As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech (ESPN): Thanks to the weirdness of last season, this isn’t the guarantee it used to be vis-a-vis determining the Coastal representative in the championship game. Nonetheless, it remains a major sticking point on the schedule. Since VPI joined the ACC, we’ve only beaten them twice: once in Blacksburg in 2006 (on the back of Calvin Johnson), and the upset at home that paved the way to the ACCCG in 2009 (VPI was ranked in the top 5 at the time).
Arguably, the most talked about aspect of this game isn’t what either team does well, it’s more about how bad VPI’s offense has been. Which is a shame, because the flip-side is a true strength-versus-strength matchup. VPI has been one of the few teams to keep the GT offense in check since 2008, with Bud Foster willing to mix things up on his defense (i.e., using smaller, faster defensive linemen that can evade the cut block and get to the ball carrier).
GT’s defense has been “okay” I would say so far. Last week was their first real test, and the first half was a mixed back. The second half, though, showed improvement in the pass rush and in the coverage game, as we realized that UNC’s best receiver was their tight end and adjusted accordingly. I have to say that the last thing I want, though, is for Logan Thomas to remember how tall he is, as I still feel like two years ago the dude just sort of yelled “TIMBER!”, fell over, and got first downs.
- Iowa State @ Tulsa (FS1): Well, Fox Sports 1 has to start somewhere I guess, but I’m not sure this is the optimal choice. Neither of these teams can really score or play defense, so this could well be a puntfest. I’m going with Tulsa scoring the “upset” at home.
- Utah State @ San Jose State (ESPN): Looking this up just made me remember that the Mountain West’s new divisions are named “Mountain” and “West”. Which is actually fine geographically but seriously what’s wrong with “East”? You were halfway right! Anyway, the game. SJSU still doesn’t look very good, but they are better. The Aggies are still even better, though.
- Middle Tennessee State @ Brigham Young (ESPNU): MTSU has started well in C-USA, scoring wins over Memphis and Florida Atlantic. Oh, right, those teams are awful and they lost to UNC by 20. They might do the same to BYU.