The one thing I love about being such a big college football fan is that no matter how terrible the Jets are, I always have some football to look forward to at the weekend. If you've been reading Gang Green Nation for a while now, you'll know I'm a Notre Dame and Marshall fan with a soft spot for Ole Miss, so you're always going to see a little bias towards those teams.
However this week I'm highlighting Oregon's game against Utah. It's the 4th ranked Ducks against the 17th ranked Utes and it's going to be one hell of a match-up for one reason alone, you have the elite pressure unit playing against a QB who people question under pressure. Utah have more sacks this year than any other college football team (39) and they have two defensive lineman who are outstanding at getting pressure on the QB. Nate Orchard and Hunter Dimick have combined for 21 sacks this year and Oregon will be playing without starting right tackle Matt Pierson. It will be interesting to see how Mariota does in his 2nd very tough match-up in two weeks.
I'm going to be watching Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong very closely this weekend. Arizona state will face off against Notre Dame and I had very high hopes for the Junior Sun Devil but he's only flashed this year. He had the massive 202 yard game against USC earlier this season and he found ways to get into the end-zone despite not looking all that dominating against teams like Washington, Colorado and New Mexico. He'll have a good size advantage against the Notre Dame corners and this will be a good test for his NFL credentials. I think he'll have a good game but I could be wrong.
Other good match-ups to keep an eye on:
#5 Alabama @ #16 LSU
#14 Ohio State @ #8 Michigan State
#7 Kansas State @ #6 TCU
#12 Baylor @ #15 Oklahoma
T.J Yeldon should return for Alabama against LSU. He leads the team with 618 yards and 5 touchdowns on 120 carries, putting his average yards per carry at a very respectable 5.1 yards.
- Notre Dame safety Eilar Hardy has been cleared to play against Arizona state after being cleared of any wrongdoing as part of the internal academic probe,
- Hau'oli Kikaha has 21.5 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks on the season and he'll try to extend that streak when Washington face UCLA this weekend.
- It looks likely that redshirt freshman Austin Wilson will start this week for Syracuse after current QB AJ Long experienced nerve issues in his throwing arm. Syracuse have been extremely poor on offense all season, so Wilson will hope to give them a little shot in the arm.
- Laquon Treadwell experienced a season ending injury which means Ole Miss will need to break their skid of two straight losses without their star receiver. Treadwell has 48 receptions for 632 yards and 5 touchdowns, and he'll be a hard man to replace for the Rebels,
I really hope you enjoy whichever game you are settling down to watch today and make sure you talk about everything college football in the comments section below.