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College Football 2012: Week 4 Preview
Saturday, 2012 September 22 - 10:57 am
Michigan has another big night game against Notre Dame; N.C. State has another cupcake game against Citadel.

#18 Michigan at #11 Notre Dame. This should be the game where we finally figure out how good Michigan is. Obviously they're not as good as Alabama and not as bad as UMass, but there are about a hundred and fifty teams in that range.

Notre Dame shut down Michigan State last week, mostly by having star linebacker Manti Teo shadow State running back Leveon Bell the whole game. You can expect Teo to key in on Denard Robinson for most of the game, so Al Borges will need to be clever with his play calling and spread the ball around. Bubble screens? Play action? We want it.

On offense, Notre Dame has a dangerous mobile quarterback in Everett Golson. The play of the front seven will be important for Michigan, and that's where they've had some struggles this season.

So... I don't know. This will be close, I think. Notre Dame has the edge in the trenches but not at the skill positions. They're playing at home, though, under the lights and in front of a national audience. And, revenge will be on their minds for last year's spectacular Michigan victory.

Prediction: Michigan 28, Notre Dame 31.

N.C. State vs. The Citadel. The Citadel is undefeated and they may be favored to win their conference, but they're still a 1-AA squad that should be physically no match for N.C. State's athletes. I think this may be a game where N.C. State finally gets its ground game working.

Prediction: N.C. State 34, Citadel 13.

Games to Watch on TV

The early slate of games is pretty dismal. I'll be keeping an eye on UTEP at Wisconsin on ESPN2; the Badgers are in disarray, ranking near the bottom of the league in offense. This week they've replaced their starting quarterback. They'll need to be on upset alert. Virginia may be competitive in their game at #17 TCU on ESPN.

At 3:30 the lineup improves slightly. Penn State gets Temple on ABC/ESPN2; this has recently been a tough game for the Lions. Oregon State plays #19 UCLA on the ESPN2/ABC reverse mirror. Miami is playing at Georgia Tech at 3:00, but that game is bizarrely only being shown online.

At 6:00 things start to heat up with Cal playing at #13 USC on the Pac-12 Network (which I don't have). #2 LSU will look to stomp Auburn again; that's on ESPN at 7:00.

At 7:30 the Michigan/Notre Dame game starts on NBC. At 7:50 (what?) #15 Kansas State plays at #6 Oklahoma on Fox. #10 Clemson plays at #4 Florida State at 8:00 on ABC; that's my Game of the Week this week. And finally, at 10:30 #22 Arizona plays at #3 Oregon on ESPN; the over-under on that game is around 80 points, and it should be wildly entertaining.
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