5 Games to Watch- Week 1(ish)
College football starts this week! Although it’s not a full slate of games, as the real Week 1 is next week, it’s still football. There are five games being played, none of them with any real significance on the line. BUT IT’S FOOTBALL! Time to find your jersey, paint your face, break out your BBQs and head on over to the stadium parking lot for some tailgating action to cheer on your favorite team. It's time for some good ol’ gridiron action.
5. Portland State (0-0) @ BYU (0-0)
Saturday 8/26, 3:00 pm EDT
Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Independent BYU welcomes FCS Portland State Vikings to Provo as a tune-up game before the brutal part of their schedule starts. For the Vikings, long gone are the glory days of Neil Lomax and June Jones. Now they are a team that competes at the FCS level and has made the playoffs just twice since 2000. This game is more for the Cougars. Tanner Mangum is the man in charge (again) now that oft-injured Taysom Hill graduated. He’ll lead the offense along with a stable of quality running backs and the return of the Tight End position. The defense should also have a good opportunity to get to hit someone else besides their own teammates. Look for Fred Warner and Sione Takitaki to really disrupt the Viking offense.
Prediction- Brigham Young 49, Portland State 3
4. Stanford (0-0) @ Rice (0-0)
Saturday 8/26, 10:00 pm EDT
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW, Australia
It is pretty cool that a bunch of college kids get to go to Australia to do something they love, play football. Last year Hawai’i and Cal played a game here. This year it’s Stanford and Rice. Stanford will try to improve on last season’s down year by setting the tone for the year. Look for them to run, run and run some more on offense. For Rice, they’re going to try to improve on that poor defense from last season. If they can force Stanford into 3rd and long, they can rely on their veteran secondary to keep the game close. If they can’t, it might be a long flight back to Texas.
Prediction- Stanford 38, Rice 17
3. South Florida (0-0) @ San Jose State (0-0)
Saturday 8/26, 7:30 pm EDT
CEFCU Stadium, San Jose, CA
Quinton Flowers, the dual-threat quarterback, leads the Bulls into the heart of California against the Spartans of San Jose State. Flowers is a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy and leading candidate for AAC offensive player of the year. He’ll want to start the season off on the right foot by taking down San Jose State on the road. Both teams feature a new head coach, Chalie Strong at USF and Brent Brennan at SJSU. While SJSU has talent, it has questions at QB and doesn’t match the level of USF right now.
Prediction- South Florida 35, San Jose State 21
2. Hawai’i (0-0) @ UMass (0-0)
Saturday 8/26, 6:00 pm EDT
Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Amherst, MA
Eleven Sports Network
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors will travel more than 5,000 miles and cross 6 time zones for this game, the furthest east in the history of its program, to play against the Massachusetts Minutemen. Last year these teams had a thriller of a game to end the season; Hawai’i won 46-40. Neither team features a good defense but both teams have an offense that can sling the ball around the field. Hawai’i can’t stop the pass but neither can UMass.
Prediction- Hawai’i 38, UMass 31
1. Oregon State (0-0) @ Colorado State (0-0)
Saturday 8/26, 2:30 pm EDT
CSU Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
This game will set the tone for both teams this season. Gary Andersen and the Beavers need a win to increase confidence against a good CSU team before a rough Pac-12 stretch. The Rams want to make a statement against a Power 5 team to start out the year before rival CU the next week. OSU will need to be stout against the CSU run. CSU will need to be disciplined against the OSU balanced offense. This game should be a close, fun, back-and-forth game.
Prediction- Colorado State 24, Oregon State 21