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College football: What to watch Saturday on TV

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.

October 31, 2013|Chris Dufresne
  • Quarterback Jameis Winston and Florida State are prohibitive favorites in their matchup with Miami on Saturday in a meeting of 7-0 teams.
Quarterback Jameis Winston and Florida State are prohibitive favorites… (Jeff Gammons / Getty Images )

MORNING

No. 4 Ohio State (8-0) at Purdue (1-6)

9 a.m., BTN

Ohio State needs a quality win against a quality opponent to prove it belongs in the same sentence as Alabama, Oregon and Florida State. So what a lousy time for Purdue to show up on the schedule. Ohio State can't bolster its case against the Boilermakers but can damage it. During last year's 12-0 season, remember, Ohio State needed overtime to beat Purdue in Columbus. Purdue has lost five straight, and its only win this year was against lower-level 1-AA Indiana State.

9 a.m.: Wisconsin at Iowa, Channel 7; Virginia Tech at Boston College, ESPN2; Illinois at Penn State, ESPN; Army at Air Force, ESPNU; Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina Central, ESPN News; Southern Mississippi at Marshall, CBSSN.

Mississippi State (4-3) at No. 14 South Carolina (6-2)

9:30 a.m., KDOC

Our favorite SEC cable channel based in Orange County gets a South Carolina team coming off a dramatic come-from-behind win at Missouri last week. The victory kept the Gamecocks alive in the race for the SEC East title. Mississippi State is what it is. The Bulldogs have defeated the easy teams — Alcorn, Troy, Bowling Green, Kentucky — and lost to Oklahoma State, Auburn and Louisiana State.¿

9:30 a.m.: Wake Forest at Syracuse, Prime.

10 a.m.: Middle Tennessee at Alabama Birmingham, FS West.

AFTERNOON

No. 23 Michigan (6-1) at No. 24 Michigan St. (7-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

The temperature will be low, an estimated 33 degrees, but tempers should be running hot in this annual battle for state supremacy. Michigan State leads the Legends Division at 4-0 while Michigan (2-1) is playing catch-up as the Wolverines search for their first Big Ten title since 2004. Michigan State's defense is one of the nation's best, giving up only 12.3 points a game.

Navy (4-3) at No. 25 Notre Dame (6-2)

12:30 p.m., Channel 4

Notre Dame bounced back nicely from the Oklahoma loss with impressive wins against Arizona State, USC and Air Force. The Fighting Irish need to win out to have any chance of making a BCS game, yet Navy isn't the pushover it used to be. Notre Dame dominates the series, 72-12-1, but each school has won three games since 2006. The Irish have won the last two by the combined score of 106-24.

Georgia (4-3) vs. Florida (4-3)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Can we take our cocktails in the other room? What looked like a possible game of the year in August has dissolved into an SEC East game where the loser will leave with a fourth defeat. Injuries have plagued both teams and you can bet that will be pointed out by the CBS-SEC Network.

12:30 p.m.: Clemson at Virginia, ESPN; Arizona at California, Pac-12; Minnesota at Indiana, BTN1; Northwestern at Nebraska, BTN, BTN2; Iowa State at Kansas State, FS1; West Virginia at Texas Christian, ESPNU.

1 p.m.: Hawaii at Utah State, CBSSN.

3 p.m.: Auburn at Arkansas, ESPN2.

No. 18 Oklahoma St. (6-1) at No. 15 Texas Tech (7-1)

4 p.m., Channel 11

The chain gang will get a workout during what should be a high-scoring game between schools that average nearly 40 points. You knew Texas Tech's undefeated luck was going to run out because the Red Raiders are playing two true freshmen at quarterback. Twelve of Tech's 19 turnovers this year have come on interceptions from Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield.

EVENING

No. 7 Miami (7-0) at No. 3 Florida St. (7-0)

5 p.m., Channel 7

Don't throw your records out the window with this one because they might break. However, the three-touchdown point spread here belies a history in which Miami has inflicted most of the consequential heartbreak. Yes, Miami was been lucky to survive close calls against unranked North Carolina and Wake Forest, but the Hurricanes also won't be intimidated by their upstate neighbor. But the game is in Tallahassee? Miami is 14-8 on Seminoles soil, where it once ended Florida State's 54-game home winning streak.

4 p.m.: Tennessee at Missouri, ESPN; Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech, ESPNU.

4:30 p.m.: Colorado at UCLA, FS1.

5 p.m.: Boise State at Colorado State, CBSSN; New Mexico at San Diego State, Prime.

Nevada (3-5) at No. 16 Fresno St. (7-0)

7:30 p.m., ESPNU

Don't let Nevada's record fool you. The Wolf Pack lost to UCLA, Florida State, Boise State and San Diego State (in overtime). The other defeat was by five to Nevada Las Vegas. Fresno State could be flat after an emotional overtime win last week at San Diego State. The Bulldogs remained undefeated only after blocking what would have been the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.

6 p.m.: Texas El Paso at Texas A&M, ESPN2.

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