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What to Watch for on this Football Saturday: August 31

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NCAA Football: Redbox Bowl-Michigan State vs Oregon Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson played and won on Thursday night, which gives us a full football Saturday to relax, digest our victory, and watch teams across the country. Below are my thoughts on the top few games for each time slot on Saturday and what I’ll be watching for. I hope this helps you pick out and enjoy games on this glorious opening Saturday.

Noon

  • South Alabama at Nebraska (ESPN)
  • Florida Atlantic at Ohio State (FOX)
  • Boise State at Florida State (ESPNews)

The ESPN and FOX games offer nice opportunities to watch interesting QBs. Take a look at Adrian Martinez under center for Nebraska. He’s gotten a ton of hype. Let’s see how he looks in Week 1. The Buckeyes QB situation is also interesting. Dwayne Haskins is off to the Redskins after an incredible season. They landed Justin Fields via transfer and somehow got a waiver so he can play immediately. That sparked the Tate Martell transfer to Miami, though he didn’t win the QB job there. Let’s see how Ohio State looks against tune-up level competition.

The Boise State vs. FSU game was set to be on ESPN at 7pm, but they moved it to noon in Tallahassee (from Jacksonville) because of Hurricane Dorian. The Broncos are solid, but if Florida State is to really turn it around, as I and many others expect, the Seminoles should pull out a win. If Florida State loses badly, it’s probably a sign of a dumpster fire getting re-lit. This game getting moved actually gives us something pretty juicy for the noon-slot, but you have to get ESPNews to watch it.

Afternoon

  • Alabama vs. Duke (3:30 ABC)
  • South Carolina vs. North Carolina (3:30 ESPN)
  • Northwestern at Stanford (4:00 FOX)

Alabama is going to boat race Duke, but let’s see how scary Tua and his WR-corps look. They have some questions in the middle of their offensive line. Can Duke slow down their running game? That would be encouraging.

Once that game is out of reach, go ahead and flip over and see if Carolina can beat U of SC. We play them both so there’s no qualms in cheering against the Cocks. Mack Brown is doing a nice job rebuilding, but there’s a long way to go. If UNC wins this, I don’t see U of SC making a bowl. Lastly, you have QB Hunter Johnson’s first collegiate start as the defending B1G West champs go to Stanford.

Night Games

  • Oregon vs. Auburn (ABC)

Originally, this was to be a flipping back-and-forth situation with FSU and Boise State set to play at 7:00. With them moving their game to noon, this time slot is all about Oregon and Auburn at 7:30 in Arlington, TX. Oregon, a playoff dark horse, looks to make the early statement against Auburn that Washington failed to make last season. Oregon has QB Justin Herbert back for his senior year, while Auburn is looking for true freshman Bo Nix to replace Jarrett Stidham. Auburn has a brutal schedule that includes the usual SEC West foes plus Florida, Georgia, and Oregon in this opener. The winner of this game can claim legitimate playoff aspirations and Oregon would have a clear enough remaining path to do it.