CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Play It Forward: The week ahead in college football

Clemson faces a key Thursday matchup at North Carolina State; Arizona State at Stanford is Pac-12's game of the week.

1. Clemson is No. 3 in the AP poll and had a week off to prepare for a key ACC game Thursday at North Carolina State. Is this the game the Tigers "pull a Clemson" on national TV, or has the program matured into taking-care-of-business mode?

2. Boise State (2-1) at Fresno State (2-0) on Friday night would have had more juice had Boise State not lost to Washington, but this still could end up being the Mountain West Conference game of the year. Fresno State is coming off an unexpected bye week after Saturday's game at Colorado was postponed.

3. San Jose State at Minnesota is less about the matchup and more about the health concerns of Gophers Coach Jerry Kill, who suffered an epileptic seizure during Saturday's game against Western Illinois. It was Kill's fourth game-day seizure in three years as coach.

4. Arizona State can't dwell on Saturday night's fortuitous win over Wisconsin because the Sun Devils must turn around and open Pac-12 play in Palo Alto. Stanford is 2-0 and ranked No. 5 after two methodical, boring wins over San Jose State and Army.

5. The SEC West was already the best division in college football and now it appears Mississippi (3-0) and Auburn (3-0) are on the rise. Auburn, under first-year Coach Gus Malzahn, has already matched last year's win total but will get a big test this week at Louisiana State.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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