I know what you are thinking already. This Saturday cannot possibly top the football fest we were treated to last weekend. Will we see any Baker Mayfield antics this weekend back home in Norman? Most likely not, they are hosting Tulane in what should be an extremely boring game. Will we see Alabama in a close game against Colorado State? Let’s hope not. Anyways, there are some damn good games going on this Saturday in Hometown, USA.
I’ve previewed the two of the biggest games this weekend as well as other score predictions down at the bottom.
Third Saturday in September (#23 Tennessee at #24 Florida): The unofficial nickname for a long historic rivalry featuring two college football staple programs. The Tennessee Volunteers travel to Gainesville, Florida to take on the Florida Gators at ‘the Swamp’. The Gators lead the all-time series 26-20, but the Volunteers got the best of Florida last year. The 38-28 victory for Butch Jones and crew ended an eleven game win streak for the Gators. As for what we can expect in a couple days…it will be a close game. Tennessee comes into the Swamp 2-0 after a close win against Georgia Tech and a steamrolling of Indiana State. The Gators on the other hand had it a little differently. They opened with Michigan and fell flat in a 33-17 loss, where the Gators failed to score an offensive TD. Florida’s second game (N. Colorado) was canceled because of the hurricane. Look for the Vols to go 3-0 in this one.
It will be very interesting to see how the quarterback platoon of Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire fair against a young Tennessee defence. Against Michigan both QB’s together only completed 14 passes for a mere 181 yards and zero touchdowns in the loss. In addition to pivot question marks, the Gators are also expected to be without nine players due to suspension. Two of the suspended happen to be their most explosive offensive guys; Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callway. Do the math…it doesn’t help that’s for sure. On the Volunteer’s side, the offense has established a more balanced attack featuring Quinten Dormandy leading the way at QB. Dormandy has John Kelly who has played well in both games so far to handle the rushing load. Look for the Tennessee wide-outs to establish themselves against a Florida secondary that was burned by Michigan in the opener. Overall, this will be a close game but I see Butch Jones and crew escaping the Swamp with a late touchdown to secure the W.
Score prediction: Tennessee 27, Florida 21
ACC Showdown in Louisville (#3 Clemson at #14 Louisville): While there is no real name for this rivalry between the Louisville Cardinals and Clemson Tigers, it is growing and getting heated fast. Since Louisville hopped over to the ACC, these two teams have played each other very close in their matchups. However, the Tigers have been victorious each time. If the Cardinals want to change the narrative, this is their best chance yet.
We should be in for a treat here on Saturday night. It should be very interesting to see what Clemson defensive coordinator/wizard Brent Venables brings to the table to stop Lamar Jackson and the explosive Cardinal attack. Expect Jackson to utilize his arm a lot in this one, looking deep against the Tigers secondary to targets like Dez Fitzpatrick and Jaylen Smith. On the defensive side for Louisville, they have played solid against the run and with Clemson not having a great RB core, this should force Kelly Bryant to sling it. This forces the air attack from Clemson to play right into the Cardinals hands. If Trumaine Washington and Ronald Walker, two of the best cover corners in the country, can shut down Clemson’s Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud that would be music to Bobby Petrino’s ears. The Cardinals can neutralize the passing game and get pressure on Bryant and it could be a long night on offense for Clemson. In the end, expect both teams to put up points but I will take Louisville at home and with that Jackson guy under center, it should give them the edge.
Score prediction: Louisville 38, Clemson 35
Other score predictions
#9 Oklahoma State vs. Pitt: 52 – 21, Oklahoma State
Two words: Mason Rudolph.
#1 Alabama vs. Colorado State: 44 – 23, Alabama
The Tide will roll at home but not without a little bit of a first half fight from the Rams.
Mississippi State vs. #12 LSU: 21-20, LSU
Dan Mullen will have the Bulldogs fired up and therefore the whole population of StarkVegas will have the cowbells ringin’ but in the end the Tigers will prevail.
Texas Tech vs. Arizona State: 54 – 47, Texas Tech
This game features two coaches who only coach offense…well almost. It will surely be a typical Texas shootout. With both coaches (Todd Graham and Kliff Kingsbury) on hotter and hotter seats it has big implications score-wise. I’ll take the home team in this one.
#4 USC vs. Texas: 34 – 20, USC
I want to say this is going to be a good game but Texas just is not at the level that ‘SC is right now. Adding on to this, the game is at the Coliseum meaning all 93,000 strong will provide a nice crowd to Sam Darnold and the Trojans.
California vs. Ole Miss: 27-24 CAL
As if the bad could not get worse for the Reb’s.