By Chris Dufresne
6:36 PM PDT, September 12, 2013
Break out the chips and cold drinks but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Thursday, The Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on Saturday's menu of games:
No. 5 Stanford (1-0) at Army (1-1)
9 a.m., CBS Sports Network
Army loves to run the ball and Stanford's defense lives to stop the run, so that probably means Army will be lucky to cross mid-field.
Don't be fooled by a final score that might look close. Stanford isn't into style points and 30 points to the Cardinals is like 50 to Oregon. Stanford's defense suffocated a pretty good San Jose State last week, 34-13, allowing the Spartans only 35 rushing yards with four sacks of quarterback David Fales.
No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1)
9 a.m., ESPN
Hey look, Louisville is better than Kentucky in football and basketball. The Cardinals won last year's NCAA title and look to rub more blue grass in Lexington's football face. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a leading Heisman candidate who has thrown for 752 yards and nine touchdowns in two games. Kentucky figures to get better eventually with first-year Coach Mark Brooks but this is a bad match-up for the Wildcats.
9 a.m.: UCLA at Nebraska, Ch. 7; Virginia Tech at East Carolina, FS1; Tulsa at Oklahoma, ESPN2; Akron at Michigan, BTN; Bowling Green at Indiana, ESPNU; Western Illinois at Minnesota, BTN1.
9:30 a.m.: Louisiana Monroe at Wake Forest, FSWest; Southern Mississippi at Arkansas, KDOC.
11 a.m.: Youngstown State at Michigan State, BTN3.
No. 1 Alabama (1-0) at No. 6 Texas A&M (2-0)
12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Alabama heads to College Station in hopes of avenging last season's only loss en route to a second straight BCS title. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel might have clinched the Heisman Trophy in the 29-24 win at Tuscaloosa as he passed for 253 yards and rushed for 92 against the nation's No. 1 defense. The winner of this game earns a huge tiebreak advantage in the race for the SEC West title.
Tennessee (2-0) at No. 2 Oregon (2-0)
12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Give the SEC's Volunteers program credit for taking this dangerous nonconference game in Eugene. Oregon may be the nation's most impressive team through the first two weeks. The Ducks haven't slowed down much under first-year Coach Mark Helfrich, as 17 of the team's 19 scoring drives this year have been accomplished in less than two minutes.
Stat clincher: Oregon has won 21 straight home games against unranked schools and Tennessee has lost 16 straight against rated teams.
Noon: Boston College at USC, Pac-12.
12:30 p.m.: Delaware at Navy, CBSSN; Nevada at Florida State, ESPN; Georgia Tech at Duke, ESPNU.
1 p.m.: Ball State at North Texas, FSWest.
No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) at California (1-1)
4 p.m., FOX
Quarterback Braxton Miller injured his knee in last week's easy win over San Diego State and might be a game-time decision. Cal played Ohio State even to the final whistle last year in a 35-28 loss at Columbus. Brendan Bigelow and a break-out game with 160 rushing yards in only four carries but gained only 271 yards on 40 carries in all other games. True freshman Cal quarterback Jared Goff has already passed for 935 yards in his first two games while completing 62.6% of his passes.
No. 21 Notre Dame (1-1) at Purdue (1-1)
5 p.m., Channel 7
Notre Dame's "vaunted" defense is officially on notice after allowing 42 points to Alabama in last January's BCS title loss and 41 points last week to Michigan. The Irish gave up only six to Temple in between but must shore on "D" up or they'll get shipped out of the BCS race. Purdue seems like a schedule "gimme" but the Boilermakers lost by only three last year in South Bend.
3 p.m.: Washington at Illinois, BTN; Iowa at Iowa State, FS1; UCF at Penn State, BTN.
3:30 p.m.: Southern Utah at Washington State, Pac-12.
4 p.m.: Vanderbilt at South Carolina, ESPN; Mississippi State at Auburn, ESPN2; Kent State at Louisiana State, ESPNU.
4:30 p.m.: Kansas at Rice, CBSSN.
5 p.m.: Marshall at Ohio, ESPN News.
No. 20 Wisconsin (2-0) at Arizona State (1-0)
7:30 p.m., ESPN
Neither team has allowed a point this season, shutting out three 1-AA opponents by a combined score of 148-0. This starts a brutal make-or-break schedule stretch for Arizona State as the Sun Devils follow with games against Stanford, USC and Notre Dame. Wisconsin heads right back to patsy play with its Big Ten opener against Purdue. Key stat: Arizona State is 8-0 against the Big Ten at Sun Devil Stadium.
6 p.m.: Western Michigan at northwestern, BTN, BTN3.
7 p.m.: Oregon State at Utah, FS1.
7:30 p.m.: Texas San Antonio at Arizona, Pac-12; Lamar at Oklahoma State (tape), FSWest.
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