Weekend college football viewers guide: Pick your Saturday late-afternoon pleasure

South Alabama v Mississippi
Mississippi quarterback Shea Patterson has passed for 918 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
(Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images)

Need some help deciding which college football games to watch? Look no further. Each Friday, Times’ contributor Chuck Schilken handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on the weekend’s menu of games:


Illinois (2-0) at No. 22 South Florida (2-0), 4 p.m., ESPN

The game will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa less than a week after Hurricane Irma caused the cancellation of the Bulls’ home opener. Coaching at the stadium for the first time since being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2016, Lovie Smith and the Illini are looking to match last season’s win total.


4 p.m.: Massachusetts at Temple, ESPNU.

7:15 p.m.: Arizona at Texas El Paso, ESPN.


Air Force (1-0) at No. 7 Michigan (2-0), 9 a.m., Big Ten Network (Big Ten)


Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight has completed 51.9% of his passes for 402 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Michigan’s defense has been preparing for Air Force’s triple-option offense since spring practice. The Falcons rushed for 473 yards in their 62-0 victory over Virginia Military Institute.

No. 25 UCLA (2-0) at Memphis (1-0), 9 a.m., Channel 7

The UCLA defense has given up 663 yards and six touchdowns in two games, and Memphis rushed for 319 yards and four touchdowns in its only game. But the Tigers could still have trouble keeping pace with the Bruins and quarterback Josh Rosen, who has passed for 820 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions.

9 a.m.: No. 9 Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh, ESPN; Connecticut at Virginia, ESPN2; Northern Illinois at Nebraska, FS1; Iowa State at Akron, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Furman at North Carolina State, KDOC; Kansas at Ohio, ESPNU; Louisiana Lafayette at Texas A&M, SEC Network (SEC).

9:30 a.m.: Baylor at Duke, Prime.

11 a.m.: Northern Colorado at Colorado, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).


No. 23 Tennessee (2-0) at No. 24 Florida (0-1), 12:30 p.m., Channel 2


Florida’s offense has yet to enter the end zone, with pick-sixes accounting for both Gators touchdowns in a loss to Michigan. But it stands a chance against a Tennessee defense that gave up 519 yards in a Week 1 win over Georgia Tech.

Notre Dame (1-1) at Boston College (1-1), 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was surly with a reporter following last week’s loss. Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown was benched after having three passes intercepted during a Week 2 defeat. This week, Brown gets another shot to start for the Eagles and Kelly has another opportunity to show he can behave himself.

No. 12 Louisiana State (2-0) at Mississippi State (2-0), 4 p.m., ESPN

Pass rusher Arden Key, who set an LSU record with 12 sacks last season, returns from shoulder surgery to a defensive unit that has eight sacks in two games. That group will be looking to slow Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who has passed for five touchdowns and rushed for three this year.

No. 3 Clemson (2-0) at No. 14 Louisville (2-0), 5 p.m., Channel 7

Lamar Jackson is off to a stellar start for Louisville, completing almost 65% of his passes for 771 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. With Deshaun Watson in the NFL, Clemson no longer has a match for Jackson at the quarterback position but can counter with a defense that had 11 sacks last week against Auburn.

Texas (1-1) at No. 4 USC (2-0), 5:30 p.m., Channel 11


Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold returned to form with four touchdown passes against Stanford, but he also had two more of his passes intercepted, bringing his season total to four. He might want to avoid passing in the direction of Holton Hill, who has returned two interceptions for touchdowns already this season for the Longhorns.

12:30 p.m.: No. 10 Wisconsin at Brigham Young, Channel 7; North Texas at Iowa, ESPN2; No. 16 Virginia Tech at East Carolina, CBSSN; Southern Methodist at No. 20 Texas Christian, ESPNU; Middle Tennessee State at Minnesota, Big Ten.

1:30 p.m.: Army at No. 8 Ohio State, Channel 11.

2:30 p.m.: Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State, Pac-12.

3:30 p.m.: Bethune Cookman at Florida Atlantic, beIN1.

4 p.m.: Oregon at Wyoming, CBSSN; Georgia State at No. 5 Penn State, Big Ten; No. 18 Kansas State at Vanderbilt, ESPNU; Kentucky at South Carolina, SEC.

5 p.m.: Arizona State at Texas Tech, Prime.


No. 19 Stanford (1-1) at San Diego State (2-0), 7:30 p.m., CBSSN

Two of the nation’s top rushers square off in this one. San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny has 434 yards rushing this season, which is second in the Football Bowl Subdivision, with three touchdowns. He also has touchdowns on a reception and a kickoff return. Stanford’s Bryce Love has 340 yards, which is fifth in the FBS, and two touchdowns.

Mississippi (2-0) at California (2-0), 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Cal quarterback Ross Bowers has passed for 563 yards and four touchdowns, and running back Patrick Laird has rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Mississippi doesn’t have that kind of offensive balance but might not need it with quarterback Shea Patterson, who has passed for 918 yards and nine touchdowns.

6:30 p.m.: Fresno State at No. 6 Washington, Pac-12.

7 p.m.: San Jose State at Utah, ESPN2.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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