GAMES OF THE WEEK

Here are the teams and the themes to follow this weekend
October 23, 2011

NO. 4 WISCONSIN AT NO. 15 MICHIGAN STATE

What we've learned about the Badgers

They're as balanced offensively as any team in the nation. In a game that was over shortly after kickoff, Wisconsin rushed for 332 yards and threw for 192 in a 59--7 drubbing of Indiana.

What we've learned about the Spartans

The defense is for real after all, shutting down Michigan's Denard Robinson (123 yards passing, 42 rushing) in a 28--14 victory. This was great prep work for Badgers QB Russell Wilson.

What it will mean on Saturday

A rowdy East Lansing crowd, primed for a potential Big Ten title game preview, will initially make things difficult. But Wilson will have another big game to further bolster his Heisman candidacy.

NO. 19 AUBURN AT NO. 1 LSU

What we've learned about Auburn

A quarterback controversy may be brewing on the Plains. Backup Clint Moseley replaced Barrett Trotter in the second half last Saturday and sparked the Tigers to a 17--6 win over Florida.

What we've learned about LSU

At some point QB Jarrett Lee will need to take pressure off the running game by connecting on more downfield throws, though that wasn't necessary on Saturday in a 38--7 win over Tennessee.

What it will mean on Saturday

Auburn excels at winning close games, but unfortunately for the Tigers, so does LSU under coach Les Miles. This game will be close—but not after the first quarter; LSU has too much talent.

NO. 22 WASHINGTON AT NO. 7 STANFORD

What we've learned about the Huskies

Behind an offense that is humming—Washington gained 562 yards in a 52--24 win over Colorado—the Huskies are off to their first 3--0 start in conference play since 1997.

What we've learned about the Cardinal

While Andrew Luck (336 passing yards, 4 TDs in a 44--14 win over Washington State) receives all the praise, the Stanford D ranks fifth in the country in points allowed (11.2 a game).

What it will mean on Saturday

Luck and the Cardinal will extend the nation's longest winning streak to 15—though only after withstanding some tense moments provided by promising Huskies quarterback Keith Price.

NORTH CAROLINA AT NO. 8 CLEMSON

What we've learned about the Tar Heels

Sophomore Bryn Renner is emerging as a special quarterback. Down 27--3 to Miami in the second quarter, he led an impressive rally, throwing for 288 yards in a 30--24 loss.

What we've learned about the Tigers

Yes, Clemson outlasted Maryland 56--45 to remain unbeaten, but the Tigers have challenges on D—specifically, stopping the run. Last Saturday the unit gave up 291 yards on the ground.

What it will mean on Saturday

This figures to be a shootout, and Clemson, led by quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins, has superior firepower. The Tigers run their record to 8--0, their best start since 2000.

USC AT NOTRE DAME

What we've learned about the Trojans

The defense showed slight improvement. After giving up 84 points in its previous two games, USC held Cal to nine points and 35 yards rushing in a three-touchdown victory.

What we've learned about the Irish

"We are hard to defend right now," coach Brian Kelly said after his offense keyed a 59--33 win over Air Force on Oct. 8. It has helped that Notre Dame has no turnovers in its last two games.

What it will mean on Saturday

USC is giving up 271.7 yards passing a game (105th in the nation), which doesn't bode well against Tommy Rees, receiver Michael Floyd (left) and the Irish. Notre Dame by a touchdown.

PHOTOROBIN ALAM/ICON SMI
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)