With no Tiger football on this first full Saturday of action in 2019, we thought we would take a look at the more intriguing games of the day. There’s not many bigtime matchups, but there are things of interest to keep an eye on.
Florida Atlantic at Ohio St
Yes, the Buckeyes are favored by 27.5 points. No, this won’t be a close game. However, it does give us a chance to see the new look Buckeyes under first time head coach Ryan Day. It also gives the nation a chance to see former Georgia QB Justin Fields in action and show how asinine it was to have him ranked ahead of Trevor Lawrence in the 2017 recruiting class. Plus, it’s Lane Kiffin so there’s bound to be some entertainment of some kind.
Boise St at FSU
This one was originally scheduled to be played at 7pm in Jacksonville but Hurricane Dorian forced it to be moved to Tallahassee for a noon kick instead. The Noles are just 5.5 point favorites, but this game being moved to Doak gives them more of an edge. As most know, the Broncos have been known to knock off the big boys from time to time. Can Bryan Harsin and Boise do it again or does Willie Taggart get 2019 started off the right way in Tally? It’s only the first game of year two under Taggart, but this is one he can’t afford to drop and Boise won’t make it easy for them.
Alabama vs Duke
No, this won’t be competitive for very long. It does however give us our first look at Bama since 44-16 and we also get to see how that Tide D responds to the loss of LB Dylan Moses to a season ending injury.
UNC vs UofSC
The line in this one has steadily climbed in recent days and is now up to UNC +11. The Gamecocks have what looks to be the nation’s toughest schedule in 2019 and dropping the opener to the Heels would be a disastrous way to start the season. Mack Brown’s hiring has reenergized the fan base, and freshman QB Sam Howell gets his first start, but this is one UofSC should win.
Northwestern at Stanford
The Cardinals are 6.5 point home favorites in this one. If you’re a Clemson fan however, this is your first chance to see former Tiger QB Hunter Johnson in action as QB as a Wildcat.
Oregon vs Auburn
This one has playoff implications for both. Despite being ranked higher than Auburn and it being a neutral site game in Dallas, the Ducks are a 3.5 point underdog. Oregon, with Justin Herbert at QB is considered a dark horse playoff contender by some but that talk will almost certainly end with a loss here. Gus Malzahn needs to show he can do better than 8-5 and now turns the reins of his offense over to Bo Nix. A loss here and Gus’ seat starts getting real warm, real quick.