College Football Week 4 Preview
Writer: Joseph Ralston
We are on to Week 4. There has been plenty of upsets, plenty of blowouts, and plenty of games that have left you questioning what happened. However, as teams start to define who they are and what they are good at, the matchups begin to get harder and closer, and Week 4 is surely going to be an interesting week.
Games to Watch
#10 Utah @ USC: Utah heads to USC for one of their tougher games this season so far. Many people are high on Utah and give them a chance at making the PAC-12 Championship game and representing the PAC-12 in the College Football Playoffs. Utah is averaging 33 points a game, while limiting their opponents to less than 18 points. USC on the other hand, is going to have a tough game against the PAC-12 South favorites. USC has been in close games all season and are coming off being upset by BYU last week, so them and Freshman QB Kedon Slovis are going to new to prove themselves if they want to compete in the PAC-12 South. USC has given up at least 20 points a game to opponents so they are going to have to find a way to stop Utah’s offense if they want a chance in winning this game.
How To Watch: Friday, 8:00 PM(CT), on FS1. Bets: Over/Under: 52.5. Utah -4 (-175), USC +4 (+155). Prediction: Utah-33 USC-27
#11 Michigan @ #13 Wisconsin: In a huge BIG10 Matchup, Michigan heads to Wisconsin. Michigan looks to change the narrative of losing the big game, and Wisconsin looks to prove themselves as competitors in the BIG10. Wisconsin is coming off a bye, and are in a good position to win this game considering they have not allowed a single point all season, and have scored 49 and 61 points in their two games. They are lead by early Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor, who is averaging 6.8 yards per carry and has 5 TDs. Michigan is also coming off a bye, and are going to be looking to forget the close game against Army two weeks ago where they won 24 to 21 in two overtimes. Shane Patterson has yet to look like himself, and he is going to need a big game this week to get back in the good graces of Michigan fans and the Heisman Committee. Michigan has allowed 21 points in both their games this season, so they are going to need both their defense and offense to step up if they have any hope of beating Wisconsin and having a shot at the BIG10 Championship.
How To Watch: Saturday, 11:00 AM(CT), on FOX. Bets: Over/Under: 44.5. Wisconsin -3.5 (-165), Michigan +3.5 (+145). Prediction: Michigan-17 Wisconsin-24
#8 Auburn @ #17 Texas A&M: Auburn heads to Kyle Field to take on Texas A&M in a big SEC West Matchup. The Auburn offense, led by Freshman QB Bo Nix, is coming off a big win over Kent State where they scored 55 points. However, Bo Nix will have his first road test against a tough Texas A&M team who have allowed an average of 11 points all season. This will be a big test for not only Freshman Bo Nix, but Auburn as a whole as they look to compete in the very tough SEC West. Texas A&M look to recover from a big win over Lamar where they scored 62 points. Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M have one of the hardest schedules in college football, and they are going to need every bit of their offense, led by Kellen Mond, to overcome Auburn’s tough defensive front, and high powered offense.
How To Watch: Saturday, 2:30 PM(CT), on CBS. Bets: Over/Under: 47.5. Auburn +3.5 (+160), Texas A&M -3.5 (-180). Prediction: Auburn-24 Texas A&M-21
#22 Washington @ BYU: BYU brings in Washington to see if they can continue their run of winning big games and crushing the hearts of PAC-12 teams. BYU comes off a stunning overtime upset over USC, and look to continue their winning trend. BYU has scored 30 points in each of their first 3 games, and will need every bit of that to overcome Washington. Washington has either won big, or lost badly, coming into this game 2-1 with a bad loss to Cal. They’ll need to win this game to gain momentum and compete in the PAC-12 North. Their high powered offense should be enough to get past BYU, but they should not doubt the power of the Cougars in a home game. This game is going to be one to watch, and if BYU can get another upset, they should find themselves in the Top 25 next week.
How To Watch: Saturday, 2:30 PM(CT), on ABC/ESPN2. Bets: Over/Under: 51.5. Washington -6.5 (-250), BYU +6.5 (+210). Prediction: Washington-27 BYU-24
Oklahoma State @ #12 Texas: Oklahoma State heads to Austin for an exciting game against the Longhorns. Oklahoma State looks to take down the BIG12 runner-ups and position themselves at the top of the conference. They’ve scored at least 40 points a game so far this season and have steam rolled all opponents, but this will be their toughest test so far. It will be interesting to see how their offense, led by Freshman QB Spencer Sanders, Sophomore RB Chuba Hubbard, and Junior WR Tylan Wallace, do against the Texas Defense. On the flip side, Texas QB Sam Ehlinger looks to continue his Heisman campaign and a big win over rival Oklahoma State could be a game the committee will look back on. The Texas offense can compete with the Oklahoma offense, but it will be the defense that makes the difference in this game. We saw this in the Texas-LSU game; the difference came down to if Texas can get a stop. They didn’t, but I do not believe they will make the same mistake again.
How To Watch: Saturday, 6:30 PM(CT), on ABC. Bets: Over/Under: 73. Oklahoma State +6 (+180), Texas -6 (-210). Prediction: Texas-42 Oklahoma State-35
#7 Notre Dame @ #3 Georgia: This is the big game of the weekend. College Football Playoff Semi-Finalists Notre Dame take on a Georgia team who has come up short the past two years to Alabama. This is going to be a very exciting game. Notre Dame is striving to get back the College Football Playoffs and redeem themselves after getting thumped by Clemson. Their offense will be led by returning QB Ian Book who has 563 yards passing this season and 6 TDs. They had a bye week so they have been able to watch plenty of film and prepare for a showdown against SEC powerhouse Georgia. Georgia will look to represent the SEC East this year again and a win over Notre Dame can not only push them towards achieving that goal, but help their stock in being in the College Football Playoffs again. Georgia will be led by Junior QB Jake Fromm, who looks to make a jump from average SEC QB, to Heisman Candidate. Georgia has put up 30, 63, and 55 this season, and they’ll look to do the same against Notre Dame, who has allowed 17 and 14. The defenses will be the difference in the game, and could ultimately decide each teams’ ability to get into the College Football Playoffs. While the spread is a little wide, I think this game could be a lot closer than some think, depending if Notre Dame brings their A Game.
How To Watch: Saturday, 7:00 PM(CT), on CBS. Bets: Over/Under: 58. Notre Dame +14.5 (+500), Georgia -14.5 (-700). Prediction: Notre Dame-27 Georgia-35