Battle lines: Battle between top offenses and defenses highlights weekend games

09/25/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

A couple of PAC 12 matchups feature Top 25 teams clashing, while two pairs of unbeaten teams meet this weekend as well. Let's take a look at this week's top games in college football.
#8 LSU at Syracuse 12pm Saturday
For the first time this season, LSU will take on an opponent not ranked in the Top 25. And for the first time this season, Syracuse will take on a ranked foe in this non conference matchup. The Orange are perfect through 3 games so far this season, and will try to go 4 for 4 at home against the visiting Tigers. Syracuse has the 3rd best rushing defense in college football so far this season, but they've put those numbers up against Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Central Michigan. They'll face LSU's Leonard Fournette, who's 193.5 yards per game average is tops in the nation. Syracuse is trying to start the season at 4 and 0 for the first time since 1991, but will likely have to do so without starting QB Eric Dungey, who was injured last week. This is the first ever regular season meeting between these schools, and the first time they have played since the 1989 Hall Of Fame Bowl.

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#3 TCU at Texas Tech 4:45pm Saturday
A shootout could be in the makings in this Big 12 Conference matchup of 3 and 0 teams. TCU is averaging 49.7 points 599 yards per game, while Texas Tech is averaging 54.3 points and 590 yards per game. Both teams have been led offensively by their quarterbacks. The Red Raiders Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 1,029 yards and 9 TD's, while TCU's Trevone Boykin has passed for 985 yards and 10 TD's. Boykin recorded 433 yards through the air and threw 7 touchdown passes in last years game between these teams, a game TCU won 82 to 27. Boykin's 7 TDs and the 82 points scored were TCU school records. Those 82 points were also a Big 12 record and the most ever surrendered by Texas Tech. The Red Raiders however, have won the past 3 games played at home versus the Horned Frogs.
#18 Utah at #13 Oregon 8:30pm Saturday
It will be an intriguing matchup here as Utah's defense, ranked 4th in the nation in points against, faces an Oregon offense averaging 50 points per game. But both teams will be looking for that first win against a ranked opponent in 2015. Utah has beaten Michigan, Utah State, and Fresno State in non-conference games, while Utah has beaten Eastern Washington and Georgia State and lost to #5 Michigan State. While Utah's defense has been impressive, Oregon's defense has been less than. The Ducks are giving up an average of 456 yards per game and have given up 14 touchdowns in their 4 games played. Oregon should get a lift on offense though, as starting quarterback Vernon Adams is expected to return after missing last week with a broken finger. Oregon has won the past 3 matchups between these schools and 6 of the past 7 meetings. Utah's last win at Oregon was also 21 years ago.
#9 UCLA at #16 Arizona 8pm Saturday
The second PAC 12 game featuring Top 25 teams also features a matchup of a high scoring offense against a tough scoring defense. Arizona is averaging 54 points and 585 yards per game, while UCLA is giving up just 14 points against on average. The news is good and bad though for the Bruins defense on the injury front. Defensive back Ishmael Adams returns from a 3 game suspension, but linebacker Myles Jack will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. UCLA's defense will be tested by Wildcats QB Anu Solomon, who has passed for 778 yards and 10 TD's without throwing an interception yet this season. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has struggled the past 2 weeks, throwing 4 interceptions. But RB Paul Perkins picked up the slack in last weeks win over #19 BYU, rushing for 219 yards. UCLA won last season's meeting 17 to 7.

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