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2013 NCAA Football Week 4 – Must See Games!

Week 4 is usually the last full week of non-conference games. Conference play is beginning but not for everyone. This week is truly the last warmup week before teams start to really hit it hard. From this point forward everything starts to mean a little more.

This one is interesting based off what could happen. Georgia Tech is always an interesting team because of HC Paul Johnson’s triple option attack. If you don’t prepare for it and GT gets good defensive play & avoids error, then it’s likely to result in a GT win. In the Yellow Jackets first two games they’ve outscored their opponents 108-14. Granted it’s come against Elon & Duke, but they rank 3rd in the NCAA in rushing offense. UNC isn’t awful but South Carolina exposed them a bit in their opener. GT doesn’t have the talent the Gamecocks do & the Tar Heels have some athletes. If GT wins they’ll be 3-0 with Virginia Tech next. If they start 4-0 then people will start to notice. A win the following week at Miami-FL would be GT in the driver’s seat to play for an ACC Championship.
Sort of interesting from a morbid standpoint because Minny HC Jerry Kill keeps having medical problems on the sidelines. It’s unfortunate because he’s doing a great job in Minneapolis with the Gophers. A win here would put Minnesota at 4-0 to start the season. Their conference slate isn’t forgiving but they do get a home game against Iowa & have Indiana on the road. Two wins there & the Gophers are bowl eligible with 6 victories. An upset or two & Minny could be looking at an 8-4 season! San Jose St. QB David Fales isn’t going to make it easy. The senior QB had an outstanding junior season and is doing OK this year. The Spartans lost to Stanford two weeks ago and are coming off a bye week. A win over a Big 10 team on the road would be a nice catapult into Mountain West play.
Florida is coming off a bye week while the Vols are visiting the Swamp after getting hammered in Eugene at the hands of Oregon. Florida’s ineptness on offense is going to be a welcome respite for the Tennessee defense after seeing what the Quack Attack did to the UT defense. The big question will be whether it will be enough? Against Oregon Tennessee faced a brutal offense. Against Florida they’ll face a brutal defense that shouldn’t allow many points. The last time Tennessee beat Florida was in 2004! That’s an incredible run for this rivalry to basically be irrelevant. Neither team is really a threat to win the SEC East, but it’s still Tennessee/Florida and it means something. Whoever loses will have 2 losses on the season. That’s way too early for programs like these.
This one should answer a few questions. The Spartans are 3-0 with one of the best statistical defenses in the nation. They haven’t played ANYBODY so those stats could be virtually meaningless. Notre Dame is 2-1 and hasn’t played that well. Outside of their first two drives against Temple, the offense hasn’t been good. You can make an argument that Purdue outplayed the Irish last week! A win here puts ND at 3-1 and to be honest will provide a good push going into the middle of the schedule. A win by Michigan St. makes things a bit more complicated. The Spartans would be 4-0 & definitely a force to contend with, but on the other hand is beating Notre Dame that big of a deal? All of these questions will be answered as the season progresses but this should be a FANTASTIC game because MSU/ND always is.
Kind of an interesting Big 10 game to kick off conference play. Purdue is coming off a home loss to a solid Notre Dame team. The Purdue defense played well as did QB Rob Henry. Wisconsin is coming off a 32-30 controversial road loss to Arizona State in which the Badgers probably got screwed out of the opportunity to kick a game winning field goal at the end. I expect Wisconsin to blitz through the Boilermakers fairly easily, but it will be interesting to see how much confidence Purdue plays with & it will also be interesting to see how motivated Wisconsin is to show just how bad they got screwed last week. Even with the loss last week Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl hopes are still alive and you can be sure they’ll want to open up conference play with a statement.
An argument could be made that this is a preview of the Pac 12 Championship. With the way USC has started the season, it’s becoming clear that either Arizona St. or UCLA is going to win the Pac 12 South. Oregon is playing outstanding but you can’t count out just how good Stanford is either and the Cardinal are definitely worthy to be considered Pac 12 North favorites even with Oregon playing as well as they are. Another game that is really interesting given where the teams are coming from. Stanford is 2-0 but beat Army last week just 34-20 & didn’t hammer San Jose St. in the opener. Arizona St. got a pretty nice gift in their 32-30 win over Wisconsin last week. It’s not an ABSOLUTELY must win game for either team for a Pac 12 championship bid, but it is MUST WIN for Stanford if they are thinking BCS Championship. Luckily they are at home.
Auburn is becoming a fairly interesting team. We know Gus Malzahn can coach but what he’s done so far is interesting. The opening win over Washington St. didn’t seem like a huge deal until the Cougars beat USC in the Coliseum. The win over Mississippi St. doesn’t look amazing until you realize how tough the Bulldogs played Oklahoma St. on a neutral field. Auburn’s 3-0 record is more impressive than at first glance although this will be their first trip away from home in 2013. Having your first road game come in Baton Rouge is never easy and I expect LSU to win, but Auburn is a program with immense talent. We know that Gene Chizik wasn’t the HC, but Malzahn looks pretty darn good. As for LSU, the Tigers are hammering their opponents and isn’t it interesting that a 3-0 LSU squad isn’t getting much publicity? Amazing.
OK OK I’m an Indiana homer, but this is one that’s interesting because it’s SEC/Big 10 and the Big 10 might have a decent shot at winning, especially so because the game is in Bloomington. The Hoosiers & Tigers can really sling the ball around so you can be sure some points are going to be scored. Right now Indiana ranks 6th in the nation in scoring offense at 50.0PPG. Missouri ranks 10th at 48.0PPG. Missouri is a perfect 2-0 after wins over Murray St. & Toledo. Indiana is 2-1 with wins over Indiana St. & Bowling Green, but a loss to Navy. Indiana really needs the win because going 4-4 in conference play could prove difficult. Going 3-5 won’t be the easiest thing in the world, but if Indiana can’t get bowl eligible this year then when are they going to be better off given the talent/experience? Missouri is no easy out & they need the win too.
THE HOLY WAR! The Utes have won 3 straight but BYU looks poised to end that streak this year as the Cougars are clearly the better team at this point. BYU is coming off a bye week after putting at absolute woodshed spanking on Texas! That win might not be as good as we think given that the Longhorns then went back home and got hammered by Ole Miss, but I think Ole Miss is solid so I’m not going to say BYU’s win over Texas is meaningless. The Utes are coming off an exhausting and demoralizing 51-48 home loss to Oregon State. The same Oregon St. team that lost to Eastern Washington to open up the season! Neither team is going to do damage nationally in my opinion but rivalry games like this are fun to tune into.

September 21, 2013 - Posted by | Arizona St., Auburn, BYU, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, LSU, Michigan St., Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Previews, Purdue, San Jose St., Stanford, Tennessee, Utah, Week 4, Wisconsin

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