Three top 25 matchups this weekend

Christopher Bean, Assistant Sports Editor

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It’s only week 4 in college football but playoff implications are on the line this weekend. 11 Michigan visits 13 Wisconsin, 8 Auburn visits 17 Texas A&M and 7 Norte Dame visits 3 Georgia. Let’s take a look at the massive matchups we have in store for us tomorrow.

Opening up the weekend is No. 11 Michigan Wolverines vs No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers at 11 A.M. Set your alarms because you’re not going want to miss a second of this slug fest. Both teams are 2-0 and coming off their first of two bye weeks this year. This is the fourth year in-a-row both teams will face each other, even though they’re in different divisions. The home team has won every contest. Just like previous years, two of the top 10 defensive teams in the nation will duel it out. Wisconsin hasn’t given up a point yet this, and Michigan has forced five turnovers, including a forced fumble in double ot against Army to keep their playoff hopes alive. In the Badgers first two games they have outscored their opponents (South Florida and Central Michigan) 110-0. With former starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook transferring, junior Jack Coan has led the Badger offensive perfectly with 564 yards and five touchdowns and zero interceptions. It also doesn’t hurt when you have one of the best offensive line and running back in the nation in Jonathan Taylor. Taylor has 237 rushing yards and 302 total yards this year. In both his games against Michigan, Taylor has surpassed the 100-yard mark. Junior wide receiver Quintez Cephus had a huge impact against CMU, grabbing two toucdowns with six receptions and 130 yards. For the Michigan offense it hasn’t been the start they had hope for since brining along new offensive coordinator in Josh Gattis. Michigan has fumbled it eight times in two games and lost five of them. Senior quarterback Shea Patterson has fumbled four times, losing three. The offense took ten steps back against Army, after only winning by three points and getting bailed out by their defense. I’m not saying Army is a push over. In fact, they took Kyler Murray and Okalahoma to ot last year. But Michigan cannot continue to play they did on offense and expect to win this weekend. It helps that senior left tackle Jon Runyan is coming back from injury, however, Michigan is still unsure if star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones will make a return this weekend. Both teams will begin Big Ten play on Saturday and will look to gain much needed momentum for their season.

Don’t leave your seat because at 2:30 P.M. as No. 8 Auburn Tigers travels to No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies for a big SEC West division match up. With Alabama and LSU in the West, this is a must win for both teams. Auburn comes in with a 3-0 record and a top 25 win over No. 16 Oregon. A&M is 2-1, with their only loss coming to the best team in the country and defending champs the Clemson Tigers. Auburn’s head coach Gus Malzahn decided to start true Freshman Bo Nix. Even though he went 13-31 with two picks in his first collegiate game ever, Nix led Auburn to victory with a td with nine seconds left. He is still learning Malzahn’s offense but continues to help his team move up in the rankings every week. The Tigers also have one of the best defensive lines in the nation led by Derrick Brown who is a potential top ten pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jimbo Fisher is in his second year as the Aggies head coach and went 9-4 in his first year. Junior Kellen Mond has played well against weaker competition, but struggled against Clemson, only putting up 10 points. There is no doubt Mond has to play better against Auburn’s stingy defense to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Last but not least we have our only top 10 match up of the week with No. 7 Norte Dame Fighting Irish visiting No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs at 7 P.M. Both of these have been to the playoffs within the last two years, and it will be a playoff atmosphere in Athens, Ga. The Fighting Irish are led by senior QB Ian Book, who led them to a 12-1 record, losing to Clemson in the semifinals last year. Book has continued his trend from last year, leading Norte Dame to a perfect record in the regular season. Georgia also has a great QB, and potential top five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in Jake Fromm. Fromm led the Bulldogs to the national championship game in his Freshman year but lost a heartbreaker in overtime to Alabama. Fromm is 25-5 since walking on campus and has never lost at home. Georgia is favored by 14.5 points. Even though Fromm has never lost at home, this is disrespectful to a team that hasn’t lost a regular season game in almost two years.

We are in for a good one this weekend, and the best part about it is, they are back-to-back-to-back. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic day of college football.

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