Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with kicker Anthony Fera #4 after an extra point in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on October 3, 2013 in Ames, Iowa. Texas defeated Iowa State 31-30. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) (David Purdy / October 9, 2013)
It’s a big week for Texas coach Mack Brown and many others throughout the country. Here are our top five college football games to watch:
No. 12 Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas)
Saturday, Noon, ABC
The Buzz: The Red River Rivalry has fizzled, with Oklahoma dominating the past three games in the series. The Sooners have won all three games by a combined score of 146-58, including back-to-back blowouts (55-17 and 63-21). This one will come down to the defenses. Oklahoma has one and Texas does not. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in total defense (281.6 yards per game) and scoring defense (13 points per game), while Texas is dead-last in total defense (465.4) and next-to-last in scoring defense (28.4). Another blowout loss could all but spell the end of Brown’s days in Austin.
Saturday, Noon, ESPN
The Buzz: One of the biggest surprises midway through the season has to be Missouri, which is 5-0 for the first time since 2010. The Tigers are second in the Southeastern Conference in total offense (543 yards per game) and scoring offense (46.6 points per game) right behind Texas A&M. The team’s fast start can also be credited to forcing turnovers (11). Georgia’s football complex, on the other hand, is turning into a MASH unit. Multiple key players have suffered major injuries, including running back Keith Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley, who are out for the season. The Bulldogs haven’t collapsed thanks to quarterback Aaron Murray, who has been playing out of his mind.
No. 17 Florida at No. 10 LSU
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Buzz: This one could come down to the quarterbacks: LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and Florida’s Tyler Murphy. Mettenberger leads the SEC in passing efficiency (190.1) and is third in the league in passing yards per game (289.7). Murphy, who will be facing a hostile crowd while making his third career start, is third in the league in passing efficiency (181.5) while averaging a little more than 100 yards passing per game. Florida has the second-best defense in the country (217 yards per game) and hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this season, which could be a challenge for LSU running back Jeremy Hill. He is ranked second in the league in rushing (118.8).
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Buzz: Unfortunately for Northwestern and its fans, there isn’t much time to feel sorry for themselves following a devastating loss to Ohio State last week. Wisconsin has the second-best offense in the Big Ten, with the Badgers averaging 518 yards and close to 38 points per game. Most of that can be attributed to a ground game that is averaging 300 yards per game with a one-two punch of James White (473 yards/4 TDs) and Melvin Gordon (698/7). The Wildcats have the best red-zone offense in the Big Ten (24-25 for 96 percent) and lead the league in forcing turnovers (14).
Saturday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1
The Buzz: The Pac-12’s top offense meets its top defense when the Oregon Ducks travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies. Oregon is averaging more than 600 yards of total offense a game and out-scoring opponents 296-59. Meanwhile, Washington is holding teams to just 287 yards per game, including limiting No. 5 Stanford to only 279 yards during a loss last week. The Huskies are riding a nine-game losing streak to the Ducks, who will face their first true challenge of the season. Oregon quarterback and Heisman contender Marcus Mariota hasn’t played a down in the fourth quarter so far this year.
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