Around the Country
This Saturday there are four must-see games in the national scene.
No. 3 Alabama will be traveling to Gainesville, Florida to take on No. 12 Florida, No. 7 Wisconsin will be hosting No. 8 Nebraska, No. 11 Virginia Tech. will be hosting No. 13 Clemson, and the last game will be at a neutral site between No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 18 Arkansas.
Florida will be facing their first ranked opponent of the season in Alabama. The Crimson Tide, however, have already convincingly defeated two ranked teams in Penn State and Arkansas. Both teams are run in a similar style, which makes sense considering Florida’s coach, Will Muschamp, worked on the coaching staff of Nick Saban, Alabama’s coach, at Louisiana State University and with the Miami Dolphins.
Both teams have very strong defenses, but Florida’s Offensive Coordinator, Chralie Weis, has been extremely successful running offenses as the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He also turned around the offense as the coach at the University of Notre Dame. This is his first season as the offensive coordinator for the Gators and he has already got the offense going strong with the team averaging over 40 points per game, but Alabama is ranked No. 3 mostly on the strength of their defense. Last week they held Arkansas, who came into the game averaging 47 points per game, to 14 points. It will be interesting to watch this game. The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CBS.
This week, the Big Ten conference opens conference play and the conference game of the week is between Wisconsin and Nebraska. Although both are ranked in the top ten, both have also been criticized. Wisconsin has walked through their schedule mostly because they haven’t faced any difficult opponents, until this week. Nebraska has been criticized for the holes in their defense, which could be a serious problem as Wisconsin has averaged over 48 points per game this season. The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ABC.
Virginia Tech, although undefeated, has not yet faced a ranked team this season, but this week they will host Clemson. The Tigers, on the other hand, though not ranked quite as high, have defeated ranked teams the last two weeks. Although they are in separate divisions of the conference, this game could still have serious implications on the conference championship.
The game starts at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Texas A&M is getting a preview into what life will be like next season. The Aggies will start in the Southeastern Conference next season and Arkansas is one of the better teams in the SEC. Both teams are coming off their only loss of the season and are looking to bounce back. The game starts at 10 a.m. and will be on ESPN.
Brigham Young University
In a Friday evening game, the Utah State University Aggies will be making the short trip to Provo to face BYU. Last year BYU went to Logan and lost 31-16. BYU would love nothing more than to build on the victory they got last week by getting revenge on the Aggies.
The Aggies season started in very promising fashion as they almost beat the defending BCS National Champions in their first week and then defeated Weber State in convincing fashion the next week, but last Saturday they lost by one point, in overtime, to Colorado State 35-34. BYU’s defense has their work cut out for them as Utah State’s leading running back, Robert Turbin, has picked up an aveage of 121 rushing yards per game this season.
During his weekly press conference BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said, “I think [Turbin] is a great running back. In fact, I was just telling our offensive staff I would love to coach him. He plays hard and runs physical, runs for power and doesn’t back down.” The game will start tonight, Friday, at 6 p.m. It will be broadcast live on ESPN and will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. on BYUtv.
Dixie State will play their first road game of the season. This is not good timing as they are coming off their worst loss of the season. The Red Storm really need a win if they want to turn their season around, and giving the Lumberjacks their first loss of the season would be a great way to build some momentum for the season. Their game starts at 7 p.m.
Southern Utah University
No. 19 SUU will be hosting No. 24 North Dakota in their conference opener on Saturday. The Thunderbirds are coming off an exciting 41-16 victory over UNLV. http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2011/09/25/suu-pulls-off-the-surprise-upset-over-unlv/
North Dakota is also coming off a big win as they defeated Black Hills State last week 53-19. Last year against North Dakota, the T-birds got into a hole early and were down 0-14 at the end of the first quarter, but they were able to battle back and win 31-21.
In the weekly T-bird zone show, coach Ed Lamb said, “[North Dakota is] always very innovative on offense and after watching the video that’s clear of them again this year. …They always give us a lot of trouble, we’ll have our hands full and we’ll have to have a great week of preparation.” SUU has only played North Dakota a total of four times, winning three of the four contests, but they will play them a lot more in the future as both teams will bell be joining the Big Sky conference next season. This will the the T-bird’s second to last home game of the season. The game will start at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on My Utah TV.
University of Utah
It’s homecoming week in Salt Lake City and the University of Washington Huskies are coming to town. If Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn is ever going to have a breakout game now would be the time.
The Huskies defense has allowed an average of 313 passing yards per game this season. The Huskies are 1-0 in conference play as they defeated the University of California last week 31-23. Utah had the week off last week and the Utes are coming off a huge, confidence boosting 54-10 victory over rival BYU. http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2011/09/18/after-a-competitive-first-half-%E2%80%98holy-war%E2%80%99-becomes-big-blowout/
In his weekly press conference Utah’s coach Kyle Whittingham said, “Their quarterback, Keith Price, is playing exceptionally well. He is making a lot of plays for them and his efficiency rating is outstanding.Their running back, Chris Polk, is outstanding also. Their receiving corps are doing a nice job as well. Their defense is athletic and they run well. … This is a big challenge for our football team. … [Price is] a playmaker. What sets him apart is his ability to make plays when the protection breaks down. He is exceptional throwing on the move, and finding open receivers when a play breaks down. He is also a very capable runner. He doesn’t like to run a lot, but he can when he needs to.”
The game starts at 5 p.m. And will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Network.
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