September 11th, 2012 by Patrick Sturgeon
PATRICK STURGEON (aka “Paddy The Brick”) 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
California at #12 Ohio State
If you remember correctly, the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of my favorite college football teams, so I am always going to pick them to win, especially if they are playing at a sold out Ohio Stadium (aka The Horseshoe). This time is no exception. Over 100,000 folks will watch Ohio State QB Braxton Miller run and pass his way through the Golden Bears defense. Miller ran for three TDs last week versus Central Florida and reminds me of Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III: a big mobile athletic QB. I am not sure Miller can win the Heisman Trophy like Newton and RG3. But he is sure exciting to watch. The Buckeyes are on probation this year and are not eligible for a Bowl game, so I expect them to play with pride all season long in Urban Meyer’s first year at the helm. Meyer hails from Ashtabula, Ohio which is close enough in my book to be a Youngstown, Ohio connection.
Final Score: Ohio State 35, California 13
#1 Alabama at Arkansas
Two weeks ago this game looked like a classic SEC match up. Alabama would roll into Fayetteville, unbeaten, ranked number 1 and looking to take on unbeaten and highly ranked Arkansas. But then something strange happened that only occurs in college football. Unheralded University of Louisiana-Monroe came from 21 points down to shock the 8th ranked Razorbacks in overtime 34-31.
The Warhawks (no relation to Jayhawks) also knocked Arkansas starting QB Tyler Wilson out of the game before halftime and he is unlikely to play this week. Translation, the Tide defense tees off on Arkansas, and this game gets out of control in the second half. Bama QB AJ McCarron [pictured above] threw four touchdown passes last week and freshman running T.J. Yeldon continues to impress, so watch out for him especially since running back Jalston Fowler is out for the rest of the season.
Final Score: Alabama 31, Arkansas 10
#20 Notre Dame at #10 Michigan State
The only matchup between Top 20 teams occurs at Spartan Stadium as the Spartans hosts the Fighting Irish in the late game on Saturday. The last time these two teams played in East Lansing was in 2010, the Spartans won in overtime on a fake field goal that resulted in a touchdown. It was one of the greatest trick plays I have seen in a while. MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is from Youngstown, Ohio so you know I will be rooting for my hometown boy, but Notre Dame is one of my favorite teams, so I am “torn between two lovers” as the song goes. Nine of the last 12 meetings between the Spartans and Fighting Irish have been decided by seven points or less. So this one is going to be close. MSU already owns a victory over Boise State, while ND has feasted on a few cupcakes, and barely beat Purdue last week. As much as I hate to say it, Michigan State comes out on top.
Final Score: Michigan State 38, Notre Dame 34 in OT
Last week I was a perfect 3-0. The USC Trojan’s Matt Barkley threw for six touchdowns against Syracuse and gathered more east coast votes for his Heisman Trophy campaign. The LSU Tigers spotted Washington a field goal and then shut out the Huskies the rest of the way and won 41-3. The late game saw Arizona State smash Illinois 45-14, the Sun Devils have outscored their opponents 108-20 in their first two games under new head coach Todd Graham. There was lots of rejoicing on Mill Avenue in Tempe after the game. I wonder if former ESPN America alumnus Andrew Joseph (now working in AZ) joined the festivities.
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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