Every week, Kristen Ashly will preview three college football games scheduled for that week, choosing contests that are must-see based on match-ups, injuries, controversies, and other reasons. Which three games are on the watch list for Week 4?
College football season is in full swing. Every week further down the season schedule is one step closer to the playoffs, and the picture keeps getting clearer and clearer.
This week, Week 4, underdogs will bear their teeth in hopes of climbing the rankings and top spots will be at risk of dropping to a lower seat. Just another typical week in cutthroat college football.
Let’s take a look at the three games airing Saturday that will have viewers on the edge of their seat the most.
No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET
At first glance, the scales should weigh heavily to one side of this contest; not so fast.
A&M gave Clemson a rough time, last week. A&M is on the road this week, though, and this could be the Aggies’ toughest bout of the season, where they are listed as a 26-point road underdog.
Keep a close eye on A&M’s sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond. Last week against Clemson, Mond had a tremendous outing with 430 yards and three touchdowns against an elite defense.
Pulling one over on Alabama, however, will be extremely hard. Tua Tagovailoa is an obvious contender for the Heisman with his eight touchdowns and no interceptions on the season, so far. Pair Tagovailoa with the nation’s top defense and a 20-0 home record in the last 20 games, and Alabama looks to be the clear winner.
The Aggies are under the direction of Nick Saban’s former assistant coach Jimbo Fisher, so there’s no saying what the Aggies will be able to pull off.
No. 2 Georgia at Missouri
ESPN, 12:00 p.m. ET
Both teams are 3-0, yet only one of the teams are ranked, and highly ranked at that.
Georgia started to look like they may come up behind Alabama, until the Tide crushed their dreams by destroying Ole Miss with 62 points.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Georgia is listed with a 81% chance of winning the bout, but there are worries about ranked teams on the road against decent competitors. Look for a strong Georgia run game from the gate, and bet on a strong offensive line to make a good show.
A few months back, SEC Network’s Greg McElroy called this game the biggest upset alert of 2018, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, the Tigers were 7-6 and lost to Texas in the Texas Bowl, but only after winning six games in a row before that. Missouri plays well down the stretch and quarterback Drew Lock has potential against an inconsistent Georgia coverage.
Regardless of how the match turns out, watching Tigers coach Barry Odom run his game on the field at home will be treat enough.
No. 8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest
ABC, 12:00 p.m. ET
Notre Dame might have a 3-0 record, but they are not convincing the nation they are a winning squad. Inferior opponents have tripped up the Irish, and this is set to be some of the same medicine. The game will depend on Notre Dame’s defense, who face a nightmare matchup in Greg Dortch, two stellar runners and a veteran Wake Forest o-line.
Wake Forest has a strong offense, but their weakness on the back-end is enough to sabotage wins. Wide receivers from Notre Dame will not hesitate to exploit that weakness for points.
Expect a lot of points on the board in what is likely to be a back-and-forth game. In the end, Notre Dame’s two-quarterback system will probably save the day.
Kristen Ashly is a senior contributor and editor for Nuts & Bolts Sports. You can follow her on Twitter @KristenAshly.