News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.
No.10 Clemson @ No. 4 Florida State, 8:00 p.m.: It’s a matchup of the two best teams in the ACC (apologies to Virginia Tech). If Florida State is to prove it has a chance to contend with Alabama and LSU, it has to stop Clemson’s dynamic duo of WR Sammy Watkins and QB Tajh Boyd. Boyd has completed 73.3 percent of his throws with six touchdowns and just one interception. Watkins played for the first time last week and finished with four catches for 52 yards. But he destroyed the Seminoles last year. Florida State QB EJ Emanuel (526 yds, 6 TDs, 1 INT) has been just as effective. The big difference between the teams is Florida State’s rushing attack. Chris Thompson has 254 yards rushing and three TDs and James Wilder Jr. has 220 yards on the ground and four TDs. Of course Florida State’s defense, which is first in the nation (1 point per game against) is stellar. The Pick: Florida State 36, Clemson 12.
No. 18 Michigan @ No. 11 Notre Dame, 7:30: Both teams need this game, but it’s probably more important for Michigan than the Fighting Irish. Michigan, after getting destroyed by Alabama in Week I, needs a quality win to prove it is for real. But the Wolverines need more than jut Denard Robinson to produce. Robinson has run for 351 yards. The next leading rusher is Fitzgerald Toussiant with just 92 yards. As for the Irish, it’s all about the defense. Brian Kelly’s crew has given up just 30 points in three games. But they’ll be without starting safety Jamoris Slaughter, who tore his ACL in last week’s win over Michigan State. Offensively, Everett Golson has held on to the starting job with 611 yards passing, three TDs. Outside of a 50-point explosion against Navy in their opener, the Fighting Irish haven’t been to flashy on offense. But their defense should be enough. The Pick: Notre Dame 26, Michigan 17.
No. 22 Arizona @ No. 3 Oregon, 10:30 p.m.: Arizona QB Matt Scott (995 yds, 7 TDs, 1 INT) has been lights out this season. Two of Arizona’s three wins were against Toledo and South Carolina State, while the third was against Oklahoma State, so Oregon will be a real test. Speaking of the Ducks, as usual, they are scoring at a break-neck pace. Oregon is averaging 54 points per game. It’s worth noting that the wins were against Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Marcus Mariota (674 yds, 8 TDs, 1 INT) hasn’t been too shabby under center himself for Oregon. He’ll be too much for Arizona to handle. The Pick: Oregon 47, Arizona 27.