Ohio State
The Bearcats last met Ohio State in 2006 and last defeated the Buckeyes in ’97. Er, 1897. The programs are meeting for only the 16th time. Cincinnati may be a little brother school in Ohio, but the Bearcats have played in bowl games five of the past six years, including two BCS bowls as Big East champions. Defense is the issue for Cincinnati, which has surrendered 58 points to pair of Mid-American Conference teams.
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt was productive against Maryland with 375 combined yards, but it wasn’t enough to win at home last week. Now the task is Notre Dame, off to a 3-0 start behind quarterback Everett Golson, who is completing 65 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
On the horizon: Oct. 4 games
Alabama at Mississippi
Probably battling as top 10 teams, y’all
Stanford at Notre Dame
If both win this weekend, this winner gets a big boost
Nebraska at Michigan State
Big Ten title game preview?
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday’s Top 25 Games
No. 1 Florida State at N.C. State, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Auburn vs. Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m.
No. 6 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Texas, 2:30 p.m.
No. 7 Baylor at Iowa State, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Notre Dame vs. Syracuse at East Rutherford, N.J., 7 p.m.
No. 9 Michigan State vs. Wyoming, 11 a.m.
No. 10 Mississippi vs. Memphis, 6:30 p.m.
No. 12 Georgia vs. Tennessee, 11 a.m.
No. 13 South Carolina vs. Missouri, 6 p.m.
No. 16 Stanford at Washignton, 3:15 p.m.
No. 17 LSU vs. New Mexico State, 6:30 p.m.
No. 18 Southern California vs. Oregon State, 9:30 p.m.
No. 19 Wisconsin vs. South Florida, 11 a.m.
No. 21 Nebraska vs. Illinois, 8 p.m.
No. 22 Ohio State vs. Cincinnati, 5 p.m.
No. 25 Kansas State vs. UTEP, 11 a.m.