It’s Finally here. After months and months and months of waiting, the world’s finest team sports gets underway tonight. It’s college football time!!! Normally the opening Thursday night games are less than exciting, but this time around we have one real gem and a couple of others that are more than worth a look. Here’s a quick preview of the highlight’s of tonight’s action:
Oregon (+3.5) at Boise State – Both teams come into the season riding high on a wave of expectations. The Ducks have to sense that USC is vulnerable, and they could be dreaming about making a charge for the top of the conference with their exciting QB Jeremiah Masoli leading the way. Boise State knows that they need to win this one because it currently appears to be their only really tough game standing between them and a 12-0 season and another season as a BCS Buster.
There is change all over the field here. Chip Kelly is the new head coach after previously serving as offensive coordinator. He has an offense with some new faces – most notably on the offensive line, which was ravaged by graduation last year. Boise State has to be comfortable with their offense, but defense is more of a question mark – incredibly, they return just one starter from last year.
Beyond all of that, and perhaps most importantly, this game is going to be emotionally charged. When these two teams met last year it was an ugly, cheap-shot filled affair. Both teams took exception to it, and both teams could be looking for revenge. That should lead to some fireworks, and that will be great to watch.
South Carolina (+5) at NC State – South Carolina won this one 34-0 last year, but they won’t get off that easy again. Steve Spurrier and company need to figure out how they can create offensive opportunities without throwing the ball away this year – they led the nation in interceptions with 27 last season. Tom O’Brien will be looking to take big steps forward in his third year at NC State. He’ll be helped in that by sophomore QB Russell Wilson, quite likely the best quarterback in the ACC. This one will be way closer and more entertaining than the last time.
Utah State (+20.5) at Utah – This rivalry is going to be played out in hot conditions tonight. This one is all about seeing if Utah can deliver on their potential. They are a promising team with some hefty expectations, and this will be a good chance for them to work out the kinks and earn some respect with a big win. A weak opponent early in the season at home could be a trap game, though, so they’ll really have to be sharp.
Troy (-7) at Bowling Green – I have more more buzz about Troy as a potential upstart strong ATS team than almost any other team. This will be a chance for us to see if they are up to the challenge. I am a fan of QB Levi Brown, and he has lots of talent in skill positions to build a strong year. Bowling Green has a solid QB, but a sketchy defense and a new coach, so this could be a rough outing for them.