College Games of the Week: Week 1

Every week we will highlight the best college football games of the week to watch on every game day. To kick off the 2016 CFB season, Cal beat Hawaii 51-31 last week. Now is when the real fun starts; FBS Division I-A (the cream of the crop in college football) football games start their play. From Thursday to Monday, here is the game you should watch each day.

Thursday, September 1: Appalachian State Mountaineers at Tennessee Volunteers (7:30p ET)

The Vols kick off their season tonight, and they boast one of their strongest teams in recent memory. Their high powered offense, led by running back Jalen Hurd, wide receiver Josh Smith, and quarterback Josh Dobbs, won’t have to put up many points due to their defense, spearheaded by future first round pick Derek Barnett, as well as defensive backs Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton, being such a strong unit. Appalachian State would be extremely lucky to pull out a win here.

Friday, September 2: Kansas State Wildcats at Stanford Cardinal (9pm ET)

While other powerhouses like Baylor and Michigan State play on this night, Stanford and K-State pull this one out based on the matchup. As new starting quarterback Ryan Burns replaces Kevin Hogan, he will rely on star Swiss-army-knife Christian McCaffrey, as well as receivers Michael Rector and Trenton Irwin, to make plays. Jesse Ertz finally returns to the quarterback position for the Wildcats after his season-ending injury in the 2015 opener, and he will be with many young underclassmen to start off the year.

Saturday: September 3: USC Trojans at Alabama Crimson Tide (8pm ET) or UCLA at Texas A&M (3:30pm ET)

This one is a toss up, with the star quarterback from UCLA, Josh Rosen, playing against a strong Aggies defense led by Myles Garrett, as well as the reigning CFB champions in Alabama playing a strong Southern California team in their first game since losing quarterback Cody Kessler. These two games are the highlight of the weekend, with strong offenses going against imposing defenses on both sides. Watch Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith-Schuster attempt to work their magic on Marlon Humphrey and the Tide secondary.

Sunday, September 4: Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Texas Longhorns (7:30pm ET)

The only game available on Sunday is quite an interesting one. The Fighting Irish will see how their two strong quarterbacks, Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer, play in the season opener, and the Longhorns’ defenders, led by Bryce Cottrell and Holton Hill, will look to shut them down for 60 minutes. These two teams are often stuck in the middle of the pack in terms of the CFB Playoff, but they look to separate themselves in 2016.

Monday, September 5: Ole Miss Rebels at Florida State Seminoles (8pm ET)

This Labor Day matchup could be one to remember. The Rebels lost many key pieces in Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, and Robert Nkemdiche, but they bring back controversial quarterback Chad Kelly to lead the offense to victory. The Seminoles boast a vicious defense led by defensive back Derwin James and tackle Demarcus Christmas, and it pairs well with their star-studded offense, with receiver Travis Rudolph and running back Dalvin Cook helping starting quarterback Deondre Francois.

 

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