The last weekend in September is off and running in college football. On Thursday night, we saw WKU begin their run towards a C-USA, Rich Rodriguez‘s Jacksonville State team recorded another win while transitioning from FCS to FBS, and Tulsa rocked Temple at home. This was only the beginning.
There are four games on Friday night before a jam-packed Saturday. However, some bye weeks make this a less loaded card, but there’s still plenty to get excited about as the college football season rolls into October after this Saturday.
KSR’s College Football Cheat Sheet is back to provide a full preview of the weekend that will include the complete TV schedule, top games, gambling content, significant matchups, and other thoughts.
Let’s ride like Broncos country.
|Louisville at NC State||7:00pm ET (Friday)||ESPN|
|Louisiana Tech at UTEP||9:00pm ET (Friday)||CBS Sports Network|
|No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State||9:00pm ET (Friday)||FS1|
|Cincinnati at BYU||10:15pm ET (Friday)||ESPN|
|UAB at Tulane||Noon ET||ESPN2|
|South Alabama at James Madison||Noon ET||ESPNU|
|Buffalo at Akron||Noon ET||ESPN+|
|No. 22 Florida at Kentucky||Noon ET||ESPN|
|Louisiana at Minnesota||Noon ET||Big Ten Network|
|No. 6 Penn State at Northwestern||Noon ET||Big Ten Network|
|Texas A&M vs. Arkansas||Noon ET||SEC Network|
|Utah State at UConn||Noon ET||CBS Sports Network|
|No. 8 USC at Colorado||Noon ET||FOX|
|Clemson at Syracuse||Noon ET||ABC|
|Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan||1:30pm ET||ESPN+|
|Virginia at Boston College||2:00pm ET||The CW|
|Miami (Ohio) at Kent State||2:30pm ET||ESPN+|
|Arizona State at California||3:00pm ET||Pac-12 Network|
|Baylor at UCF||3:30pm ET||FS1|
|Northern Illinois at Toledo||3:30pm ET||ESPNU|
|Ball State at Western Michigan||3:30pm ET||ESPN+|
|Old Dominion at Marshall||3:30pm ET||ESPN+|
|Arkansas State at UMass||3:30pm ET||ESPN+|
|No. 24 Kansas at No. 3 Texas||3:30pm ET||ABC|
|Houston at Texas Tech||3:30pm ET||FS2|
|USF at Navy||3:30pm ET||CBS Sports Network|
|Indiana at Maryland||3:30pm ET||Big Ten Network|
|Illinois at Purdue||3:30pm ET||Peacock|
|No. 1 Georgia at Auburn||3:30pm ET||CBS|
|Bowling Green at Georgia Tech||3:30pm ET||ACC Network|
|No. 2 Michigan at Nebraska||3:30pm ET||FOX|
|Boise State at Memphis||4:00pm ET||ESPN2|
|No. 23 Missouri at Vanderbilt||4:00pm ET||SEC Network|
|Hawai’i at UNLV||4:00pm ET||Mountain West Network|
|New Mexico at Wyoming||4:00pm ET||Mountain West Network|
|No. 13 LSU at No. 20 Ole Miss||6:00pm ET||ESPN|
|No. 6 Oregon at Stanford||6:30pm ET||Pac-12 Network|
|Coastal Carolina at Georgia Southern||7:00pm ET||NFL Network|
|Troy at Georgia State||7:00pm ET||ESPN+|
|Texas State at Southern Miss||7:00pm ET||ESPN+|
|Iowa State at No. 14 Oklahoma||7:00pm ET||FS1|
|East Carolina at Rice||7:00pm ET||ESPN+|
|Michigan State at Iowa||7:30pm ET||NBC|
|South Carolina at No. 21 Tennessee||7:30pm ET||SEC Network|
|No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 17 Duke||7:30pm ET||ABC|
|Charlotte at SMU||7:30pm ET||ESPNU|
|Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech||8:00pm ET||ACC Network|
|West Virginia at TCU||8:00pm ET||ESPN2|
|Appalachian State at ULM||8:00pm ET||ESPN+|
|San Diego State at Air Force||8:00pm ET||CBS Sports Network|
|No. 12 Alabama at Mississippi State||9:00pm ET||ESPN|
|No. 7 Washington at Arizona||10:00pm ET||Pac-12 Network|
|Nevada at No. 25 Fresno State||10:30pm ET||FS1|
Top 10 Games
- No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 17 Duke
- No. 13 LSU at No. 20 Ole Miss
- No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State
- No. 24 Kansas at No. 3 Texas
- No. 22 Florida at Kentucky
- No. 1 Georgia at Auburn
- Louisville at NC State
- Clemson at Syracuse
- Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
- No. 8 USC at Colorado
College Football Gambling Corner
Want spread plays? We got spread plays.
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Monster Friday Night
In a typical college football season, we don’t get many crazy Friday nights. There are often only one or two games and they hardly ever matter in conference championship races or feature ranked teams. That is not the case in Week 5.
There are three power conference games on the slate this weekend, and each could be considered a swing for all six teams involved.
— Louisville at NC State: The vibes are strong at Louisville as alum Jeff Brohm has ignited the fan base. The Cardinals are explosive on offense and pulled off some clutch red zone plays on defense against Georgia Tech and Indiana to remain undefeated. Louisville has sold out next week’s home game with Notre Dame, but they must get by NC State first. Dave Doeren is 18-2 in home games since 2021 and has covered three straight as a home dog. The Wolfpack appear limited offensively, but this will be UofL’s biggest test. Things can get weird on Friday nights.
— Utah at Oregon State: As of right now, we have to assume that Utah star quarterback Cameron Rising will miss another game this week. Utah is winning with defense only right now and must face an Oregon State team that ranks top-10 in success rate and EPA/play on offense. The Utes probably see their strong luck run out against the Beavers as the Pac-12 title race starts to take shape.
— Cincinnati at BYU: Both teams got off to a 0-1 start in conference play last week. Each needs a win. Things are looking better for Kalani Sitake after BYU knocked off Arkansas in Week 3. The same can’t be said for Scott Satterfield who dropped a home game to Miami (Ohio). A loss here would drop the Bearcats to 2-3 heading into the bye. That’s not the start Satterfield needed to get off to. The road team could be facing some pressure if the Bearcats can’t get a late-night win in Provo.
Notre Dame’s Hangover
Last week’s result had to be a tough pill to swallow for Notre Dame. The Irish did not have 11 men on the field for some crucial defensive snaps late and allowed a huge opportunity slip through their fingers against Ohio State. The schedule is not doing head coach Marcus Freeman any favors.
The Irish hit the road this week to play a ranked Duke squad in what will be the most anticipated home football game in Durham in a long time. Next week, Notre Dame will travel to Louisville to face a team with a ton of momentum in another atmosphere that will be the best that program has seen since Lamar Jackson was on campus. Then USC comes to town.
Notre Dame better buckle in fast.
The Irish are the better team in this matchup, but this is a tough spot. Duke has been outstanding at home under Mike Elko and will be looking to claim their second monster home win of the season after knocking off Clemson on Labor Day. Can Riley Leonard create some more Wallace-Wade Stadium magic?
Saturday night could tell us a lot about the Irish.
Potential elimination game in the SEC West
On Saturday evening, Lane Kiffin‘s Ole Miss squad will welcome Brian Kelly‘s LSU squad to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for an important game in the SEC. Both teams already have one loss on the season. Another defeat takes the Rebels out of the SEC West race. Another defeat takes LSU out of the College Football Playoff Race.
There are real stakes in Oxford in a game that should turn into a track meet.
Both offenses rank inside the top 20 in EPA/play with each passing game leading the way. Surprisingly, Ole Miss has the better defense in this matchup, but Kiffin’s team will need to get to 30-plus points to win this game on Saturday.
The visitor is 2-8 outright and 1-9 ATS in this matchup over the last decade. Can Kelly’s bunch buck that trend? This will be a significant SEC football game where overreactions will be rampant for the losing team.
Another possible statement game for Texas
Steve Sarkisian‘s third team at Texas keeps answering the bell. The Longhorns outlasted Alabama and blasted Baylor on the road. Now the Big 12 favorite will get its biggest home test of the season when Kansas rolls into Austin with a top-10 offense and defense that will struggle to create stops in conference play.
Do the Horns allow Kansas to push this game into the fourth quarter or can they put the clamps on Jalon Daniels and make this meeting a blowout once again? Next week looms large when Texas faces Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl, but this week could also tell us some about Texas.
Are you a wagon or not?
Revenge matchup for Tennessee
The Vols were not happy with what happened the last time this program faced South Carolina. In the SEC rematch, Tennessee is getting a night home kickoff on the SEC Network and is breaking out the dark mode jerseys again at Neyland Stadium.
Yet another SEC East clash that could go a long way in determining the final standings. South Carolina’s defense has been legitimately bad, but Spencer Rattler (74.2% completion rate, 9.7 yards per attempt) is pacing an electric passing game. Meanwhile, Tennessee is getting some average quarterback play from Joe Milton III and can struggle to score if you slow down the running attack. I do not believe South Carolina can do that.
The Gamecocks have the better quarterback, but Tennessee has the ground game, the crowd, and possibly the defense. Expect some fireworks on Rocky Top.
College Football Degenerate Under: Michigan State at Iowa Under 36.5
Last week’s play cashed with ease as both Iowa State and Oklahoma State showed signs of life on offense. I do not believe the same thing will happen in Iowa City this week.
The Hawkeyes played gross football last week against Penn State, cannot run the football, and still have an anemic passing game. Michigan State is in the middle of a head coaching search and only scored 16 total points in home games against Washington and Maryland.
Get ready for a lot of punts at Kinnick Stadium.
The rest of the college football card
— Colorado gets another big viewing window when USC rolls into Folsom Field. After getting embarrassed by Oregon, we should see a better effort from the Buffaloes this week, but getting stops against Caleb Williams will be difficult. Can Sean Lewis, Shedeur Sanders, and the rest of this offense score enough points to keep pace? That’s likely the only way Colorado hangs around.
— One of the most underrated matchups on the card is a neutral site game in the SEC West when Arkansas plays Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Both teams have defensive issues, and Max Johnson will get the start at QB for the Aggies, and Arkansas is coming off consecutive losses. A big game for both sides in this rivalry.
— Who is the worst team in the ACC? We’ll likely find that out when 1-3 Boston College hosts 0-4 Virginia. This conference has a legit national title contender in Florida State, but the rest of the league has some issues. Most notably, the bottom is pretty bad.
— Over in West Lafayette, we will get a mid-day student vs. teacher matchup when former Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters welcomes his old team to Purdue. Both Big Ten West programs are off to slow starts and need a victory. Can Bret Bielema move to 1-0 against a former assistant?