2023-2024 cbhsports College Football 9/30 Preview

AP Top 6
1.Georgia 4-0 (1-0) SEC This week: @ Auburn (3:30 PM ET, CBS)
2.Michigan 4-0 (1-0) Big Ten This week: @ Nebraska (3:30 PM ET, FOX)
3.Texas 4-0 (1-0) Big 12 This week: 24.Kansas (3:30 PM ET, ABC)
4.Ohio State 4-0 (1-0) Big Ten This week: Off
5.Florida State 4-0 (2-0) ACC This week: Off
6.Penn State 4-0 (1-0) Big Ten This week: @ Northwestern (12 PM ET, BTN)

Biggest risers and fallers in the AP Top 25 this week:

4.Ohio State 4-0 (1-0) Big Ten Week 4: #6 (Defeated 9.Notre Dame, 17-14)
21.Florida 3-1 (1-0) SEC Week 4: #25 (Defeated Charlotte, 22-7)
16.Washington State 4-0 (1-0) Pac-12 Week 4: #21 (Defeated 14.Oregon State, 38-35)

8.USC 4-0 (2-0) Pac-12 Week 4: #5 (Defeated Arizona State, 42-28)
11.Notre Dame 4-0 (0-0) Independents Week 4: #9 (Lost to 6.Ohio State, 17-14)
19.Oregon State 3-1 (0-1) Pac-12 Week 4: #14 (Lost to 21.Washington State, 38-35)
21.Ole Miss 3-1 (0-1) SEC Week 4: #15 (Lost to 13.Alabama, 24-10)

Dropped Out
Colorado 3-1 (0-1) Pac-12 Week 4: #19 (Lost to 10.Oregon, 42-6)
UCLA 3-1 (0-1) Pac-12 Week 4: #22 (Lost to 11.Utah, 14-7)
Iowa 3-1 (0-1) Big Ten Week 4: #24 (Lost to 7.Penn State, 31-0)

23.Missouri 4-0 (0-0) SEC Week 4: NR (Defeated Memphis, 34-27)
24.Kansas 4-0 (1-0) Big 12 Week 4: NR (Defeated BYU, 38-27)
25.Fresno State 4-0 (0-0) Mountain West Week 4: NR (Defeated Kent State, 53-10)

Key games this weekend (Rankings based off of AP Poll)
10.Utah (4-0) @ 19.Oregon State (3-1) (Friday, 9 PM ET, FS1)
Can Oregon State bounce back after a tough loss to Washington State last Saturday night? The Beavers defense must play better even if they are playing an Utah team that has not played with their starting quarterback, Cam Rising, due to a torn ACL, since the Rose Bowl in January. The Utes have managed to go undefeated through for four games with the help of reserve signal callers Nate Johnson (398 passing yards TDs, 150 rushing yards, and 5 overall TDs) and Bryson Barnes (230 passing yards and 1 TD). As the Utes wait the return of their star QB, they have relied on tailbacks Ja’Quinden Jackson (239 yards rushing) and Jaylon Glover (179 yards and 2 TDs) heavily. It will be up to them and their tremendous defense, who held UCLA to just seven points in week 4. For Oregon State, DJ Uiagalelei (828 passing yards, 99 rushing yards, and 12 overall TDs) must lead the Beavers to a win or they will be almost out of Pac-12 conference title contention with the league being so competitive this season. Uiagalelei has great options at receiver in Silas Bolden (235 yards and 1 TD) and Anthony Gould (217 yards and 2 TDs). If they can connect a few times and terrific linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold (33 tackles) can lead his defense to a standout performance, this game will at least be a close one. Projected Score: Utah 27, Oregon State 20

22.Florida (3-1) @ Kentucky (4-0) (Saturday, 12 PM ET, ESPN)
Can Florida continue its quality play this season against undefeated Kentucky in Lexington? The Gators have lost their last two against the Wildcats after dominating the series previously. After losing to Utah to open the year in Salt Lake City, the Florida defense has played much better, being led by Shemar James (27 tackles and 1 sack) and Jordan Castell (24 tackles). The Gators offense relies heavily on a talented running back room including Trevor Etienne (329 yards and 2 TDs) and Montrell Johnson (211 yards and 3 TDs). The running game should help QB Graham Mertz (951 passing yards and 4 TDs) and receiver Ricky Pearsell (362 yards and 1 TD) open up the offense. This is the first time we will see Kentucky on the national stage. NC State transfer signal-caller Devin Leary (1,060 yards and 9 TDs) and Vanderbilt transfer running back Ray Davis (314 yards and 5 TDs) will pose great threats to the talented Gator defense. The talented Kentucky defense will look to stop the Florida offense using linebacker Trevin Wallace (25 tackles and 3.5 sacks) and defensive back Maxwell Hairston (23 tackles and 3 interceptions). Another important game in this SEC East series looms. Projected Score: Kentucky 28, Florida 27

8.USC (4-0) @ Colorado (3-1) (Saturday, 12 PM ET, FOX)
USC is 16-0 against Colorado all time. Colorado is coming into their Pac-12 home opener after getting blasted by Bo Nix and Oregon, 42-6. So, USC should control this game if Colorado’s defense does not play better than they did last week. Last season’s Heisman winner Caleb Williams has been great so far this season, throwing for 1,200 yards and 15 TDs. The likely number one pick in this April’s NFL Draft is joined by MarShawn Lloyd in the backfield, who has rushed for 349 yards and 2 TDs. Williams’ talented receivers include Tahj Washington (278 yards and 4 TDs) and Brenden Rice (257 yards and 5 TDs) have been huge for the Trojans as well. It will be up to the USC defense to stop talented Buffaloes QB Shedeur Sanders (1,410 yards and 11 TDs) and great receivers Xavier Weaver (461 yards and 2 TDs) and Jimmy Horn Jr. (243 yards and 2 TDs). The Bufs will be without star receiver and defensive back Travis Hunter yet again after his injury versus rival Colorado State. The Trojans’ Jaylin Smith leads the Trojans with 26 tackles. USC should dominate this game if Deion Sander’s offense cannot get going. Projected Score: USC 45, Colorado 20

24.Kansas (4-0) @ 3.Texas (4-0) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ABC)
Can Kansas win in Austin for the second consecutive time? They definitely have the team to do it Jalon Daniels, who has thrown for 705 yards, rushed for 74 yards, and thrown for 5 TDs. Daniels’ running game is headed by Devin Neal who has rushed for 394 yards and 5 TDs and receiving game is led by Lawrence Arnold (246 yards). Defensively, the Jayhawks are lead by safety Kenny Logan Jr., who has 23 tackles and 1 interception and linebacker Rich Miller, who has 19 tackles. They will be challenged by what looks like the best Texas team in years. Signal caller Quinn Ewers has been fantastic for the Longhorns this season. Ewers has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns while his running back Jonathan Brooks has run for 379 yards and 3 TDs. Longhorn tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders (268 yards and 1 TD) and receiver Xavier Worthy (252 yards and 3 TDs) lead the Texas receiving units. Their defense has been great this season, helping them to wins over Alabama in week 2 and Baylor in their Big 12 opener a week ago. Linebacker Jaylan Ford (25 tackles and 2 interceptions) has been fantastic for the Longhorns this season. With Texas facing Oklahoma next week at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, this game would be huge for the Jayhawks to win to move towards a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. Projected Score: Kansas 42, Texas 38

13.LSU (3-1) @ 20.Ole Miss (3-1) (Saturday, 6 PM ET, ESPN)
LSU struggled in the first half but was able to beat Arkansas in another close Battle for the Boot game in Baton Rouge last Saturday night. Jayden Daniels (1,296 yards and 12 TDs) continues to impress with a talented group of tailbacks, namely Logan Diggs (253 yards and 1 TD). Receiver Malik Nabers (523 yards and 5 TDs) caught two touchdowns in last week’s win. He will be huge in a game on the road against an SEC rival like Ole Miss. The Tiger defense is led by safety Major Burns who has put up 27 tackles and 1 sack. QB Jaxson Dart (1,096 yards and and 7 TDs) struggled in a 24-10 loss to Alabama last week. Running back Quinshon Judkins has played okay this season compared to his pre-season expecations, rushing for 201 yards and 4 TDs. Jordan Watkins (347 yards and 1 TD) must catch some balls from Dart to open up the Rebel offense against the talented Tiger defense. Defensively for the Rebels, safety Trey Washington has had 25 tackles and a pick. I think the Ole Miss offense bounces back after a tough performance against an LSU defense that gave up multiple touchdowns in the second half to Arkansas a week ago. Projected Score: Ole Miss 31, LSU 28

South Carolina (2-2) @ 21.Tennessee (3-1) (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, SECN)
Can Tennessee avenge their blowout loss last November to South Carolina? With the two teams not being guaranteed annual games with Texas and Oklahoma entering the SEC next season, this game should mean more than it ever has. Gamecock QB Spencer Rattler (1,242 yards and 7 TDs this season) lit the Volunteer defense in that game, continuing his great play at the end of last season. Receiver Xavier Leggette (556 yards and 3 TDs) has been phenomenal under new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains in Columbia. The Gamecocks defense, led by linebacker Debo Williams (31 tackles) must look to stop the high tempo Tennessee offense, led by quarterback Joe Milton (925 yards and 8 TDs) and receivers Ramel Keyton (205 yards and 3 TDs) and Bru McCoy (196 yards and 1 TD). Milton must play better after struggling in a 29-16 loss to Florida two weeks ago in Gainesville. The Vol running game has been better this season with Jaylen Wright (312 yards) taking handoffs. The Tennessee defense must prevent Spencer Rattler from doing what he did last season when they were dominated last season. Notable names on the Volunteer defense include Aaron Beasley (29 tackles and 2 sacks) and defensive backs Tamarion McDonald and Kamal Hadden, who both have 1 interception. South Carolina needs this win bad as they look to avoid a third loss through five games this season. Projected Score: Tennessee 27, South Carolina 24

11.Notre Dame (4-1) @ 17.Duke (4-0) (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, ABC)
As ESPN’s College GameDay heads to Durham for the first time ever, they also head to their second consecutive Notre Dame game. The Irish were stunned in the final seconds by Ohio State last Saturday, losing 17-14. Up to that game, the Irish offense played fantastic football. However, versus a much improved Buckeye defense, Sam Hartman (1,236 passing yards and 14 TDs) and Audric Estime (591 rushing yards and 5 TDs) faltered in what felt like a low scoring Big Ten defensive struggle. The Notre Dame defense only had ten players on the field for Ohio State’s walk-off touchdown, making them feel like they could have won the game if they had all of their players on the field. Linebacker Jack Kiser (28 tackles and 1 sack) and defensive lineman Javontae Jean-Baptiste (23 tackles) lead that unit for the Irish. Duke quarterback Riley Leonard has been fantastic in the Blue Devils resurgence over the last two seasons. Through four games this season, Leonard has boasted 778 passing yards, 238 rushing yards, and 6 total touchdowns. His tailback Jordan Waters has been incredible too, as he has rushed for seven touchdowns the first quarter of the season and receivers Jalon Calhoun (258 yards and 1 TD) and Jordan Moore (246 yards and 2 TD) have led the Blue Devils catching the ball. For the Duke defense, they have held opposing offenses to just 35 points overall. Chandler Rivers (25 tackles) and Jaylen Stinson (23 tackles) have been terrific in the secondary for the Blue Devils. Duke is for real and Notre Dame will want to avenge their loss last week so this should be a good one. Projected Score: Notre Dame 38, Duke 35

By Carter Huff

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