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Week Four College Football 2021 Preview

Week 4 College Football
Notre Dame Athletics

Week four of the College Football season is here and it should be a good one!. The surprises, close calls, and upsets keep coming and I would imagine more of the same this weekend.

Here is your Week Four College Football 2021 preview.

Week Four College Football Top 25 Matchups

No. 18 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Notre Dame

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (Fox)
  • Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Wisconsin 10

The Jack Coan bowl is finally upon us! Did Wisconsin make the right call with Graham Mertz or should they have stuck with Jack Coan? Will Wisconsin know exactly how Jack Coan will play? Will Jack Coan know the defense better than most quarterbacks? Who knows but it will be interesting to find out.

Let’s compare these two teams. Notre Dame has been just ok, not great, not bad, just ok. They are 3-0, but they needed OT against a terrible Florida State team, almost lost a game to a MAC opponent in Toledo, and then needed a late score to pull away from Purdue. Meanwhile, Wisconsin couldn’t get the offense going against Penn State, but looked great in the next game against Eastern Michigan.

Wisconsin’s offense is still a question mark as the passing attack is not sharp at all and the ground game is carrying them. Their strength is still the defense as they have allowed only 66 rushing yards in two games and are the NO. 2 team in the nation in total defense.

For Notre Dame, Coan has been a great addition as he is averaging over 300 passing yards with a slew of deep throws, nine touchdown passes, and led the team in 3 tight contests. The offense has also left a lot on the table with missed plays, dropped passes, and small mistakes.

I think if Notre Dame cleans up some of the mistakes on offense and uses quick throws to make up for their not-so-great offensive line they should win this game as I feel they have the advantage with talent and experience at quarterback. I’m calling Notre Dame here.

Rutgers at No.19 Michigan

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Michgian 41, Rutgers 20

Rutgers is great when it comes to the turnover margin as they are third in the nation in turnover margin and No. 1 in giveaways. But their offense is not anything special, and the O line is a problem, but the good thing is the passing attack doesn’t make any mistakes, and the defense does a lot to give the offense the ball in good situations.

Michigan has turned into a power running team with the weapons to rip off big yards in chunks. It has the No. 1 rushing attack in college football with 335 yards or more in every game.

Michigan won’t turn the ball over, and I think they will just pound and overwhelm the Scarlet Knights and this will turn into a bit of a blowout.

No. 25 Kansas State at Oklahoma State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Prediction: Indiana 31, Cincinnati 30

The Cowboys aren’t going to win many shootouts this season, even with Spencer Sanders back for his third straight season as the team’s starting quarterback. Oklahoma State is much more defensive-oriented this year and it shows. It hasn’t scored more than 28 points in any of its three victories against Missouri State (23-16), Tulsa (28-23) and Boise State (21-20). RB Jaylen Warren was a revelation though against Boise State as his 218 rushing yards and two TDs breathed a hurricane of life into a Cowboys’ run game that had been on a ventilator through the first two games of the season.

K-State’s starting quarterback, Skylar Thompson, is still expected to be out. In his place will be Will Howard who will be making his ninth career start. Howard wasn’t asked to throw the ball much in last week’s 38-17 win over Nevada, but he did connect with TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe for a 68-yard TD strike on the second play of the game. He also added 56 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. More importantly, Howard didn’t turn the ball over against Nevada.

My pick is that Oklahoma State wins this one won due to home-field advantage and the more experienced quarterback.

West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Prediction: Oklahoma 45, West Virginia 36

Fifth-year senior quarterback Jarret Doege of West Virginia must have licked his chops all week gazing at one glaring statistic on the Oklahoma defense. It has allowed opposing QBs to complete 67.2% of their pass attempts, in the bottom 20 percent of college football. Doege has gone 53-for-88 (60.2%) this season, with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Sooners also yield 8.3 yards per pass and 278 passing yards per game, two more parts of a defense against which Doege must believe he can capitalize.

I do think that the Sooners will figure out their offensive problems and make this more of a shoot-out. In shootouts, I always go to the more talented players, and in this case, that is Oklahoma.

Other Week Three College Football Contests

UNLV at No. 22 Fresno State

  • Game Info: Friday, 10:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Prediction: Fresno State 55, UNLV 35

Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener led an upset against UCLA last week, and he averages 366 passing yards per game. But he may still be injured after last week’s tough game. I think that may lead to this game being closer than it should be but Fresno State should win this one pretty easily still.

No. 2 Georgia at Vanderbilt

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Georgia 45, Vanderbilt 10

Georgia should win this game behind a solid rushing attack and efficient play from J.T. Daniels. Georgia has won the last three meetings in Nashville by an average of 24 points per game. If the Commodores can score double digits I would take that as a win for them in the first season under Clark Lea.

UMass at No.17 Coastal Carolina

  • Game Info: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Prediction: Coastal Carolina 45, Buffalo 28

I love Coastal Carolina and I will continue to pick their way until they prove me wrong. They should be able to score a lot of points against UMass. I would just worry about holding UMass in check as they have put 28 points the last two weeks.

Colorado State at No. 5 Iowa

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Prediction: Iowa 34, Colorado State 9

Iowa’s methodical offense can make for some tough games at times, but that defense will cause problems for the Rams, who complete just 55.7 percent of their passes as a team. Kirk Ferentz might open it up a little more with Spencer Petras in this game. Iowa should have another big win there.

No. 14 Iowa State at Baylor

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Prediction: Iowa State 24, Baylor 20

The Bears are off to a 3-0 start under second-year coach Dave Aranda with the help of a three-headed rushing attack that averages 328.5 yards per game and an improved defense. Iowa State has been looking shaky all year as they usually do to start a season, but they finally had their get-right game last week. The Bears have won six of the last seven meetings in Waco. The temptation to pick the upset is here, but the Cyclones get out with the victory I believe.

No. 9 Clemson at N.C. State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Clemson 20, N.C. State 17

Clemson’s offense has been very bad so far to start the season. They struggled to score against Georiga and Georgia Tech. I think they do better in this game but I’m not confident and wouldn’t bet on it. But they should squeak out a victory.

Georgia State at No. 23 Auburn

  • Game Info: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Auburn 52, Georgia State 9

Auburn lost in Happy Valley, but Georgia State offers a chance for a get-well game. The Panthers have suffered blowout losses to Army and North Carolina, and the Tigers should be able to get what they want on offense.

No. 24 UCLA at Stanford

  • Game Info: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (PACN)
  • Prediction: Stanford 45, UCLA 42

The Bruins stayed in the poll after a shootout loss to Fresno State, and Stanford has scored 40-plus points in back-to-back victories after a Week 1 loss to Kansas State. The Cardinal have won seven of the last eight meetings, but I’m concerned about them as their run defense is shaky. I say Stanford wins a close one here.

Tennessee at No. 11 Florida

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Florida 42, Tennessee 21

The Vols haven’t won in The Swamp since 2003, and Florida’s offense will present several issues for Josh Heupel. The Gators have won the last three meetings under Dan Mullen by an average of 22 points per game. 

Nebraska at No. 20 Michigan State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Prediction: Michigan State 38, Nebraska 24

The Spartans continue to roll with Kenneth Walker III and a punishing rushing attack, and Nebraska is coming off another emotional loss against Oklahoma. The Huskers are 9-2 all-time against the Spartans, but I’m trusting the better team. 

Southern Miss at No. 1 Alabama

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Alabama 52, Southern Miss 3

Southern Miss averages 8.0 points per game in losses to Troy and South Alabama, so not great with Alabama coming to town.

Akron at No. 10 Ohio State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
  • Prediction: Ohio State 59, Akron 10

Ohio State should hopefully get their offense and defense going in this game against an overmatched Akron team. This should not be a close one.

Georgia Tech at No. 21 North Carolina

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ACCN)
  • Prediction: North Carolina 42, Georgia Tech 18

The Tar Heels have put together back-to-back 59-point performances after a Week 1 loss, and the Yellow Jackets are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Clemson. Sam Howell keeps the North Carolina offense rolling in a home victory. 

Arizona at No. 3 Oregon

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Oregon 32, Arizona 10

Arizona averaged 16.3 points per game through three weeks, and the Wildcats struggled with turnovers in a Week 3 loss to Northern Arizona. Oregon can exploit that on both sides and should win easily.

South Florida at No. 15 BYU

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Prediction: BYU 42, South Florida 12

The Cougars just beat three straight Pac-12 opponents and they keep that focus rolling with another blowout. 

College Football – Upset Alert

No. 7 Texas A&M at No. 16 Arkansas

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Prediction: Akransas 42, Texas A&M 28

For my upset pick of the week, I am going with Arkansas here. I have been so impressed with Arkansas with their defense and their running game. They have been owning both lines of scrimmage. They already beat one Texas team and I think they add another one to their list.

Should be another excellent week of College Football!

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5 Comments

5 Comments

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