Game of the week
Florida State at Clemson
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The biggest Atlantic Coast Conference football game since? Maybe Florida State-North Carolina in 1997, Mack Brown’s final year with the Tar Heels. Statistically, Florida State is dominating. The Seminoles lead the ACC in scoring at 53.6 points and total offense at 549 yards. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston is prominent in the Heisman conversation. But so is Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who gets to work with one of the game’s top playmakers in Sammy Watkins. The Tigers are the only team in the nation that averages 10 tackles for loss per game. The intangibles favor Clemson. The game’s at Death Valley, where Florida State hasn’t won since 2001, and the Tigers have the most impressive victory between the schools, beating Georgia in the opener.
Houston over BYU
Cougars vs. Cougars in an under-the-radar good contest at Reliant Stadium. Houston, a 10-point underdog, is undefeated and looking for a signature victory. Freshman quarterback John O’Korn is having an excellent season and has thrown eight touchdown passes in his last three games. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill leads the nation in rushing yards among quarterbacks (644).
Others to watch
The Bruins are catching an angry Stanford team coming off a loss at Utah. It was the first loss as a starter for Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan dating to last year. The Bruins smothered Cal last week but didn’t establish much on the ground, which will be important in Palo Alto. Stanford’s defense has been generous, surrendering more than 400 yards in each of the last two games, but it has the ability to make UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley uncomfortable, and that hasn’t happened much this year. After this week, UCLA gets Oregon.
Southern California at Notre Dame
Both teams are unranked with 4-2 records but they don’t lack incentive. The Irish played inspired in beating Arizona State and still have a shot at a BCS bowl as the schedule turns favorable. The Trojans are playing their second game under interim coach Ed Orgeron, and he’s trying to remain undefeated at Troy after topping Arizona. Notre Dame is trying to beat the Trojans in consecutive years since 2001, when Bob Davie was the coach.
On the horizon: Oct. 26 games
UCLA at Oregon
Bruins will have played Stanford, Ducks back-to-back
Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Sooners need victory to stay in Big 12 race
South Carolina at Missouri
Inside track at SEC East title may be at stake