College football preview Week 4

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

LOCAL GAMES

Virginia at No. 17 TCU

When » Saturday, noon

Where » Amon Carter Stadium,

Fort Worth, Texas

TV/radio » ESPN, 570 AM

Coming off its worst defensive game in 13 years in a 56-20 loss at Georgia Tech, Virginia (2-1) faces another rigorous road test against FBS passing efficiency leader Casey Pachall (33 of 39, 536 yards, five touchdowns). Virginia has less stability at quarterback as Michael Rocco struggled last week and backup Phillip Sims played well in mop-up duty. TCU (2-0) won its Big 12 debut unimpressively last week at Kansas 20-6 despite three fumbles by Pachall.

Bowling Green at Virginia Tech

When » Saturday, noon

Where » Lane Stadium,

Blacksburg, Va.

TV/radio » ESPNU, 106.7 the Fan

The Hokies (2-1) look for a bounce back after a 35-17 loss at previously winless Pittsburgh. Quarterback Logan Thomas was intercepted three times in the first half and Virginia Tech rushed for only 59 yards. Freshman backs J.C. Coleman (3.9 yards a carry) and Michael Holmes (3.2) have struggled. Since a 24-17 loss to Miami (Ohio) in 1997, Virginia Tech is 7-0 against teams from the MAC. Bowling Green (1-2) was tied at Florida in the third quarter before falling 27-14.

Savannah State at Howard

When » Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where » Greene Stadium

Howard (2-1) won its MEAC opener last week at defending conference champion Norfolk State 37-36 after blowing a 23-0 second-half lead. Julien David blocked the potential game-tying extra-point in overtime, and Terrence Lefall carried 31 times for 122 yards for the Bison. In games against ranked Oklahoma State and Florida State, Savannah State (0-2) has been outscored 139-0. Last year Howard ended its 29-game conference losing streak at Savannah State.

VMI at Navy

When » Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Where » Navy-Marine Corps

Memorial Stadium, Annapolis

TV/radio » CBSSN, WFED 1500 AM

In their home opener, the Midshipmen (0-2) look to remedy a variety of ills. They rank last in the FBS in turnover margin, and the staples of their triple-option attack, quarterback Trey Miller (38 carries, 37 yards) and fullback Noah Copeland (13 carries, 44 yards), have been stonewalled. The lone win for the FCS' Virginia Military Institute (1-2) came over Division II Chowan. Navy has won all eight games in a series that dates to 1898.

Top five games this weekend

5 Oregon State at No. 19 UCLA » Oregon State (1-0) is the only team in the FBS to play just once, but it was a 10-7 upset of No. 13 Wisconsin in which the Beavers smothered Danny O'Brien and Montee Ball. Doing the same to UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and FBS rushing leader Johnathan Franklin on the road will be more difficult. (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)

4 No. 22 Arizona at No. 3 Oregon » There's reason to stay up late as this one matches two high-powered, no-huddle offenses led by dual threat quarterbacks -- Matt Scott (Arizona) and De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon) -- who are getting Heisman buzz. While Arizona toppled then-No. 18 Oklahoma State, this is the first BCS conference foe for the 3-0 Ducks. (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)

3 No. 15 Kansas State at No. 6 Oklahoma » Saturday will be a picture-in-picture night with three games in the same time slot matching ranked teams. Last year in Manhattan both teams were 7-0 and ranked in the top 10, but Oklahoma dominated 58-17. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein figures to make it more competitive this time dueling Oklahoma's Landry Jones. (Saturday, 7:50 p.m., Fox)

2 No. 18 Michigan at No. 11 Notre Dame » If Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson played every game the last two years like he did against Notre Dame (948 yards, eight touchdowns), he would have won two Heismans. But this might be a different brand of defense he faces as Notre Dame ranks eighth in the nation in points allowed and 10th in sacks. (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NBC)

1 No. 10 Clemson at No. 4 Florida State » The Tigers beat the Seminoles 35-30 en route to the ACC title last year. Expect similar fireworks with former Hampton Roads quarterback rivals Tajh Boyd (Phoebus High) and E.J. Manuel (Bayside) going at it. The Tigers have more playmakers, but the Seminoles have a better defense. The winner enters the national title discussion. (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC)

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner