Friday, October 10, 2008

Fans Weekend Guide - Week Seven

The Conference Title is on the Line When…
LSU Visits Florida (October 11, 8:00, CBS):
Last season, the Florida Gators entered the fourth quarter in Baton Rouge with a 24-14 lead, only to go down when Jacob Hester plunged in from two yards for a 28-24 Tigers’ victory. This year, the Bayou Bengals’ bruising back is Charles Scott (535 yards, six touchdowns), who has topped 100 yards in all four games this season. The Tigers will look to wear the Gators down with their stellar offensive line and not ask much of their freshman quarterback Jarrett Lee. That is a luxury Florida may not have, as Tim Tebow is so critical to their success. In their loss last season, Tebow was only 12-of-26 passing in a physical battle. LSU hopes to keep up with Alabama in the SEC West, while Florida knows a second loss could doom their chance to win the SEC East.

Conference Pride is on the Line When…
North Carolina Hosts Notre Dame (October 11, 3:30, ABC):
The Tar Heels carried the baton well last week for the ACC when they took it to the UConn Huskies 38-12. Can they represent for a second week in a row? Sophomores Marvin Austin (defensive tackle) and Bruce Carter (linebacker) lead Butch Davis’ talented young defense. The Fighting Irish counter with a duo of sophomore stars of their own in quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide out Golden Tate.

Don’t Call it an Upset When…
Penn St. Visits Wisconsin (October 11, 8:00, ESPN):
The Nittany Lions roll into this contest averaging 45 points a game and their smallest margin of victory is two touchdowns. PSU has climbed up to No. 6 in both polls after starting the season ranked 22nd. Conversely, the Badgers slipped from the top ten only two weeks ago and are now unranked in the AP Poll (No. 24 in the Coaches Poll). Wisconsin is coming off back-to-back losses, but could right their season with a win in Camp Randall on Saturday night.

The Team on the Cusp is…
Illinois Hosting Minnesota (October 11, 12:00, ESPN):
Illinois appeared to find themselves in the Big House behind Juice Williams’ record-setting performance. They look to get a winning streak started and rejoin the land of the ranked.

The Team That Can’t Afford to Look Ahead is…
Missouri Hosting Oklahoma St. (October 11, 8:00, ESPN2):
Everyone knows about Missouri’s explosive offense and while Oklahoma St. may not have a player worthy of a View-Master, they have some pretty impressive standouts of their own. Quarterback Zac Robinson is among the most dangerous duel threat signal callers in the nation and should keep the Tigers on their heels. In sophomore Kendall Hunter and junior Keith Toston they have a dangerous two-headed backfield, with wide out Dez Bryant and tight end Brandon Pettigrew their primary pass-catchers. Is Mizzou up to the challenge? Senior William Moore is among the top safeties in the nation and junior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is having a breakout season—they are a pair of stellar defenders against both the run and the pass who will have to be on top of their game.

A Football Fan’s Four-Pack…

Michigan St. @ Northwestern – (October 11, 3:30, ESPN2):
The Wildcats are off to their best start in 46 years. Expect Northwestern to get to know Javon Ringer very well in the contest—he leads the Big Ten in rushing, scoring, and all-purpose yards. Look for a close battle, as the last two meetings between the schools have been decided by seven points or less.

Super Senior: Tyrell Sutton, RB, Northwestern

Star of Tomorrow: Mark Dell, WR, Michigan St.

Purdue @ Ohio St. – (October 11, 3:30, ABC):
The Boilermakers take the trip to Columbus looking for their first win in Ohio stadium since 1988. Purdue heads into the contest with a 16-game winless streak against top 25 teams. A match-up to keep an eye on is the Boilermakers passing offense (tops in the Big Ten with 254.2 yards per game) against the Buckeye pass defense (155 yards allowed per game).

Super Senior: Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Star of Tomorrow: Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State

Tennessee @ Georgia – (October 11, 3:30, CBS):
In a series that dates back to 1899, watch for a hard-fought battle “between the hedges”. With his next win, Phillip Fulmer will have 150 victories under his belt as the Volunteers head coach. In the past two games, Tennessee has allowed a net total of 15 yards and one first down in the fourth quarter. Look for Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to try and change that stat.

Super Senior: Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee

Star of Tomorrow: Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia

Arizona St. @ USC – (October 11, 3:30, ABC):
Offense, offense, and more offense should be expected in this Pac-10 showdown, as USC looks to nail down its 400th victory at the Coliseum. Of course that depends on the health of quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Rudy Carpenter. This contest will mark the 83rd consecutive time that the Men of Troy have been in the AP top 25 and they have not lost to the Sun Devils since 1999.

Super Senior: Brian Cushing, LB, USC

Star of Tomorrow: Kerry Taylor, WR, Arizona St.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media, Mizzou Media Relations