Let’s be honest, this past weekends games in College Football were meh. The early games were nothing but blow outs and the Miami-Texas A&M game was a defensive slug fest. Fortunately, there are some intriguing matchups this weekend and a couple of coaching seats are getting hot. We’ve already seen Scott Frost and Herm Edwards fired so far this year, and Bryan Harsin’s seat is warming up after getting blown out by Penn State at home. Georgia Tech’s coach Geoff Collins is another one whose seat is heating up. With each week that passes the stakes in college football get higher. Here are the key games for the week ahead.
#5 Clemson (-7) vs #21 Wake Forest:
This will be the first test of the season for both teams. Clemson has Wake Forest this week and NC State next week. The Tigers’ offense hasn’t clicked on all cylinders so far this season. Now is the time for Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. With Cade Klubnik looking over his shoulders, DJ will need to step up to get the Tigers through this two week stretch. Wake Forest barely beat Liberty at home last week. Sam Hartman has thrown for 300 yards in his two games back, but this Clemson defense will be a different beast. I believe the Tigers will handle business before a big showdown against NC State next week.
#20 Florida vs #11 Tennessee (-10.5):
Since his incredible week-one performance, when people were mentioning him as a possible Heisman candidate, Gators’ quarterback Anthony Richardson has struggled. Through three games Florida is only averaging 141 passing yards per contest and barely beat South Florida last week. Now the Gators will head to Neyland Stadium in front of 100,000 Tennessee fans. Hendon Hooker has been solid so far this season, throwing for 844 yards and six touchdowns in the Vols’ first three games. This is a classic SEC East rivalry and the Vols are 10.5-point favorites. If Florida can’t get their offense going, I expect Tennessee to win and cover the spread.
#10 Arkansas vs #23 Texas A&M (-1.5):
After squeaking past former Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino and Missouri State, Arkansas goes on the road to Arlington to take on a Texas A&M team fresh off a big win over Miami this past weekend. Even with quarterback Max Johnson the Aggie offense struggled, but the defense was stingy when the Hurricanes were in the red zone. Arkansas has a balanced attack through the air and the ground – averaging nearly 38 points a game. A&M will need its offense to up the production if they are going to walk out with a win here.
Sleeper game: Notre Dame vs North Carolina (-1.5)
This will be a matchup of a struggling Notre Dame offense versus a struggling UNC defense. Marcus Freeman secured his first win as the Irish head coach last week and now will have a chance to get his first road win in Chapel Hill. Drake Maye has been outstanding for UNC – averaging over 300 yards per game passing and throwing for 11 touchdowns. Notre Dame did a pretty good job against CJ Stroud when they played Ohio State, so it will be interesting to see how Maye will fare against this defense.