Week 4: College Football Previews
THURSDAY, SEPT. 24
UAB at South Alabama – 7:30 p.m. ET
Both teams were humbled in their second game of the year with UAB’s loss coming at the hands of red-hot D’Eriq King and Miami. The Blazers were just outclassed against a larger opponent and went just 3-of-15 on third down conversions. The Jags were bested by Tulane at home and allowed 9.5 yards to the Green Wave’s leading rusher Tyjae Spears.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 26
Georgia Southern at No. 19 ULL – 12 p.m. ET
Week 1 was not kind to Georgia Southern, which staved off a last-second two point conversion from Campbell to win 27-26. ULL nearly gave one away to Georgia State in their second game after upsetting Iowa State on the road. The Ragin’ Cajuns have to get other backs going; they had just 76 rushing yards outside their lead back Elijah Mitchell.
Georgia State at Charlotte – 12 p.m. ET
Charlotte had a good showing against App State, keeping the game within one point until the fourth quarter. Georgia State also showed up and took the heavily-favored ULL Ragin’ Cajuns to overtime. Destin Coates carried the load in Georgia State’s season opener with 34 carries and the Panthers will look to keep him going.
No. 7 Notre Dame at Wake Forest – 12 p.m. ET
Notre Dame heated up after a less than thrilling showing against Duke and thumped USF 52-0. Wake Forest came up short against NC State behind a poor defensive showing. The Irish should pile the points on the Demon Deacons on Saturday should Wake field the same defensive effort.
Georgia Tech at Syracuse – 12 p.m. ET
UCF came into Atlanta and rocked the Yellow Jackets behind 417 yards and four touchdowns from Dillion Gabriel. Syracuse’s offense once again failed to get going and scored just 10 points (averaging just eight points so far) against Pitt. This one should favor the defense on each side, with neither offense scoring more than 21 this year.
No. 13 UCF at East Carolina – 12 p.m. ET
As mentioned, the Knights beat Georgia Tech convincingly on the road, dropping 49 points behind Dillon Gabriel‘s spectacular afternoon. After a few cancelations, ECU is finally ready to get their season going. The Pirates’ defense will have to improve on their 33.7 points surrendered per game in 2019 (111th) if they want to stay in this one.
No. 24 Louisville at No. 21 Pitt – 12 p.m. ET
The Cardinals would like their last game back after D’Eriq King shredded their defense and Miami scored 47. Pitt allowed just 10 points to Austin Peay and Syracuse combined. Malik Cunningham has been a gem for Louisville – piling on over 300 passing yards in each of his first two games.
Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma – 12 p.m. ET
The opening weekend wasn’t kind for Kansas State, which gave up 35 to Arkansas State en route to a loss. The Wildcats had a tough time slowing down the two-headed passing attack of Arkansas State. Spencer Rattler is looking to build on his impressive debut and will be eyeing this beneficial matchup. Kansas State might be in for a long afternoon.
No. 5 Florida at Ole Miss – 12 p.m. ET
The SEC is back! Kyle Trask and the Florida Gators boast one of the most hyped teams in the nation under Dan Mullen. Florida is looking to make a run to their first CFP berth and the road starts in Oxford. Expect them to make some noise in their opening game against John Rhys-Plumlee and the Rebels.
No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn – 12 p.m. ET
The most anticipated SEC matchup of the afternoon comes with this game. This is anything but a sure-win for Auburn and the Tigers should be careful not to overlook them. Despite the 23rd-ranking, Kentucky might not be getting the attention they deserve and could serve as a trap matchup for Auburn.
FIU at Liberty – 1 p.m. ET
Liberty opened up with an impressive win against WKU, which gave Louisville a run for their money off a red-hot winning streak in 2019. The Flames posted two 100-yard rushers led by QB Malik Willis (168 yards, three touchdowns). FIU gave up over 200 rushing yards per game in 2019 and will have to clean up their rush defense or Liberty is going to have a day.
Iowa State at TCU – 1:30 p.m. ET
After having their season opener against SMU canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak, TCU finally gets to begin 2020. QB Max Duggan has been cleared to play against Iowa State, who has had a week to think about a Week 1 upset loss to ULL. The Cyclones’ offense needs to minimize turnovers or it’ll be a rough start to their year.
Tulane at Southern Miss – 2:30 p.m. ET
Tulane squeaked one out against South Alabama in their first game of the year and now moves on to a struggling Southern Miss team. The Golden Eagles were beaten soundly in their FBS opening night game against South Alabama and then were beaten on a last-second acrobatic touchdown by Louisiana Tech. On paper, Tulane should run away with this one, but crazier things have happened.
No. 22 Army at No. 14 Cincinnati – 3:30 p.m. ET
It took five quarters for a team to score on Army’s stout defense and the Black Knights average 39.5 points per game. Cincinnati is a much tougher opponent than MTSU or ULM and posted 55 points on Austin Peay in their opening game. This is one of the best matchups of the afternoon and should be much closer than the point spread indicates.
Tulsa at Arkansas State – 3:30 p.m. ET
Tulsa was in a position to upset No. 11 Oklahoma State in their opening game, but the offense couldn’t get the job done. The Golden Hurricanes’ defense held superstar Chuba Hubbard to just 3.4 yards per carry – his lowest mark since facing Texas a full year ago. Arkansas State upset Kansas State in a wild game and is looking to continue a great season. This should be a good one.
UTEP at ULM – 3:30 p.m. ET
This one is interesting in the exact opposite manner of other great games; it’s a matchup between a pair of the worst FBS teams in the country. In three games, UTEP has a seven-point average margin of victory against two FCS teams and a 59-3 loss to Texas. ULM was beaten 37-7 by Army and 38-17 by Texas State and needs to get their offense going to avoid starting 0-3.
West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State – 3:30 p.m. ET
It wasn’t Oklahoma State’s best showing to begin the season. Chuba Hubbard averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on the ground at home against Tulsa. West Virginia had a pair of 120+ yard rushers in their season debut against EKU and QB Jarret Doege was spectacular. The Cowboys need to be on their game to avoid being upset in this one.
Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU – 3:30 p.m. ET
It’s the country’s first look at the LSU Tigers post-Joe Burrow and post-Joe Brady. Coach Ed Orgeron and projected starter Myles Brennan face a Mississippi State defense that failed to force turnovers a season ago. KJ Costello is making his much-anticipated Starkville debut against a defense that lost nearly all of its starters, something State fans should be excited about.
No. 8 Texas at Texas Tech – 3:30 p.m. ET
It wasn’t the toughest matchup for the Longhorns to begin the season as Sam Ehlinger passed for over 450 yards and five touchdowns in the first half against UTEP alone. Texas Tech didn’t show promise in their opening game, struggling to stave off FCS opponent HBU. The Red Raiders surrendered 33 points to the Huskies and won by just two points. This one could get ugly fast in Lubbock.
No. 4 Georgia at Arkansas – 4 p.m. ET
It’s Sam Pittman’s debut with the Razorbacks after spending three seasons with the Bulldogs. Arkansas is also debuting former Florida Gator Feleipe Franks at quarterback. It’s a tall task in Fayetteville, as Georgia boasts newcomer J.T. Daniels and one of the most talented rosters in the country.
Duke at Virginia – 4 p.m. ET
Duke had one excellent game (27-13 loss at No. 7 Notre Dame) and one really bad game (26-6 loss at home vs. Boston College). The Blue Devils’ offense will have to wake up and Clemson transfer Chase Brice has to find the end zone. Virginia has prepared for a life after Bryce Perkins, who graduated last year.
USF at Florida Atlantic – 6 p.m. ET
Florida Atlantic is coming off their second 11-win season in three years and face a USF team that was run out of town by Notre Dame (52-0). Outside of a 42-yard rush by Johnny Ford, the Bulls averaged just three yards per play against the Irish. We’ll find out if these numbers were an exception against a superior opponent, or if USF has a real problem.
Texas State at Boston College – 6 p.m. ET
It’s been much rosier for Texas State than their 1-2 record might suggest; they gave SMU (-23) a run for their money (lost 31-24) and almost pulled off a miracle against rival UTSA. Boston College had an impressive showing in which they nearly held Duke to less points (6) than forced turnovers (5). It’s an uphill battle for the Bobcats, but keep an eye on the point spread, which initially seems high.
No. 2 Alabama at Missouri – 7 p.m. ET
Last year, fans got a look at the Crimson Tide without Tua Tagovailoa, but they haven’t seen them with an offseason to mesh. Najee Harris made a surprise return to Alabama and faces a Missouri defense that allowed just 3.8 yards per carry a year ago. Missouri is now without Kelly Bryant but fields another transfer– former TCU QB Shawn Robinson– at quarterback.
North Texas at Houston – 7 p.m. ET
UNT looked sharp in their season opener against HBU, but has a real concern on defense; the Mean Green allowed 65 to SMU behind Shane Buechele’s 344 yards and four touchdowns. They also allowed a staggering 227 yards to SMU back Ulysses Bentley IV on 11.9 yards per carry. Houston has drawn all of the short sticks this season when it came to scheduling a season opener, and looks to continue their string of potent scoring offenses from the past few seasons.
Florida State at No. 12 Miami – 7:30 p.m. ET
D’Eriq King and the Miami Hurricanes buried questions the nation had about their talent against No. 18 Louisville. King looks to be having a serious breakout, finding himself among the top of the Heisman odds. Florida State had one of the most disappointing Week 1s, being totally shut down by Georgia Tech. They face a much tougher opponent in their second game and if they can’t keep up with scoring, this one could get ugly fast.
Kansas at Baylor – 7:30 p.m. ET
Another team that’s had a rough go at trying to schedule an opener, Baylor finally gets their crack at it. Kansas was upset badly against Coastal Carolina for the second straight year, giving up 38 this time around to the Chanticleers. Baylor is without Matt Rhule, who left for the Carolina Panthers’ job, but still has star quarterback Charlie Brewer leading them.
No. 16 Tennessee at South Carolina – 7:30 p.m. ET
After a much-lauded offseason, the Tennessee Volunteers finally get to show whether or not they’re an improved team. The Vols ripped off six straight wins to end the season – including a bowl victory – after dropping their first two games in embarrassing fashion (Georgia State and BYU). South Carolina had a QB competition in the offseason after Jake Bentley transferred to Utah. It looks like Ryan Hilinski will start for the Gamecocks in Week 1.
NC State at No. 20 Virginia Tech – 8 p.m. ET
NC State won their opening game against a rough Wake Forest defense and posted 45 points behind a two-headed rushing attack. The Wolfpack posted two rushers with over 95 yards at an average 8.5 yards per carry and three touchdowns. Virginia Tech will be playing its first game.
Troy at No. 18 BYU – 10:15 p.m. ET
BYU was the most impressive team from Week 1 after running Navy out of their own stadium. The Cougars’ offensive line was dominant and controlled the line of scrimmage all night long. It’s a tall task for Troy, but the Trojans looked equally dominant against MTSU in their opener. This one could be a great game, should you be able to stay awake for it