Archive: 2009 Week 1 College Football Top 25 Previews
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Week 1 College Football Matchup Previews
Thursday, September 3, 2009
# 16 Oregon Ducks (0-0) @ # 14 Boise State Broncos (0-0)
Time: 10:15pm ET
Spread: Boise State - 6.5
Preview: The first game of the 2009 season that features two Top 25 teams will take place on a Thursday evening. The Oregon Ducks will take a trip to Boise and take on the Boise State Broncos at Broncos Stadium. This game gives the small school a chance to knock off a solid Pac-Ten squad. Oregon finished last season 7-2 within the conference, and 9-3 overall, just behind the Trojans of USC. Last season, Oregon was led by the two headed running back monster of Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount, who both ran for over 1000 yards and combined for 30 rushing touchdowns. Those 30 rushing touchdowns far exceed the passing game, that just threw for 16 total touchdowns in 2008. Boise State will look to continue it’s hot run of action, coming off a 12-0 2009 season. The Broncos will look for someone to replace stud running back Ian Johnson, who ran for 750+ yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009. Quarterback Kellen Moore will return this season for Boise State, after compiling over 3,400 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in 2008. The Broncos are 6.5 point favorites at home.
Utah State Aggies (0-0) @ # 19 Utah Utes (0-0)
Time: 9pm ET
Spread: Utah - 22
Preview: The college football season will kick-off with state rivals going at it in Salt Lake City. The Aggies of Utah State will take on the Utes of Utah. Utah State finished the 2008 season with a 3-9 record, inside the WAC Conference. Utah finished their storybook season of 2008 with a perfect 12-0 record, including a win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. In that win, Utah held Alabama to just 208 total yards of offense. Utah will once again look to crash the BCS party this season. Utah State had some difficulties at the quarterback position in 2008, throwing just 16 touchdowns, and throwing 14 interceptions. The Utes will look to put a bunch of points on the board, as since 2001 they are 30-0 when scoring more than 40 points per game. The Utes come into this game as three + touchdown favorites.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Charleston Southern Buccaneers (0-0) @ # 1 Florida Gators (0-0)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Preview: The defending champion Florida Gators received the most first-place votes ever when the Associated Press preseason poll was released recently. Coming off a national title win over the Oklahoma Sooners in 2008, the Gators return All-American quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow threw for over 2,700 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. The quarterback also led the team in rushing yards with 673 and 12 touchdowns. Tebow has been held out of recent action with stiffness in his back, but is expected to be okay. Tebow will be without his top running back Percy Harvin. Harvin is now playing in the National Football League. This game for the Gators is the first of three straight home games to start the year for them. Florida’s week one opponent will be the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. Charleston Southern will play at Florida, and then follow it up with visits to Wofford and South Florida, before playing in their home opener on September 26th. The Buccaneers went 7-5 in 2008 playing within the Big South Conference, behind Liberty. There is no line on this game as of today.
Louisiana-Monroe War hawks (0-0) @ # 2 Texas Longhorns (0-0)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Spread: Texas - 40
Preview: The Louisiana-Monroe War hawks get the joy of starting the 2009 season as a 40 point road underdog. The War hawks finished 4-8 last season, finishing in the bottom half of the Sun Belt Conference. The Longhorns of Texas come into the new season as the # 2 team in the Associated Press poll. Texas received the second most votes, behind a record amount from the Florida Gators. Last season, the Longhorns felt they were left out of the BCS title game after finishing the season 11-1. The Longhorns tied for first place in the Big 12 South with the Oklahoma Sooners. Colt McCoy had a huge season last year for Texas, throwing for 3859 yards and 34 touchdowns, while also running for 561 yards and 11 touchdowns. Louisiana-Monroe has been a D-1 football team since 1994, and have finished the season no better than 6-6 (2007). Texas comes into this game as a 40 point favorite at home.
# 20 Brigham Young Cougars (0-0) @ # 3 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Spread: Oklahoma - 21
Preview: Two ranked teams will square off in Norman Oklahoma on Saturday evening. The Brigham Young Cougars, coming off a solid season of 10-2 in 2008 will take on the 2008 Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners. The Cougars finished third place in the Mountain West Conference; finishing behind Utah and TCU. The Cougars will be returning quarterback Max Hall, who threw for 3957 yards and 35 touchdowns. Brigham Young took a huge hit on Saturday when they learned offensive lineman Houston Reynolds will miss the entire 2009 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. This game for Brigham Young will be the first of four games against ranked teams. Bob Stoopes and the Sooners are hungry after getting knocked off in the 2008 title game by Florida. The Sooners are coming off a 12-1 season, in which they tied for the Big-12 South title with Texas. The Sooners knocked off Missouri in the Big-12 title game, and got the nod over Texas for the BCS game. Sam Bradford returns after a record setting 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2008. Coach Stoopes has been quoted as saying he feels Bradford has come back “noticeably better” this season than last. The Sooners also got bad news recently when they found out freshman middle linebacker Tom Wort will also miss the season with a torn ACL. Oklahoma starts the 2009 season as a three touchdown favorite over the Cougars.
San Jose State Spartans (0-0) @ # 4 USC Trojans (0-0)
Time: 3:30 pm ET
Spread: USC - 34.5
Preview: The Spartans of San Jose State get the treat of kick-ing off the 2009 season on the road at the Rose Bowl against the defending Pac-10 Champions. San Jose State finished 2008 with a 6-6 overall record, and 4-4 within the Western Athletic Conference. The Spartans will play three games against Top 25 teams, including hosting Utah, and heading on the road to take on Boise State. USC is coming off a 11-1 season that saw another Rose Bowl title. The Trojans won the Pac-10 Conference with a 8-1 record, just edging out Oregon and Oregon State. The Trojans will be without quarterback Mark Sanchez who was drafted in the 2008 NFL draft by the New York Jets. Sanchez threw for 3207 yards and 34 touchdowns last season. Aaron Corp appears to be the top candidate for the quarterback position, but Corp has been plagued by injury. Head Coach Pete Carroll has stated Corp needs to return to full practice by Tuesday August 25th to be able to be considered for the starting job. The Trojans are a 34.5 point favorite in their season opener.
# 5 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0) @ # 7 Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0)
Time: 8:00 pm ET
Spread: Alabama - 5.5
Preview: In what appears to the best game to open the 2009 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide will start their 2009 season on the road, in Blacksburg, to take on the Hokies of Virginia Tech. The Crimson Tide come into the start of the season at # 5 in the Associated Press preseason poll. Alabama finished the regular season 12-1, but took a loss in the bowl game to Utah. Mark Ingram returns for Alabama at the running back position. Ingram ran for 728 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008, and he is seeking an even bigger season in 2009. The Hokies, who come in as a home underdog are seeking to improve upon a 9-4 season in 2008. The Hokies lost out to Georgia Tech in a tiebreaker for the Atlantic Coast Coastal division. The Hokies got bad news when they lost running back Darren Evans for the season due to a torn ACL.
Navy Midshipmen (0-0) @ # 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0)
Time: 12:00 pm ET
Spread: Ohio State - 20
Preview: The Ohio State Buckeyes will start the 2009 season as 20 point favorites at home over the Navy Midshipmen. Navy is coming off a 8-4 season in 2008. This game is one of just two games for Navy against teams within the Top 25 to start the year. The other for Navy will be on November 7th at Notre Dame. Navy is just one of four IA Independent schools. The Buckeyes will look to capture the Big Ten title after sharing that title with Penn State last season. The Buckeyes will look to quarterback Terrelle Pryor to lead the offense in 2009. Pryor threw for just 1311 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008. The Buckeyes will use this game as a warm-up for their week two match-up with the Trojans of USC.
# 11 LSU Tigers (0-0) @ Washington Huskies (0-0)
Time: 10:30 pm ET
Spread: LSU - 14
Preview: Coming out of the SEC conference is never easy, but this season the Tigers of LSU look to become a player at the top of the conference. The Tigers week one opponent will be winless Washington, on the road. The Huskies play one of the toughest schedules in all of college football, including the first two out of three games against Top 25 teams, and a total of five on the season. The Huskies will look to start the new campaign with a big splash if they can upset the Tigers at home. LSU is coming off a mildly disappointing 7-5 season that saw them finish 3-5 in the SEC. The Tigers also play a rugged schedule that includes three games against Top 10 teams, with the other at # 13 Georgia. The Tigers will hope for a better season out of their quarterback Jarrett Lee. In 2008 Lee completed just 143 of 269 passes, for a total of 1873 yards, with 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. LSU is a 14 point favorite, despite the fact they are playing on the road.
Maryland Terrapins (0-0) @ # 12 California Golden Bears (0-0)
Time: 10:00 pm ET
Spread: California - 19
Preview: The Maryland Terrapins, fresh off their 7-5 2008 season will travel across the country and take on the Pac Ten’s California Bears. The Terrapins finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, tied with Clemson, Wake Forest and North Carolina State. Maryland ended the season nicely with a win in the Humanitarian Bowl. Maryland’s week one opponent - the Bears of California are coming off a 8-4 season, including a 6-3 record within the Pac Ten. Recently California head coach Jeff Tedford announced that Kevin Riley would be the starting quarterback to start the season. In 2008, Tedford threw for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. Maryland won this game in 2008 at home; 35-27, so the Bears have some unfinished business to take care of. California is a 19 point favorite in this game.
# 13 Georgia Bulldogs (0-0) @ # T-9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-0)
Time: 3:30 pm ET
Spread: Oklahoma State - 6
Preview: Another game that features two Top 20 teams; will see the Georgia Bulldogs, out of the SEC conference, traveling to Oklahoma State, to take on a Big 12 power. The Bulldogs finished in second place in the SEC East last year at 6-2, just behind the Florida Gators. Overall, Georgia finished with a 9-3 record. The Bulldogs will play the 2009 season without quarterback Matthew Stafford. In 2009, Stafford completed 235 of 383 passes for 3459 yards and 25 touchdowns. In his three year career, Stafford completed 51 touchdown passes, and over 7,700 yards. Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs week one opponent is coming off a 42-31 loss in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl to Oregon. Overall, the Cowboys finished the regular season with a 9-3 record, behind Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech within the Big 12 South. The biggest question for the Cowboys coming into the season with be their defense. Oklahoma State comes into this game as a six point favorite at home over the Bulldogs.
Akron Zips (0-0) @ # T-9 Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0)
Time: 12:00 pm ET
Spread: Penn State - 28.5
Preview: The Akron Zips start the 2009 season as four touchdown underdog. The Zips will play their initial game of the season in Happy Valley to take on Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions. Akron finished the 2008 season with an overall record of 5-7, with a 3-5 record within the MAC. The opening game for Akron will be the first of two games for Akron against the Big Ten Conference. Akron will welcome returning quarterback Chris Jacquemain, after his 2,700+ yard, 20 touchdown season a year ago. For Penn State, the Nittany Lions will look to compete with Ohio State at the top of the Big Ten. Penn State will not see a team within the Top 25, until their September 26th game at home with Iowa. Evan Royster returns to the field for Penn State this season, a year removed from rushing for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Jacksonville State (0-0) @ #15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0)
Time: 1:00 pm ET
Preview: The Yellow Jackets, out of the Atlantic Coast Conference will start the season against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. This game, for Jacksonville State is one of two games to start the season against Top 25 teams. Jacksonville State, out of the Ohio Valley Conference finished 6-2 in the conference, and 8-3 overall last season. Within the OVC, the Gamecocks finished one game back of Eastern Kentucky. The Gamecocks start the season with four straight road games, as their first home game will not come until October 3rd. The Gamecocks received bad news when they found out their quarterback Ryan Perrilloux would be suspended for the season opener for violating team rules. Georgia Tech won the ACC Coastal Conference last season, finishing 5-3 and 9-3 overall. Johnathan Dwyer returns for the Yellow Jackets after finishing the 2008 season with 1395 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. In the 2008 game against Jacksonville State, Dwyer rushed for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns, in the Yellow Jackets 41-14 win. There is no line for this game as of now.
The Citadel Bulldogs (0-0) @ # 21 North Carolina Tar Heels (0-0)
Time: 6:00 pm ET
Preview: The Citadel Bulldogs will start the 2009 season at Chapel Hill North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels of UNC. The Citadel finished 2008 with a 4-8 record, 2-6 within the Southern Conference, finishing 7th place. Quarterback Bart Blanchard finished 2008 with 205 complete passes for 17 touchdowns. The Bulldogs played an Atlantic Coast Conference team in their second game last season, falling 45-17 at Clemson. North Carolina comes into the new season within the Top 25, coming in at # 21. The Tar Heels finished tied for second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference - Coastal, behind both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. North Carolina participated, and lost in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl in a 31-30 decision to West Virginia. There is no current line for this game.
Northern Iowa Panthers (0-0) @ # 22 Iowa Hawkeyes (0-0)
Time: 12:05 pm ET
Preview: The Iowa Hawkeyes start the season against inner state opponent - Northern Iowa Panthers. The Hawkeyes will start the 2009 slate with a non division 1 opponent. The Hawkeyes start the season # 22 in the country, behind Big Ten opponents Ohio State and Penn State. Iowa completed the 2008 season with a 8-4 overall record, 5-3 in the Big Ten, good enough for fourth in the Big Ten. Iowa quarterback Richard Stanzi completed 150 of 254 passes for 1956 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, including a 13-19 game in the Outback Bowl win over South Carolina. The Panthers finished the 2008 season at the top of the Missouri Valley, tied with Southern Illinois. Northern Iowa lost in the third round of the playoffs; a 21-20 defeat at the hands of Richmond.
Nevada Wolfpack (0-0) @ # 23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)
Time: 3:30 pm ET
Spread: Notre Dame - 16
Preview: The Wolfpack of Nevada will look to start their 2009 season with an upset victory on the road. If they were to do so, things in South Bend would definitely turn ugly quickly. There are high expectations for the 2009 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team as they come into the season ranked 23rd in the preseason polls. The Irish finished last season with a 49-21 win in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl to cap off a 7-6 season. John Clausen the starting quarterback for the Irish completed 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns in that game. On the season, Clausen completed 268 of 440 passes for 3172 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Irish will see Nevada, before a streak of three straight Big Ten opponents, followed by two Pac Ten teams in a row. The Wolfpack come in after a 7-5 season out of the Western Athletic Conference in 2008. The Wolfpack finished the season with a 42-35 loss to Maryland in the Humanitarian Bowl. Colin Kapernick returns for Nevada at the quarterback position. In 2008, Kapernick threw for 2849 yards and 22 touchdowns. The Fighting Irish come into this one as 16 point home favorites.
Florida Atlantic Owls (0-0) @ # 24 Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Spread: Nebraska - 22
Preview: The Cornhuskers of Nebraska return to the preseason Top 25 in 2009. Nebraska laid in several dismal seasons before bouncing back last season and winning 8 out of 12 regular season games, to finish in a tie at the top of the Big 12 North with Missouri. The Cornhuskers won the Gator Bowl by knocking Clemson off 26-21. Quarterback Joe Ganz had a superb junior season completing 285 of 420 passes for 3568 yards and 25 touchdowns. Nebraska, like most Big 12 schools, will be able to score, their question mark, once they get in big games - can they stop the other team enough. The Owls of Florida Atlantic went 6-6 last season, playing in the Sun Belt Conference. Quarterback Rusty Smith threw for nearly 3,300 yards in 2008, and returns for his senior season looking for much of the same. Last season, the Owls started 1-5, before winning five out of their last six regular season game, and also tacking on a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl. Nebraska is a 3+ touchdown favorite in their home opener.
Northern Colorado Bears (0-0) @ # 25 Kansas Jay Hawks (0-0)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Preview: Another Big 12 with high expectations is the Kansas Jay Hawks. Kansas starts the season garnering the final position within the Top 25. The Jay Hawks finished 7-5 last season, 4-4 within the Big 12 North. Kansas at the end of the season picked up a bowl win, when they knocked off Minnesota 42-21 in the Insight Bowl. Quarterback Todd Reesing returns for his senior season, after compiling over 7,500 yards in his first three years. Reesing has also thrown 68 touchdowns in three seasons. Kansas does not see a ranked team until October 24th when they host the Oklahoma Sooners. The Northern Colorado Bears are a Division 1-AA squad that finished the 2008 season with a 1-10 record, 1-7 within the Big Sky Conference. The Bears lone win came on October 11th in a thrilling 29-9 home win over Idaho State. Due to Northern Colorado not being a division one football school, there is no line on this game.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
# 8 Mississippi Rebels (0-0) @ Memphis Tigers (0-0)
Time: 3:30 pm ET
Spread: Mississippi - 17
Preview: Mississippi finished the 2008 season as one of the biggest positive surprises of the year, finishing 8-4 overall, and 5-3 in the SEC. This game for Mississippi is the first of three road games in their first four games. Quarterback Jevan Snead completed 184 of 327 passes last season for a total of 2762 yards and 26 touchdowns. Snead also led the Rebels to an upset win over eventual national champion Florida 31-30. Mississippi ended last season with a 47-34 win over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. Memphis comes into the season after a 6-6 season, which saw them finish second place in the Conference USA, just behind East Carolina. The Tigers finished the year with a bowl loss at the hands of South Florida, in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Mississippi won this game last year over Memphis 41-24 in the season opener. The Rebels open their season opener as a 17 point favorite, despite playing on the road.
Monday September 7, 2009
Miami Hurricanes (0-0) @ # 18 Florida State Seminoles (0-0)
Time: 8:00 pm ET
Spread: Florida State - 4
Preview: This long time rivalry will continue, this time at the start of the 2009 season. The Miami Hurricanes will make the trip north to Tallahassee to take on Bobby Bowden and his Seminoles. Miami went 7-5 last season, finishing 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hurricanes lost in the Emerald Bowl to California to finish the 2008 season. This game for Miami is the first of four games to start the season against teams within the Top 25. Florida State went 8-4 last season, 5-3 in the ACC. That record placed Bowden’s squad tied in first with Boston College in the Atlantic Division. Florida State quarterback Chris Ponder will look to improve upon his 2008 season, in which he passed for 2,006 yards, including 14 touchdowns, but also threw 13 interceptions. The Seminoles won this game last season on October 4th - 41-39. Florida State is a four point favorite at home in this one.