(CBS Local Sports) – College football rolls along this week with a great slate of games across CBS and CBS Sports Network. CBS’ Matt Weiss spoke to CBS Sports’ Adam Zucker about this week’s matchups including a clash of top 25 teams with Georgia and Auburn plus the number one team in the country, Alabama, heading to College Station to lock horns with the Aggies.
#2 Georgia at #18 Auburn: Saturday, October 9, 3:30pm ET on CBSREAD MORE: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In First Year, Study Says
“It’s Georgia-Auburn and because it’s at Jordan-Hare Stadium, you never know what might happen. We enjoyed watching the prayer from a few years back on our show Tuesday. My favorite shot is when you see Aaron Murray on the Georgia bench after he had just led them to a presumed victory and he’ll actually be in the booth for us, so I’m sure they’re going to have some fun with that.
The question is whether Bo Nix can create the kind of magic he did against LSU the other night when Auburn got their first win at Death Valley, since 1999. He was escaping guys like crazy and making making touchdowns and first downs out of it where in the past we used to see him get swallowed up or take monster losses. This Georgia defense, I mean, it’s as if Bo Nix is going from trying to escape a piranha to trying to escape an Orca or a great white shark. The Georgia defense is at a level that no other defense is at right now coming off two straight shout outs. Even if the Vanderbilt one doesn’t count in some people’s minds, the Arkansas, one has to.
They’re allowing under five points per game, allowing a touchdown less than the next best team. Even if their offense isn’t fully complete, especially with JT Daniels banged up, their defense can win games on its own. They’ve now shut out two straight conference opponents for the first time since their title year 1980.
For Auburn beyond the tricks of Nix has the second best average in the country, in terms of yards per carry. I’m not saying Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter are Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown as a duo but they’re starting to pound out some serious yardage. Beyond the magic of Nix the other night the really impressive football came from those two cats.
They also have a defense that’s pretty darn solid considering what they had to do to get a win at LSU, to almost win at Penn State, and some of the other games that we’ve seen him so far. I think Auburn can hang around, especially if they don’t make mistakes on their end of the field.
Things can get pretty interesting especially because this is going to be Georgia’s first real tough road test. They had to go to Vanderbilt, the game against Clemson was a neutral site, now this this is a road environment that they haven’t had yet.”
#1 Alabama at Texas A&M: Saturday, October 9, 8pm ET on CBS
“First of all, I love that we’re gonna go from watching Georgia to watching Alabama because while Alabama is number one and the defending champs, a lot of my real diehard film watchers say that Georgia is a better team. Now we get to compare them, not against the same opponent, but we get to watch them on the same day, kick back and enjoy it.
Alabama proved, once again, it’s pretty tough to fool them twice. Even though Ole Miss got them two years in a row a few years ago, for Alabama to go up 35 to nothing on Lane Kiffin where everyone had a feeling that Ole Miss could put up some points and really challenge them, that game was out of hand by halftime.
If I were Jimbo Fisher, I would not say get your popcorn ready because he already had his big moment in the offseason when he was recorded saying we’re going to beat his a–, talking about Coach Saban. To me, this game is almost more about A&M than it is about ‘bama.
We all thought A&M would be that second team behind Alabama and I think when you have that label it puts a target on your back. So not only is A&M 0-2 in conference play but their losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State are to the teams that were slated sixth and seventh and in the division to begin the season.
So this is an ultimate gut check to me for Texas A&M in this spot because they better keep this thing close because it’s turning into disaster for Jimbo Fisher. For Alabama, they’ve taken some dings on the injury front and Brian Robinson may not be Najee Harris, but we saw that Alabama still has a guy who is going to put his head down and get a lot of tough yardage the way Najee used to, especially with the injury to Jase McClellan,
The Alabama defense really made a big statement in that last game because after Ole Miss had a couple of those fourth down conversions and we thought it was getting interesting, they put a pretty strong stop to it. The defensive line was especially good while the DBs were making sure Matt Corral didn’t have anybody open.”
Charlotte at FIU: Friday, October 8, 7pm ET on CBS Sports Network
“Charlotte is a pretty interesting team to me, they beat Duke in early September, then they had a lead on Illinois this past weekend and right after missing the game tying field goal gave up an 80 yard touchdown so it got out of hand. With Chris Reynolds healthy Charlotte looks like a team that’s going to start to stick around and maybe rise up in the world, especially for their location.READ MORE: Michigan Ballot Initiative Aims To Protect Abortion Rights
What’s interesting is they’ve never defeated FIU who’s 5-0 all time against them. FIU is in some trouble right now though they just gave up over 700 total yards to their rival Florida Atlantic and we we last saw them with that memorable upset over Miami a few years back but they’ve lost 10 straight now to FBS opponents.
One guy that’ll be fun to watch for football fans is Max Bortenschlager, he’s the quarterback for FIU who transferred there after Taulia Tagovailoa came to Maryland, but we always enjoy saying his name. I don’t think we’ll be saying his name for a lot of good reasons, but he has put up a couple touchdowns in every game so far. I do think that Charlotte would have the edge in that game.”
Northern Illinois at Toledo: Saturday, October 9, 12pm ET on CBS Sports Network
“This is a tough call. Northern Illinois had a nice win over Georgia Tech to start the season and that’s a Georgia Tech team that has had its ups and downs but showed out in the loss to Clemson and really dominated North Carolina. Then on the other hand Toledo, I thought exposed Notre Dame before a lot of other teams did.
They played Notre Dame tough it was a game, not seen on national television, the way we’re used to it. They’re now coming home from two straight road games. I think this is a huge game when it comes to the MAC. Toledo with homefield maybe has an edge there, and could claim that they’re more battle tested but I think that one’s going to go down to the wire.”
#24 SMU at Navy: Saturday, October 9, 3:30pm ET on CBS Sports Network
“I give Navy a shot in this one because of what they were able to do against UCF. It’s a group of guys who have had their backs to the wall and a coaching staff has already had some turmoil with the way Ivin Jasper was fired and then brought back after the loss to Air Force, which I think was an emotional moment at the academy, obviously.
There’s an extreme contrast between these two teams, SMU is seventh in the country scoring 42 points a game, you have a quarterback in Tanner Mordecai who has thrown 24 touchdowns which is five more than Kenny Pickett for most in the country. Tanner Mordecai is actually even a little bit lower than these other guys in terms of yards per game and attempts per game but he’s thrown a touchdown every seven and a half attempts. He’s at like Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth home run proportions here.
It’s a total contrast so I worry because Navy is outside the top 100 in scoring defense, it’s going to be really key for them to be able to run the ball the way they do. SMU is middle of the pack as a rush defense but Navy isn’t having a navy kind of year running the ball just yet. Navy could always make it interesting though because of how hard it is to go up against their offense.”
Wyoming at Air Force: Saturday, October 9, 7pm ET on CBS Sports Network
“I think that Air Force will win based on what I’ve seen from both teams. I love the Air Force rushing attack right now leading the nation in yards per game and rushing touchdowns because of the offense that they run. Haaziq Daniels, their quarterback, is around six yards a carry. Micah Davis is also going for nine yards a carry.
Wyoming has been gritty and is undefeated for a reason though and this is their conference opener and they’re probably really happy to buckle their seatbelts into Mountain West play after a road escape at UConn and some wild finishes that they’ve already had. Now they’ve had a week off following that, I think they get to hit reset and sink into conference play.”
New Mexico State at Nevada: Saturday, October 9, 10:30pm on CBS Sports Network
“This should be an easy game for Nevada and I don’t mean to take away from New Mexico State’s effort and kids on the team trying to make football happen. Nevada’s only loss was in a visit to a tough Kansas State team who nearly beat Oklahoma, who did beat a Stanford team that’s completely turned the PAC-12 upside down.
They just got a win at Boise State which used to be impossible and I love their offensive balance because of Carson strong and now Toa Taua coming off his best game of the season going for 124 yards at Boise. I think that Nevada should look at this as a way to get some other players on the field and avoid mistakes and treat it like a live tune up for the games they have coming up against Jake Haener and Fresno State on the road and a Hawaii team that just showed what they can do by beating Fresno State and causing six turnovers in that one.MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
The Mountain West, between Nevada and those teams I just mentioned, but also Wyoming and Air Force have shown the Mountain West is going to be really entertaining to watch as we head into the fall.”