Monday, September 07, 2009

Mr Mandell Reminds us

Mini-previews for three of this week's big games:
• USC at Ohio State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET):
My, how things change in a week. Back when USC named Matt Barkley its starting quarterback and lost starting WR Ronald Johnson and CB Shareece Wright, many felt the Trojans would be vulnerable heading to Columbus. Now, after watching USC thump San Jose Sate and the Buckeyes barely escape against Navy, many may wonder whether this year's game will be any closer than last year's 35-3 Trojans wipeout.
• Notre Dame at Michigan (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET):
Boy, did this one get more interesting in a hurry. The Wolverines looked light years better in their 31-7 rout of Western Michigan, but how will young QB Tate Forcier fare against an ND defense that shut out Nevada? For that matter, can Irish QB Jimmy Clausen continue his recent dominance (37-of-44, 716 yards and nine TDs in his past two games) against the Greg Robinson-led Wolverines defense? I know one thing: I'm intrigued.
• UCLA at Tennessee (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET):
The Vols racked up an impressive 657 yards against Western Kentucky, but I'm not sure that tells us anything. The Bruins only scored three offensive touchdowns against San Diego State, but I'm not sure that tells us anything, either. The only thing we'll know for sure going in is there are going to be a whole lot of freshmen on that field.

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