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FSU Looks For Revenge in Top-10 Showdown

Ranked No. 4 in the country, FSU gets another shot at the Clemson team that ruined their ACC title hopes last season. The Seminoles haven't appeared in a BCS bowl game since 2006. Photo courtesy of Rice and D/Flickr.com

College Football is back in the swing of things, as the season’s first three weeks have brought us a lot of triumphs, thrilling performances, and upsets.  USC was upset by Stanford for a fourth straight time as Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley dropped to 0-4 against Stanford in his career. Powerhouses Alabama and LSU are still rolling through competition. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska have fallen from the Top 25 after upsets in Week two.

Week Four of the season has a number of interesting matchups. However, here are the top three, each of which are sure to keep a college football fan glued to his or her seat.

Michigan at Notre Dame: Just the schools involved in this matchup get a significant buzz going, as two of college football’s most storied programs go head to head in South Bend in the latest chapter of this fierce rivalry. Last year, Michigan hosted its first ever night game at the Big House in Ann Arbor, which is college football’s largest stadium, against the Fighting Irish. A thrilling battle was concluded with a last minute Denard Robinson touchdown pass to give the Wolverines a 35-31 victory after trailing 24-7 entering the fourth quarter. This year’s matchup should be just as good as the last few, as Notre Dame looks to top Robinson in his final game against the Irish, while Robinson hopes to build up his Heisman resume with another big game against Brian Kelly’s stout defense, which is lead by All-American middle linebacker Manti Te’o. Prediction: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 28 after a late touchdown scamper by Robinson.

Clemson at Florida State:  This game is the one that is going to decide who represents the Atlantic division in the ACC Championship in Charlotte. Clemson’s explosive offense is led by dynamic QB Tajh Boyd, All-American receiver Sammy Watkins, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and senior running back Andre Ellington. However, they go against a Seminole defense that is still strong even without standout senior defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who was lost for the season. Look for Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel to have a better game than last year and light up a Clemson secondary that is still adjusting to defensive coordinator Brent Venables’ scheme. Prediction: Florida State 31, Clemson 24 after a fourth quarter TD pass from Manuel.

Arizona at Oregon: Two weeks ago, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had his first “signature” win as head coach of the Wildcats, defeating then No.18 Oklahoma State 59-38. Well, folks, that was an upset, but not a major one. Arizona’s new spread attack is spearheaded by dual-threat senior quarterback Matt Scott, and it has put up points like, well, Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks. Once again, Kelly has an offensive juggernaut, lead by redshirt freshman QB Marcus Mariota, who has made Duck fans forget all about Darron Thomas, and tailbacks Kenjon Barner, a rising senior, and the explosive De’Anthony Thomas, who burst onto the scene at last season’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin with a dominating performance that he has carried into this season. And the scary part? He’s only a sophomore.  Look for the Ducks to run all over the Wildcats at Autzen Stadium. Prediction: Oregon 63, Arizona 30 with Thomas leading the way with four overall touchdowns.

Jordan Llanes can be reached at jordan.llanes@spartans.ut.edu

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