After Michigan’s historical 38-0 victory over Notre Dame and Ohio State’s triple-overtime win against North Carolina State last week, college football has already seen its share of ups and downs. Week four consists of a few big games and top teams from across the nation going head-to-head, including No. 7 Geogia visiting No. 10 Louisiana State. Look for these games to cause some shuffling in the polls.

Mira Levitan
Casey Clausen will face a big challenge against Florida this weekend. (AP PHOTO)

Texas A&M (2-0) at No. 8 Virginia Tech (2-0) – Tonight, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: Both teams are well rested, as neither has played a game since Sept. 6. This should be one of the best matchups of the week.

Last year’s game between the Aggies and Virginia Tech was a defensive battle, and the Hokies managed to pull away by the score of 13-3 at College Station, Texas. In that game, the Texas A&M “Wrecking Crew” defense held running back Kevin Jones, a potential Heisman candidate, to 48 yards on 15 carries. But it’s a different story this year.

Making this game more exciting is the speed at quarterback for both teams. Texas A&M sophomore Reggie McNeal, along with Virginia Tech junior Bryan Randall and freshman Marcus Vick, the younger brother of the eclectic NFL quarterback Michael Vick, are three of the fastest players in college football.

The “Wrecking Crew” motto of the Texas A&M defense has been stripped away until it earns it back, and it won’t be easier after losing starting middle linebacker Jared Morris for the season. Virginia Tech has won 14 straight non conference home games and is notorious for winning at Lane Stadium at night. The streak will continue later tonight.

Virginia Tech 14, Texas A&M 7

No. 2 Miami (Fla.) (3-0) at Boston College (2-1) – 7:45 p.m., ESPN: This is the last time that these two teams play each other as Big East opponents before Miami leaves for the ACC. Boston College hasn’t beaten Miami since that famous last-second “Hail Mary” touchdown pass from Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan in 1984.

Miami’s last trip to Chestnut Hill, Ma., in 2001 was decided with 13 seconds left, as the ball was intercepted at the 9-yard line by Miami defensive tackle Matt Walters, who then was stripped by a teammate, safety Ed Reed. Reed took it back 80 yards for the touchdown to secure the victory, 18-7.

Boston College will try one more time to shatter Miami’s national championship aspirations. But Miami doesn’t produce NFL draft picks by losing games.

Miami 28, Boston College 14

No. 13 Tennessee (2-0) at No. 17 Florida (2-1) – Noon, CBS: Don’t let the 2-1 record fool you. After pounding both San Jose State and Florida A&M by 60 points and letting second-ranked Miami barely slip past them in the final quarter, the Gators have proven they can contend with the best teams in the nation. This Saturday the Gators take on the Tennessee Volunteers, who have yet to prove themselves as a justified top-15 team this season.

Last week against unranked Marshall, the Vols avoided a fourth-quarter charge and slipped away with a 34-24 “too close for comfort” victory. In both the Marshall game and Tennessee’s previous 24-6 victory over Fresno State, senior quarterback Casey Clausen put up good numbers (39-for-64, 394 yds, 5 touchdowns), but the team as a whole has not shown it is worthy of a high ranking in the polls.

Florida has a very strange offensive combination this year, with three potential starting quarterbacks in freshman Chris Leak, sophomore Ingle Martin and senior Gavin Dickey. The combination of these three talents, freshman running back DeShawn Wynn and senior back Ran Carthon bring a high-powered offensive presence to the Gators this season.

Expect the Volunteer defense to be ready for the Gators through the air, but it may not be able to stop DeShawn Wynn and the Gator running game, which has run for nearly 400 yards and eight touchdowns in three games.

The big question for Florida in this weekend’s game will be defense. If Clausen and the Vols can capitalize on the Gator defense when it is most susceptible, then their chances of winning are good. But if Florida’s offense comes prepared and has the defense to back it up, look for the Gators to pull off a victory over the higher-ranked Volunteers.

Florida 31, Tennessee 28

 

 

 

 

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