2 games to watch Sat­ur­day

San Francisco Chronicle - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL -

No. 1 Alabama is fac­ing a ranked foe Sat­ur­day, but the con­ven­tional wis­dom the Crim­son Tide won’t be tested.

The Crim­son Tide, af­ter run­ning roughshod over LSU last Sat­ur­day, re­turns home to face No. 18 Mis­sis­sippi State. Alabama is a pro­hib­i­tive fa­vorite. So, here are two other games to watch:

Best game: No. 8 Ohio State at No. 24 Michi­gan State (9 a.m.

). For all their is­sues through nine weeks of the sea­son, the Buck­eyes are 10th in the play­off rank­ings and still in po­si­tion to win the Big Ten. The Spar­tans’ of­fense is 116th in the coun­try in yards per play (5.00), but the Spar­tans have one of the best run de­fenses in the coun­try to throw at an Ohio State run­ning game that at times has left QB Dwayne Hask­ins and the of­fense one-di­men­sional.

Heis­man watch: Travis Eti­enne, Clem­son at Bos­ton Col­lege (5 p.m. ). We all know a quar­ter­back is al­most a lock to the win the Heis­man and that quar­ter­back is prob­a­bly Tua Tagoav­iloa of Alabama. Ok­la­homa’s Kyler Mur­ray, West Vir­ginia’s Will Grier and Hask­ins still could have a say, too.

Eti­enne is the one run­ning back who might be able to break into the field. His big­gest is­sue is touches. The sopho­more is av­er­ag­ing just un­der 13 car­ries per game, but 8.6 yards per carry with 15 touch­downs. If the Ea­gles can mount a chal­lenge against the Tigers, Clem­son might give Eti­enne a few more mean­ing­ful touches and the chance to di­rect some Heis­man love his way.

Rainier Ehrhardt / As­so­ci­ated Press

Clem­son run­ning back Travis Eti­enne has scored 15 TDs.

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