Saturday, September 20, 2014

GAME DAY IOWA; the Hawkeyes hit the road for a game in ACC Country vs. the Pittsburgh Panthers @ Heinz Field

The Hawekeyes and Panthers square off in this Big Ten-
ACC showdown on ESPNU in Week 4 of '14.

Pittsburgh, PA -- The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1) face a huge hurdle in their first road game of the 2014 season at the Pittsburgh Panthers (3-0, 1-0 ACC Coastal division) with an 11 a.m. game on ESPNU from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Hawkeyes look to rebound, after a disappointing home lost in their Cy-Hawk Game with Iowa State in a 20-17 defeat at historic Kinnick Stadium.

The Pitt-Iowa game could develop into a game of strengths, with the undefeated Panthers averaging Go Panthers!344.3 yards a game rushing the football on offense, while the Hawkeyes have allowed only 65.7 yards rushing, while on defense in the early 2014 season.

"It is going to come down to who wants it more and that will determine who is going to win that battle," said Iowa senior defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat. "We have an opportunity to make some plays and we accept the challenge."

Pittsburgh's rushing attack (344.3) is fourth in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Sophomore running back James Conner has carried the ball 81 times for 544 yards (6.7 yards per attempt) with eight touchdowns. Only Aaron Jones on UTEP has more yards on the ground this season.

"It will be a big test for us and we look forward to it up front," said Iowa senior defensive tackle Carl Davis. "It is going to be a new stage compared to the teams we have been playing, but we look forward to the challenge and how we match up."

Iowa is sixth (65.7) in NCAA FBS against the rush and has 19 tackles for loss. Trinca-Pasat leads the way with four tackles for loss, followed by junior defensive end Drew Ott (3.5) and senior linebacker Quinton Alston (three).

"It is going to come down to who wants it more and that will determine who is going to win that battle. We have an opportunity to make some plays and we accept the challenge."
Louis Trinca-Pasat
Iowa defensive tackle

"I love physical football so this is a great test for us," Alston said. "It is a test that we need especially since we are about to go into Big Ten play. I feel good; it's going to be a race to the ball and I want to be the first to the ball and try to get some TFLs (tackles for loss) out of it."

Iowa and Pitt have played twice since 2008, with each team winning a tight game on its home field. In 2008, the Panthers held on for a 21-20 victory despite 147 rushing yards from Hawkeye Shonn Greene. In 2011, Iowa overcame a 24-3 third-quarter deficit by scoring the final three touchdowns -- two to wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley -- to post a 31-27 win.

"It was a great atmosphere and it was a big win for that team at that point," Martin-Manley said of the 2011 matchup. "Being a young guy, you're confident, but at the same time when you don't see the plays happen you kind of get down. When you do see those plays, you're like `alright I can do it' because you have done it before."

The Panthers have a new head coach, since the two games earlier in the four game series Iowa-Pitt are playing. Former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is in his third season at the helm at Pitt.

Chryst said the following of Iowa's head coach ahead of today's game: “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kirk Ferentz, and it’s going to be a well-coached team. He believes in physical offense, physical defense. It’s always going to be a challenge. I’m excited for our guys to play. It’s going to be a good atmosphere. It’ll be a good physical game, and we’ve got to rise up and meet that challenge. It’s a great opportunity for us. The amount of success that he’s had for a long time—there’s a lot of programs across the country trying to do that.”

Iowa head coach Ferentz said statistics after three weeks -- like rankings -- tell something, but not everything. He was referring to the Panthers running for 1,033 yards and passing for 304. They can do both well, Ferentz warns.

"Pitt isn't throwing the ball much right now because they haven't had to." Ferentz said. "They can throw the ball." Sophomore Tyler Boyd is the #1 wide receiver and top return specialist in the Panthers attack.

The Hawkeyes have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Ball State ran the ball 39 times for a total of 90 yards -- 81 coming from running back Jahwan Edwards. Northern Iowa rushed 25 times for 25 yards and Iowa State attempted 26 runs for 82 yards.

"It's going to be a real challenge (slowing Conner)," Ferentz said. "He's strong and fast. He has the ability to see and pick holes. They're big and athletic up front. It's a tough group to prepare for."

"The statistics reflect what they are," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz on Tuesday at his weekly news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. "They're a very good football team, and we have a big challenge ahead of us."

Pitt's James Conner leads the nation
 in rushing TDs (eight) and is second
in rush yards (544).

The Panthers' offense has been potent early, ranking 15th nationally at 44.7 points per game in victories over Delaware, at Boston College, and at Florida International. Pittsburgh ranks fourth nationally at running the football, with 181.3 coming from Conner, while sophomore quarterback Chad Voytik is second in rushing for the Panthers.

"Pitt is not throwing for much right now because they haven't had to," said Ferentz. "They've demonstrated they can run it, and they've run it against everybody. When you look at the film, they're impressive up front and the running back is a good player."

Ferentz sees a lot of Wisconsin in the Panthers and for good reason. Chryst was a member of Bret Bielema's staff in Madison in 2002 and served as the Badgers' offensive coordinator from 2005-11.

Ferentz said the Iowa offense has shown glimpses this season with long and productive drives, but the trouble has been consistency. He is steadfast in the identity he seeks offensively.

"One thing I am firm on, we have to have the ability to be balanced, and we would hopefully play in a physical nature," he said. "We're not going to be a finesse offensive football team. We have to have the ability to run or pass."

Iowa's rushing attack should be back at full strength at Pittsburgh after gaining 129 yards on 44 attempts against Iowa State. Ferentz expects junior Jordan Canzeri to play against Pittsburgh after getting dinged up on a kick return against the Cyclones. Canzeri has been dinged in fall camp and during the last couple of games for Iowa.

Iowa is also trying to find the right mix and rhythm to get sophomore LeShun Daniels, Jr., back in the mix. Daniels, Jr., didn't have an attempt against Iowa State on Sept. 13. He scored the first touchdown of the season for Iowa during the early part of the UNI game.

"We're not ruling anything out (with LeShun)," said Ferentz. "We haven't found the right rhythm or tempo. We'll keep working at it." Iowa senior running backs Mark Wesiman and Damon Bullock saw most game action vs. Iowa State. Freshman Jonathan Parker is another running back, who has seen game action during the 2014 season.

Ferentz confirmed sophomore Anthony Gair will make his first start at free safety at Pittsburgh, filling in for junior Jordan Lomax, who will miss the first half after being ejected for targeting against Iowa State -- a rule Ferentz says is hard to officiate.

"There are going to be a lot of mixed opinions," said Ferentz. "My feeling when it all started was when everybody in the stadium says, `Whoa,' that's when a guy should get tossed out. I thought Jordan was trying to avoid targeting. That was my view of it, but it's easier said than done."
Ferentz is stressing the importance of moving on from a last-second loss to Iowa State.

"We all have to move on," he said. "Whether we win or lose, that's how it goes. We can worry about it out-of-season. We need to worry about what we're doing and matching up against our opponent.
"People that can't do that aren't going to do very well over the long haul. That's how it is, and it's easier said than done."

ESPNU will have Adam Amin and John Congemi, a former Pitt QB from 1982-86, in the booth, with Niki Noto on the sidelines. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:01 a.m. Central Time.

The Hawkeyes have never won at Pitt over years. Pitt leads the series 3-2, with the average score Pitt 22-20, so another tight, close ball game could be on store in 2014?

This is the third game ever between the teams at Pitt. It is hard to rally and call it "three's a charm" for Iowa, with the last game at Heinz Field in 2008.

The Panthers are eyeing a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2000 season. The Panthers were 7-6, 3-5 for sixth in the ACC Coastal division in '13.

Iowa coach Ferentz is a graduate of nearby Upper St. Clair High School and served as a graduate assistant on Jackie Sherrill's 1980 Pitt coaching staff. He left Pitt for Iowa, becoming former Iowa head coach J. Hayden Fry's offensive line coach in 1981. The Hawkeyes ended a 19 season non-winning streak in Ferentz's first year, winning the Big Ten and representing the Big Ten in Fry's first Rose Bowl trip.

Iowa needs the offensive line to elevate their game in 2014 at Pitt, if Iowa is going to pull off a road win. The Hawkeyes front 7 and secondary will be tested, as well by Pitt.

“You’ve got good players and a good scheme, that’s always a key part of it. You’ve got to work to get yards on them. It’s a sound defense, and they’ve got good players. Whatever you get, you’ll earn. It’s fun to play them that way because nothing will be given,” said Pitt coach Chryst in talking about the Iowa defense.

Keys to the Game:

  • Turnovers and miscues
  • Establishing control of the line of scrimmage
  • Explosive plays
  • Special teams
While there isn't a lot of series history between Iowa and Pitt, both teams often see each other on the recruiting trail. Pitt true frosh WR Adonis Jennings' recruitment came down to Iowa and Pitt, for example.

Pitt is favored to win today's game. 

Iowa needs a spark, whether it is via turnover, the offense, defense and/or special teams delivering an explosive play. Iowa needs to establish something for more than two drives. It has been a struggle for Iowa week to week in '14. A coming out party at Pitt is a tall order. 

Phil Steele heading into 2014 called Pittsburgh a big question-mark, with the need to replace DT Aaron Donald, who was the most dominate Panther last year. The Panthers beat Bowling Green 30-27 in the Little Caesars Bowl in '13.

If Iowa is going to give Pitt a game today, the Hawkeyes will have to establish the line of scrimmage. Other than against the run this season, Iowa has not accomplished that ability very well in '14.

The 2008 and 2011 games are over. The only constant has been Iowa's head coach Kirk Ferentz. It is a homecoming for Iowa's ole ball coach. Can he lead his team to his first victory at Pitt?

We shall see. Last week, we called for a 25-15 win. Heck, maybe we were a week early? We shall see indeed.

In 1999, Iowa fans watched Ron Dayne roll over Iowa. It was an ugly game for the Hawkeyes. It is more likely a game that will be close today. Iowa will need turnovers and a spark going into Heinz Field.

Will the grass be greener for the Home Team or Visitors from the Big Ten?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

GameDay Saturday Week 3: Cy-Hawk Game from Kinnick Stadium

Iowa City, Iowa - The real season begins in Week 3, with the first trophy game of the 2014 season for the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0), with the in-state rival Iowa State Cyclones (0-2), with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN from historic Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes have been solid in two fourth quarter games to remain undefeated. Iowa State has lost 14 and 15 point leads in back to back weeks to remain without of win in '14.

Throw out the stats, records and hype, it is a rivalry in the Hawkeye State as the Cy-Hawk Trophy is up for grabs between Iowa and Iowa State.

In 2012, the Cy-Hawk Game was a battle for field goals, with Iowa State knocking off Iowa 9-6, after the Hawkeyes-Cylcones battled to a 44-41 game in a three overtime clash the year before in Ames. The Hawkeyes struggled all season, finished 4-8 in '12, while the Cyclones went on to finish 6-7, with a 31-17 loss to Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl. The '12 win by Iowa State ended a three game home win streak by Iowa in the series at Kinnick.

Iowa rebounded in 2013, with a 27-21 win in Ames, flipping the 4-8 regular season in '12 into a 8-4 regular season in '13. The Hawkeyes celebrate the 125th anniversary of Iowa Football in 2014. It is also the 75th anniversary of the Iowa Ironmen season, the season Nile Kinnick won his Heisman Trophy.

Iowa State was 3-9 in '13 and this off season has brought in a new offensive coordinator, along with a good number of new assistants. Mark Mangino, the former Kansas head coach, is now head coach Paul Rhoads' new offensive coordinator, as the Rhoads era enters Week 3 of  Year 6, with a 27-38 record. Iowa State's new staff is looking for a rebound in Ames, like Iowa in '13.

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (110-79) in his 16th season in Iowa City, as head coach, hired a new offensive coordinator in 2012, when he asked long-time Texas OC Greg Davis to join his staff. Ferentz has revamped his staff over the past three seasons and elevated Phil Parker from secondary coach to defensive coordinator, as well.

It has taken Iowa time to transition from the first 13 years of the Kirk Ferentz era to today's version in '14, offensively, defensively and on special teams. This should be an interesting Cy-Hawk Game, with the newer coordinators going head to head.

What is this Rivalry about, since renewing in 1977?

Iowa senior linebacker middle linebacker Quinton Alston says there aren't any funny stories surrounding the Iowa-Iowa State matchup because plain and simple, it's "Beat State" week inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex.

"It doesn't take long to get used to the rivalry and not like them," said Alston, who will be playing in his fourth installment of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series today inside Kinnick Stadium. "There are no secrets here."
Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series
Alston says there isn't a game on the Iowa schedule that compares to this rivalry. From the pregame hype to the fan interaction to the music being blasted throughout the football complex.

"In the complex, they start playing the (Iowa State) fight song to make you more angry," he said. "They play it in the locker room, weight room... everywhere. You get tired of seeing Iowa State really quickly around here, and when you get to the game Saturday everything is let loose."

Iowa leads the all-time series over the Cyclones, 40-21, which includes a 23-13 advantage in games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won 4-of-6, 5-of-8, and 7-of-11 meetings in the series. Iowa has held Iowa State to single digits in several of the recent games in the series.

Iowa usually beats Iowa State teams that don't bowl.

Senior wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley didn't understand the rivalry when he arrived at Iowa from Michigan in 2010. Now he knows the game is personal.

"Those guys want their bragging rights; we want our bragging rights," Martin-Manley said. "We have to go out and make plays, play hard, and come out with a win."

Martin-Manley is Iowa's leading receiver and could finish his senior season as an all-time leader.

"(When I got here) I was told it is going to be a hard fought game. When I was younger, I didn't understand it, but now I do. You can tell it is amplified when you get on the field. It's a hard fought battle, just like it's going to be this weekend."

The last three games in the series have been decided by six points or less.

"This rivalry has been good every year I have been here," said junior quarterback Jake Rudock.

Last year, Rudock was in his first season of leading the Iowa offense. He is playing very effective in fourth quarters, thus far in '14.

"They're going to be ready to go, we'll be ready to go, and it's going to be loud. The fans get into it."
Rudock believes the passion shown for the rivalry is a testament to both team's fan bases.
"It means we have great fans in Iowa across the state, whether it's for Iowa or Iowa State," he said. "The fans here are passionate about football and love these two teams."

Even though it's a "different" game week, Alston says when the teams ultimately take the field it will be business as usual.

"It's a big game in the state, but we're going to go out there and prepare," he said. "We're not going to be blinded by who we're playing this week. We're going to go out there and play them like any other team."

Defense was the difference in the 2012 game for Iowa State and Iowa Hawkeyes hope it is for the Hawkeyes in 2014.

Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker knew going into the 2014 season that the Hawkeye defense would need to improve from game to game, with three new starting linebackers and half the secondary new. As the Hawkeyes prepare for Iowa State and the third game of the season, Parker feels his defense is moving in the right direction.

"From game one to game two, I feel we showed a lot of improvement," said Parker. "Our communication has improved on the back end, on the second level; the guys are getting more comfortable. We have a lot of first time guys out there playing. Our biggest goal from game one was to cut down on the big plays, and we went from eight to two. But, we need to cut that down even more. The biggest thing is being consistent and improving in all areas, from the defensive line, to the linebackers to the secondary."

The Hawkeyes wins came over Northern Iowa (31-23) and Ball State. After allowing a number of big plays and 23 points in the opening win, the defense was a bright spot in the win over Ball State. The Cardinal offense scored just two field goals in Iowa's 17-13 win and totaled just 219 yards total offense. And, the Cardinals had just two offensive plays of over 20 yards.

"I think its both preparation and experience," said Parker. "They are on the field working together as a group in a game for the first time. The film study and prep during the week has picked up, but that's all about football. If you are well prepared and know what to expect, you see things faster and the game slows down a little for you the more you prepare."

While senior strong safety John Lowdermilk started every game a year ago, Desmond King played as a true freshman a year ago, starting 12 games at cornerback. Sophomore cornerback Greg Mabin is new to the line-up this season and junior Jordan Lomax made the more from cornerback to safety.

"Like Desmond last year, the first couple of games he started, it was new to him," said Parker. "He picked up on it quickly and moved on. I think that is what everyone else is doing. Greg had done a good job in two games. Jordan is playing well in a new position. I think its all carry over, it's like building files in your computer, having the memory and recall when you see the different things. We need everybody to improve their level of play, their intensity and effort as we move forward. We have to continue to do that, and hopefully finish our preparation in the next 48 hours."

Saturday's game will kick off at 2:35 p.m. on ESPN with Sean McDonough calling the play by play, former Ohio State linebacker Chris Speilman adding color, and Todd McShay on the sidelines. The game is a sold out, which will be the third game this season for the Cyclones to be a capacity crowd.

Iowa State lost the season opener to North Dakota State in Ames 34-14, then lost 32-28 in the Big Twelve opener at home to Kansas State.

Keys to the Cy-Hawk Game today at Kinnick Stadium:

  1. Control the line scrimmage
  2. Play of the linebackers
  3. Coaching adjustments
  4. Turnovers and miscues
  5. Explosive plays, 12+ runs, 16+ receptions
  6. Special teams
This game could be highly competitive or a blow out. We shall see. 

Our Prediction: Iowa 25, Iowa State 15, as Iowa's defense steps up in the red zone in Week 3 in the Cy-Hawk Game.

Cy-Hawk Game in Week 3 Saturday, as ESPN Game Day airs in North Dakota

Last night, Friday night in College Football:

The University of Toledo was at the University of Cincinnati on ESPNU as the Bearcats opened the 2014 season after back to back bye weeks! QB Gunner Kiel had the Bearcats moving!

Baylor was at Buffalo on ESPN, which highlights Baylor's non-conference schedule, unlike the Big 12 brothers facing marquee Big 5 conference foes in Week 3.

Saturday, September 13th kicks off Week 3 of the 2014 College Football season. Who leads in the hunt for the College Football Playoff?

1. Florida State, defending BCS champion remains undefeated heading into Week 3 and a bye week!

2. Oregon, coming off a Week 2 win over Michigan State in Eugene!

3. Oklahoma and 4. Alabama haven't played anyone impressive, but they appear strong candidates for the CFP in '14.

Saturday's games ...

Boise State at UConn,11:00 a.m. on ABC / ESPN2 - the Broncos were supposed to play the Huskies as part of the Big East, as conference members, but thankfully the Big East dropped Football to return to its roots as a Basketball conference!

East Carolina at Virginia Tech,11:00 a.m. on ESPN - Could this be a trap game for the Hokies coming off big road win in Columbus last Saturday? Pirates seek to steal one ...

Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech, 11:00 a.m. on FSN Affiliates / (ESPN-GP / espn3) / FOX Sports GO / RSN - Battle for Georgia, not quite!

Indiana at Bowling Green, 11:00 a.m. on ESPNU - IU hits road coming off bye week, as BGU plays back to back B1G opponents, as MAC looks for Win #3.

Kent State at Ohio State, 11:00 a.m. on ABC / ESPN2 - Urban Meyer has lost one in Columbus in three years, so don't look for back to back loses, which isn't good for Golden Flashes ...

Ohio U at Marshall, 11:00 a.m. on CBSSN - The Rockets carry the MAC banner into C-USA territory in Week 3!

Pittsburgh at Florida International, 11:00 a.m. on FS1 - The Panthers hit the road to Florida, after road win in ACC opener @ BC.

Syracuse at Central Michigan, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN News - Can the MAC knock out another Big 5 Conference opponent?

UCF at Missouri, 11:00 a.m. on SECN - The Knights opened '14 in Dublin with a loss on the final play to PSU, so can they rebound coming off bye week in another road trip to Columbia?

UMass at Vanderbilt, 11:00 a.m. on FSN Affiliates - Vandy should roll!

West Virginia at Maryland, 11:00 a.m. on BTN - Last year was one sided 37-0 affair, so with everyone kicking the B1G right now; Terps beware!

Louisville at Virginia,11:30 a.m. on ACC Network - Bobby Petrino looks to get Cardinals to a 2-0 start in new ACC.

Wyoming at Oregon, 1:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - The Cowboys have back to back road trips at Oregon and Michigan State.

Alabama A&M at UAB, 2:30 p.m. on CSBA / ASN - FCS vs. FBS game in Birmingham!

Arkansas at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m. on ABC - Bret Bielema heads to old SEC foe in Lubbock for an out of conference showdown ...

Arkansas State at Miami - FL, 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU - The Hurricanes warm up on Sun Belt before road trip to Lincoln next Saturday.

Georgia at South Carolina, 2:30 p.m.CBS - The Gamecokes lost the season/SEC opener to A&M, so an 0-2 start wouldn't be good for the ole Ball Coach's early season. UGA is highly respected with a strong running game!

ESPN Game Day is in Fargo for this game:
Incarnate Word at North Dakota State, 2:30 p.m. ESPN-GP / espn3 / NBC ND (cable) - the Bison opened '14 season with a 34-14 roll on the Cyclones. The three-year FCS champs surely take care of business today!

Iowa State at Iowa, 2:30 p.m. on ESPN - The Cy-Hawk series was renewed in 1977, when Iowa beat State 12-10. This is 125th anniversary of Iowa Football, 75th anniversary of the Ironmen, so Hawkeyes look to remain undefeated in '14.
Prediction: Iowa 25, Iowa State 15

Kansas at Duke, 2:30 p.m. on FSN Affiliates / FOX Sports GO / RSN - The Jayhawks vs. Blue Devils are both known for hardwood, not gridiron, though Duke has won lately.

Miami of Ohio at Michigan, 2:30 p.m., BTN - The cradle of coaches has lost 18 straight FBS schools, while Ann Arbor has become soft in the trenches.

North Carolina State at South Florida, 2:30 p.m. on CBSSN - The Bulls are showing a pulse, after 2-10 last year.

Illinois at Washington, 3:00 p.m. on FOX - The Huskies are better than Fighting Irish.

Louisiana Lafayette at Ole Miss, 3:00 p.m. on SECN - Could this be a game that the SEC has to worry, as top Sun Belt program comes to Ole Miss?

Minnesota at TCU, 3:00 p.m. on FS1 - The Golden Gophers face a hurdle against the Horned Frogs on the road!

Mississippi State at South Alabama, 3:00 p.m. on ESPN News - The Sun Belt seeks some PR hosting SEC opponent in Week 3.

Army at Stanford, 4:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - The Cardinal have a desire to flush Pac 12 opener and get back on track ...

Southern Miss at Alabama, 5:00 p.m. on ESPN2 - This should be a easy one for young Bama team for Nick Saban's '14.

Louisiana Monroe at LSU, 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU - Tigers have won two previous outings 49-7 and 51-0.

Tulsa at Florida Atlantic, 6:00 p.m. on DTV: 608 / Dish: 450 / FCSA (cable) - Why not?

UTSA at Oklahoma State, 6:00 p.m. on FSN Affiliates / FCSC (cable) / FOX Sports GO - Cowboys should win, but underdog is a good young program in FBS now ...

Wake Forest at Utah State, 6:00 p.m. on CBSSN - Some interesting Big 5 vs. FBS road match ups this year.

Kentucky at Florida, 6:30 p.m. on SECN - Mark Stoops brings Wildcats to Gainesville in SEC East play.

Purdue at Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m. on NBC - Fighting Irish won 31-0 over Michigan and Purdue has only 1 FBS win in young Darrel Hazell era in West Lafayette. 

Navy at Texas State, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN News - Go Midshipmen!

New Mexico State at UTEP, 7:00 p.m. on NESN+ / ASN - The Miners haven't been good lately, but looking for sixth straight in this series!

Penn State at Rutgers, 7:00 p.m. on BTN - B1G opener, as Scarlett Knights join the Big Ten in '14, but Nittany Lions are the clear favorite.

Portland State at Washington State, 7:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - The Cougars should take care of business vs. FCS foe.

Tennessee at Oklahoma, 7:00 p.m. on ABC - The Volunteers hope to sneak into Norman and steal a big win, but Bob Stoops and OU rarely lose at home in non-conference.

Texas vs. UCLA (Arlington), 7:00 p.m. on FOX / FOX Deportes - The Longhorns have lot of work to overcome, while Bruins are ready to breakout.

USC at Boston College, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN - This could be a letdown road trip for the Trojans, but BC wouldn't appear strong enough for the upset?

Rice at Texas A&M, 8:00 p.m.ESPN2 - Aggies eat up Owls ...

Arizona State at Colorado, 9:00 p.m.ESPNU - Pac 12 opener, as Sun Devils should take care of business early on Pac 12 road in '14.

Nebraska at Fresno State, 9:30 p.m. on CBSSN - The seven year itch, Bo Pelini's Cornhuskers hit the road for the first time in '14. QB Tommy Armstrong needs to lead and play better in passing game.

Nevada at Arizona, 10:00 p.m., PAC-12 Network (HD) - The Wildcats wrap up OOC play in Week 3 ahead of heading to Pac 12 play for '14.

Abilene Christian at Troy, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Time for Trojans to rebound after loss hosting Duke last week.

Air Force at Georgia State, 1:00 p.m. on espn3 -

Eastern Michigan at Old Dominion, 5:00 p.m. on Cox 110 (cable) - ODU should prevail.

Indiana State at Ball State, 2:00 p.m. on espn3 - The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker at Iowa, leading 13-3 in 4th quarter.

Northern Illinois at UNLV, 6:00 p.m. on MWC Video1 / MWC Video2 - Huskies look to reach 3-0 in Vegas, after nice B1G win at Northwestern.

Northern Iowa at Hawaii, 11:00 p.m. on MWC Video / Oceanic (cable) - Hawai'i should win, but Panthers can dream.

Southeastern Louisiana at Tulane, 7:00 p.m. on espn3 - Green Wave seek to make it seven - oh against SE LA!

UC Davis at Colorado State, 2:00 p.m. on MWC Video1 / MWC Video2 - The MWC looks to avoid a FCS upset in Fort Collins.

Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee, 6:00 p.m. on MyNashville 30 / WKU PBS (cable) - both teams lost at B1G schools last week, so time to lick wounds in C-USA opener for both schools.

Western Michigan at Idaho, 4:00 p.m. on espn3 - The MAC vs. Sun Belt, as the 0-1 Broncos head to Idaho seeking first win of '14 and second win in two seasons.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Night College Football

Thursday night of Week 3 has a little Iowa flair this evening, with North Texas hosting Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. on CSBSN. LA Tech is lead at quarterback by senior Iowa transfer Cody Sokol. North Texas is coached by former Iowa alum and Hayden Fry assistant Dan McCarney. Fry coached at North Texas ahead of taking the job at Iowa for the 1979 season.

Tonight's games:

Louisiana Tech at North Texas @ 7:00 p.m. on CBSSN
Houston at BYU @ 8:00 p.m. on ESPN

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Iowa grinds out a 17-13 win over Ball State

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It wasn't pretty, but the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) grind out a Kirk Ferentz type game against a focused, but tired Ball State (1-1) team, out of the MAC, at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Iowa played for 60 minutes, especially finished strong in the fourth quarter for the second straight win of the '14 season.

Trailing 13-3 with 5:50 remaining, junior QB Jake Rudock led the Iowa team on two fourth quarter touchdown drives to send the Hawkeyes to a 17-13 come-from-behind victory over Ball State to give the Kinnick fans something to celebrate, after a unproductive three quarters, highlighted by two Iowa turnovers and three missed field goals by the Hawkeyes.

Taking over at its own 31 with 5:50 remaining, Iowa used a 10-play, 69-yard drive to stay alive. Rudock completed 5-of-7 passes for 38 yards and rushed for 26 more during the series. On third-and-6 from the Ball State 30, Rudock connected with sophomore Matt VandeBerg for eight yards for a first down.

After Rudock scrambled for 10 yards on first down, the junior tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman Derrick Willies, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 13-10 with 2:52 remaining. The touchdown catch was the first of Willies career.

Needing a three-and-out, the Hawkeye defense produced bottling up Cardinals' senior running back Jahwan Edwards for a three yards on first down before tackling him for a 3-yard loss on second down. Ball State was forced to punt after its third-down pass was incomplete, and Iowa took over at its own 44 with 2:23 left.

Rudock opened the go-ahead drive with a 16-yard completion to junior Tevaun Smith and a 9-yard pass to senior Damon Bullock, moving the ball to the Ball State 34. Rudock followed with a 6-yard pass to junior Jake Duzey, and two plays later he connected with the junior tight end for a 12-yard touchdown catch, giving Iowa its first lead 59 minutes into the contest.

Rudock shined in the clutch, finishing 9-of-11 for 81 yards and throwing two touchdowns during the final two series. He also had 33 yards rushing over the final 5:50.

"We needed to make a stop there at the end, and we didn't do it," said Ball State head coach Pete Lembo, in his fourth season. "We had a shot, and we didn't finish. We have good kids in the program and a good staff, but that doesn't take the sting away."

Iowa's defense sealed the victory when junior Drew Ott sacked Ball State sophomore quarterback Ozzie Mann on second-and-2 from the Ball State 33. Senior Carl Davis recovered, sending the Hawkeyes to their second victory.

Iowa doubled up the Cardinals in total offense, out-gaining Ball State, 455-219, in the game, and it had 27-13 advantage in first downs. The Hawkeyes had 113 yards rushing on 29 attempts, while Rudock had career-bests in completions, attempts, and yards, finishing 35-of-55 attempts for 322 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team with 36 rushing yards on seven carries.

Eleven different Iowa players had at least one reception in the game. Senior Kevonte Martin-Manley had eight catches for 70 yards, while Smith and Bullock caught six balls apiece for 59 and 32 yards, respectively.

The Hawkeye defense limited Ball State to 90 yards rushing on 36 attempts, 129 yards through the air, and the Cardinals were just 4-of-16 on third downs. Ott led the team with a career-high 13 tackles (six solo), including three tackles for loss, one sack, and a forced fumble.

Ott was clearly the MVP of today's defense. He was active all game.

"Iowa's defense was as advertised," said Lembo. "They are big, strong, physical, and you have to earn everything you get against them. This is an Iowa football game they just played. They don't panic, stick to the plan, and they aren't going to give you cheap ones. They wear you down in the second half, and that is what they did to us."

Mann completed 15-of-30 attempts for 129 yards for Ball State, while Edwards rushed 21 times for 81 yards. Junior wide receiver KeVonn Mabon had three catches for 44 yards, and  sophomore middle linebacker Zack Ryan had 10 tackles (seven solo) in the game. Ryan is the younger brother of Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan.

After trailing 7-3 at the break, the Cardinals used an 11-play, 50-yard drive to push their lead to 10-3 on the first possession of the second half. Ball State was set to punt after a three-and-out, but the drive churned on when senior Louis Trinca-Pasat was flagged for a running into the punter.

Ball State moved into Iowa territory on a pass interference penalty and a 26-yard pass to Mabon moved the Cardinals into the red zone. Iowa's defense held, getting an 11-yard sack on an intentional grounding call, before Ball State was forced to settle on senior Scott Secor's 42-yard field goal.

The Cardinals forced Iowa's second turnover on the ensuing kickoff when senior Quintin Cooper knocked the ball loose from redshirt freshman Jonathan Parker and sophomore Aaron Taylor recovered, giving Ball State possession at the Iowa 23. The Hawkeyes gave up an 11-yard Banks rush on the first play of the series before buckling down and holding Ball State to Secor's 27-yard field goal attempt.

Iowa drove 59 yards to the Ball State 11-yard line on its first series of the second half, using seven rushes by senior Mark Weisman and junior Jordan Canzeri and a pair of Rudock-to-Smith passes to the 11. Iowa came away pointless when true freshman Mick Ellis missed a 29-yard field goal wide left -- the team's third missed field goal of the game.

Ball State led 7-3 at the half, despite the Hawkeyes outgaining the Cardinals, 208-91. Ball State scored the game's first touchdown off an Iowa turnover, and the Hawkeyes left six points on the field, courtesy of two missed field goals.

Iowa had seven points taken off the board on its second drive of the game after a 38-yard senior Damond Powell touchdown reception was ruled incomplete by instant replay. Sophomore quarterback C.J. Beathard led Iowa into Ball State territory in his first playing time of the season, completing 2-of-3 passes for 20 yards.

After forcing a three-and-out, Iowa's offense took over in Ball State territory and moved the ball into the red zone courtesy of a pass interference penalty and three-straight sophomore LeShun Daniels, Jr., rushing attempts. Iowa couldn't capitalize, and it came away empty, as junior Marshall Koehn's 35-yard field goal missed wide left.

Ball State's defense scored the game's first points, forcing a turnover on Iowa's first possession of the second quarter. On first-and-10 from its own 37, Parker fumbled on a jet sweep, where Cardinals' reserve defensive lineman Blake Dueitt scooped up the ball and rumbled 35-yards for the touchdown, giving Ball State a 7-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes answered on the ensuing possession, driving 67 yards over six plays to cut the lead to 7-3 with 11:23 left in the second quarter. Rudock opened the series with a 12-yard completion to junior Jacob Hillyer before finding junior Jordan Canzeri for a career-long 50-yard reception down to the Ball State 13.

After a five-yard completion to Smith to the 8, junior tight end Henry Krieger-Coble dropped a crossing route at the 2, forcing the Hawkeyes to settle on Koehn's 26-yard field goal.

Iowa had its best drive on its final series of the first half, moving 57 yards over 12 plays. Rudock completed his first six passes on the drive for 7, 6, 19, 11, 3, and 19 yards to three different receivers, moving the ball to the Ball State 26. After a pair of incompletions and a seven-yard Rudock scramble into the red zone, Iowa elected to go for the points with the clock winding down, but it came away empty when Koehn's 37-yard field goal sailed wide left.

Iowa has a couple new placekickers and a new punter leading the special teams in '14. Iowa is using a new kick returner and punt returner. The Hawkeyes have new holder and deep snapper. The special teams didn't play well, with three missed field goals and one turnover.

With a big in-state rivarly game ahead, Iowa needs to clean up in all three phases of the game. Many expected an offensive game from either of today's opponents, but it turned out to be a grind out defensive game.

The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, hosting Iowa State (0-2) in an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. The game is sold out.

Week 2 Game Day: Iowa vs. Ball State at Kinnick Stadium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) head football coach Kirk Ferentz sees a lot of Northern Illinois in Saturday's foe Ball State (1-0). Both programs are out of the MAC. As a conference, the MAC has a lot of national games in Week 2 against Big 5 conference opponents.

Iowa struggled in back to back seasons against one of the MAC's top programs in Northern Illinois, finishing 1-1. Ball State is 0-2 during that period in MAC West race, finishing 7-1 last year behind NIU.

"When you're looking at Ball State, you're looking at a team that's similar to (Northern Illinois) in terms of the quality of their football and how they're coached," Ferentz said Tuesday during his weekly news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. "They're an excellent football team. They play well on the road, well at home, and are balanced offensively, defensively, and on special teams."

The Ball State Cardinals have won 17 of their last 19 regular season games. Ball State finished 10-3 overall last season, and opened its '14 campaign with a 30-10 victory over Colgate, limiting the Raiders to 227 yards and nine first downs. Colgate was 7-5, like UNI in FCS play in '13.

This is a different Ball State program today under head coach Pete Lembo, in his fourth season at the Muncie, Indiana school, best known for alumnus David Letterman. Lembo took over in 2011, after inheriting a 4-8 program.

The Cardinals have improved each season under Lembo, starting 6-6, 9-4 and 10-3. They are 0-2 in bowls, losing to UCF, then Arkansas State, during the past two seasons.

Ball State won at Virginia 48-27 in the only Big 5 conference match up for the Cardinals last year. Lembo beat IU in Bloomington 27-20 in his debut at Ball State in 2011. In 2012, the Cardinals lost at Clemson 52-27, but bounced back at IU with a 41-39 win. So, Ball State is 3-1 vs. Big 5, 2-0 vs. B1G, under Lembo.

The Ball State program is 0-2 in the Iowa series. The Cardinals have been shutout 101-0 combined. Iowa won 56-0 in 2005 and 45-0 in 2010, against two Ball State teams that were a combined 8-15, during the Brady Hoke and Stan Parish eras, respectively, at Ball State.

In '14, Ball State returns both kickers, five starters on offense and six starters on defense from last year. This is considered a rebuilding year in the MAC West, but for now they hope to reload and compete with the best that they face in '14?

Ball State had two 100-yard rushers in its opener (junior Horactio Banks, 134 yards; senior Jahwan Edwards, 109 yards), and first-year, sophomore quarterback Ozzie Mann threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Edwards entered 2014, as the top ground gainer, by career, of any FBS rusher returning in '14.

"They're balanced, and they want to be balanced", said Ferentz. "They've got good play-action off their running game, and their running game is effective and strong.

The Ball State offensive line returns three starters from last year, lead by pre-season all-MAC center, junior Jacob Richard.

"It is going to be another challenge for us. We're going to need to take a step forward and improve this week to be ready for another big game," Ferentz said ahead of the Week 2 game.

Junior Jordan Williams is the top returning wide receiver for Ball State in '14. As a receiving unit, there is less experience in '14 and the Cardinals are breaking in a new signal caller at quarterback, as already mentioned. QB Mann was 2-9 for 29 yards, one interception, in six games, as a freshman.

Ferentz was happy with the team's effort in its 31-23 victory over Northern Iowa, in the season opener, but he said the most displeasing part of the game was the Panthers' ability to produce big plays. Northern Iowa had seven plays of 20 or more yards that accounted for 279 of its 405 yards of total offense.

"Anytime you have something like that, it involves someone on the front end and the secondary," said Ferentz. "It's something we'll continue to work on. If we're going to have a good defensive ball club, we're going to have to eliminate those things, and that's a team thing."

Ferentz called sophomore Greg Mabin'sperformance in his Hawkeye debut one of the highlights. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native had four tackles and came up with the game-clinching interception.

"Greg did a good job his first time out," said Ferentz. "I think I'm safe saying just about anybody who hasn't played that did play did some positive things. Not that they can't get better, but at least there weren't any major gaffes or terrible breakdowns."

Ferentz says the team's downfield passing attack will come with time. Junior Jake Rudock completed 31-of-41 attempts for 256 yards, connecting with 13 different players, but only one completion went for more than 20 yards (a 46-yarder to Derrick Willies). Northern Iowa was flagged for two pass interference calls on two attempts down field.

"There were a couple of opportunities that maybe there was pressure and we didn't see it," said Ferentz. "That's part of offense, and there are going to be a couple of plays where you say `Geez, this was opening up.' As we move forward, we'll be a bit better at that and get a few more of those big plays in the repertoire."

Ferentz says the kicker and punter positions -- and all positions for that matter -- are open, but he is giving junior place kicker Marshall Koehn and junior newcomer punter Dillon Kidd every opportunity to succeed. Koehn was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts against Northern Iowa, while Kidd punted four times for an average of 36.2 yards.

"I know Marshall would have liked to have gotten that one field goal, and we'd feel better about that, and Dillon punted OK," said Ferentz. "He can punt better, has punted better, and I think that'll come.

"It's no good if they're looking over their shoulders. You can't do that. It's in fairness to both those guys that we've got to let them complete a little bit and perform, and then we'll see how it goes."

Ferentz said the time will come when redshirt sophomore C.J. Beathard will be inserted into a game as a change-of-pace quarterback, but when is still a question.

"It'll happen," said Ferentz. "I can't tell you when, I can't tell you if it's going to be this week or next week, but it'll happen. It's not a knock on him, but the game (against UNI) was just one of those deals. We'll figure that out, and we've talked about it, but whenever it happens, it'll happen."

Ball State at Iowa is one of many spotlight games that the MAC programs enjoy in Week 2 vs. Big 5 conference teams:

- Northern Illinois @ Northwestern
- Akron @ Penn State
- Central Michigan @ Purdue
- Missouri @ Toledo
- Eastern Michigan @ Florida
- Ohio U @ Kentucky
- Colorado @ UMass

Saturday's Iowa game will kick off at 2:35 p.m. (CT), and it will be televised on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway, and Paul Carcaterra on the call.

Our Prediction: Iowa 34, Ball State 14

We see QB Rudock as the player to click, as the Iowa Hawkeyes look to improve, which is expected between Week 1 and Week 2.

The linebackers for Iowa and back 7 on defense are new, with only two returning starters. Growing pains are likely to continue early in the season, as the Hawkeyes seek to prepare for the new B1G West division in 2014.

Saturday, September 6th in College Football

Akron at Penn State, 11:00 a.m. on ABC / ESPN2 - Can jet lag help the Zips in Happy Valley in Week 2,  after Nittany Lions return from Dublin?

Arkansas State at Tennessee, 11:00 a.m. on SECN - Sun Belt opponent comes to Knoxville for Payday!

Buffalo at Army, 11:00 a.m. on CBSSN - The Bulls could spoil another one at West Point!

Central Michigan at Purdue, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN News - The Boilermakers seek second straight win vs. FBS opponent in Hazell era.

Florida Atlantic at Alabama, 11:00 a.m.SECN / SECN Video - Nebraska beat Owls 55-7 in season opener, so Cornhuskers fans will be watching closely for comparisons!

Howard at Rutgers, 11:00 a.m. on BTN - Scarlet Knights return home for home opener ahead of next week's B1G opener at home!

Kansas State at Iowa State11:00 a.m.FS1 - the Big 12 opener of '14 as the home team looks to regain a pulse after allowing 34 straight unanswered points in season opener vs. a FCS foe!

McNeese State at Nebraska, 11:00 a.m. on ESPNU - One site suggested 66-17, as the Cowboys seek third straight win over FBS opponent ...

Missouri at Toledo, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN - the MAC has opportunities to make noise in Week 2 of '14!

Oklahoma at Tulsa, 11:00 a.m. on ABC / ESPN2 - the Sooners have won seven straight by an average of 37 points per Phil Steele, so not likely to change.

SMU at North Texas, 11:00 a.m. on FSN Affiliates - rooting for Dan McCarney in Year 4 at Mean Green helm.

Stony Brook at UConn, 11:00 a.m. on SNY / ESPN-GP / espn3 - The Huskies should notch win ...

Western Illinois at Wisconsin, 11:00 a.m. on BTN - The Badgers return to Madison from Houston licking wounds and host MVfC team, FCS opponent in home opener.

Western Kentucky at Illinois, 11:00 a.m. on BTN - this could be a challenge for the Fighting Illini, but Tim Beckman's team stepped up in Week 2 last year!

South Carolina State at Clemson, 11:30 a.m. on ESPN-GP / espn3 / ACC Network - The Tigers look for win one in '14.

UAB at Mississippi State, 1:00 p.m. on FSN Affiliates / ESPN-GP / espn3 - the Bulldogs continue light load until Week 4 SEC opener.

Eastern Washington at Washington, 2:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - Some have Eastern Washington #1 in FCS, so do they take care of business like North Dakota State vs. FBS big boys?

Fresno State at Utah, 2:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - Fresno opened at Pac 12 USC in Week 1 to a big L.

Sacramento State at California, 2:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) - Okay, the Bears struggled in Week 2, but won only game last year, so they can double output in '14 already!

Ball State at Iowa, 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2 - The Cardinals have never scored on the Hawkeyes in two previous outputs (56-0, 45-0), so 34-0 will likely be 34-14, with Iowa's new '14 defense.

Ohio U at Kentucky, 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU - another MAC opportunity, as Mark Stoops looks reach win two of last year by Week 2.

Maryland at South Florida, 2:30 p.m. on CBSSN - the new B1G is looking to continue winning ways in '14.

Middle Tennessee at Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. on BTN - the Golden Gophers only won 24-17 in only prior meeting in '10.

Missouri State at Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m. on FSN Affiliates - The Cowboys look to rebound, after Week 1 loss to #1 Florida State.

Northern Illinois at Northwestern, 2:30 p.m.BTN - The Huskies are seeking third straight win over B1G for MAC pride.

USC at Stanford, 2:30 p.m. on ABC - Pac 12 opener with College Football Playoff positioning on the line in this slugfest ...

Eastern Michigan at Florida, 3:00 p.m. on SECN - The Gators were only 4-8 last year, but open with two soft FBS programs, before SEC opener in Week 3.

Georgia Tech at Tulane, 3:00 p.m. on ESPN News - first meeting in long series, since '82 as Green Wave return outdoors at new campus stadium today.

Nicholls at Arkansas, 3:00 p.m. on SECN - the Razorbacks lost SEC season opener, so lick wounds on FCS foe ...

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 3:30 p.m. on ESPN - Week 2 SEC opener for each squad.

Michigan State at Oregon, 5:30 p.m. on FOX / FOX Deportes - one of these teams will rank in College Football Playoff top 4 with win!

Arizona State at New Mexico, 6:00 p.m. on CBSSN - Did you hear the joke about the Pac 12 going to a MWC venue ... what's the punchline, as Lobos have lost 17straight over Sun Devils?

East Carolina at South Carolina, 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU - Can the Gamecocks pull even in '14, as they are 4-5 vs. ECU since '91?

Rhode Island at Marshall, 6:00 p.m. on CSBA / ASN - Yawn, as top C-USA East leader continues soft non-conference slate to open '14!

San Jose State at Auburn, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN2 - The Tigers open non-conference slate, after 1-0 start in SEC.

SE Missouri State at Kansas 6:00 p.m. on ESPN-GP - Jayhawks are safer vs. FCS in season opener, than fellow Big 12 foe ...

BYU at Texas, 6:30 p.m. on FS1 - The Longhorns are 1-3 vs. the Cougars, after 40-21 loss at BYU last year.

The Citadel at Florida State, 6:30 p.m. on FSN Affiliates / RSN / ESPN-GP / espn3 - Doesn't help Seminoles SOS for '14.

Lamar at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m. on SECN - Who was Johnny Football, as Kevin Sumlin's plug & play offense enjoys '14 with SEC win in Week 1.

Michigan at Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m. on NBC - As the year to year series comes to an end with the ACC-lite Fighting Irish.

Northwestern State at Baylor, 6:30 p.m. on FSN Affiliates - defending Big 12 champs lost bowl game to close '13 welcome '14 FCS opponent ahead of Week 3 road trip to MAC?

Sam Houston State at LSU, 6:30 p.m. on SECN - The Tigers enjoy four staight at home, after B1G win in Houston in Week 1.

Towson at West Virginia, 6:30 p.m. on RSPI - The Mountaineers should notch first win in Week 2, after loss to Bama in opener.

North Dakota State at Weber State, 7:00 p.m. on ALT / NBC ND (cable) / Big Sky Video - So, are the Bison primed for a fourth straight FCS title or will winning ways come to a close in '14 under new head man?

San Diego State at North Carolina, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN News / 4SD (cable) - The Tar Heels were 7-6 this year and haven't played a major foe yet in '14 to be ranked from our vantage point.

Virginia Tech at Ohio State, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN - Could this be Urban Meyer's first regular season loss in Columbus, as he begins Year 3 at Buckeyes helm?

Memphis at UCLA, 9:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video - Bruins home opener, before another road trip East to Arlington.

Air Force at Wyoming, 9:15 p.m. on ESPNU - The Mountain West opener for each team ...

Colorado State at Boise State, 9:15 p.m. on ESPN2 - The Rams are an underdog in this MWC opener, after a nice in-state win over the Colorado Buffaloes.

Oregon State at Hawaii, 9:30 p.m. on CBSSN - The Rainbows host another Pac 12 opponent ahead of next week's date with the UNI Panthers.

Texas Tech at UTEP, 10:00 p.m. on FS1 - The Red Raiders look to take care of business on the road ...

Alcorn State at Southern Miss, 6:00 p.m. on $CSLive Video - The Golden Eagles have only one win in now the third year, so a win would be nice boost.

Campbell at Appalachian State, 5:00 p.m. on espn3 - Home opener aftet

Colorado at UMass, 2:00 p.m. on espn3 - another MAC opportunity in rare Big 5 home date.

Duke at Troy, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Trojans seek win #2 in 13 games vs. ACC foes in a nice home game vs. a Big 5 conference opponent.

Eastern Kentucky at Miami of Ohio, 2:30 p.m. on espn3 - FCS upset alert?

Florida A&M at Miami-FL, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Hurricane look to rebound vs. FCS opponent,  after losing ACC opener on Labor Day!

Gardner Webb at Wake Forest, 5:30 p.m. on espn3 - Demon Deacons need to win these games ...

Grambling at Houston, 7:00 p.m. on espn3 - Cougars host FCS opponent early in '14.

Idaho at Louisiana Monroe, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Welcome to Sun Belt Vandals!

Idaho State at Utah State, 7:00 p.m. on MWC Video1 / MWC Video2 - The Aggies should roll ...

Louisiana Tech at Louisiana Lafayette, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Does Tech QB Cody Sokol, former Hawkeye, lead team to road win?

Murray State at Louisville, 6:00 p.m. on espn3 - Home field advantage is back under coach Bobby Petrino?

Navy at Temple, 12:00 p.m. on espn3 - The Midshipmen fell to Ohio State, as they hit the road to the MAC ..

New Mexico State at Georgia State, 1:00 p.m. on espn3 - States fight for state bragging rights, really?

Northern Colorado at UNLV, 9:00 p.m. on MWC Video1 / MWC Video2 - Will Vegas rock vs. FCS at home?

Old Dominion at North Carolina State, 5:00 p.m. on espn3 - Monarchs come a marching to battle Wolfpack!

Richmond at Virginia, 2:30 p.m. on espn3 - Job changer as ex-Richmond coach looks for wins in '14 and Year 5.

South Alabama at Kent State, 1:00 p.m. on espn3 - Not a sexy MAC out of conference game in Week 2.

VMI at Bowling Green, 2:30 p.m. on espn3 - Falcons seeking first win in '14.

Wagner at Florida International, 5:00 p.m. on $CSLive Video / $Video - The Golden Panthers lost last year vs. FCS opponent to finish 1-11.  FIU opened with back to back home FCS games in '14.

Our early look at College Football Playoff Top 4:

1. Florida State
2. Oklahoma
3. Alabama
4. winner of Michigan State @ Oregon
Next: winner of USC @ Stanford