Must Watch TV Week 1 College Football 2014

Thursday August 28th, 2014

Texas A&M vs. South Carolina 6:00pm Columbia,SC

The inaugural game on the SEC Network has a solid inter-conference battle taking place on opening night in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Key Questions:

-How will A&M and head coach Kevin Sumlin fare without  QB Johnny Manziel, WR Mike Adams and RB Ben Malena all headed to the NFL. Can the Aggies up-tempo attack put enough pressure on the Gamecocks defense to make this a game?

-South Carolina loses QB Connor Shaw who had 24 touchdowns and only 1 interception in 2013. How will new starting quarterback Dylan Thompson fare against a suspect Aggies defense? How much of a loss will defensive end Jadaveon Clowney be for the Gamecocks defense?

Rutgers vs. Washington State 10:00 pm Pullman, WA

Rutgers enters the Big 10 this season and will need to start fast as it faces a brutal conference schedule. New offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen is an upgrade for the Scarlet Knights offense and his pressence should help with QB Gary Nova's inconsistency.

Key Questions:

-Can the Scarlet Knights defense rebound after a sub par 2013 season. Last year, the Scarlet Knights were very suspect against fresno State and Houston in the passing game. How will the secondary fare against Cougar QB Connor Halliday and head coach Mike Leach's sophisticated passing attack?

-Can Washington State start fast and build off the momentum of last year's bowl run? Can the defense and make strides to keep Washington State competitive during the PAC-12 season?

Friday August 29th, 2014

Colorado State vs. Colorado 9:00 pm Denver, CO

In state rivalry that is always a hard fought battle. Last season, the Buffs pulled out a 14 point victory. However, Ram head coach Jim McElwain has the Rams moving in the right direction off an impressive come from behind New Mexico Bowl victory over Washington State last year.

Key Questions:

-Can the Buffs establish a solid defense that will allow it to be competitive within the PAC-12 this season?

-Can the Rams build off of last year's momentum and can the defense perform better in 2014? Last season, the Rams surrendered 29.8 points per game and 275.7 passing yards per game. In order for the Rams to build off of last season's success, that number needs to drop in 2014.



Saturday August 29th, 2014

This happens to be the best day of the weekend with a ton of marquee games to kick of the 2014 season.

FSU vs. Oklahoma State 8:00 pm Arlington, TX AT&T  Stadium

The defending champion Florida State Seminoles will kick off their season with the hopes of being part of the four team playoff.

Key Questions:

-How will the Seminoles offense react to losing starting wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin/Kenny Shaw along with running backs James Wilder Jr./Devonta Freeman?

Wide receiver Rashad Greene is a big play threat and running back Karlos Williams is an emerging star. The Seminoles have one of the best offensive lines in the country that will protect Heisman Trophy winner quarterback  Jameis Winston.

-Will the FSU defense miss defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan?

-Will the FSU defense be better under new defensive coordinator Charles Kelly or will the Seminoles miss last year's defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt who left for Georgia?

-Can Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Gundy have an offensive game plan that challenges FSU?

-How much will the Cowboys miss big play cornerback Justin Gilbert who bolted for the NFL?

 

Clemson vs. Georgia 5:30 pm Athens, GA Sanford Stadium

Possibly the best game of the afternoon with this great intersectional ACC vs. SEC battle. The Bulldogs have the offense to challenge for and SEC East title and head coach Mark Richt will have multiple weapons to utilize on offense. The Tigers will be looking to score another victory over the Bulldogs in week 1. Last season, the Tigers won a classic battle in Death Valley 38-35.

Key Questions:

-New Tigers quarterback Cole Stoudt has looked very loose and confident in fall practice. How will this translate to the field week 1 of the season?

-How much will the Tigers miss big play wide receiver Sammy Watkins who left for the NFL?

-Can Georgia's defense improve dramatically with new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt calling the plays?

-How will running backs Tod Gurley and Keith Marshall look after coming back from injuries in 2013?

-Can 5th year senior quarterback Hutson Mason make enough plays in the passing game to make Bulldog fans forget about Aaron Murray?

 

Alabama vs. West Virginia 3:30 pm Atlanta, GA Georgia Dome

Alabama has a history over the last 5 years of dominating this opening week 1 game. The Crimson Tide have beaten up on Clemson, Virginia Tech (twice) and Michigan over the years and show no signs of slowing down in 2014.West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is on the hot seat and needs a productive 2014 campaign to save his job.

Key Questions:

-How much will the Crimson Tide miss quarterback AJ McCarron who is in the NFL. McCarron was great under pressure and made big plays in the biggest ball games. How will Alabama fare with a new quarterback in Jacob Coker and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffen?

-The Tide defense struggled with the up-tempo attack of the Sooners in last season's Sugar Bowl- can the Mountaineers create enough pressure on the Tide defense to make this a ball game?

-Former Pitt transfer running back Rushel Shell can have an impact with his tough inside running. Can WVU move the football on the ground against the Crimson Tide?

-Will WVU quarterback Clint Trickett show improvement in Holgorsen's offense to challenge the Tide secondary?

 

LSU vs. Wisconsin 9:00 pm Houston, TX Reliant Stadium

The "Madhatter" and the LSU Tigers face Wisconsin in a great battle Saturday night. Expect this game to have fireworks as the Tigers will be playing with some young exciting players. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has the NFL scouts drooling and will look to carry the Badgers to the victory.

Key Questions:

-Who will the Tigers have under center to start the game?

-What players will step up for the LSU offense to make up for the departures of quarterback Zach Mettenberger, running back Jeremy Hill, wide receivers Jarvis and Odell Beckham Jr. who left for the NFL?

-What type of game plan will defensive coordinator John Chavous utilize early in the game?

-Can Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave make enough plays in the passing game to challenge the LSU defense?

-Can the Badger offensive line dominate the LSU front seven to control the clock against the Tigers?

-Will the Badgers be able to keep up with the speed of LSU at the skill positions?

 

Joseph Lisi is a former ABC Sports college football researcher. He is the owner of www.NCAABLITZ.com and www.GOFORTHE2.COM. Joseph has contributed for www.Rantsports.com- You can follow him on YOUTUBE at: MRJAL2230 or on Twitter @Goforthe2

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