Michigan vs. Connecticut (3:30 ET)
John Taylor is covering the SEC and Big Ten today, while I take care of the ACC andBig East (Ben Kercheval has the Pac-10 and Big 12).
Not much can be said for this game; there are similar storylines in nearly every game thatConnecticut plays. They can run the football, they have a suffocating defense and will play youto the last minute. As pitiful as Michigan has been recently, it is not easy to walk into the BigHouse and beat the Wolverines what with the noise and allure emanating from the grass.
Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez should take care of the Huskies this afternoon, but if hedoes not, then it is almost certain he will be let go.
No. 21 LSU vs. No. 18 North Carolina (8:00 ET)
North Carolina had been awaiting its fate with all the NCAA investigations swirling around theprogram, be it academic or eligibility.
When the NCAA had it’s say, twelve Tar Heels were told they could not make the trip to Atlantato play against Louisiana State. Then an additional defensive starter was informed that he wasineligible, leaving just four starters from last year’s top ten defense still standing.
To top it off, defensive lineman Marvin Austin was subpoenaed, leaving him in a worldof trouble and the rest of the team with a large distraction heading into tonight’s matchup.
Quarterback TJ Yates will not have his top play-makers in tailback/receiver hybridGreg Little, tailback Shaun Draughn nor tailback Ryan Houston.
The Tar Heel offense will most likely appear anemic today. As for the defense…it’s hard toimagine seven backups holding off the Tigers’ offense.
LSU will need to take advantage of the Tar Heels’ losses. Last season, they were eighth in theSEC in interceptions and sixth in total yards per game. If the Tigers have any hope of gettingback to where they were during the earlier portion of this decade, they will need to stop givingup big defensive plays.
The Tiger offense will be led today by junior quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Head coachLes Miles spoke on Jefferson earlier this year: “Jordan Jefferson is a much better quarterback than hewas a year ago, and if Jarrett was competing with just the guy that started with the Tigers a yearago it would be different, but Jordan is better.”
Tiger senior wide receiver Terrence Toliver will finally have his shot at being the go-to-guy for LSU. He has seen some success, but was behind former Tigers Brandon LaFell, Demetrius Byrd and Early Doucet.
Look for LSU to have zero sympathy on the Tar Heels, and a big-time win during primetime.
No. 3 Boise State vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech (Monday 8:00 ET)
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that this is the game of the week. Everyone who loves a BCS-buster will be rooting for Boise State to beat Virginia Tech and stay undefeated all the way to theNational Championship.
If you are a Hokie fan, then we know how you feel.
The Broncos return 21 of 22 starters from a team that went 14-0 last year with a Fiesta Bowl winover TCU. Their offense is led by junior quarterback Kellen Moore, who has built areputation as a mature, young leader who limits his mistakes.
Could it be possible that Virginia Tech has more to look forward to on offense? QuarterbackTyrod Taylor was considered a let-down with his performance two years ago, oftenbeing pulled from the field for backup Sean Glennon. Last year, Taylor only scored 18total touchdowns.
The Hokies have a powerful running game with two record-setting running backs in DarrenEvans and Ryan Williams.
Taylor had a masterful summer, and performed wondrously in the Hokies’last scrimmage. If Taylor’s improvement and summer success are any sign of this year’sproduction, then Boise State’s dreams might be over come Monday night.