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College Football ’19: Week 4 Top 25 Previews

Each week, The Game Haus will preview every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with the Week 4 Top 25 previews (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 11 Michigan (2-0) at No. 13 Wisconsin (2-0), Noon, Saturday

Scouting the Wolverines: They must play better than they did against Army to have a chance this weekend. Specifically, cut down on the turnovers and keep focused. We’re looking at you Shea Patterson. Michigan has lost four straight in Madison

Scouting the Badgers: Wisconsin has allowed just 215 total yards through two games and also has the nation’s best overall running back in Jonathan Taylor, Last season’s 38-13 loss at Michigan probably still stings.

Winner: Wisconsin

No. 8 Auburn (3-0) at No. 17 Texas A&M (2-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 4 Top 25
Bo Nix / Photo courtesy of al.com

Scouting the Tigers: This is the first true road test for freshman quarterback Bo Nix and Co. Auburn is 3-0 at College Station, which means it should have confidence coming in, even while some question the validity of its undefeated start.

Scouting the Aggies: Quarterback Kellen Mond gets a great deal of pub, and he could be the x-factor again this week. However, a Texas A&M defense that’s allowed single-digit points twice already in 2019 has a chance to again rise to the occasion.

Winner: Auburn

No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 3 Georgia (3-0), 8 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Fighting Irish: Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff fate is probably at stake this weekend. The Irish should be hungry to avenge that 2017 home defeat to Georgia, but there defense is about face an offense the likes of which they won’t see again this regular season.

Scouting the Bulldogs: It’s first real test for Kirby Smart’s guys, who have had little trouble while outscoring their first three opponents 148-23. Georgia’s rushing attack averages 7.6 yards per carry. Notre Dame has allowed 461 rushing yards in its two contests.

Winner: Georgia

The Rest

Air Force (2-0) at No. 20 Boise State (3-0), 9 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: The Broncos are not the dominant team we’ve seen from the program in recent years, but still a quality group. Thanks to a defense that’s already recorded 13 sacks. Air Force, though, could be a pest after winning at Colorado last weekend.

Winner: Boise State

No. 10 Utah (3-0) at USC (2-1), 9 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: The Utes appear to be the best team in the Pac-12 while solid on both sides of the ball. The storyline of this contest, though, is Utah trying to win at USC for the first time in five games since joining the Pac-12.

Winner: Utah

Southern Mississippi (2-1) at No. 2 Alabama (3-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: For those keeping score at home, Alabama has won 56 consecutive home games against teams outside the Top 25. That run should continue this weekend as the Tide rolls on after putting away a somewhat pesky South Carolina squad.

Winner: Alabama

Tennessee (1-2) at No. 9 Florida (3-0), Noon, Saturday
Week 4 Top 25
Kyle Trask / Photo courtesy of theathletic.com

The Skinny: The Gators offense is in the hands of Kyle Trask – for now. It might not matter this week considering Tennessee finally earned its first 2019 victory. The Vols have also lost seven in a row and nine of the last 11 at Florida.

Winner: Florida

 

No. 23 California (3-0) at Ole Miss (2-1), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Cal is a Week 4 Top 25 team thanks to versatile quarterback Chase Garbers (608 passing/rushing yards) and a stingy defense led by star linebacker Evan Weaver (41 tackles). The Golden Bears are also 13-1 against non-conference opponents since the start of the 2015 season.

Winner: Ole Miss

No. 4 LSU (3-0) at Vanderbilt (0-2), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Interestingly, LSU has not started 4-0 in back-to-back seasons since 2012 and ’13. There’s a pretty good chance that will happen again after facing a Vandy program that’s lost seven straight against ranked SEC opponents.

Winner: LSU

No. 22 Washington (2-1) at BYU (2-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: BYU has knocked off Power Five foes in Tennessee and USC in consecutive games. Washington is better than both, but should be weary of a Cougars team that is playing with a lot of confidence. The Huskies last non-conference road loss to an unranked team came at BYU in 2010.

Winner: Washington

Miami (OH) (1-2) at No. 6 Ohio State (3-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 4 Top 25
Master Teague III / Photo courtesy of thelantern.com

The Skinny: The Buckeyes have scored at least 42 points in each of their first three games, and that trend should continue this week. Is Master Teague III (215 rushing yards in ’19) the next big-time Ohio State running back?

Winner: Ohio State

 

No. 15 UCF (3-0) at Pittsburgh (1-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Freshman Dillon Gabriel appears to be the guy fit to run the Knights offense and continue the program’s winning ways. However, Pitt presents an interesting challenge after holding Penn State to 17 points last weekend.

Winner: UCF

SMU (3-0) at No. 25 TCU (2-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: TCU is a Week 4 Top 25 team after outscoring its first two opponents since 73-20. SMU is 3-0 for the first time since 1984, but has lost seven in a row against the Horned Frogs.

Winner: TCU

No. 16 Oregon (2-1) at Stanford (1-2), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: This might be the most intriguing matchup in the Pac-12 this weekend. Oregon has lost three straight to Stanford, and it be a mental thing for the Ducks. However, this Cardinal team does not seem as talented as those in the past.

Winner: Oregon

Old Dominion (1-1) at No. 21 Virginia (3-0), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Virginia has not started 4-0 since 2004, but all signs point to the Cavaliers reaching that mark this season. That’s unless they get caught looking ahead to next week’s date with Notre Dame. We don’t think that happens.

Winner: Virginia

Charlotte (2-1) at No. 1 Clemson (3-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Trevor Lawrence’s interceptions would be scrutinized to the hilt if not for the fact that Clemson has plenty of offensive weapons surrounding him and a stellar defense. However, there is reason to be slightly concerned with the state of their signal-caller.

Winner: Clemson

Oklahoma State (3-0) at No. 12 Texas (2-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 4 Top 25
Photo courtesy of hookemheadlines.com

The Skinny: This could end up being the most entertaining game of the week. Texas is poised to show that its defense is better than it looked late against LSU earlier month. But, the Cowboys are averaging 49.3 points and have won five straight at Austin.

Winner: Oklahoma State

 

Colorado (2-1) at No. 24 Arizona State (3-0), 10 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: While the Sun Devils might not be an offensive juggernaut, their defense has been pretty impressive while giving up seven points in each 2019 game thus far. They’re also 5-0 at home since Colorado became part of the Pac-12.

Winner: Arizona State

UCLA (0-3) at No. 19 Washington State (3-0), 10:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Cougars did what they needed to to get past Houston last week, thanks to a solid defense (average 16 points allowed). The storyline, though, is UCLA. Are the Bruins going to win a game this season? And, is Chip Kelly really the right guy for the job.

Winner: Washington State

 

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