This Weekend in Sports: Football, Football, Football
Several ranked teams do battle against one another on the college football gridiron this Saturday, and the NFL has a few intriguing matchups on Sunday. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, September 27
Utah State at San Jose State
Spartan Stadium, San Jose, Calif.; 9 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Utah State (2-2) faces San Jose State (1-2) in a battle of Big West teams. The Aggies have lost two close games to Pac-12 opponents under the direction of quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Quarterback David Fales steers the Spartan offense.
Saturday, September 28
(6) LSU at (9) Georgia
Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Sixth-ranked LSU (4-0) visits ninth-ranked Georgia (2-1) in a key Southeastern Conference clash. Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger doesn’t figure to get a warm welcome from the Bulldogs after he left Georgia for the Bayou Bengals. His QB counterpart Aaron Murray will look to get through yet another challenging opponent in the Bulldogs’ brutal early season schedule.
(14) Oklahoma at (22) Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The 14th-ranked Sooners (3-0) travel to South Bend to take on the 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish. Notre Dame (3-1) was able to beat Oklahoma in 2012 on the way to the BCS title game, but Sooners’ coach Bob Stoops offense should be more productive in this year’s game.
(21) Ole Miss at (1) Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; 6:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Top-ranked Alabama (3-0) hosts the upstart Rebels (3-0), whose talent level has been rapidly rising on the field and on the recruiting trail. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron will have to contend with an Ole Miss defense led by defensive end C.J. Johnson.
(23) Wisconsin at (4) Ohio State
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio; 8 p.m. (ET) on ABC
Fourth-ranked Ohio State (4-0) doesn’t figure to handle 23rd-ranked Wisconsin (3-1) as easily as it steamrolled Florida A&M last week (76-0), but the Buckeyes are favored to win this early-season Big 10 conference showdown. Quarterback Braxton Miller is expected to return from a knee injury to lead the Ohio State offense, while Melvin Gordon spearheads the Wisconsin attack.
Sunday, September 29
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium, Houston; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
The undefeated Seahawks (3-0) play in Houston, where the Texans (2-1) hope to recover from last weekend’s disappointing loss to the Ravens. Houston’s J.J. Watt and Seattle’s Richard Sherman are two of the best defensive players in the NFL. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Texans RB Arian Foster aren’t too shabby either.
Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del. 2 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Matt Kenseth captured the first two races of NASCAR’s 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, and he has a 14-point lead on second-place Kyle Busch. Other drivers, including Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, will look to derail Kenseth’s momentum at Dover, Del. this Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Thanks to three dominating early-season wins, the Denver Broncos (3-0) are already Super Bowl contenders by many. While that speculation may be premature, proclaiming quarterback Peyton Manning’s talent isn’t. Manning has already thrown for 12 touchdown passes, a figure that is expected to rise against the suspect pass defense of Philadelphia (0-3). Eagles head coach Chip Kelly isn’t known for using a ball-control offense, so this contest could turn into a total shootout.
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome, Atlanta; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Despite their undefeated record, the New England Patriots (3-0) have not played dominant football against their less-than-stellar opposition in 2013. Atlanta (1-2) has had a shaky start considering the Falcons were mentioned as a Super Bowl contender in the pre-season. The teams will do battle on Sunday night with Tom Brady leading the Pats and Matt Ryan guiding the Falcons.