As we get geared up for the 2014 college football season, I’m providing you, the discerning Husker football fan, an easy viewing guide for the games of the week.
If you have any opinions on games missed or predictions please note in the comments below!
(All times are CDT)
Thursday, August 28
5:00 p.m. - No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina (SEC Network)
The first big college football game of the season! While there isn’t really a Husker football or Big Ten connection, I know (and you know) that you’ll be watching.
Heck, I’ll be watching! How will the post-Johnny Football era go? I can’t wait to find out.
7:00 p.m. - Boise State vs. No. 18 Ole Miss (at Atlanta) (ESPN)
Depending on the score of Texas A&M and South Carolina game, I’d suggest flipping over for the start of this one. Ole Miss starts the season inside the Top 25, while Boise will be looking to find a place back at the big boy table of college football.
9:00 p.m. - Rutgers vs. Washington State (at Seattle) (Fox Sports 1)
It’s Big Ten newbie Rutgers’ first game of 2014 and they’ll play everyone’s favorite pirate-loving coach Mike Leach. This will be a fun one to close out the first full night of the season.
Other notable games: Eastern illinois at Minnesota (6:00 p.m., BTN), Tulane at Tulsa (7:00 p.m., CBS Sports Network), Temple at Vanderbilt (8:15 p.m., SEC Network)
Friday, August 29
6:30 p.m. - Jacksonville State at No. 8 Michigan State (Big Ten Network)
Some are calling the Spartans the best that the Big Ten has to offer, so I’ve carved out a spot for them in our Friday night viewing. I don’t expect this to be much of a game, but it’s always nice to have a look at the competition.
Prior to this one, you can take also watch a little bit of BYU vs. Connecticut on ESPN. Once Michigan State gets ahead of Jacksonville State, you can flip back to ESPN to close out the Cougars and Huskies contest.
8:00 p.m. - Colorado State vs. Colorado (at Denver) (Fox Sports 1)
An appropriate Friday night game for Nebraska fans. The Huskers’ former Big 8 and Big 12 foe Buffaloes and their in-state rival Rams will battle in the Mile High City. Last year was a high scoring affair that the Buffs won 41-27.
This year, Colorado is only favored by three points and the Vegas total is set at somewhere around 60. This could be a barn burner to end the work week.
Other notable games: BYU at UCONN (6:00 p.m., ESPN), UNLV at Arizona (9:30 p.m., ESPN)
Saturday, August 30
7:30 a.m. - Penn State vs. Central Florida (at Dublin, Ireland) (ESPN2)
ESPN has done 24-hour college basketball coverage for a few years now and we’re slowly creeping into that territory with football.
Bright and early, even before Corso and the gang get going on ESPN’s College Gameday, Penn State and Central Florida will kick off for the first FBS-level college football Saturday game of the season.
Can the Lions of Mount Nittany flex their muscles against a Blake Bortles-less Central Florida? Get the coffee going early, folks. Vegas has this one at almost a toss up.
11:00 a.m. – No. 5 Ohio State vs. Navy (at Baltimore) (CBS Sports Network)
No. 7 UCLA at Virginia (ESPN)
I’m cheating a little bit by listing two games for the 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. time slots, but there are a number of very entertaining games to chose from this Saturday. First up is the Buckeyes without Heisman contender Braxton Miller visiting Baltimore to clash with Navy’s vaunted triple option attack.
There is no question that the Buckeyes are bigger and faster than the Midshipmen as a whole, but are they mentally game ready with No. 5 on the sideline? Ohio State is a two touchdown favorite, but I’m going to call this my early upset alert.
The second very intriguing 11:00 a.m. game is UCLA traveling cross-country to battle the Cavaliers. It’s a long trip, but the Bruins have high hopes and will be looking to make a statement.
If nothing else, you can channel flip until one game really grabs your interest (or you need to head to Memorial Stadium).
2:30 p.m. - California at Northwestern (ABC regional / ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Nebraska (Big Ten Network)
Obviously, most Husker fans’ eyes will be pointed either towards Tom Osborne Field or a television screen featuring said FieldTurf. However, if you have an extra television handy, the Golden Bears and Wildcats will be playing what could be a fun game.
Northwestern lost Venric Mark and there’s no more Kain Colter, either. Can they adapt or will Cal maul the opposition?
6:30 p.m. Fresno State at No. 15 USC (FOX)
This is a big one for college football as a whole. The Huskers travel to Fresno in a few weeks’ time and this will be a good litmus test to see where the Bulldogs stand.
When everyone gets home from Lincoln, this should be the game you’re watching.
7:00 p.m. No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (at Arlington, TX) (ABC)
If you have multiple televisions, I’d highly recommend tuning one to this game as the returning national champions (and Heisman winning quarterback) get primetime billing on ABC.
Mike Gundy’s Cowboys get dealt the task of attempting to stop an offense that scored 51.6 points per game and accumulated 7,267 rushing and passing yards combined in 2013. Also, the Seminoles’ defense only gave up 12.1 points per game.
Good luck, Pokes.
8:00 p.m. – No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU (at Houston) (ESPN)
A big one for the national perception of the Big Ten. The Tigers face a Badger team that has lost two games in a row and are breaking in a new quarterback.
They’re also going to face one of the premiere running backs in the country in Melvin Gordon, who rushed for 1,609 yards last season. LSU finished No. 36 in the country in rush defense last year and No. 13 in pass defense.
Clearly, the Badgers will have to lean on Gordon (and Corey Clement) to win this one.
9:30 p.m. - South Dakota at No. 3 Oregon (Pac-12 Network)
Former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost enters his second season as offensive coordinator for the Ducks. His high-powered unit should be on full display Saturday evening.
Last season, Frost’s bunch set a school record for total offense in a season at 7,345 yards. Take a quick look at Heisman contender Marcus Mariota before heading to bed after a long day of college football watching.
Other notable games: Northern Iowa at Iowa (11:00 am, BTN), Alabama vs West Virginia (2:30 p.m., ABC), Arkansas at Auburn (3:00 p.m., SEC Network), Clemson at Georgia (4:30 p.m., ESPN)
Sunday, August 31
6:30 p.m. Southern Methodist at No. 10 Baylor (Fox Sports 1)
The Bears have arrived and are firmly entrenched in the conversation for both a Big 12 title and a spot in the college football playoff.
They return quarterback Bryce Petty who put up 4,200 yards passing last season along with top receiver Antwan Goodley who caught 71 balls for 1,339 yards.
If you want to see one of the nation’s best offenses, look no further.
Other notable games: Utah State at Tennessee (6:00 p.m., SECN)
Monday, September 1
7:00 p.m. Miami (FL) at Louisville (ESPN)
The last game of week one is a big one for the ACC as Miami visits Louisville. Husker fans would do well to keep an eye on this one as the ‘Canes come calling in week four of the season.
Miami will start true freshman quarterback Brad Kayaa and will be without star running back Duke Johnson who is serving a suspension.
Louisville, on the other hand, will be without their top wide receiver DeVante Parker and will be breaking in a new quarterback after the departure of Teddy Bridgewater.
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Tags: Nebraska Cornhuskers