College football weekend preview

football

Around the country

This Saturday’s game of the week is an intriguing matchup between two Big 12 teams that are both ranked in the AP top 10. On Saturday, No. 8 Texas A&M will host No. 7 Oklahoma State.

Both teams have beaten two FBS teams soundly as Texas A&M beat SMU 46-14 and Idaho 37-7 and Oklahoma State beat Arizona 37-14 and Tulsa 59-33. Both teams have prolific offenses, but Oklahoma State has averaged more yards per game and more points per game with 601 yards per game compared to 488 yards per game and 52 points per game to 42 points per game.

On the other hand, Texas A&M has looked more solid on defense holding its opponent to 11 points per game while Oklahoma State has allowed 27 points per game. Home field advantage might be the key factor; however, this is the beginning of what is expected to be the last season for Texas A&M in the Big 12. They are frustrated that certain schools in the conference are threatening a legal battle if they leave plus many around the country are saying that they won’t be able to be successful in the SEC and they would love to make a statement. The game starts at 1:30 pm and will be broadcast on ABC in some parts of the country and ESPN 2 in other.

Also of note nationally, No. 3 Alabama will host No. 14 Arkansas. Arkansas seems to have a better offense than Alabama, who is breaking in new quarterback AJ McCarron. Alabama, however, is not ranked No. 3 in the country because of their offense. In fact, head coach Nick Saban has never been known for his offenses, not even with his two national championship teams. Saban is a defense first guy and Alabama has allowed an average of only three points per game this season. The game starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS.

There are two other games on Saturday featuring two ranked teams. First is Clemson, coming off last week’s victory over the defending BCS National Champions, Clemson will host the No. 11 Florida State Seminoles, who are coming off their loss to Oklahoma. This game is also at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN 3D. The other game is the third time this season that No. 2 LSU will face a ranked opponent as they travel to Morgantown, West Virginia to face No. 16 Mountaineers. This game starts at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ABC.

Brigham Young University

Today, Friday, BYU will be hosting the University of Central Florida. Both BYU and UCF are coming off a painful loss as BYU lost to Utah 54-10. UCF is also stinging as they lost last week to Florida International, a game they were expected to win.

UCF has high hopes for the season after beating Boston College 30-3 in the second week of the season. During his press conference on Monday, Coach Bronco Mendenhall, said, “I’ve seen two games as of this morning. They have a very, very talented quarterback with a unique system. They have option elements and some zone reads with the quarterback scrambling out of the pocket. The quarterback is a creative presence that makes things go.”

He also talked about BYU’s running game when he said, “Yes [the running game] is [a concern]. As there becomes increased emphasis placed on it eventually you want to see the results, either statistically or even signs that we are making progress. I haven’t seen enough yet to say we are making progress in relation to the emphasis. … Really, we haven’t seen what the run game should look like in relation to the offense.”

BYU certainly needs to make progress in the rushing attack if they want to win. BYU has averaged only 48 yards per game on the ground while UCF has averaged 223 yards per game and as if that wasn’t enough UCF’s quarterback Jeff Godfrey has, by himself, ran for more yards on the season with 156 yards on the season, than the entire BYU team who only has 145 yards on the season. If the offense can control the turnovers, they had seven against Utah, and score more than one touchdown, the offense has scored exactly one touchdown in every game this year, then their defense, which has been very impressive, should be enough to give them the victory. The game is tonight, Friday night, at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Dixie State College of Utah

The Red Storm is hoping to build on the big win from last week in their second game of conference play as they host Western Oregon.

A victory would bring Dixie State to an even 2-2 record on the season and a perfect 2-0 conference record. Western Oregon has a record of 2-1 as they lost their opener and haven’t lost since, but it turns out they have played a common opponent. Last week Dixie State defeated Simon Fraser in convincing fashion 42-7. The week before Western Oregon also played Simon Fraser, but they were only able to win by a touchdown 28-35. The game will begin Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and will be the last home game for the Red Storm until Oct. 15.

Southern Utah University

The Thunderbirds will be traveling to Las Vegas on Saturday to face UNLV. SUU is coming off a 45-22 Homecoming victory over Texas-San Antonio, but UNLV is coming off a 40-20 victory over the University of Hawaii.

SUU has a record of 2-1 and has done very well so far this year while UNLV (1-2) has faced stiffer competition losing to a PAC-12 team, Washington State, 59-7 and Wisconsin, currently ranked No. 6, 51-17. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on The Mountain.

University of Utah

The Utes have the week off. They will be hosting the Washington Huskies next Saturday, however, there is another game on Saturday that should grab the attention of Ute fans.

No. 23 USC will be traveling to Tempe, Arizona to face the extremely fast Arizona State Sun Devils. This is significant to Utah fans because most people believe that either Utah or Arizona State will represent the PAC 12 South in the conference championship game and if Arizona State loses, which is very possible against a ranked USC, it increases the odds of Utah getting into that championship game. This game starts at 8:15 pm and will be broadcast on ESPN.

sports@stgnews.com

Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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