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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 4 Saturday Preview: The Night Games (7:00-)

#23 Arizona State (2-0) at #5 Stanford (2-0), 7:00, FOX

ASU rush O (.04) vs. Stanford rush D (-.091)
ASU pass O (.28) vs. Stanford pass D (.030)
Stanford rush O (.16) vs. ASU rush D (-.178)
Stanford pass O (.28) vs. ASU pass D (-.128)
ASU might have a better shot than people really think.  Taylor Kelly is a good QB, and the Sun Devil D has been pretty solid so far, and it's not as if they've only played vastly inferior opponents - Wisconsin isn't bad at all.  I think the Stanford offense is good enough to match the Sun Devils, but if this winds up an upset, it won't be a stunning one.  EPA star to watch: Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly (27.1).

Morgan State (0-3) at Western Kentucky (1-2) - Hilltoppers will win big.

SMU (1-1) at #10 Texas A&M (2-1), 7:00, ESPNU

SMU rush O (.21) vs. aTm rush D (.186)
SMU pass O (-.01) vs. aTm pass D (.273)
aTm rush O (.29) vs. SMU rush D (.016)
aTm pass O (.47) vs. SMU pass d (.259)
Texas A&M's defense has been pretty bad at football so far this year, but it won't come back to bit them in this one.  Johnny Manziel won't have any problems with the Mustang defense.  EPA star to watch: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (53.1).

Colorado State (1-2) at #1 Alabama (2-0) - This one is on ESPN2, but it's not because anyone expects it to be close.  Do you really need a preview?

Savannah State (1-2) at #16 Miami (2-0) - Canes will move to 3-0.

Eastern Illinois (3-0) at Northern Illinois (2-0) - Jordan Lynch averaging 213.5 pass yards, 107.5 rush yards, and 4 TD per game.

Texas State (2-0) at #25 Texas Tech (3-0) - The Raiders have looked good, and will continue to do so, but I have serious doubts they're one of the 25 best teams in the country.

Oregon State (2-1) at San Diego State (0-2) - The Beavers know better than anyone that no game is a sure thing, but I don't think SDSU is better than the Eastern Washington team that haunts OSU's dreams.

Troy (2-1) at Mississippi State (1-2) - Dan Mullen may or may not let fans pick plays from the scoreboard.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution still isn't sure.

Auburn (3-0) at #6 LSU (3-0), 7:45, ESPN

Auburn rush O (.08) vs. LSU rush D (-.048)
Auburn pass O (.15) vs. LSU pass D (-.041)
LSU rush O (.19) vs. Auburn rush D (.078)
LSU pass O (.70) vs. Auburn pass D (-.054)
Auburn has played really well to start the year, and I wouldn't count them out in this game.  LSU should win, as LSU typically does at home at night, but tonight we find out just how much this Auburn team has improved.  EPA star to watch: LSU QB Zach Mettenberger (53.3).

#15 Michigan (3-0) at Connecticut (0-2), 8:00, ABC

Michigan rush O (.13) vs. UConn rush D (-.106)
Michigan pass O (.26) vs. UConn pass D (.252)
UConn rush O (-.14) vs. Michigan rush D (-.103)
UConn pass O (-.12) vs.Michigan pass D (-.153)
ABC brings you a spinoff of their hit show Wipeout.  Connecticut is the hapless competitor.  Michigan is the obstacle course.  EPA star to watch: Michigan QB Devin Gardner (37.3).

Missouri (2-0) at Indiana (2-1) - This could be exciting.  Indiana QB Nate Sudfield is top 5 in total EPA, so don't count the Hoosiers out.

Kansas State (2-1) at Texas (1-2), 8:00, ABC

KSU rush O (.16) vs. Texas rush D (.137)
KSU pass O (.20) vs. Texas pass D (-.049)
Texas rush O (.06) vs. KSU rush D (-.015)
Texas pass O (.11) vs. KSU pass D (-.051)
Both offenses are playing well, but Texas still has the issue of the run defense - an issue KSU is capable of exploiting.  This one could be another long one for the Longhorns.  EPA star to watch: Kansas State QB Jake Waters (20.2).

UTSA (1-2) at UTEP (1-1) - Is this a rivalry?  It should be.  

Hawaii (0-2) at Nevada (1-2) - Nevada should win, but I won't go so far as to say Nevada is rebounding.  Hawaii is just that bad.

Western Illinois (2-1) at UNLV (1-2) - The Rebels should win.

Utah (2-1) at BYU (1-1), 10:15, ESPN2

Utah rush O (.27) vs. BYU rush D (-.206)
Utah pass O (.32) vs. BYU pass D (-.057)
BYU rush O (.18) vs. Utah rush D (-.124)
BYU pass O (-.37) vs. Utah pass D (.249)
Very interesting matchup.  Both teams have one glaring weakness, and weakness will meet weakness head on every time BYU throws the ball.  Otherwise, it's nothing but strengths matching up.  This year's Holy War should be a good game.  I like Utah in the upset.  EPA star to watch: Utah QB Travis Wilson (56.1, 6th nationally).

Wyoming (2-1) at Air Force (1-2) - I'll keep picking Wyoming until they let me down.

New Mexico State (0-3) at #13 UCLA (2-0) - The debate here is whether UCLA can cover the 42.5 in this one.  I think they won't, but that's all there is to watch in this one.

Idaho (0-3) at Washington State (2-1) - The coaching names (Petrino & Leach) are more recognizable than any players involved.

Brent Blackwell compiles the EPA rankings for  Follow Brent on Twitter by mashing the pretty button below.

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