K-State Wildcats vs. Texas Longhorns
7 p.m. CDT, ABC
The matchup between the K-State Wildcats and the Texas Longhorns should be a fun one to watch. The game pits a preseason middle-of-the-pack team in the Wildcats, who are coming off of two straight wins, against the Longhorns, a downtrodden team coming of off two straight losses, who were picked as one of the favorites in the Big 12.
This will be the Wildcats’ first true challenge of the season. The Longhorns will enter this weekend having already played one ranked team.
The Longhorns are looking to stop a two game losing streak on the season and a five game losing streak against the Wildcats. They are also playing their first game with new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, a week after firing Manny Diaz after their lopsided loss at BYU.
The Longhorns will have to try to expose a Wildcat defense that has allowed only 1,000 total yards through three games.
K-State will need to have a big game on the ground in order to beat Texas. Out of 123 FBS schools, the Longhorns are ranked 121st in rushing defense, allowing 969 yards on the ground at nearly 309 yards a game.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. No. 19 Florida Gators
2:30 p.m. CDT CBS
This rivalry game might end up being a runaway for the Florida Gators as they play a Tennessee Volunteer squad that they haven’t lost to since 2004.
The Gators are coming off a close loss two weeks ago at Miami. Sloppy play led to the loss and a week off might have been the best thing for the Gators coming into a game in which they are heavily favored.
The struggling Volunteers got more bad news when head coach Butch Jones announced that he had opened up the quarterback competition on Monday. Whenever a team opens up the competition the week before a key game, it signals a potential hazard.
Good news for the Volunteers? They can’t do much worse than they did in the 59-14 thumping they took last week at Oregon.
If the Volunteers will have to stop the Gators to pull off the upset, to do so they will need to cause pressure and contain junior quarterback Jeff Driskel.
Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2:30 p.m. CDT NBC
The Battle for the Megaphone Trophy may end up being one of the best games of the week. The rivalry between the Michigan State Spartans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is a long one, with Notre Dame currently holding the trophy.
After a loss two weeks ago against Michigan and a shaky win last week over Purdue, a game in which they needed three straight touchdowns to win, this week might be the straw that breaks the Irish’s back.
The Spartans are sporting the nation’s top rated total defense, allowing just 177 yards per game, albeit against subpar competition. They are going to have to prove how talented they are against the Notre Dame’s phenomenal passing game.
Irish senior quarterback Tommy Rees has 969 passing yards on the season. Rees will have to put his passing skills on display in order for Notre Dame to make it through the lockdown defense of the Spartans.
This game has upset alert written all over it.
No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
6 p.m. CDT FOX
Put the remote down, because the Sun Devils are headed to Stanford Stadium to take on a hot Cardinal team in one of the best matchups of the week, and the only game featuring two ranked teams. The Cardinal have won their last 10 ball games with their last loss coming in an overtime loss to Notre Dame last October. Since that loss they have beaten Oregon in overtime, topped UCLA twice and grabbed a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.
Coming off of a hard fought win against Wisconsin last week, the Sun Devils are looking to play the role of party crashers. To pull the upset, they will have to rely on their tough defense that has allowed just 608 total yards in two games this season.
With neither team sporting a high-powered offense, but both having strong defenses, look for a close, low-scoring affair.
Auburn Tigers vs. No. 6 LSU Tigers
6:45 p.m. CDT ESPN
This matchup, as far-fetched as it might seem, could end in an upset as Auburn invades LSU’s “Death Valley”in Baton Rouge, La.
In order for Auburn to get the upset, junior quarterback Nick Marshall will need to have a career game against a team that is ranked tenth in the nation in total defense, allowing only 267.7 yards per game. The Auburn defense is going to have to hold up against one of the best offenses in the country as LSU is racking up 488 yards per game.
LSU senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger is on track to throw for well over 3,000 yards this season, averaging over 265 yards per game. This game, like the rest of the season, rests on his shoulders for the Bayou Bengals.
LSU will have to have a meltdown to lose this game with the help of one of the most hostile environments in college football.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers
2:30 p.m. CDT ABC
The matchup between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Wisconsin Badgers could shed some light on the true makeup of the both teams.
The Badgers are coming off their first loss of the season against Arizona State. That game was their first real test after shutting out two traditionally noncompetitive teams in UMass and FCS opponent Tennessee Tech.
The Boilermakers, on the other hand, have lost two of their first three games. The first loss was a blowout against to Cincinnati. Last week they lost in a close game against Notre Dame. They are going to have to bounce back in a big way in order win against a high-ranked Badger team.
The Badgers are will rely on sophomore running back Melvin Gordon, who has rushed for 477 yards through three games, to carry the load against the Boilermakers.
This game looks to be a hard fought game that will be won or lost in the trenches. The team that controls the line of scrimmage the longest should come out the victor.