Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Arkansas St Red Wolves (1-0) at Tennessee Volunteers (1-0)

12 p.m. SEC Network


When most people look at this week’s lineup of games, this is not one many will highlight. However, I believe this one to take a look at. Arkansas State, over the last few seasons has played the big boys tough. Tennessee on the other hand has kind of floundered in the nations toughest division. It would not surprise me, if Arkansas St plays well in Neyland Stadium and even upsets the Vols. Everyone loves the underdog story and I think this is a great one to follow.


LB Qushaun Lee   Arkansas St Red Wolves


Coming off a 134 tackle season, Qushaun Lee looks to lead his Red Wolves to another winning season. In the opening game of the season versus FCS Montana State, Lee tallied 5 tackles and an interception, which he returned for 40 yards. Lee is undersized, but is a man among boys, he is a linebacker to watch as this season continues.


LB AJ Johnson Tennessee Volunteers


AJ Johnson was one of the top linebackers in the SEC last season and returns for his senior year. Johnson compiled 106 tackles and 8.5 tackles for a loss. In the first game of the season against Utah St, Johnson recorded 9 tackles and picked off Chuckie Keaton. Johnson has the prototypical size for an NFL linebacker and should be one of the first one selected in next years draft.


Saturday, September 6th, 2014

#14 USC Trojans at #13 Stanford Cardinal

3:30 p.m. ABC


This Pac-12 battle is one of the longest running ones in the conference. The 92nd meeting should be a dozy. Stanford looks to avenge a 20-17 loss late last season to the Trojans. Trojans are even better than last year. This early season matchup will send a message to the rest of the conference, who is on top of the PAC 12. With Oregon also looming both teams need this game to stay with the Ducks.

WR Nelson Algholor   USC Trojans


Algholor returns as USC’s leading receiver and will also handle the kick and punt return duties. Last season, he compiled over 900 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. In an opening week rout of the Fresno State Bulldogs, Nelson hauled in 5 balls for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns. Facing up with Stanford’s veteran secondary, Algholor has a test, but he is up for the challenge.


LB AJ Tarpley Stanford Cardinal


The returning leading tackler from a stout defense, Tarpley had 93 tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception last season. Now the veteran leader of this defense, he compiled 6 tackles in an opening game defeat of FCS UC Davis. Tarpley should have a good matchup versus USC’s Max Tuerk in this week’s matchup.


Saturday, September 6th, 2014

#7 Michigan State Spartans at #3 Oregon Ducks

6:30 p.m. FOX


Headed out to the great Northwest, the Spartans face a huge test in a hostile environment. Connor Cook faces a speedy Duck defense, while Marcus Mariota faces a stout Spartan defense. Can the Spartan toughness matchup with the Duck speed? We will find out Saturday evening. Both teams are looking for an outstanding non-conference win in the new playoff format of the FBS.


CB Trae Waynes Michigan State Spartans


Waynes has a tough test against the spread offense Oregon. To prove himself as a top corner in this year’s draft, he needs a good showing this week. I believe he is up for the assignment and will prove the doubters wrong. Waynes did not play last week against Eastern Michigan, but will be in the starting lineup this week.


QB Marcus Mariota Oregon Ducks


Mariota comes into this season as a top signal caller prospect. Last season, he threw for 3,665 yards, rushed for 860 and scored 40 touchdowns. He looks to repeat that type of production this year. Mariota, while only playing a little over a half compiled 310 total yards and 4 touchdowns in an opening beat down against FCS South Dakota. Mariota will have his first test of this season against the Spartans of Michigan State.


Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Michigan Wolverines at #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

7:30 p.m. NBC


One of the greatest rivalries in college football plays their last currently scheduled matchup. Last season, Michigan defeated Notre Dame 41-30 at the Big House. This year the matchup heads to South Bend. With Everett Golson back under center for the Fighting Irish the team looks to defeat a young Michigan Wolverine squad. Michigan returns with 3 of 4 starters on the offensive front are Sophomores and the often injured Devin Gardner back under center. I surely hope this game can work itself back into rotation, it truly is a college football tradition.


LB Jake Ryan Michigan Wolverines


Middle linebacker Jake Ryan takes over and leads a young Wolverine defense. Ryan tallied 30 tackles last season that ended in injury. Ryan looks to stay healthy and lead his team in 2014. In Michigan’s first game against newly promoted Appalachian State, Ryan tallied 3 tackles, but the level of competition ramps up this weekend. Ryan should assert himself as top linebacker throughout this season.


QB Everett Golson Notre Dame Fighting Irish


Everett Golson returns for his Junior year after missing all of last season due to academic issues. The last memory of Golson to most is the beat down to Alabama in the National Championship game two season ago. He hopes to change that. In his first game back versus the Rice Owls, Golson dominated with 336 total yards and 5 touchdowns. This week he hopes to defeat Michigan just like he did in 2012.


Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Virginia Tech Hokies at #8 Ohio State Buckeyes

8 p.m. ESPN


Looking back at last week, The Buckeyes struggled early but came on late to defeat the Naval Academy in Baltimore, The Hokies dominated the FCS William & Mary Tribe. The Buckeyes are in the process of replacing QB Braxton Miller with QB JT Barrett. He struggled early but settled in against Navy. This week the competition gets a little stiffer. The Hokies come in with the 21st best defense that includes DT Luther Maddy and a stacked secondary. It will be interesting to see how the young man handles, his first home game against stout competition.


DT Luther Maddy Virginia Tech Hokies


Luther Maddy is one of the most productive defensive tackles in the nation, last year he recorded 55 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss and 16 QB hurries. Maddy is the anchor of Bud Foster’s lunch pail defense. His pressure allows a stacked secondary to ball hawk and cover all game. Maddy compiled just 1 tackles last week against FCS William & Mary in limited action.


DT Michael Bennett Ohio State Buckeyes

             Just like Luther Maddy, Michael Bennett is the anchor for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Bennett recorded 42 tackles and 7 sacks last season and returns to be just a piece of one of the best defensive lines in the nation. In last weekend’s game against Navy, Bennett recorded 2 tackles. Bennett’s draft stock should rise as the season progresses and defenses take hold.