College football has started. It is now time for loads of football every Saturday. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 4.
1. Notre Dame at Georgia
Two years ago, Georgia traveled to Notre Dame and won a close game over the Fighting Irish. This is the return game, which features two top 10 teams. Notre Dame comes into this game after a shaky win over Louisville and a dominating performance over New Mexico. Georgia is 3-0 with great performances against Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State.
Georgia will be favored in this game. Winning this game will put them on a path to the College Football Playoff, much like two seasons ago. This is Notre Dame’s toughest game on the schedule, so they’ll want to win this game to try to boost their resume for a second straight CFP appearance. The Fighting Irish will be underdogs, so they’ll have to get some tricks ready to win this game.
2. Can Bo Nix Show up in the Clutch Again?
In week 1, Bo Nix had a rough game against Oregon, but then came up big in the clutch. His touchdown pass to Seth Williams late in the fourth quarter gave Auburn one of the best wins of the season so far. This week Nix and the Tigers will have another stiff test when they travel to take on Texas A&M.
The Aggies have played complete games in two of their three contests so far. They did lose to Clemson, but this game will feature a more even matchup. Kellen Mond and the Aggie offense will put up points, as they average 37.7 points per game. Auburn’s defense will slow them down, but Nix will need to help the Auburn offense score a decent amount of points to win in a hostile environment.
3. Is Michigan Able to Generate Some Offense?
One of the big games of the weekend is Michigan going on the road to face Wisconsin. This is a ranked matchup, that will feature a smashmouth style of play from Wisconsin. Michigan’s offense has changed to be more spread out, but haven’t found as much success as they would’ve liked.
If the game is low scoring, Wisconsin probably wins. That puts the pressure on the Michigan offense to put up points. A lot of this will be on quarterback Shea Patterson’s shoulders, as he hasn’t played great football. He has been injured, but he’ll need to be much better to give Michigan a chance. A win for the Wolverines could put them back on track to compete in the Big Ten East, while a loss seems to put them down a path of an 8-4 or 9-3 season.
4. Clay Helton’s Hot Seat
USC got through two weeks of the season without losing, but they did lose quarterback J.T. Daniels for the rest of the season. Kedon Slovis filled in well for the Trojans as he led them to victories in the first two weeks and kept them close against BYU. The Trojans lost to the Cougars this week, which has added fuel to the fire for Helton, who led the team to a 5-7 finish last season.
Things won’t get easier for Helton. This week the team hosts a physical Utah team on short rest. On Friday, Utah will look to add to their Pac-12 title and CFP hopes with a win over USC. Dropping to 2-2 for USC will only make things worse for Helton, as every game after that will put added pressure on him. Pulling off an upset may not save his job, but it will keep the boosters at bay for a little while longer.
5. Can UCF go Undefeated Against the Power 5?
Last week UCF defeated Stanford at home 45-21. They got their chance against a Power 5 team and took it to them. With all of the emotion of not making the CFP despite being undefeated, it likely felt good for fans to get that win, even if Stanford looks like they’ll struggle this season.
This week will give the Knights their last chance of the regular season to knock off a Power 5 opponent in Pitt. The Knights defeated Pitt last year and will likely be able to do the same this year. It is on the road, but they should be able to come through. Doing so will get them more respect than in past years, but may ultimately still lead to them being left out of the CFP.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.