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CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

College football on TV: What to watch this Saturday

Chris Dufresne handicaps what is worth watching and skipping on Saturday's menu of college football games.

October 11, 2013|Chris Dufresne
  • Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has lit up opposing defenses for 1,358 yards and 14 touchdowns with no interceptions for the Ducks through five games this season.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has lit up opposing defenses for 1,358… (David Zalubowski / Associated…)

Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Friday, The Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on Saturday's menu of games:

MORNING

No. 25 Missouri (5-0) at No. 7 Georgia (4-1)

9 a.m., ESPN

Last week, No. 25 Maryland entered the rankings just in time to get exposed, 63-0, at No. 8 Florida State. You have to wonder whether Missouri is this week's Maryland as it steps into the spotlight. The Tigers are 5-0 but have feasted on the likes of Murray State and Arkansas State with a couple of decent wins over Indiana and Vanderbilt. Georgia is coming off an emotional overtime win at Tennessee but lost three more key players to injuries.

No. 12 Oklahoma (5-0) vs. Texas (4-2)

9 a.m., Channel 7

If this is Mack Brown's last stand he doesn't want to take it lying down. Brown's 16-year career at Texas probably rests on reversing a trend of lopsided losses against the Longhorns' Red River Rivalry archrivals. It's the way Texas has lost to Oklahoma that has rightfully rankled fans. The last two scores were 63-21 and 55-17. Brown has also lost by scores of 63-14 and 65-13. One more number in that range and it could be "86" for Mack.

9 a.m.: Iowa State at Texas Tech, FS1; Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech, ESPNU; Indiana at Michigan State, ESPN2; Memphis at Houston, ESPN News; Eastern Michigan at Army, CBSSN; Nebraska at Purdue, BTN; Kansas at Texas Christian, FS West; South Carolina at Arkansas, KDOC; Lehigh at Columbia, NBCSN.

AFTERNOON

No. 19 Northwestern (4-1) at Wisconsin (3-2)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Northwestern must regroup after letting another late lead slip away last week against Ohio State. The Wildcats have not won at Wisconsin in 13 seasons and will face a rested Badgers' team still stinging from a controversial defeat to Arizona State. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has already rushed for 698 yards while averaging 10.3 yards per carry.

No. 17 Florida (4-1) at No. 10 Louisiana State (5-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

This is a powerhouse pairing of Southeastern Conference East vs. SEC West. Expect the winner to be lauded by CBS as the best one-loss team in America and better than any unbeaten team out there except Alabama. The loser is probably out of the title race unless it's LSU, which in 2007 became the only school to win a Bowl Championship Series title with two defeats.

No. 16 Washington (4-1) at No. 2 Oregon (5-0)

1 p.m., FS1

This may redefine the definition of shootout. Oregon has scored 55 or more points in five straight games and Washington has gone up-tempo in averaging 37.4 points per game this season. Oregon has won nine straight in the series, its closest margin of victory 17 points. You won't find a game this weekend matching better quarterbacks. Fifth-year Washington senior Keith Price was magnificent in last week's three-point loss at Stanford; Oregon sophomore Marcus Mariota has been so dominant he has yet to play a full game.

No. 5 Stanford (5-0) at Utah (3-2)

3 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Stanford never trailed against Washington last week but needed a fourth-down stop on a replay reversal to preserve a three-point win in Palo Alto. Utah's record is misleading in that the Utes have lost to Oregon State in overtime and to UCLA by seven.

12:30 p.m.: Boston College at Clemson, ESPN2; Baylor at Kansas State, Channel 11; San Jose State at Colorado State, CBSSN; Virginia at Maryland, ESPNU; Syracuse at North Carolina State, FS West; Richmond at James Madison, NBCSN.

2 p.m.: Michigan at Penn State, ESPN.

4 p.m.: Villanova at Towson, NBCSN; Alabama at Kentucky, ESPN2; Georgia Tech at Brigham Young, ESPNU.

4:30 p.m.: Bowling Green at Mississippi State, FS West.

EVENING

No. 9 Texas A&M (4-1) at Mississippi (3-2)

5:30 p.m., ESPN

Texas A&M remains in the top 10 because of a dynamic offense led by quarterback Johnny Manziel and in spite of a defense that ranks No. 112 out of 123 teams. The Aggies average 49.2 points and give up 30.8 but remain a title contender because their only loss is to No. 1 Alabama. Mississippi started 3-0 but has lost two straight.

Oregon State (4-1) at Washington State (4-2)

7:30 p.m., ESPNU

This is almost a junior version of Oregon at Washington. The Beavers aren't up-tempo like Oregon but boast a quarterback, Sean Mannion, who leads the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes. The Cougars counter with quarterback Connor Halliday, who passed for 521 yards and three touchdowns in last week's win over Colorado.

5 p.m.: Boise State at Utah State, CBSSN; Tulsa at Texas El Paso, FS1.

7 p.m.: Colorado at Arizona State, Pac-12.

7:30 p.m.: California at UCLA, ESPN2.

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