Here are our staff picks for this week’s top college football games.
The games are listed in standard Vegas rotational order.
Houston is 6-0 in road openers, covering five of them. Quarterback D’Eriq King can set an obscure record. He’s tied with Tim Tebow at 14 consecutive games with both a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown. Remarkable.
Tenth-ranked Utah is in the top 10 for the first time since 2015 behind a defense that has allowed 29 points in three games. It shut out FCS Idaho State last week, and also held BYU to 12 points in the opener at BYU.
“It is one of the top if not the top [defensive fronts] in the country," said Idaho State coach Rob Phenicie. “They have some big dudes.”
USC is coming off a 30-27 loss to BYU.
This is the largest the Owls have been favored on the road since 2016, when they whacked Tulane, 31-0. That’s ancient history, of course. Buffalo is coming off a disappointing loss at Liberty, and the Bulls have not covered yet this year. Buffalo beat Temple last year at the Linc.
» COLLEGE SPORTS: More Temple coverage
Here’s where Michigan usually comes up small. The Wolves have dropped eight of nine road games against ranked teams since 2014, and are just 1-5 under Jim Harbaugh. Michigan hasn’t won at Camp Randall since 2001 when most of the current players were still in their diapers. The over/under opened at 51.5. It was 43 mid-week.
Brigham Young has played a rugged schedule (Utah, at Tennessee, at USC) and gets a U-Dub team playing its first road game of the season. Washington, which rolled BYU by 35-7 last year, has played nine true freshmen on defense.
Junior quarterback Kyle Trask, who led Florida to a comeback at Kentucky last week, will make his first start since his freshman year in high school. The starter on his high school team was Houston’s D’Eriq King, who is mentioned above. Florida has won 13 of the last 14 meetings, including seven in a row at the Swamp. Their Gators’ last win here was a doozy.
This will be the first true road game for Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was the QB coach at Auburn in the mid-90s when Patrick Nix, Bo’s father, was the Tigers’ quarterback.
“I think it’s shocking for a lot of quarterbacks, obviously for a freshman who is probably playing on the road for the first time at a place like this with the 12th Man and Kyle Field,” Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond said. “So, it’s definitely going to be something he’s never seen before.”
Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard won’t win the Heisman, but he’s run for more than 200 yards in two of the Cowboys’ first three games and gets a chance on the national stage. For the record, FanDuel has Hubbard at 150-1 entering the week.
Stanford has given up 45 points in each of its last two games and a total of 724 yards passing. Now the Cardinal get Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who might be the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick next year. They oughta change the school’s name to Stanfor.
This is Georgia’s first home game against a non-conference opponent ranked in the top 10 in 28 years (Clemson). It’s also the first visit by a school located north of the Mason-Dixon line in 14 years (Boise State).
“I know a lot of Georgia fans have had this one marked on the schedule for a long time," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "So have a lot of Notre Dame fans.”
Georgia (3-0) is ranked third. The Irish (2-0) are seventh.