By KENNY FRANEK
Game of the Week: Florida State @ BYU
BYU gets their first home game of the season against a Florida State team that survived a scare against Jacksonville St. Max Hall will attempt to add his name to the short list of Heisman Trophy candidates by beating a second storied program in three weeks. He has thrown for more than 300 yards in his first two games of the season and will look to continue that streak against an inexperienced Seminoles’ secondary that has given up more than 200 yards passing in both of their games this season. It will be running backs Bryan Kariya, J.J. Di Luigi and hopefully Harvey Unga who will need to get the ground game going to control the clock and wear down the solid run defense of the 'Noles, who have yet to allow either team they have faced to rush for more than 100 yards. Although the Seminoles looked rusty in their second game, they are not a team to be taken lightly. They have enough offensive firepower to put points on the board with veteran quarterback Christian Ponder and wide receiver Richard Goodman breaking out of his shell. The Cougars will also have to contain Florida State’s explosive return man Greg Reid, who can be a Devin Hester-like game changer. If the Cougs’ defense can be as strong as they have shown in their first two games, then the offense will do the rest. If they fail to contain the Seminoles’ offense, this could turn into a shoot-out. I believe the defense will come through again.
Players to Watch - BYU: QB Max Hall, TE Dennis Pitta, RB Bryan Kariya, RB J.J. Di Luigi
Players to Watch - FSU: QB Christian Ponder, WR Richard Goodman, CB/KR Greg Reid
Prediction: BYU 26, FSU 19
Other Games to Watch:
Boise State @ Fresno State:
Kellen Moore leads the Blue Turf Darlings to Fresno for their first road game of the season. He has turned into the leader of this team in the season’s early going and will be the key to a Boise St. victory. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs look to get back on track after letting a 14-point lead slip away and losing in overtime at Camp Randall against the Badgers. This will be a fun match-up to watch as the high-powered Bulldog offense looks to put a dent in the physical Broncos’ defense.
Prediction: Boise State 34, Fresno State 24
Tulsa @ Oklahoma:
In-state rivals collide as the Sooners look to make it two straight wins after the injury to Sam Bradford. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Landry Jones will try to repeat his performance of last week where he was 18-of-32 for 286 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Sooners’ defense will have its hands full against the high-powered Tulsa offense, which has led the nation in total offense the past two seasons. They have averaged 450 yards in their first two games this season and this battle will come down to the Golden Hurricane offense versus the Oklahoma defense.
Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Tulsa 31
TCU vs. Texas State:
The Frogs’ defense looked sharp in their season opener in Virginia and will hope to build on that momentum. Their offense looked stagnant at times and will try and get it together against a Texas State defense that allowed 28 points to Angelo State in their season opener.
Prediction: TCU 30, Texas State 10
Utah @ Oregon:
The Utes will take the nation’s longest current winning streak to Eugene to take on the Ducks. Quarterback Terrance Cain and running back Matt Asiata look to get the offense back on track after a mediocre performance last week against San Jose St. The task will not be easy, though, as the Ducks are 5-0 against ranked opponents at Autzen Stadium since 1995.
Prediction: Utah 27, Oregon 23
Photos Courtesy of Jaren Wilkey/BYU, Boise St. University
Thursday, September 17, 2009
By KENNY FRANEK