Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday night College Football

Kentucky at Mississippi State 6:30 p.m. ESPN (HD)

Marshall at Middle Tennessee 6:30 p.m. FS1 (HD)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week 8 Game Day: Iowa at Ohio State for a Buckeyes Homecoming

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Following the bye week on the schedule, the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 B1G Legends) football team are in Columbus, Ohio ready to return to action against the No. 3/4 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 B1G Leaders). Game time from Ohio State Saturday is 2:36 p.m. Central Time on either ABC or ESPN 2.

The Buckeyes are in the second year under highly successful coach Urban Meyer, who is 18-0 overall in one and half seasons in Columbus.  The Buckeyes are 10-0 in Big Ten play, under Meyer. Both teams open the second half of the season coming off first bye week.

Iowa is playing at Ohio State for the first time since a 27-24 overtime loss in 2009, in a contest that decided the Big Ten title. The teams have not met since 2010, when the Buckeyes took a 20-17 win in Iowa City. The Buckeyes were ranked seventh in 2009 and eighth the following year when the teams met in Iowa City.

Iowa is 4-6 following a bye week since 1999, when Kirk Ferentz returned to the Iowa sidelines, as head football coach. Iowa has twice played Ohio State following a bye week (L, 19-10, at No. 8 OSU in 2003; W, 33-7 vs. No. 23 OSU in 2004).

The Iowa offense has rushed for over 200 yards in five of six games, but the ground game was slowed down in the recent 26-14 loss to Michigan State on Iowa's Homecoming. Iowa lead at halftime 14-10, but banged up with both #1 running back and #1 wide receiver out.

Today is Homecoming in the Horseshoe for Ohio State. Iowa opened Big Ten play at Minnesota this season, where the Hawkeyes spoiled the Gophers Homecoming, 23-7.

Can Iowa play spoilers again on the road?

"It's been good to get an opportunity to spend two uninterrupted weeks out there," said Brian Ferentz, Iowa's offensive line coach. "It was good to be able to spend three days just on us, which has really been a positive, especially with the younger player(s). With the open weekend we picked up a couple bonus days in preparing for Ohio State."

The Hawkeye offensive line starts two seniors in righ tackle Brett Van Sloten and left guard Conor Boffeli, along with junior left tackle Brandon Scherff, and right guard Jordan Walsh and center Austin Blythe, a pair of sophomores. Junior Andrew Donnal also rotates in the line-up each week at either guard or tackle.

"I feel like we are a better team that when we took the field two weeks ago," said Brian Ferentz, who is in his second year on the Iowa staff. "I think we've improved a little bit every week. The last trip out (vs. Michigan State), some of the tangible numbers were not as recognizable, as far as gaining ground. But, I really feel like the guys are gaining confidence; they are starting to play better.

"We still have to do a better job finishing blocks, running off the ball, moving the line of scrimmage, doing those types of things," said Ferentz, in discussing the finer points of offensive line play. "We need to really improve in pass protection, especially this week; this will be a tremendous challenge for us. Ohio State has a good defense; they have good pass rushers, but they also have big bodies that play well against the run, and they have active linebackers. We will find out if we are still improving. The key is to get better every week."

Iowa's offensive line hasn't given up a sack in Big Ten play. Iowa's first year starting quarterback has used his feet at the right times to avoid the sack. There have been turnovers though, and Iowa will have to avoid that key statistic in Columbus.

"You're not going to do exactly what you want to do (every game)," said redshirt sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock. "We want to establish the run, and unfortunately, we didn't do that two weeks ago.

"It's one game, and we can't let that game deter us. We have to continue to try to execute in the pass and run game and let them feed off each other. We'll see where it takes us." said junior running back Mark Weisman, who missed much of the Michigan State game, due to a foot injury. Iowa's #1 running back is expected back and healthy for today's game vs. Ohio State.

"You want to have a good balance so the defense is unsure what you're going to throw at them. It's good to be able to mix it up and keep them guessing," Rudock said.

Iowa lost at Michigan last season, 42-17. While Rudock didn't take a snap in any games last season, the offensive game plan may be something we can draw from last year's Michigan game, as we look at how Iowa may executr the role of  spoiler during Ohio State's Homecoming?

Iowa was banged up at Michigan, especially at running back and in the linebacker corp last year.  The offense emphasized both the tight ends and running backs in the passing game. With healthy running backs, this should help Iowa with a balanced attack with the run and pass. Junior #2 running back Damon Bullock, missed the Michigan game last year. But, he showed an explosive TD reception vs. Michigan State and should be another Iowa player to watch.

Iowa is deepest at tight end, with five players contributing in 2013. Senior C.J. Fiedorwicz and junior Ray Hamilton are the bread winners. But, sophomores Jake Duzey and Henry Coble-Krieger, along with redshirt freshman George Kittle can all contribute in the passing game. 

Iowa's defense is lead by a trio of senior linebackers, and they should all be ready to go, unlike at Michigan last year, when Iowa was banged up. Seniors James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens need to continue to step up and lead Iowa's defense.

The defensive line is lead by senior sack leader Dominic Alvis at defensive end. Iowa was young in the defensive line last season, while still young this year, with only one senior, the Hawkeyes are much improved as a defense with the overall play of the front seven.

It will be critical to have all 11 defensive players on the same page at Ohio State.

Ohio State is not a team that sneaks up on many people, so don't expect Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker to be surprised when he steps on the field in Columbus today.

This will be his first time as Iowa's defensive coordinator for Parker.  He has been at Iowa for all 15 seasons under head coach Kirk Ferentz, serving 14 seasons coaching the secondary, along with DC role now in his second season.

The Buckeyes are enjoying an 18 straight winning streak. They average more than 46 points and nearly 500 yards of total offense each week. Naturally they have Parker's attention.

"Obviously they have a great leader in junior quarterback Braxton Miller," Parker said following final football practice inside Kinnick Stadium in preperation of today's game. "They have a lot of skill guys and up front they're well-coached on the offensive line. They're very talented. They have a good scheme and they play within their scheme. They're a very explosive team."

Explosive often and early. Ohio State has outscored its opponents 126-28 in the first quarter this season. Iowa's defense hasn't allowed a first quarter score since the season opener - a span of five games. If the Hawkeyes are going to make it six, they'll need to slow Miller, a dual threat that enters the contest with more career rushing yards than any Ohio State quarterback in school history.

"I don't know if you can totally stop him," said Parker. "I think you have to try to contain him as much as you can, don't give up the big plays on the back end, and make sure you have good pursuit angels and leverage with everybody. It's going to take all 11 guys to make a tackle."

Parker is encouraged that this Iowa defense is the one capable performing the "all-in" task. He also echoed head coach Kirk Ferentz's comments that the defensive line is as improved from a year ago as any unit on the team - evidenced by the fact that the Hawkeyes are the only team in the country not to have allowed a rushing touchdown this year.

"No questioned we're a lot more experienced," said Parker. "Obviously Louis (Trinca-Pasat is more experienced), and Carl Davis is doing a good job with Alvis on the outside. Drew Ott is a sophomore, he's not a freshman anymore, and he's doing a great job. The two starters inside are now juniors.

"One thing about our team is we have great team unity. They're very close. They're committed to understanding the game of football and I think they really give a great effort in preparation."

Stop explosive plays vs. Executing explosive plays...

The Hawkeyes need to find ways to make explosive plays on offense. This is something second-year offensive coordinator Greg Davis has mentioned heading into the season, in both the run and pass game.

In 2009, Ohio State hadn't given up an explosivie run, through ten games. Iowa made the game competitive one, including runs of 12 yards or more and passes of 16 yards of more. These are key goals of the Iowa offense at Ohio State.

Tempo on offense will be very important to watch as well for Iowa as lineup on offense. Iowa has a 1-2 bunch at running back, playing together now, unlike last year's Big Ten season. Weisman and Bullock need to be effective, in both the run and pass game for Iowa.

Drops, miscues and execution will all play important roles. How will the ball bounce in Columbus?

Iowa is 4-0 when winning the turnover margin. The Hawkeyes are plus-two overall on the season. Interceptions and fake punts fueled opponents, in Iowa's two losses, so special teams and field position will be very important angles as well.

The margin of error is very thin for Iowa. Ohio State has won the last six games over Iowa by a margin of 17 points. Iowa did win in 2004, so they have lost six of past seven in series. In the 2003 game in Columbus, Ohio State didn't score an offensive touchdown from scrimmage, but held Iowa's offense out of the end zone.

Who wins the battle of the red zone?

Who wins the explosive play battle?

Who wins the turnover margin game?

Field position will be a big factor, as well, as Iowa will need to play well in all phases vs. Ohio State.  Our pick: Upset Alert: Iowa 28, Ohio State 27.

Iowa returns home for its next two games, hosting Northwestern (Oct. 26, 11 a.m., BTN) and Wisconsin (Nov. 2, time/tv to be determined next week).

A win in Columbus would be huge in the B1G Legends race. As Eddie Podalak, Iowa's color commentator would say, "Something has got to give" today as the Hawkeyes face the Buckeyes!

Saturday Week 8 of College Football on Eve of final BCS Run

The first and final season of the BCS Poll will take place, after Week 8 of the 2013 College Football season. Week 8 has often garnered an upset trend, so will 2013 be more of the same. The Magic 8 Ball was wrong on Thursday night, as Central Florida knocked out Louisville's path of an undefeated season.

Here's Week 8 Saturday:

Georgia at Vanderbilt 11:00 a.m. CBS (HD) / CBS Video - The Bulldogs are beat up and looking to get back onto a winning path in the SEC.

Minnesota at Northwestern 11:00 a.m. ESPN2 (HD) - Minnesota and Northwestern both opened the season 4-0 in OOC, but conference play has each at 0-2, so one of these teams will at least get a W in Week 8 to eliminate the naught in conference play.

Navy at Toledo 11:00 a.m. ESPN News (HD) - The Midshipmen travel into the MAC to face the Rockets and .500 in the short series history last played in 1990.

Purdue at Michigan State 11:00 a.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go - The Spartans seek to continue win streak in conference play, after lone lost this season to OOC rival Notre Dame.

SMU at Memphis 11:00 p.m. SNY / MASN / ALT / ESPN-GP / espn3 / ERTV (cable) - Note this is no longer a C-USA game, since each of these teams now play in the new AAC.

South Carolina at Tennessee 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD) - The Volunteers are coming off a bye week, and have lost for the first time 3 games in this series dating back to 1903.

Southern Miss at East Carolina 11:00 a.m. FSN Affiliates / FCSP (cable) - A C-USA match up against programs on two different ends of the spectrum.

TCU at Oklahoma State 11:00 a.m. FOX (HD) - The Cowboys are coming off bye week and hosting Homecoming and have won the last two meetings in Stillwater in this series!

Texas Tech at West Virginia 11:00 a.m. FS1 (HD) - First year coach Kliff Kingsbury hits the Big 12 road after a Homecoming win over ISU to face WVU on their Homecoming, with Mountaineers coming off bye week!

UConn at Cincinnati 11:00 a.m. ESPNU (HD) - Huskies interim coach facing Bearcats first year coach Tommy Tuberville in AAC play... where home team has done well, except for Bearcats win last year.

Florida at Missouri 11:21 a.m. SEC TV / ESPN-GP / espn3 - Could this be considered an upset in both Week 8 and the SEC this week in Columbia?

Syracuse at Georgia Tech 11:30 a.m.(ESPN-GP / espn3) / ACC Network (HD) - An ACC game in Atlanta, as Orange head South with a Yankee-Southern match up unfolding in expanded conference play.

Charleston Southern at Colorado 1:00 p.m. PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video - The Floods of Summer are gone and the Buffaloes seek to rebuild on the gridiron, as well.

Colorado State at Wyoming 1:00 p.m.RSRM / RSNW / MWC Video - The expanded MWC brings us this Autumn traditional conference border war, as Cowboys seek to make it five straight!

FCS #1 North Dakota State at Southern Illinois2:00 p.m.ESPN-GP / espn3 / (ND NBC / Midco) (cable) / $ULive - Upset alert in FCS in Week 8!

Auburn at Texas A&M 2:30 p.m. CBS (HD) / CBS Video - As freshman in 2000, the Tigers went 14-0, but those days are long gone, as they travel to face the top freshman of '12, now sophomore QB Johnny Manzell, who lead a 63-21 win scoring on 11 drives, ending on a final knee on the 12 drive!

BYU at Houston 2:30 p.m. ESPN News (HD) - There has never been a previous battle of the Cougars, as it is the first meeting of both programs... an Indy vs. AAC team!

Duke at Virginia 2:30 p.m. FSN Affiliates / RSN (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - Does the home team continue success, at 5 out of 6 lately in this ACC series?

Indiana at Michigan 2:30 p.m.BTN (HD) / BTN2Go - This game was 36-33 the last time the game was played in Ann Arbor.

Iowa at Ohio State 2:30 p.m.(ABC/ ESPN2) (HD) - The Buckeyes have a 17 point margin of victory over Hawkeyes in past six wins... Iowa travels to Columbus on Homecoming.  Upset Alert? IOWA 28, Ohio State 27... is there an possibility a program down can end Urban Meyer's 18-0, 10-0 in B1G as Buckeyes coach?

Maryland at Wake Forest 2:30 p.m.ESPNU (HD) - Final meeting as two ACC teams, as Terrapins join B1G in '14, but visitor has lost six straight in series.

North Texas at Louisiana Tech 2:30 p.m. CBSSN (HD) - Dan McCarney's Mean Green head to Ruston on Homecoming, in a series LT has a taken 6 out of 7.

Oklahoma at Kansas 2:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) - Boomer Sooners hit road again after back to back losses, with most recent in Red River Rivalry vs. Texas. Bob Stoops have some work and Jayhawks will provide opportunity...

UCLA at Stanford 2:30 p.m. (ABC/ ESPN2) (HD) - The Bruins are a young & growing program, but Cardinals

UMass at Buffalo 2:30 p.m. ESPN-GP / espn3 / TW (NY) (cable) - The MAC offers the good, the bad and the ugly... Bulls should win game for first conference game in series.

Washington at Arizona State 5 :00 p.m. PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video - The Huskies are looking to find a win, after home loss to the Pac 12's leading Ducks.

Arkansas at #1 Alabama 6:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) - The Crimson Tide should remain #1 in the SEC and the Nation in the first BCS Poll, after Week 8.

Georgia State at Texas State 6:00 p.m. (ESPN-GP/ espn3) / (TWC TX/ SBN/ KNVA) (cable) - The Sun Belt no longer features Florida schools, but LA, KY, AR, AL, TX and GA.

Iowa State at Baylor 6:00 p.m. ESPNU (HD) - The Bears enjoy Homecoming at the Cyclones expense in Waco.

LSU at Ole Miss 6:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) - This is an important SEC West showdown for each program...

Old Dominion at Pittsburgh 6:00 p.m. FSN Affiliates / RSN (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - Is this game ODU's three's a charm, as Monarchs travel to 3rd of 5 FBS programs in transitioning from FCS to FBS play in C-USA next year?

USC at Notre Dame 6:30 p.m. NBC (HD) / NBC Video - It is a rivarly, with Notre Dame coming off bye week after winning 5 of first 6 in '13.

Florida State at Clemson 7:00 p.m.ABC - Who is the team to beat in the ACC in '13... likely the winner tonight in Death Valley, as Seminoles square off with Tigers!

Nevada at Boise State 7:00 p.m. CBSSN (HD) - The Wolf Pack hit the road, as the Broncos are rebuilding in '13.

Rice at New Mexico State 7:00 p.m. ESPN-GP / espn3 / Aggie Vision - C-USA Owls travel to Las Cruces to face the Independent Aggies.

Wisconsin at Illinois 7:00 p.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go - The Badgers have won three straight B1G titles, but welcome the Gary Anderson era now, while the Tim Beckman era is seeking first B1G win.

Utah State at New Mexico 8:00 p.m. RSRM / MWC Video - Bob Davie's program could use a signature MWC win in his second year.

Utah at Arizona 9:00 p.m. PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video - The Wildcats need to find the winning path again, while the Utes are coming off a Top 5 upset over Stanford.

Washington State at #2 Oregon 9:00 p.m. FS1 (HD) - The Cougars won on the road at USC to open Pac 12 play, but Eugene fields a real talented team and looks to return to BCS title game for first time, since 2010 season.

Oregon State at California 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) - The Beavers hit the road for Berkeley to face the Golden Bears in Pac 12 play.

The closure of Week 8 will welcome in the final run of the BCS Poll. Who makes the first Top 25 ... we will suggest our Top 25 after Week 8.

Go Team!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Upset Alert in College Football tonight?

UCF at Louisville 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) - Could Top 10 Cardinals fall at home in this important AAC game tonight?  The Magic 8 Ball suggests not.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

ACC Thursday night College Football

Miami-FL at North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN (HD) - Big Game in ACC for both programs on the line.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hawkeyes, Buckeyes are idle; Week 7 College Football Saturday

Eastern Michigan at Army 11:00 a.m.CBSSN (HD) / $ULive

Indiana at Michigan State 11:00 a.m. ESPN2 (HD)

Iowa State at Texas Tech 11:00 a.m. FS1 (HD)

Kansas at TCU 11:00 a.m. FSN Affiliates

Memphis at Houston 11:00 a.m. ESPN News (HD)

Missouri at #6 Georgia 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD)

Nebraska at Purdue 11:00 a.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go

Oklahoma vs. Texas 11:00 a.m. ABC

Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech 11:00 a.m. ESPNU (HD)

South Florida at UConn 11:00 a.m. ALT / MASN / SNY / (ESPN-GP / espn3) / ERTV

South Carolina at Arkansas 11:21 a.m.SEC TV / ESPN-GP / espn3

Navy at Duke11:30 a.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) / ACC Network (HD)

Central Michigan at Ohio U 1:00 p.m.(ESPN-GP / espn3) 

Missouri State at #1 FCS North Dakota State 1:00 p.m.ESPN-GP / espn3 / ND NBC (cable)

Western Carolina at Auburn 1:00 p.m.(ESPN-GP / espn3) / PPV (AL)

Baylor at Kansas State 2:30 p.m. FOX (HD)

Boston College at Clemson 2:30 p.m. (ABC or ESPN2) 

Florida at LSU 2:30 p.m.CBS (HD) / CBS Video

New Mexico at Wyoming 2:30 p.m.RSRM / RSNW / MWC Video

Northwestern at Wisconsin 2:30 p.m.(ABC or ESPN2) 

San Jose State at Colorado State 2:30 p.m. CBSSN (HD)

Syracuse at North Carolina State 2:30 p.m. FSN Affiliates / RSN (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) 

Troy at Georgia State 2:30 p.m.(ESPN-GP / espn3) / Sun Belt Network (cable)

Virginia at Maryland 2:30 p.m. ESPNU (HD)

#3 Oregon at Washington 3:00 p.m. FS1 (HD)

Marshall at Florida Atlantic 4:00 p.m.DTV: 623 / FCSA (cable)

Michigan at Penn State 4:00 p.m.ESPN (HD)

#2 Stanford at Utah 5:00 p.m. PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video

#1 Alabama at Kentucky 6:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD)

Georgia Tech at BYU 6:00 p.m. ESPNU (HD)

Louisiana Monroe at Texas State 6:00 p.m.LHN / $Video?

Bowling Green at Mississippi State 6:30 p.m. FS South (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) 

Boise State at Utah State 7:00 p.m. CBSSN (HD)

Tulsa at UTEP 7:00 p.m.FS1 (HD)

Texas A&M at Ole Miss 7:30 p.m. ESPN (HD)

Colorado at Arizona State 9:00 p.m.PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video

California at UCLA 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 (HD)

Oregon State at Washington State 9:30 p.m. ESPNU (HD)

Games online only or not scheduled for nationally available networks.

Akron at Northern Illinois 4:00 p.m.espn3 / cable

Buffalo at Western Michigan 1:00 p.m.espn3

East Carolina at Tulane 2:30 p.m. $ULive Video / WITN-TV (cable)

Hawaii at UNLV 7:00 p.m. Oceanic PPV / MWC Video

Idaho at Arkansas State 6:00 p.m.espn3

Kent State at Ball State 2:00 p.m. espn3

Miami-OH at UMass 2:00 p.m. espn3

Middle Tennessee at North Texas 6:00 p.m. $ULive Video

Rice at UTSA 3:00 p.m. TW (TX) (cable)

UAB at Florida International 6:30 p.m. CSS (cable)

The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are idle in Week 7. Iowa will travel to Columbus next Saturday to face #5 Ohio State on its Homecoming.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday night: Temple @ Cincinnati in AAC

Temple at Cincinnati 7:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) - The Owls are better known for basketball, while the Bearcats were good last year in Football... ugly loss at Illinois in OOC.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 7 College Football on Thursday

Rutgers at Louisville 6:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) - Big AAC game for two teams exiting the conference, after this season!

San Diego State at Air Force 8:00 p.m. CBSSN (HD) - A Thursday showdown in the Mountain West.

Arizona at USC 9:30 p.m. FS1 (HD) - The Wildcats are first up for Trojans in the post-Lane Kiffin era in the Pac 12.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First October Saturday in College Football spotlights Homecoming for many teams

Air Force at Navy 10:30 a.m. CBS (HD) / CBS Video - Seriously, with Washington partially shutdown, there was talk that the military academies games might be suspended?

Ball State at Virginia 11:00 a.m. FSN Affiliates / RSN (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - It's October, but still time for a non-conference match up involving MAC vs. ACC!

Eastern Michigan at Buffalo 11:00 a.m.MASN2 / (ESPN-GP / espn3) / ERTV (cable) -MAC show down in Buffalo on Saturday! 

Illinois at Nebraska 11:00 a.m. ESPNU (HD) / WatchESPN - B1G game in Lincoln for Cornhuskers Homecoming game, as Huskers will go second straight game without Taylor Martinez.

#7 Louisville at Temple 11:00 a.m. ALT / MASN / SNY / (ESPN-GP / espn3) / cable - Teddy Bridgewater and his Cardinal teammates hit road off bye week heading into AAC play!

Maryland at #8 Florida State 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD) / WatchESPN - Battle of unbeatens in the ACC!

Michigan State at Iowa - 11:00 a.m. ESPN2 (HD) - Spartans open B1G play coming off bye week, while Hawkeyes host Homecoming coming off B1G opening road win at Minnesota last week. Pick: Hawkeyes 26, Spartans 13

Penn State at Indiana 11:00 a.m.BTN (HD) / BTN2Go -Both teams open B1G play coming off bye week, as quarterback play will be critical for each team!

Rutgers at SMU 11:00 a.m. ESPN News - Scarlet Knights open new AAC league play coming off bye week!

Texas Tech at Kansas 11:00 a.m. FS1 (HD) - Jayhawks open Big 12 play with Red Raiders for Homecoming off bye week for home team!

Georgia State at #1 Alabama 11:21 a.m.SEC TV / ESPN-GP / espn3 - Back to back defending BCS champion Crimson Tide welcome Panthers to Tuscaloosa again, after 63-7 whipping in '10.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech 11:30 a.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) / ACC Network (HD) - It's Homecoming in Blacksburg, as Hokies look to make it back to back wins in ACC to open conference play in '13!

South Alabama at Troy 12:00 p.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3)  / Sun Belt Network (cable) - The Trojans return home to Sun Belt play hosting Panthers for Homecoming! 

#5 Clemson at Syracuse 2:30 p.m. (ABC or ESPN2) (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - The Orange open first ACC game on Homecoming vs. Top team in conference!

East Carolina at Middle Tennessee 2:30 p.m.FSN Affiliates - Pirates return to C-USA play coming off nice win at UNC, as new conference foe, the Blue Raiders host Homecoming in Murfreesboro!

# 6 Georgia at Tennessee 2:30 p.m.CBS (HD) / CBS Video - Bulldogs hit road in SEC East, after 2-0 start in conference play!

Georgia Tech at #12 Miami-FL 2:30 p.m.ESPNU / WatchESPN - Yellow Jackets head to Miami for Hurricanes conference opener!

Kansas State at Oklahoma State 2:30 p.m.(ABC (HD) / WatchABC) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - Wildcats lost Big 12 opener on road two weeks ago, then bye week, as they face Cowboys, who lost Big 12 opener last week in Morgantown.

Minnesota at #23 Michigan 2:30 p.m.(ABC or ESPN2) (HD) - It's Homecoming in Ann Arbor as Golden Gophers and Wolverines square off for Little Brown Jug trophy!

North Carolina State at Wake Forest 2:30 p.m.FSN Affiliates / RSN (HD) / (ESPN-GP / espn3) - New Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren looks to get first road win as Demon Deacons play host in ACC play!

North Texas at Tulane 2:30 p.m. DTV: 623 / FCSC (cable) - The Mean Green and coach Dan McCarney coming off bye week open C-USA play for Green Wave Homecoming!

#24 Northern Illinois at Kent State 2:30 p.m.(ESPN-GP / espn3) / TWC (cable) - Undefeated Huskies open MAC play as Golden Flashes host Homecoming in Kent!

Northern Iowa at #1 FCS North Dakota State 2:30 p.m. DTV: 626 / FSNO+ / (FCSP / ND NBC) (cable) - The Panthers aren't favored in this MVC showdown between unbeatens, who each notched wins at Big 12 schools in season openers! 

Rice at Tulsa 2:30 p.m. CBSSN (HD) - The Golden Hurricane are off to a rough start in 2013, as C-USA West play begins vs. Owls in key conference opener.

Washington State at California 3:00 p.m. FS1 (HD) - Pac 12 North match up, as Cougars seek another win in the state of California in '13.

#3 Oregon at Colorado 5:00 p.m.PAC-12 Network (HD) / Pac-12 Video - inter-division game in the Pac 12, as Buffalos host Ducks.

Arkansas at #13 Florida 6:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) - Coach Bret Bielema heads to Sunshine State

#10 LSU at Mississippi State 6:00 p.m.ESPN (HD) - Tigers seek to rebound!

New Mexico State at New Mexico 6:00 p.m.RSNW / RSRM / MWC Video

Ole Miss at Auburn 6:00 p.m. ESPNU (HD) / WatchESPN *9

TCU at #11 Oklahoma 6:00 p.m. FOX (HD) - Sooners

Texas State at Louisiana Lafayette 6:00 p.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) / (KVNA / Cox4) (cable)

#22 Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (Arlington) 6:30 p.m. NBC (HD) / NBC Video - both teams have a blemish or two, but Sun Devils have offense to pair with defense.

Kentucky at #12 South Carolina 6:30 p.m. FS South (HD) / ESPN-GP / espn3

Louisiana Tech at UTEP 6:30 p.m. CBSSN (HD)

Missouri at Vanderbilt 6:30 p.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) / (CSS / MO alternates) (cable)

#4 Ohio State at Northwestern 7:00 p.m. ABC (HD) - Does Holleywood script unfold for coach Pat Fitzgerald on the Wildcats Homecoming primetime game with Big Ten's top dog, the Buckeyes? Tough road...

West Virginia at Baylor 7:00 p.m. FS1 (HD)

#14 Washington at #2 Stanford 9:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) - Huge Pac 12 North showdown at Stanford.

Games online only or not scheduled for nationally available networks.

Army at Boston College 12:00 p.m. espn3 - The Cadets head to Boston in October, as BC regroup, after ACC road loss.

Central Michigan at Miami-OH 12:00 p.m. espn3

Cincinnati at South Florida 6:00 p.m. espn3 / cable

Florida Atlantic at UAB 2:00 p.m. $ULive Video

Florida International at Southern Miss 3:00 p.m. CSS (cable)

#21 Fresno State at Idaho 4:00 p.m. KSEE 24 (cable) / $Video - this used to he a conference game in the old WAC, but Fresno is now in MWC and Vandals join Sun Bun in '14.

Liberty at Old Dominion 5:00 p.m. CST (VA cable) / Flames Sports (cable) - if you are moving to FBS, then one wants to take care of business vs. FCS opponent.

Ohio U at Akron 1:00 p.m. espn3 / Video - Can Bobcats ruin Zips Homecoming?

San Jose State at Hawaii 11:00 p.m. Oceanic  PPV / MWC Video - Aloha in the Mountain West Conference!

UCF at Memphis 3:30 p.m. espn3 / cable

UMass at Bowling Green 2:30 p.m.espn3 / BCSN

UTSA at Marshall 1:00 p.m. $ULive Video / TW (TX) (cable)

Western Michigan at Toledo 2:00 p.m. espn3 / BCSN - MAC match up for Rockets Homecoming, as Broncos search for first win in coach P.J. Fleck era.

Game Day Saturday: Happy Homecoming at many venues around the B1G, including Kinnick Stadium

It is Homecoming in the Big Ten at four of the five venues, including Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Michigan State @ Iowa (1-0) - B1G's best defense vs. an Iowa program that may be playing as well as any B1G team in all three phases, lead by an improved Hawkeye defensive in Year 2 under DC Phil Parker
  • Illinois @ Nebraska - Illini 4 year starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase lead Illinois into Lincoln, as Cornhuskers redshirt freshman QB Tommy Armstrong gets his 2nd career start on Homecoming
  • Minnesota (0-1) @ Michigan - Battle of the Little Brown Jug on Homecoming for Wolverines, as Golden Gophers come to Ann Arbor
  • #4 Ohio State (1-0) @ Northwestern - The Buckeyes bring a 28-1 record into series, as two remaining undefeated B1G teams square off in Evanston for the Wildcats Homecoming in prime-time on ABC at 7 p.m.  Coach Pat Fitzgerald is 1-8 off bye weeks, including bowls per Phil Steele
  • The other conference game takes place in Bloomington, as each team opens B1G play!
  • Penn State @ Indiana - as Hoosiers choose to wait until November for Homecoming... Nittany Lions own 16-0 series lead over Indiana, though game two years ago in Bloomington finished close in a 16-10 Nittany Lion win
  • MSU insert
    11 a.m. on ESPN2
  • Wisconsin (1-1) and Purdue (0-1) enjoy bye weeks in Week 6 of the season
Game Day Iowa City

B1G Football has arrived in Iowa City, with the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0 Legends) hosting Michigan State (3-1) for Homecoming for a 11:00 a.m. kickoff at Kinnick Stadium on ESPN2.  Week 6 brings a full slate in College Football.

The Spartans are looking for back-to-back wins in Iowa City for the first time since 1987 and 1989.
While Iowa has won three of the past four games in series, though Michigan State beat Hawkeyes 37-21 in 2011.

MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 2-4 during his tenure against Iowa, including a 1-2 record in Iowa City. Under Dantonio, four of the six meetings against Iowa have been decided by seven points or less, including two in overtime (2007, 2012). Michigan State is 3-3 in Big Ten openers under Dantonio.

The Hawkeyes are 6-0-1 against the Spartans on Homecoming, including four straight wins since a 6-6 tie in 1972. Iowa is 11-3 in Homecoming contests under Kirk Ferentz.

QB Jake Rudock and the Hawkeyes host Michigan State on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT).
First-year starting
QB Jake Rudock
leads Iowa offense
Iowa averages over 200 yards rushing (244.4) and passing (203.0) -- it's that kind of balance that offensive coordinator Greg Davis will be looking for when the Hawkeyes face the Spartans inside Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.

"We've been able to run the ball and mix it up, due in large part to our offensive line," said Davis after Thursday's practice. "We have good leadership on our line with our two tackles #70 Brett Van Sloten and #68 Brandon Scherff. Anytime your two tackles are playing well, that's a great start, because a lot of times the inside people can get help."

C.J. Fiedorowicz has been named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Tight End Trophy Watch List.
Could senior TE C.J.
Fiedorowicz be a
weapon to watch
coming off play action
vs. Spartans?
Davis went on to say that winning the line of scrimmage will play a big part in Saturday's outcome. It will be a challenge, since the Spartans defense is considered the B1G's best and may be as strong as any in the nation against either the run or pass.

"If you can run the ball then your play action and first-down drop backs are all easier to protect," Davis said. "If you get into a game where you are playing from behind or you have to throw the ball, you put a lot of pressure not only on the line, but also the receivers, quarterbacks and protection calls."

Davis points to Michigan State's experience that makes them such a tough defensive unit.The Hawkeye offense will face a Spartan defense that hasn't allowed more than 17 points in a game and is tops in the country in total defense (188.8), pass efficiency defense (72.6) and pass defense (153.8), and second in rush defense (58.2).

"They a really good defensive football team," said Davis. "They have seven veterans, and the guys who are new are also extremely talented. They've been doing the same thing for a number of years and do it well. They play really tight man-to-man on the outside, which allows them to overload the box."

Iowa QB #15 Jake Rudock enters Saturday's game 39 passing yards shy of 1,000, completing 79 of his 128 pass attempts (61.7 percent) through five games. So far this season, opposing quarterbacks are completing only 36 percent of their passes against the Michigan State defense.  Rudock has shown good decision-making, including throwing six touchdowns and running for five.

"Being successful on first and second downs is always important, but it will be especially important in this game," said Davis. "Their third down package is unique in what we see in the Big Ten. They do several different styles of blitzes -- so when you can stay out of long yardage and stay in that situation where you may run or throw, it gives you an advantage."

The Spartans and Hawkeyes have had several close battles over the years.
RB Matt Weisman
ran for 116 yards
@ MSU last year
Leading the Hawkeye ground attack is junior RB #45 Mark Weisman, who averages 123 yards on 119 attempts. The bruising running back's 119 carries lead the country and are more than 10 different teams.  Last year, in Iowa's 19-16 double overtime win at Michigan State, Weisman lead the Hawkeye offense with 116 yards rushing, scoring the game tying touchdown near the end of regulation.

Junior WR #11 Kevonte Martin-Manley leads the Hawkeye receivers averaging 5.2 receptions per game, which ranks fifth in the Big Ten.  Martin-Manley appears to be buying into the Ferentz business-like approach, as well as any recent Iowa player.

This is the 45th meeting between Iowa and Michigan State, with the Hawkeyes winning seven of the last eight meetings in Iowa City dating back to 1994. Iowa leads the all-time series at 23-19-2. 

Iowa and Michigan State have played one common opponent this season. The Spartans defeated Western Michigan in East Lansing, 26-13, in their season opener; Iowa defeated Western Michigan in Iowa City, 59-3, in Week 4. The Hawkeyes clicked in all three phases of the game, in that win over Western Michigan.  The Spartans defense has fueled Michigan State all season, with the exception of win over Youngstown State.

The area to watch on both teams is at Linebacker, since each unit are among the Big Ten and nation's best units.
  • Junior 34 SLB Taiwan Jones, Senior MIKE 40 Max Bullough and Senior SAM Denicos Allen are as solid of unit as they come. Allen has 2 sacks on the season and leads the Spartans in tackles, while Bullough is the leader of the unit in the middle.
  • Iowa starts three seniors at LB, with OLB 20 Chirstain Kirksey, MLB 44 James Morris and 31 Anthony Hitchens - the Hawkeyes top 3 tacklers.  Morris has a sack and two interceptions entering into Week 6. Kirksey has a nose for the football and if Phil Parker decides to blitz, watch Hitchens from the LB unit.

"It was a tough game (talking of last year's MSU game)," said Weisman. "The run wasn't working for a while, but then we broke a couple in the fourth quarter. It was a battle, and it's going to be another battle this game too."

After rushing for 6 yards on his first carry last October, nine of Weisman's next 10 carries resulted in a gain of three yards or less. He finished with 17 such rushes in the game. On his 12th carry, Weisman gained 8-yards and on his 16th carry, he scampered for a 31-yard gain. His 24th carry resulted in a 37-yard gain to set up a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the game on his final attempt.

"There are going to be negative plays, one, two-yard gains, but eventually we'll break one," said Weisman.

Junior left tackle Scherff says the offensive line needs to prove itself at the line of scrimmage with its physicality.

"We have to come out and try to be the most physical unit on the field and play a full 60 (minutes)," said Scherff. "They're going to come in and give us their best shot, and we're going to give them ours."

"It's a big challenge. They're a big, physical unit, and we're looking forward to that. That's Big Ten football."

Iowa's defensive line has been a great work in progress, especially showing excellent development during the four game winning streak the Hawkeyes are now enjoying. Senior defensive end #79 Dominic Alvis leads the unit in tackles, including two sacks, as the leader of the unit.

The Michigan State defensive line is always stout.  Senior DT #91 Tyler Hoover leads Spartans unit with two sacks and in tackles in this unit.

Other than Iowa's ability to maybe establish the run, like last year's game late, the defensive units appear ahead of the offense's in this one. The wildcard is Iowa's improving offense in the second year under OC Davis.

Whatever the reason, MSU senior left guard #64 Blake Treadwell is sure the Spartans will get plenty of advice from the Hawkeye fans, who'll be sitting within arm's reach behind them in Saturday's Big Ten opener at Kinnick Stadium.

"There's been no hot dog throwing (at us), but they'll let you know if you're not playing, I'll tell you that," Treadwell said. "They'll say, `Your jersey looks a little clean No. 64.' They'll talk some trash."

Treadwell sat out the 2011 game in Iowa City because of injury and played on the defense line there the previous year.

"They said some stuff that made the hair raise on the back of your neck," Treadwell said. "If I do anything, I just smile and laugh, but I don't talk back. I love fans who are passionate, especially away fans when they try to get after me and trash talk. I embrace it. I'm excited to play there."

Some of MSU's most gut-wrenching games of all-time have come against Iowa. Four of the last six games have been decided by an average of just under four points.

The Spartans have used three quarterbacks in 2013, but appear to be settling on sophomore #18 Connor Cook, who is 43-81 for 411 yards and five touchdowns.  None of the three quarterbacks have thrown an interception this season.  Last year, senior #10 Andrew Maxwell struggled against the Hawkeyes.  Cook has ran for 74 yards in 19 carries this season.

Jeremy Langford leads the team in rushing (67.0 ypg.) and rushing touchdowns (4).
MSU #33 Jeremy
Langford leads
Spartans with
4.6 yards per carry
with 268 yards, 4 TDs
The Spartans lost leading rusher Le'Veon Bell (1,793 yards) to the NFL, from last year's team.

Iowa hasn't given up a touchdown run on defense in five games in 2013. Michigan is the other FBS program that hasn't given up a touchdown on the ground all season.

The Spartans have three running backs that they can throw at Iowa, along with Cook at quarterback.  Iowa has seen several teams this year that have a dual threat quarterback and running attack, so the Hawkeyes should be ready for Michigan State.  

Starting junior RB #33 Jermey Langford is a threat as a runner and receiver.  He is backed up by junior #20 Nick Hill and redshirt freshman  Riley Bulough, Max's brother.

"When you play Iowa, both teams know that it's going to be a bloodbath, it's going to be a battle. They're saying the same things over in their football office - `You've got to be the tougher team; you've got to make them quit first,' Michigan State linebacker coach Mike Tressel elaborated.

"We're saying the same things. Our guys know what to expect. They know you can't take one play off. If there's one play you want to take the easy route and not be physical, it will cost you," Tressell added.

The Michigan State receiving corp is lead by sophomore WRs #3 MacGarrett Kings (2 touchdowns) and #16 Aaron Burbridge with 12 receptions. Senior WR #13 Bennie Fowler has eight catches, one touchdown, as the veteran of the receiving corp. The tight ends are used mainly as blockers.

Q. Michigan State got flagged for five pass interferences, in that Notre Dame game. Is that something that you can go after? 

COACH FERENTZ: I don't know if we can go after them, it's a bi-product of their play and whenever you do that you're going to have penalties. The down side is they got flagged but if you look at how many yards they give up a week in a pass, it's kinda like anything, if you're a hard man cover team, not that they are, but when they lock down on you, they're in your face, it's not a lot of breathing room there. So it's a risk/reward thing, but you look at their pass statistics, they're probably comfortable with the style of play they have. It's an active pass rush, and if a guy is good at getting a jump on it, most coaches will give guys a hall pass if they can get a couple of sacks during a game.

Iowa has six players on its roster from the state of Michigan, including starting WR Martin-Manley (Pontiac), starting DT junior #71 Carl Davis (Sterling Heights), redshirt freshman #25 Ruben Lile (Detroit), redshirt freshman LB #51 Laron Taylor (Detroit), junior TE #87 Jake Duzey (Troy) and the Hawkeyes lone true freshman starter CB #14 Desmond King (Detroit). Duzey may get some plays set up for him against his home state.

Like Iowa State, Michigan State has a strong punter in junior #3 Mike Sadler. The placekicking duties are now handled by true freshman #4 Michael Geiger. Sophomore Andre Sims averages 8.6 yards per punt return, while Nick Hill has a 19 yard kick return average on five returns.  This is an area where Iowa needs to separate from Michigan State... it would be in special teams. The Hawkeyes are very capable in this phase of the game.

Iowa DC Parker was an all-Big Ten DB at Michigan State and was a Spartans graduate assistant in 1987, when MSU beat Iowa. There are no Iowans on the Michigan State roster. 

Our Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes 26, Michigan State Spartans 13, as Iowa program continues success with Spartans. The weather is very similar this year, like last year's game in East Lansing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday night College Football

BYU at Utah State 7:00 p.m. CBSSN (HD) - another battle in Utah!

Nevada at San Diego State 8:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) - MWC tonight in San Diego!

Last night, Texas spoiled the Thursday night party for the Iowa State Cyclones with a last minute touchdown to take a 31-30 lead. The Longhorns move to 2-0 in the Big 12, while the Cyclones open conference play 0-1.

The Cyclones have explosive plays allowed, turnovers and penalties to reflect on in a very competitive game. TD given up by Cyclones ahead of halftime was huge for Longhorns.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Trifecta on Thursday night in College Football

The Mack Brown era at Texas is hitting a critical stage at Iowa State and next week at the Red River Shoutout. Upset alert in Ames?

Texas at Iowa State 6:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) - in the Big 12!

Western Kentucky at Louisiana Monroe 6:30 p.m. ESPNU (HD) - in the Sun Belt!

UCLA at Utah 9:00 p.m. FS1 (HD) - in the Pac 12!

Can the Cyclones pull off the Big 12 win in Ames this time?

In 2010, Paul Rhoads pulled off a Big Win in Austin over the Longhorns.

This year, the Cyclones finished third in the State of Iowa, with a season opening loss at home vs. UNI. Then lost at home in the Cy-Hawk Game, to open the season 0-2.

Finally, last Thursday, the Cyclones beat Tulsa on the road to get first win of the 2013 season to reach 1-2, heading into Big 12 opener. The Texas Longhorns hit Ames at 2-2, 1-0 in Big 12.