Georgia Bulldogs @ LSU Tigers, 2:30, CBS
The last time LSU played Georgia was back in 2013. Todd Gurley was the Bulldogs’ star running back and Les Miles was still eating grass as the head coach of LSU. These matchups are few and far between since LSU (SEC West) and Georgia (SEC East) are in different divisions.
LSU is coming off of a painful, close loss to Florida last week. There’s no time to let that loss linger as they prepare for the undefeated, No. 2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs’ visit to Death Valley. Georgia’s last two games were home game cakewalks against Vanderbilt and Tennessee. This is a tough test for Kirby Smart’s team before a bye week next week and then a pivotal match against rivals Florida the 27th.
Michigan State @ Penn State, 2:30, BTN
While Penn State was on bye last week, likely still reeling from a tough, painful loss at home to Ohio State — Michigan State pulled a stunner by losing to Northwestern in East Lansing 29-19. In order to keep pace with Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten East, this game is critical for coaches James Franklin and Mark Dantonio and their star quarterbacks Trace McSorley and Brian Lewerke.
Sparty’s won four of the last five against Penn State, further adding to the pressure the Nittany Lions must feel heading into this make-or-break rivalry game.
Washington Huskies @ Oregon Ducks, 2:30, ABC or ESPN2
Between the Illini/Purdue game, the Georgia/LSU game and the Michigan State/Penn State game, there’s already a lot going during this 2:30 slot. Washington at Oregon is a standout game because A. It’s a pacific northwest rivalry game that’s been played since the early 1900’s — who doesn’t love history?, and B. It features two of the best quarterbacks in college football, one of which could go top-3 in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. Justin Herbert of Oregon is the top NFL quarterback prospect in the country. The Huskies have won the last two of these contests by a combined 84 points. Before that, the Ducks won 12 in a row against Washington from 2004-2015.
Wisconsin Badgers @ Michigan Wolverines, 6:30, ABC
ESPN’s College Gameday is headed to Ann Arbor for this Big Ten clash against the best in the Big Ten West vs arguably the best in the Big Ten East. Ever since Michigan’s loss to Notre Dame on opening weekend, the Wolverines haven’t lost as they continue to improve on the offensive side of the ball. Michigan often starts slow (see Notre Dame game, Northwestern games) before making adjustments at halftime and finding their rhythm.
One of the stunners of the season was Wisconsin’s home loss to BYU last month. Since then, Wisconsin’s beaten Iowa and Nebraska and have expectations of returning to the Big Ten Conference Championship Game. Wisconsin beat Michigan last season 24-10 in Madison behind Jonathan Taylor’s 132 rush yards on 19 attempts. The key matchup here is Wisconsin’s rushing offense against Michigan’s loaded defense. The Wolverines have the sixth best rushing defense in the country.
Colorado Buffaloes @ USC Trojans, 9:30, FS1
As far as Pac12AfterDark contests go, this one should be an offensive showcase under the bright LA Coliseum lights. USC is coming off of a bye week. Colorado is one of the nation’s unbeaten teams and are 2-0 in Pacific-12 Conference play.
USC hasn’t played all that well. They sit at 3-2 with wins over UNLV, Washington State and Arizona. They looked awful on the road at Texas. Their inconsistency has a lot to do with the fact the Trojans are starting a true freshman at quarterback, J.T. Daniels. Daniels is improving by the game and he oozes with potential — he has a huge arm and can throw it a mile, but he struggles with decision making thus far in his early collegiate career.
Here’s an interesting note: Colorado has never beaten the USC Trojans. The Buffs are 0-12 against USC all-time. In 2015 and 2016, Colorado lost to USC by three and four points — and lost last year’s contest 38-24 to Sam Darnold and company. Despite the fact Colorado will be ranked and USC unranked heading into this game, the Trojans are a -7 point favorite.
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