September 19th, 2012 by Patrick Sturgeon
PATRICK STURGEON (aka “Paddy The Brick”) once again gives a personal overview of his top three College Football games to watch live on ESPN America this week and picks his winner for each game.
WEEK THREE GAMES TO WATCH
Virginia at #17 TCU
Here is what I know about TCU, they joined the Big 12 conference this year and last weekend, they strolled into Lawrence (Kansas) and beat my beloved Jayhawks 20-6 in a hard fought game despite 4 turnovers. QB Casey Pachall threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns, so TCU know how to put points up on the board. Their schedule gets considerably tougher going forward, but they should be able to take care of Virginia in their first appearance on ESPN America in 2012. Earlier this season here on ESPN America, we saw Virginia edge Penn State 17-16 after the Nittany Lions missed 4 field goals and got an extra point blocked. So it’s safe to say the Cavaliers are not that good. Last week they got trounced by Georgia Tech 56-20. The Horned Frogs (2-0) own the nation’s longest win streak at 10 games dating back to last season, so I fully expect the streak to reach 11.
Final Score: TCU 45 Virginia 13
Missouri at #7 South Carolina
The SEC is once again on display this weekend in our second game, the conference is so good that four of the top seven teams in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll are from the SEC. South Carolina enters the game at 3-0, they started the season with a tight 17-13 victory over Vanderbilt, and have feasted on a couple of cup cakes for their other two victories. The Gamecocks feature one of the best running backs in college football in Marcus Lattimore and they also have a very gutsy QB in Connor Shaw, so I would expect South Carolina to put up a few points. Missouri is having trouble at quarterback so they need to rely on their defense to keep them in the game. QB James Franklin didn’t play in the win over Arizona State last Saturday, but backup Corbin Berkstresser stepped up and lead the Tigers to a win. I like Missouri, because they are a former Big 12 school, I always root for them, except when they are playing Kansas. My old friend Mike Alden is the Athletic Director there, and I told him we would be showing the game live on ESPN America. But “like” is not “love”, and I love the Gamecocks at home. The old ball coach, Steve Spurrier will have his boys all fired up for this one.
Final Score: South Carolina 27 Missouri 17
#10 Clemson at #4 Florida State
This is hands down the game of the week and the site of ESPN’s College GameDay show, which starts off our live coverage every Saturday during the season.
Florida State have outscored their first three opponents 176 to 3 (that is not a typo). OK, they haven’t really played anyone, even Wake Forest didn’t put up much of a fight last week, losing 52-0. Senior QB EJ Manual is hoping to lead the Seminoles to the BCS title this year and because they play in the ACC and not the SEC, they actually have a very real shot. I also want fans to watch out for Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner (wears #95), the junior big man hails from Berlin, Germany and is a real NFL prospect in a couple of years and currently lead the nation with 6.5 sacks already. Clemson has also come out of the gate 3-0, but own a season opening win over Auburn. Clemson has playmakers like QB Tajh Boyd and three outstanding wide outs including Sammy Watkins, who had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdown catches in a 35-30 Clemson win last year. Both teams have outstanding defenses as well, who will force turnovers and make big plays on special teams. When it comes time for Lee Corso to put on the appropriate mascot head gear at the end of College GameDay to predict a winner, I think he will be wearing Seminoles head dress.
Final Score: Florida State 35 Clemson 33
Last Week: Once again I was 2-1 for the weekend. I had Ohio State beating California, but the game was closer than I expected. QB Braxton Miller gathered more Heisman Trophy vote, but I think it will be hard for him to win because of the Buckeyes Bowl ban this year. Thanks for my two new Twitter followers from Ohio State and Patrick A. Sturgeon (no relation) from New York City. As I predicted, Alabama was going to crush Arkansas, but I did not expect 52-0, ouch. The Crimson Tide has really sent a message to college football world after three weeks. “We are the defending champions, so come and get us”. And finally, I went against my heart and took Michigan State to beat Notre Dame in overtime, thankfully, I was dead wrong because as I have mentioned numerous times before, I love the Fighting Irish , who dominated the Spartans 20-3 on their home turf to go 3-0 on the season
Notre Dame: Since we started the season with Notre Dame vs Navy in Dublin, Ireland, I have decided to give you a little side bar story each week to see how the Fighting Irish are progressing, Notre Dame stadium will be rocking on Saturday night as the Irish welcome their arch rivals Michigan. Last year’s game was an all time thriller, in fact, the Wolverines has won three straight in the series and the winning touchdown has been scored with under 27 seconds left in regulation, so I expect this game to be very close indeed. Notre Dame made other news this week as they announced they are joining the ACC for all sports except football, although they will play five ACC teams each year as part of their schedules. Most experts believe they will join ACC in the next 3-5 years.
About the author
PATRICK STURGEON (aka ‘Paddy the Brick’) is the Director of Programming for ESPN America. He has been working in the TV sports business for 25 years. Patrick started his career in Arizona where he was a Emmy Award winning sports producer and director. He moved to the Europe in 1994 and has been with ESPN America since 2003. He has a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!).
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