Clemson, Louisville seek edge
A look at the top college Football Bowl Subdivision games for the upcoming week.
NO. 2 CLEMSON AT NO. 14 LOUISVILLE
Sept. 16, 8 p.m., ABC Line: Clemson by 3
Clemson staked its claim as one of the nation’s best defenses last weekend, and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson authored one of the most remarkable outings of his storied career.
The collision of the stingy Tigers and the potent Cardinals is a vital game in the Atlantic Coast Conference title chase.
Clemson (2-0, 0-0 ACC) held Auburn to 117 total yards and collected 11 sacks in a 14-6 triumph.
But Clemson QB Kelly Bryant and the Tigers will need more than two touchdowns this week, even if defending Heisman Trophy winner Jackson can’t be expected to replicate the 525 total yards and six touchdowns (three passing, three rushing) he piled up at North Carolina. He ran for 162 yards against Clemson last year and will need a strong performance if Louisville (2-0, 1-0) is to claim early control of the ACC Atlantic. Who wins? Clemson, 31-28
NO. 8 OKLAHOMA STATE AT PITTSBURGH
Sept. 16, noon, ESPN Line: Oklahoma State by 14
Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph has been sharp in beating Tulsa and South Alabama, throwing for 638 yards, six TDs and no interceptions over the two games.
Pittsburgh (1-1), which lost to Penn State, will be without suspended S Jordan Whitehead for one more game. The Panthers need to establish a passing game to keep pace with Oklahoma State (2-0). Who wins? Oklahoma State,
UCLA AT MEMPHIS
Sept. 16, noon, ABC Line: UCLA by 3
A week after helping UCLA charge back to topple Texas A&M, Bruins QB Josh Rosen was every bit as good in a rout of Hawaii, throwing for 329 yards and five TDs. UCLA (2-0) appears revitalized after last year’s 4-8 season, but this week will be a tricky test.
Memphis (1-0) had its game at Central Florida canceled by Hurricane Irma. Who wins? UCLA, 35-31
NO. 23 TENNESSEE AT NO. 25 FLORIDA
Sept. 16, 3:30 p.m., CBS Line: Florida by 51⁄ 2
Tennessee (2-0, 0-0) is seeking back-to-back victories against Florida (0-1, 0-0) for the first time since 2003-04.
The Gators’ quarterback issues were exposed in their opening loss to Michigan; last weekend’s game was canceled by Hurricane Irma. Who wins? Tennessee, 20-14
NO. 12 WISCONSIN AT BYU
Sept. 16, 3:30 p.m., ABC Line: Wisconsin by 131⁄
Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor is coming off a 223yard day against Florida Atlantic and appears to be a perfect fit in the old school offensive scheme used by Wisconsin (2-0).
The Cougars (1-2) didn’t cross midfield against LSU and then Brigham Young was limited to 233 yards in a loss to Utah. Wisconsin, 21-7
NO. 11 LSU AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 16, 7 p.m., ESPN Line: LSU by 7
RB Derrius Guice and the Tigers (2-0, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) have had little difficulty with BYU and Chattanooga, while Mississippi State (2-0, 0-0) arguably had even less trouble with Charleston Southern and Louisiana Tech.
The Bulldogs must give QB Nick Fitzgerald the opportunity to create problems for LSU. But if the Tigers defensive line can bottle him up, it should get a triumph in its SEC opener.
Who wins? LSU, 28-23
NO. 18 KANSAS STATE AT VANDERBILT
Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU Line: Kansas State by 4
The Wildcats have predictably mowed through Central Arkansas and Charlotte. But Kansas State (2-0) must contend with a Vandy team with a capable defense.
The Commodores (2-0) have allowed six points, and QB Kyle Shurmur is an efficient 35-for-46 for 498 yards and seven TDs.
Who wins? Kansas State, 24-13
ARIZONA STATE AT TEXAS TECH
Sept. 16, 8 p.m., FSN Line: Texas Tech by 71⁄ 2
Maybe this will be as crazy as last year’s meeting in Tempe. Arizona State won 68-55 behind Kalen Bellage’s seven touchdown runs. More remarkably, the teams combined for 1,264 yards.
While Texas Tech (1-0) is coming off an open date, the Sun Devils (1-1) stumbled 30-20 against San Diego State. Arizona State mustered 44 yards on 31 carries but should fare better against a Texas Tech defense that ranked 116th nationally against the run last season.
Who wins? Texas Tech, 45-42
TEXAS AT NO. 4 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Sept. 16, 8:30 p.m., Fox Line: USC by 17
The Trojans (2-0) effectively shoved aside concerns about their sluggish season opener, pounding Stanford 42-24 behind QB Sam Darnold’s four TD passes and 100-yard rushing days from Stephen Carr and Ronald Jones II.
USC will look for its 12th win in a row, while Texas (1-1) goes on the road for the first time under coach Tom Herman.
The Longhorns lost 51-41 to Maryland in the opener before blasting San Jose State 56-0 last week. CB Holton Hill has scored three touchdowns, two on interception returns, in the first two games. Who wins? Southern Cali
NO. 19 STANFORD AT SAN DIEGO STATE
Sept. 16, 10:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network Line: Stanford by 10
Few programs have embraced a smash-mouth offensive identity as well as the Cardinal (1-1) and Aztecs (2-0). RB Bryce Love rushed for 160 yards and a TD on 17 carries in last week’s loss to Southern California.
San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny leads the country with 206.5 rushing yards per game.
Stanford, 28-17 Times Eastern. Odds are courtesy of Playbook.com
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson has eight TDs and 1,010 yards passing and rushing for Louisville.