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2009 College Football Previews - Week 4

College football matchup previews for all the week 4 top 25 games of the 2009 season.

Archive: 2009 Week Four NCAA Football Top 25 Previews

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

* These college football rankings are according to the official Bankroll Sports College Football Top 25 Rankings.

# 4 Mississippi Rebels (2-0) @ # South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1)
Time: 7:30pm EST
Spread: Mississippi - 3
Preview: The 4th ranked team in the Associated Press will put their undefeated record on the line when they travel to South Carolina on Thursday evening. The Thursday evening game has seemingly found much excitement through the first three weeks, and expect nothing less here. The Rebels have won both of their games by pretty wide margins, beating Memphis on the road 45-14 and then coming home and winning 52-6 on Saturday. Jevan has been solid for the Rebels at the quarterback position, leading the offense to 11 touchdowns in the first two games. This will be the first of two straight road conference games for the Rebels. For South Carolina, Steve Spurrier and his staff would love nothing more than an upset win at home. The Gamecocks held on in week one, 7-3 over North Carolina State, and then were downed at Georgia 41-37, before winning on Saturday 38-16 over Florida Atlantic. The Gamecocks are averaging just under 400 yards per game in their first three games. This game for South Carolina is the second of four straight home games.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

#1 Florida Gators (3-0) @ Kentucky Wildcats (2-0)
Time: 6:00pm EST
Spread: Florida - 22
Preview: The Florida Gators certainly did not play to their abilities Saturday at home against Tennessee, but nonetheless they were winners. The win for the Gators moved them to 3-0 on the season. Kentucky is coming off a nice rivalry win over Louisville. In week one, the Wildcats rolled over Miami Ohio 42-0. Tim Tebow had aided the Florida offense to 18 yards and over 530 yards per game. Without Percy Harvin, who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, the Gators offense has not skipped a beat behind Urban Meyer. This will be the first road game for the Gators. The Wildcats were sparked by Derrick Locke and his 100 kick-off return against the Cardinals. Sam Maxwell intercepted a Louisville pass with just under 2:00 to go in the game to seal the deal for the Wildcats. Last year these two teams played in Gainesville, and the Gators came out with a 63-5 win.

UTEP Miners (1-2) @ #2 Texas Longhorns (3-0)
Time: 3:30pm EST
Spread: Texas - 34
Preview: The Miners picked up their first win of the season Saturday, a 38-12 win at New Mexico State. UTEP had lost their first two games by a combined total of 57-24 to Buffalo and Kansas. The Miners play in the Conference USA - West Division. In the loss to Kansas, the Miners were only able to pick up four rushing yards total. In the win on Saturday Donald Buckram rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The win was marred by a delay due to lightning of nearly three hours. For the Longhorns, they can breath a sigh of relief now that Texas Tech cannot ruin their titles hopes. The Longhorns downed Texas Tech 34-24. The Longhorns are now 3-0, with wins over Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming and Texas  Tech. Colt McCoy has started the 2009 season, a hopeful Heisman campaign, has completed 75 of 110 passes for 859 yards and 6 touchdowns. In the win over Texas Tech, the Longhorns held the Red Raiders to -6 rushing yards. This home game for the Longhorns is the second of three at home.

Arkansas Razorbacks (1-1) @ #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0)
Time: 3:30pm EST
Spread: Alabama - 15.5
Preview: The Razorbacks will be coming into this one with a chip on their shoulder. Arkansas was downed by Georgia late Saturday night in a shoot-out. In the loss for Arkansas, they yielded 52 points to the Bulldogs. Arkansas has just one win on the season, and that was on September 5th to Missouri State, 48-10. Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for five touchdowns in the loss to Georgia, and on the season, Mallett has thrown for 717 yards and 6 touchdowns. The start for Mallett was his first start at home. He did not play in 2008, but threw for 7 touchdowns in 2007. Alabama comes in, moving up one spot in the Associated Press poll, and are now # 3. The Crimson Tide have won all three of their games to start the season. Alabama has wins over Virginia Tech, Florida International and North Texas. Greg McElroy has started the season solid for the Crimson Tide, throwing for 647 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Mark Ingram has rushed for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns. Both of these teams play in the SEC - West. The Crimson Tide will play their next two games following this Saturday on the road; at Kentucky and at Mississippi.

Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) @ #5 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0)
Time: 8:00pm EST
Spread: Penn State - 10
Preview: Two Big Ten unbeaten will square off in Happy Valley on Saturday. The Iowa Hawkeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions will start the conference slate with a rough, tough battle. Iowa has started the season well, winning all three of their games. The Hawkeyes haven’t been overly battled tested to this point, knocking off Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Arizona. The win over Arizona on Saturday was aided by freshman Adam Robinson’s 100 rushing yards. The Nittany Lions have won all three of their games as well, and haven’t been tested at all. Penn State beat Akron, Syracuse and Temple. Darryl Clark and Evan Royster are the go to guys for the Nittany Lions, as they have scored 12 touchdowns and gained an average of 400 yards per game. These two teams played last season in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes pulled out a last second win on a field goal. Iowa has won six of the last seven meetings against Penn State.

#6 California Golden Bears (3-0) @ Oregon Ducks (2-1)
Time: 3:30pm EST
Spread: California - 6
Preview: The # 6 California Golden Bears will face a tough test when they head to Eugene on Saturday and take on the Oregon Ducks. Oregon just came off an upset home win over Utah, while the Golden Bears had to survive a scare from Minnesota. Jahvid Best is off to a fast start for the Golden Bears, as he set a team record, rushing for five touchdowns against Minnesota. California scored 52 points in the opener, and 59 against Eastern Washington in their second game. The Golden Bears are averaging 488 yards per game, and also 6.6 touchdowns per game. For the Ducks, after their week one defeat at Boise State, and despite the absence of LaGarrette Blount, they have won two straight games. Oregon was able to down Purdue in week two, and then knocked off Utah last Saturday. Oregon and their head coach Chip Kelly feel they are just one more big win away from sliding back into the Top 25. These two teams played in 2008, with he Golden Bears coming away with a 26-16 win.

#7 LSU Tigers (3-0) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-1)
Time: 12:00 EST
Spread: LSU - 13
Preview: The SEC slate gets underway with the LSU Tigers traveling to Mississippi State to take on the Bulldogs. LSU has started the season with three straight wins, including their 31-3 win on Saturday over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Tigers also downed Washington and Vanderbilt. The Tigers rushed for 164 yards in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette, and are averaging 163 per game through the first three. The Tigers defense has allowed just three touchdowns this season. For Mississippi State, for a repeat of week three, as they held Vanderbilt to just 3 points in a 15-3 win. The Bulldogs were one week off of allowing 589 yards to the Auburn Tigers in week two. The Bulldogs were 45-7 win over Jackson State in week one. LSU won this game last year 34-24.

#9 Miami Hurricanes (2-0) @ #11 Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1)

#10 Boise State Broncos (3-0) @ Bowling Green Falcons (1-2)
Time: 7:00pm EST
Spread: Boise State - 17
Preview: The Boise State Broncos continue to move up the top 25 ladder, this time after their 51-34 win at Fresno State. The Bulldogs will travel across the country in week four and take on the Bowling Green Falcons. Out of the MAC Conference, the Falcons have won one of their first three games. The Broncos have scored 118 points and allowed just 42. In the thrilling win over Fresno State, the Broncos did much of their work from big gains. Boise State ran for two 77 yard kick-off returns, a 60 yard touchdown run, a 67 yard touchdown catch, 74 yard run and 69 yard run. Boise State running back D.J. Harper will likely miss this game with an injured left knee. It is likely that Harper will be out for the remainder of the season. The Falcons are coming off a 17-10 defeat at the hands of Marshall on Saturday. The loss was the second straight for Bowling Green, as Missouri downed them 27-20 in week two. The Falcons were week one winners of the Trojans of Troy. In the most recent loss, quarterback Tyler Sheehan threw for 383 yards, and receiver Freddie Barnes had 17 catches, but Bowling Green was not able to generate enough offense to down the Thundering Herd. These two teams played in 2008, with the Broncos downing the Falcons 20-7.

Washington State Cougars (1-2) @ #12 USC Trojans (2-1)
Time: 10:15pm EST
Spread: USC - 44
Preview: The Washington State Cougars could be in for a long evening on Saturday night. The Cougars will take on an irritated and determined Southern California Trojans team Saturday night. Washington State has won just one of three games to start the year, all of them on their home field. The first road game of the season is never easy, and when you are playing the Trojans after a loss, things get tougher. The Cougars picked up their first win on Saturday, as they downed Southern Methodist 30-27, after trailing 17-0 in the second quarter. The Cougars started the season 0-2, with losses to Stanford and Hawaii. The Trojans, for the second straight year have started the Pac Ten with an 0-1 record. Last year USC went to Oregon State and were downed by the Beavers. After a 56-3 blasting of San Jose State and an 18-15 win at Ohio State, the Trojans scored just 13 points and were downed 16-13 by Washington. Aaron Corp took over the quarterback-ing duties for Matt Barkley in week three and was not able to lead the Trojans to victory. The Trojans won this game last season 69-0 on the road.

Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1) @ #13 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-1)
Time: 3:30pm EST
Spread: Ohio State - 14.5
Preview: The Fighting Illini of Illinois had a week off after their in state win over Illinois State to prepare for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The last time Illinois was in Columbus, they walked away with an upset win. The Illini feel they have a lot to prove after their week one blowout loss to Missouri. The Illini seem themselves in a make or break situation for the 2009 season and the image of the football program as following Ohio State, the Illini will take on Penn State and Michigan State in consecutive weeks. Ron Zook is looking to shake of the claim that he is a “great recruiter, but bad coach”. The Buckeyes are coming off a shut-out victory over Toledo. Ohio State scored five touchdowns and picked up 522 yards in the win. This is the first game of the Big Ten schedule for both teams. Ohio State beat Illinois in 2008 by a score of 30-20.

Fresno State Bulldogs (1-2) @ #14 Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0)
Time: 12:00pm EST
Spread: Cincinnati - 16.5
Preview: The Fresno State Bulldogs will come into Cincinnati smarting a little bit as they were victimized by the Boise State offense on Thursday evening. The loss for the Bulldogs was their second straight, after losing in overtime to Wisconsin. Fresno State will take on a red hot Cincinnati Bearcats team in week four. Cincinnati has out scored opponents 117-18 in the three wins. The latest victim for the Bearcats was the Oregon State Beavers. The first two wins for Brian Kelly’s crew came over Rutgers and Southeast Missouri State. D.J. Woods picked up 117 receiving yards for the Bearcats, which was a career high. Cincinnati is one of just three teams in the Big East with unbeaten records.

# 15 TCU Horned Frogs (2-0) @ Clemson Tigers (2-1)
Time: 3:30pm EST
Spread: Clemson - 3
Preview: The Mountain West’s TCU will travel out east and take on the Clemson Tigers on Saturday. TCU is one of just two teams left in the Mountain West Conference with an unbeaten record. The Horned Frogs have won both their games decidedly. This will already be the second time the Horned Frogs will head to the East Coast and take on an ACC foe. On September 12th TCU went to Virginia and came away with a 30-14 win. Last week the Horned Frogs played their home opener and blasted Texas State 56-21. TCU picked up 506 total yards of offense in the win. The defense for the Horned Frogs allowed just 30 rushing yards. The Clemson Tigers under Dabo Swinney are off to a 2-1 start and feel with a win over TCU they could find themselves in solid position. Clemson was a week one winner over Middle Tennessee State, but falling on the road at Georgia Tech in overtime in week two. On Saturday, the Tigers held Boston College to just 7 points.

Grambling State (2-1) @ # 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-1)
Time: 7:00pm EST
Spread: N/A
Preview: A pair of 2-1 teams will square off in Stillwater on Saturday. The Grambling State Tigers will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a non conference affair. Grambling State has won two straight games after losing the opening week to South Carolina State 34-31. The Tigers beat Northwestern State at home in week two, before winning at Jackson State on Saturday. The Tigers are allowing just under 280 total yards per game, while the offense is putting up 315.7 yards per game. Grambling State plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Cowboys picked up a home win over Rice on Saturday. A week after falling in an upset game to Houston, the Cowboys came out and attacked the Owls. Quarterback Zac Robinson and Wide Receiver Dez Bryant could be the deadliest 1-2 duo in college football. On Saturday, Robinson and Bryant combined for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1) @ # 17 Houston Cougars (2-0)
Time: 9:15pm EST
Spread: Houston - 1
Preview: Two solid state of Texas teams get together for a week four game that could feature plenty of offensive fireworks. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are coming off a loss to rival Texas, while the Cougars had the week off, following their upset win over Oklahoma State. Texas Tech continues to be one of the best offensive teams in the country, although down this year after losing Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell from 2008. Mike Leach’s team scored 38 points in a week one win over North Dakota and then added 55 more when the Red Raiders blasted Rice in week two. Texas Tech is averaging just under 475 yards per game, including 444 from the air. The Cougars, 2-0 on the season have entered the Top 25 after being unranked to start the season. Like the Red Raiders, the Cougars are one of the top teams in the country offensively. In two games this season, Houston has scored 100 points. Quarterback Case Keenum is looking to continue putting up Heisman like numbers as this game is sure to have plenty of passes. Keenum and the Cougars are averaging 406 of their 525 yards per game in the air.

Colorado State Rams (3-0) @ # 19 Brigham Young Cougars (2-1)
Time: 6:00pm EST
Spread: BYU - 15
Preview: One of the two Mountain West Conference unbeaten will be a double digit underdog on the road Saturday. The Colorado State Rams have started the season 3-0 with wins over Colorado, Weber State and Nevada. The Rams will play three of their next four games against the predicted powerhouses of the conference; Brigham Young, Utah and TCU. The win for the Rams, moved their current winning streak to six, dating back to last season. Colorado State used Grant Stucker to run for a touchdown and throw for two more in the win. Zac Pauga and Dion Morton both caught touchdown passes for the Rams. Brigham Young is coming off a big loss at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles. The Cougars hurt all their chances at a BCS bowl game, allowing Florida State 54 points, at home. Max Hall has led the Cougars offensively, at the quarterback position. Hall has aided the Cougars to 452 yards per game. BYU won this game in 2008 by a score of 45-42.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (3-0) @ # 20 Kansas Jay hawks (3-0)
Time: 12:00pm EST
Spread: Kansas - 13.5
Preview: One team will lose their first game of the 2009 season on Saturday. The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will travel to Lawrence Kansas to take on the Jay Hawks. Both teams come in with 3-0 marks, with the road team picking up wins over Alcorn State, Central Florida and Virginia. The Golden Eagles have yet to play a road game, so Saturday will be their toughest test. Southern Mississippi has scored 13 touchdowns in the first three games, allowing just 6. Southern Mississippi, along with Houston are the two lone unbeaten out of the Conference USA. The Jay Hawks sit within the Big 12 North with the likes of unbeaten Missouri, along with Nebraska. Kansas is coming off a win over Duke on Saturday 44-16. Kansas also beat Northern Colorado 49-3 and UTEP 34-7. In three games this season, Kansas has scored 16 touchdowns, while allowing just 3. The Jay Hawks are near the top in the country with their 537 yards per game of offense.

Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0) @ #21 Georgia Bulldogs (2-1)
Time: 7:00pm EST
Spread: Georgia - 12.5
Preview: The Pac Ten will invade the SEC on Saturday. Arizona State will travel across the country and take on the Georgia Bulldogs. Arizona State has won both of their games to start the season, but this road test will certainly be their toughest. The Sun Devils have defeated Idaho State and Louisiana-Monroe by a combined score of 88-17. Head coach Dennis Erickson has been pleased with their defense, as the team held Louisiana-Monroe to just 262 yards, and forced three turnovers. The Sun Devils were also aided by an 89 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Omar Bolden to start the game. Georgia has found the ability to points on the board, an in a hurry to start the 2009 season. After scoring just 10 points in the week one loss to Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs have scored 93 in their last two games; South Carolina and Arkansas. Joe Cox, the Bulldogs quarterback tied a school record with five touchdown passes in the win on Saturday. Mark Richt was not pleased with the Bulldogs at halftime, as they had committed three turnovers. Georgia went on the road last season and beat the Sun Devils 27-10.

#22 North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-1)
Time: 12:00pm EST
Spread: Georgia Tech - 2.5
Preview: The North Carolina Tar Heels will take their undefeated record on the road to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech will play with a little chip on their shoulder as they are coming off a loss to the Miami Hurricanes. North Carolina picked up a 31-17 win over East Carolina on Saturday, That win came after the Tar Heels won over The Citadel and Connecticut during the first two weeks of the season. In the win over the Pirates, North Carolina receiver Erik Highsmith had six catches for 113 yards. Butch Davis had led the Tar Heels to their first 3-0 start since 1997. For Georgia Tech, nothing went right in the loss at Miami. The Hurricanes led from start to finish in the 33-17 win. Georgia Tech picked up wins over Jacksonville State and Clemson in their first two games. In the loss to Miami, the Yellow Jackets allowed 454 yards of total offense to the Hurricanes, including five plays of over 20 yards. Reigning ACC player of the Year Johnathan Dwyer left the game with a shoulder injury in the loss. Dwyer’s status for Saturday’s game is questionable.

Indiana Hoosiers (3-0) @ #23 Michigan Wolverines (3-0)
Time: 12:00pm EST
Spread: Michigan - 21
Preview: The Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines will start the Big Ten season, both unbeaten on Saturday. The Hoosiers, coming off a 38-21 road win at Akron converted 10 of 15 third down plays, and rushed for 180 yards. The Hoosiers squeaked out wins in weeks one and two over Eastern Washington and Western Michigan. Hoosiers safety, who missed last season with an ACL injury intercepted two Akron passes in the latest win. For Michigan, the Wolverines continue to garner national exposure as they continue to impress. The Wolverines offense has scored 114 points in three games, all three wins; Western Michigan, Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan’s head coach has quieted the critics, especially with the Wolverines 38-34 win over Notre Dame. Tate Forcier has been solid as a freshman for Michigan, including conducting a come from behind drive to beat the Irish.

#24 Washington Huskies (2-1) @ Stanford Cardinals (2-1)
Time: 9:00pm EST
Spread: Stanford - 7
Preview: Not many teams can beat the USC Trojans and then come into the next week as seven point underdogs. That is exactly what the Washington Huskies have done. Washington, after snapping their long losing streak, upset the Trojans at home on Saturday. Now this week, the Huskies will travel to Stanford to take on the Cardinals. Head coach Steve Sarkisan saw a week one loss to LSU 31-23, but then a 42-23 win over Idaho, followed by the upset on Saturday. The Cardinals are no slouch either, as they have won two of their first three games. In week one, Stanford played a Pac  Ten game, and won at Washington State. The Cardinals then followed it up with a early lead at Wake Forest, only to find themselves on the wrong side of a 24-17 decision. On Saturday, Stanford downed San Jose State 42-17. The Cardinals took control of the game early on Saturday, as Chris Owusu returned the kick-off 94 yards for a touchdown.

LA-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns  (2-1) @ #25 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-1)
Time: 7:00pm EST
Spread: Nebraska - 26
Preview: The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette will look to get back on track on Saturday at Nebraska. Louisiana-Lafayette started the season with two straight wins, before falling to LSU on Saturday. The Ragin Cajuns are a member of the Sun Belt Conference, and could be the favorite to win the conference. The Ragin Cajuns will face another ranked team this week when they take on the Cornhuskers. Nebraska feels they should be 3-0, following their disappointing 16-15 loss to Virginia Tech. The Cornhuskers led until the final minutes when the Hokies picked up a touchdown. Tyrod Taylor completed an 11 yard pass, just three plays after Danny Coale caught an 81 yard pass. The Cornhuskers had won their previous two games, over Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. Zac Lee, Nebraska’s quarterback is questionable for this game, as he has been sidelined this week with a left thumb injury.


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