Around the nation in college football this weekend

09/12/2013 2:38 PM

09/12/2013 2:38 PM

Game of the week

Alabama at Texas A

How does the Crimson Tide perform in revenge games. Pretty well, as you might imagine. Since 2007, Alabama is 7-1 in rematches with an average victory margin of 21 points. Texas A’s defense has been poor through two weeks, but the Aggies haven’t been at full strength. They will be for this game, with the return of three starters from suspension. Alabama didn’t run it well in the opener against Virginia Tech, but establishing the run with T.J. Yeldon, and keeping A quarterback Johnny Manziel off the field, will be a priority.

Upset of the week

Illinois over Washington

The game’s at Soldier Field in Chicago. Illinois’s offense, led by former Rockhurst quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, has found life under new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, who spent one year as Missouri’s coordinator. Cubit had served as Western Michigan’s head coach for the previous eight years. The Illini averaged 17 points per game last year. In two games, they’ve scored 87 and are coming off a solid triumph over Cincinnati. Washington also is rejuvenated under Steve Sarkisian and deserves to the be the favorite here. But in a last-team-scores kind of game, the Illini have the ball last.

Others to watch

UCLA at Nebraska

Which Cornhuskers team shows up, the one that demolished Southern Mississippi last week or struggled with Wyoming a week earlier? The teams seem evenly matched. The Bruins held serve in this contest in the Rose Bowl last year. Both teams will honor UCLA wide receiver Nick Pasquale, who died Sunday after he was hit by a car while walking, by wearing a No. 36 patch.

Wisconsin at Arizona State

No telling about either team based on opponents, but look for a shootout in the desert. Wisconsin remains dedicated to a power running game, which the Sun Devils had trouble stopping last season.

On the horizon: Sept. 21

Boise State at Fresno State (Sept. 20)

Fresno wants to prove its best of the non-power conference teams

Kansas State at Texas

Wildcats go for six straight in series

Tennessee at Florida

Is this the year? Vols have lost eight straight in series

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