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College football viewers' guide: Key conference matchups highlight the weekend

College football viewers' guide: Key conference matchups highlight the weekend
Georgia's Mecole Hardman (4) runs with a catch against Vanderbilt's LaDarius Wiley (5) on Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

It’s another weekend of college football, which means it’s time to cancel your other Saturday plans to binge-watch games from morning until late night. The Times’ Eduardo Gonzalez lets us know what will be on our televisions and computer screens this weekend:

FRIDAY

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Arizona (3-3) at Utah (3-2), 7 p.m., ESPN

Both teams are trending up after a shaky September. Utah made a statement last week by beating Stanford 40-21 behind a defense that forced four turnovers, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. Arizona’s defense stepped it up against California by forcing four turnovers, including two interceptions returned for scores.

4 p.m.: No. 23 South Florida at Tulsa, ESPN.

6 p.m.: Air Force at San Diego State, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN).

SATURDAY MORNING

No. 14 Florida (5-1) at Vanderbilt (3-3), 9 a.m., ESPN

Florida is riding high after upsetting then-ranked No. 5 Louisiana State last week. The Gators’ rushing game stepped it up with 215 yards and three touchdowns and the defense forced three turnovers, including an interception that sealed the win. Vanderbilt has played Florida close the last three meetings and the Commodores almost upset Notre Dame last month.

Pittsburgh (3-3) at No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0), 11:30 a.m., Channel 4

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) makes a toss during the second half against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Notre Dame won 45-23.
Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) makes a toss during the second half against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Notre Dame won 45-23. (Steve Helber / Associated Press)

Pittsburgh loves to play the spoiler. The Panthers did it against No. 2 Clemson in 2016 and against No. 2 Miami last season. If they’re going to do it this season, their defense will need to contain the dynamic Irish offense. Notre Dame’s Ian Book passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns and running back Dexter Williams rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-23 win over Virginia Tech last week.

9 a.m.: Minnesota at No. 3 Ohio State, FS1; Tennessee at No. 21 Auburn, SEC Network (SEC); Rutgers at Maryland, Big Ten Network (Big Ten); Iowa at Indiana, ESPN2; Nebraska at Northwestern, Channel 7; Oklahoma State at Kansas State, ESPNU; Akron at Buffalo, CBSSN.

9:30 a.m.: Louisville at Boston College, Prime Ticket.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

No. 2 Georgia (6-0) at No. 13 Louisiana State (5-1), 12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Georgia will try to validate its ranking while Louisiana State will try to get back on track after a loss to Florida. This will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Tigers since 2013. Georgia’s Jake Fromm passed for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-13 win over Vanderbilt last week. LSU is only allowing 17 points per game.

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No. 7 Washington (5-1) at No. 17 Oregon (4-1), 12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Oregon's Justin Herbert passes the ball against California on Sept. 29 in Berkeley.
Oregon's Justin Herbert passes the ball against California on Sept. 29 in Berkeley. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

If Washington wants to survive a road test, the Huskies cannot play like they did in a 31-24 victory over winless UCLA last week. Washington’s Myles Gaskin rushed for 116 yards and two scores, but the Huskies had trouble stopping the Bruins’ offense. Oregon bounced back against California as it forced five turnovers and Justin Herbert passed for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Missouri (3-2) at No. 1 Alabama (6-0), 4 p.m., ESPN

This will be Missouri’s first trip to Tuscaloosa. Can the Tigers keep up with a Crimson Tide team that is averaging 56 points a game? Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Missouri’s Drew Lock should each reach the 1,500-yard passing mark for the season in this game.

No. 15 Wisconsin (4-1) at No. 12 Michigan (5-1), 4:30 p.m., Channel 7

Michigan's Jarred Wangler (5) celebrates a second half touchdown against Maryland Terrapins on Saturday.
Michigan's Jarred Wangler (5) celebrates a second half touchdown against Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

This might not be the only time these two Big Ten conference foes meet this season. The Badgers’ run game last week wore out Nebraska with Jonathan Taylor gaining 221 yards and scoring three times. Michigan’s Shea Patterson passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-21 win against Maryland.

12:30 p.m.: Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State, Big Ten; Baylor at No. 9 Texas, ESPN; No. 10 Central Florida at Memphis, ESPN2; No. 22 Texas A&M at South Carolina, SEC; Temple at Navy, CBSSN; Army vs. San Jose State, ESPNU; Purdue at Illinois, FS1.

4 p.m.: UCLA at California, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12); No. 6 West Virginia at Iowa State, FS1; No. 16 Miami at Virginia, ESPN2; Houston at East Carolina, CBSSN; Virginia Tech at North Carolina, ESPNU.

4:30 p.m.: Mississippi at Arkansas, SEC; Middle Tennessee State at Florida International, beIN.

SATURDAY EVENING

No. 19 Colorado (5-0) at USC (3-2), 7:30 p.m., FS1

USC running back Aca'Cedric Ware finds a hole to run through in the first half against Arizona on Sept. 29 in Tucson, Ariz.
USC running back Aca'Cedric Ware finds a hole to run through in the first half against Arizona on Sept. 29 in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Colorado is one of the surprise teams in college football this season and the Buffaloes will try to extend their best start since 1998. USC is 12-0 all-time against Colorado. Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans’ 24-20 win over Arizona on Sept. 29. Colorado’s Steven Montez passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 win over Arizona State last week.

7:15 p.m.: Hawaii at Brigham Young, ESPN2.

7:30 p.m.: Wyoming at Fresno State, ESPNU; Boise State at Nevada, CBSSN.

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