College football is back. While not all teams are back, a lot of teams are preparing for week 4. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 4.
1. Kentucky’s O-Line vs. Auburn’s D-Line
One of the best matchups of the weekend features Kentucky and Auburn. The Wildcats are ranked 23rd in the country, while Auburn comes in at eighth in the country. Auburn will be favored, even though their team has been decimated by players contracting COVID. The Tigers will have a solid offense, led by quarterback Bo Nix and wide receiver Seth Williams, but they should have a better defense. The defense should be the strong point of the team though, which will be led by Big Kat Bryant and Tyrone Truesdell.
If Kentucky is able to pull off the upset, it will likely be thanks to their offensive line. Two players on the offensive line will likely play on Sundays in center Drake Jackson and left tackle Landon Young. The Wildcats have one of the best offensive lines in the SEC and they will need to continually move the ball if they wish to beat Auburn.
2. TCU’s Quarterback Situation
TCU had to cancel their season-opener against SMU due to a COVID outbreak on the team. They will open their season this weekend against Iowa State. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, there will be uncertainty at the quarterback position, which could really hurt the team’s chances this season.
Starting quarterback Max Duggan, who started as a freshman last year, had an underlying health condition that was found during COVID testing. It is believed to be a heart condition, which will likely leave him unable to play. Backup Matthew Downing, a former walk-on at Georgia, hasn’t practiced and there is no word on if he’ll be ready to play this weekend. Even if he is, the quarterback situation will still be something to watch as the season goes on.
*Max Duggan has been cleared to play against Iowa State, but it will still be worth monitoring.
3. Can Cincinnati Stop Army’s Option?
Cincinnati will host Army this weekend in a game of ranked teams. There is hope that Cincinnati can go on a run this season, as Pat McAfee even picked the Bearcats to make the College Football Playoff. On the other hand, Army has beaten Middle Tennessee and UL Monroe this season and their offense has not been stopped yet.
While Cincinnati is a much better team than Middle Tennessee and UL Monroe, they still will have to find a way to stop Army’s offense. They rank first in the country in rushing yards per game at 388. Cincinnati has a solid defense, but stopping the triple option will take discipline. If they can do it, they will stay undefeated and could still be a darkhorse team for many analysts around the country.
4. J.T. Daniels’ Debut With Georgia
This offseason, Jamie Newman transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest. Later on in the offseason, J.T. Daniels transferred from USC to Georgia. Newman was still expected to start, but he then opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. So Daniels is now starting for the Bulldogs.
Georgia won’t likely be tested in their opening game against Arkansas. Daniels was knocked out of last season with a torn ACL and Kedon Slovis ended up succeeding for USC. It will be important to see how well Daniels plays coming off of an injury in an entirely new situation.
5. Will Bryce Young Play for Alabama?
For the last few seasons, Alabama has had Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. When he was injured last season, the Crimson Tide turned to Mac Jones to fill in. He played decently and helped the team win the Citrus Bowl. There were doubts about Jones’ play, but he was named the starter heading into the fall.
Alabama has a very talented dual-threat quarterback in Bryce Young. The freshman enrolled early and many think he is the future starter of Alabama this season. The Crimson Tide play Missouri in their season opener. With Jones set to start, will Young see any time and get a chance to take over the job?
Make sure to check out our college football page for more content!