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College Football 2013: Week 8 Preview
Saturday, 2013 October 19 - 8:49 am
Michigan plays Indiana; N.C. State has a bye.

Michigan vs. Indiana
Indiana comes to Michigan with an explosive offense but an anemic defense. This of course is worrisome to Michigan since anemic defenses have been plenty enough to stop Michigan's ridiculously bad running game. Will Al Borges finally get his head screwed on right, or will we continue to plow into stacked fronts for zero yards? That will largely determine the outcome of the game.

On offense, Indiana is a high-tempo, true spread team, and we pretty much know how that works. A lot will depend on the linebackers' ability to diagnose plays and run them down; with Jake Ryan back in action and Desmond Morgan playing at a high level, I'm slightly optimistic that we'll be successful. There'll be the occasional bust where we give up 20 yard chunks, but I'm also slightly optimistic that the safeties will avoid giving up big plays.

So it's all about the Michigan offense's performance. Here I'm not so optimistic. The offensive line has proven to be a disaster against all but the weakest competition. Indiana will surely stack the box after seeing how successful that was for Penn State, so it all hinges on Borges' willingness to get the ball out into space. I think Borges will try to throw downfield instead of getting easy yards with bubble screens, and the running game will probably be nonexistent again.

So I'm worried. Until I see a better performance out of Borges, I'm betting against him.

Prediction: Michigan 19, Indiana 28.

Games to Watch on TV
There have already been two good ones, as #10 Miami narrowly beat UNC and previously-undefeated Louisville went down to Central Florida.

At noon there isn't much of note. Purdue will likely get blown out by Michigan State on BTN; Minnesota will likely also get blown out by Northwestern on ESPN2. That leaves some SEC mismatches on ESPN and CBS (#11 South Carolina vs. Tennessee and #15 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt), so, yawn. The best early game is #22 Florida at #14 Missouri at 12:20, but that doesn't seem to be televised nationally; here it'll be on WNCN's second digital channel, for some reason.

At 3:30 the Michigan game is on BTN. You can also check out #24 Auburn at #7 Texas A&M on CBS for what should be yet another high-scoring game involving the Aggies. Surprisingly undefeated #9 UCLA plays #13 Stanford in an important Pac-12 game on ABC/ESPN2. The reverse mirror game on ESPN2/ABC is #4 Ohio State vs Iowa, which might be a blowout.

At 7:30 USC plays Notre Dame in a classic rivalry game; that's on NBC. But the Game of the Week is at 8:00 as #5 Florida State plays #3 Clemson on ABC, for a game with huge ACC and national title implications.

A nightcap game is Utah at Arizona, where you can keep up with what old Rich Rodriguez is up to. Utah is just coming off a win against Stanford. That game is on the Pac-12 network.
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