Campus Corner

Around the Nation: Previewing the best in college football

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota The Associated Press

Game of the week

Michigan State at Oregon

Perhaps the most attractive nonconference matchup of the year, and the first nonleague game in Autzen Stadium history featuring two top-10 opponents. The Spartans bring a Stanford approach to the game, and that’s not good news for the Ducks, who have been subdued by the Cardinal’s old-school style the last two years. Michigan State had a dominant defense last season when it won the Rose Bowl (over Stanford) but replaced seven starters this year. Oregon’s high-powered offense, led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, returned almost intact. The College Football Playoff Committee will be keeping a close eye on this one.

Upset of the week

Brigham Young over Texas

The Longhorns were solid in coach Charlie Strong’s first game in Austin, a 38-7 victory over North Texas. But Texas has to go to battle with a new quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes, who is replacing injured David Ash. Strong said he’s looking for game-managing skills. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, who passed and rushed for 405 yards in a victory at Connecticut last week, rushed for 259 against the Longhorns last season.

Others to watch

Southern California at Stanford

The coaches say last year’s ruse — then-Washington, now-USC coach Steve Sarkisian accusing Stanford counterpart David Shaw of his team faking injuries to slow down the Huskies’ hurry-up attack — isn’t an issue for this one. The Trojans ended a four-game losing streak to the Cardinal last year. Southern California defensive end Leonard Williams had an interception and seven tackles in a dominating performance against Fresno State last week. Stanford’s Ty Montgomery caught one touchdown pass and returned a punt for a score against UC Davis.

Michigan at Notre Dame

It’s the last scheduled regular-season meeting between the programs, which have given college football one of top early-season marquee games for more than three decades. The opposing quarterbacks put on shows last week — Everett Golson passed for 295 yards and five touchdowns for the Irish against Rice, and Devin Gardner connected with Devin Funchess for three first-half touchdowns in a lopsided victory over Appalachian State. Gardner completed 13 of 14 passes.

Virginia Tech at Ohio State

The Buckeyes struggled early against Navy and will look for a faster start against the Hokies. But expect Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, one of the best in the business, to dial up schemes to fluster new Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.

On the horizon: Sept. 13 games

Georgia at South Carolina

Bulldogs get an extra week to prepare for showdown

Tennessee at Oklahoma

Both looked good in openers

UCLA vs. Texas at Arlington, Texas

Bruins look to stay in playoff conversation

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

Saturday’s Top 25 Games

No. 1 Florida State vs. The Citadel, 6:30 p.m.

No. 2 Alabama vs. Florida Atlantic, 11 a.m.

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan State, 5:30 p.m.

No. 4 Oklahoma at Tulsa, 11 a.m.

No. 5 Auburn vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m.

No. 8 Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Lamar, 6:30 p.m.

No. 10 Baylor vs. Northwestern State, 6:30 p.m.

No. 11 UCLA vs. Memphis, 9 p.m.

No. 12 LSU vs. Sam Houston State, 6:30 p.m.

No. 13 Stanford vs. No. 14 Southern California, 2:30 p.m.

No. 15 Mississippi at Vanderbilt, 3:30 p.m.

No. 16 Notre Dame vs. Michigan, 6:30 p.m.

No. 17 Arizona State at New Mexico, 6 p.m.

No. 18 Wisconsin vs. Western Illinois, 11 a.m.

No. 19 Nebraska vs. McNeese State, 11 a.m.

No. 20 Kansas State at Iowa State, 11 a.m.

No. 21 North Carolina vs. San Diego State, 7 p.m.

No. 21 South Carolina vs. East Carolina, 6 p.m.

No. 23 Clemson vs. South Carolina State, 11:30 a.m.

No. 24 Missouri at Toledo, 11 a.m.

No. 25 Louisville vs. Murray State, 6 p.m.

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