What to watch: Week 1

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Then-freshman offensive lineman Dalton Risner points to Louisiana Tech players who need to be covered in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats' three-overtime 39-33 victory over the Bulldogs on Sept. 5, 2015, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Kansas State @ No. 8 Stanford

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder and his Wildcats are looking to pull off an upset over the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal, who are led by last year’s Heisman trophy nominee, Christian McCaffrey. Expect McCaffrey to continue form from last season when he finished with 2,664 total offensive yards and 13 touchdowns. K-State looks to stop McCaffrey with their nine returning starters on defense.

The Cats will be traveling to Palo Alto, California, with an inexperienced offensive line and quarterback. Starting quarterback, junior Jesse Ertz, has never thrown a pass for the Wildcats and the K-State offensive line features just one starter returning from last year, sophomore center Dalton Risner. K-State might be outmatched, but as we all know, Snyder-led K-State teams are never afraid of a ranked opponent. Look forward to a close one at Stanford on Friday night.

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Houston at NRG Stadium

This matchup is my favorite of the weekend because of how much is on the line. A Houston Cougars program vying to get into the Big 12, playing about seven miles from their campus, against the expected Big 12 champions will make for a thriller.

The Oklahoma Sooners come into the matchup with a lot to lose. That being said, they are very well-equipped with the likes of Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and star quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Sooners surely will rely on their running game to chug through this one.

The Houston Cougars, meanwhile, have a returning quarterback who is ready to continue form from last season. Greg Ward Jr. threw for more than 2,000 yards last year and does not look like he’ll slow down anytime soon. Expect a high scoring game on Saturday.

No. 2 Clemson @ Auburn

At first, this matchup doesn’t look very intriguing, but with a coach like Gus Malzahn, you just know that Auburn will put up a fight on Saturday night.

The Auburn Tigers enter the matchup with a secret weapon: quarterback Sean White. White is a composed leader on the field with a very sneaky running game that could give Auburn several important first downs.

Clemson looks to come back as strong as last season when they narrowly missed out on a national championship. They are led by returning quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson finished last year’s campaign with 4,109 total yards and 35 touchdowns. Anticipate a shootout in Auburn.

No. 11 Ole Miss @ No. 4 Florida State

Get ready for a firecracker of a matchup in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl to close out the weekend.

Chad Kelly, arguably the best quarterback in the SEC, is a total playmaker. This is the type of games Kelly will need to takeover, because the Ole Miss defense will certainly have their hands full with Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.

Cook, who has recorded 2,699 yards rushing in two seasons for the Seminoles, should have some fun on Monday if he can consistently get past the line and begin to wear down the Ole Miss linebackers. Also, look for redshirt freshman Deondre Francois to turn some heads in this matchup and come up big late in the game. After all, the last redshirt freshman to start for the Seminoles was 2013 Heisman winner, Jameis Winston.

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