Top college football games to watch this weekend

·7 min read

The North Carolina Tar Heels are in their bye week, preparing to take on the Fighting Irish next weekend.

UNC has got off to a great start with no losses on their record, yet has not cracked the Associated Press top 25. North Carolina opponents faced, and the small margin of victory could pinpoint the lack of respect for being ranked.

Despite UNCs’ 63-61 nail-biting week one win over Appalachian State, the Mountaineers still finished with more votes to be considered in the top 25 heading into week three. It’s simple if North Carolina is to get any consideration for the top 25… some big teams will have to fall. Others they have already beaten will need to remain impressive.

This is a weekend that UNC can crack the AP poll even without lacing up by simply watching the other teams take each other out. As North Carolina enjoys a stress-free weekend, we look at some of the best games this weekend that can bring out the sweat buckets and shake up the AP polls.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.

Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

#12 (2-0) BYU vs #25 (1-1) Oregon

Sep 10, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) runs the ball against Baylor Bears defensive lineman TJ Franklin (9) in the second half at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gabriel Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the best game this weekend is BYU traveling to Oregon with a game against the Ducks.

The Cougars are off to a hot start with a significant win over Baylor last weekend, becoming one of the sleeper teams in college football that could make a run at a potential playoff berth. On the other hand, Oregon came in ranked high as a possible lock for the playoffs before losing 49-3, taking away all momentum.

BYU is led by quarterback Jaren Hall who has completed 48 of 71 passes for 522 passing yards and three touchdowns. Cougars running back Christopher Brooks is the other weapon on the offense with 166 rushing yards with a 6.4-yard average. Meanwhile, Oregon has senior quarterback Bo Nix as their weapon of choice, and Nix so far has completed 49 of 70 passes for 450 passing yards and five touchdowns.

This key match-up will be a game that could see UNC sneaking in with Oregon right on the edge of the top 25.

#22 (2-0) Penn State vs. (2-0) Auburn

Sep 10, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Omari Evans (18) runs with the ball on a punt return during the fourth quarter against the Ohio Bobcats at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Ohio 46-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State has been hot out the gate and will test their record against equally impressive Auburn Tigers.

Both teams are in the cuffs of the top 25, with Penn State sneaking in after an impressive 35-31 win over Purdue in week one and last weekend’s 46-10 win over Ohio… no, not the buckeyes. Meanwhile, Auburn has had a slight schedule with a 42-16 win over Mercer in week one and squeaking by San Jose State 24-16 last weekend.

Penn States’ running back Nicholas Singleton has been monstrous for the Lions with 210 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and a 10.5 yards per carrying average. The Tigers’ most significant threat is their defense, only allowing an average of 16 points per game so far this season. Auburn’s key defensive player is junior linebacker Cam Riley, who leads the team in tackles (20), wreaking havoc in week one with 15 tackles.
A game of two looking to show they are the real deal is good for UNC, with one having to take the L.

(2-0) Mississippi State vs (1-1) LSU

Sep 10, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs safety Collin Duncan (19) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In a game between two non-ranked teams, one is looking to stay unbeaten, and the other is looking to change its season.

Mississippi State is undefeated but wins over Memphis, and Arizona hasn’t pushed the needle enough for them. Meanwhile, LSU’s 24-23 nail-biting loss against FSU in week one has controlled their narrative even with the 65-17 win over Southern last weekend.

Mississippi State quarterback Will Rodgers has been on fire, completing 77 of 98 passes for 763 yards and nine touchdowns. LSU is also led by their quarterback Jayden Daniels who completed 35 of 45 passes for 346 yards and five touchdowns. This game will rely on the QBs ability to move the ball and create opportunities late.

This is an excellent game for both teams to prove they belong, but with one winner comes a loser hindering them from a top 25 spot.

#11 (2-0) Michigan State vs. (2-0) Washington Huskies

Coach Mel Tucker and the Michigan State Spartans take the field before the game against Akron on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
220910 Msu Akron Fb 063a

Michigan State traveling to Washington with a battle against the Huskies, has a shot at stealing the weekend for best gameplay.

Both squads have much to prove, with Michigan State stamping their spot as a top team and Huskies looking to prove they belong. Michigan State has taken care of business with wins over lackluster opponents but in a blowout fashion, beating Western Michigan 35-13 and shellacking Akron 52-0. Meanwhile, Washington handled their business with a 45-20 win over Kent State and a 52-6 victory over Portland State.

Michigan State is led by running back Jalen Berger, who has rushed for 227 yards for 6.9 yards per carrying average and four touchdowns. Washington, more of a passing team, turns to quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to get the job done, with the junior completing 46 of 66 passes for 682 passing yards and six touchdowns.

To keep it simple, neither team has played a significant challenge, so this weekend is vital for both teams to prove they have it.

#13 (2-0) Miami vs. #24 (1-1) Texas A&M

Sep 10, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Key’Shawn Smith (5) falls into the end zone for a touchdown after catching a pass against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most exciting games in all of college football this weekend is 13th ranked Miami vs. 23rd ranked Texas A&M. The Aggies are coming off a 17-14 upset loss to Appalachian State. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have poured it on their first two opponents, scoring them 100 points to 20.

Miami’s offense is dynamic, with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke as the focal point. Dyke has completed 33 out of 45 passes for 454 yards and three passing touchdowns. The other threat is sophomore Henry Parrish, who has been a workhorse with 217 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Miami has a lot of pressure this weekend to prove whether they are the real deal. UNC fans should pay close attention to this game.

(2-0) Texas Tech vs. #16 (2-0) NC State

Sep 10, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack wide receiver Anthony Smith (85) dives for a pass during the second half against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

16th ranked Wolf pack is looking to show they are the real deal with their first vital season match. They are 2-0, yet their struggles in their season opener against Eastern Carolina raised essential questions about whether they are legit.

NC State quarterback Devin Leary is the reasoning behind the high ranking, and he hasn’t disappointed so far. The junior has completed 33 of 58 passes for 449 yards and five touchdowns. He also has two rushing touchdowns to tack onto his total.

All ACC fans should watch this one to see if the Wolf Pack is all bark.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire