By Stewart Mandel
September 27, 2013
Do Bo Wallace (14) and Ole Miss have what it takes to defeat No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday?
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Saturday, Sept. 28
Noon ET (ABC) No. 12 South Carolina (2-1) at UCF (3-0)
UCF previously upset Penn State on the road, so certainly Connor Shaw and the Gamecocks can't take this one lightly. But thus-far flawless Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (71.4 completion percentage) has not faced pressure like he will from Jadeveon Clowney and South Carolina's D. Steve Spurrier will play it safe with backs Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds and trust the defense to slow Bortles.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2) Iowa (3-1) at Minnesota (4-0)
Let this be an annual reminder that there is still a college rivalry in which the teams proudly play for the right to hold up a bronzed pig. The Gophers will again trot out quarterback Mitch Leidner, who mostly runs and hands off. Minnesota ranks 15th nationally in rushing (5.7 yards per carry). Iowa should be able to keep down the score, but it doesn't have the passing game to exploit the Gophers' weaknesses.
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 6 LSU (4-0) at No. 9 Georgia (2-1)
LSU has another big, athletic defense, but it's susceptible to physical running backs like Georgia's Todd Gurley (125.7 yards per game). Auburn ran for 213 yards on 4.1 yards per attempt against LSU last week. Meanwhile, Georgia's secondary may be ill-suited to defend Tigers receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Expect another close, back-and-forth 2013 SEC game.
3:30 p.m. ET (NBC) No. 14 Oklahoma (3-0) at No. 22 Notre Dame (3-1)
For all the preseason concerns surrounding quarterback Tommy Rees, the Irish's bigger issue has been the run game, currently averaging 114.3 yards per game (No. 100 nationally). This bodes well for an improved Oklahoma D that will drop defenders into coverage and force Rees to make bad throws. But the Irish defense is pretty darn good. Sooners quarterback Blake Bell is ready for the challenge.
7 p.m. ET (ESPN2) No. 10 Texas A&M (3-1) at Arkansas (3-1)
Last year in College Station, the Aggies beat John L. Smith's Razorbacks 58-10, a stunning reversal following three straight losses in the series. Bret Bielema's squad is improved on both sides of the ball but very one-dimensional on offense, particularly without injured quarterback Brandon Allen. Johnny Manziel will do plenty of Manziel-like things and the Razorbacks simply won't be able to keep up.
7 p.m. ET (FOX) Arizona (3-0) at No. 16 Washington (3-0)
Arizona is still largely an unknown after opening with blowouts of Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA, though we do know last year's national rushing leader, Kadeem Carey (149.5 yards per game), is still a stud. Quarterback B.J Denker has attempted just 55 passes in three games. He'll struggle against Washington's D, while Huskies quarterback Keith Price will have a huge game through the air.
8 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 23 Wisconsin (3-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (4-0)
The controversial loss at Arizona State has obscured the fact the Badgers boast the nation's fourth-ranked defense (3.8 yards per play). Whether Braxton Miller is healthy or not, Ohio State won't move the ball at will. But Wisconsin won't be able to rely solely on its powerful rushing attack (349.8 yards per game) against an athletic Buckeyes' D. A few Ohio State forced turnovers may be the difference.
10 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 5 Stanford (3-0) vs. Washington State (3-1) in Seattle
The Cardinal will be without All-America guard David Yankey (family matter) for the game and All-America safety Ed Reynolds (targeting ejection) for a half. They're also facing a much-improved Cougars' defensive line at the heart of the nation's surprising No. 2 pass defense. Expect David Shaw to go ultra-conservative on offense knowing his D will likely smother Washington State's offensive line.
10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) USC (3-1) at Arizona State (2-1)
Touted Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton has been virtually nonexistent this season. USC could follow others and try to take him out of the game, but Arizona State will bring pressure from its back seven to fluster Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler. USC's third-ranked defense will limit the Sun Devils' rushing attack, but much like he did against Stanford, quarterback Taylor Kelly will find a groove.
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 21 Ole Miss (3-0) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0)
Why not? While Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace doesn't possess the mobility of Manziel, his big, physical receivers -- Laquon Treadwell, Donte Moncrief and tight end Evan Engram -- create matchup problems for the Tide's defensive backs. Tailback Jeff Scott is good for a few long gains. The Rebels, fresh off a bye week, will jump to a fast start. AJ McCarron will throw for 400 yards but fall just short.
Record Last Week: 9-2               Record This Season: 34-10

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