Well, well, well. We’re through three weeks here in The Sixer, and as is always the case, nothing (or, very little) is going according to plan. I’m not the quality prognosticator our buddy Eric Taylor is — as will be clear to all of you in just a bit — which is only to show you that the more we know here at The Sixer, the less we know.
We have two first-time features here this week, so enjoy!
- There was some concern in previous weeks that some games were not in the ACC preview, but made their way here. Going forward, any ACC games that make it into this feature will just have a link back to the ACC version of Clear Your Schedule. It’s easier, and the consultant types will call it “synergy”, or something.
- We have our first-ever reader request for a game to be included in The Sixer. If you’re interested in having a game included in this space each week, leave me a comment or tweet me @sportsmatters. We’ll always take your comments, because this is your space.
Here are your standings through Week 3:
There’s a long way to go, and no one is out of the competition. We’re still working (well, I need to get better about it, but we are) with our friends at Stadium Journey to determine a prize for the winner. Again, this contest is not sponsored by, endorsed by, spoken in the same breath with or whatever else by us here at FBSchedules.
It’s time for a trivia question, and after that, let’s roll.
The Sixer Trivia, Week 4 (answer at the end of the column): Oregon continued an impressive streak last week of games with a touchdown pass. How long is that streak, and who was the Ducks’ quarterback in that last game without a touchdown throw?
Keyword Search (all times Eastern and rankings AP)
#20 Georgia Tech (2-1, 0-0 ACC) at Duke (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Noon | ESPN2
See Week 4’s ACC Clear Your Schedule for details on this game.
#8 LSU (2-0, 2-0 SEC) at Syracuse (3-0, 1-0 ACC)
Noon | ESPN
See Week 4’s ACC Clear Your Schedule for details on this game.
#24 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Texas (1-2, 0-0 Big 12)
3:30pm | ESPN
- Heard it through the grapevine: Texas’ offense has taken on quite a different appearance under redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard. Heard eclipsed Vince Young’s ten-year-old school record in last week’s 45-44 loss to Cal by compiling 527 yards of total offense. His 364 yards of passing was second-best among UT freshmen, beaten only by former ‘Horn Major Applewhite. Applewhite threw for 408 yards against Oklahoma State in 1998.
- More prolific passers: Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph has completed just shy of 69 percent of his passes this season, putting him in the top 25 in completion percentage. Rudolph is averaging 315.7 passing yards per game, good for tenth-best among FBS passers.
- No longer lopsided: Oklahoma State has won the last three games played at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (2010, 2011, and 2013). Those three wins are part of just five recorded by the Cowboys in 29 all-time contests. The 2010 victory broke a string of nine consecutive Texas wins, with the only other Oklahoma State decisions coming in 1944 and 1997.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: The records point to an easy Oklahoma State victory. Jerrod Heard might make us forget about the records before the game ends.
#3 TCU (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
4:45pm | FOX
- You don’t score until you score: The second Big 12 game of the season (by an hour and 15 minutes or so) features two top-10 scoring offenses. The teams combine for an average of 104 points per game (Texas Tech 54.3, TCU 49.7). The over/under for the game — for informational purposes only — is 80.5. Tech has scored 30 or more points in six consecutive games. TCU, meanwhile, has scored 30 or greater in 17 of 18 games, including an 82-27 drubbing of Tech last season.
- Fantastic four: Last season broke a string of three straight seasons in which the Red Raiders opened the season 4-0. Texas Tech defeated Central Arkansas and UTEP before losing four consecutive games. A 20-10 win over TCU was part of the 2013 streak. TCU, meanwhile, has started 4-0 in five of the last seven seasons.
- Quality QBs: Seventh and ninth (respectively) in passing in the FBS. Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week in consecutive weeks. Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) and Trevone Boykin (TCU) are those players. Mahomes actually won the award the first two weeks, with Boykin taking the honors last week. Boykin joins just four other quarterbacks who have thrown five touchdowns in a game this season. The pair has combined for 2014 yards, 19 scores and six interceptions thus far.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: TCU looked downright middling against Minnesota, but has dominated otherwise. Texas Tech has to be looking for revenge. Should be fun.
#9 UCLA (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at #16 Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
8:00pm | ABC
- Stellar sophomores: It’s tough to find a better duo of second-year players than Arizona’s Anu Solomon and Nick Wilson. Solomon is approaching 4,600 passing yards to go with 38 touchdowns, while Wilson is averaging just shy of 119 rushing yards per game. Wilson has found the end zone 21 times.
- A devastating loss: UCLA linebacker/short-yardage back/Mr. Everything Myles Jack suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice earlier this week. Jack was on the watch lists for the Lombardi, Butkus, Hornung, Bednarik, Nagurski, and Walter Camp awards. The junior star has recorded 15 tackles, a pass breakup, an interception and a rushing touchdown this season.
- Breaking the cycle: UCLA’s sports information department notes that the last four matchups between these schools with both ranked in the AP poll have gone to the Bruins. Those victories came in 1993 (Pasadena), 1998 (Tucson), 2012 (Pasadena), and last year’s 17-7 UCLA win in the Rose Bowl. Former Bruin and current Packer quarterback Brett Hundley recorded 320 combined yards in that win.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: On one hand, Arizona has won 18 of 23 at home under Rich Rod. On the other, he’s 0-3 against UCLA. Can UCLA overcome injuries again?
#18 Utah (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at #13 Oregon (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
8:30pm | FOX
- The Runnin’ Ute: Utah running back Devontae Booker has logged the third-highest amount of carries among FBS backs. Booker went for 156 yards on 31 carries in a 45-24 victory over Fresno State last week. Over his last 13 games, the sophomore has carried the ball 22 or more times in 11 of those outings.
- The crusade for a crooked number: A Utah victory would do wonders for the Utes on a national stage. It would also be a milestone for coach Kyle Whittingham. Whittingham is winless in three tries against the Ducks since taking over as the head coach in 2005. The two trips to Autzen Stadium under Whittingham (2009, 2013) have resulted in a combined margin of victory of 75-45 for Oregon.
- Defensive Ducks: Oregon’s offense is, as usual, highly effective. Mark Helfrich’s Ducks are ninth in the nation in scoring offense, hanging 50 per game on opponents. The Duck defense, however, is not as successful this season. Oregon is 106th in the nation in total defense, giving up 456.3 yards per game. The 316 passing yards per game they surrender ranks 119th in the nation. Oregon’s rushing defense is more effective, allowing 140.3 yards per game (53rd in FBS).
Print that, tweet that, whatever: Oregon is deadly at Autzen Stadium, particularly against Utah. This just might end up being the Utes’ year to reverse that trend.
Trivia answer: I asked earlier: Oregon continued an impressive streak last week of games with a touchdown pass. How long is that streak, and who was the Ducks’ quarterback in that last game without a touchdown throw?
Oregon has thrown a touchdown pass in 71 consecutive games. The last time the Ducks went without a completed throw in the end zone was the 2010 Rose Bowl, which Oregon lost 26-17 to Ohio State. Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli completed 9-of-20 passes for 81 yards and an interception. This was the last game Masoli would play for Oregon, as he eventually transferred to Ole Miss to finish his collegiate career.