CFB Week #4

For most college football teams, week 4 is your final week to prepare for the conference season to start up; and most of the time, you get your strong teams meeting up with weaker teams. Games like (1) Alabama v. Colorado St, (7) Louisville vs. Florida International, and (4) Ohio St vs. Florida A&M. Unless you’re U of M, hardly escaping the grip of Akron last week, chances are Bama, Louisville, and Ohio State will win these games this weekend. With that, there are also some excellent matchups that we are looking forward to this weekend.

(3) Clemson vs. North Carolina State

Thursday, 7:30pm, Carter-Finley Stadium

        

North Carolina State with a very potent offense this year, averaging 280 passing yards per game, 212 rushing yards per game, scoring 31.5 points per game, while only allowing 17.5 points per game, ranking 31st in the FBS. This is a NC State team that dominates with the defense, and with the run. Led by Freshman Running-back Matt Dayes, if the Wolfpack can get the ball in the redzone and get it to Dayes he will find a way to get the ball into the endzone, with three touchdowns in the first two games thus far this season.

NC State’s defense is going to have to deal with Heisman frontrunner Tajh Boyd, a QB who is quick, smart, and extremely accurate. With 400+ yards, 3 TD’s, and 0 interceptions so far this season, all those stats coming in a huge win vs. Georgia, Boyd will be hard to stop, especially considering he is well rested after coming out at halftime in Clemson’s 52-13 win over S. Carolina St.

Prediction: Clemson 38-North Carolina St 28. Got to give North Carolina St the benefit that they do have a potent offense, they will put points up on the board no matter who they play, but that won’t always be enough to get them a victory. NC State’s Junior Quarterback Pete Thomas turns the ball over too much, with 0 touchdowns this season, and 3 interceptions, that will be NC State’s downfall. Veteran Quarterback Tajh Boyd and the Clemson offense will take advantage of any mistakes NC State makes. Definitely a game to keep an eye on, NC State is home, and doesn’t matter what team you are, winning on the road is always difficult.

(5) Stanford vs. (23) Arizona State

Saturday, 7pm, Stanford Stadium

This is the game that I expect most people to watch, Stanford with the offense that is just over average, but a stellar defense going head to head with one of the most potent offenses in the country, Arizona State. Great for fans of all types, you like defense, you’re going to see a lot of great defense, you like offense, there will be tons of offense, the perfect game for your basic college football fan.

Stanford will be led by their defense, after struggling to get a victory over Army last week, and the defense not playing their best game, they are going to have to come out this week strong as they were in week 1. Last week, the defense did not show up to play, but the offense came out strong and pushed forward for the victory. If they want to beat Arizona State, Quarterback Kevin Hogan is going to have to continue to throw the ball downfield to Junior Receiver Ty Montgomery, who last week 6 receptions for 130 yards and 1 touchdown. If the defense holds, and Hogan and Montgomery can continue to hook up, Stanford will run by Arizona State.

Arizona State has already had a roller-coaster of a season so far, from a 55-0 win against Sacramento State, and a (Wisconsin fans, close your eyes) 32-30 victory against the badgers thanks to (Wisconsin defense, close your eyes) Taylor Kelly who threw for 350+ yards, and a huge thanks to Pac-12 refs who helped ASU out towards the end of the game. Nonetheless, a 2-0 start is big for any team, and ASU is moving the ball down the field better than almost all teams in the FBS.

Prediction: Stanford 24-Arizona State 14. Yes, Arizona does have the terrific offense, even the defense is over average, but Stanford’s slow paced play is going to change things up for the Sun Devils. The defense did get a shutout against a weak team, but they also allowed 30 points against Wisconsin. Stanford’s offense is going to move the ball down the field, take time off the clock, put the ball in the endzone consistently, and ultimately win the game in front of their home fans.

(22) Notre Dame vs. Michigan State

Saturday, 3:30pm, Notre Dame Stadium

 

Notre Dame, lead by head coach Brian Kelley, always have a very balanced offense and defense and that seems to be the case again this year. Tommy Rees, running the Quarterback position for the Fighting Irish has come out and played much better than expected this year and ND expects more of that from him this weekend vs. Michigan State. The key for ND if they want to win this game is going to be pass protection, the offensive line has got to keep Michigan State out of the backfield as much as possible. Michigan State’s Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi will be bring the heat more than he has this year on Rees and how he handles the blitz is going to determine how well the rest of the offense will play.

Michigan State has had a clear lack of offense so far this year, ranking towards the bottom in total yardage, until last week. Coach Mark Dantonio decided to give the full game to QB Connor Cook, who did not disappoint. Cook threw for 276 yards, and 4 TD’s in the 55-17 route of Youngstown State. Michigan State’s defense on the other hand is what is going to carry Michigan State most of the game, as it will all season. With the talent on the defensive side of the ball, if Cook and the offense can do their part, Michigan State will come out victorious, if not, it might be a long day for Spartan fans everywhere.

Prediction: Notre Dame17-Michigan State 14. It is hard to see that the offense is going to produce this week like it did last week, playing a much better team this week. The defense will hold, but if Michigan State turns the ball over, or goes 3 and out more than five times it’s going to be tough to keep ND under 20 points. Definitely a game worth watching. Rivals, defense, and good ole Touchdown Jesus.

Go Football.